US Politics

FEMA: Maybe they picked Mike Brown because he was the best of them

It looks like the appointment of Mike Brown as the director of FEMA is no abberation. Most of the directors on a regional level seem to have little qualification for their jobs, as Michael Petrelis points out.

Petrelis points out some of the qualifications of the regional directors, taken from their official bios:
I’d say the worst of the lot are Region 1’s Horak, who’s experience in retailing and p.r. consulting; Region 3’s Arcuri, who’s bio lists no qualifications, just a resume detailing her rise through the FEMA ranks; Region 8’s Maurstad, who’s created programs honoring teenage leaders for their courage; and the most unqualified may be Region 10’s Pennington, who authored more than 30 laws when he serves in the WA legislature.

The Seattle Times describes the qualifications of the director for the Northwest:

Before he was appointed regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Pennington got a degree from a correspondence school that government investigators later described as a “diploma mill.”

No worries here, though. The director for the region that includes Montana lists these fine accomplisments:

Mr. Maurstad was the Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, a position to which he was elected in 1998. In that position, Mr. Maurstad served as federal liaison and tribal liaison and chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission. During his tenure as lieutenant governor, he also worked with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services on early childhood learning issues and created a program to recognize young people from across Nebraska for their achievements and personal courage.

Mr. Maurstad had previously served as a member of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. He had also previously served on the Beatrice School Board and was mayor of that city.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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  • An interesting follow up to the Brown resignation has come out today. Knight Ridder has uncovered evidence that the real culprit which impeded the federal emergency response was not Brown, but Chertoff, the Sec. of Homeland Security. Brown was not given authority over the situation until 36 hour after the first reports, while Chertoff could have responded without a call from local/state agencies well before the first effects were felt. Just further strengthens the case that Brown may well have been the best of the crony appointments. And it provides another illustration of how the Bush administration is so adept at finding scapegoats, who often had little to do with the actual problems while protecting Bush and his inner circle.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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