Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Congressman and former Republican opponent to Gov. Blanco in the 2003 LA governor's race has written a great piece in the Wall Street Journal that notes how the messy bureaucratic red-tape that is typical with anything dealing with the federal and state government prevented the rescue workers from delivering aid and help as well as making it very difficult for various folks in LA from asking for help. Take a gander at why Rep. Jindal had to say about the whole situation:
My office became so frustrated with the bureaucracy that we often turned to private companies. They responded more quickly and flexibly.From the looks of it, I think the folks of LA might have elected the wrong leader in 2003. I doubt that a Jindal administration would have been sitting by fretting on what to do during the disaster like the Blanco administration did. Hopefully come 2007, Jiindal will challenge Blanco for her seat and bring some sense to Baton Rouge and cut away such red tape. Maybe this is his time to shine. See here and here for more on Jindal.
After our staff visited communities to assess local needs, Budweiser delivered truckloads of water and ice. Ford provided vehicles for search and rescue. Every company we contacted provided goods and services without compensation.
Though things are far from perfect, we have seen an improvement in the response effort as the military increased its presence and created a more unified chain of command. However, the problems that existed before still resonate.
That's why we need, in the future, a single, strong leader with the power to override the normal process restrictions and get things done. That individual must be identified from the very beginning. But below that person, other individuals up and down the line need to know they can make obvious and sensible calls in an emergency.