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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence

Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline Pre-Thanksgiving 2017, Yet I See I’d Outlined the Same Basics One Year Ago (Nov. 2016) [Published 11/21/2017].

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Title:Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline, Pre-Thanksgiving 2017 (looking back, looking forward…), Yet I See I’d Outlined Nearly the Same Basics One Year Ago (Nov. 2016) [Published 11/21/2017]. (case-sensitive short-link ends “-7ZH”).  Published initially with tags; about 9,500 words including the “navigation” section with its outline of subtitles near the top, which I felt would help process the many images and references found in the middle. And an extended section on previously-blogged JPA (multi-state, i.e., “regional” government entity) WestEd, which now has a revamped website (which still neglects to post its financials and mis-states its date of origin by 30 years…).

On the bottom of this post I’ve been updating the status of the referenced posts while publishing them, one by one over the past ten days (Nov. 22 – Dec. 1: see post archives for November 2017 for dates).  Once published each post is then re-viewed, clarified, sometimes extending it, sometimes just correcting layout.  I’m posting more frequently now, but it’s still an intense process which ALWAYS uncovers more information to blog, OFTEN further illuminates my own understanding of some situations (typically, organizations placed in the intersection between public and private — and the board members’ ownership of, or investment in, subcontracting organizations) I may have been aware of for years, which I look forward to explaining as I can. Maintaining the anchor (mental commitment) to those already in draft, shown below, sometimes provides conflicting currents as a writer.  I write best typically while most focused on the present research in the overarching context of my own learning curve and desire to communicate clearly what I am seeing and hearing, and watching continue to evolve over the years.  //LGH, Dec. 1, 2017.


Just in case, Title Terminology:  “In the Pipeline” is a common phrase (school-to-prison pipeline, cradle-to-career-pipeline), but here’s how I use it referring instead just to posts.

Posts in the pipeline or “spin-off posts” are portions of some writing in process* with a blog “street address” but still in draft status, felt to be significant enough for more attention under their own titles. *Typically they come up as I am writing some post, and are related but I feel they may seem extraneous to a reader covering the subject matter for the first time. Other times, less often, I start them from scratch on their own post when I realize the topic should be handled before it almost writes itself on some other project I want published sooner.

Sometimes these off-ramped finds, like my  more consistently noticing the presence of independent subcontractors as  major part of some charities, are a key which puts the larger picture together, i.e., opens double-wide doors to understanding.  Examples:  Bridgespan as a subcontractor (and its relationship to “Bain”); or, further back in its  corporate existence (and in my blog’s history), NCCD (National Council on Crime & Delinquency) as an Oakland, California-based subcontractor taking government grants from around the world, or I should say, around the “Commonwealth Nations” and around the USA, on a “Children’s Rights, Inc.” charity based in New York.

There is a recent example also on these blogs, too, although it’s not as a subcontractor of some charity, but a listed partner among others in on certain website offering multi-state filings for charities.  One of the listed partners was bought out within six years of its creation, leading to my better understanding of a (different) company historically significant to the practice of corporate law in the United States (!), and as we have (already) turned the century into the digital age and the professionalization of services to and “software AS a service” companies to the philanthropic / nonprofit sector.

Typically also posts in the pipeline were nearly complete before I moved them under their own titles, with “nearly” still meaning “not yet..” in blog administrator terms.  Parallels to baking bread, or, (to borrow from my more familiar, experiential points of reference), preparing and rehearsing a musical ensemble for a concert, may help explain a sense when 90% “done” isn’t good enough. It’s not about complete perfection, it’s about having enough vital components to complete the course and “deliver the goods” for better understanding of the evolving”playing field” in which this blog became necessary.

About This Post:

This post is shorter than most.  It serves a review and blog administrative function for my use, but  I’m publishing it in the belief it will also help readers see the FamilyCourtMatters blog continuity and understand that while it may seem like widely disparate groups I’m investigating and reporting on, in fact the investigations and reports together circle around some core, basic themes.  [This thought continued below the next “Navigation” section]

Navigation:  Blog sections, by Subtitle.  It seems there are six main sections.  Any section may contain text in a variety of formats, and/or images.  I only posted one table of Forms 990 (for a change!). The longer Sections 2 and 5, especially, set up the Posts in the Pipeline as being along the same concepts but just applied to different organizations.  There is overlap of type, and (future posts will show) also overlap of entities and personnel involved — hardly surprising because I’m looking at some of the more powerful foundations around, and major causes with public policy in transition…There is also some overlap of material below between some of the sections.

I don’t want us to lose sight of what some of these influential groups have themselves lost sight of — the requirement of holding to some real ethics, reason, and at least an attempt to keep their collaborating colleagues honest, instead of just “going for the jugular” on some groups which might be in competition for the same audiences.  Which I say happened in the recent prosecution of a sham (fake) cancer charities.  Not that they weren’t sham (I read — seems like they certainly were) — but they ALSO were in competition with the tobacco mega-fund money coursing triumphantly through government and the philanthropic sectors both, and often in partnership.

