Louisiana Political News Wire
EDITORIAL: Incompetence Is Hardening Storms' Legacy
The Town Talk (excerpt)
More dazed and confused than any others are the people who have had to stare into the dead eyes of bureaucracy while holding out hands to reach for that which is rightly theirs: help. They have received precious little of that.
Instead, the news continues to grind on them, and the news of late has been wearing jackboots.
In late March, the company that is paid to write checks to hurricane victims reported that 40 percent of the victims have not received any compensation whatsoever. In addition, the company -- ICF International of Virginia -- has hired a separate firm to take money back from some victims who, ICF claims, have been given too much.
This is the performance of a company that holds a contract worth more than $756 million. Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco handed ICF the contract in 2006 amid the confusion created during the blame game played by state and federal officials who were worried about politics first and foremost and about people not at all.
Later, votes in both houses of the Legislature to suspend the contract with ICF told the world that few in Baton Rouge were satisfied with what was taking place.
The votes signaled some small hope for those filling out tedious forms and standing in long lines, but history will show they were foolish to feel that way.
Indeed, before she left the Governor's Mansion, Blanco did that which is nothing short of stunning: She boosted the value of the contract with the fumbling firm to $912 million, and went home.
You may view this story online at http://www.lanewslink.com/archives.php?id=4731.