Here’s a video of U.S. Rep. Jim Himes’ speech on the House floor Wednesday morning condemning the House’s Republican leadership for refusing to bring the Superstorm Sandy relief bill to the floor for a vote.
Archive for the ‘Sandy’ Category
Superstorm Sandy kept Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy busy. But you might not know it from the national media coverage.
A new survey released today found that Connecticut got only a fraction of the national attention paid to its larger neighbors, New York and New Jersey. And the state’s Democratic governor got only a tiny fraction of the coverage lavished on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Particularly the omnipresent Christie.
The study by HighBeam Research concluded that New York received 52.3 percent of the media attention related to Sandy since October 27, compared to 38.2 percent for New Jersey and 9.5 percent for Connecticut.
But when it comes to political coverage, the big winner — other than Barack Obama — was New Jersey’s hard-charging Republican governor. Christie received 72.1 percent of the attention dedicated to governors of states hit by the massive storm. New York’s Cuomo netted 26.5 percent — despite the national media focus on damage in Manhattan and on Staten Island.
He received just 1.4 percent of the coverage.
Things could have been a lot worse for the Connecticut governor.
At least the coverage he got was overwhelmingly positive.
Even as New York and New Jersey launched lawsuits against business that have participated in price gouging post-Sandy, Texas Rep. Ron Paul has penned a newsletter saying that when it comes to gas this practice would have actually solved states’ problems post the storm.
In the ‘In Praise of Price Gouging’ newsletter, Paul argues that price gouging is “normal market response of rising prices in the wake of a natural disaster.”
According to Bloomberg, New Jersey government is currently suing seven stations for price gouging. Under New Jersey law, excessive price increase of 10 percent or more during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging.
“We warned merchants again and again not to violate the law by taking advantage of people following this catastrophe,” said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa during a press conference on Friday Nov. 9. “The fact that we have these fringe businesses that think that disasters are a profit center is troubling.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warned against price gouging as early as Oct. 27, when he said:
“During emergencies, New Jerseyans should look out for each other – not seek to take advantage of each other. The State Division of Consumer Affairs will look closely at any and all complaints about alleged price gouging. Anyone found to have violated the law will face significant penalties.”
On Nov. 5, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that his office has received overwhelming number of complaints about price gouging and was launching an investigation into the matter, reported Reuters.
“Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging,” he said. “We are actively investigating hundreds of complaints we’ve received from consumers of businesses preying on victims.”
However, the outgoing representative from the Lone Star State, Ron Paul, believes that interfering in price gouging and regulating the prices actually hurt the residents in New Jersey and New York and caused the post-Sandy gas shortage to last longer than it otherwise would.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the supply of gasoline was greatly disrupted. Many gas stations were unable to pump gas due to a lack of electricity, thus greatly reducing the supply. At the same time demand for gasoline spiked due to the widespread use of generators. Because gas stations were forbidden from raising their prices to meet the increased demand, miles-long lines developed and stations were forced to start limiting the amount of gasoline that individuals could purchase. New Jersey gas stations began to look like Soviet grocery stores.
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas, while everyone would have economized on their existing supply. But because prices remained lower than they should have been, no one sought to conserve gas. Low prices signaled that gas was in abundant supply, while reality was exactly the opposite, and only those fortunate enough to be at the front of gas lines were able to purchase gas before it sold out. Not surprisingly, a thriving black market developed, with gas offered for up to $20 per gallon.
Just like the Giants-Steelers game, the elections must go on despite the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy, New York and New Jersey pols decided this past week.
And they had few ideas about how to make that happen.
Trucks as polling stations:
The Department of Defense was called and came to the rescue by providing large military trucks to be used in place of some polling places that were without power due to Sandy’s destruction.
At this make-shift polling stations, the voters were expected to fill out their ballots by hand.
“You walk up, get a paper ballot, fill it out and hand it back in,” explained New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who called voting this way “old school.”
Consolidated poling stations:
In New York, the Board of Election issued a list of polls that were no longer operational today and directed voters to new polling places such as Abraham Lincoln High School and PS 370 that were now destination for three times as many registered voters as prior to the storm.
Extended early voting deadline:
In New Jersey, that is. New York does not have early voting.
Gov. Christie extended the deadline for early voting till Friday of last week. Those in areas where the polling stations have been completely destroyed were advised by Secretary of State Kim Guadagno to mail it in by Friday. Those who might still make it to another polling station within NJ, can still hand in their ballot in person today.