That last comment will make more sense in the context of reading up on “NAAG” and “NASCO” (see Outline here):

  1. About This Post (you’re in it…)
  2. Concentric Circles of Investigation, Common Themes – To Review 
    1. WestEd (MIA financials on both old and new websites; see prior posts on this).
    2. AISR at Brown and Annenberg Foundation-Related
    3. NGA
    4. NAAG, NASCO (current project and research themes)
    5. Multi-million-dollar MIA grants (overlaps with some of the above and below groups)
    6. Multi-million-dollar Grants not MIA, but it sure seems the projects are, and don’t look remotely that classy when parts of them show up, either…
    7. NCALP at Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) (transformed into) Family & Youth Law Center / and its IPV Collaborative personally assisting David Mandel’s career path through curricula marketing.
      1. Basic conclusion to the “Concentric Circles / Review” section:  “The more you look, the more of such situations surface.  How much is acceptable? It is really something which is subject to being controlled and monitored — or not?”
  3. “The Same Basics One Year Ago, ” (brief, only one image)
  4. More Recent Discoveries (contents include BizFilings, Guidestar, short section — but Guidestar info cont’d in another section)
  5. Brief Recap of the recent Nov. 18 post and Nov. 11 page significance, and more images from “Guidestar, Inc.” (formerly “Philanthropic Research, Inc.”) and a bit on (Paul) Newman’s Own Foundation, Inc. (versions 1 & 2, based in Connecticut), also referenced as involved, or to be involved, in the MRFP and Single Portal Initiative… 
    1. Contains narrative and many images, plus a Form 990 table for GuideStar USA, Inc.
    2. Summarizes the most recent post and page, obviously.
  6. IN GENERAL (barely a section, but it is a heading)
  7. Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline, Pre-Thanksgiving 2017 (looking back, looking forward…)
    1. In image format (not interactive)
    2. In texts (bulleted, with titles, links and some surrounding descriptions from the context where they were first referenced).

As you can see above, the actual list of posts is on the bottom in two formats:  Images (from my WordPress Admin site showing titles of post started in November and still in draft) and, for later convenience, text & titles with active links.  And some surrounding abstracts or reminders of the context.  And it’s at the bottom of the post.  FYI there were nine ten (10) in all, not six (6).  One more showed up which hadn’t been imaged (on the historic basis of “Sovereignty” concept, from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).*

*That is, after all, a big question (despite it having become a “dirty word” and negative- or positive-only values-laden descriptor for certain people with certain beliefs in the USA — the question in any form of government is “Who’s the boss?” (legally, and effectively/administratively which will often show up economically).  So, national “sovereignty” as a concept has origins in contrast to, it seems the Holy Roman Empire.  Worth thinking about in the historic sense. This post just provides some resources (links) for further reading.

An image looks like this (the example only has one title showing, though).

#3 of 3 (My Blog Posts Started Nov. 2017 in Draft, by when last modified (not originated). This one more of a study project from recent headlines on Puerto Rico debt and hurricane recovery 2017, transferable info.

A title with link looks just like what you see at the top, or will see if you scroll to the bottom of this post, below the images, to see those in the pipeline listed in bullet format, with some nearby fine-print summaries for most of them.  Why?  Because with enough memory pegs for the months or even possibly years of writing ahead (further down the FamilyCourtMatters road), I expect my head may be buried either deeper into this theme, or into a related one. I sometimes even dream about material I am currently working; it gets under one’s skin…Once it’s published, a previous multi-post project is buried less deeply in my psyche (so to speak), but is better available for mental recall when there’s enough surrounding context.  As with advertising, to a degree also with teaching (and learning): repetition helps comprehension, but better that the repetition is also tied to context.


…These concentric or overlapping circles are just getting wider and further back in time, and the drill-downs on the available financials (or searches when they are not available) deeper.  I am also considering more parts of a typical Form 990 when I do look, and more internal comparisons and looking more consistently at change over time (i.e., looking for earlier filings). So while some may wonder what “Education” or “Big Tobacco” have to do, really, with “Family Courts” or “Domestic Violence Prevention,” as a whole, they are dealing with and justified on the basis of financial matters, and involve similar vehicles and organizing tactics (networking) over time in pursuit if any national or international cause.

Developing overwhelming weight and influence (to stack the odds towards success) in pursuit of a privately chosen cause (public policy, message, results or outcomes) also regularly shows ongoing symptoms, often showing up after the fact or after the infrastructure is already entrenched with matters of control, secrecy, of sequestering of total government entity (collective) AND total corporate (collective, when it comes to the networks) size of assets and investments (income producing, whether through dividends and interest as held, or when sold) from public awareness, and on this basis, demanding more and more compliance, conformity, and personal concessions from the population as a whole.

Many aspects of this resemble tactics of batterers and coercive control when at the individual level which we might now simply call “abuse” or “domestic violence.” It’s the behavior of terrorist mentality, not of a personal subjection to law, and deep respect for others of differing economic, social, racial/ethnic, citizenship OR status.  Or of a different gender. Talk to women or, I’ll bet also men, who have been held captive to this kind of intimate or family control, coercion, and long-term intimidation, not to commonly-accepted laws, standards, or with regard to rights — but to simply what the abusers want.   The difference is just of scale and primary venue, and the bystander audiences addressed.  What I’m talking about here is when the bystander audiences are the entire country not “in on it,” and international participants, too.

Concentric Circles of Investigation, Common Themes – To Review

… … …To review, remember the “where’s your tax return?” status of certain major-cause-collaborating, well-financed (and public, private, or public-private in concert) groups I’ve blogged on? such as (just a few examples…):

  • WestEd  (I notice the website has been, it seems, completely reformatted since I reported on this.  A horizontal timeline slideshow now exists.  While this probably relates to a 50th Anniversary (since 1966), I note there are STILL no Financials (CAFRs — it being a JPA, a government, not private, entity which crosses state borders, though domiciled in California), despite posting an impressive list by type of “Our Clients and Funders” (no amounts or years, and not distinguishing “clients” from “funders.”  It’s just a single page which links to nothing else).  So are the pages within the timeline, that I saw so far.
  • AISR (The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown) + CES (Coalition of Essential Schools) network, the Ted & Nancy Sizer et al.  Plenty posted before, enough said for now!
    • Except I recall some MIA grants involving a Chicago Entity, and later CPS Schools Chief being ousted for fraud in grants administration.  (See posts in below images)
    • Nearby “Broad Institute | Academy | Center | Foundation (versions 1 versions 2) possibly related.  Had to do with training for urban school system supervisors.
    • And, one post title with active link, and all those posts (in image form with dates published dates):

My Annenberg-related posts published so far; The names speak loudly. Click image to enlarge and see. Only one has tabs (and not all shown on this image)

