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Bush Faith-Based Initiatives in the Hands of Obama: 2 good reads from the Rockefeller Institute for Government

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(This post is not as orderly as I wished; the topic bothers me — a lot, not sure if this is PTSD, or a growing alarm of the situation I’m reporting on.  Take it or leave it)

The 2 good reads are the first and last entries from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute for Government’s

I list them again below, after a long intro and far below my complaints about the Arizona-based, GOP-laced, Bush-connected Godzich family’s “NAME” group.

There is very poor oversight into use of these marriage promotion funds, and front groups have already been discovered, plus an obsession with opposing same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

If readers can be a little more tolerant (than the usual large dose of tolerance needed to plow through these essays) — I believe the information is timely, relevant, and very disturbing to the future of this country.   I have some familiarity with the brands of religiosity involved here — as a domestic violence in the home survivor who then took it to the family court, only to meet the same types of churchiosity running the place that failed to do anything about the violence to start with.  When I say “churchiosity” I am talking about a willingness to undermine legal rights when it comes to deeply-held religious sectarian beliefs.

The Bachmanns (Michelle, and Dr. Marcus, who runs a Christian Counseling Center, Bachmann & Associates Incorporated, out of Minnesota) are making fools of themselves (but don’t seem to have noticed) in the public recently.     A teenager from Cherry Hill, NJ even invited Michelle to an open debate, based on her inability to keep her facts straight when talking history, or for that matter, constitution.

And The Bachmanns are teaming up with a group called The FAMiLY Leader out of Iowa (Bob Vander Plaats), giving me the perfect excuse to do some follow-up.

As it turns out that the Registered agent for The FAMiLY Leader (Chuck Hurley) is also the contact for a Focus on the Family-oriented “Family Policy Center” in Pleasant Hill, Iowa– I have an excuse to do a post.  In fact, my consciences urges me to repeat — loudly — a call to some “Damage Control” on what’s been done to our government.

For example, check out “Federal faith-based grant agency lacks oversight, transparency” — by the Iowa Independent:

Federal faith-based grant agency lacks oversight, transparency

By Andy Kopsa | 09.16.10 | 6:24 am

An obscure branch of the federal government responsible for distributing millions of tax dollars to religious organizations is drawing criticism for poor oversight over how federal grant money is spent and an overall lack of transparency. Good-government advocates warn that without rigorous transparency, the likelihood for corruption, ethics violations and unconstitutional spending of tax dollars is high.

Photo: Lori Howard, iStockphoto

The Administration for Children and Families(ACF) is a sub-agency of the Department of Human Services. The programs administered by the ACF which are most often utilized directly by religious organizations — Healthy Marriage, Abstinence Only and The Compassion Capital Fund — cost more than $255 million alone in 2008, according to themost recent annual report on file.

To critics of these programs, this amounts to a dangerous recipe for potential abuse, thanks to the political activities of many of the groups receiving funding.

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, is not to be a third-party contractor but rather a trademark of the 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.

The Iowa Family Policy Center’s acceptance of federal funds, coupled with its religious political agenda, prompted the ACLU of Iowa to announce it would investigate whether the funding violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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.


Religious groups receive federal funding despite anti-gay political activity

Posted by Matt Comer on Thursday, March 31, 2011 · 3 Comments

The American Independent’s Andy Kopsa reports on what has been a substantial problem for years: the dispersement of federally-funded grants — some to the tune of millions of dollars — to religious organizations engaged in anti-gay political activity.

Kopsa, who has significantly covered this topic before, reports: (see above quote)

. . . .

(NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY POLICY center and STate of North Carolina):

On her personal blog, Kopsa also records other organizations receiving federal funding:

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 – hereand here.   {{which I blogged}}

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.

{{in other words, where did the money go?}}

Such federal funds have also been administered to North Carolina government, though a quick scan of available financial documents revealed no immediately apparent connection with the North Carolina Family Policy Council.

This “North Carolina Family Policy Council” describes itself as  “Defending Traditional Values”

Welcome to the North Carolina Family Policy Council  

“We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization

serving to provide research and education on public policy issues that affect the family.”

First order of business?


