Not Competent Enough To Lead: Mitt Romney Has a Dismal Record of Disaster Management
Now that he's again decided to mention (obliquely) that he was our governor once, and we're all up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) being awakened by the sweet sounds of woodchippers in our streets, we should look back at the one natural disaster (locally, anyway, Katrina being a whole 'nother story) that occurred while Willard Romney was still nominally governor of Massachusetts: the great Mother's Day floods of 2006.
The entire region was under flood warnings, but the problem was especially acute along the Merrimack River, especially in the city of Lowell, where Romney's response was considered, well, leaky. The right-leaning Lowell Sun was particularly displeased.
We find it inconceivable that Gov. Mitt Romney claims the state can do nothing to help those residents still struggling to rebuild homes and businesses after the May flood. Massachusetts is sitting on millions in unspent emergency funds from Hurricane Katrina and more than $1 billion in cash reserves, yet Romney has failed to even respond to the Lowell delegation's requests to discuss additional aid for victims. The governor's spokesman — since Romney can't be bothered to comment now that the photo opportunities have dried up even though some residents' basements haven't — said the state will not consider spending its own money for flood victims until it's clear how much cash the federal government will give.
Then, he joined several of his predecessors in being something of a deadbeat:
Governor John Lynch today wrote Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to tell him that New Hampshire will take legal action if Massachusetts doesn't act to pay the $3.2 million it owes New Hampshire communities for flood control dams. "Nearly 50 years ago, New Hampshire communities agreed to sacrifice land and future property tax revenues in order to build flood control dams to help protect the people of Massachusetts. We saw during the floods of Mother's Day Weekend just how valuable those dams were in saving lives and property," Governor Lynch said. "Yet despite the proven value of these dams to the citizens of Massachusetts, Massachusetts is still reneging on the commitments it made when our two states established the flood control system," Governor Lynch said. "It's time for Massachusetts to meet its obligations and pay what it owes New Hampshire, or we will take legal action." New Hampshire and Massachusetts entered the Merrimack River Valley Flood Control Compact in 1957. Under the Compact, Massachusetts agreed to reimburse New Hampshire 70 percent of the amount of property taxes lost because of the acquisition and ownership of the dams and reservoirs comprising the Merrimack River Valley Flood Control Project. Massachusetts made no payment to New Hampshire in 1994, only partial payments from 1995 to 2002, and has not paid anything since 2003.
That would track with Governors Weld, Cellucci, and Romney, Republicans all, by the way.
At the time, Romney pretty much had given up his job as governor and was gearing up for the seven-year run at the presidency that will climax, one way or the other, next Tuesday night. He was just beginning the job of polishing up his conservatism, and abdicating on government flood relief was one of the first steps he took in that direction. (This is the very public process that he's now pretending didn't happen. Not even last spring, when he was talking about chloroforming FEMA, which he now says he didn't mean.) At the same time, he was using the federal government as alibi, scapegoat and ATM machine.
Romney has said that he would abolish FEMA. You know, because a modern complex society like the USA don't need no stink'n professional response to disasters. Romney seems to have based hos management style on the old incompetence Soviet Politburo.