Is it a waste of federal money to spend $36,200 through the Kentucky Office of Charitable Gaming to train law enforcement officers in detecting illegal money laundering and white-collar crimes?
Certainly not. With hundreds of millions of dollars in cash flowing through Kentucky bingo parlors every year, bingo in this state is ripe for abuse like money laundering, and law enforcement officials need tools to make certain that doesnt happen or, if it does, the crime can be detected and prosecuted.
But should the Office of Charitable Gaming program be financed with federal Homeland Security money?
No. Certainly not, when the nations ports are considered vulnerable to terror attacks as well as key industrial sites and nuclear power facilities.
So critics of Homeland Security grants like that to the Office of Charitable Gaming who planned to protest at the Capitol today are correct. It has been all-too clear since the nations vulnerability was laid bare on 9/11/2001 that the billions approved by Congress to improve security against terrorists has been transformed into yet another pork barrel program with each member of Congress determined to bring home fat slabs of Homeland Security bacon to his or her district and state.
Thus states and cities low on any terrorists priority list Frankfort? are getting and spending huge sums that ought to be used in states and cities that would be likely targets for terrorists. Surely, $36,200 would be used more appropriately to improve security measures around the large chemical plants on the Ohio River at Louisville than in helping identify white- collar crimes or money laundering at Kentucky bingo parlors.
If the U.S. Department of Justice sees value in such training, that agency should budget it and spend it. Use Homeland Security funds for just that securing the most vulnerable homeland areas targets against a replay of 9/11.