Two Saturdays ago, according to news reports, Governor John Kasich of Ohio said in response to his assessment of storm ravaged portions of Ohio, “I believe that we can handle this…We’ll have down here all of the assets of the State.” He was speaking to why he would not request federal assistance for the victims.
Two days later, the good Governor changed course slightly and asked for a federal assessment of the damage by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On March 7, 2012, Kasich requested a Presidential Declaration of Disaster for Clermont County, Ohio. His request was sent with a self-imposed deadline for a response from the President. Kasich’s request insisted that the Declaration be made by the President within 5 days, or it would have to be withdrawn in order for the impacted citizens to receive expeditious assistance.
This past Friday FEMA denied Kasich’s request. In response to the denial of aid, Governor Kasich said in a press release, “I’m sad for Clermont County that tonight the President said no to my request for the maximum amount of federal aid for them…” This March 9, 2011 press release, along with the original request for a declaration, are curious in that they fail to inform the public about the criteria for the granting of such a declaration or how the Agency….not the President….determines whether such a declaration should be made (timelines, process, methodology, criteria, etc.).
It is a fundamental hallmark of a democracy that government is for the people. The denigration of this concept has left us with a current state of political affairs that unashamedly places politics before people. The noise and vitriol in this debate have become deafening and toxic since the 2008 election of our President.
As I was researching this post, I came across a website that touted “f*#k federal disater aid if Obama sending it.” I am not sure which one is more telling about this website and the intelligence of the people behind it, the inability to spell disaster or the syntax!
The underlying issue of efficient utilization of the Government’s resources is an important and pressing discussion that is crucial to the long-term stability of the operation of the United States of America and its Government.
I get it! But the debate must be honest, healthy, constructive, and absent the race-baiting politics that seem so pervasive during the term of our first African-American President.
What I think is saddest of all is that the arguments from 2008 to the present are, more than I can ever remember, crafted to drive a political agenda, specifically in this instance against President Obama. It is just so unfortunate that they are concocted at the expense of Americans, who are often in the midst of the storm.
Read, learn, and share….Have a Family Meeting!
C. Randolph Keller
2012 All Rights Reserved.