Louisiana Hiring Brownie?

A Louisiana parish is interviewing Michael “Brownie” Brown for work as a consultant to help “get things moving again,” USA Today reports.

The leaders of a Louisiana parish devastated by Hurricane Katrina may bring in hired help from an unlikely source — heavily criticized former FEMA director Michael Brown. Brown, who resigned two weeks after Katrina hit Aug. 29 and has taken the brunt of the blame for FEMA’s poor response, is set to make a pitch to the St. Bernard Parish council on Thursday. Brown says he will outline how he could help the parish “get things moving again.” “They’ve been left by the wayside,” says Brown, now a consultant since leaving the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Part of Brown’s mission, if he is hired, will be to help the parish cut red tape and get help from FEMA.

The meeting before the parish council finance committee will be public and is expected to draw a crowd, says council vice chairman Joey DiFatta. He says he has heard an earful from people who don’t like the idea. “A lot of folks are calling, ‘This is ridiculous. This is crazy. This guy was part of the problem,’ ” DiFatta says. “With all of the hoopla, I don’t know what good it’s going to do to hire him.”

Brown said the controversy surrounding him would help by bringing much-needed publicity to the parish.

The idea of hiring Brown as a consultant arose two weeks ago when Henry “Junior” Rodriguez, the parish president, and others met with him in Washington, D.C. Rodriguez invited him to make a presentation to the full council. “I’ll talk to the devil himself if I thought he could help us,” he says.

Hilarious. This reminds me of Ross Perot’s answer in the 1992 presidential debates when told he did not have the experience to be president.

Well, they’ve got a point. I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. (Laughter.) I don’t have any experience in gridlock government where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. I don’t have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world, but I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. So, if we’re at a point in history where we want to stop talking about it and do it, I’ve got a lot of experience in figuring out how to solve problems, making the solutions work, and then moving on to the next one. I’ve got a lot of experience in not taking 10 years to solve a 10-minute problem. So, if it’s time for action, I think I have experience that counts. If there’s more time for gridlock and talk and finger pointing, I’m the wrong man.

Still, I’m sure Brownie would do a good job.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. spacemonkey says:

    Brownie does at least sound sort of chocolatey, so I’m sure Nagin will support this.