September 07, 2005

Nagin slams Blanco for stalling

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is slamming Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco for her delays in requesting federal help (free registration required for link) for the survivors of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin told CNN's "American Morning" Monday that he met with Mr. Bush and Mrs. Blanco on Air Force One on Friday and implored the two to "get in sync."

"If you don't get in sync, more people are going to die," Mr. Nagin said.

Mr. Bush met privately first with Mrs. Blanco, then called Mr. Nagin in for a meeting.

"He called me in that office," Mr. Nagin said. "And he said, 'Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor.' I was ready to move. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision."

That decision was a request by Mr. Bush to allow the federal government to take over the evacuation of New Orleans, which had been marked by chaos for days. The Democratic governor, who has clashed behind the scenes with the Bush administration since the storm hit, refused.

Governor Blanco was aware of the gravity of the situation surrounding Hurricane Katrina well before landfall. She was asked by the Bush White House whether or not Louisiana needed federal assistance, and Blanco demurred.

This doesn't negate Mayor Nagin's malfeasance here either -- more than 400 buses are underwater today in the Crescent City, 400 buses that could have been used to evacuate those in the Superdome prior to the disaster. Nagin was also made aware more than three days before landfall, but did not push for an evacuation until a day and a half before landfall, and Nagin never did push for total evacuation of those who did not have the resources to leave on their own.

Please keep in mind that the federal authorities did not have the legal jurisdiction to force an evacuation. That power lay with the state and local authorities -- in other words, with Nagin and Blanco. The two of them clearly did not act in the best interest of their constituents, despite their statements to the contrary on television and in various media over the past week.

Posted by mhking at September 7, 2005 09:57 AM | TrackBack

The governor of Louisiana is a disaster, but President Bush will get the blame. Especially now that he has decided to take this so seriously that he himself will lead the investigation. I can already hear it: "He's covering up... He's protecting... He refuses to de-classify ten thousand autopsy reports...."

Posted by: GOP Girl at September 7, 2005 08:46 PM

Please note carefully the event Nagin was referring to, the meeting between Bush and Blanco on 9/2/05, not the Friday before. The commentary about Katrina events is getting muddied because the same people and places keep getting in the news. As best I can tell, on 9/2 Bush wanted Blanco to yield her jurisdiction of police powers and the rescue effort so that all police & rescue forces were under a unified command. Bush is constitionally prohibited from doing this on his own as long as there are state authorities not in rebellion to the federal government. Blanco said she needed 24 hours to make up her "mind", and as of 9/8/05 she has still not agreed to Bush's request. What we don't know is how many times prior to 9/2 Bush made that request. Nagin was outraged that the governor did not agree immediately to Bush's suggestion. When the investigation of decisions is made, I am sure Nagin will turn on Blanco, big time. Sure, Nagin made a mistake in not better planning for a NO evacuation, but Governor Blanco IS a mistake and continues to obstruct rescue and recovery up to this time 9/8/2005.

Posted by: Tresho at September 8, 2005 08:41 AM

On C-SPAN I watched Col. Jeff Smith, "Deputy Director of the Louisiana office of Homeland security and emergency management," praise Mayor Ray Nagin for running his buses in and out of the evacuation area in New Orleans up until the time the hurricane hit.

Unfortunately after the flooding, those buses were cut off from where they were needed. Also finding qualified people to drive the buses that were available was difficult since local bus drivers like everyone else was worried about getting themselves and their families out of the area.

Colonel Smith stated that he couldn't pull his guardsman off rescue and recovery duty to drive buses.


Some important media coverage downloads worth watching.


Posted by: Aaron at September 8, 2005 09:40 PM

The heroic people, the press and responders , in their coverage, showed the extent of the catastrophe; that cannot be denied. They are the real heroes for showing the sights. With an all out evacuation mandate, the provisions for the unfortunate declares a blatant statement depicting the heartbeat of some of America; survival of the fittest. Let the others fend for themselves.
I salute with highest regard Mayor Ray Nagin. His whole posture showed his heart for the people while federal bureaucracy scratched its head and people drowned.
Until the danger of Hurricane Rita, the mayor had every right to allow return of citizens to their territory and homes. Hundreds, if not thousands need an overseer if you will, to protect their rights, investments, properties, valuables and precious nostalgia, The people who are not allowed to return to check their homes are at the risk of impropriety on the part of those already allowed to have passage, if not eminent domain to level everything. Whose in charge now of having the back of the numerous successful business men and women who invested their blood, sweat and tears over generations; who were denied loans, and overcame to gain a slice of the industrial pie? Establishing a website will chronicle the historical successes in so many areas of New Orleans life. Unthinkable is the possibility of the risk of erasing these realities and turf just because individual efforts to recourse is vulnerable to fall of deaf ears. God Bless you Mayor.

Posted by: Joyce C. Hayward at September 27, 2005 03:10 PM

As a native of Charleston, SC, I’ve been through several hurricanes. I have heartfelt sympathy for the unfortunate few who were too old, too young, too weak, too addled, or too poor to get out of New Orleans before Katrina struck. Now let’s talk about the other 90+% of the “victims” who could have, and should have evacuated. If these whiners want to point the finger of blame at the person truly responsible, they need to point in the mirror! These people are MORONS!! They literally stood in the middle of the tracks and waited for the train to hit them, and then blamed someone else when it happened. Wake up America, these MORONS made a conscious and informed decision to stay in a city below sea level during a Category 5 hurricane. What has happened to the idea of personal responsibility? The saying is true: God helps those who help themselves. I will gladly contribute to help the unfortunate few that were too old, too young, too weak, too addled, or too poor to leave, and I will urge the government to use our tax dollars (wisely) to rebuild the infrastructure of the Gulf Coast. But we need to realize that the most important thing we can do for the MORONS is to teach them to BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELVES! Being stupid isn't a crime, but don’t expect someone else to rescue you from your own stupidity.

Posted by: Louis Hooffstetter at September 29, 2005 02:46 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?