Thursday, March 22, 2007

HUD gave the coup de grace to Blanco.

The Governor had been in serious trouble for months, mostly because of the slow response of the Road Home program. Money was snagged for months by ICFI (run by former FEMA and Homeland Security officials) At the point when it seemed that money might be starting to flow for the recovery, HUD refused to approve the safeguards the state had built into the program to assure that the money would be spent on recovery, and not on anything else (Remember those $2000 credit cards the feds gave out after Katrina--- used for strippers and beer in some cases. The state required escrow accounts for the Road Home money to prevent those abuses.)

But the final straw came Friday, when federal Housing and Urban Development officials criticized the way the state was distributing aid through installments from escrow accounts and urged the state to begin making lump-sum payments to homeowners who have applied for assistance from the Road Home program.

HUD claimed that it had not known about the requirements until now. Yeah, right, then how come I and everyone else in Louisiana has known about them for more than a year? Was there politics involved in the timing of this? Ya think? Maybe someone at HUD thought this might somehow benefit the Administration? Ya think? Does this maybe validate Blanco's charge that the Bush administration has been playing politics with the recovery effort? Ya think?

So maybe the BIG jump in ICFI's stock market price came as stockholders realized that ICFI was in for some big rewards for defeating Blanco in the form of fat new contracts from the Feds. Ya think?

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