Paradise Residents, Lawmakers Say Trump is Politicizing Tragedy

California Connection
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PARADISE — In the town of Paradise, where so much has been lost, people reacted to the president’s tweets to stop FEMA funding in California.

Rubble and ash were all that was left of the only home Jason Klump says he’s ever known.

“In here, one of the closet doors my grandfather used to measure our heights in all the time,” Klump said.

His grandparents left it for his father who then left it to him.

“This is my only home growing up that I knew permanently,” he told FOX40.

For the time being, Klump and Deanna Giron plan to stay on their property in a trailer. But, in the long run, they were counting on federal aid to help them rebuild.

It’s aid President Donald Trump tweeted he’s going to order to stop coming to California until the state has proper forest management.

“But taking FEMA from families that are trying to recover from this kind of devastation, losing everything they own, I would think that should be the last thing that we should do,” Giron said.

“It is unbelievably regrettable that our president has politicized FEMA in such a way that it’s a problem for everyday constituents,” said Assemblywoman Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara.

Limon represents Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, where exactly one year ago mudslides in the Thomas Fire burn area claimed the lives of 23 people.

“It was mean to do it on a very specific day where communities in California are mourning the loss of so many lives,” Limon said.

Even Republicans were disagreeing with the president’s threats Wednesday night.

“Not helpful is my remark,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.

Nielsen represents Paradise and says now is not the time for partisan politics. He agrees FEMA aid is crucial for California communities.

“This community in no way could ever possibly rebuild without help from the state and the federal government,” he told FOX40.

Klump and Giron felt their lives were being held hostage just so the president could make a political point.

“We have no place to live,” Giron said. “We have no kitchens to cook food in. I mean, it’s a very hard situation and I would like him to try to come live this lifestyle and see how he feels about taking FEMA away from himself.”

There has still been no word on if the president will make good on his threats or if he’s just tweeting off some steam. Either way, the people FOX40 spoke with were not amused.


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