Personal Attacks by Politicians

The Diva has been observing emergency management matters for almost 40 years, but does not recall a time when so many ad hominem attacks on the part of the high level political officials involved in a disaster were noted publicly.  See this article:

FEMA Administrator Says San Juan Mayor’s Remarks Are ‘Political Noise’

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long on Sunday said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s remarks critical of the U.S. relief effort on Puerto Rico are just “political noise.”

“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise,” Long said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “The bottom line is, we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor.”

Cruz on Tuesday said President Donald Trump’s remarks on a visit to the island were “insulting.”

“He really has a communication issue,” she said. “You know he’s sort of like the miscommunicator-in-chief, really.”

She thinks it is unlikely that that the name calling by public officials will facilitate the monumental problems with response and in recovery in Puerto Rico. Be sure to see the  readers’ comments. 

4 thoughts on “Personal Attacks by Politicians

  1. What is political about standing up for your employees who are working under horrible conditions attempting to help the residents of Puerto Rico? A good manager will defend their workforce when they come under constant attack. Brock Long did not mention the political affiliation of the Mayor or fault a particular political party for recovery challenges on the island. Mr. Long simply stated that his focus is on the work of recovering from the island wide disaster versus responding to the personal attacks of a Mayor not fully engaged in the recovery effort. FEMA had every right to respond to the relentless attacks of the Mayor.

    Agree that FEMA needs to deal with the Mayor, but the Mayor needs to deal with FEMA by using the appropriate channels, just like every other Mayor and elected official in Puerto Rico is currently doing. Effective, two way communication is essential to a successful response and recovery operation. Firmly believe FEMA is ready, willing and able to work with the Mayor, but is the Mayor ready to work with FEMA? Hopefully for the residents of San Juan the answer is yes.

  2. The role of FEMA in the past has always been to be an apolitical actor – neutral in every sense of the word. With Brock Long’s comments, there is suddenly a precipitous shift away from this policy, which puts FEMA in political territory as an actor trying to influence political outcomes on the island. Opinions about the Mayor of San Juan should be beside the point. The fact is that she is the elected leader of the largest city on the island and FEMA should have to deal with her. Abandoning neutrality sets a dangerous precedent for the agency.

  3. Brock Long has a right to defend the work of his agency from a Mayor who seems to value making political points over the wellbeing of her residents. Frankly, Mr. Long is taking the right approach of ignoring the political chatter and focusing on recovery efforts with those elected officials who have a sincere interest in helping their residents.

    Recall back in June at the start of the hurricane season all the doom and gloom surrounding FEMA and how a lack of leadership would adversely impact their ability to manage disaster events. Three major disasters later and FEMA appears to be doing nice working responding to the events. Believe me, not a fan of FEMA based on my personal experience but have been impressed with FEMA under the leadership of Brock Long. Recovery work is a marathon and not a sprint so “years” of work still needs to be done but FEMA is off to a good start. As I stated before, wish Mr. Long was the administrator of FEMA when Sandy hit the Jersey shore.

  4. Let’s face it – the tweets from the Narcissist-in-Chief aren’t useful. That said, Mayor Cruz apparently is uncomfortably like Mayor Nagin was in NOLA in the aftermath of Katrina – according to other mayors in PR part of the problem not part of a solution.

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