Email in your vote:
Up until 5 p.m. EST time on the day of the election, New Jersey voters could have emailed or faxed in their request to vote by email or fax. Their request is then reviewed by county clerk and if approved, the voter then receives a ballot. Due to the overwhelming number of requests and the time that it took to process these requests, Gov. Christie moved the deadline for voters to return the ballot to Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m.
Voting through affidavit ballots:
“We want everyone to vote. Just because you are displaced, doesn’t mean you should be disenfranchised,” said the governor. Later he signed an executive order allowing affidavit ballots, which means that displaced New York voters can go to any polling place and after signing an affidavit, can cast their vote.
Here is Gov. Cuomo’s press conference on the voting situation in NY:
The news may have turned to Election Day, but at schools in coastal Greenwich, hit hard with flooding and fire, people haven’t forgotten about Hurricane Sandy. The Riverside School PTA is collecting donations of blankets, toiletries and other items to distribute to those who lost their homes in New York. Pictured is a donation site at Old Greenwich School, where voting has hit a lull in the middle of the afternoon.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign has a new, unsolicited surrogate in Ohio.
Even as President Barack Obama’s and Romney’s campaigns have halted their campaigning in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the former director of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Michael Brown has stepped forward to criticize President Obama’s handling of the current natural disaster.
Brown is remembered for his time as the head of FEMA, when he was in charge of handling the agency response to Hurricane Katrina. At that time, President George W. Bush told Brown, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
In an interview with Denver Westword, Brown speculated that President Barack Obama might have acted too quickly:
“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas? Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”
Specifically, Brown did not think it was necessary for President Obama to hold a press conference on Sunday afternoon if the storm was not expected to hit until late afternoon on Monday and at that time, local officials such as New York Michael Bloomberg seemed to have the situation under control. However, he understands that the president might have erred on the side of caution:
“My guess is, he wants to get ahead of it — he doesn’t want anybody to accuse him of not being on top of it or not paying attention or playing politics in the middle of it. He probably figured Sunday was a good day to do a press conference.”
Brown also offered President Obama some advice:
“My advice to him is that he needs to call the cabinet and tell the cabinet members that if [current FEMA director] Craig Fugate calls and asks for something, the expectation is he is going to get whatever he needs.”
The president has done just that. When he made an unannounced visit to the headquarters of the Red Cross in Washington, DC, President Obama said that he has ordered federal officials that the areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy should get all the help they need. According to him, he told them:
“Do not figure out why we can’t do something. I want you to figure out how we do something. I want you to cut through red tape, I want you to cut through bureaucracy, there is no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward.”
To read the rest of Brown’s interview with Denver Westword, click here.
The anti-Obama mailer that was distributed at a northern Virginia apartment complex after Hurricane Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic region was produced five weeks before the killer storm struck, Americans for Tax Reform says.
“I think someone is trying to mislead you,” said John Kartch, spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group that has been strongly critical of the president’s fiscal policies. “We’re circulating no such flyer. ATR sent out a mail piece opposing President Obama’s policies using a storm analogy way back in September. Sounds like someone is being dishonest.”
Kartch supplied an invoice from Arena Communications in Salt Lake City showing that the piece was sent to the printer on September 19 with a scheduled completion date of October 1.
“The mailer was designed on Sept. 17, 40 days before the hurricane hit Virginia,” he noted. “We were invoiced on Sept. 19, 38 days before the hurricane hit Virginia. The mailer went out on Oct. 1, 27 days before the hurricane hit Virginia.”
The mailing took on a new life when it was distributed at a northern Virginia apartment complex the morning after Hurricane Sandy struck. The image, posted on Twitter Tuesday morning, declared, “WE’VE SEEN STORMS IN VIRGINIA, BUT NONE LIKE THIS…
“Barack Obama’s policies have added $4 billion in debt each day he’s been in office.
“America CAN’T AFFORD this debt.”
The ATR mailing declares that “a financial storm is brewing.”
The original post created a backlash among conservatives who viewed it as unfair and partisan.
“When are you going to correct this entry?” William Maron stated in an email. “ATR denies it and can prove it. You don’t tell us who the friend is. You don’t tell us if you contacted the purported author. If you don’t correct this, you are a partisan hack, as bad as some blogspot blogger. If you wonder why readership is down, look in the mirror.”
Then there’s this tweet:
@rickdunham of @HoustonChron is #enemy of the American People. Ran fake story. http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/10/the-morning-after-first-storm-related-anti-obama-attack-ad-appears/ …