The Harms of Same-Sex “Marriage”
Peter Sprigg talks about the findings of recent national surveys on the issue of marriage, and a new documentary from the Family Research Council that highlights some of the harms of same-sex “marriage” on families and children. (July 9) listen

Let the People Vote!
The General Assembly cannot ignore these top 10 reasons why North Carolina can no longer postpone letting the people vote on a Marriage Protection Amendment. more

Oh, so “nonpartisan” for sure….

As an independent 501(c)(3) research and education organization,{formed 1992}  the North Carolina Family Policy Council is supported entirely by the generosity of our donors. We are engaged in a battle to retain the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of western civilization. These are the same values which supported the establishment of the United States and which are embodied in the Ten Commandments and in the founding documents of our nation.

In addition to diverting funds or adding funds under Title IV to produce more marriages (or better fathers) there is also it seems Title V for more abstinence education, STILL — I thought we were kind of done with that!

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 restored a total of $250 million in federal funding over the next five years for abstinence education programs, giving states access to $50 million per year through the Title V program. As we reported earlier this week, North Carolina was one of 30 states to apply for Title V funding this year.

In addition to funding for programs that exclusively teach abstinence, DHHS also announced that it is awarding $155 million in teen pregnancy prevention grants to “states, non-profit organizations, school districts, universities, and others” under two funding programs, the newly-created Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). 

I am not an LGBT advocate by primary interest.  I’m heterosexual, always have been to the best of my knowledge, and I loved becoming a mother –but the double-whammy of the spiritual justification of assault & battery began almost immediately, shortly before VAWA was passed to protect women in this situation — and yet know one seemed to know about it!    The struggle has totally transformed my relationship with (well, everything — but most particularly in the wider sphere — churches.  You couldn’t drag me back in there except on an architectural tour, no offense to some nice people in many of them.  I will not support that system!)

Bush has made a mockery of our government, and I really do think that Jeff Sharlett has a better handle on it than some, in “The Family,” and gives a better rationale as to how come Hillary Clinton could endorse the Children’s Rights Council right alongside ultraconservatives.  The connection was on the particular style of “religion” plus powerbrokers.   Republic moderate Laidig in 2006 — speaking this time of Michelle Bachmann and her breed — the article spoke of how conservative Christianity and a particular type of Christian opportunism went very well hand in hand.  (No, I don’t follow Minnesota local politics — was looking somethine else up).

This is your article — Bachmann Background — informative, and 8-pager.


Crazy like a fox:

Catch the technique, plus the electoral district advantage:

BACHMANN’S WILLINGNESS TO stake out the fringe might be electorally counterproductive if were it not for her unique constituency.

Minnesota’s oblong Sixth District is shaped somewhat like a giant slug devouring—or excreting, depending on where your sympathies lie—the Twin Cities metro. The gerrymandered perimeter encircles a population that is 96 percent white with a high rate of church attendance. With a median income of around $57,000, the district is fairly wealthy, yet modest enough to retain an anti-“elitist” streak. In short, it’s exactly the kind of place Sarah Palin might call the “real America.” Property that just a decade ago consisted of endless farmland is now dotted with strip malls and mega churches. It’s precisely this exurban growth that renders the district more right-leaning than even the most rural of areas outstate.

“That’s because people in the exurbs tend to be tax-stressed,” says Steve Schier, a professor of political science at Carleton College. “The cost of commuting, the cost of housing, and so forth make them very tax-sensitive, and that tends to drive voters in the direction of anti-tax candidates.”

Minnesota’s Sixth, in other words, is reliable GOP territory. That grants Bachmann a long leash when it comes to her rhetoric. Like a queen on a chessboard, she’s able take her argument in pretty much any direction, no matter how absurd.

Think about it:

Bachmann, in other words, is a fundraiser’s wet dream. The process works like this: 1) Bachmann spouts something spectacularly insane on national television, which reverberates inside the mass media’s echo chamber; 2) a simple fact-check by someone with access to Google reveals her to be completely full of it, thus intensifying the backlash; 3) the GOP’s fundraising apparatus disseminates mass emails framing the Bachmann-directed hostility as yet another example of the leftist media trying to destroy what remains of the Real America, and how will you explain that to your grandchildren when they’re in the internment camps?; 4) conservatives’ wallets open.


