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March 04, 2009

Craig Fugate

Craig Fugate is Obama's choice for the head of FEMA. Fortunately Fugate seems actually to be capable of doing this job, has experience. For Craig Fugate was the head of Florida's emergency response system.

President Barack Obama is tapping a Republican appointee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He's nominating Craig Fugate, who's been director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management since 2001. Fugate has been praised for steering the state through several devastating hurricanes.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano calls Fugate 1 of the most experienced emergey managers in the country. She says his work in Florida "serves as a model for other states."

I have to admit, it's not just that he's a Republican that interests (why in hell would the political affilianction of someone in a job like this matter?) but rather who appointed him?

In October 2001, Fugate was appointed the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management by Gov. Bush. After the events of 9/11, the division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida's Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The program has since been recognized as a model for other states.

In September 2003, the Florida Emergency Management Program became the first state emergency management program in the nation to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.

Fugate led the response to some of the worst hurricanes in the Florida's history in 2004 and 2005, and he has helped the state cut response times to impacted communities during recent hurricanes.

He seems competent, certainly, but did you see that bit about who appointed him?

Fugate, who faces Senate confirmation once he is nominated, has been director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management since 2001, chosen by former Gov. Jeb Bush. He was retained by current Gov. Charlie Crist. Both governors are Republicans.

Before that, Fugate was the agency's assistant director for more than four years.

Fugate has been praised for helping guide Florida through several devastating hurricanes in the past decade. He was criticized in 2005 for not distributing enough ice, water and other supplies immediately after Hurricane Wilma. Fugate had warned residents before the storm that they should have enough supplies for three days after it passed, but many did not and that overstressed the system.

Napolitano called Fugate one of the most experienced emergency managers in the country.

"The work he's accomplished in Florida serves as a model for other states," Napolitano said in a statement. "He will be a tremendous asset to FEMA and it's employees."

Fugate's department was held up as a national model after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He said then that the state had been preparing extensively for the threat of terrorism since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and had done exercises for several possibilities, including cruise missile attacks.

Did ya see it?

Yup, he was appointed by the last President's brother, Jeb Bush. Good to see that one of the family appoints on the basis of skill, no?

Yup:

U.S. President Barack Obama picked Craig Fugate, the top emergency response official in Florida, on Wednesday to head the federal agency that was widely panned for its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Obama, who criticized the Bush administration's response to the hurricane disaster in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast during the presidential campaign, said his choice to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would keep such "failures" from happening again.

"From his experience as a first responder to his strong leadership as Florida's Emergency Manager, Craig has what it takes to help us improve our preparedness, response and recovery efforts," Obama said in a White House statement announcing his intent to nominate Fugate.

"I'm confident that Craig is the right person for the job and will ensure that the failures of the past are never repeated," he said in an apparent reference to the response to Katrina.

Former President George W. Bush was widely criticized for the government's slow emergency response to Katrina, which hastened a slide in his popularity and left a lasting stain on his legacy.

How remarkable, appointing bureaucrats because they're good at being bureaucrats. Tsk.

You think it might catch on?

March 4, 2009 in Your Tax Money at Work | Permalink

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