Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 3, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

CRONYISM....I've known for several days that FEMA head Michael Brown had no previous disaster management experience when he was brought on board by the Bush administration in 2001 (originally as deputy director, then as director). But apparently it's actually worse than that. Laura Rozen summarizes:

As several readers have alerted me, not only was FEMA chief Michael D. Brown a former attorney for the Lyons, Colorado based International Arabian Horse Association, but he was actually *fired from* the International Arabian Horse Association. A Kos poster writes that his colleagues says he was fired for being an "unmitigated, total...disaster". The NYT profiles him here. Even I am staggered Brown was the lawyer for the horse association not back in the 1980s or 1990s, but until 2001 when he was brought into FEMA as deputy director by Joe Allbaugh. Incredible.

Yes. Incredible. But not hard to believe.

UPDATE: The Boston Herald confirms the story:

Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association..."This was his full-time job...for 11 years," [a spokeswoman] added.

Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures. "He was asked to resign," Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.

Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president's re-election campaign.

Another case of "failing upward," apparently.

UPDATE 2: According to Allbaugh, Brown was a college friend of his, not his roommate.

Kevin Drum 1:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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