Friday, May 11, 2007

Politics First, Helping People Second

Kansas Governor Sebelius was instructed by Howard dean to NOT ask for Federal Aid, then to claim help was slow in coming.

XM Radio’s Quinn & Rose made the allegation that DNC Chairman Howard Dean called Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius early Sunday morning and instructed her not to request federal assistance in recovery from the Greensburg tornado, and to lie about the federal response to date, on their show, The War Room, today. After I discussed the story via phone with both Quinn and Rose today, here’s what they sent me.

Democrats: Politics First, Help People Second

Senator Sam Brownback told Governor Sebelius that he was very disappointed in her, She pleaded “You know me Sam, I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t have to.” She declared “Howard (Dean) called me around 5 o’clock (in the morning) and told me not to ask The White House for any help or make any statements until I heard
back. Dick (Durban?) called me an hour or 2 later and that’s when he told me we needed to use this ‘n’ said to talk about the Guard all bein’ at war.”

She then explained the thinking; “Speaker and Harry got so much heat on them from both sides over this damn war, ‘n’ they need to get the press on somethin’ else. I didn’t think it was right to use it like this either, but I didn’t see’s I had much choice in this climate, Sam.”

Democrats: Politics First, Help People Second

Of course, only 10% of the state National Guard members were called in to help before the governor held the press conference on "shortages".

Democrats: Politics First, Help People Second

Tully, who lives in the area, reported this from Greensburg:

Wichita and Sedgwick County crews were already on standby because of the storms
sweeping the state, and were in Greensburg within two hours. It's a hundred miles away. Do the math.

Acquaintances on one of those first teams told me that when they got there, the highway in had already been cleared and locals with chainsaws and pick-ups were well into clearing the streets so that rescue vehicles could go anywhere. By dawn heavy equipment from the region was already pouring in, and they had to start cordoning off the town because there were too many volunteers there with equipment. By Sunday when Sebelius made her insulting remarks, there were traffic jams on the highway from utility crews piled up, coming in to "safe" the gas and electric.

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