“Pure politics” is what Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter last week called a motion in a federal appeals court by a Gulf Coast housing advocacy group and the NAACP. They were seeking to reverse an action by HUD during the Bush Administration to divert over a half million dollars in Katrina low income housing funds to a grandiose expansion of the state Port of Gulfport.
The question is, whose politics: Gov. Haley Barbour’s or the hundreds of Coast residents whose homes are still in shambles from Katrina’s wrath?
Barbour, for whom Salter frequently serves as media apologist, two years ago had gotten the Department of Housing and Urban Development to divert $570 million in post-Katrina housing funds to an ambitious port development expansion. The plan first was conceived before Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi coast in August 2005. The state was handed $5.4 billion for recovery and relief by Congress after Hurricane Katrina.