As the administration struggles to counter negative national perceptions about its response, Vice President Dick Cheney defended the administration's FEMA appointees in remarks to reporters Thursday.
"You've got to have people at the top who respond to and are selected by presidents, and you pick the best people you can to do the jobs that need to be done," Cheney said while touring the stricken Gulf Coast. "We've also got some great career professionals, an absolute and vital part of the operation — couldn't do it without them."
But Democrats in Congress have attacked Brown and other top FEMA appointees.
"FEMA is an important agency and needs to be run by professionals, not political cronies," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), the ranking minority member of the Committee on Government Reform.
More than a year before the hurricane hit New Orleans, the head of a labor union representing FEMA workers sent a letter to members of Congress charging that "emergency managers at FEMA have been supplanted on the job by politically connected contractors and by novice employees with little background or knowledge" of disaster management.
"As … professionalism diminishes, FEMA is gradually losing its ability to function and to help disaster victims," the letter said.
People appointed to run domestic government agencies frequently have political connections. But for many top positions, some relevant background is required as well.
Paul Light, a professor of organizational studies at New York University who has testified before Congress on FEMA's role in the Department of Homeland Security, said that for years, FEMA was a dumping ground for the politically connected.
But during the Clinton years, Light said, FEMA Director James Lee Witt "built a serious hierarchy around expertise. Somewhere along the line, FEMA has returned to being a destination of last resort for political appointees."
Brown, a career attorney who was active in Republican Party politics, was hired to be FEMA's general counsel by Joe Allbaugh, an old friend and the agency's first director under Bush. Before FEMA, Brown had worked for nearly a decade at the International Arabian Horse Assn. His responsibilities included supervising horse show judges.
Allbaugh — a longtime aide to Bush who had managed his 2000 campaign — resigned as FEMA director in 2003 and opened a consulting firm that helped companies win contracts in Iraq. Brown, who had risen to become Allbaugh's top deputy, took charge.
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), a strong critic of Brown's even before Katrina, wants him removed.
"When you're dealing with responding to a natural disaster, it's hard to do your job when you have no experience or background," said Lale Mamaux, Wexler's spokeswoman.
Brown is not the only official who came to the agency with scant disaster management background. His acting deputy director, Patrick James Rhode, began his professional career as an "anchor/reporter with network-affiliated television stations in Alabama and Arkansas," according to his resume on FEMA's website.
Rhode later did public relations work for several state agencies in Texas before becoming deputy director of national advance operations for Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. Before moving to FEMA in 2003, Rhode served as a special assistant to the president and White House liaison with the Commerce Department. He donated $2,000 to Bush's 2004 campaign.
Daniel Craig, director of FEMA's Recovery Division since October 2003, "is responsible for planning and executing the federal government's recovery efforts following major disasters," according to the FEMA website.
Before coming to FEMA — he became a regional director based in Boston in 2001 — he worked for the Eastern Regional Office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he "was responsible for Chamber-related legislative, political, and media initiatives in New England and the Atlantic coast," the website says. Craig previously worked as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn., and before that as a campaign advisor, political fundraiser and research analyst.
Both Allbaugh and Brown were Oklahoma natives involved in that state's Republican politics. FEMA's acting deputy chief of staff, Brooks Altshuler, also hails from Oklahoma. And like Rhode, Altshuler was an advance man for Bush.
Altshuler was a minor donor to the GOP in 2004, giving $250 to the Bush campaign and another $250 to the Republican National Committee. His father, Geoffrey, has donated $750 to Rep. Ernest J. Istook (R-Okla.) and in 2002 hosted a fundraiser for Oklahoma Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe at his home, according to campaign records and Inhofe's website.
Scott R. Morris, who held Altshuler's job until May and now is a FEMA official in Florida, had been a GOP activist as far back as the 1996 presidential campaign of former Sen. Bob Dole, when he handled grass-roots activities and media strategies.
He later served as "a media strategist for the George W. Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign," according to his resume. Morris donated $2,250 to Bush's 2004 reelection campaign.