Sounds like a fatherhood technique as well.  The rhetoric is inane!  It drones on endlessly, probably short-circuiting rationality with propaganda and short-circuiting the process of discourse by the sheer foolishness.   Perhaps that’s  not accidental either.  It disables the opponents…That, plus the funding…. and next thing we know — it’s entrenched in all branches of the government (the Rockefeller publication seems to be talking about this — and HOW Bush pushed it).


The Chosen One

Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism

G.R. Anderson Jr.

published: October 04, 2006

She is absolutely a cold, calculating person,” says Gary Laidig, the Republican she unseated en route to the state Senate in 2000. “It’s always the same with her on campaigns: Nobody really knows who she is, and she just comes across as this petite, attractive soccer mom. And that’s it. But the fact is, she’s part of a group that is absolutely determined to take over the Republican Party. It’s that wing of the party that’s very much in step with people like Norm Coleman and the Taxpayers League. And the fact is that they know how to run races. Good races, too. From getting delegates to hitting phone banks, they cover it, and Michele’s part of that.

“At the end of the day, her politics are like this: Everyone will have a gun, nobody will have an abortion, no one will pay taxes, everyone will go to church, and there won’t be any more pinko liberal teachers in school.”

After graduating from Anoka High School in 1974, Michele Amble enrolled at what is now Winona State University. There she became interested in politics, she told the Star Tribune in a January 1, 2005 story, when she wandered into an American government class.

She also met Marcus Bachmann, who was majoring in social work. According to news and blog accounts, the two connected because they were both born-again Christians. Soon after she graduated with a degree in political science and English, the couple married, in 1978. As she has told the story more than once, the two were staunch Democrats who worked on Jimmy Carter’s first presidential campaign. Eventually, she became disillusioned with the Democratic Party. The couple soon moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Bachmann enrolled in the Coburn Law School, a Bible-based institution affiliated with Oral Roberts University. According to one version of her résumé, she earned a Juris Doctorate at Coburn in 1986, and post-doctorate degree from William and Mary Law School in Virginia in 1988.   …

On the campaign trail, Michele Bachmann has said her husband grew up on a family dairy farm in western Wisconsin. According to a brief biography that ran in the Forest Lake Times when Bachmann and Associates opened an office there in March 2005, he earned a master’s degree in counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a school then affiliated with Christian Broadcasting Network pitchman Pat Robertson. Bachmann later was awarded a doctorate in clinical psychology from an institution listed as Union Graduate School on his clinic’s website, an apparent reference to Union Institute in Cincinnati, though nothing on either of the Bachmanns’ public résumés suggests they ever lived in Ohio.

Last November, the Bachmanns attended a “Minnesota Pastors’ Summit” at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Some 300 religious leaders participated in the event, which was organized by the conservative, antigay Minnesota Family Council. Michele Bachmann was there to lead a session on the gay marriage amendment, while Marcus offered a presentation titled “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda.”

[This is a background portrait.  It’s revealing….

Laidig, on how he was profiled, taken off guard in the election:

Gary Laidig was running for re-election to be District 56’s (MN) state senator in 2000. Laidig, then a 28-year incumbent of state House and Senate seats representing the area, recalls being surprised to encounter Bachmann (who by this point had added the title “Dr.” to her name) and a number of people from her church at a Woodbury School Board meeting in the late 1990s. She stood up and started denouncing the school’s academic standards, and took exception to the national and local school-to-work programs.

Still, Laidig didn’t think much of it: “It dawned on me that this [education activism] was her new gig, but I never thought she was going to run for my seat.”

But that’s exactly what happened. Laidig believes, in retrospect, that he was one of a number of moderate Republicans targeted by elements of their own party as vulnerable candidates in the run-up to the 2000 races. “And it became a different kind of party,” he says. “Suddenly all of these religious litmus tests were going on, and they were getting support in the churches. My father was a very conservative minister, and very politically active. But never once did he bring the pulpit to politics, and he never brought politics to the pulpit.”