An Annenberg-related FamilyCourtMatters post + publication date (but no tags), title also shown with link nearby (Nov. 21, 2017 new post)

Challenging the Annenbergs’ Public Education Challenge Grants, Still Searching for AISR@Brown as a Form 990 filer, Still Scrutinizing Why We Accept that Privately Controlled, Synched, Billion-Dollar, Tax-Exempt Foundations Care about the Public as Much as About Controlling Their Collective Assets (and the Public, Lest We Start Demanding a Better Look at the Books!) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6yC”

The first several paragraphs here overlap from the originating post, before I “get into it,” scrutinizing some of the Forms 990PF and relationships between various Annenberg projects and their main foundation. *** [see below next para. and link]

As previously explained (on the last post, above), this is a large family foundation (well, at least one) whose primary wealth came from ownership of publications/media field — the sale of “Triangle Publications,” by a second-generation business success, Walter H. Annenberg.

  • The NGA (National Governors’ Association) which controls its foundation (501©3) thereby allowing direct corporate “Fellows” concentration, with privileged access, to its conferences that normal citizens cannot attend (i.e., Pay-Us-To-Play in the “major leagues,” but for which no financials are shown, that I can see (view tax returns of the supporting “NGA Center for Best Practices” for more details).  The ‘NGA” is one of the “Big Seven” associations coordinating efforts before the Congress on their own behalf.  [no reminder text or images provided here; it’s more distant blog history…]
  • …and now, more recently, I see the NAAG (National Association of Attorneys General) and NASCO (National Association of State Charity Officials), the NAAG’s “Mission Foundation” (formed in 2002? with funds from MSA Tobacco Settlement), and I haven’t yet explored in depth, but there are plenty of visuals showing a “NAGTRI” (Training and Research Institute) said to have been created in 2007 (logo below, accessible through main NAAG.org website).  Then again, it’s hard to explore what one can’t even access yet.

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Re: My June 4, 2011 Post on Four Special Issue Resource Centers (Ellen Pence/MPDI): (Pt 2 of, well, now it’s 3), “Same text, better formatting, some updating”).

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Before digging into this post, click on this “TinyURL” which leads to a report generated by the “new face” of TAGGS.HHS.Gov.  This is some of the subject matter I am discussing.   That link leads to a a report run today (3/29/2016) showing by year, grants to a single organization in (Duluth) MN:

Recipient Name: DOMESTIC ABUSE INTERVENTION PROGRAMS
Report Total:  $23,841,530 [= 2016 search results; about $3.8M higher than my post in 2011]
Distinct Award Count: 38

You will notice that some grants refer to the “Special Issue Resource Center.” …

Given the column headings I selected, that of over perhaps twenty years, only THREE different women are shown:   Ellen Pence and Denise Gamache headed up most of them as “Principal Investigator”, then in about 2000, mostly just Denise Gamache, and in 2016, I see a “Renee Gutman.”

Denise Gamache is now associated with “Battered Women’s Justice Project” (and was while working also at DAIP) which decided to “come out” (incorporate in MN) in the year 2013.  I see that “Renee Gutmann” got her degree in 1993, and has worked for DAIP since 1993 (LinkedIn) and is characterized as “Accountant” for DAIP.


Part 1 (most recent post) explains why I’m re-blogging it with some updates. It was recently reblogged on Red Herring Alert, in an interesting juxtaposition of articles.

This version of the same post makes some charts more readable. The gist of the material is the Ellen Pence / Casey Gwinn connection (representing the Duluth, MN-based “DAIP” as it now goes by, and the Family Justice Center concept (now called “Alliance for Hope International” as a California nonprofit of which the “Family Justice Center Alliance” has become a program). It also intersected with Telling Amy’s Story, and got under my skin at the time, as it still does.

As does the entire “Family Justice Center” setup.  I still remember “connecting the dots” on discovering that the San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation (it’s full original, corporate name) existed to funnel money to Camp Hope, Inc. — but Camp Hope, Inc. wasn’t staying properly incorporated.  No matter, shut down one version, file for a new one, move the money.  It was a minor, minor detail — charitable registration number was so close, and more recently realizing it’d changed names AGAIN, that got me reviewing the earlier tax returns of this operations. I have been living IN California before, during, and while, this business model was created, funded, and replicated.  It’s worth an entirely separate blog to alert people to what, exactly IS that business model — but I am only one person.

The fuller background on the original (a) philanthropic private wealthy couple and (b) public funds behind the multiple names surrounding both the San Diego Family Justice Center and the associated “Camp Hope” theme, are another separate story which I also learned considerably more fascinating background on this past summer. By doing, the usual thing — scrutinizing tax returns and looking up the entities and people named in them.  Some of this is exposed below in the section with light-brown-background and teal borders.  Actually, influence from “Fuller Seminary” leadership may have been involved so, “fuller background” could be a pun, also.

“Getting” the reality of the Family Justice Center Alliance is, I’d say, as important as getting the reality of the Duluth Model, CCR, treat everyone and let us be the train-the-trainer people concept. So I will continue to bring it up, where it ties into the other subject matter.  Both involve replicating BUSINESS models.  A close diagnosis of the original models then, is always appropriate — and by “diagnosis” I mean, accounting-wise.  This can’t be just one organization, but involve the various related organizations (translation:  “networks”) to construct something of a picture of operations.  Even for people who weren’t “there,” right on scene locally — it can still be done.

6/4/2011 post begins here.  Interjections from 2016 will have a different background color.  If they get too long in the writing, I’ll move them to a separate post.  It also looks like HHS/TAGGS database just got radically revised and (at first glance) I don’t see how one can access any data before the year 2007 (previously, it went back to 1995).  See very bottom of this post.

I am moving part of this post to a 3rd “Part”….


