Monday, September 26, 2005

NOLA - Watch Your Wallet

We need to and intend to rebuild New Orleans, Lousiana. But we have to be careful with our money because Louisiana has a long and wide history of corrupt politicians. John Fund in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal points out today:
In just the past generation, the Pelican State has had a governor, an attorney general, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a state Senate president and a swarm of local officials convicted.
Only Arkansas could match that recent record. ;-) Even one of the levee boards was under investigation at the time Katrina hit. And just this summer:
As for New Orleans, no city in America would better serve its most vulnerable residents with a clean sweep of its institutions. Just this summer, associates of former mayor Marc Morial were indicted for alleged kickbacks involving public contracts. Last month the FBI raided the home and car of Rep. William Jefferson as part of a probe into allegations he had misused his office.
We have to have careful control of the funds we provide. We have to be sure the LA politicians don't pay each other off with our money. Is this partisan politics or reputable oversight?
Despite assurances from President Bush, "the government is fighting this war [on waste] with Civil War weapons, and we're just overwhelmed," Joshua Schwartz, co-director of the George Washington University Law School's procurement law program, told Knight Ridder. Democrats are already scoring political points. Rep. David Obey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, is lamenting the lack of accountability in the aid package. He is calling for "the beginning of some new thinking" on how to handle disaster relief.
Actually, I agree with the Democrat. But honorable Senator Landrieu will deck you if you interfere with her family's "right" to control most everything:
Indeed, many local officials are quick to attack any outsiders who question the local way of doing things. Sen. Landrieu is especially sensitive since politics is her family's business. Her father was mayor of New Orleans, her aunt sits on the city's school board, and her brother is the state's lieutenant governor. She did a passable imitation of the overwrought Aaron Brossard when she told ABC News that if President Bush utters any criticism of how local officials responded to the disaster "I might have to punch him--literally."
If the they send street fighters to the US Senate imagine what sort of politicians they are hiding at home.

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