During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office I’d never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: ‘Well, I’m the Sheriff and if you don’t like it you can come and arrest me!’ I asked him: ‘Sheriff, what’s got you so mad?’ He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go – when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn’t go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, ‘Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.’ And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: ‘Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!’ Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.
What’s the gotcha from TPM? That the visit didn’t occur the day after Katrina but a few days after Katrina.
Yup, some gotcha.
But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone “days later.” The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.
Oh, here is the Sheriff in his own words describing the help Jindal gave to him:
I can tell you first hand that with Hurricane Katrina, the day after, Bobby was in my office and said “what do you need?” And it wasn’t phone calls, he was in my office.”
Pathetic libs….just pathetic.
Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said Jindal appeared at the sheriff’s offices on the east and west banks several times in the days after the storm. The boat rescue holdup by federal response officials did occur initially as citizens brought their watercraft to a staging area in Jefferson Parish, he said. But the problem was resolved and the great majority of boats were deployed to the flooded areas of New Orleans later that day.
Teepell, who after the storm drove with Jindal to visit various sheriffs’ offices in his district, said he recalled being in Lee’s office in west Jefferson on several occasions in the days after the storm. Teepell said he remembers the phone conversation but did not know who was talking to Lee.
Lee was recounting the boat rescue story to the caller on the line, Teepell said. The phone call was not taking place while the boats were attempting the rescue operation, but some days afterward, Teepell said.