Over the past few months, politicians across the US were jockeying for an unlikely distinction: a top spot on a list of likely terrorist targets. The prize for the winners? A bigger piece of federal antiterrorism funding.
In New York, politicians were outraged that of the $US600 million in antiterrorism funding in the proposed US federal 2003 budget, the state would get just $US26.5 million, or $US1.40 per resident, compared with a national state average of $US3.29 per person. "New York City doesn't ask for a share of Idaho's farm subsidies," Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) complained to The New York Times. "They shouldn't try to grab a share of our high-risk, antiterrorism funding." (At press time, funding details were still up for debate in committee.) In Boston, politicians felt downright snubbed by a $US100 million federal fund being dispersed as part of a new Urban Area Security Initiative. "I find it remarkable that Boston was not on the list of cities to receive additional funding from the Department of Homeland Security for its unique challenges posed by the threat of domestic terrorism," Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) told The Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, the vice mayor of San Jose, California, seems to have an underdog complex about the fact that San Francisco got a $US10.7 million slice of that same pie, while San Jose got nothing. "Although we have not been told San Jose is in that tier, we certainly meet the qualifications," Pat Dando told the San Jose Mercury News.
As far as we know, no one stepped forward to claim the distinction of being a safe state or city to live in. But that's budget season for you.