The Nonprofit Preventing Family Violence and Dispensing Family Justice world can be a very friendly set of associates.  In getting to know these individuals, besides hearing what they say & write (including positively about each other), I think it’s also helpful to look at who is paying how much for the time and the talents.Getting to know each other …

On a  recent [in 6/2011] post and here (currently), there is a graphic of Ellen Pence — well-known in Domestic Violence circles — interviewing Casey Gwinn, well known in San Diego and for his work on the National Family Justice Center Alliance, i.e., for starting it.

(broken link to “Interview of Ellen Pence by Casey Gwinn was “http://nfjca.mediasite.com/mediasite/Viewer/?peid=bd05931ed27e4ab9afc89c5878e74ce21d“)

(second broken link to “Interview of Ellen Pence by Casey Gwinn” was “http://telling.psu.edu/“)

[This color background inside green borders in this post designates my 2016 UPDATES}


2016 “Broken link” substitute:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZeppoVr5f0&feature=youtube (Found by searching; found at a wordpress blog complaining about the feminist ideology.  I may know the individual who posted it)..  Youtube summary with this video (may not be the same one) describes it as:

On March 29, 2010, Casey Gwinn interviewed Ellen Pence in St. Paul, Minnesota for three hours. Ellen and Casey focused on the recent release of the Blueprint for Safety by Praxis International and on the work and future of the Family Justice Center movement in America. This video is a 41 minute edited version of the interview. It was played at the International Family Justice Center Conference on April 28, 2010. The National Family Justice Center Alliance, in partnership with the Verizon Foundation, will be making available the entire interview in the next 60 days. Please remember Ellen in your thoughts and prayers as she battles cancer. She has played a powerful leadership role in the domestic violence movement for over 30 years. The impact of her vision, work, and leadership is profound and will help shape the struggle to stop domestic violence for many years to come in the United States and around the world.

Ellen Pence did battle, but did not beat, cancer, and died within about two years.

Ellen Pence Obituary, January 19, 2012 by Julie Bindel in The Guardian (UK)

Ellen Pence aimed to teach offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and to desire change

It is not an easy task to make an audience roar with laughter while lecturing on domestic violence and homicide, but such was the compelling humour of Ellen Pence, who has died of breast cancer aged 63. Pence was a pioneer in creating and promoting innovative strategies to deal with domestic abuse. The training she developed, and the accessible and motivational way in which she delivered it, changed the way violence towards women and children in the home is viewed.

In 1980 she founded the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, widely known as the Duluth model (named after the Minnesota city where it was developed). Based on an inter-agency approach in which police, probation services, courts, social services and women’s advocacy projects work together to assess risk, protect victims and deal effectively with the abuser, this strategy remains a blueprint across the US and UK.

.. The Duluth model pioneered the somewhat controversial perpetrator programmes for abusive men which now run in several countries as an alternative to, or as part of, a custodial sentence for domestic violence offences. Pence always had a clear understanding that abusive men can change if those working with them have the appropriate training, skills and tools. She created the programme with the aim of teaching offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and to desire change.

If you don’t know this material yet, please read the rest of the article.  The key concept of promoting TREATMENT PLANS as alternative to CRIMINAL (“custodial” — meaning, incarceration) sentence for “domestic violence offences”), i.e., often called “batterers intervention programs” is a MAJOR big fish to swallow along with the field.  It is in my opinion, one of the main problems with the response to DV as those intent on their persuasive abilities — and focusing on TRAINING, at many levels has simply reinforced a focus on the perps, and not those perpetrated upon.  This is now so engrained it would be tough to re-consider.  Entire conferences, associations, agenda, and grants streams might need to be re-arranged — and once people are involved, who wants to do that?
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National Top Domestic Violence/Child Custody Experts continue trying to Dumb Down Moms

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This has been a long time coming.

I barely tapped the tip of the iceberg in January 2011 in asking “What Rhetoric Are You: Mother, Father, or Mediator?” after a recent Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference in which to my awareness, no one explained how the Health and Human Services (HHS) has been diverting welfare funds to marriage promotion, that things called “fatherhood practitioners” exist, or that Access/Visitation funding exists.

This post also barely taps the tip of the iceberg in how much lies BELOW THE SURFACE in the Coalition of Conferencing Nonprofit Professional (Leadership) among what I am summarizing as the “Crisis in the Courts” Crowd. Or, I may sarcastically refer to as the “Our Broken Family Courts Initiative.” Instead, this initiative is (my opinion, here) USING the emotional distress of mothers (which is genuine) and people who have been indeed assaulted and battered — by a partner, and/or thereafter the courts in association with the same battering partner, and/or ditched by their religious groups (where applicable) — to follow a certain blueprint which highlights the leadership organizations – not, impartially — the actual cause, effect, and potential solutions to the issues they raise.

Women — mothers — are highly motivated, intelligent, and have tremendous energy, commitment, and leadership potential. The movement encouraging them to wear loss and victimhood like a badge and tell their stories — has diverted a tremendous energy from the real story behind this — which is Who Altered the Courts, How, and Why? Instead, they are to rally, report, trust, and follow according to the blueprint laid down for them by simply another set of experts. Proper skepticism and critical thinking — outside the platform being fed — is always in order in situations of this magnitude.


[[Comments welcome; the matter I’m raising here IS a matter for debate! Make up a name if you want… but let’s talk about this! See form…]]]
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“Mother Says” — Words to the Wise for Women in Custody Challenges

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[Intro paragraphs — some of underlines below are hyperlinks. Publ. 12/27/2012; Rev. 2-19-2013, split in half 06-06-2013, putting Michigan Material in a separate post.]

NOTE: OVERALL THIS BLOG IS FOR BOTH GENDERS, AND TO THE WIDER PUBLIC WHO MAY NOT EVEN BE STRUNG OUT HANDLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR SEXUAL ABUSE (OR SIMPLY FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION) CASES IN THE COURT.

Truth, however framed, is offensive, and my blog certainly will offend plenty. However, I am still more interested in systems, and perhaps the mentality of the people that designed them, tolerate them, staff them, and fund them. Society has to have some labels, and designations, to work as do systems. I think different personalities gravitate to certain portions of certain systems — but there are SOME systems which affect almost everyone. So like it or not, their damages have to be discussed; there is no other way to mitigate them.

Overall, it is an appeal for the public to wake up.  To identify and find ways to quit financing institutions within America that undermine justice (as defined in terms of due process, representative government of ANY sort, and oppose over-centralization of power).  Doing this requires identifying and letting go of significant myths on which the economy** — and from there, most social relationships (in fact, from which society) — is based.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

December 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Technical Assistance and Training = Silencing Mothers’ Voices, Taking their Money…

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[post is about 11,000 words long.
I am showing many TA&T [Technical Assistance and Training] programs and their relationships, although my interest in Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) stems from their recent collaborations with (instead of confrontation of) “AFCC” and drawing upon public funding (HHS grants) to do their analyses.  It’s pretty obvious that the organizations writing up the projects/situation/subject matter are not going to BE the subject matter — and if so, it will be self-description.
My takeaway is, the better way to describe “the situation” is corporate economic viewpoint.   I use corporate lookups, tax return lookups, sometimes grants lookups to describe (and compare to) any organization’s self-description on its colorful, hyperlinked, “Donate Here” websites.  
I also  try to remember which nonprofits have spun off earlier ones that made a name and got the grants.
In that regard, Technical Assistance =  Propaganda Promotion, even if the topic they are writing about is or was indeed legitimate; to dominate the field by the internet, conferences, training, federal funding, and nonprofit status — is to exclude the clientele’s voices as an equally relevant viewpoint.
It should be remembered that several of these organizations got their start in the 1980s, before (really) the Internet Revolution got underway.  However now that it is, business just got easier, and for individual victims of (for example) battering or abusive control — who are often fighting for sheer access to an internet (i.e., isolation is a factor in controlling others) — to expect to keep up with the rapid expansion of certain viewpoints (which are good for sales, if not necessarily good for actually stopping violence against women, or promoting responsible fatherhood EITHER) — is, well unreal.
The only way to even the playing field (being outnumbered and out financed, and less well organized) is to, I hope others also will, EXPOSE the circumstances, and then demand that certain programs be DEFUNDED (they are not reducing “roadkill” they are simply spawning more proselytes and building professional conferencer-careers) –and the organizations pay their own way through life.
When it comes to ECONOMIC control, the United States (obviously) has collective wealth beyond individuals — but I suggest addressing this issue sooner rather than later, anyhow.  TAKE A LOOK!  No matter where one digs in, similar behaviors will prevail; this is as good an entry point as any….]

SOCIAL CHANGE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN:  

HOME OF THE DULUTH, MODEL

This website has changed, and no longer openly lists certain projects that are underneath it (an older version may be on my blog)…  Which I seem to recall included groups like PRAXIS International:  “integrating theory & practice,” which like DAIP, had close ties to Ellen Pence (who actually was Praxis “founding director.”  Their home page still holds a eulogy, as Ellen Pence died recently:

Praxis believes in social change through advocacy & training “since 1996”.

  •  “Since 1996, we have worked with advocacy organizations, intervention agencies, and inter-agency collaborations to create a clear and cooperative agenda for social change in their communities.

Like others, they endorsed the “SUPERVISED VISITATION & EXCHANGE” (USDOJ Safe-Havens grant series support):

 Since 1996, we have worked with advocacy organizations, intervention agencies, and inter-agency collaborations to create a clear and cooperative agenda for social change in their communities.

Interesting year — startup year coincided with welfare reform…  Like OH SO MANY helpful nonprofit groups getting significant HHS and/or DOJ grants (although I DNR what Praxis got) — they are really “into” technical assistance and training” and quite willing to help grantees — from a safe distance from ongoing, shall we say, volatile, situations at the street level.  Maybe the founders had this experience initially but after all, people age out, and it’s safer to teach than to confront in a group setting — or dispense studies on-line.

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Things that Don’t Compute: DV Sensitivity Training for Faith-Based Organizations…. SERIOUSLY??

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PART I – Six Sisters Sue, including their former Pastor

Am I supposed to “take it on faith” that major DV organizations care who lives, who dies, and which children are being molested by their own,while their church-going parents know damn well that no one’s going to report, as mandated.

More than the care about their program funding and absolutely fantastic websites . . . .

MEANWHILE:   Look at this article by Malaika Fraley of the Contra Costa Times:

By Malaika Fraley
Contra Costa Times
© Copyright 2012, Bay Area News Group

Posted:   05/16/2012 10:16:47 AM PDT

News for six sisters sue antioch cps


ABC30.com
  1. Antioch sisters suing for missed chances to stop years of sexual abuse

    San Jose Mercury News‎ – 4 days ago
    Ranging in age from 9 to 16, six sisters had been sexually abused by  Child Protective Services went to the Dutro sisters’ Antioch home Aug.

    ANTIOCH — Ranging in age from 9 to 16, six sisters had been sexually abused by their parents virtually every day since they were toddlers before finding hope in 1995 that their nightmare would end.

    Instead, they say, it grew more horrific as the people they counted on to rescue them — police, child-welfare workers, their church pastor — failed to deliver.

    A year after their parents were imprisoned for sex crimes spanning 20 years, the Dutro sisters — Glenda Stripes, Amber and Sarah Dutro, Martha McKnelly, Frances Smith and Christina Moore — are now suing the people and agencies they say failed to protect them as children by not following laws and procedures for handling child abuse.

    Child Protective Services went to the Dutro sisters’ Antioch home Aug. 18, 1995, after police had garnered two confessions from their pedophile father because 14-year-old Glenda had disclosed to a church pastor that she was being molested. Had they been given a moment alone with social workers, the sisters say, they would have told them they had been tortured for 16 days in preparation of the CPS visit, after the pastor had tipped off their parents days before calling police.

