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Brown pushed from last job: Horse group: FEMA chief had to be asked to resign (Why FEMA Screwed Up)
Boston Herald.com Business Today ^ | Saturday, September 3, 2005 | By Brett Arends

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]


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: fema; ignorantbureaucrat; incompetence; michaelbrown; peterprinciple; screwup; stupidlawyer
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This explains it all. One incompetent bureaucrat hires an old buddy to be another incompetent bureaucrat, who doesn't have a clue of how to do the job he's hired for. After reading this, I guess the people of the Gulf Coast are lucky it only took FEMA 5 days to realize there was a problem. This practice (patronage) of rewarding party faithful (fund raisers) with government jobs in which they have no knowledge or experience was bound to blow up eventually, and it sure did this time.
1 posted on 09/04/2005 8:43:57 AM PDT by holyscroller
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To: holyscroller

WHO is the "old college friend" in this story? Would it be James Lee Witt?


2 posted on 09/04/2005 8:48:35 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: holyscroller

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...


3 posted on 09/04/2005 8:50:29 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: holyscroller
I hope that sooner or later the MSM discovers that New Orleans did have a written emergency plan to cover the evacuation of the poor, but that the idiot mayor of New Orleans ignored it, and allowed the evacuation buses to be ruined by the flood, forgotten.

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.


4 posted on 09/04/2005 8:51:37 AM PDT by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: MizSterious
WHO is the "old college friend" in this story? Would it be James Lee Witt?

From the story:

... by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh.

5 posted on 09/04/2005 8:52:27 AM PDT by rond
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To: holyscroller; All

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.


6 posted on 09/04/2005 8:54:25 AM PDT by faithincowboys
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To: holyscroller

...consider the source

Doogle


7 posted on 09/04/2005 8:54:41 AM PDT by Doogle (8th AF...4077thTFW....408MMS....Ubon Thailand "69"..Night Line Delivery ..AMMO)
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To: Travis McGee

Brown seems less impressive everyday. The story is definitely an "Ouch."


8 posted on 09/04/2005 8:55:25 AM PDT by takbodan (.)
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To: holyscroller
he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center
I don't think he "suggested" this at all. I heard him on TV. According to my recollection he said something like, "FEMA was not aware that there were refugees at the Convention Center." There's difference between the two statements. His statement implies that The city of NO people did not communicate the information to FEMA. Does anyone know about this for a certainty? [I'm off to do a search.]
9 posted on 09/04/2005 8:55:51 AM PDT by Clara Lou (In this order: Read. Post comment.)
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To: holyscroller

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?


10 posted on 09/04/2005 8:56:07 AM PDT by shadowman99
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To: holyscroller

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.


11 posted on 09/04/2005 8:56:18 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: MizSterious

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.


12 posted on 09/04/2005 8:57:11 AM PDT by 6ppc
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To: takbodan

He has made a few goofy statements, but what "specifically" has Brown done wrong?


13 posted on 09/04/2005 8:58:09 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: Clara Lou
" he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center"

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.

14 posted on 09/04/2005 9:00:22 AM PDT by shadowman99
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To: rond

I correct that in the next post.


15 posted on 09/04/2005 9:01:57 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: faithincowboys
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.


Giuliani has always, and to this day, praises his commissioners and local officials for doing their jobs and following procedures that had been worked on for years before 9/11. This clown doctor of a mayor in NO,has never, or most likely ever had a clue.
What makes it all the more alarming is, Giuliani had to deal with the unexpected.....the clown doctor, most likely to happen


Doogle
16 posted on 09/04/2005 9:03:01 AM PDT by Doogle (8th AF...4077thTFW....408MMS....Ubon Thailand "69"..Night Line Delivery ..AMMO)
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To: mtbopfuyn

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.


17 posted on 09/04/2005 9:05:35 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: holyscroller
Not all.

State and local officials have the primary responsibility for disaster preparedness. The mayor and governor were both incompetent bunglers themselves in this instance
18 posted on 09/04/2005 9:07:37 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: M1911A1; wildwood; Shqipo; roses of sharon; martin_fierro; livius; Dick Bachert; G-dzilla; ...

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.


19 posted on 09/04/2005 9:08:51 AM PDT by holyscroller (A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him to the left)
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To: holyscroller

No one gets the job without supervisory approval.


20 posted on 09/04/2005 9:10:07 AM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: holyscroller

LOL, you wish.


21 posted on 09/04/2005 9:13:14 AM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: MizSterious
I have seen his resume, and it looked to me as if he had nine years of related experience. Unfortunately, the dem war machine is in full force and trying to capitalize on this disaster to get Bush. I think it is sickening, but it is true.