Morris' private sector career includes a stint as "marketing director for the world's leading provider of e-business applications software in California," his resume states.
Natalie Rule, a FEMA spokeswoman, said Brown had received "on-the-job training" in dealing with more than 200 presidentially declared disasters since coming to the agency. Brown gained important background as assistant city manager for Edmond, Okla., and as chairman of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, where he handled issues such as contingency planning and police negotiations, Rule said.
Rule said other top FEMA appointees whose qualifications have been challenged also brought skills to the table. For example, both Rhode and Altshuler had logistics backgrounds from their work on Bush's advance team.
In June 2004, Local 4060 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents FEMA workers, wrote to members of Congress to warn about alleged cronyism at the agency. The letter said the practice initially "took place mainly at the senior levels of FEMA, but it has now entered into the mid-level and working-level" of FEMA.
"The ability of FEMA to manage emergencies and disasters is being seriously eroded," the letter said.
Survey: Civilian employees' pay growth outpaces that of contractors
By Amelia Gruber
An annual survey of Capital-region salaries published Thursday indicates that civil servants on average saw a larger pay increase from 2004 to 2005 than government contractors.
Contractors canvassed by the Professional Services Council, an Arlington, Va., industry group, and the Human Resources Association of the National Capital Area, earned 3.5 percent more in April 2005 than they had the previous year, while federal employees at civilian agencies earned 4.6 percent more. The average civil servant earned 1.3 percent more than the typical contractor in 2005, the survey showed.
But when the salaries were broken down to look at executive positions, contractors earned 36.5 percent more than their counterparts at federal agencies. This difference can be attributed to pay caps on federal salaries, according to the Professional Services Council.
Of 101 job categories, 82 saw a decrease contractors' salaries from 2004 to 2005 and 19 saw an increase. Those included positions in information technology and other areas where contractors are expected to provide more sophisticated support to government customers, PSC concluded.
The survey was intended to keep abreast of trends in salaries, and PSC is not making any policy conclusions or recommendations based on the results, said Stephanie Starkey, a spokeswoman. This is the 26th annual report on Capital region salaries but it is only the second year that statistics have been collected specifically for government contractors - defined as firms that earn more than half of their revenues from the government.
The data on contractor salaries is based on responses from 92 companies, which reported pay information for 19,910 employees. The responses were voluntary but provide the "most comprehensive" look at compensation available, said Alan Chvotkin, senior vice president for PSC.
The average federal salaries that Chvotkin used for comparison are based on Office of Personnel Management statistics for civilian jobs.
The survey results are not particularly surprising, said Jacque Simon, public policy director for the American Federation of Government Employees. "One of the best things about the government as an employer has been its pay system's recognition that everyone deserves a decent standard of living, and everyone deserves a fair share of the benefits of our nation's increased prosperity," she said.
"AFGE has always said that contracting out is not about saving money, it is about moving money," Simon said. "It moves money out of the paychecks of the rank-and-file employees who actually do the government's work, and hands it over to the well-connected profiteers in executive suites."
Simon added that she questions the objectivity of a survey conducted by a contractor group.
Command-union partnership meeting yields results
Blackanthem.com, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, September 08, 2005
Senior members of the Air Force Materiel Command and the American Federation of Government Employees Council 214 gathered at AFMC headquarters Aug. 17 for the Annual Joint National Labor-Management Meeting to discuss issues facing the civilian work force.
Led by Gen. Gregory S. Martin, former AFMC commander who retired Aug. 19, and Mr. John Gage, AFGE AFL-CIO national president, the AFMC-AFGE Council 214 Partnership Council met to review the progress of its goals and objectives since meeting last year, provide information on topical issues and lay the foundation for future goals and expectations.
While the Partnership Council is composed of five labor and five management members, other attendees at this meeting included HQ AFMC directors, senior representatives of centers and wings from throughout the command, AFGE local presidents and AFGE Council 214 officers.
In reviewing the council's accomplishments over the past year, both parties' representatives were pleased.