    But CPS, like police, never talked to them apart from their parents, and a light punishment for their rapist father only exacerbated their hellish existence.

    1995.   SEVEN YEARS LATER, in 2002, SARAH Dutro (then a teen) gives the pastor a full history of abuse, trying to spare others:

    The lawsuit, filed in Contra Costa Superior Court last week against Contra Costa County, city of Antioch, Calvary Open Bible Church in Antioch, and seven individuals who are either current or former CPS, police department or church employees. It alleges the defendants were negligent and failed to fulfill state-mandated duties that, if done, would have spared the Dutro children years of further abuse.

    One defendant, Calvary pastor Anthony Lee, is named for not contacting police or CPS when a teenage Sarah Dutro gave him a full history of the abuse in 2002 in an effort to stop her mother, Glenda Lea Dutro, the church’s youth adviser before her arrest, from hosting sleepover parties for children from the congregation at the Dutro house.

    Bruce Dutro was the primary sexual abuser, while Glenda Lea Dutro facilitated the crimes, often handpicking children for her husband. Both parents physically, psychologically and verbally abused and neglected the children, two of whom are biological nieces that the Dutros obtained legal guardianship of and raised as their daughters from ages 3 years and 18 months.

A THIRD time, the girls spoke up, this time to protect young children from Mexico.  FYI — a lot of evangelical protestant churches in California (I can’t speak for Catholics) seem to love to head down to Mexico for missionary work.   Supposedly:

For some of them, the sexual abuse lasted into their early 20s.

The parents were arrested in 2009 after an eight-month investigation launched by Antioch police after the sisters came to the department for the third time. The sisters said they were hesitant, having been burned by authority figures before, but anxious that their parents were working with the church to adopt a family with small children from Mexico.

Deputy district attorney Graves and Antioch police Officer Blair Benzler restored their faith in the criminal justice system by getting the 2011 conviction

Let’s go over this again.  The first reporting was 1995.  The conviction was 2011.   Let’s call that one full generation of nonresponse…

I think many women who have been to domestic violence support groups will verify with me that there are loads of Christian women in there, and some of them married to a pastor or a prominent deacon.   I am a Christian, but as a result of what I also have seen as to “coverups” I will not attend. Why should I support such an institution, whether it’s Opus Dei related or similar to this crap, above.  There IS NO EXCUSE, and this is a hallmark of such groups — their mandated reporters, for the most part, don’t.  I was being assaulted in the home in the 1990s, and sought help from plenty of pastors (not only them, but they knew).  This is what happens:  some churches are taught to imitate their leaders.  So there’s a collective silence.

Then, here comes the narcissistic domestic violence agencies and — because they’re into technical assistance and training, and are authorities, “surely” the leadership in the faith communities will respond to their really cool sensitivity trainings, and start sticking up for women.     Actually, if the faith community never does respond, it hardly matters — because the primary activity (other than helping run shelters) these groups are into is training and publicizing.  So long as that can continue, who cares if the agenda isn’t working, and is guaranteed NOT to work?

Do they seriously think none of the faith authorities read a tax return, program goal?  For example, when PCADV’s reads:

(TAX RETURN 2009) purpose:  (#3) “To expose the roots of domestic violence in the institutionalized subservience of women in this culture.

. . .that the Bible-toting evangelical communities (some of who are also in on the faith and fatherhood grants streams) are going to buy that line of thinking?  There are still plenty of groups around who don’t let women speak from the pulpit, and are actively coaching men in how to control their women.  And they aren’t going to go “feminazi” talk especially when it comes to LGBT matters?   Even the book of Genesis is pretty clear (let alone of how it’s further bastardized in practice and preaching) – the trouble with Eve was her independence from her husband, and conversing with ‘the serpent.’

excerpt, talking about “Emotional Abuse.”

✔controlling and/or limiting her behavior (e.g., keeping her from using the phone or seeing friends, not letting her leave the room or the house, following her and monitoring/limiting her phone conversations, checking mileage on her car, or keeping her from reading material, activities and places that he does not approve of)

✔ interrupting her while she is eating, forcing her to stay awake or waking her up

✔ blaming her for everything that goes wrong

ALL of these (and a lot more) were routine in my years of marriage, and going too far afield DID result in retaliation when I got home.  He also retaliated upon the children in attempt to sabotage some of my work relationships by simply not showing up in time to watch them when it was known I had to go, not enough gas in the car to get back home from the event,  sleep deprivation or interruptions (to be shouted at, or lectured), or trashing the house while I was out.

A leopard doesn’t change his spots through sitting through classes, before or afterwards, and GRRrrrreat way to continue control post-domestic violence is for the courts to order joint legal and/or joint physical custody.   This basically means people can’t get away.  

Someone has to TRULY not understand the religious minds in what’s going on (talking, USA, today) to believe that this stuff would change a pastor’s attitude, or a church’s.  For example — do we not yet understand how the Unification Church has been pushing “True Parents” and the healthy marriage/fatherhood programming, or politically how much Sun Myung Moon’s funding of the far right (meaning, conservative religion) is going on?  Have we not read anything by Jeff Sharlett (“The Family” re: the Bushes) The Dominionists, I mean, even some mainstream are starting to catch the drift, here  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/14/dominionism-michele-bachmann-and-rick-perry-s-dangerous-religious-bond.html; I’m not sure I’d agree with that’s where it comes from, alone (referring to the 1960s and Rushdoony.  It’s been around before.  Like, say, “A.D. 381” or earlier….}}

Meanwhile, the theory that people can be trained out of bad behavior by enlightened education — and not something like, for example, if it’s a church that has been complicit in covering up child abuse, domestic violence, etc. — the pastor’s out and the church loses it’s nonprofit status pretty quickly if that pastor AIN’T out.  They fire pastors for less than this, so it shouldn’t be  a hard concept to grasp if it’s presented with teeth not just “T&A” or rather “technical assistance and training.”

