Friday, October 14, 2005

Not reading your mail is one thing...

... but can't senators at least get competent staffers to do if for them? Here's the entirety of a response I got when I e-mailed one of my state senators:

Dear Mr. Hallquist:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I apologize for the delay in my response. I appreciate the correspondence I receive from my constituents back in Wisconsin and would like to take this opportunity to address your concerns.

As you know, when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on Sunday, August 28th, its high winds and heavy rains devastated areas along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In its wake, Katrina has displaced thousands of Americans, destroyed homes and businesses and left entire towns literally underwater.

In the wake of the Hurricane, I, like many Americans, was disappointed with the scope and effectiveness of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration's (FEMA)'s immediate response. The potential for the destruction of the complex levy system, and especially the need to protect New Orleans, was known on all levels of local, state, and federal government. Failure to adequately prepare for a disaster on the level of Hurricane Katrina resulted in preventable loss of life and billions of dollars of damage.

In spite of these problems, and as the priority of saving the lives of those affected by Katrina continues to be addressed, FEMA is helping those affected by the storm get back on their feet. FEMA offers temporary shelter, clean drinking water, food, ice, gasoline, and power generators to help ease the burden on those people whose lives have been hurt by the storm. It will certainly take years for the people of the Gulf Coast to fully recover from this tragic storm, and FEMA has committed to providing services for as long as is necessary.

It is now time for Administration, with the help of Congress, to analyze FEMA's
failures before, during and after the Hurricane, and come up with a way to repair and improve this important agency so that a catastrophe such as this may be avoided in the future. In the aftermath of the storm, we must do all we can to help. I am
committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that this problem is addressed, as well as assuring sufficient funding for these important and ongoing relief efforts.

Thank you very much for voicing your concern over Hurricane Katrina. Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to all those affected by the horrific storm. Thank you again for taking the time to express your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of any further assistance in this or any other matter.


Herb Kohl
U.S. Senator

You'd think he'd try to hire staffers bright enough to know a message titled "Anti-torture bill" is not about Hurricane Katrina. Guess not.

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