...and J Bradford DeLong Reputation Memorial continues with this, from a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times on August 14, 1996:
I was an on-call FEMA disaster assistance staffer for nearly 15 years and participated in many disaster recovery efforts throughout the country. In 1995, I submitted my resignation after seeing political forces take total control of that agency.
The problems you cite are not created by FEMA, but by pressure from members of Congress and the administration to create favorable impressions and to garner support in future elections.
I watched in horror as George Bush tried to buy Florida and Louisiana votes after Hurricane Andrew by passing out funds to those friendly to his campaign. Bill Clinton has done his fair share of the same thing.
Don't shoot the messenger here; put the blame where it really belongs - on politicians willing to exert massive pressure on behalf of friendly constituents at the expense of those who truly need disaster assistance.
-Jim Aguirre Preston