I hope these sisters win every dime they’re entitled to and that the public gets so sick of paying settlements for failures of their own officials that they decide to take a stand voluntarily against child abuse right where it counts– and that includes in the churches.   I’m saying this as a woman who reported to immediate family first (who were worse than useless initially), and my own pastor at the time, weeks later after another, similar, only worse incident occurred.  Both were in my home.  Both were with a toddler in the home at the time, a close witness, and both were while I was pregnant and involved me being thrown to the floor, straddled, slapped repeatedly IN THE FACE while being shouted at by this guy.

It got worse from there . . .. And as I have daughters, I am also seriously concerned (as we speak) about my own family member’s obsession with them, and manic need to keep me from having a real relationship with my own kids.  It’s known that there is incest in an involved family line (actually ,two involved family lines) as well, although it was not an allegation in our family law case.

Some churches may be decent, but many are hellish, and I mean that in the truest sense of the words.  Like batterers, they don’t come out drooling and spitting, but smooth and empathetic many times. On the inside, it’s pretty much like Jesus said — whited sepulchers.  And maybe for some, ignorantly. . . . . .    Let’s put it this way — what those sisters said is entirely credible (as a possibility) based on my own awareness of this situation, and my own case history.  I know how it goes.

Just a reminder — the Jaycee Dugard case also came from the same town, Antioch.  

 

Malaika Fraley and the Contra Costa times should be commended for this reporting.  I intend to follow up when I’m less deeply affected by it, which doesn’t make for very good writing, here.

 

PART II

Over at Scranton Political Times recently, as more evidence that a GAL is recommending custody of little children be switched to fathers who injure mothers, or later get convicted of raping other minors, I have some more commentary — from today.  Others (who live in the area) have said that a recent man arrested for raping a teenager over many years, also had his own custody case involving both DV and child abuse; he got custody.  Search “Tunkhannock” or “Maurice Hunting” on the site, it’ll show up.  Meanwhile, I’m talking about Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and one of their subgrantees (who is in Scranton), the “Women’s Resource Center” — below.  Hopefullly there’s enough to chew on.  I discuss the HHS grants some as well (easier to view on the forum than below):  Notice all the earmarks:

http://scrantonpoliticaltimes.activeboard.com/f319624/main-message-board/

 dare you to scrutinize these grants:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 156527558 $ 40,196,794
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 166527558 $ 945,000

Like, grant 90XP0223 ($85K in 2008, $297K total, congressional earmark)

a training, education, and prevention institute on domestic violence and homicide prevention”

from “Washington Watch

Prevention, Education and Training Institute Project
$250,000

Sen. Robert P., Jr. Casey (PA) requests $250,000 for:
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV)
Harrisburg, PA

“For the first time, USReps are required to publish their requested earmarks ONline”  Rep Holden D-17 requested $377 for this:

PRESS RELEASE on creating this institute, with Case & Specter

A big one is the “National Resource Center on DV” (marked “Discretionary” — most are).     $8 million over 5 years (HHS)

Since 2005:

Award Number: 90EV0353
Award Title: DEMO PROJECT FOR ENHANCING SERVICES FOR CHILDREN EXPOSED TO DV **
OPDIV: ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)
Organization: FAMILY AND YOUTH SERVICES BUREAU (FYSB)
Award Class: DISCRETIONARY   ($350K so far)

**popular now, why not expand (note:  how could Penn State Univ have ever happened, Sandusky, with this giant communicator & trainer, PCADV in the same state, Harrisburg?)

They already have a “National Resource Center” which is primarily on-line links to publications (as far as I can tell).  But why stop a good thing?  So here’s $750K or so more, do start up another one:

Award Number: U1VCE324010
Award Title: NATIONAL ON-LINE RESOURCE CENTER FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
OPDIV: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
Organization: NATIONAL CENTER FOR INJURY PREVENTION AND CONTROL (NCIPC)
Award Class: COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT

( $728K since 2007, small so far).

Goal of the National Resource Center (since 1994):

“To change belief systems and practices that support violence and abuse that disproportionately affects women, and other marginalized people, the DVAP recognizes and promotes the participation of the entire community in building social intolerance towards domestic violence…”

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Flowchart — interesting:

FlowChart.jpg

Here’s a profile from a group that tracks nonprofit salaries, revenues, etc (EERI), up through 2004.   Its contributions and its revenues are about equal (??), and ca. $26 million (see bar chart).  SO WHAT IS IT SELLING?

TAX RETURN 2009 shows one of its purposes  (#3) “To expose the roots of domestic violence in the institutionalized subservience of women in this culture.

How Much Mileage Can DV Advocates get out of the press on San Francisco’s Ross Mirkarimi/Eliana Lopez case?

with one comment

This has been headline news for how long?  It definitely brings up mixed feelings on my part — knowing how many women are receiving far more severe battery, false imprisonment, endangering children and intimidating witnesses throughout the Bay Area, and have been for years — many years.  While each time there is some press, someone from one of the organizations gets quoted.

March 31, 2012, last Saturday, Section “C,”* an article laid out at top of the page, full width, and by Columnist C.W. Nevius), reads:

(*Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle)

Wife’s anger misdirected in Mirkarimi case.”

Eliana Lopez is furious at the way her domestic violence dispute with her husband, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, has been handled.

Too bad. Because the process worked perfectly.

Was it messy and painful? Absolutely. But it is also important and worthwhile.

This week, Myrna Melgar, a survivor of domestic violence,**  wrote a passionate account – with Lopez’s blessing – of her friend’s devastation and anger in how the case was handled. While the opinion piece in the Bay Guardian had some fascinating details, it missed the main point.

Neither Lopez nor Mirkarimi seems able to get beyond the anger toward neighbor Ivory Madison, who called attention to the alleged abuse and then provided the damning video of Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise.