"This last year has been most rewarding and gratifying to see some of the initiatives we talked about last year actually begin to bear fruit," General Martin said. "There's probably nothing better in life than to have two people who could argue agree to do something and then have it work out."
"It is so refreshing to work practically rather than philosophically," Mr. Gage said.
Leif E. Peterson, deputy director, AFMC Civilian Personnel directorate, and Scott Blanch, AFGE Council 214 President and Partnership Council co-chair, updated the gathering on the council's most recent accomplishments.
"The Partnership Council focuses on command-wide issues," Mr. Peterson said. "For instance, we rolled over the Master Labor Agreement for an additional three years. As things change, as they develop, we work on them together. It is a good testimony to the trust we have on both sides."
While the partnership closed nearly 30 of 40 action items since its meeting in 2004, it has a list of on-going interests for the upcoming year. Mr. Blanch reviewed the list, including computer access and training for the blue-collar work force, improvements on the civilian work force recognition program, Partnership Principles Awareness training, Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, fitness, wellness and wingman culture. Certain initiatives have progressed further than others-for instance, the ability of an AFMC commander to award civilian goal days in recognition of work performance; the success of ADR, in which AFMC leads the Air Force in its attempt rate, and authorizing the command's civilian Airmen three duty hours weekly to devote to physical fitness.
The meeting also included briefings on AFMC's financial challenges and wingman culture, as well as Base Realignment and Closure, and the National Security Personnel System.
During the meeting, Barbara A. Westgate, AFMC executive director and incoming Council co-chair, and Mr. Blanch presented the AFMC-AFGE Local Partnership Council Best Practice Award. This award recognizes the achievements of labor-management partnership councils at the local level within the Command and covered by AFGE Council 214. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork and cooperation, and inspires the continual building of trust, respect and sharing of common interests between the parties. The criteria for receiving the award were effective labor-management strategic planning, significant results and accomplishments, as well as overcoming barriers and struggles. The Eglin Air Force Base Complex Local Partnership Council, Fla., was the winner.
Mrs. Westgate assumed her Partnership Management co-chair duties from Robert J. Conner, who recently left AFMC's executive director position to become director of the Oklahoma Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Okla.
AFMC/AFGE C-214 Partnership Council
Labor and Management Working Together... Creating and Sustaining an Environment to Take Care of Our People... So They Can Take Care of the Mission
To Develop and Advocate the Means to Fully Implement Our Labor Management Partnership Principles to Make AFMC an Exciting, Productive and Rewarding Place for Our People to Live and Work
- Promote Labor/Management Partnership at All Levels
- Operate to Enhance Quality of Work Life and Work Process Efficiencies
- Foster a Relationship That is Collaborative Rather Than Confrontational
By Kathleen A.K. Lopez
Air Force Materiel Command News Service
Advocates for fort file appeal with circuit court
Seek to overturn dismissal of BRAC suit
BY SUE M. MORGAN
A contingent of area legislators and Fort Mon-mouth supporters plan to appeal a federal judge’s decision against hearing the lawsuit they have filed to spare the local U.S. Army base from shutdown by the Pentagon.
The appeal of Tuesday night’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Mary Cooper was to be filed in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia as of yesterday, according to Westfield attorney Frank G. Capece, one of two co-counsels representing U.S. Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.) and numerous other plaintiffs in the suit initially filed in federal court in Trenton last Friday.
Corzine, the Democratic candidate in this year’s gubernatorial race and the lead plaintiff in the suit against the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, has asked the attorneys to “pursue every possible procedural aspect” in the latest attempt to block the fort’s closing, Capece said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
In the meantime, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) as well as spokespersons for both Corzine and for U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) confirmed that an appeal of Cooper’s decision will be filed to show that the case against BRAC and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld should indeed be heard in a federal courtroom.
“Judge Cooper dismissed the suit, but we are appealing it in the Third Circuit [Court of Appeals] in Philadelphia tomorrow,” said David Wald, Corzine’s spokesman, in an interview on Wednesday.
