September 7, 2005
Seems like FEMA is just bursting with talent:
WASHINGTON - The three top jobs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Bush went to political cronies with no apparent experience coping with catastrophes, the Daily News has learned.
Even if Bush were to fire embattled and suddenly invisible FEMA Director Michael Brown over his handling of Hurricane Katrina, the bureaucrat immediately below him is no disaster professional, either.
While Brown ran horse shows in his last private-sector job, FEMA’s No. 2 man, deputy director and chief of staff Patrick Rhode, was an advance man for the Bush-Cheney campaign and White House. He also did short stints at the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration.
Rhode’s biography posted on FEMA’s Web site doesn’t indicate he has any real experience in emergency response.
In addition, the agency’s former third-ranking official, deputy chief of staff Scott Morris, was a PR expert who worked for Maverick Media, the Texas outfit that produced TV and radio spots for the Bush-Cheney campaign. In June, Morris moved to Florida to become FEMA’s long-term recovery director.
I’m guessing that, right now, New Orleans has a better long-term chance of recovery than FEMA. And the city would have an even better chance if FEMA had done its job.
Will has the whole story, which makes it clear that the agency has long been a favorite spot for Republicans to park their (many) political appointees.
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