A one-trick pony at FEMA

Piggybacking on Lakshmi's post about Joseph Allbaugh, the former FEMA head who embodies all that's sick and wrong with the Bush Administration, here's a little bit of information about Michael Brown, the current head for the agency.

By way of the Progress Report, we learn that Michael Brown's last job was "the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado."

So he, um, oversaw horse shows? Marvelous. For clarification, an IAHA spokeswoman says: "We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records. This was [Brown's] full-time job ... for 11 years."

What could be more appropriate than a horse-show ringleader to be appointed as the head of the federal agency in charge of preparing for and responding to disasters, natural and otherwise? Well, since you asked, the only person more appropriate for that job would be someone who was fired from that job.


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.
So Brown was apparently the John Bolton of Arabian horse shows. How did such a spectacular specimen of responsibility and management end up in charge of such an important agency?
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.
Let's hope that Brown will soon either be Bush's next superstar fundraiser, or waiting in line at the unemployment office. And let's get his uncle's neighbor to fill his post, stat!
#story_page_post_article

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