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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    Video: Michael Brown; Former FEMA Director
    April 5th, 2007 under Interviews, Fellows Programs. [ Comments: 1 ]


    Download link 

     April 4, 2007

     Michael Brown

    Former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    “Hurricane Katrina: An Insider Tells His Side of the Story”

    Nominated by President George W. Bush to several Homeland Security positions, Michael D. Brown was twice confirmed by the United States Senate.   President Bush nominated Mr. Brown as the first Under Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.  That nomination was preceded by his unique experience as the President’s appointee to lead a White House Transition Planning Office team for the newly created Department, making him the only Presidential nominee to work in a legacy agency (FEMA), on the transition team to the new department, and as one of the four senior leaders of the new department.

     Prior to his nomination as Under Secretary, President Bush appointed him as General Counsel to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the President nominated Mr. Brown as the Deputy Director of FEMA. 

     Following the September 11th attacks President Bush named Mr. Brown to the President’s Consequence Management Principal’s Committee, which served as the White House policy coordination group for the federal response to the attacks.  The President later asked him to lead the Consequence Management Working Group to identify and resolve key issues regarding the federal response to future incidents of terrorism. 

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    Blamegame Baloney - Michael Brown and FEMA
    March 28th, 2007 under Interviews, Institute Programs. [ Comments: 5 ]

    Note from Director, Bill Lacy

    The Dole Institute is bringing former FEMA Director Michael Brown to the Institute Wednesday, April 4. I have received some interesting comments about Mr. Brown including an e-mail, anonymous, of course, saying it was appalling that we were paying for him to speak here.

    We rarely pay honoraria at the Dole Institutive–that’s how we do so much on a generous but restricted budget. And we like to feature guests who have something to say. Mr. Brown does. Having spent twenty years in Washington, I know these issues are always more grey than black and white as they usually appear. So regardless of my views of Hurricane Katrina’s handling, I believe Mr. Brown has a right to be heard. Attached is a piece by his attorney, Mr. Andy Lester.

    Come and listen to Mr. Brown’s side of the story…even write a counter piece for the blog if you wish. Advance the debate and enjoy free speech.


    brownfema.jpgBy Andy Lester 

    Media coverage of Katrina was unprecedented. The instantaneous, non-stop reporting of the storm’s wreckage and the plight of those left stranded by it showed contemporary journalism at its best. The myths of Katrina, however, were a different story. Who can forget the rumors reported as fact of widespread rapes, murders, sniper fire at helicopters, police shooting storm victims, and scores of bodies piling up at the Superdome. In the face of a slow government response, the media looked for a scapegoat. Attention turned to Michael Brown, who, it was reported, was a failed former Arabian horse official, who got his job at FEMA from his college roommate, Joe Allbaugh. After Brown misstated on national television when FEMA learned of the people stranded at the Convention Center, and in the face of President Bush’s unfortunate “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” comment, judgment was swift and sure. Michael Brown, the unqualified crony, botched the federal response to Katrina. Across the political spectrum – from National Review to The New Republic, from former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – everyone knows Brown preened while New Orleans sank.

    But it wasn’t true. Yet, while details of media misreporting about muggings, murder and mayhem came to light barely a month after Katrina, the botched coverage of Michael Brown remains grossly underreported. And almost completely unreported is how the White House, after realizing it had a public relations debacle on its hands, has relentlessly ignored the evidence that Brown did precisely what he was supposed to do and continued to press its narrative that Brown is the only federal official responsible for the government’s failures during Katrina. This plan, apparently designed to protect President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, almost worked to perfection. But “Brownie” fought back, violating what Margaret Carlson calls “Washington’s 11th commandment.” Review what happened.

    Read more »


    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
    While content on the blog will be moderated, we in no way wish to stifle vigorous debate. We request that participants engaging in the online discussion avoid personal, vitriolic attacks, and maintain respect for different opinions.
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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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