Adding onto the moral crimes following the Katrina Disaster that I mentioned yesterday, today MSNBC is running this story describing how $600 million in HUD funds earmarked for community development in Gulfport, Mississippi are being diverted to fund the expansion of the public port there —including the increased development of casinos. The lobbyist-governor Haley Barbour has justified this diversion by highlighting the number of high-paying jobs that it is going to bring to the region. I'm not convinced and, apparently the citizens of the area are not, either:
That misses the point that plenty of homeowners who didn't qualify for that program and many non-homeowners still need help, say Steps Coalition members. “There’s no other explanation except that the state doesn’t think the lower income storm victims are as important a priority as the port," said Reilly Morse, an attorney with the Mississippi Center for Justice, part of the coalition.
The whole thing is worth a read.