On Aug. 1, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton‘s office put out a press release touting a “major Katrina anniversary hearing in New Orleans” to be held Aug. 27. Talk about a no-brainer: For two years, the Katrina debacle has been a winning issue for Democrats, and Norton has done a lot of work on Gulf region aid as chair of a House subcommittee. Now, with opinion polls showing Congress’ popularity sinking, why not take the show on the road for the disaster’s second anniversary?
But Aug. 27 came and went without any hearing, in New Orleans or elsewhere—-and not a peep from Norton’s office about the cancellation. What happened?
Turns out the anniversary would have been a convenient date for politics, but not for the politicians: Despite lining up New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco as witnesses, Norton “could not get a quorum of committee members because they were either out of the country or on vacation just before Labor Day,” says spokesperson Doxie McCoy.
A new date for the hearings, she says, has not been set.