“We are definitely appealing,” said Patrick Eddington, Holt’s communications director.
All of the named plaintiffs, which also include U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-4), three area mayors, members of the Patriots’ Alliance, an advocacy group of military contractors, Fort Monmouth union leaders, and the relatives of two active-duty servicemen, will pursue the appeal, according to Pallone.
At press time, Capece indicated that he did not know when the appeal court might hear the case. He referred that question to his co-counsel in the suit, Eugene LaVergne, of Asbury Park.
LaVergne could not be reached for comment at press time.
Late Tuesday night, Cooper ruled that federal courts do not have jurisdiction over BRAC decisions such as the one which authorized the Pentagon to close Fort Monmouth and transfer the bulk of its missions to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
“[Cooper’s] argument was that the federal court would never hear a case involving the BRAC process,” said Pallone who, with Holt, co-chairs the Save Our Fort Committee, a local Fort Monmouth advocacy group.
Pallone pointed to a decision rendered last week by the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania involving the Air National Guard, which showed that a federal court does have jurisdiction over a BRAC commission decision.
That lawsuit, filed by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, has found its way to a federal courtroom, setting a precedent for other legislators seeking to overturn a BRAC decision, Pallone explained.
In short, the appeals court will either send the Fort Monmouth case back to a federal courtroom or choose to hear testimony itself, Pallone said.
The suit, known as “Corzine v. 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commission,” charges the nine-member BRAC group and Rumsfeld violated the criteria set by Congress earlier this year that establishes the standards for choosing a particular military installation for shutdown or restructuring.
By selecting Fort Monmouth for closure, Rumsfeld violated six of the eight criteria established in the 2005 BRAC Act passed by Congress, according to the plaintiffs, and detailed in a statement issued by Corzine.
Those criteria, which include an evaluation of the installation’s “military value” and ability to “cross-service” multiple branches of the armed forces, are the guidelines used to decide whether or not a given base should remain open, close down, or be expanded or downsized.
The plaintiffs also charge that the BRAC commission failed to act as an oversight board when it voted to allow the Pentagon to close Fort Monmouth and relocate its missions regardless of testimony presented in hearings on the plan showing that the criteria mandated by Congress were violated.
That point will probably be pressed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys when the suit comes before the appeals court, Pallone noted.
“We think that there is another line of appeal because there was a variance [by the Pentagon] from their own procedures,” Pallone said.
Mayors Gerald Tarantolo, Maria Gatta and Suzanne Castleman, of Eatontown, Oceanport and Little Silver, respectively, who also serve on the Save Our Fort Committee, are also named as plaintiffs.
The three mayors lead municipalities that either host a portion of, or border, the more than 1,100-acre base.
When the BRAC commission rendered its decision on Fort Monmouth, it did so on the condition that Rumsfeld could certify to a Congressional oversight committee that ongoing military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be negatively impacted by the shutdown and transfer to Aberdeen.
That condition has left open a “window of opportunity” and prompted the mayors to participate in the lawsuit, Tarantolo said.
“The Save The Fort Committee and our congressmen feel we should take advantage of the opportunity to challenge the Department of Defense and BRAC in their judgment,” he said.
Other plaintiffs include Frank C. Muzzi and S. Thomas Gagliano, co-chairs of the Patriots Alliance, a group of Fort Monmouth military contractors working on post, and fellow Alliance member Robert Giordano.
The Pentagon also seems to have ignored research conducted by the alliance that shows that relocating Fort Monmouth’s research and development functions will cost $1.5 million more than what the Department of Defense has calculated, Muzzi said.
“Our concern is for the warfighter and for the future of Fort Monmouth,” said Muzzi, explaining his organization’s part in the suit.
“We’re exhausting everything out there,” he continued. “We owe that to the men and women who are fighting in Iraq.”
The other named plaintiffs, according to Corzine’s office, are Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; John Poitros, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1904; and two relatives of servicemen now serving in Iraq.
