Friday, November 24, 2006

Jeff, Don't You Read John?

John Maginnis wrote a column in early October that some would do well to re-read:
Road home no faster next door

The snail's pace of the post-hurricane housing grant program is provoking outrage among state politicians. Homeowners who applied in April have heard nothing back. The Legislature complains about being shut out of the planning process, while ethics questions swirl around some lawmakers' business dealings with the program. It is being called the governor's "albatross."

And -- surprise, surprise -- it's not in Louisiana.

Though Mississippi received full federal funding for its housing grant program six months earlier than did Louisiana, bureaucratic snags have caused only 75 of 17,000 applicants to receive checks as of Sept. 14, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.

I understand that La. homeowners are justifiably angry and don't want to hear excuses, but professional political analysts certainly read the piece. Still, I wasn't surprised when Jeff Crouere wrote:
In Mississippi, officials have gone to work and are getting the job done, while Louisiana created bureaucracy, hired an out-of-state firm and is still mired in misery. Their Governor, Hailey Barbour, has been rewarded with high approval ratings, our Governor, Kathleen Blanco, has some of the lowest approval ratings in the country. If her “Road Home” plan is not untracked very soon, her current abysmal approval ratings will look like political nirvana in a few months.

If readers from other states have stumbled upon this, I'll point out that Maginnis is arguably the most well-known political reporter in the state, and he's not exactly a Blanco fan.

After her latest budget proposals, I'm no Blanco fan either, but an unfair or dishonest criticism shouldn't go unanswered. For the record, I was never a Blanco fan, reluctant defender would have been the better term. However, I have to disagree with those who think the money should go to aid New Orleans' recovery. I agree that it's where at least some of the money should go, but any spending proposals aimed exclusively at New Orleans would have been difficult to pass under the best of circumstances, with the city's elected officials sending the message that we're just Jim Dandy they would be impossible to pass. Now it seems that carelessness, corruption, and cronyism might cause more problems with both state and federal aid. If you read today's paper but didn't finish the article about audits, you might have missed the mention of Billboard Ben. I'll have more on this after I look up the appropriate links, but I seem to remember the mayor insisting that he was a CPA and able to audit the city's books himself during one of the debates.

BTW, the post linked above where I call Maginnis a partisan hack is one reason that I've decided to start being more careful about insulting journalists. But I'm still planning to post about "Kid Gloves" Gill.

Good catch with the Crouere "MS is getting the job done" nonsense. I've been waiting for that talking point to come along since MacGinnis' fine column.

Don't be too hard on my man, Gill, though. Over all, I think his delicious writing is an enormous asset to da paper, and New Orleans.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts