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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gives a statement to reporters gathered at Middlesex Truck and Coach after he toured the facility during a campaign event in Roxbury, Massachusetts July 19, 2012. REUTERS
Mitt Romney is all about dismantling the federal government's role in emergency management and putting the states in charge, which sort of raises the question of how Romney responded to emergencies when he was governor of Massachusetts. Would it surprise you to hear that the answer is "not well"? In fact, Romney failed Massachusetts at both preparedness and response, as the Huffington Post's Jason Cherkis and Ryan Grim report.

In 2004, Romney vetoed funding for flood prevention in recently flooded Peabody, Massachusetts. Romney claimed he didn't have enough information about the project, though local officials said they had given him lots of information. In 2006, Peabody flooded again. Romney was there for a photo op after the flood, but Peabody probably would have preferred to have had the funding to prevent flooding in the first place.

When the city of Greenfield flooded, in 2005, Romney was too busy traveling the nation positioning himself for a presidential run to find out the extent of the flooding or declare an emergency. The most senior person in his administration, the city's mayor, could get in touch with was the lieutenant governor's chief of staff. Without help from the state, Greenfield faced an example of what America can look forward to if Romney becomes president:

Forgey says a resident opened up the high school and used it as a crisis shelter. A radio station launched a food and clothing drive and the Red Cross provided services. [...]

The town could handle distributing donated shirts and juice. But Greenfield, with its population of 18,000, couldn’t repair this level of loss, which had been estimated to exceed $1 million. Forgey said she needed the state government to respond and for Romney to declare an emergency. But for days, Greenfield residents were on their own, with limited outside help.

Romney says he wants states to handle emergency response. But when he had the chance to show how well that can work, all he showed was failure and indifference.  

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 08:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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