Skip to comments.Brown pushed from last job: Horse group: FEMA chief had to be asked to resign (Why FEMA Screwed Up)
Posted on 09/04/2005 8:43:56 AM PDT by holyscroller
The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.
And before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a deputy director in 2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.
The Oklahoman got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA.
The agency, run by Brown since 2003, is now at the center of a growing fury over the handling of the New Orleans disaster.
``I look at FEMA and I shake my head,'' said a furious Gov. Mitt Romney yesterday, calling the response ``an embarrassment.''
President Bush, after touring the Big Easy, said he was ``not satisfied'' with the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation.
And U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch predicted there would be hearings on Capitol Hill over the mishandled operation.
Brown - formerly an estates and family lawyer - this week has has made several shocking public admissions, including interviews where he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center.
Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado.
``We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records,'' explained a spokeswoman for the IAHA commissioner's office. ``This was his full-time job . . . for 11 years,'' she added.
Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.
``He was asked to resign,'' Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.
Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president's re-election campaign. [more on URL]
WHO is the "old college friend" in this story? Would it be James Lee Witt?
Never mind, I see it was Allbaugh. Still, I see Witt is heavily involved in this mess, too--created the "plan" that didn't seem to work so well...
The city leaders had at least two full days to use these hundreds of buses to evac the poor, exactly as their own emergency management plan called for.
Here's the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. Go to page 13, read paragraph 5. It states:
5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.
From the story:
... by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh.
Fema hasn't failed. Fema is always the follow on organization. It is ALWAYS the locals who are the first responders in a crisis-- why do you think Giuliani is so praised. It's ALWAYS the locals. Too many people who should know better are blaming the feds for local and state failures. It's really disgraceful.
...consider the source
Brown seems less impressive everyday. The story is definitely an "Ouch."
Are you serious? The head of our national emergency response was an idiot horse show judge in his previous career? How the f--- did Bush pick this winner?
Bush had to tell the governor to evacuate. A teen had to confiscate a bus over the mayor's inaction. Now the head of FEMA is claiming he didn't know there were people suffering at the dome. Idiots all.
I'm coming to the conclusion that a lot of heads should roll from the mayor and governor all the way up to the secretary of DHS.
He has made a few goofy statements, but what "specifically" has Brown done wrong?
This bothers me because it is such empty spin. Every one of us on this site knew about the convention center for a day and a half before FEMA. What is our tax money good for if the info I get off cable news and web sites is theoretically better than FEMA's? A bald faced lie, and this agency needs to be replaced.
I correct that in the next post.
Yes, idiots and criminals as far as I'm concerned. People who have been through hurricanes, or even heavy storms, know the power will go off. When the power goes off, there will be no lights, and worse, there will be no water pumping--i.e., no toilets will flush. Yet, knowing they were going to put thousands of people into the "shelters," no one thought to haul banks of porta potties to handle the inevitable.
It gets worse. No one thought to send stockpiles of bottled water to the shelters--the people were told to bring their own, and apparently, few of them had enough common sense to do that. They brought cokes, which only INCREASE thirst.
I could go on, but I'll spare you. This was two disasters--one of management, and the other courtesy of Ma Nature.
There's a great Michelle Malkin article several posts ahead of this that ties in with this one. In any event, Brown was definately NOT the man for the job. Really important jobs should not be given out as Patronage positions. Brown is walking proof of that. This is going to backfire on Bush big time.
No one gets the job without supervisory approval.
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