Sunday, September 11, 2005

And How Bout That FEMA Staff

"The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents FEMA employees, wrote to Congress in June 2004, complaining, "Seasoned staff members are being pushed aside to make room for inexperienced novices and contractors."
Mr. Brown is a lawyer who came to the agency with political connections but little emergency management experience. That's also true of Patrick J. Rhode, the chief of staff at FEMA, who was deputy director of advance operations for the Bush campaign and the Bush White House.

Scott R. Morris, who was deputy chief of staff at FEMA and is now director of its recovery office on Florida, had worked for Maverick Media in Austin, Tex., as a media strategist for the Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. And David I. Maurstad was the Republican lieutenant governor of Nebraska before he became director of FEMA's regional office in Denver and then a senior official at the agency's headquarters.

This is typical of how a Republican administration operates, whereas Democrats actually put experienced scientists in charge of federal agencies after spending careers in those fields such as Michael Dombeck at BLM, the first fishery biologist to be US Forest Service Chief, and the expert wildlife biologist he replaced, the indomitable and irrepressible Jack Ward Thomas now a professor at the U. of Montana.

It's night and day folks in the competence department. We've just seen the results of those decision processes.


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