Also, I don't see any dems or blacks offering to help. They want the white Republicans to do all the work, wait on the evacuees hand and foot, and spit in our faces while we do. I'll bet the people who are getting helped don't all feel that way, though.

22 posted on 09/04/2005 9:15:04 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: Doogle

Exactly and squishy conservatives and mad dog liberals are so racist they believe that a black man can't lead in a crisis and therefore shouldn't be held accountable. Malkin, deep in places she doesn't like to talk about,feels that Nagin should get a pass, because he was by virtue of who he is (a black man) in over his head from the start.

And Blanco gets the same thing. Maybe we are a racist and sexist country-- the liberals and the squishy conservatives certainly are.


23 posted on 09/04/2005 9:16:44 AM PDT by faithincowboys
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To: Clara Lou
Don't interrupt the emoting, its like Oprah in here.

I guess its like battered wife syndrome, you just rationalize that you deserve it.
24 posted on 09/04/2005 9:17:49 AM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: shadowman99
"How the f--- did Bush pick this winner?"

Somebody tells Bush who to hire but Bush must decide who to fire. The kiss of death is reserved for the likes of Shinseki and Lindsey.

25 posted on 09/04/2005 9:19:28 AM PDT by ex-snook (Protectionism is Patriotism in both war and trade.)
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To: HairOfTheDog

>>>The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.

Saddle thread follow horse shows? Any background on this?


26 posted on 09/04/2005 9:22:03 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: holyscroller

I ask again..... what "specifically" has Brown done wrong?




27 posted on 09/04/2005 9:22:47 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: ClaireSolt

Dear heart, they're not even willing to help themselves--unless it's to loot. There are a lot of good people who made New Orleans home, but it's hard to imagine that from the coverage. The media coverage is all about the looting and murders, and very little about the heroic efforts to actually help themselves and one another. Then they have the nerve to portray the worst of them as "abandoned" and "ignored."

But as for leadership, there was none, until the President stepped in.


28 posted on 09/04/2005 9:24:14 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: roses of sharon

Thanks for reading my post, at least. My search skills are lacking, so I can't find the quote I was speaking of.


29 posted on 09/04/2005 9:24:40 AM PDT by Clara Lou (In this order: Read. Post comment.)
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To: holyscroller
Here's another article: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/news/politics/12554958.htm

From 1991 until 2000, Brown earned about $100,000 a year as the chief rules enforcer of the Arabian horse association.

He was known as "The Czar" for the breadth of his power and the enthusiasm with which he wielded it, said Mary Anne Grimmell, a former association president.

The suspensions Brown delivered to those suspected of cheating resulted in several lawsuits. Although the association won the suits, they were expensive to defend, and Brown became a controversial figure.

"It was positive controversy," Connelly said. "It got word out that we were serious about enforcing our rules."

30 posted on 09/04/2005 9:24:44 AM PDT by bobwoodard
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To: traderrob6

Please read post #24. No facts required on this thread, apparently.


31 posted on 09/04/2005 9:26:05 AM PDT by Clara Lou (In this order: Read. Post comment.)
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To: takbodan

Did you hear the "damning with faint praise" the President Bush heaped on Brown. While he praised everybody else for the excellent job they've done, Bush just said that Brown was "working hard." Ouch!


32 posted on 09/04/2005 9:26:50 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Calpernia
Saddle thread follow horse shows? Any background on this?

FR Saddle club isn't really into horse shows.... heck... even when I was showing Arabian Horses, I don't think IAHA controversies ever made their way into my consciousness.

33 posted on 09/04/2005 9:31:47 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/)
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To: shadowman99
****Are you serious? The head of our national emergency response was an idiot horse show judge in his previous career?****

Look at the bright side.
Brown could have been a "Grief Counselor".

(I don't know where they come from but I want that job!)

34 posted on 09/04/2005 9:33:14 AM PDT by Condor51 (Leftists are moral and intellectual parasites - Standing Wolf)
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To: shadowman99
How the f--- did Bush pick this winner?

It was a political favor to a friend of Brown and a HUGE mistake.

Granted that the Mayor and Governor are totally incompetent, add the extra bureaucracy of Homeland Security, and a political hack FEMA Director and you have a MANMADE disaster.

I predict that Katrina will be the #1 issue in the next election cycle and if Bush doesn't put some experienced people in charge, the South will go Democratic.

35 posted on 09/04/2005 9:34:02 AM PDT by vox humana
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To: holyscroller
Huh there was no criticism of FEMA in 2004 during 4 Flroida hurricanes, of course in that circumstance Brown was dealing with competant and professional state and local govts.