On April 1, 2000, the GOP held its endorsing convention for the District 56 Senate seat. Laidig was immediately put off when he saw a number of new delegates—churchgoers. He also realized that they were against him, calling him “a Republican in name only,” despite his 30 years of service to the party. To his surprise, he had an opponent—Michele Bachmann—and was caught off-guard. Bachmann won the endorsement on the first ballot. (The two went on to face off in the primary, which Bachmann won.)

“It hit me like a tsunami,” Laidig says. “I heard the rumble out there, but I never thought the wave would come.”

BE PREPARED…. not necessarily for President Bachmann, but someone of the same mindset may stand a chance.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives & lack of transparency at the HHS/ACF…

Consider another section from the 2010 article by Andy Kopsa (with the “Church/State” street sign photo, above).

President George W. Bush announced the creation of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives after he took office in January 2001. Separation of church and state advocates were outraged when President Barack Obama elected to continue the program under the name Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The day after taking office, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of executive agencies calling for new vigor in fulfilling the public’s need for transparency and openness in government. But for all the authority allotted the ACF, there remains considerable mystery surrounding how grant money is awarded and spent.

This is what I keep pointing out, complaining about 45 CFR 303.109, 2(b) particularly.  One person — Secretary of the HHS (Currently Ms. Sebelius) has the power to approve or deny special demonstration research projects — and the states — that’s THE states (Arizona, California, Florida, Texas — all of them, and the US territories) have to assist if they want the funds.  The HHS is dog-training the U.S. states to produce the desired results.  If they are good dogs, they get more treats.

Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of New York, said, “I have started using the opening line ‘the promise of transparency is illusory’ in all my Freedom of Information Act requests because it is.”

Amiri has filed more than a half-dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the HHS in the last few years. In a recent case, Amiri waited 8 months for a partial FOIA response from the ACF and is still waiting, two years later, for a complete report.

I remember Liz Richards of NAFCJ.net, similar problems.

According to the Freedom of Information Act, governmental agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 30 days.

We can’t sit and wait [for a FOIA] while money is continuing to be spent unconstitutionally, so we sue,” Amiri said. “We [ACLU] have the ability to sue for the information we need, but what about the average citizen? They aren’t going to be able to sue in order to get what is already supposed to be public.

The Iowa Independent had a similar experience during its investigation of Iowa Family Policy Center. {{{The Bachmanns are connected with this group. and this group is at least emotionally and theologically (see “anti-gay” among other things) connected with Focus on the Family. I’ll show in a future post}} After filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the ACF regarding IFPC, The Iowa Independent waited four months for a partial response and was forced to file a second request – called a reconsideration — for information that was omitted. The ACF has only three full-time Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) specialists on staff, which creates staggering wait times for fulfillment of information requests.

ACF spokesman Kenneth Wolfe never responded to dozens of e-mails and phone calls requesting comment regarding award payment schedules and specifics on the role of the ACF in policing faith-based awards. Wolfe was also asked if a so-called clawback provision exists as a way for the government to recoup money spent inappropriately by faith-based and other grant recipients, another question that was ignored.

These requests for information were included in a certified letter mailed to former Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Carmen Nazario, and then hand delivered to Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families David Hansell after Nazario stepped down in July. Again, the agency failed to respond.

The Assistant Secretary for Children and Families is a politically appointed position.

(David Hansell waxes eloquent on behalf of HHS when it comes to promoting responsible fatherhood and courting “Fathers and Families Coalition” (I think it was; an AZ-based group).

But I do find it interesting that those who are are pretty up on the same issues I’ve had to look into regarding abuse of women and the deprivation of basic constitutional rights through this ongoing Church-State collaboration.  There is a sinister, authoritarian side to this — and it ain’t pretty, and it DOES keep leading back to George Bush, sorry to say.

(See my Independence Day +3 post for reference):

If you think children grow up fast, we ain’t seen nuttin’ yet when it comes to the transformation of the United States of America under the hands of religious zealots saying, aw heck, let’s re-arrange government — I, as President, think it’s good for the; let’s overcome legislative and constitutional barriers to getting those billions into the hands of religious organizations ,including some that put out schlock like THIS:

Men Are from Dirt, Women Are from Men

– Curriculum & Study Guide

Price: $19.80
List Price: $22.00 Savings: $2.20

As this site shows (“My Marriage Store.com/StoreFront”) NAME’s Marketplace has a profit motive for sure, as does AFCC, which practices the same habits — only it gets to have judges order people to participate.  These only “encourage” them to — but pay the religious group to set up the infrastructure.

