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September 08, 2011 06:12 PM UTC

"All Of Texas Is Burning"

  • by: Colorado Pols

We expect that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will avoid former Colorado Gov. (and fellow Texan) Bill Owens’ infamous exaggeration of Colorado wildfires at the height of tourism season a few years ago. But the unfolding story of the latest tragic wildfires in Texas could very well go political, as the Los Angeles Times reports:

President Obama called Perry to assure the governor that requests for additional assistance would be quickly assessed, the White House said. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency were in Texas preparing financial assessments to help pay the cost of fighting the fires.

It is unclear what the federal government’s share of the cost will be. In the last week, FEMA agreed to cover 75% of the expenses of fighting eight fires across the state.

The Texas Forest Service has been spending about $1.5 million a day on fighting the fires this week, agency spokesman Gary Lacox said. That does not include spending by local fire districts and volunteer fire departments…

Texas fire district funding is capped by the state at 10 cents per $100 valuation in property taxes. Linardos said that in Lake Tahoe, Nev., where he served as fire chief, he had five times the funding. State Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, has proposed doubling the state funding cap.

Volunteer fire departments, which cover much of the state, have also faced a 75% state budget cut this year under Perry and the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Perry had not taken a position on whether to increase the cap on funding fire districts. She defended the budget cuts to volunteer departments…

It’s a lot like Medicare. Or Colorado Springs shutting off the streetlights. Slashing budgets with pride and fanfare is popular…until it’s your house burning down.

On the upside, we know where Eric Cantor can start with those “matching cuts” for disaster relief, don’t we? Texas gets a lot of federal dollars, folks. Embrace the “crisitunity!”


11 thoughts on ““All Of Texas Is Burning”

  1. That’s why they threw the GOP out of El Paso County, right? The streetlights!

    Sorry to break it to you, but the streetlights are back on, and they’re still voting Republican in El Paso. Not one dime more than needed is a good philosophy, and the voters know it.

    1. … when the threat comes from nonwhites (black/latino criminal defendants in Texas, middle-eastern terrorists). When the threat comes from whites (hick militiamen whom conservatives want to remain super-well-armed) or natural causes (fires, etc.), Republicans could give a rat’s ass.

  2. I think the blow back from his statement on holding hurricane victims hostage to cuts in return for any aid we give them has gotten to him.  Probabaly along with angry calls and e-mails from his own voters?  Anyway, here’s the new post debt ceiling hostage taking Eric, the one who perhaps is rethinking his role as hostage taker in chief of the Republican caucus?

    “We’ve been about cut and grow. The fact is for the last eight months plus, we’ve been about cuts,” he said. “That’s why it is imperative that all of us join together [and] work with the president (my emphasis)to see how we can grow this economy.”

    And Obama hasn’t even given the speech yet.


  3. It’s obvious that the firefighting departments didn’t and don’t need the money.  And so Rick Perry – would-be (and apparent) standard-bearer of the Republican Party – and his Republican buddies in the Texas Lege cut millions from local fire department budgets and the state forest service during one of the driest years in Texas history.

    Stunning insight into just how many dimes are needed.

  4. First off, if you aren’t reading Juanita Jean every day, you are really missing out!

    She ran this yesterday, about the fires in Texas.

    “On a serious note, I need your help.

    I need you to sit down right now and put a dollar in an envelope and send it to my beloved friend Barbara who is the Democratic Party Chairman in Bastrop County, Texas.  If you want to send a check and get a tax deduction, make it  out to Bastrop County Ministerial Alliance (BCMA).

    Several of Barbara’s good Democrats lost their homes.  At least one, if not more, Democratic precinct chairs lost everything.   One dollar says you care.  Please put a note with your dollar saying that you are a Democrat and you appreciate what she’s doing.

    One damn dollar, people.  Dammit, I don’t ask you for much.  I don’t even have one of those damn tip jars on my website.  It’s a dollar for a Democrat.  I know you have a dollar.  If you have more than one dollar, send it.

    Mail it to:

    Barbara Nichols

    1485 Watterson

    Red Rock, TX 78662 “

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