murfmurphy said: I'm just saying if he took the steps to refuse federal funds then he has better reasons than the fact that he doesn't like the federal government. I'm also saying that he has to have some other plan in effect that would necessitate his refusal of federal assistance. It would be completely assinine to to refuse the funds, and then have nothing in place to ensure that he made the right choice. It would be career suicide to not have something in place to ensure that these people were not suffering.
(I'm a pragmatist, not a democrat BTW)
I've been trying to figure out a consistent reason for this refusal (either ideological, operationally, or for any other reason) all afternoon and I cannot think of one that makes any sense at all.
Granted this is not a huge disaster (on the scale of disasters) but the situation gives me pause.
First, I think you put WAY more faith in state gov than I do. He has not stated any particular reason for this decision, other than his opinion. Nor stated any grand plans or announced how he's shifting the state budget to deal with the bill the state and county EMAs and other local agencies will be racking up on this.
The refusal thus far was (from what I have gleaned) to even have FEMA do a preliminary need assessment to determine whether the help is needed or not.
That's a really basic first step. If FEMA came in and did their need assessment and it turns out that we really don't need any yelp then it's "yeah you guys got this, we're outta here" then no harm no foul, nothing has changed. Keep in mind this is not an "OHIO VS THE FEDS" jurisdiction fight here, the local agencies and FEMA generally have a reasonable working relationship.
However, the local agencies (cited in the news report) have said that they're possibly going to need FEMA's help (for longer term housing IIRC), so more likely the needs assessment would have led them to allocate resources for possible future need WHEN REQUESTED and authorized the area simply to be declared a disaster area. Even that simple declaration can change the situation for some people with regards to insurance claims and what not.
But, now if the local agencies decide the citizens need additional resources there will be a delay while FEMA conducts a (rushed) assessment and a farther delay to (rush) allocating resources. Meanwhile people on site are just that much more stuck for no good reason other than... an inexpert opinion?
That seemed farfetched to me.
So... examining motive...
Since K does not state an over-riding reason for this refusal other than his opinion on the needs of the local agencies, one can only assume one of 3 possibilities has happened.
A) He does not know how the process is supposed to work. I.e. FEMA stands ready to assist if needed because their assessment was done from the start. Rookie mistake perhaps? Which means its a good thing this was fairly small.
B) He assumes he or (more likely) his advisers, know more about whats going on than even the local officials dealing with the situation who DO say they're likely to need additional aid on this. This is worrisome!
c) He did this on purely ideological reasons. This option doesn't really make much sense (politically) for a conservative governor either!
As a budget-hawk Governor its the state budget the governor is supposed to be watching NOT the federal FEMA budget. From that standpoint it makes no sense to shift ANY burden onto the very tight state budget that could be shifted elsewhere. Even from a strictly conservative viewpoint of trying to save the feds money it makes little sense because the amount of money FEMA would have spent on that assessment is very very small.
It's only from a hardcore libertarian standpoint (refusing any federal assistance) does it make any sense, but even a lot of (but not all) libertarians recognize disaster relief for citizens is a reasonable function of federal government. So this is just confusing. If one is trying to "pander" one generally doesn't pander to such a small population as to be electorally insignificant.
so we're left to pick one of those possibilities. I can't see any other possibilities and none of those is exactly complementary. A is based on ignorance/inexperience, B is based on incompetence, and C is strictly ideological in a way that doesn't actually make any sense at all.
The thing is...
The refusal doesn't help the state budget, it doesn't help OEMA or FEMA, it does NOT reduce the federal deficit. it certainly doesn't help the people in the disaster areas. It doesn't help taxpayers, it doesn't help ANYONE... Nobody gains from this!
K stands to gain virtually NOTHING from this refusal unless the motivation is C and he's trying to pander to what is a VERY small subset of libertarians/teabaggers, which makes no sense at all simply because of the numbers involved (budgetary or electorally). He gains very little and is more likely to come out looking poorly to most people.
Therefore I can only conclude that the motivation is either A, B or a really knee-jerk version of C. I say "knee-jerk" because I think if he had actually thought about it instead of reacting on impulse he would not have done this and had to change his mind later!