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Payback? FEMA Denies Arizona Aid After Blaze Killed 19 Firefighters

by Keith Koffler on August 13, 2013, 9:07 am

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is suggesting President Obama reneged on a commitment to help the state recover from a devastating June 30 wildfire that killed 19 specially trained “Hotshot” firefighters, hinting politics might be involved in the decision.

“I don’t want to believe that . . . but you know, it’s very odd, very strange that it took them this long first of all,” Brewer told local Arizona radio host Mike Broomhead when when asked if the denial of Federal Emergency Management Agency aid to the state was politically motivated. “Normally you file for something like this you get a faster response,” she said.

Brewer said she was going to speak with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), whose state was also turned down by FEMA in 2011 for federal relief after disastrous wildfire season, a move that Perry suggested might be part of a political vendetta. The decision was subsequently reversed.

Brewer and Obama in January 2012

Brewer and Obama in January 2012

In statement, Brewer indicated Obama had led her to believe federal aid would be forthcoming.

“In the days after the fire, I appreciated the call I received from President Obama, during which he pledged to support our state during its time of great need,” she said. “I was even more encouraged when Vice President Biden reiterated that commitment at the memorial service for the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots. With today’s denial of the state’s request, Arizonans are left questioning what help they were willing to give.”

Brewer and Obama have had a famously rocky relationship. The two had a heated exchange in January 2012 that allegedly centered a passage in a book by Brewer claiming he was condescending to her during an Oval Office meeting.

FEMA said it denied Arizona’s request for aid because not enough uninsured individuals were victims of the conflagration.

But Brewer noted during the radio interview that the FEMA rejection came just days after Obama visited the state.

“I am so upset and so disturbed, if you will, that they have done this to the people of Arizona two days after he was here,” she said. “He encouraged me that they would get right on it. I just can’t believe it.” She termed his actions “absurd,” saying, “he flies in here and gives his campaign style speech – rah rah rah – flies over to California, and then they just slam down on us.”

After the Obama visit – but before the FEMA decision – Brewer released a statement criticizing Obama for using his time on the ground to promote “more big government programs” and for taking credit for Arizona’s economic progress.

“That credit belongs to the hardworking people of Arizona,” she said.

Brewer has vowed to continue seeking federal aid.

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Smokey August 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

“FEMA said it denied Arizona’s request for aid because not enough uninsured individuals were victims of the conflagration.”
Now I have heard it all! How many victims does FEMA require?

Knew This Was Coming August 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

I hope the administration’s denial of aid is based on substance and not the fact that she’s the governor of Arizona.

scottso August 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

Why did Jan Brewer give up the fight against Obamacare?
Was she hoping for pay back from the administration?

Smokey August 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

…or perhaps the opposite…afraid of paybacks. Apparently the latter holds true.

Star August 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

She didn’t shake anyting at him at the airport. Cordial. We know we are the Great Hated State of AZ–he has made it clear he’s not OUR president.

Star August 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

Of course, she didn’t bear hug him like Christie did–or shoot ducks in an amusement park. Who knows what he needs to act.

WNY_ROC August 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

KTWC – BEST.LINE.EVER.TODAY!

I hope your comment was picked up by WHD readers. Grape flavored Jolly Rancher almost went from my mouth and back through nostril (sorry – TMI).

Lizzy August 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

How many dead people are required for Obama and his minions to help
or keep a promise? I’ve never seen a man with absolutely no empathy
of lack of any moral compass to the suffering of victims and those who
died trying to save lives disturbing.

Shaky Jake August 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

Obviously not enough died in Benghazi either.

sportinlife10 August 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

It’s the Chicago way: corrupt, vengeful, hypocritical and reeking.

ol gator August 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

Not enough folks have DIED in Arizona yet plenty of folks to dole out exemptions to obambocare in congress…. this man is a habitual liar & it flows from him with such ease… he seems to actually believe what he says… a twisted,distorted,evil one lives in the Peoples WH.

TimW August 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

As they say in Chicago…”reward your friends and punish your enemies”.

Junius August 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

Why does everybody always act surprised or outraged when Dicatator Obama doesn’t keep his word or indulges in acts of revenge for real or imagined slights. Or uses his office as a weapon against his political opponents real or imagined? The truth about this petty little communist tyrant is perfectly clear for anyone who wishes to open their eyes and see. He is not like the rest of us and has no conscience and no moral values so people should stop expecting any kind of decent, honorable behaviour from this hollow cored person.

Darkangel August 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Agree up until the final three words.

Obama is not “hollow cored.” He’s filled, all right…with every single one of the seven deadly sins.

WRATH: On full display here; “punish our enemies”; IRS attacks on ordinary citizens; and so on. How can anyone not say that this man is filled with wrath?

GREED: Nothing is ever enough for this man. Look at the house he’s staying in on Martha’s Vineyard. Look at his annual Hawaiian junkets at taxpayer expense. He clearly views the presidency as an exercise in self-enrichment, and no doubt an audition for SecGen at the UN. Am I wrong?

