Fraud and FEMA

Steve Clemons of Washington Note is looking into allegations of fraud and FEMA contracting. This was a big story back in early 2005, which resulted in hearings presided over by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, chairs of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Michael Brown testified at the hearings and defended FEMA. The Senate Panel found widespread FEMA fraud. More here. Lieberman and Collins' findings are here. The Sun Sentinel investigative series on the fraud is here.

Dissident Voice alleges Brown paid the claims to help Bush win the election. On contracting fraud and FEMA, check out this 2004 DOJ press release announcing Indictments.

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    Re: Fraud and FEMA (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:42 PM EST
    Mel Brooks once said, "it's good to be king." Well when it comes to hurricanes, it's even better being the President's brother. Especially in a vital swing state. In an election year. Louisiana's Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco is learning that the hard way. While her state suffered through a disastrous, disorganized and delayed response to Katrina from FEMA and the Bush administration, Florida governor Jeb Bush had no such problems as his state weathered four hurricanes in 2004. There is no mystery to this discrepancy, as GovExec.com wrote in "How FEMA Delivered Florida for Bush" on November 3rd, 2004, literally the day after the President won reelection: Now that President Bush has won Florida in his 2004 re-election bid, he may want to draft a letter of appreciation to Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Seldom has any federal agency had the opportunity to so directly and uniquely alter the course of a presidential election, and seldom has any agency delivered for a president as FEMA did in Florida this fall. FEMA's preparation, performance and questionable largesse during the four 2004 Florida hurricanes stands in stark contrast with its abysmal failure in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. While severe, the four Florida hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) caused under 100 deaths and $22 billion in damage, a fraction of Katrina's destructive force. Yet FEMA's proactive role and President Bush's timely and personal involvement in Florida bear no relation to 2005... For the full story, see: "FEMA: The Florida Election Management Agency."

    Re: Fraud and FEMA (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:42 PM EST
    Mike Brown just officially resigned as FEMA director. He says he did so in "the interest of the agency and the president". But not in the interest of the country, or at least those affected. A Bushco man and lackey to the end.

    Re: Fraud and FEMA (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    Wow. For agency and president. Inspiring. Also. If an organization is undermined by fraud, and people know about it, and nobody does anything about it, and a lot of innocent people die as a result, shouldn't someone be held responsible? I'm just saying.

    Re: Fraud and FEMA (none / 0) (#4)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    TL, I'm glad you picked up on the Sun Sentinel series that I linked to in my comment on "White House Doles Out Katrina Contracts to Cronies." Here in Florida there have been periodic stories of FEMA fraud and overpayment. The last one I recall was about people billing FEMA for funerals, claiming that the stress of the hurricane caused the death of their loved ones. Kudos for you and Dissident Voice for connecting the dots between FEMA's record in Florida and Katrina.