RealNews

No Place Like home

All politics, as Tip O’Neill observed, is local. But you don’t have to tell that to Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. This week, he’s celebrating his department’s first birthday while trying to deal with a bitter war over funding for “first responders.” Since the 9/11 attacks, about $13 billion has been set aside to train and equip local police, firefighters, and paramedics. But getting the money to those who need it has been anything but simple. A good deal of the money hasn’t been spent, and it probably won’t be for quite some time. Much of the cash, in fact, is just sitting in state coffers. The money isn’t moving for several reasons. For one thing, neither the feds nor many states or localities had game plans for spending the loot at the time it was allocated. “There was no defined, comprehensive plan,” says John Cohen, senior security adviser for Massachusetts. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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