So, the Louisiana GOP want Landrieu, Demos to blast Reid for Katrina-Sandy comparison

Katrina-StBernardSome in Louisiana are hopping mad at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and want an apology for comments he made comparing Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina which destroyed much of South Louisiana.



One of those wanting immediate action of sorts happens to be the Louisiana Republican Party.

This morning, I received the following from the LAGOP that I believe is worth publishing:

On Friday, Democrat US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated on the floor of US Senate that Hurricane Katrina was “nothing in comparison” to Super Storm Sandy.

“The people of New Orleans in that area...they were hurt...” Reid said. “...but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New England.”

The Republican Party of Louisiana now calls on Harry Reid to apologize and for the Louisiana Democratic Party and liberal Senator Mary Landrieu to denounce Reid's comments and demand a formal apology to the residents of Louisiana.

"Senator Reid's remarks were an insult to the more than 1,800 people whose lives were lost, their families, those whose small businesses and livelihoods were destroyed and all of those who were hurt by Hurricane Katrina's $80 billion in devastation," said LAGOP Chairman Roger Villere. "Both Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy were disastrous storms that led to a large loss of life, property and livelihoods. Senator Reid should be educated on this fact by his fellow Democrats and should issue a formal apology."

"Hurricanes and other catastrophic disasters are not to be pawns of liberal politicians," LAGOP Executive Director Jason Doré said. "Senator Landrieu claims to defend the residents of Louisiana, but so far has shown that she cannot inform her own leadership of the depth of Louisiana's challenges. Here is her chance to publicly stand up for us."

To see Harry Reid's comments for yourself, click here.

I am pleased to see my republican friends so outraged that it has seen fit to out “Liberal Democrats” including, in their words “liberal Mary Landrieu” over this storm comparison.

I do agree, Harry Reid should apologize. Also, I feel Senator Mary Landrieu should write to Reid requesting an apology or at least, a clarification, if that were be the appropriate case.

At the same time, we should acknowledge, at least internally, that this blast from the Louisiana GOP can very well be viewed as a “political stunt. After all, Landrieu has formally declared her re-election campaign which is election date is now less than two years away. While there is no Republican candidate formally jumping into the opposition ring, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s and Congressman Bill Cassidy’s names have often been thrown around as maybes.

The Republicans could have stayed mum on the Reid issue, as it has on the travails of Jindal’s national campaign travels or on his lack of travel to the festering and growing Bayou Corne sink hole in which he must hope will disappear, like magic.

Or, the statement could have criticized only Reid since it was his statement that has angered both Republicans and Democrats in this state. Actually, they could have asked Landrieu and the Louisiana Democratic Party to join in with them to share their “anger” instead of creating a public challenge. Instead, they saw fit to call Landrieu a liberal (which in this neck of the woods is worse than being labeled an adulterer or some other offender of our ten commandments).

Now, since we are speaking about Hurricane Katrina and the federal government’s quick response in approving billions in aid for the state, let us make some further clarifications.

For months, we have heard journalists and talking heads repeat the same line that Congress approved billions in aid within ten days of the storm.

However, it took virtually two years for any real government money to get to the streets except for basic hurricane cleanup and major storm repairs. For months and months, Louisiana citizens pleaded with Republican George Bush to speed up the process of rebuilding the state. Perhaps the Louisiana Republican Party publically joined these pleas but I do not recall Chairman Roger Villere or any party leader, in their official capacity, denounce Bush when he failed to mention Katrina during his State of Union speech only months after the storm or when the White House refused to cooperate with a Senate investigation of the pre and post-Katrina controversies or when the administration rejected a congressional plan to rebuild the state that virtually all of Louisiana favored.

Those events occurred in January of 2006 while the smell of rot was still in the New Orleans air due to the flood. Those events occurred while many buildings were totally inhabitable not only in the commercial centers of world famous Canal Street but in the tony Old Metairie neighborhoods and in the oil stained St. Bernard Parish and of course, in the virtually devastated East New Orleans and 9th Ward.

So, I am glad that the Louisiana GOP has suddenly sought fit to put light on certain Louisiana Democrats and Harry Reid for this misstatement or for his totally insensitive comment which in my view was also incorrect.

Let’s hope that we hear more from our Republican friends in this state as their party leaders in Washington decide whether to dig deep to quickly and thoroughly rebuild Northeast USA due to Sandy or opt to ensure that not a penny be spent for disaster relief unless it is matched with an equal budget cut. .

I will be checking my email box for any Louisiana GOP response on this or any future issue.

Next Column by this author: President Obama’s insane pick for his Secretary of Defense

(Photo: A flooded St. Bernard Parish)

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Updated below:

"As a resident of the Gulf Coast, a leader of a coastal parish and someone who weathered Hurricane Katrina, I am infuriated by Senator Reid's remarks. On behalf of the residents who live in Jefferson Parish and those across the Gulf Coast, we demand an apology, not an excuse.

Not only was the Senator's statement factually incorrect, it was an insult to the lives that were lost and the catastrophic damage that was done during Hurricane Katrina. Storms have blown across our shores throughout history, we do not dare try and compare one to another. Each life that was lost in Hurricane Katrine and Sandy was someone's family member and friend. Their losses should never be compared to one another or taken advantage of for political gain. That a senate majority leader would have the audacity to do such a thing saddens me."

John Young, President of Jefferson Parish

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