Media Outlets Begin Calling for Feinberg’s Ouster


Alabama’s Press-Register is leading the charge in demanding that President Obama fire Kenneth Feinberg. In a scathing editorial, Mr. Feinberg’s own standards are used to make the case against him: “Remember what the claims czar said when he took the job? ‘The only way you trust me is if, over the next few weeks and months, the money is going out in a fair and consistent fashion.’ Those weeks and months are now gone, and so is the trust. Mr. Feinberg has failed his own test.”

The Mobile-based newspaper also agrees with Alabama’s governor that the claims process amounts to “extortion.” The editorial continues:

Business owners – entrepreneurs who are proud of their livelihoods – should not be treated like beggars when they neither caused nor asked for their plight. The cruelest part is that claimants have no recourse and no one to hear their appeals… Adding insult to injury, there is little rhyme or reason for some claims being paid in full and others being partially paid or not at all. In the kingdom of Kenneth Feinberg, inconsistency rules.

Alabama’s coastal communities have long been the most outspoken regarding both the BP spill and its aftermath. And Mr. Feinberg has made several visits to calm tensions. But the Press-Register points out that any improvements never last very long before again giving way to what has been described as a slow, inefficient, unfair and opaque process. The same complaints echo across the region, and this editorial is significant because it will drive the conversation about claims in a new direction.

It should be noted that Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon has also called for Mr. Feinberg to be fired. The mayor had these choice words for the claims czar as reported by WKRG-TV: “I’m tired of his ego. I’m tired of him promoting himself as a saviour. He hasn’t honored his word so I have no respect for the man.”

Read the entire Press-Register opinion here:

And see the WKRG interview with Mayor Kennon here:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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