The list of military bases recommended for shutdown or restructuring by the Pentagon and confirmed last month by the BRAC commission was due to be submitted to President George W. Bush for his review yesterday.
Bush is then expected to either accept or reject those recommendations on an all-or-nothing basis by Sept. 23. If he accepts them, they are forwarded to Congress for an up or down vote within 45 days or by sometime in November.
If the president rejects the list, it is returned to the BRAC commission for revisions.
Under the Pentagon’s plan in the current BRAC round, Fort Monmouth’s more than 5,000 civilian workers and 467 military personnel would move to Aberdeen and other bases elsewhere in Maryland and Ohio within two to six years.
Lawmakers hold off on endorsing EEOC reorganization
By Amelia Gruber
A House appropriations subcommittee leader is waiting to approve the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission's recently unveiled restructuring plan until he sees the results of a Government Accountability Office study.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary, is withholding an opinion on the civil rights enforcement agency's reorganization efforts until he looks over GAO's assessment, said Dan Scandling, a spokesman. The auditors' report - requested earlier this year - is due out shortly, he said.
The GAO review could very well indicate that the EEOC is on the right track, Scandling said. "But let's not make any decision until the [GAO] review is completed," he added.
EEOC commissioners approved a final reorganization proposal in July and alerted House appropriations subcommittee members by sending them a "reprogramming request." It outlines the agency's plans for thinning management layers at field offices and placing a greater emphasis on investigations, mediation, litigation, outreach and other front-line work.
Senators also have proven reluctant to sanction the EEOC's plan without seeing the GAO report. On July 30, Senate Democrats sent a letter to the agency expressing concerns that the planned changes could wear the agency's ranks of regional attorneys and managers too thin, resulting in a decline in the number of charges referred for litigation.
The senators encouraged further research on the plan's possible implications.
"I think it makes a lot of sense to wait for the GAO report," said Gabrielle Martin, president of American Federation of Government Employees National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216. "From my perspective, they should have waited and had all the people involved. We might have had a whole lot less controversy had they done [that]."
Union officials have been wary of the reorganization effort from the beginning, and recently have argued that the final proposal fails to address what they see as the agency's most pressing problem: understaffing. They also have said that they have yet to receive statistics that support the planned downgrading of eight district offices headed by senior executives or GS-15-level regional attorneys to field offices directed by GS-15 managers or GS-14-level supervisory trial attorneys.
Wolf's actions will force EEOC officials to take a "more holistic view" of the restructuring effort and to gather more opinions before proceeding, Martin said.
But EEOC spokesman Charles Robbins said that the restructuring drive has been "very collegial" and will continue to be so. "We have been working closely with members of Congress and their staffs since before the plan was announced, and we've been meeting with them and their staffs to address any concerns," he said.
EEOC officials also have helped GAO with its review, Robbins said, adding that the report is "imminent." He declined to say whether, or how, the report could influence the agency's plans, which have already been voted on and approved by the commission.