SLOTH: One hundred and thirty-six rounds of golf, and counting; taking his daily briefing at 10 AM, sometimes later; refusing to lead when Congress is gridlocked; and so on. He clearly wants to do as little work as possible, and still take all the credit for the accomplishments of others. Does anyone disagree?

PRIDE: Just count the number of times he refers to himself in any public appearance, and note how frequently he uses the first person. Almost any speech of his will do. Would anyone challenge my assessment that this man is filled with pride?

LUST: What he does in his bedroom is none of my business. But he CLEARLY, judging by the totality of his actions in office, lusts for power. How can anyone claim he does not?

ENVY: This should be beyond dispute, what with his incessant appeals to class warfare, thereby encouraging envy among the people. Or am I mistaken?

GLUTTONY: Didn’t we just see this the other night, with Mr. Obama hitting up a restaurant that can run $200 for two people? How many times, as President, has he gone out to wine and dine in the finest of establishments, while some Americans struggle to put food on their own tables? No, he may not be morbidly obese, but it is obvious that he enjoys first-class food whenever he can get it. Tell me, how can that not be gluttony?

This is no hollow core. The man is filled, all right…with sin, vice, and evil.

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Excellent observations, Darkangel!

It’s ALWAYS a mistake to underestimate your oppenent, as Mitt Romney can testify. Obama is not an “empty suit” or stupid or ignorant. He has an agenda and pursues it by any means necessary, with whatever taqiyya placates the masses until its too late. Nothing he does is accidental, he glories in our division and delights in setting us against each other; and if he can use our own money to make his winner and loser picks manifest, so much the better, from HIS point of view…

I like the concept in Dante’s Inferno that posits when a man is steeped in sin, that divine justice will not wait until his natural death, but he is taken immediately to He!! and his earthly body given to a demon to serve out the rest of his natural days. Shame there’s no Scriptural basis for this conjecture, because it would explain our Obama very well…

Darkangel August 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Thanks. I try.

I think the GOP needs to go back and look at “The Art of War”–especially this part:

So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

The GOP does not seem to know its enemy, and is acting like it doesn’t know itself all that well. No wonder Obama beat them twice.

Ed August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

Punish your enemies and reward your friends. It’s as simple as that.

Sara B August 13, 2013 at 10:35 am

This is where investigative journalists used to pick up the slack. Some enterprising writer or blogger should go through the public records on which states have received public disaster assistance, the amount, the extent of the damage and whether the state is red or blue. Though it wouldn’t change anything the results would be enlightening and another way to show the petty, political nature of the regime.

AZ Granny August 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

Once again Arizona is treated like a bastard stepchild, but it’s no surprise of course. It’s interesting that on June 1st California submitted a FEMA request and a mere two days later FEMA issued a press release that the request had been approved. All this was before they knew how large the Powerhouse fire would become or how many homes would be lost. Eventually, it burned over 30,000 acres and destroyed 30 homes.
http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/06/03/california-receives-fema-funding-help-fight-power-house-fire-los-angeles

Contrast that to the Wallow fire in Arizona two years ago. The fire burned over 500,000 acres, destroyed 32 homes plus dozens of commercial/outbuildings and more than 6,000 people were evacuated. FEMA denied AZ any assistance.

Obama and Biden promised help to Arizona. It makes a really great photo op on the evening news. That’s all that matters to them – the photo op. The people, not so much.

Susan August 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

Fedzilla did the same thing to West, Texas where 4 firefighters were killed battling a fertilizer plant explosion. This was also after Preezy Revenge made a highly publicized visit to the area, replete with false promises to help. Of course, we Texans already know how much his promises are worth. Governor Brewer and Arizonans should also be accustomed to this regime reneging on their promises.

Mandy Manners August 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

Didn’t FCMABBHO refuse to send federal aid a few years ago after a large wildfire in Texas?

Girly1 August 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

According to an article in the AZ REPBUBLIC, only 9 homes were uninsured, three of them manufactured homes. FEMA evidentally believes AZ can take care of this on their own.
Brewer is criticized for not following through on fire-prevention measures, as outlined in the editorial. Brewer’s defense – lack of funds due to the Recession and an anemic economy

All I can say is the horrific loss 19 courageous firefighters should mean something to the Obama administration! Obama flies around the country playing politics on the taxpayer’s dime every other day of the week! Stop playing politics, dammit! Give them the money! Whatever it takes to prevent another catastrophe of this magnitude. AZ is ground zero for all of Obama’s precious illegal aliens – it drains all of their resources, I would imagine. Napolitano is slinking off to Kalifornia – too embarrassed to return to her own state. This speaks volumes.

http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20130812yarnell-hill-fire-relief-editorial.html

Girly1 August 13, 2013 at 10:42 am

…’AZ REPUBLIC”…

Otis Driftwood August 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

just more “Bumps in the Road”. Looking at this now maybe we don’t want BO driving the Bus when her goes on tour soon.

