Obama Taps Craig Fugate as New FEMA Chief
Though appointed by Republican Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, and continued his employment under Republican, Governor Charlie Crist, Craig Fugate, Florida’s top emergency manager has been named by Obama as his choice for FEMA director.
In October 2001, Fugate was appointed the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management by Gov. Bush. After the events of 9/11, the division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The program has since been recognized as a model for other states.
After Hurricane Katrina, Fugate said there was too much focus on blaming the federal government for the botched response. He said in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press that it was the state’s responsibility to prepare for such disasters, and the state should only turn to the federal government for help when the disaster is larger than the state can handle on its own.
This statement by Fugate is promising, providing he maintains that sentiment and isn’t sucked into the “big government, cradle to the grave” mentality that apparently overrides the previous good sense of so many others who come to work within the Beltway.