In perhaps a poor choice of words, Ken Feinberg said yesterday, “No grocery receipts, no documentation, just an allegation of subsistence loss. Four thousand claims where the claim form is exactly the same, including the misspelling. Outrageous! I can’t pay those claims.”
So what was he talking about?
Apparently Plaquemines Parish Council Chairman, Don M Beshel, frustrated with the slow movement of reparations to the people he represents typed up a form letter and had it distributed about the parish. The letter, on Plaquemines Parish letterhead said simply,
“_________________________ is a resident of District 1 Plaquemines Parish and due to the hardship caused by the oil spill, seafood production costs have increased and have caused undue hardships on local residents in the amount of $______________________ per month.
Turns out 4000 people filled in these blanks and sent them in.
While Mr. Beshel’s frustration was certainly justified and his creativity could be admired, this was probably not the best idea, about as well thought out as Feinberg’s comments.
4000 claims sent in at once are only going to slow down the other claims, not to mention give false hope to people in Plaquemines Parish that by doing such, on parish letterhead, their claim for groceries will be honored. It also could have given the appearance to many this was something that had been worked out with Feinberg. On the other hand, Feinberg could stand to drop any sort of righteous indignation on his part. Yeah, he has a tough job, but this job was only made tougher by his bullshit promises of speedy claims. Nobody asked him to promise the time frames he chose to crow about in every media outlet that would give him a listen. Nobody asked him to so dramatically climb aboard the white steed and gallop into the Gulf Region to save everyone’s day, only to have the horse stop short and throw him into the swamp.
So Feinberg? Yeah, Mr. Beshel probably shouldn’t have done it, but seriously…get over yourself and deal with it.
What is really “outrageous” is the fact you are actually asking people to come up with grocery receipts as part of the claims process. As the resident states in the article…who the hell keeps grocery receipts? And when you are a fisherman living in part off your catch, who the hell gives you receipts? Neptune? Feinberg recently expressed a great deal of humility in Alabama and has been able to speed up payments to businesses paying out over $200 million in one day to business owners, but one day does not a career make. You’ve still got a long way to go, so get to it…and if you feel the need to react, or vent, or express your frustration in any sort of way, my suggestion is you give the offices of British Petroleum a call…and leave the people in the parishes alone.
They don’t need any more shit from you, or anybody else…
Have a nice day.