“NAME” stands for “National Association for Marriage Enhancement” — isn’t that a cute acronym?

ABOUT us page:

About NAME

Churches around the world are realizing that there is an answer to a serious problem—the breakdown of the family. Homes are being reunited, marriages are being restored, and childraasdfasden (that’s their typo, not mine….) are being spared the terrible ravages of divorce.

NAME Centers are springing up all over the nation to fill this huge need created by broke homes** and generational vices. Churches implementing NAME Centers train couples to mentor other couples. This is done utilizing NAME’s unique training and certification system to prepare couples to biblically counsel other couples. These couples become the core of the local NAME Center.

As a result, churches are experiencing a decrease in divorce rates, less burden on the pastor for counseling, and strong, faithful families committed to the ministries of the local church.

Visit www.nameonline.net to learn more.

**I’m sure they meant “brokeN homes” — meaning not a two-parent family with both biological parents in there.  However many homes are “broke” (financially) and part of why is how much is being poured into goals like these — paying churches to prevent divorce on the theory this is going to stop poverty because married men like to pay child support better.    (Jesus:  “the poor you always have with you…”)


Click on NAMEONLINE.org and you get this, which i”ve blogged before, I think:

NAME - National Association of Marriage Enhancement

It helps all these “Communities”  — click on Government (a nonprofit formed primarily to get the government grants writes about how it’s going to help governments?) — which links to an article from The Washington Times (Unification church mouthpiece), and all about the $250,000 “Marriage Mobile.”

For Small Groups
Check out our variety of resources that we have for small group studies!
Read more
For Churches
Find out what NAME can do for your church!
Read more
For Governments
The following article appeared in Washington Times as The President’s Healthy Marriage Initiative was being written into law in Congress.
Read more

The challenge occurs in trying to reach those unmarried couples during those critical premarital months.

Entities with credibility in low income areas will be required to reach out to those couples. With that in mind, NAME, the National Association of Marriage Enhancement, has announced a test project: “The Marriage Mobile.”

A $250,000 dollar renovation project into a 50 ft. semi trailer truck into a mobile counseling center and workshop classroom is designed to try to meet that need. By taking a state-of-the-art video projection, mobile classroom and counseling center to certain low income areas for several weeks at a time, followed by marriage skills workshops and seminars in the area, NAME hopes to reach and educate that target population group during their critical decision-making times.

…  This is far “better” than taking the same $250,000 and giving ___ local families $5,000 each for some of their own creative projects to help get off welfare or just past poverty level…. even if this includes single-working-mother-headed homes.  They are monitored closely — if they are receiving Food Stamps, they can only buy certain things (lest they might be horrible cigarette, nonfoods (papertowells), or health-food (vitamins, fish oil, etc.) addicts, or (horrors) spend the amount one day on bus fare instead.   Or if they are receiving child support — their own child support (for Title IV-D families) can itself be redirected to helping the father of the family get an edge in any custody or visitation hearings, possibly helping him obtain custody — and job training skills.   ….  It makes SO much sense to instead give religious organizations the grants because surely (since they love their God and are altruistic — and already have some structures going) we need not monitor grants recipients so closely as — say — poor people.  Or well to do people having marital problems which ALSO would qualify under access/visitation funding, or this type of marriage-promotion funding, I’ll bet.

NAME has been a pioneering force in marriage skills training as part of welfare reform. In Arizona, the first state to appropriate part of their federal block grant funds to strengthen marriages…

Hardly surprising — Dr. Leo Godzich, who with his wife runs NAME — has personal (a relative) very strong connections with the state GOP and with the Bush White House at the time.  In fact, the Bushes are practically “all in the family” as this article called “The GOP’s New Godfather” relates.  The “godfather” in question is not a Godzich, but Doug Wead — however, check it out:

The GOP’s New Godfather

By Ward Harkavy published: September 02, 1992

In Doug Wead’s dining room, there’s a photograph of George Bush cradling Wead’s son Joshua. On August 24, there was a Bush son in Doug Wead’s living room.

