From the Massa campaign – press releases from 8/30 with information pertinent to Mr. Massa’s views, thoughts, and concerns regarding the current and relevant topics of Donald Rumsfeld’s recent speech and the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:
“After 21 months of trying to find something I can agree with Secretary Rumsfeld on, I finally found it. He said, ‘the American people are being lied to.’ The problem is, he’s the one doing the lying.”
Massa, a 24 year Navy veteran, was responding to Secretary Rumsfeld’s VFW appearance yesterday in which he lashed out at Democratic critics of President Bush’s handling of the war.
Massa went on to say that “I stand with more than 60 democratic veterans who are candidates for the House of Representatives to take the flag out of Karl Rove’s hands and to tell George W. Bush he can no longer use our military as a backdrop for his political propaganda.”
“Our government failed to heed warnings, failed to rescue mass numbers of victims, and most of all, failed in the fundamental duty of government to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
“Don’t let anyone fool you,” Massa said, “this disaster was not unpredictable – in fact, it was predicted many times.”
“The catastrophic failure of leadership on the part of this Administration and Congress, before, during, and after the storm, is well documented,” said Massa. “Just to begin with, they took FEMA, a highly-regarded, professional organization when President Clinton left office, gutted its leadership and stocked it with unqualified Bush cronies.”
“Many thousands of people are still without homes and much of New Orleans has no electricity, and this is a full year later. This is another legacy of broken promises, and it’s unacceptable. And voters will hold their elected representatives accountable in the voting booth.”
Massa also outlined his plan for reforming FEMA (including making FEMA a cabinet level organization), and has proposed starting a “Civilian Recovery Corps” regarding long-term disaster reconstruction.
The White House, he charged, “placed special interests ahead of middle-class families by issuing no-bid contracts to companies like Halliburton before ever dispatching troops to help with relief efforts. And just to begin with, Congress failed to provide effective oversight.”
“This Congress had an opportunity to follow the generous lead of the American people and reach out to those most in need. My opponent, I’m sorry to say, instead chose once again to side with the corporations and lobbyists. He voted against oversight to prevent price gouging, and he voted to make it harder for people to get emergency assistance and disaster relief loans. The bitter effects of these decisions are still being felt today by tens of thousands of Americans along the Gulf Coast who are still without homes, without power, and without jobs even as a new hurricane season is upon us.
My sentiments exactly, Mr. Massa. The effects of Katrina and the aftermath will be felt for years to come by all of who were affected. Thank you for not forgetting the anniversary of this devastating event, and thank you for reminding us of what has taken place at the federal level “before, during, and after the storm”.
Full text of these press releases are available at the provided links.