Katrina, Kathleen and Ray.......
Mayor Nagin needs to take an example from Rudy Gulliani’s playbook. Rudy, as mayor, took charge of the crisis. Pointing fingers at others was not on his take-charge schedule. New Orleans’s race problems - and it does seem there have been problems; the levee problems - long standing; just where has Mayor Nagin been these past years ?
So things weren’t going well on the mayor’s watch, and by Friday he went on the air and did what many politicians do when they are under fire for incompetence — they point the blame at someone else.
Compare that to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the aftermath of 9/11. Mr. Giuliani rolled up his sleeves, took charge and led the city through its worst disaster. He didn’t blame others and he didn’t pass the buck. He had put a trained city management team in place that acted with professionalism, courage and dispatch under dangerous conditions.
On Tuesday, Mr. Bush was putting together a government-wide response to the disaster, which went into effect immediately. He called for a disaster assistance package and by Friday it was on his desk. A large aid bill will be coming out of Congress in the weeks to come when the full costs of the recovery effort are known.
If memory serves me well, Congress took longer to pass the 9/11 aid package, but Mr. Giuliani did not whine and complain. He was part of the solution, not part of the problem. Going on the air to complain that the federal government not doing enough when nearly a dozen government departments and agencies were in New Orleans by mid-week to aid the recovery efforts, seems an unusual way to lead, to say the least. And the mayor could not say that he did not know what was coming. He had days of forecasts of the coming Category Four storm to prepare for the worst.
Though her state has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and thousands are believed dead in New Orleans, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has refused to allow the federal government to take control of evacuation efforts.
But the press has focused on the first 48 hours of federal response, not uttering a word about the fact that New Orleans had 48 hours of warning that a major Category 4 or 5 would make landfall near the city, yet local officials apparently did little to prepare.
THE MAYOR AND THE GOVERNOR
The municipality even prepared its own "City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan."
The plan makes it evident that New Orleans knew that evacuation of the civilian population was the primary responsibility of the city – not the federal government. The city plan acknowledges its responsibility in the document:
As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
The city document also makes clear that decisions involving a proper and orderly evacuation lie with the governor, mayor and local authorities. Nowhere is the president or federal government even mentioned:
The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
It is clear the city also recognized that it would need to move large portions of its population, and it would need to prepare for such an eventuality:
The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed. ...
Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken. http://www.cityofno.com
The city's plan also specifically called for the use of city-owned buses and school buses to evacuate the population. These were apparently never deployed, though the Parish of Plaquemines just south of the city evacuated its population using school buses. The plan, written well before Katrina was even a teardrop in God's eye, was obviously never heeded or implemented by local leaders.
But why should the New Orleans mayor and Governor Blanco take responsibility when they can blame George Bush and the Republicans in Washington? With congressional elections fast approaching, Democrats who are out of power in every branch of the federal government know they need to change the tide quickly. They have apparently seized on the Katrina disaster to harm the president politically. Criticism of the federal government's response is fair and warranted. But putting full responsibility for this disaster on the Bush administration is way over the top.
Primary responsibility for this disaster remains with local officials like Nagin and Blanco, not President Bush.
Obviously, Gov. Blanco did not effectively deploy her state's National Guard. The President can't do anything until [Louisiana Gov.] Kathleen Blanco requests him to do it.
The disaster came and they were not prepared.
WHO ARE LOUISIANA POLITICAL LEADERS !
GOVERNOR:Kathleen Blanco (D)
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:Mitch Landrieu (D)
SECRETARY OF STATE:
Al Ater (D) Acting Secretary of State
ATTORNEY GENERAL:Charlie Foti (D)
STATE TREASURER:John Kennedy (D)
STATE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY:Bob Odom (D)
STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER:J. Robert Wooley (D)
HAS ANYBODY NOTICED : ALL INCOMPETENT LIBERALS !
ANYBODY REMEMBERS WHO TOOK THE LEAD ON 9/11 ?
YES, MAYOR GIULIANI, A REPUBLICAN !
A stupid public statement by an incompetent mayor at the wrong time….. !Clarence Ray Nagin is the Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. Before his election, Nagin was a member of the United States Republican Party and had little political experience. Days before filing for the New Orleans Mayoral race in February 2002, Nagin switched his party registration to the United States Democratic Party, presumably in order to improve his chances of winning the race in heavily Democratic New Orleans.
"This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention center and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running out of supplies."
How stupid can a liberal-democrat leader be ?