Ten years after the fact, Texans perhaps should take stock of a time when our state stood tall as our neighbors fled a savage onslaught.
Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 Louisiana residents and drove many thousands more than that from their homes. And of those thousands who were displaced, many of them came to Texas.
Most found refuge downstate. Some came to the High Plains.
As Erica Greider writes in her Texas Monthly blog, the manner in which Texas responded to the crisis provided the state with one of its shining moments.
Greider writes: “… Texas’s response to Katrina has to count as one of our state’s finest moments. We saw real leadership from people like Rick Perry, then the governor, and Bill White, then the mayor of Houston, among many others, and real graciousness on the part of millions of Texans, who welcomed so many neighbors at their time of need. I’d like to think that’s who we are. And I’d like to think it’s a good reminder for us today, since 10 years later we have the flaring tempers and frayed nerves without the proximate cause of a historic natural disaster: when people work together, progress is possible.”
Here’s the blog post
Amarillo responded well during that time. We set up emergency quarters for the residents who came here. We gave them shelter, food, medical care, counseling services and placement advice as they sought to collect themselves after having their lives shattered by the storm’s wrath.
It’s good that we don’t have to respond in such a fashion all that often. But when we do, it’s also good to know we are able and willing to answer the call for help.
Joni Ernst is staking out an interesting — but not unprecedented — tactic in her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Iowa.
The Republican is forgoing interviews with major Iowa newspaper editorial boards. Media observers in the Hawkeye State are wondering whether she’s afraid of being questioned by the editorial boards. She’s canceling interview appointments left and right.
Her opponent, Democrat Bruce Braley, is meeting with them, hoping — I can assume — to gather up newspaper endorsements.
Do you remember when Gov.Rick Perry kissed off newspaper endorsements in 2010 when he was running for re-election in Texas? He stiffed newspaper editorial boards all over the state. He was quite clear: I don’t need no stinkin’ editorial endorsements; I’m going to “talk directly” to Texans.
Texas newspaper editors and publishers took the snub personally, with most of them endorsing his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White. The paper where I worked at the time, the Amarillo Globe-News, followed suit. We backed White and when we did, you’d have thought Planet Earth had just spun off its axis. The reaction from our deeply Republican readers in the heart of the Texas Panhandle was ferocious.
Not to fear, Perry’s handlers reckoned — correctly, I should add.
The governor was re-elected handily four years ago with a 13 percent victory over White.
I figure, though, that Perry knows Texas voters as well as any politician who’s ever held public office.
Does Joni Ernst know Iowans as well? We’ll find out in about 12 days.