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Clinton Helps Honor FEMA Director

August 7, 1999

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ President Clinton returned to his home state Friday night to be on hand as his friend James Lee Witt was honored as Arkansan of the Year.

The president spent the day playing golf at Chenal Country Club with former Sen. David Pryor, then addressed the 50th anniversary dinner of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association.

The broadcasters honored Witt, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for his contributions to emergency services both in Arkansas and nationwide.

Witt, who directed the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services when Clinton was governor, is among those said to harbor gubernatorial aspirations here. Clinton played to that speculation, saying there is hardly a public official ``who can even remotely equal″ Witt’s record of helping Americans through weather crises.

``He has served America well, and he has done Arkansas proud,″ Clinton said. ``The way he runs FEMA and the way he conducts his business is the way I believe the federal government as a whole should be run. We should put people ahead of politics and power.″

Clinton planned to spend Saturday visiting the Delta town of Helena and helping raise funds for Vice President Al Gore’s presidential bid.

In Helena, Clinton was holding a ``listening session″ with local residents on their concerns for helping draw economic development to the region along the Mississippi River.

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