Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
If you aren’t familiar with Bradlee Dean, anti-gay “minister” Michele Bachmann BFF,* Minnesota Family Council (Read: local chapter of Focus on The Family/Family Research Council) attack dog, school assembly giver of the You Can Run But You Can’t Hide Ministry - a non profit organization – based in Minnesota, here’s a crash course to bring you up to speed (before I move on to the potential landslide of taxpayer cash this bigoted fear-monger has received and don’t even get me started on their IRS problems**).
Then, a little more on Dean for you:
From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
On a May 15 radio show, the ministry’s front man, Bradlee Dean, applauded the call of some Muslims for violence against gay people. “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said. “This just shows you … they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians… . They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
After Minnesota Independent writer Andy Birkey reported his comments, Dean backpedaled, saying he does not favor the execution of homosexuals. Despite those remarks, Republican State Rep. Tom Emmer defended the ministry as a “pro-traditional marriage group” composed of “nice people.” And last November, Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the ministry.
From ThinkProgress’ Wonkroom in 2005:
Another “educational” conservative band, Junkyard Prophet, has been busy touring high schools across the country. But these rockers aren’t stickin’ it to the man — they’re being funded by him.The band apparently receives about $1500 per appearance — an amount that several schools have paid out of their drug-free schools funding from the Department of Education.
According to the band’s website, it has appeared at over 220 schools over the last few years. (Experience Junkyard Prophets for yourself — their music videos are here.) In some instances turned up by CampusProgress, students were told that attendance at the assembly was mandatory and that they would be suspended if they skipped out.
And, from The Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey – you can find out absolutely everything you need to know about Dean. Birkey is all up in his shit. This is from Dean’s most recent circus event las month:
A prayer at Friday’s session of the Minnesota House given by anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean erupted a firestorm of criticism among DFL legislators and some in the GOP. Dean, whose fiery brand of anti-LGBT preaching riled opponents of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer last fall, led the House in prayer, asserting that President Obama was not a Christian. Republican leadership, sensing controversy, asked the official House chaplain to conduct an unusual second prayer. Minnesota’s LGBT legislators said Dean’s anti-gay preaching “reveals the underlying hateful nature of the anti-gay constitutional amendment movement.”
Bradlee Dean knows there is taxpayer money out there for him. According to Kristine Holmgren (blog here - read it) Dean told her:
“The time is right for my kind of witness,” he said. “The “abstinence only’ money is there, and young people are hungry for the truth. And principals love me. Especially in the small towns. That’s where people are most open to the word of God.”
I have done significant investigations into the federal funding of anti-gay Christian Community Based Abstinence Education programs. I get how these things work. Typically, millions in government funds go directly to an organization like in the case of Colorado (WAIT Training) and Florida (Project SOS).
But, money also flows through the school districts that bring these groups – including Dean’s ministry – into their auditoriums.
So, based on my experience looking into CBAE programs, watchdog group reporting and Dean’s own website, I make a few $$ assumptions:
If we take the TP Wonkroom reported $1500 per appearance fee (Dean’s own website estimates events can cost from $3 -5K but you can call for a quote…) that comes to: $496K
Since I am generous I will cut that in half because Dean indicated that he sometimes graciously waives his fees – that will still give us a stomach churning $248K
And, I will go even further and assume that not all schools he performed at were public, some used private funds or were reform camps not utilizing taxpayer funding and half it again to say he raked in some green for only 82 schools – that still assumes a tax payer funded all out Christian head banging Jesus fest score of $124K
Again, this is speculation on my part but certain assumptions can be made and frankly if $10 of taxpayer money went to Dean – that is too much.
According to the You Can Run website the following school administrators gave glowing testimonials supporting Mr. Dean’s taxpayer funded school programs. I have just pasted the names and schools here as the letters these admins and teachers have written are long.
I encourage you to go to the website and read them for yourself. I found them a nauseating confirmation of government money paid to Dean to evangelize to public school kids.
Then, once you have read the testimonials for yourself, I encourage you to pick up the phone if you live in any of these states – specifically if you live in any of these school districts – and demand to know how much of your money was spent to bring this anti-gay bigot to your school.
The state’s indicated here are:
Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia
Steve Lane, CAL Community School Superintendent
Bill Salmela, Village Ranch Program Director
J.B. Elliott, Principal, Hoisington High School, Kansas
Mr. Stithem, K-12 Principal/AD, Litchfield Public Schools
Earlene Fox, Superintendent, Lesterville R-IV Schools, Lesterville, Missouri
Bill Keeley, Principal, Kansas
Martha Frazier, Assistant Principal, Tennessee
Larry McCartney, Principal, Tennessee
Debbie Rapp, Ringwood High School, Oklahoma
Steve Peiffer, High School Principal, West Monona Community Schools, Onawa, Iowa
Leigh Bisel, Ringwood High School, Oklahoma
Todd Wolverton , Principal, Iowa
Darrel Bartling, 7-12 Principal, Mount Ayr Community School, Iowa
Eddie Mosley, Principal, Bacon County High School, Alma, Georgia
Richard Andrews, Teacher, Georgia
Heather Nielson, Student Council Advisor, Minnesota
Mary K. Overholtzer, 7th/8th Science/Health Teacher, Mount Ayr Junior High, Iowa
Steve Bohlen, Principal, Wapello High School, Iowa
Bruce Bolen, Principal, Wallace County High School, Sharon Springs, Kansas
Kittie D. Weston-Knauer, Principal, Des Moines, IA
Dave Roby, Principal, Twin Cedars High School, Iowa
Bill Alleva, Principal, Wisconsin
Chuck Soper, Guidance Counselor, Wisconsin
J.R. Fitzpatrick, Principal, Putnam County High School, Georgia
Dave McGee, Mayor, Florida
Julie Trammell, Missouri
Mike Hubka, Principal, Kansas
Cara Easter, Counselor, Missouri
Cody Russell, Principal, South Dakota
Joseph Giesen, Principal, Minnesota
Jennifer L. Meagher, H/F HS Principal, Minnesota
Linda Johnson, 7-12 School Counsleor, South Dakota
Jerry Healy, North Dakota
Robert Just, Principal, Minnesota
Sherri Broderius, Principal, Minnesota
James A. Hirman, Principal, Minnesota
Charles Fredrickson, Secondary Principal Dick Daum, Special Education Instructor, South Dakota
Ricky E. Engle, Assembly Coordinator, Oklahoma
Alan L. Neville; Ed. D., High School Principal, South Dakota
Randy Bowen, Principal, Minnesota
Terry Arduser, Principal, Minnesota
Mr. Steve Vance, Ms. Eldora Poitra, Ms. Kathleen McCowan, Mr. Kevin Dyda, Ms. Karen Haynes , South Dakota
Lyle Koski, Principal, Minnesota
Dan Nowak, Principal, Wisconsin
Tina Breidenbach, Health Teacher, Conde High School, Conde, South Dakota
Lucinda Kelley, Principal, Clewiston High School, Clewiston, Florida
Greg Parsley, Principal, Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School
Rob Bennett, Teacher At Covington High School, Mayor of Covington
Amy Karg, Principal, Cal Community High School
NOTES & LINKS:
* Bachmann BFF – simply Google Bradlee Dean & Michele Bachmann – you will get all the info you need to draw your own conclusions about the Bachmann/Dean relationship
Everything Minnesota Indy/Andy Birkey/Michele & Dean