Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Now They Blame the Americans that Lived There:
Not Gov't Cronies

WaPo online has this headline:
Americans Ignored Risk In Flocking To Coast

More Blame Game? It sounds like crazy Americans are to blame for foolishly moving to the Gulf Coast.

But the article tells how......
"The federal government also paid prodigious sums in flood insurance
claims to property owners who had insisted on building in harm's way."

And .....
"There's been a steadily increasing buildup in high-hazard areas, especially in the Gulf from Louisiana to Alabama," Conrad said. " The federal and local governments don't have the ability to say no, even when the risks are so obvious."

Then there is this.....

In 1998, Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Michael L. Davis tried to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from rubber-stamping casino applications without studying the impact dredging would have on marshes that shelter wildlife, purify drinking water and help prevent flooding. This angered Lott, then Senate majority leader, who had recently flown to Las Vegas in a casino executive's jet and had raised $100,000 for Republicans at a casino-industry fundraiser.

Lott got the moratorium lifted, then he got the Army to launch an investigation of Davis. No wrongdoing was found, but Davis was removed from Gulf Coast permitting issues.

So the government was doing much to encourage this "flocking" to the coast. So before we blame the American people for engaging in such risky behavior I think we should ask who was to benefit from the risky development of this area. Like say Joseph C. Canizaro, CEO of Columbus Properties of New Orleans and one of 4 LA Bush 2000 Pioneer and 2004 Ranger. Mother Jones puts his contribution gathering prowess at $587,250 and that only up to 2000. Canizaro once said, “You have to participate in government if you want to get something out of it.” Yup. It is wise to know folks in high places.....say W. After all "Canizaro was one of 22 wealthy business leaders whom President Bush invited to lunch in 2001 to discuss his tax cut for the wealthy."

And Canizaro's Gulf Coast development......It's called Tradition.
The Tradition web site certainly is heavy on luring those flocking Americans to the Gulf Coast...

The Gulf Coast is fast becoming a premier national destination resort, entertaining over 20 million tourists annually. Located only minutes from the coastline, Tradition offers access to all the benefits that the region has to offer. With the excellent fishing and golfing opportunities, Las Vegas-style gaming and entertainment, and white sand beaches just minutes away, Tradition and the Mississippi Gulf Coast offer an attractive alternative to Florida retirement. The Gulf Coast, however, is more than just a beach town.
Mississippi's low crime rate, which is 14.5% below the national average, provides an underlying level of personal security that stands in sharp contrast to many popular destinations like Florida and Arizona. Additionally, Mississippi is tax-friendly when it comes to retirees. In addition to low tax rates in general, retirees living in Mississippi do not pay state income tax on qualified retirement income. They also gain an additional exemption of property taxes upon reaching the age of 65. Tradition has been diligently working in tangent with several retirement communities in trying to eliminate state taxes for all retirees 55 years of age and older.

There appears to be state government help also in luring those crazy flocking Americans to that risky coast area. In fairness ....Tradition is not right on the Coastline (was there any left for development) and their web site claims the Sierra Club did a nice write up on the development.All the same it looks like once again we see another example of Bush Ranger/Pioneer buddies profiting from state and federal government breaks. This political patronage, graft and corruption needs to stop.

Oh and and a few asides.....
Mr. Canizaro founded Coporate Capital in 1998 which invested in Automated Technology Machines or ATM machines, owning 1,000 ATM's in the US.
Think of that next time you are at the ATM......might be giving profit to Bush's Ranger.

And Mr. Canizaro is a member of the Tulane University President's Council. Now you don't think he could have had anything to do with Tulane University Hospital getting their staff evacuated out of NO as Charity hospital patients waited (and died) in vain for choppers that never came? NAW I'm sure that NEVER played into it.

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