Oklahoma senator's report cites San Diego zombie apocalypse demo as wasteful spending of fed money

Coburn points to drill as 'wasteful spending'

SAN DIEGO - An Oklahoma U.S. senator has criticized an event that happened in San Diego two months ago.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) recently released an oversight report  on what he calls "wasteful spending" of taxpayer dollars on Homeland Security projects.

One project the report listed was a zombie apocalypse drill held at a San Diego resort, an event that was part of a five-day counterterrorism summit organized by the HALO Corporation.

The event was designed to simulate a real- life terrorism event in a third-world village.  Forty actors dressed as zombies were gunned down by a military tactical unit.

The setting of that "village" was actually the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in Mission Bay.

Coburn argued that grant funds were approved to pay the $1,000 fee for the week- long conference that included the apocalypse drill.

Coburn's report stated: "At a time when our $16 trillion national debt is our greatest national security threat ... paying for first responders to attend a HALO Counterterrorism Summit at a California island spa resort featuring a simulated zombie apocalypse does little to discourage potential terrorists."

The Halo Corporation responded to Coburn's report and said his assertions were simply not true.

"The report's suggestion that the Department of Homeland Security and Urban Areas Security Initiative funds were used to pay for zombie apocalypse training is absolutely untrue," said Brad Barker, president of the HALO Corporation. "Absolutely no taxpayer money, was spent on the zombie apocalypse demonstration."

Barker said the grant funding the company received only went toward in-classroom counterterrorism training.

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