Mitt Romney's Guide To Flood Management

As Click & Clack will tell you, it's the stingy man who ends up paying most, and apparently it's as true of governing as car repairs! And apparently also, Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, was quite the Scrooge when it came to building levees and other flood control for his state! Here is a nice find from our friends atSlog:

In the spring of 2004, Peabody, Mass., got drenched with rain, which flooded the downtown area. After the storm, then-Gov. Mitt Romney asked President George W. Bush to declare Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties federal disaster areas, according to the Boston Globe.

That fall, the state legislature proposed spending $5.7 million on a flood prevention project to protect against future floods. Those funds would be matched by $22 million in federal money.

Romney vetoed it.

Haha, you guys are never gonna guess what happened just two years later, in 1996 2006. Go ahead, try. You'll never ... oh. Yeah, that was it.

From Esquire, digging up an old opinion piece from the (conservative) Lowell Sun:

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.

My, it almost seems as if Miffed Romney thought those who lost their homes and businesses should stop being "victims" and mooching off the government and take some personal responsibility for their lives!

So to recap: there was a bunch of flooding, and the Democratic lege with which Romney was so "bipartisan" approved a bill meant to prevent future flooding. Romney vetoed it (as he had more than 800 other Democratic measures, 700 of which were then overridden). Then, two years later, a bunch of places flooded. And then, despite sitting on a billion in Katrina money and other cash reserves, Gov. Romney declined to provide aid to the affected citizens until he could see how much the feds would give. Then in the GOP primary debates he said the feds should send FEMA responsibilities back to the states. Then five people tried to ask him about it this morning and he ran away.

"Mr. Manager" Mitt Romney does not seem to be very good at this whole Mr. Managing thing.

[Esquire / Slog]

Rebecca Schoenkopf

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