Governor’s race turns political already with Blanco & Jindal opposing - again
Gov. Kathleen Blanco has announced she is running for re-election and Cong. Bobby Jindal has said he will oppose her again.
Blanco, a Democrat, is already attacking Jindal’s Republican Party for playing politics in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She called on Congress, now a Democratic institution, to investigate charges that former FEMA Director Michael Brown made against the Republican administration. He said President Bush plotted to upstage the governor by pressuring her to relinquish control of the National Guard in its post-storm rescue efforts while Republican Governor Haley Barbour in Mississippi was allowed to continue control in his state.
Brown was forced from his FEMA post following much criticism or his performance from local and national sources. Since then he has been quite critical of the Bush administration’s performance after the storm. Of course, he is writing a book about it which is to be published before the next presidential election.
Brown said, “Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking, ‘We had to federalize Louisiana because she’s a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it. We can’t do it to Haley because Haley’s a white, male Republican governor. And we can’t do a thing to him. So we’re just going to federalize Louisiana’.” We wonder if it were unbeknownst to Brown how he knew what the White House wanted to do.
The White House replied that Brown’s statements were false. The lone motivating factor before and after Katrina was “the best interests of the citizens of the Gulf Region,” said Eryn Witcher, a White House spokeswoman.
Sen. Mary Landrieu is supporting Blanco’s call for an independent investigation of the administration’s response. But a spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman who has the authority to launch such a probe as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security panel, said Lieberman, who ran as an independent last time, is unlikely to investigate federal response to Katrina. But Landrieu might do it as head of a new subcommittee to oversee disaster response.
Meanwhile, Jindal is assuming the same role he played when he was narrowly defeated by Blanco four years ago. He says he wants to keep the campaign positive and will campaign on his own merits and not play party politics.
In the past, Blanco has always been considered a nice lady and Jindal a gentleman. It would be most welcome to have them continue in those directions, explaining what they will do in the next four years and why the people should vote for them. And then the people can make up their minds in a civilized fashion.
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