Yes let's just throw him to the wind becuase of the incompetatncy of the NO and LA govts.

36 posted on 09/04/2005 9:36:39 AM PDT by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: shadowman99

The first I heard about the convention center was yesterday, and I've been reading most of the FR threads.

All eyes were on the Superdome before then. I didn't even realize the convention center existed as a shelter until it was in the news as a big crisis.

First response is with the local people, and the local people could not have been more incompetent if they'd made a deliberate effort to do so. FEMA's supposed to come in after the local response, as it did. It does take time to get resources from outside of New Orleans, especially with the roads largely blocked.

I don't think FEMA did an exceptional job, but I'm not sure if they've done better in other crises; the sheer incompetence of the locals simply exposed pre-existing weaknesses.

I do think that if I werre head of FEMA I would do a detailed review to find out how performance could be improved and how things could have started faster.

The whole government of Louisiana, however, should be thrown out and replaced.

D


37 posted on 09/04/2005 9:36:45 AM PDT by daviddennis (;)
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To: faithincowboys

>>why do you think Giuliani is so praised. It's ALWAYS the locals.<<

This is absolutely the best comment I've see on FR in a LONG time -- and it illustrates PERFECTLY the issue. You can't on one hand praise Guliani for his efforts after 9/11 and on the other hand rail on a supposed lack of federal response to Katrina. Rudy took the lead and the Feds got in right behind him. There was no leadership in LA.


38 posted on 09/04/2005 9:41:08 AM PDT by 1L
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To: holyscroller

Re: Brown's departure from his previous position...

Can anyone really be expected to organize "Airheads" and their owners?


39 posted on 09/04/2005 9:41:43 AM PDT by Redcloak (We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singin' "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses!")
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To: HairOfTheDog

Ah, thanks.


40 posted on 09/04/2005 9:43:33 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: bobwoodard

Not many people that you can trust in the media these days.


41 posted on 09/04/2005 9:44:22 AM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: daviddennis
All eyes were on the Superdome before then. I didn't even realize the convention center existed as a shelter until it was in the news as a big crisis.

Well, that's the problem, it isn't a shelter. People were told to go to the Superdome as the "shelter of last resort", it seems a bunch of people showed up at the wrong place and couldn't understand why they weren't being helped immediately.

42 posted on 09/04/2005 9:48:27 AM PDT by bobwoodard
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To: shadowman99

You would have to be an idiot not to have predicted it as a possibility before the storm even hit. I had even said to my uncle before the storm hit that I'd rather ride out the storm alone than be stranded in the dome with tens of thousands of people when they start to get pissed off.


43 posted on 09/04/2005 9:48:38 AM PDT by Sofa King (MY rights are not subject to YOUR approval.)
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To: Travis McGee

Travis,

Drudge is running a smaller picture than you posted that has been circulating since yesterday. If you know how to send those fine pictures to him I bet they make the front page.


44 posted on 09/04/2005 9:49:08 AM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668)
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To: bobwoodard

They changed that later on and told everybody to come. It's a pretty clear sign of poor planning.


45 posted on 09/04/2005 9:49:40 AM PDT by Sofa King (MY rights are not subject to YOUR approval.)
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To: Sofa King

Unbelievable, so with that happening at the local level, is anyone surprised that FEMA looks like it's chasing its own tail?


46 posted on 09/04/2005 9:51:18 AM PDT by bobwoodard
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To: Nightshift

ping


47 posted on 09/04/2005 9:52:10 AM PDT by tutstar (OurFlorida.true.ws)
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To: shadowman99
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?

It's the "new tone in Washington" which really isn't any different from the "old tone in Washington" before the brief respite given us by the Reaganites.

48 posted on 09/04/2005 9:55:55 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Travis McGee

Nagin: "I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I'm like, “You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."

Rest of the transcript here: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/nagin.transcript/







49 posted on 09/04/2005 10:02:50 AM PDT by planekT (No fence, no vote.)
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To: holyscroller
From another posting on FR.

Habitat for Horses/Lone Start Equine Rescue is organizing a massive relief and rescue effort to help the equines of southern Louisiana after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina forced millions to evacuate. A large number of horses, mules and donkeys are now in danger of starvation, injury and death if relief efforts are not immediately taken. FEMA and the USDA are now in control of the areas most devastated by the hurricane. As quickly as they allow, our emergency relief efforts will start.

50 posted on 09/04/2005 10:04:03 AM PDT by scouse
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