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Governor Willard Mitt Romney, MSNBC Rita Cosby Live & Direct - Transcript




MSNBC Rita Cosby Live & Direct - Transcript




COSBY: And joining us now on the phone is Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.


Governor, what‘s the situation there tonight?


GOV. MITT ROMNEY ®, MASSACHUSETTS: Well, we have several thousand people that have been moved into evacuation shelters and many of then off to friends and family after that. We‘ve very high levels of water at some of our downtown areas, we‘ve got, literally, hundreds of roads that have been closed and we have in a couple of places, raw sewage being dump into rivers by virtue of power shortage at our major sewage treatment facility. So a lot of damage and extraordinarily high levels of water.


COSBY: You know, you talked about lots of people; we‘ve heard reports of thousands of people having to evacuating. When will they be able to return?


ROMNEY: Well, it‘s going to depend on the rate of—you have backflow, if you will, of the rivers, as they recede we‘re going to be able inspect homes and see whether there‘s been damage that allows them to be reoccupied or whether it‘s going to take longer than that. My guess is it‘s going to take a period of days at the earliest for people to be able to reoccupy their homes and then after that, a lot of repair work.


COSBY: How long do you think that repair work could be? Are we talking weeks, months?


ROMNEY: Well, I would think in some cases it‘s going to be weeks and months. We were just at a nursing home today that had a levee around it that they had built that had given way and as a result they had to evacuate some 200 people. Their entire heating and air conditioning plant and all the electrical system has been compromised and it‘s going to take some time for them to get that replaced.


COSBY: How much do you think the cleanup‘s going to cost your state?


ROMNEY: Well, it‘s surly going to be in the tens of millions of dollars in terms of the public infrastructure, and then all of the damage to businesses and homes will be above that. That‘s something we‘re going to be calculating, adding up and of course we‘ll be applying for federal disaster relief and supporting, as well. Our homeowners and our cities and towns with state aid.


COSBY: You know, there‘s a report out—and our thank there to the governor of Massachusetts. And still ahead, from too much water to not enough of it. Could a draught be causing alligators to come out of the swamp and attack humans? The latest on the hunt for the gators responsible for some deadly attacks. That‘s coming up.


And Britney Spears knows there are always cameras watching. So why


did she make such a big parenting mistake again? We‘ll show you.‘


And, don‘t forget to send in your questions for super golfer and


always controversial, John Daly. That‘s tomorrow night. He‘s going to be


here live in the studio to talk about his many wives, gambling, and of


course, controversy on the green. E-mail your questions to rita.msnbc.com


rita.msnbc.com or call our tip line at 1-877-TIP-RITA. You‘ll hear them on the show tomorrow night.





May 16, 2006



Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey today joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino to award Boston a $3 million grant to combat gang activity in the city. The grant, part of the Senator Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Community Safety Initiative, is intended to help local communities devise and implement innovative new approaches to crack down on gang violence.


“Gang violence and gang activity are serious problems for our urban neighborhoods and reducing it is a top priority,” said Healey. “Gangs destroy communities and paralyze the citizens living there. Boston is being rewarded for developing promising new strategies to put an end to the recent violence on their streets.”


The Boston grant is part of $11 million in gang prevention funding designed to support communities that adopted regional strategies to combat gang violence. These initiatives include coordinated prevention and intervention programs, regional gang task forces, and crime mapping and reintegration strategies to prevent ex-offenders from returning to a life of crime.


“This $3 million award will allow us to strengthen our prevention, intervention, and enforcement efforts. The City of Boston will use this money the most effective way we know how: by funding programs that work. Programs that serve high-risk youth,” said Mayor Menino.


“Boston’s plan reflects a multi-disciplinary approach to suppression, prevention and intervention of gang activity,” said Public Safety Secretary Robert C. Haas. “They are real solutions designed to combat gang violence and reduce crime.”


The Boston Police Department will spearhead the project on behalf of several city departments and use the $3 million in funding to focus on three key priority areas to include: youth at risk of gang and firearm involvement; impact players; and returning offenders.


Boston will focus prevention, intervention, and enforcement strategies in neighborhoods throughout the city, including Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan and will include activities involving the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). Several Boston Police Department intelligence gathering and analysis programs will also be supported.


Menino added, “Moving forward, it’s going to take all of us working together to make progress on this critical issue. Only a strong partnership targeting resources will stem the violence.”


In addition, Boston plans to expand social intervention strategies to at-risk youth and impact players. These strategies include street outreach, social and recreation opportunities, emergency room intervention and case management for returning offenders through the Boston Reentry Initiative. Employment and jobs training will be offered to both at-risk and current gang members and resources will be directed to support Youth Opportunity Boston, which assists young impact players and returning offenders through education and employment.

May 17, 2006




Governor Mitt Romney today requested that President Bush declare a major disaster in Massachusetts in order to expedite assistance to individuals, households and businesses in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties that were affected by the statewide record-breaking rainfall and severe flooding that began on May 12, 2006.


To demonstrate the need for the “Individual Assistance Program” offered by the federal government, the Commonwealth, through the efforts of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, must present a compelling picture of the human suffering caused by the event. There is no “monetary threshold” to meet, but the state must demonstrate the breadth of the impact and the number of individuals involved.


“More than a foot of rain has fallen on Massachusetts since last Friday, causing some of the worst flooding we’ve seen since the 1930s,” said Romney. “While the rains have ended for now, the hardship continues. Nursing homes and special needs facilities have been evacuated, people have been staying in public shelters, the habitability of homes remains in question and hundreds of businesses have been forced to close.”


The Governor specifically requested eligibility for the following programs: Individuals and Households Programs (IHP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Legal Assistance, Tax Relief and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans.


Meanwhile, as flood waters recede, Romney said that local and state officials will transition from the present “response” mode to a “recovery” mode. As that occurs, preliminary assessments will be made of the scope of damage to public roads, bridges and other infrastructure as well as public safety costs incurred by first responders.


Once the state documents the minimum federal threshold of approximately $7 million in damages, Romney said he will request a separate presidential declaration for “Public Assistance” to fund the repair and restoration of public facilities and to reimburse state and local governments up to 75 percent of their costs.

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