BO can promise the world to anyone, anytime, anyplace. It’s his minions who get stuck being the “bad guys”. And yes, it was all campaigning, a compassionate prezy looking at how the little people are and have suffered.

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

“Stop playing politics, dammit!” – Girly1

He is no more capable of this than he is capable of loving his country. Between his Islamic upbringing and his subsequent ultra-liberal programming, these things are beyond him, along with dignity, honesty, respect for rule of law, and compassion, to name but a few.

It’s just not in him. He is set to divide, and divide he will. The only debatable point is whether he does it of himself or if he has a patron pulling his strings…

srdem65 August 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

Right to work state, Repub governed, supported Fed laws against illegal aliens, state and cities run by fiscal conservatives, open/concealed carry laws, dared run their US Senator against Obama, voter ID laws, streets and bridges NOT crumbling, no racial riots or conflict, and no inner-city major slum district.
What’s not to hate?

AFVet August 13, 2013 at 11:01 am

Off topic, but I wanted to share this website with you folks.
http://www.onenewsnow.com
I just ran across this one last week.

Shaky Jake August 13, 2013 at 11:12 am

Why is it that the true heros of this country are abandoned by the administration? These brave firefighters, the Benghazi 4, the Afghan translator who saved many, many lives fighting with medal of honor winner Dakota Meyer, the brave Pakistani Doctor who gave us Bin Laden.

All tossed away by this administration while hundreds of Mexicans gain entry into our country through a loop hole in our immigration policies. WTF?

Mandy Manners August 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

“Why is it that the true heros of this country are abandoned by the administration? These brave firefighters, the Benghazi 4, the Afghan translator who saved many, many lives fighting with medal of honor winner Dakota Meyer, the brave Pakistani Doctor who gave us Bin Laden.”

FCMABBHO knows he pales in comparison to such men. At the heart of a narcissist is a little voice constantly telling him how small and insignificant he truly is.

AFVet August 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Allow me to add the troops at Ft. Hood.

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Besides, now that they’re dead, those heros are all reliably Democrat voters, and therefore do not need to be pandered to further…

AFVet August 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

But their parents aren’t.

just-saying August 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

Sorry now, but Brewer made her bed with Obummer a few weeks back.
.

ol gator August 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm

The facts are that mr ovomitt spewed more campaign/promise rhetoric & did NOT follow thru…just as he probably promises his wife he’ll quit smoking & spend more time with the family as he continually slithers off to another round of golf etc., kool menthol cigs & foul language… nice

Elaine August 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

Just an ugly reminder that as dependence on the federal taxpayer has continued to increase by the states, their Constitutional rights are being eroded to the point of non-existance.

sportinlife10 August 13, 2013 at 11:53 am

AND it’s not just constitutional rights, it’s also our $$, not Washington’s, not the o’s. He uses our money to punish his “enemies”, i.e. anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him.
He’s a thin-skinned hubristic would-be prince.

gracepmc August 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

If the dead were illegal immigrants the federal money would have been delivered personally by John McCain.

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

“No WAY Obama could be this petty and vindictive!” thought no one, ever…

TimW August 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

These are two of Obama’s biggest character flaws (among many). As some TV news talking head (now dissapeared)once said of Obama, “He’s just a dick”.

One of the biggest and scariest issues with Obama is that every single mentor that he has had from the cradle to adulthood was a communist, marxist, or socialist anti American radical. Every single one. When you view Obama throgh the lens of Jeramiah Write and Bill Ayers, everything he does makes sense.

Obama hates America to its core so its no surprise that he is going to punish Red states by denying federal aid. Particularly a state with an uppity redneck Governor who insulted his holyness.

movedtothefarm August 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

“FEMA said it denied Arizona’s request for aid because not enough uninsured individuals were victims of the conflagration.”
Disgusting!

Did Colorado get FEMA aid for their wildfire this year or last year?

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

““FEMA said it denied Arizona’s request for aid because not enough uninsured individuals were victims of the conflagration.”

It is also well known that THIS Government only rewards irresponsibility. People who take care of their OWN business and do the right thing with insurance are anathema to the concept of a paternalistic, all-powerful Government, anyway…

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm

“McCain said that he and Obama “trust each other.”

Still trustin’ John? Based on what, if so?

“White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, among the Obama advisers who speak regularly with McCain, praised the lawmaker as a “refreshing” partner who “welcomes a debate and welcomes action.”

How about YOU, Mr. McCain? Welcoming THIS action?

What do you have to say for your best bud now?

You danced with the devil and now your reaping Specter’s wages, John. Please take this opportunity to admit you were bamboozled yet again, and leave the stage gracefully. At best, you are outmatched by Obama. Time to make room for someone who will stand AGAINST him, or at LEAST not attack those that do…

cincycinco August 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm
OldmanRick August 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Obama bloviates, pontificates, and lies in public then leaves the dirty work of backroom cleanup to his trolls.

veritaseequitas August 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Perfect reason why taxes should be collected by the states and then dished out to the feds, not the other way around.

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