Skip to comments.Suit may target homeland funds : Lawmakers say GOP municipalities have been slighted
Posted on 09/22/2005 6:41:00 AM PDT by BATNF
Suit may target homeland funds
Lawmakers say GOP municipalities have been slighted Published in the Asbury Park Press 09/22/05 BY KEITH BROWN COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU
ASBURY PARK Assemblymen Sean T. Kean and Steve Corodemus, both R-Monmouth, are upset that the state awards homeland security grants almost exclusively to municipalities in legislative districts represented by Democrats. And they're trying to change that.
Flanked at City Hall Wednesday by about 30 emergency responders and local politicians from the city and other 11th Legislative District towns, they said they support a fund-raising drive to file a lawsuit aimed at blocking the disbursing of these funds until they are distributed more equitably.
The Homeland Security Defense Fund, being set up by Asbury Park lawyer Thomas DeSeno, needs to raise about $100,000 to launch a court battle, Kean said.
The lawmakers, who are barred by state election laws from raising money for the lawsuit fund, pledged personal start-up money for the suit that Corodemus said is essential to stop the "unscrupulous majority in Trenton" from continuing to divert public money to political allies. He and Kean are seeking to retain their seats in the general election in November.
Kean said $22 million of the $23 million the state has doled out in the past three years in homeland security grants to municipalities has gone to Democratic districts.
"That's just unacceptable," he said.
Kean said none of the 25 towns in his district which includes Asbury Park, Neptune and Wall received any money for homeland security, while largely Democratic towns like Marlboro and Manalapan did.
"This is everybody's tax money," Corodemus said. "But 90 percent of the money given out was predicated on the particular representation in those districts."
Acting Gov. Codey's office referred all questions to the Attorney General's Office, which distributes federal homeland security money. Richard Shatzkin, an office spokesman, explained: "The critical infrastructures that the state is trying to protect fall largely in older, urban areas, which tend to be traditionally Democratic."
He declined to comment further.
Jim Reilly, one of the Democratic challengers in the 11th District race, agreed that the grant money is going largely to Democratic-run towns, but faulted Kean and Corodemus for not advocating strongly enough for their district.
"I think its clear that politics played a part," Reilly said. "But Corodemus and Kean failed the 11th District. They weren't making this much noise when the grant process was going on. It's only after they didn't get anything that they started."
Reilly said he too has "serious concerns" about the process of awarding grant money, pointing to Wall home of headquarters of utility giant New Jersey Natural Gas. The township applied for grant money to help secure Monmouth Executive Airport and the township's two reservoirs, among other potential targets, but received no state funding.
"I think money should be awarded on the basis of risk and need," Reilly said. "I don't think that was the manner in which it was disseminated."
Leaders from Wall, Asbury Park and Neptune said their towns were denied security grants because of their political affiliation and attended Wednesday's conference in support of the proposed suit.
And the State where this is happening is . . . . ? ? ? ?
What's the problem? DHS grants are pork, and pork goes to the party in power.
-"I think money should be awarded on the basis of risk and need," Reilly said. "I don't think that was the manner in which it was disseminated."-
Wait - you mean OUR money, the money that taxpayers are forced to send to DC year in, year out is being...WASTED in some way??? Wasted, by a bunch of pencil-pushing, paper-rustling, pimping politicians?? This I cannot believe!
" DHS grants are pork, and pork goes to the party in power."
True enough. The Dems are running about everything including the media.
These are state funds that have been given to democrat disricts in NJ.
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