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Edwards to Help
On New Orleans

Sen. John Edwards was due to meet on Monday with a New Orleans family facing foreclosure from a subsidiary of the Fortress Investment Group, a company that employed the former senator and in which he has invested about $16 million.

Edwards, who kicked off his campaign in New Orleans last year, promised to divest himself of any Fortress funds related to subprime lending after stories revealed that those lending units pursued 34 foreclosure suits against residents in New Orleans after it was hit by Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

Edwards, after the stories broke, said he would "redress" the injustices. In an interview last weekend, he said he had been in touch with friends at the NAACP to try to locate the displaced families in order to help. He said he would meet with at least one family during a trip to the city on Monday.

"It's hard because a lot of people aren't in their houses yet," Edwards said. "I know we're trying." He added: "I'm trying to figure out exactly how to help."

Edwards, who has made poverty and rebuilding New Orleans major parts of his presidential campaign, also unveiled a 6-point plan to help the city and also unveiled a proposal for a "Brownie's Law" named after former Federal Emergency Management chief Mike Brown, largely blamed for botching the 2005 hurricane response.
Edwards' proposal would require appointees to be qualified for their jobs, the campaign said.

As the anniversary of Katrina approached, Sen. Barack Obama also made a swing through New Orleans, where he proposed his own Gulf Coast reconstruction plan. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was scheduled to visit the city as well on Monday.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Washington Post editors  |  August 27, 2007; 5:45 PM ET
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