Neil Bush, the son who has had to pay $50,000 for his part in the collapse of the Silverado S&L in Denver, was treated like a high priest of free enterprise during a private reception there. That evening, Neil was scheduled to appear at a private fund raiser for the state GOP. (I got him to come in,” says Wead.) First, however, Neil Bush stopped at Wead’s house off Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale for an even more private meeting with Wead and friends.
The guest list included several Arizonans …

The presidential son is getting a pretty good deal, too. On shaky ground here in the States because of bad publicity over the Silverado thing, he’s been doing business lately with John Godzich, Arizona’s GOP finance chairman. Godzich proudly told the little gathering at Wead’s house that Neil spoke before 25,000 of Godzich’s people in Paris in June. (Back-scratching note: Doug Wead also spoke to Godzich’s troops overseas around that time. Six months earlier, John Godzich got to sit on the dais next to “Humanitarian of the Year” Ronald Reagan at Doug Wead’s “National Charity Awards Dinner” in Phoenix; Neil Bush was one of the speakers.)

Godzich urged the gathering at Wead’s house to “put your money where your mouth is” by supporting the GOP. “I’ve put as much money as I can into the party–I gave $50,000 to the party in May,” he told the other guests. “I’ve been a defender of free enterprise for a long time. You have to defend it–or lose it.”

When [John — Dr. Leo’s older brother] Godzich speaks, people generally listen. Though relatively few people even in the GOP know much about him, 42-year-old John Godzich is a huge presence in the District 6 race. 

His younger brother Leo, 33, is an associate pastor at Phoenix First Assembly of God Church, well-known among the Valley’s religious right for leading the opposition to Phoenix’s gay-rights ordinance. (Leo Godzich was profiled by Philip Martin in the May 20, 1992, issue of New Times.) Another Godzich brother, Dan, 30, worked for Wead in the White House and now is on the Wead campaign staff. But John Godzich has the strongest ties to Doug Wead.

Wead first registered to vote in Arizona on January 27, 1991, exactly the same day as John Godzich. Wead shares offices with Godzich, lives in his former house, is married to one of his former employees and works as a consultant and motivational speaker for Godzich. To the ire of many Republicans, Wead was the only congressional candidate who got a prime seat on the dais during a springtime fund raiser for John McCain that starred Barry Goldwater and George Bush. The seat came courtesy of a $50,000 check by John Godzich to the party’s financially ailing building fund.

So, who is John Godzich? Seven hundred French people who were learning to say “yee-hah” at a Rustler’s Rooste steak fry on August 15 on South Mountain certainly know him.  They’re part of the 24,000 active distributors in Groupement Europeen de Professionnels du Marketing, John Godzich’s multilevel marketing network. The past fiscal year, says Godzich, the company did $130 million of business.

John Godzich was born into a Polish family displaced by World War II. He grew up in a French mining area, the second of five boys in a family that always dreamed of moving to America and finally did in 1962. They lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and John went to school at New York University. After dabbling in leftist politics, he says, he wound up working as a translator for the State Department. He eventually got into Amway and returned to France to build a marketing network of his own.

Now he shuttles between France and Arizona, where he has an 8,000-square-foot home on Easy Street, east of Apache Junction. It’s got a built-in chapel.

Now for little brother – – and this was back in 1992:

Pastor Tommy Barnett was correct when he told the packed house at his huge church on Cave Creek Road on August 16: “First Assembly is Phoenix’s French Connection!”

The door greeter at Phoenix First Assembly of God, which Barnett often refers to as “America’s fastest-growing church,” said, “Bonjour.” Associate pastor Leo Godzich gave the opening prayer in French before saying it in English. After “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the church orchestra and choir performed the French anthem, “La Marseillaise.” In the church lobby was Wead campaign material. Sitting on the dais was John Godzich.

After Barnett’s sales pitch (Give like you’ve never given before! Let us pray in the name of Jesus!), he told his audience, “We’ve got some international visitors, some French businessmen and women. Let’s give them a hand! . . . Let’s give them another hand! . . . Let’s give Jesus a hand!”

The church’s huge choir gave a rah-rah chant for the French guests.

