Assemblyman Sean Kean today used the unraveled Fort Dix attack plan to rail against the state’s current methods of homeland security fund distribution, saying state Democrats were putting partisan politics ahead of safety. He used the thwarted plan as an argument for the need-based system of distributing state homeland security dollars he has been pushing for in the Assembly.
“Hopefully this will serve as a reminder that we need to remain ever vigilant against these threats and that one way to do so is to ensure we are wisely utilizing our state homeland security dollars,” said Kean, a Monmouth County Republican.
Kean cited that 93 percent of the state’s homeland security grants from between 2002 and 2005 went to towns in Democratic legislative districts. Fort Dix straddles the Republican controlled 8th and 30th Legislative Districts, and borders the 9th. Those districts received little of the state’s homeland security grants. Kean cited reports that suggested Fort Monmouth, in his own district, was a potential target as well.
Kean argued that many of the towns that did receive grants had squandered them, and were in less need than the Fort Dix area to begin with.
“We can correct the mistakes of the past by allowing towns snubbed in the last grant process to seek these much needed funds €” and then actually awarding dollars based on the merit of those applications,” said Kean.
Kean is running for the State Senate in the 11th district, where longtime incumbent Joseph Palaia is retiring after 26 years in the Legislature. He faces Democrat John Villapiano, a former Assemblyman and Monmouth County Freeholder.