"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Imagine If Facts Mattered

Sloppy Dawg has taken exception to our post on the Star-Ledger’s report that the allocation of homeland security funds to New Jersey's municipalities was based on politics. Sloppy imagines there is a good explaination for 93 % of homeland security funds going to towns controlled by Democrats.
I would imagine that Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties -- Democratically-controlled areas -- got a good part of that. But they also happen to be the three counties closest to New York City -- the most likely site of a terror attack in our area. Or what about urban areas like Camden or Trenton, also Dem strongholds, but are densely populated cities where a terror attack would be more devastating.
The state did not allocate the homeland security funds by county, the funds were distributed by municipality.

In a letter hand-delivered to James Davy, who was McGreevey's chief of management and operations, on Aug. 19, 2002, Thomas O'Reilly of the Attorney General's Office suggested grants go to counties to maximize the limited funding. One suggestion was for each county to get a base award of $200,000, with the remaining funds based on population.

In an interview Friday, Davy, now the state human services commissioner, said the proposal could not be implemented because the Legislature wanted grants sent to municipalities, not counties.
So how did Republican controlled municipalities in Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties make out with their security funding requests? Well, we do know from an earlier report in the Star-ledger that “comparable suburban districts controlled by Democrats received money, while Republican ones didn't.” As the columinst Joe Albright noted :
Strangely, however, the 29th District centered around Newark [Essex County] and extending into Union County received no Harvey-directed aid - although it requested $398,131.
We know that Wall Township in Monmouth County, spends $500,000 per year for counter-terrorism surveillance for Monmouth Executive Airport, NJ Natural Gas headquarters, the Manasquan and Glendola reservoirs and received no funding.
Wall officials said they felt snubbed because state Democrats have not returned phone calls or responded to their inquiries as to why the township has received no funding.
We know that more than $1 million in grants went to just one district — that of Democratic Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. You never know, terrorists have a way of striking where least expected – blighted cities could be high on their list of targets.

We also know from Tom Moran’s column, Democrats are rolling the dice on security:
Tom Foley is the emergency management coordinator for Atlantic City, a place that would make a juicy target for terrorists on a busy day when up to 260,000 people cram into town for some fun at the casinos.

He is also a deeply frustrated man these days. Because he can't get his fair share of money from Trenton to buy the equipment he needs.

His problem: The legislators who represent his city are all Republicans. And the pot of money has been controlled by Democrats.

An investigation by The Star-Ledger's Rick Hepp found that the state has given 93 percent of its first-responder grant funds to legislative districts controlled by Democrats during the last three years.

Atlantic City's emergency crews asked for about $700,000 during that period. They wanted a hazmat truck. They wanted protective gas masks. They wanted tents to decontaminate people exposed to chemicals or radiation.

They got zip.
State Senator Thomas Kean pointed out:

"Republican legislators represent major communications facilities, military bases, chemical plants, the Atlantic City casinos, not to mention a nuclear reactor in Ocean County. Does anyone seriously believe that a risk-based awarding of funds would have resulted in only 7% of the funds going to communities in these areas?"
Well, Senator Kean you might want to ask Sloppy Dawg that question. We’ve always preferred facts to chimera, but hey, to each his own. We can’t imagine what Sloppy will write next, but with his imagination it ought to be good.

Update - See our other posts on Homeland Security funding:

Democrats View Republicans as A Cash Cow
Democrats Play Politics With Homeland Security Funding
When It Comes To Security, Facts Matter
Federal Funds For Transit Security Go Unused


At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

God, I love a righteous smackdown.

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous NJCONS said...

Open mouth, insert foot

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous SloppyDawg said...

As can be noted in the comments to my post, I agree with Jack at Jersey Perpective when he says:

...it's not wrong to challenge the assumption that that Democratic districts, which are indeed more urban, deserve need 93% of the funds. Enlighten pointed out that Atlantic city, which is GOP territory, got very little protection.


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