[CC]=Derived from Closed Captioning; I=Interview; GR=Graphic; PC=Press Conference; R=Reader; SI=Studio Interview; T=Teaser; TZ=Teased Segment; V=Visual
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOY
09/08 to 09/08
1. Eyewitness News DMA: 6
KPIX-TV CH 5 (CBS) San Francisco
09/08/2005 06:00 AM - 07:00 AM
Available formats: QuickView, DVD, CD, digital link, videotape, transcript, NewsBoard
00:03:29 FEMA investigation: FEMA investigation by joint bipartisan panel on how federal government handled the Hurricane Katrina disaster. PC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) House Minority Leader, said to President he needed to fire Michael Brown, he’s oblivious in denial and dangerous. PC: Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, we’re going to focus on helping people. FEMA employee tells CBS 5 that many of his co-workers were frustrated that nothing was happening in days after hurricane hit. Bosner FEMA Worker and Union Leader. Phone I; Leo Bosner, AFGE Local 4060 President, we all knew this ahead of time and we were expecting to see some massive effort from the White House to do something... GR; our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors... Source: AFGE Local 4060 Union letter to Congress more than a year ago. 00:05:38
00:33:25 TZ; FEMA investigation: Recap. FEMA investigation by joint bipartisan panel on how federal government handled the Hurricane Katrina disaster. PC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) House Minority Leader, said to President he needed to fire Michael Brown, he’s oblivious in denial and dangerous. PC: Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, we’re going to focus on helping people. FEMA employee tells CBS 5 that many of his co-workers were frustrated that nothing was happening in days after hurricane hit. Bosner FEMA Worker and Union Leader. Phone I; Leo Bosner, AFGE Local 4060 President, we all knew this ahead of time and we were expecting to see some massive effort from the White House to do something... GR; our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors... Source: AFGE Local 4060 Union letter to Congress more than a year ago. 00:35:26
2. Eyewitness News DMA: 6
KPIX-TV CH 5 (CBS) San Francisco
09/08/2005 05:00 AM - 06:00 AM
Available formats: QuickView, DVD, CD, digital link, videotape, transcript, NewsBoard
00:03:08 TZ; FEMA Investigation: FEMA investigation by joint bipartisan panel on how federal government handled the Hurricane Katrina disaster. PC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) House Minority Leader, said to President he needed to fire Michael Brown, he’s oblivious in denial and dangerous. PC: Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, we’re going to focus on helping people. FEMA employee tells CBS 5 that many of his co-workers were frustrated that nothing was happening in days after hurricane hit. Bosner FEMA Worker and Union Leader. Phone I; Leo Bosner, AFGE Local 4060 President, we all knew this ahead of time and we were expecting to see some massive effort from the White House to do something... GR; our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors... Source: AFGE Local 4060 Union letter to Congress more than a year ago. 00:05:14
00:33:10 TZ; FEMA investigation: Recap. FEMA investigation by joint bipartisan panel on how federal government handled the Hurricane Katrina disaster. PC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) House Minority Leader, said to President he needed to fire Michael Brown, he’s oblivious in denial and dangerous. PC: Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, we’re going to focus on helping people. FEMA employee tells CBS 5 that many of his co-workers were frustrated that nothing was happening in days after hurricane hit. Bosner FEMA Worker and Union Leader. Phone I; Leo Bosner, AFGE Local 4060 President, we all knew this ahead of time and we were expecting to see some massive effort from the White House to do something... GR; our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors... Source: AFGE Local 4060 Union letter to Congress more than a year ago. 00:35:12
3. Channel 5 Eyewitness News DMA: 6
KPIX-TV CH 5 (CBS) San Francisco
09/07/2005 11:00 PM - 11:35 PM
Available formats: QuickView, DVD, CD, digital link, videotape, transcript, NewsBoard
00:00:01 Federal Response: An employee inside FEMA says its response was inadequate. PC; Representative Nancy Pelosi, the President asked what did go right last week, oblivious, in denial, dangerous. SB; Bush, Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job. Phone I; Leo Bosner, FEMA employee, nothing was happening and we felt horrible. V; disaster area. V; FEMA’s response agency. V; Leo Bosner. Phone I; Bosner, we were waiting for action and the action didn’t come. SB; Bosner, we knew this ahead of time and we expected the White House to do something. SB; American Federation of Government Employees letter, professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices. SB; Bosner, it’s been by people who have political connections and don’t know what they’re doing. V; Chertoff. SB; Bosner, is not going to call a field operator for Chertoff’s press conference. Anna Werner reporting. 00:03:39
4. WWJ Newswatch DMA: 10
WWJ-AM 950 (CBS) Detroit
09/05/2005 08:00 AM - 09:00 AM
00:51:14 > CBS Update. Bush, Roberts recap. > Roberts, Bush recap. > New Orleans police commander, fears 20,000 dead. > Hurricane Katrina recap. > Tokyo up. > Feldman Report/Murray Feldman, Fox 2 News. Voice of America, outsourced to Hong Kong, to save money. Organized labor, congress upset. Congress established Voice of America. American Federation of Gov employees, represent workers. 00:54:34