September 23, 2005
Honorable George W. Bush President The White House Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush:
The assignment of your Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl C. Rove, as the lead White House official for disaster coordination and recovery efforts raises troubling questions given his partisan political background.
As all know, Hurricane Rita is bearing down on the Gulf Coast even as the nation reels from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It would be expected that Mr. Rove would be at his post "24/7" during this crisis.
However, as unlikely as it might seem, we have learned that Mr. Rove will be traveling to North Dakota to engage in political fundraising activities. When this fearsome hurricane makes landfall on Saturday, Mr. Rove will be delivering a political speech to the North Dakota Republican Party, and will be featured as a special guest at a fundraising dinner.
I respectfully urge you to remind Mr. Rove of his responsibilities as the coordinator of relief and recovery efforts, and direct him to keep his attention focused on this critical job. There will be plenty of time for fundraising, but for now, putting lives back together and rebuilding communities must take priority over building political war chests.
Frank R. Lautenberg
Maybe Karl's looking for contributions to his Traitorgate defense fund.
(Hand salute to First Draft.)