In December, we reported on how local politicians spend half their time denouncing the Bush Administration for sending Homeland Security grants to Wyoming, and the other half fighting for equally ridiculous grants for Upstate New York. The money winds up getting spent on things like anti-drug programs and pickup trucks for cash-strapped rural communites very, very low on Al Qaeda’s target list.
Ontario County emergency management chief Jeffrey Harloff told us at the time: “If it’s the federal government asking me, it is for the intended purpose of W.M.D. incidents and HazMat incidents. In reality, we’re going to use it for everyday stuff in our office.”
Now, Hillary has always been the master of the rich new field we called “security pork,” and her press release yesterday couldn’t have demonstrated the contradiction more clearly:
“SENATOR CLINTON ANNOUNCES OVER $2.6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FIREFIGHTER GRANTS FOR NEW YORK AND EXPRESSES SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT DEVASTATING CUTS TO FIRE ACT IN BUSH’S BUDGET PROPOSAL”
Where are these grants going?
Albany (of course), Cayuga, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Erie, Jefferson, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Suffolk and Wayne Counties.
We realize Senators see it as their job to fight for pork, but when it comes to the Department of Homeland Security, perhaps New York’s representatives would be able to press the case for the city more convincingly if they weren’t so busy handing out checks in Otsego County, where the top terror target — we’re not kidding, this is what they told us — is the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hillary couldn’t quite bring herself to say that this is actually anti-terror spending. The best she could do in the press release was, “Every dollar that our local communities receive means extra resources not only to help them fight fires but to help them respond to other emergencies and ensure public safety.”
But perhaps this money could be found somewhere other than the Department of Homeland Security, which we’d (we know, vainly) hoped was busy guarding actual terror targets. Like our city.
So if this is a program that directs federal security money to places like Chenango County (pop. 51,401), we say: Cut away!