Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tancredo insult Katrina Victims; Characterizes Federal aid as a " Gravy Train".
by T.W. Trancredo Watch blog.
Once again seeking some cheap headlines, Tom Tancredo issued a statement demanding that the "gravy train" in "runaway" federal aid to Hurricane Katrina victims come to an end.
Reaction was swift:
Not surprisingly, Louisiana's governor issued a detailed rebuttal (quoted below), but the rest of the nation didn't give a rat's patootie about what Tancredo had to say.
Now, if he'd suggested NUKING New Orleans - that might have gotten him some additional airplay. But the muted reaction to Tancredo's latest outrageous comments suggest that perhaps the national media is getting wise to what Colorado's press has known for a long time: Tancredo is an inveterate headline-grabber who will say anything, no matter how stupid, insensitive, or inflammatory, to get some column inches.
Here's Governor Blanco's thoughtful response to the latest ridiculousness from Tancredo:
"Perhaps Rep. Tancredo should read the entire report to which he refers. The GAO report cites the federal government as the source of waste, not those at the state and local level who continue working around the clock to rebuild their communities. He should also know the facts behind the $114 billion figure that is so easily touted as the monetary cure-all for the largest disaster in our nation's history.
Federal investments in the Gulf Coast's recovery have been generous and historic. However, appropriations still have not come close to the magnitude of our damages or to the commitment President Bush pledged in Jackson Square shortly after Katrina.
"The federal government suggests it has allocated more than $114 billion to the Gulf Coast recovery - but they often fail to mention this $114 billion was distributed among five states - Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida - in the aftermath of three disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Of this, it is estimated that federal commitments to Louisiana are roughly $60 billion. A substantial portion of this assistance was directed to emergency assistance and meeting short-term needs arising from the hurricanes, such as relocation assistance, emergency housing, immediate levee repair, and debris removal efforts, leaving less than $26 billion for actual 'bricks and sticks' rebuilding of permanent infrastructure. Of this, we have forced enough federally-required paperwork through the eye of the needle to get nearly $7 billion spent on permanent construction projects, including more than $3 billion that has been paid directly to Louisiana homeowners.
"To characterize our ongoing recovery challenges as 'runaway government spending' is an insult to Americans in need. Let me remind him and others in Congress that Louisiana has contributed nearly $5 billion of our own resources toward this historic recovery effort. We have painstaking accountability measures in place to ensure every dollar is appropriately spent on recovery. We have undergone numerous audits, and we stand tall in the way Louisiana has honestly disbursed its federal dollars. I share Rep. Tancredo's concern for transparency and accountability, and I urge him to stand with us as we face this long-term recovery, just as we would stand with Colorado should residents there suffer a major disaster. Join us in demanding more efficient use of recovery aid by reforming the Stafford Act, cutting the reams of red tape that are hampering our progress."