Friday, February 17, 2006


Blanco's definition of immediate

Capitol news bureau

A Louisiana hurricane relief fund created by Gov. Kathleen Blanco has started spending some of the $13.6 million it has raised, the group’s director said Thursday.

The foundation has awarded $2.5 million to six nonprofit groups, Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation managing director Sherece Y. West said.

West gave the update on the foundation to the Legislative Audit Advisory Council.

West told the council the foundation has also raised $43,000 specifically for operations expenses.

“We want to insure that the $13.6 million goes 100 percent to grant-making and none of it is spent on administration,” she said.

Audit council chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, had asked for a report on the foundation’s activities as well as those of Blanco’s Louisiana Recovery Authority.

“Both represent Louisiana and the image of Louisiana,” Richmond said. He said the groups must handle their finances properly.

“If things go wrong, they will be saying those crooked politicians in Louisiana did it again,” Richmond said.

LPNS COMMENTARY: From post Katrina news coverage:

Initially these funds were solicited from individuals and businesses for emergency "immediate" aid to Katrina victims.

Blanco press secretary Denise Bottcher when asked at that time when the distribution of these funds would begin she replied, "It depends on what your definition of 'immediate' is.”

We thought Dave Treen took too long to make a decision.

One very large early contributor to this fund recently received an obviously computer generated thank you letter from Blanco's office.

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