Skip to comments.Largess in Louisiana: Money Flowed to Questionable Projects
Posted on 09/07/2005 10:00:50 PM PDT by Uncle Joe Cannon
Largess in Louisiana Money Flowed to Questionable Projects State Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods
By Michael Grunwald Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 8, 2005; Page A01
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.
Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.
For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations. The Corps also spends tens of millions of dollars a year dredging little-used waterways such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Atchafalaya River and the Red River -- now known as the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, in honor of the project's congressional godfather -- for barge traffic that is less than forecast.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
These Dim Bulbs are going to seriously regret their attempt to turn a national tragedy into a political gain.
Yet a flood wall was not even considered? Incredible!
Here's an excerpt......"But overall, the Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years"
JMHO, I think all the carping from Hillary and Pelosi is more a function of trying to draw attention from the back story.
Susan Estrich made what may be the most outrageous statement today: Called this Bush's Monicagate.
The jig is up for that Rats, this seals the deal coming from the Compost.
Line of the day.
When the Sun shines on the Democrats, they start steaming like a freshly pinched off turd
If I were a Republican I'd be pushing this story with everything I had. But, of course, it's dangerous for everyone. All politicians have an affinity for pork and mud.
Oh Geez .. that is nothing by desperation
BTW ... I wonder how many other pork projects Mary sneak into spending bills?
BINGO, If it was up to me, I would like to see 80% of them in Congress, taken away in hand cuffs
Start singing, Mayor Nagin!!!
I knew it! Money!
I suppose from a democrat point of view the funding was insufficient...insufficient to overcome the graft of the democrats in charge. If enough money had been poured in, even the corrupt democrats couldn't have siphoned off enough to have stopped the needed repairs and upgrades.
Good Googa Mooga..... These demented and out of power RATS in the media must be ingesting some really potent Narcotics. Nothing else could explain such a comparison. In defense of Susan, she might be under the influence of pain killers from the last time she looked in the mirror. That woman must have to sneak up on a glass of water
Wow, coming from the Wash. Post of all places.
It's a great time for reactionary politics, amid all the crap being hurled around by Democrats without an ounce of character.
OMG...The shocker is this was page A-1 in the Washington Compost.
My God. It's the Boss Tweed scandal all over again! But only this time over 10,000 people may be dead because of the the corruption of New Orleans city officials.
I'd love to know. Hopefully we have a Buckhead who will find the smoking gun(s)and, once again, Freepers will blow the lid on these people.
~LOL~ I almost fell out of my chair when Rush read that this morning.
Pull the financial plug on Louisiana and every Rat state and county.
I just think they are giving enough to keep anyone from looking deeper. Bet Hillary and Pellosi will not be happy to see this, especially Hillary, now that she made so many outrageous statements...so far, tonight, Hillary is batting 2-0 -- supporting Blanco and saying Bush ruined FEMA -- Newsmax regurgitated a 1999 article of how badly FEMA floundered in 1999 Florida Hurricane and took a MONTH to get help to some people, used the excuse: Mud! Too muddy to drive there.
I can`t keep up with all the articles popping up on these people. I can`t wait until the Congressional hearings start.
Possibly an accurate statistic, but irrelevant. Threats of terrorism or natural disaster have little to do with per capita risk. Terrorists targeting (so far) is skewed in favor of symbolism (e.g, WTC), and natural disasters are dictated by meteorological phenomena, fault lines, etc.
Hillary Clinton was making this same weak argument recently in the Senate when she argued that Montana was getting 5x the per capita DHS budget of New York. Aside from the pure pork barrel issues - sometimes the statistic of per capita expenditure is skewed by "lumpiness" (the fact that some investments are available only in large discrete units - i.e., you cannot have 5% of one aircraft carrier or one new and specialized fire truck) and by factors of sparse population (Montana and Wyoming, maybe?) and long international borders.
Thank God Michael Chertoff is at DHS and is basing his budgeting on risk assessments. When Chertoff goes before whatever committed the congress forms to investigate the Katrina Response - he will roast, toast and dispense with the Democrats.
You know it's like an abused wife, she thinks that is how things are until she escapes and meets a really nice man and finds out you don't HAVE to live like that.
Orleans Levee District, Board of Levee Commissioners of
6001 Stars & Stripes Blvd, Admin Bldg, Ste 202
New Orleans, LA 70126-8006
6 members appointed by the Governor; must be qualified electors of Orleans Parish. Mayor of New Orleans or his designee and 1 other member of N.O. City Council, appointed by Mayor, serves Ex-Officio.
