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Politics plague state's safety aid program

Rick Hepp of The (Newark) Star-Ledger analyzed state and federal spending on homeland security in New Jersey, finding that politics can make a big difference: Somerset County towns in the past three years "have received more than $2.7 million in federal Homeland Security grants designed for 'first responders,' but only $235,000 from New Jersey." The state money was controlled by the governor's office, often as a way to "reward Democratic Party loyalists. That was not a good equation for Republican-dominated Somerset County, which got 1 percent of the state grants between 2002 and 2005."

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