Angle and Katrina Relief

More audio from Angle's past interviews.

Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun has dug up some audio of Sharron Angle stating that she would have voted against the Katrina relief bill in 2005.  Ralston has audio at the link.

One the one hand, her statement that she would have voted against the bill has a callous sound to it, especially in the context of the fifth anniversary of the event.  On the other, in the audio clip she states that her opposition had to do with accountability  regarding the funds.  On that count, the clip will actually score points with her supporters, and perhaps even in a wider scope given the current concerns about fiscal responsibility.

The question becomes, what will have the greater effect on voters on the fence:  lack of compassion over Katrina or fiscal responsibility and accountability?  As Ralston notes:

This is the classic debate – are there times when relief, to hurricane victims or unemployed folks, takes precedence over deficit-reduction, at least in the short run?

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Well, at the very least Sharron Angle should be glad she’s not running in Louisiana or any other state subject to the risk of hurricane damage.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    It seems there ended up being a huge amount of fraud and abuse with those funds.  Voters are tired of picking up the tab for people who choose to live in coastal areas subject to these disasters.  With record deficits and an ever growing debt fiscal responsibility is a winning issue.

  3. @Doug:


  4. @Steve:  And, as such, her comments will resonate with some voters.

  5. mantis says:

    Voters are tired of picking up the tab for people who choose to live in coastal areas subject to these disasters.
    A lot of voters live on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.  A lot.
    Also, too, a lot of disasters that federal dollars are used to respond to happen in non-hurricane areas.  Tornados, earthquakes, oil spills, etc.  Are voters tired of the people who live in those places as well?  Where’s the safe zone where we should all be living free of the threat of disaster?

  6. Jon says:

    Well she didn’t actually say she would deny the funds, just that she would like to see a plan for the funds.  That should be the way it is done with all relief funds, otherwise we have waste and fraud, as reported in 2006 by the NYT, and the money never gets to the people (victims) who actually need it. 

  7. floyd says:

    Billions in travel trailers alone many of which sat unused because of logistics and concern over the “new” smell.
    Hundreds of millions of dollars worth literally stuck at one storage facility,10,000 trailers left unused, unextractable and inextricable in a maze of mud, logistics, and bureaucracy.
    Who but the government could perform this poorly?….The Health Care Industry? Not quite yet, but I hear it’s coming.
     These trailers were fit for retail, yet were determined unsafe due to fumes.
    recently even said to be deadly, and unfit for the Haitian relief effort, yet they are being offered “for sale” to the public, which bought them in the first place.

  8. John P says:

    @Steve –  is that your standard for how the government should allocate funds?

  9. sam says:

    “Voters are tired of picking up the tab for people who choose to live in coastal areas subject to these disasters.”
    Are they similarly tired of picking up the tab for those who choose to live in the midwest at the mercy of tornados? Are you suggesting that everyone who lives in coastal areas and in the midwest move to, well, where?

  10. Steve Plunk says:

    John P, My standard is one of cost effectiveness and minimizing waste.  Katrina aid was wasteful and apparently not effective.  Throwing money at problems without a good plan is just silly.
    Sam,  Voters are not tired of picking up the tab for tornados since there isn’t much of one.  Most homes are insured and little government help is needed compared to hurricane disasters.
    Voters are also frustrated with how the residents of New Orleans failed to evacuate and instead chose to rise it out.  The incompetent bureaucrats running things contributed to that.  The breakdown of law and order doesn’t garner much sympathy either.
    I’m not saying we should have turned our backs but it became obvious there were irresponsible behaviors that lead to the level of destruction and loss of life.

  11. John P says:

    @ Steve – not baiting, but serious question – where then do you stand on defense spending and the Iraq war? Sure, this could be applicable to any area of the budget, but defense spending is one of, if not the single largest chunk of where our money goes.
    Additionally, do you support crop subsidies for corn and wheat?