Thursday, September 1, 2011

One Iowa to Iowa Family Leader: Release your records or return to taxpayers the $2,200,000 you took

Bob Vander Plaats

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa Family Leader (Bad Santa to its juvenile delinquent stepchild, the Iowa Family Policy Center) is probably much too busy to worry about the misappropriation of part of $2.2 million of taxpayer funds; he is doubtless much too busy shaking the right-wing money tree (Mike "Bluebunny" Wells, can you spare $100,000?) for attack ads in his upcoming jihad against Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs.
     Besides, not apologizing for his "Good one!" response to a lame fag joke told to him in Audubon seems to have worked out for him just fine, so who's to say he won't get away with ignoring this issue either?


PRESS RELEASE: Family Leader, give our money back!

August 31, 2011

Molly Tafoya, Communications Director
One Iowa
Office: 515.288.4019 x207
Cell: 808.256.7064

Connie Ryan Terrell, Executive Director
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Office: 515.279.8715
Cell: 515.577.3636

Statement from One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

DES MOINES – Today, One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa called on the Family Leader, parent organization of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), to return the $2.2 million in federal grants it received over the past four years to counsel and educate married couples. The call comes after recent reports uncovered the unethical actions of the Iowa Family Policy Center’s use of federal funds. The IFPC refused to counsel same-sex couples while using the funds to pay for salaries, telephones, internet, and other expenses at a time the organization was helping to lead the fight to unseat three state Supreme Court justices last fall. In addition, a portion of the funds was used to pay $10,000 in rent to one of its board members.

"At the very least, this raises serious questions about whether the Iowa Family Policy Center illegally used taxpayer dollars to fund and support their political efforts," said Troy Price, Executive Director of One Iowa. "Taxpayers count on any organization which receives public money to use it for its given purpose, not to abuse it to further a political agenda. If the Iowa Family Policy Center has nothing to hide, then they should release their complete financial information and show once and for all how they used these dollars. But if one dollar of this funding was used to help remove the Supreme Court Justices or push their anti-equality political agenda, then they should give our money back, and give it back now."

"Grants from the federal government do come with strings. An organization cannot discriminate in providing a service and the money cannot be used for purposes other than agreed to by the government. Did the Iowa Family Policy Center discriminate against legally married, same-sex couples? Did they use the federal funds for political purposes outside of the scope of the grant? The people of Iowa have a right to know," stated Connie Ryan Terrell, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. "If either occurred, IFPC and The Family Leader are ethically bound to return the funds. We would hope their values would compel them to do so."

One Iowa has launched a petition to demand the Iowa Family Policy Center release their records or return the $2.2 million they received.


UPDATE: AKSARBENT has reprinted One Iowa's press release verbatim except that we removed the link connected to the word petition in the last paragraph.

Because we suspect that the "petition" is primarily a means to build One Iowa's mailing list, and because One Iowa does not say what else it will do with the names sent to them (much less what the homophobes at the Family Leader might do with them) AKSARBENT will leave it to to its readers to find the petition on their own without our assistance.

AKSARBENT respectfully wonders why One Iowa is sending a petition to the perps, rather than to the branch of government which gave the Iowa Family Leader the dough in the first place.

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