(created by R.S. 38:291(K), 304)
Borne, Allen 223 Audubon Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70118 (504) 899-1234
Foley, Daniel S 6500 Carlson
New Orleans, LA 70122 (504)586-9395
Green, Eugene 4939 Saint Roch Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70122 (504) 242-1300
Gusman, Marlin N 1300 Perdido Street Room 9E01
New Orleans, LA 70112 (504) 565-6570
Hazeur-Distance, Ellen 1300 Perdido Street Room 2W60
New Orleans, LA 70112 (504) 565-6305
Huey, James P 7300 Lakeshore Drive
New Olreans, LA 70124 (504) 256-3414
McCrossen, Michael #2 Finch Street
New Orleans, LA 70124 (504) 833-4375
Saizan, Darrel (Jr.) J 2321 Killdeer Street
New Orleans, LA 70122 (504) 522-5224
The Levee Board, which owns the airport, is estimated to be worth $50 million.
Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district for OVER 30 YEARS!!!
The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.
The Lake Pontchartrain project is slated to receive $3.9 million in the president's 2005 budget. Naomi said about $20 million is needed.
"The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink," he said. "I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."
The district has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects are included in a Corps line item called Lake Pontchartrain, where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. Naomi said it's enough to pay salaries but little else.
"We'll do some design work. We'll design the contracts and get them ready to go if we get the money. But we don't have the money to put the work in the field, and that's the problem," Naomi said.
That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount.
But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money, he said.
What's new, said Morehiser and Naomi, is that the agency has run out of money for the next round of lifts. Naomi said this is the first time a lack of money has stopped major corps work on the levees since the project began in 1967.
"This project isn't expected to end for another 13 to 15 years," Morehiser said. "They aren't really finished levees at this point. We don't even turn them over to their local sponsors until we consider them stable, which is years from now."...
Al Naomi, the individual responsible for managing the levees:
The walls were designed in 1965 to withstand a Category 3 storm.
You see there was not sufficient money or time to do anything about this, Naomi says. If someone had said, O.K. here is a billion dollars, stop this failure from happening for a Category 4, it couldnt have been done in time. Id of had to start 20 years ago to where I feel today I wouldve been safe from a Category 4 storm like Katrina.
Sure it should have been done 20 years ago but what can we do about that? You have to recognize before we had Category 3 protection we didnt have anything.
I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district.
Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi
Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Money is so tight the New Orleans district instituted a hiring freeze. The freeze is the first of its kind in about 10 years
The Landriue crime family has been in Louisiana politics for DECADES!!!
Louisianas congressional delegation assured local officials they would seek significant increases for SELA. We could have lost 100,000 lives had Hurricane Ivan hit the mouth of the (Mississippi) River before it turned, said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., alluding to last years storm that largely spared Louisiana but devastated parts of Alabama and Florida. God has been good, but one of these days a hurricane is going to come and, if we dont get projects . . . finished, were sitting ducks, she said. [Times-Picayune, 3/11/05]
Lake Pontchartrain, LA. and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project,
St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Charles Parishes, LA
Updated May 23, 2005
PURPOSE. The project is designed to protect residents between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River levee from surges in Lake Pontchartrain driven by storms up to the Standard Project Hurricane. The SPH is equivalent to a fast-moving Category 3 hurricane.
LOCATION. The project is located in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Charles Parishes in southeast Louisiana, generally in the vicinity of the city of New Orleans, and between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. Maps, by levee district: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/response/amaps.asp
SPONSORS. The Lake Borgne Basin & Levee District, St. Bernard Parish, the Orleans Levee District, the East Jefferson Levee District, and the Pontchartrain Levee District are sponsors for the work in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Charles Parishes, respectively. Map of Louisiana levee districts: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/response/LeveeDistrictMap.asp
AUTHORITY. The Lake Pontchartrain, La., and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project (LP&V-HPP) was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1965 and the Water Resources Development Acts of 1974, 1986, 1990, and 1992.
FEATURES. The project includes:
* New levee north of Airline Highway (U.S. 61) from the Bonnet Carré Spillway East Guide Levee to the Jefferson-St. Charles Parish boundary
* Floodwall along the Jefferson-St. Charles Parish line
* Enlarged levee along the Jefferson Parish lakefront
* Enlarged levee along the Orleans Parish lakefront
* Parallel protection (levees, floodwalls, and flood proofed bridges) along three outfall canals (17th Street, Orleans Avenue, and London Avenue)
* Levees from the New Orleans lakefront to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW)
* Enlarged levees along the GIWW and Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO)
* New levee around the Chalmette Area.
The project also includes a mitigation dike on the west shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
COSTS, in millions
Clinton Hates Black People
Uh-oh! Heads will roll.
They aren't smart enough to know when to STFU.
"Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations."
uh, punch him in the nose Mary, we will have to talk about that, right? NOT\
Louisiana is hardly unique in this respect. Let's not forget Alaska's quarter-billion dollar Bridge to Nowhere in the current transportation bill. That would build a lot of levees.
Let's have that investigation of where did the money go.
When the WaPo prints this, you know that the Dems are on the ropes. :-)
Don't bank on it. The MSM worm turned yesterday with the usual suspect text readers saying it is time to stop the bickering, finger pointing, infighting, and yadda, yadda, yadda. They have seen the light and were about to get bit in the arse, so now anything the right says will be partisan attacks. And "you can take that" to the bank.
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