After the collections were taken, the frenetic, raspy-voiced Barnett delivered a sermon, with John Godzich standing next to him as interpreter. Their images flashed across two huge TV screens suspended above the altar as Barnett told the crowd, “He wants you to have your own desires! The desires of the righteous shall be granted! He wants us to be prosperous!”

Imagine Yves Montand translating for Jimmy Swaggart.

other close ties to Bush through Doug Wead (who helped out disgraced Neil Bush, as we see above) —

Godzich, says Wheeler, also heads Groupement Europeen de Professionnels du Marketing, an Amway-style, multilevel marketing company of 60,000 to 70,000 distributors. The Godzich-Wead ties are firm: Younger brother Leo Godzich was the incorporation agent for Wead’s company.

They also have a nice personal assistant:  here’s her LinkedIn description:

Cherie Varrichione’s Experience

Personal Assistant to Founders Dr. Leo and Molly Godzich

National Association of Marriage Enhancement

Nonprofit Organization Management industry June 2010 – Present (1 year 2 months)

Scheduling appointments, management of conferences and travel and meetings arrangements, as well as co-ordination of all demands, screen incoming calls, review and reply to emails, review documentation, send mail, schedule reservations. Anticipate needs and take care of them before they are ask. The list is longer, but the joy of serving for the betterment of Marriage and Healthy Families are all mine!

This HHS/OFA 2006-2011 ($250K/year) grant description says the target is “Phoenix Area couples”  but the Godziches are world travelers when it comes to marriage conferences, including helping an Ugandan big-wig with his “kill the gays” legislation, and opposing same-sex marriage, etc back at home.

Organization Description: NAME, founded by Dr. Leo Godzich, has over 12 years of experience in providing marriage enhancement services to couples. There are currently 116 NAME Centers in the United States and 44 in other countries. NAME also hosts an annual International Marriage Conference and is partnering with the Phoenix Dream Center. To date over 22,000 couples have attended NAME conferences and seminars.

Use(s) of ACF Program Grant Funds: The Hispanic Healthy Marriage Demonstration Project will provide marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs to married couples

This “table of contents” is a certain segment of the “Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government” (at  SUNY, in Albany, NY), who visited my site recently.


Taking Stock: The Bush Faith-Based Initiative and What Lies Ahead

“Taking Stock” details the Bush administration’s efforts — both successful and unsuccessful — to advance its Faith-Based Initiative, and considers the initial signs indicating what the Obama administration will keep, and what it will change.
David J. Wright, June 11, 2009

American Congregations and Social Service Programs

A look at the social service work done by American congregations around the country and the environment in which they operate.
John C. Green, December 2007

Comparative Views on the Role and Effect of Faith in Social Services

A comparison of faith-based and secular service providers, including three case studies analyzing the differences in: drug treatment programs in the Puget Sound area, homeless housing programs in Michigan, and parenting programs in Mississippi.
Steven Rathgeb Smith, John P. Bartkowski, and Susan Grettenberger, 2006

The State of the Law 2008: Legal Developments Affecting Government Partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations

Examines legal developments that affect partnerships between government and faith-based organizations during 2008.
Ira C. Lupu and Robert W. Tuttle, 2008

Getting a Piece of the Pie: Federal Grants to Faith-Based Social Service Organizations

Examines the direct recipients of discretionary grant awards made by the federal agencies expressly part of the Bush Administration’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative.
Lisa M. Montiel and David J. Wright, 2006

The Policy Environment for Faith-Based Social Services in the United States: What has Changed Since 2002? Results of a 50-State Study

An update to the 2003 report, which looks at how the federal Faith-Based and Community Initiative has influenced state actions.
Mark Ragan and David J. Wright, 2005

The Expanding Administrative Presidency: George W. Bush and the Faith-Based Initiative

Examines the steps taken by the Bush administration to promote and implement the Faith-Based Initiative, detailing changes in federal rules, bureaucracies, funding, and public outreach.
Anne Farris, Richard P. Nathan, and David J. Wright, 2004

I simply recommended the first and last (chronological) on the page, and am reading them both myself.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

July 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

One Response

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  1. […] I see in a July 10, 2011 post "Bush Faith-Based Initiatives in the Hands of Obama"  Search "Godzich" in this page for a section on just how closely the family is interwoven […]

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