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.
LOL, you wish.
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.
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.
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.
>>>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?
I ask again..... what "specifically" has Brown done wrong?
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.
Thanks for reading my post, at least. My search skills are lacking, so I can't find the quote I was speaking of.
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."
Please read post #24. No facts required on this thread, apparently.
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!
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.
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!)
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.
Yes let's just throw him to the wind becuase of the incompetatncy of the NO and LA govts.
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.
>>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.
Re: Brown's departure from his previous position...
Can anyone really be expected to organize "Airheads" and their owners?
Not many people that you can trust in the media these days.
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.
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.
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.
They changed that later on and told everybody to come. It's a pretty clear sign of poor planning.
Unbelievable, so with that happening at the local level, is anyone surprised that FEMA looks like it's chasing its own tail?
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.
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/
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.