Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Tony Perkins with IFPC/The Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley
Tony Perkins blogging about the evil Planned Parenthood today at The Hill:
Following the lead of veteran Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the House took a historic vote that would remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But Planned Parenthood and their allies on the Left, fearing an end to the federal gravy train on which they have become dependent, are fighting back.
Of course, Perkins knows that no Family Research Council loyalist will look into the gravy train of taxpayer dollars state FRC affiliates, bogus crisis pregnancy centers and sundry other faith based programs have raked in over the last decade.
So far I have found the following Family Research Council affiliates have received collectively aproximately $5 million in federal funding. Most FRC affiliate funding came through the Healthy Marriage Demonstration grant via the Administration for Children and Families. Keep in mind this is just a soupçon of what these local chapters have been getting up to:
In South Carolina, the Palmetto Family Council, a local affiliate of the Family Research Council (FRC), was awarded $1.2 million through Healthy Marriage and Abstinence Only grants from 2004 to 2009. According to its blog, the “top priority” for the group in 2006 was South Carolina’s anti-gay marriage amendment. Earlier this month, Palmetto’s president, Oran Smith, condemned public funding of a gay and lesbian group’s annual statewide festival, citing concerns about using “public funds for a festival that is political or indecent or both.”
The Indiana Family Institute, another local FRC affiliate, received $50,000 in direct federal funding and is listed as a third-party contractor for the Abstinence Singles/Lake County Marriage Coalition. The Abstinence Singles grant award is $941,000 per year through 2011. Also known as Hoosier Family, the Indiana Family Institute is advocating for an anti-gay marriage amendment in 2010.
New Jersey Family Policy Council - received $92,000 from a 2001 CBAE (Abstinence) grant
Rocky Mountain Family Policy Council received at least $55,000 for services through federally funded abstinence education program WAIT Training in Colorado. WAIT recently changed its name to The Center for Relationship Education. WAIT had its share of problems when it became known they had endorsed and assisted Ugandan Pastor Martin Ssempa of the disgusting “Kill The Gays” bill – here and here.
The Georgia Family Council is listed as recipient of the Georgia Department of Human Resources $960,000 Healthy Marriage waiver. However, when I called the state of Georgia they claim to have no record of this.
The Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) received more than $3 million in federal funds to pay for a marriage-mentoring program. The program, called Marriage Matters, was found not to be a third-party contractor but rather a trademark of the outspoken anti-gay group. IFPC has garnered headlines for its opposition to same-sex marriage, including public allegations that homosexuality poses a greater public health risk than second-hand smoke.
IFPC/The Family Leader is perhaps the grandaddy of them all – a shining star in the Family Research Council army – when it comes to getting federal money and now in it’s political cat bird seat to the Iowa Republican Caucuses. And The Family Leader’s power and national profile will only increase as we approach the 2012 general election. Without receiving over $3 million in federal funding, would the Family Leader be the political force it is now?
This doesn’t even scrape the surface of the faith based funding handed out to Christian anti-choice, incredibly deceptive and non-medical crisis pregnancy centers or the flood of grants over the last 10 years to abstinence only education organizations (two of which I reported on recently WAIT Training in Colorado and Project SOS in Florida). Nor does it scrape the surface of the overall problems with faith based funding (allowing religious organizations a route for legalized discrimination in hiring is one example) nor the longevity of it (far preceding the great faith based grant giver George W. Bush).
I don’t know what the bigger problem is the funding of these organizations or the hypocrisy that Perkins and other right wingers exhibit when bemoaning the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. If Mr. Perkins wants to defund Planned Parenthood, he should consider eschewing all this “gravy train” business – unless he’s ready to talk about his.
I called Family Research Council for comment on their affiliates getting federal funding and Mr. Perkins statements in The Hill. A nice gentleman in the communications department told me that FRC State Affiliates are actually affiliates of Focus on the Family and I would have to contact them they would have no comment at FRC. Just to be clear, here is a link to FRC state affiliate page.
FRC makes a point of assuring website visitors it takes no federal funding: