An armored vehicle like the ones Homeland Security Department grants have helped buy for various urban communities. This vehicle belongs to Montgomery County, Maryland, which declined to say Tuesday whether it used Homeland funding to help underwrite the cost. Photo courtesy of Sen. Tom Coburn's office.
A $7.1 billion Homeland Security Department program to make cities safer from terrorism has paid for 13 sno-cone machines in Michigan, a $98,000 underwater robot in Columbus, Ohio, an armored vehicle for a tiny New Hampshire town that uses it to patrol the annual pumpkin festival, and humorous videos that offered little valuable information for fighting real threats, according to an investigation by Sen. Tom Coburn.
Seven years after El Dorado County, California, suffered severe flooding and mudslides during freak Christmas holiday season storms, the federal government finally got around this year to checking on how taxpayers' disaster funds were spent. What it found was, well, another disaster.