.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Safe Cruise

Project Safe Cruise Press Release: See www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com & details below. Leave a message if you have experienced incidents involving poor security & safety practices of cruise lines. Hearings are scheduled; we will provide them to Congress. We must act to insure passenger safety. The current lack of safety & security is not acceptable especially after 9/11. On 5/12/05, we were on the Carnival Destiny near Aruba when an elderly couple disappeared without a trace.

My Photo
Location: Michigan, United States

Government could save $50 billion per year by having two shifts of white collar employees work each day. Office space costs $50,000/year for each employee yet we only use space 30% of time. We can no longer afford to have banker's hours for all. With over 2 million federal employees this cost-free paradigm change could avoid lay offs/furloughs and reduce pollution. See new plan at http://whitecollargreenspace.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Senator Waxman Accuses Carnival Cruise Lines of Profiteering by Seeking Lucrative FEMA Contract for Katrina Relief

PRESS-REGISTER,July 8, 2006 Mobile Alabama:
Report asserts Carnival sought Jeb Bush's help
By SEAN REILLY, Washington Bureau

Far from offering its services reluctantly, Carnival Cruise Lines sought to enlist President Bush's brother in its quest to win a $236 million deal to place Hurricane Katrina evacuees aboard three of its ships, according to e-mail exchanges cited in a new congressional analysis.
But while Florida Gov. Jeb Bush helped the company make contacts, there is no indication that he acted on some of its key requests, according to the analysis, released this week by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Two days after Katrina struck Aug. 29, another company representative named Ric Cooper e-mailed Jeb Bush to ask for help getting "in touch with the right people" at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pitch the ships-for-shelter plan.
Bush responded that he would forward the proposal to then-FEMA Director Michael Brown.
Within three hours, Brown told Cooper, "I personally think this is a great idea." the report says.
Two days after that, Carnival was awarded the cruise ship charters for temporary housing.
One of the vessels involved was the Mobile-based Holiday, which was used as a shelter in Mobile from mid-September through late October before moving to Pascagoula. A government review later found the overall deal "reasonable" under the circumstances, but noted that taxpayers were at one point paying an average of almost $500 per day per passenger because of low occupancy.
Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, has accused Carnival of profiteering, in part because the contracts reimbursed the company for what it would have earned under normal operations, including revenue from casino games and liquor sales.

Did Governor Bush feel obligated to help Carnival because of the massive amounts of money Carnival and its employees spend each year on lobbying and campaign donations?
See http://cruiselinelobbyistrelatedtoabramoff.blogspot.com/

greenwichcitizen.com June 30, 2006
Shays Introduces Cruise Ship Safety Legislation
By Joan Lownds
...Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, reported $353 million in profits in the last quarter, while Royal Caribbean netted $716 million last year. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the cruise industry spent more than $2.9 million on federal lobbying from January 2004 to July 2005. During the second round of hearings in March, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., a member of Shays' congressional committee, repeatedly dismissed the idea that security needed to be tightened aboard cruise ships.
According to open secrets.org, Mica received $3,000 in campaign contributions from Carnival for his 2005-06 campaign. He also received $1,000 from Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO. Fain donated the same amount for Mica's 2004 and 2002 campaigns, and Mickey Arison, Carnival chairman/CEO, contributed $1,000 in 2002. "We all know that Congressman Mica feels a great allegiance to the cruise line, and receives contributions from them, so he was not very objective about the issues and of course didn't want to upset his friends in the industry," Rivkind said...


h2 class="sidebar-title">Links