Romney vs. Disaster Assistance

romney disaster assistanceIn assessing Mitt Romney’s argument that disaster response should be a purely state responsibility, we should consider his record in Massachusetts. In his last year as governor, Romney refused to provide state assistance when major floods hit western Massachusetts., even though the state government had ample funds.  Romney had already begun to run for President, and was frequently out of state.  Here’s what a local conservative newspaper had to say:

It’s been two months, governor. Many Massachusetts residents are still living in temporary housing or trying to rebuild destroyed basements and first floors, racking up credit-card debt and taking out home-equity loans.

What’s wrong with fronting the money and having those loans repaid when, and if, federal agencies come through with more cash?

If ignoring the pleas of legislators and constituents is the way Romney’s going to handle a crisis situation, why would anyone vote for him for president? How would he handle a national crisis, by flying in for photo ops and then hiding in his White House office?

dan farberI posted recently about Romney’s opposition to federal emergency assistance. As I explained, his argument in favor of shifting this role entirely to the states does not hold up under  analysis.  It turns out that he was equally indifferent to the needs of disaster victims when the question was state government assistance.

Dan Farber
The Berkeley Blog

Posted: Monday, 29 October 2012

Published by the LA Progressive on October 29, 2012
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About Dan Farber

Daniel Farber is the Sho Sato Professor of Law and chair of the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He is also the faculty director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment. He serves on the editorial board of Foundation Press, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Law Institute. He has written several books, including “Judgment Calls: Politics and Principle in Constitutional Law” (Oxford University Press 2008); “Retained by the People: The Silent Ninth Amendment and the Rights Americans Don’t Know They Have” (Basic Books 2007); and “Lincoln’s Constitution” (University of Chicago Press 2003). He earned his B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees at the University of Illinois.