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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Where Did the Money Go?

On Monday, Sept. 12th, I posted "The Smeller is the Feller." Little did I know at the time how much commentary would follow. And it was enjoyable conversation. Both sides discussing the issue, sharing their viewpoints and knowledge without name-calling or becoming emotional.

As investigations continue and more information is available, we get a clearer picture of events. It appears that Louisiana officials had already been questioned as to where funds from FEMA had disappeared to before Hurricane Katrina arrived. In fact, federal auditors are still trying to figure out what happened to 60 million dollars that was funneled from FEMA into Louisiana in 1998. Read here for more on this story.

And here is another he says, she says story...FEMA was directed by Congress in 1997 to work up evacuation alternatives for New Orleans and were given 500,000 to do so. Two years later, there was no report and FEMA was ordered to create this plan. FEMA says the state was supposed to do it, the state says they don't know anything about it. Though there is a report about the causeway that was created during this time frame that has a short section on evacuation. Hopefully, further investigation will find out who dropped the ball here.

My concern in all of this is for the displaced in Louisiana. It is pretty well known that the government of Louisiana is one of the most corrupt in the country at all levels
(see below for links to articles about this corruption). FBI investigations, indictments and prison time tell the tale. I hope that the funds that are being sent there end up rebuilding New Orleans and helping the people of Louisiana and not lining pockets and building swimming pools for the corrupt.

Congressman Says Incompetence, Corruption Show Local Officials Cannot be Trusted with Federal Aid

BAD BET ON THE BAYOU: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards

The Road to Corruption: Part 1 -- 'The Big Sleazy'

FBI raids Jefferson's car, homes, treasurer

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