UPDATES WITH RESPONSE FROM COUNTY JUDGE ED EMMETT:
2 on the Beat was a little surprised this morning to get an email from former HISD spokesman Terry Abbott on behalf of David Miincberg, the democratic candidate for Harris County Judge.
Abbott is chairman of Drive West Communications and Mincberg is one of his clients.
Depending on your point of view, Abbott is either one of the best or the worst in the business. He clashed happily and often with members of the media.
Abbott also never hesitated to call a reporter (and his or her boss) to complain about a story he didn’t like.
2 on the Beatalways had a solid working relationship with Abbott, but thought that his style was a little tooooo aggressive for a taxpayer supported public school system.
His approach is better suited for the take no prisoners world of partisan politics.
This morning’s email accused Appointed Republican County Judge Ed Emmett of making confused public statements and politicizing the county’s office of emergency management.
According the the statement, Mincberg says Judge Emmett’s actions ”are badly hurting the area’s effort to prepare for the potential arrival of a Hurricane Gustav.” Mincberg is also criticizing Emmett for saying that the Astrodome would not be available to evacuees who come to Houston to flee the storm.
Response from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett
1. It is bad policy to evacuate people from a flood-prone hurricane zone (i.e. New Orleans) to another flood-prone hurricane zone (i.e. Houston) – especially when there could be another hurricane entering the Gulf soon.
2. It is REALLY BAD policy to take those evacuees and house then in a building that has been deemed UNSAFE FOR OCCUPANCY by the fire marshal. If Mincberg didn’t know this, he should.
3. It is REALLY, REALLY BAD policy to tell people to ignore the advice of their state, their city and their emergency officials who call for an INLAND evacuation.
To intentionally send out a misleading message in which you advocate having evacuees ignore the advice of their local experts and instead evacuate to a potentially unsafe building in another hurricane zone is just beyond irresponsible.