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For the past four years, Democrats have ceaselessly attacked Republicans for “exploiting” the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks:

  • When President Bush showed his support for rescue workers at Ground Zero, Democrats cried “exploitation!”

  • When the Bush administration launched a long-overdue global war on terror, Democrats cried “exploitation!”

  • When Bush signed the Patriot Act, Democrats cried “exploitation!”

  • When Republicans held their national convention in New York City last year, Democrats cried “exploitation!”

  • And when Karl Rove gave a speech to New York conservatives pointing out the Democrats’ passive counterterror strategy, Democrats cried “exploitation!”

But when an investigative reporter exposes Democrats raiding federal homeland security grants and turning 9-11 money into a party slush fund, where, oh where, are all the indignant liberal watchdogs to protest such clear and unconscionable political exploitation?

Can’t find a single barking hound on the Left. Just chirping crickets.

This week, Newark Star-Ledger reporter Rick Hepp revealed that the office of acting Democratic New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey “played a key role in doling out millions of dollars in state homeland security grants this year to legislative districts controlled by his party,” contrary to his public denials. The federal funds had been originally sent to the state for vital counterterrorism purchases – things like first-responder equipment that small towns might not have been able to afford. Democrats control both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, as well as the governor’s office.

One memo obtained by Hepp from a top official in New Jersey’s attorney general’s office describes the homeland security money as “Christmas Tree funding” – a phrase, explains Hepp, long used around the capitol “to describe grants given along party lines to loyal and politically connected lawmakers for use on pet projects in home districts.”

The Star-Ledger had earlier reported that 93 percent of the $23 million in federal homeland security money doled out in the Garden State since 2002 had gone to districts controlled by Democrats. More than $8 million was allocated for the program for fiscal year 2005, with 94 percent going to districts controlled by Democrats. “The last time I saw an election with a percentage like that is when Saddam Hussein ran for president,” quipped state Sen. Bill Gormley, R-Atlantic.

Meanwhile, irony-challenged national Dems continue to pound President Bush for politicizing federal homeland security allocation decisions – and leading the way are New Jersey’s Sen. Jon Corzine and Rep. Robert Menendez. Menendez railed about the Bush administration’s alleged inadequate funding for rail and transit security. A Corzine press release last month touted Senate Democrats posturing as the responsible overseers of domestic security purse strings:

Democrats are concerned that American towns and cities remain unprotected and vulnerable to terrorist attack. Ports, railways and transit systems, chemical and nuclear power plants all require a higher level of security than is currently provided. The Democrats raised concern that President Bush failed to make homeland security a priority and cut funding to major programs in his budget this year. By cutting funding for transit and rail security grants by $50 million, slashing funding by over $400 million for first responders, and further cutting of funding for airport screeners, the president has put Americans’ security at home at risk.

No press releases yet from any Democrat on how the Garden State pigs fed at the 9-11 trough to the tune of some $20 million – and put Americans’ security at home at risk.

Who’ll cry “exploitation!” now?

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