President Bush's brother Jeb was involved in helping Carnival Cruise Lines get their massive contract to provide ship-side housing for evacuees. Most of that housing went unused but was still paid for by FEMA.
Rep. Henry Waxman has written a letter to Jeb:
I am writing to request information about your role in the award of a $236 million federal contract to Carnival Cruise Lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This boondoggle contract, which comes to an end this week, has cost federal taxpayers an enormous amount to provide temporary six-month housing aboard Carnival's ships...
Emails recently provided to Congress by Michael Brown, the former FEMA Director, indicate that you intervened at a key moment to support the efforts of Carnival to win this lucrative federal contract. These emails reveal that you forwarded to Mr. Brown on August 31 an email from Ric Cooper about the Carnival proposal. Mr. Cooper is an advertising executive who represents Carnival. He is also a major political donor to the Florida and national Republican parties. According to the Florida Division of Elections, Mr. Cooper donated $65,000 to the Republican Party of Florida in advance of the 2002 gubernatorial election in which you were running for reelection. In addition, Mr. Cooper contributed $50,000 to the Republican National Committee in advance of the 2004 presidential elections in which your brother was running for reelection.
Apparently, Mr. Cooper sent you an email proposing that Carnival ships be used to provide housing to hurricane evacuees. At 6:18 p.m. on August 31, two days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast, you responded: "thank you Ric. I will pass on to Mike Brown. I can't believe they haven't asked as of yet but Mike will respond quickly. Jeb." You copied Mr. Brown on this email...
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