Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Brilliant Political Strategy -- Redux

Right after Katrina hit New Orleans, I sarcastically outlined a political strategy that Louisiana Politicians would likely pursue.

Among other things, I noted:

New Orleans could well get those new Category 5 levees. A 28-foot wall would surround city, but that really won’t be the issue. It is a matter of who gets blame, and who gets credit.


With much self-blame, the Congress will likely simply turn out their pockets for any request. Creativity from local officials could certainly get a fortress capable of surviving any hurricane that could ever come close to New Orleans in the next five hundred years. Of course there’s the need for a new Super Dome and Convention Center too, why use private enterprise opportunities, or tax dollars when you can let the Congress pay the costs without single question?Any politician in Southeast Louisiana who doesn’t bring at least 10 billion dollars to his/her district is simply a slacker in this current environment ought to be turned out in the next election. Which for house members – is just over a year away.

I hate it when my sarcasm becomes truth.

This is Louisiana Politics after all!

From the Washington Post article

Louisiana's congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.

Louisiana Sens. David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) tucked the request into their $250 billion Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act, the state's opening salvo in the scramble for federal dollars.

The bill, unveiled last week, would create a powerful "Pelican Commission" controlled by Louisiana residents that would decide which Corps projects to fund, and ordered the commission to consider several controversial navigation projects that have nothing to do with flood protection. The Corps section of the Louisiana bill, which was supported by the entire state delegation, was based on recommendations from a "working group" dominated by lobbyists for ports, shipping firms, energy companies and other corporate interests.

The bill would exempt any Corps projects approved by the commission from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. It would also waive the usual Corps cost-sharing requirements, ensuring that federal taxpayers would pay every dime.

My emphasis

There is a point where the victims become the victimizers. It becomes too painful to think about.