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September 26, 2005

New Orleans: Swamp of Corruption

Topics: Natural Disasters

John Fund, writing in Opinion Journal, says that the Bush administration had better figure out that they and the taxpayers are about to be fleeced like sheep as they ship south $62 billion in emergency aid with few controls or safeguards.

Louisiana ranks third in the nation in the number of elected officials per capita convicted of crimes (Mississippi takes top prize). In just the past generation, the Pelican State has had a governor, an attorney general, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a state Senate president and a swarm of local officials convicted. Last year, three top officials at Louisiana's Office of Emergency Preparedness were indicted on charges they obstructed a probe into how federal money bought out flood-prone homes. Last March the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered Louisiana to repay $30 million in flood-control grants it had awarded to 23 parishes.
And these guys want your tax dollars for there pockets? Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) wrote a letter to Speaker Hastert, urging him to direct federal hurricane relief aid through channels other than Louisiana public officials. Citing incompetence and a history of corruption, Tancredo said a bipartisan select committee of the House should administer the aid and provide accountability for the $52 billion requested. In the letter he said that "the head of the FBI in New Orleans just this past year described the state´s public corruption as "epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt.""

Looking ahead to just where our tax dollars might end up, we might first take a peak behind to the unveiling of the Mardi Gras Fountain that was celebrated this year, and done so in typical New Orleans style. The cost of $2.4 million was paid by the Orleans Levee Board, the state agency whose main job is to protect the levees surrounding New Orleans -- the same levees that failed after Katrina hit.

Perhaps we might want to rethink the way we manage the aid to Louisiana, and first be sure that before we ship truck loads of money to the most corrupt politicians in the country, we have controls in place to monitor where the money really goes and enough jail cells to hold the vast number of crooked politicians that make La. their home.

Related: Why Are Louisiana Politicians Crying Like Little Babies In Front of Microphones and Cameras?

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

Posted by Richard at September 26, 2005 10:33 AM



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