Melgar wrote that the process empowers people “to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes.”

That’s right. It does. And that’s what it should do.

“This is why domestic violence advocates have been seen as evildoers,” said Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres. “They say we are breaking up families. The helper becomes the one who is blamed.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quHv5VFi

**not sure this is the same “Myrna Melgar, just included the LinkedIn profile which shows her professional/civic leadership in the area.  It probably is)

This is the Bay Guardian article, and it seems well written enough.  I’m glad someone filled in a few of these details, including a factor that until 5 Mr. Mirkarimi was raised in a bi-cultural family (Russian Jewish mother/ Iranian Muslim father), and then was separated from his father.  There seems to be a sense of father-absence here:

(The bulk of my post is addressing topics raised in this article, particularly a certain reference to a Canadian sociologist for insight into this Californian incident).

03.27.12 – 3:01 pm |

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By Myrna Melgar

Myrna Melgar is a Latina survivor of childhood domestic violence, a feminist, and the mother of three girls. She is a former legislative aide to Sup. Eric Mar.

Eliana Lopez is my friend. I have asked for her permission to put into words, in English, some observations, thoughts and insights reached during our many conversations these past few weeks about her experience with San Francisco’s response to the allegation of domestic violence by her husband, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi  . . .  (Please read the article).

. . .According to Eliana, the context of what happened between them on December 31 actually started much earlier. Ross grew up as the only son of a single teenage mother of Russian Jewish descent and an absent Iranian immigrant father. Pressured by the opposition of her family to her relationship with an Iranian Muslim, Ross’s mother divorced his father by the time he was five. Ross was raised on a small, nearly all-white island in New England, with no connection to his father. When he had the opportunity, Ross traveled to Chicago, where his father had remarried and built a new family with two sons. Ross’s father turned him away. In Eliana’s analysis, Ross’s greatest fear is that his painful story with his father will be replayed again with Theo.

I can just see the fathers’ rights groups (which are mens’ rights groups) spinning this one to blame Mr. Mirkarimi’s abuse of his wife on his lack of a father (and not perhaps some of the standards that might have been learned in the first five years of his life, or anything else).

Eliana Lopez came to San Francisco from Venezuela with hope in her head and love in her heart. She decided to leave behind her beautiful city of Caracas, a successful career as an actress, and her family and friends, following the dream of creating a family and a life with a man she had fallen in love with but barely knew, Ross Mirkarimi.

Whirlwind romance, charmer?  Another article (reporting on this one) adds:

Heather Knight Thursday, March 29, 2012

Melgar’s piece describes how Lopez came to San Francisco after she and then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi became pregnant on one of his visits to her native Venezuela

(He got his girlfriend knocked up in the course of leisure? or business?  Not mentioned — were they married at the time?

(Michael Macor/The Chronicle)

Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, speaks to the news media about the three misdemeanor charges against her husband, on Friday Jan. 13, 2012, in San Francisco, Ca

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/28/BAS31NRKL3.DTL#ixzz1qv1dHpDm

Bay Guardian Op-Ed, cont’d.:

Well-educated, progressive, charismatic, and artistic, she made friends easily. She and Ross seemed like a great match. Both were committed environmentalists, articulate and successful. They had a son, Theo. {{see above…}} As they settled into domestic life, however, problems began to surface. The notoriously workaholic politician did not find his family role an easy fit. A bachelor into his late forties, Ross had trouble with the quiet demands of playing a puzzle on the floor with his toddler or having an agenda-less breakfast with his wife. Ross would not make time for Eliana’s request for marriage counseling, blaming the demands of job and campaign.

Now, about prosecuting the low-level domestic violence against the wife’s wishes:

How did it come to be that a system that was intended to empower women has evolved into a system that disempowers them so completely?

I don’t know Ms. Melgar’s life story (or whether she’s currently married — sounds like not).  However, there are TWO ways the District Attorney’s Office can disempower women — if this is correct, prosecuting against the woman’s wishes when it’s supposedly a “minor” event.  Or (and this was my situation and MANY other women’s) NOT prosecuting them despite severe domestic violence, when prosecuting them  might save a life, or save ongoing destruction of life.  See

And in this politically charged event — MADE TO ORDER for anyone who didn’t want Mirkarimi’s Progressive Politics disrupting the city (notice — nothing to do with domestic violence in that phrase) — because the events had some validity.

INTERJECTION — information from Purpleberets.org — and the topic is well-covered at the Sonoma County (Northern CA, not too far from SF) “Women’s Justice Center.”  This is talking about much, MUCH more severe cases where DA refused to prosecute.   (And if you know my blog, the case underlying it — and which eventually led to my blogging habit — was when district attorneys in TWO Counties refused to stop a child-stealing in action, or to prosecute it — ever.  The general practice over a number of years (by law enforcement, specifically — I’m talking police in a number of cities, county sheriffs in more than one, and the district attorney’s office.  As it turns out later, the person in charge of the “Alameda County Family Justice Center” (a hybrid creation by DA’s office and others modeled on San Diego’s one which came out of the City Attorneys’ Office — I’ve blogged this plenty elsewhere), Ms. Nadia Lockyer, then went on to win the position of County Supervisor (with help of a $1 million campaign funding and  very, very, very  well connected spouse 30 years her senior) — had a substance abuse problem, started an affair with someone (closer to her age) she met in rehab — himself getting off ‘meth’ — and had an incident requiring 911 assistance in a Newark (California) motel early a.m.   This is the Bay Area leadership . . . . . it’s typically about politics and careers — and NOT about preventing violence against women and services to them.  In the larger scope.

So, re: the immense power of the District Attorney’s Office: Written, I believe, around the year 2000:

California Passes Tough New Domestic Violence Laws — by Maria DeSantis, director Women’s Justice Center

In effect since January 1, 2000, a patchwork of new California domestic violence laws is already providing added help for domestic violence victims. The laws, however, still leave untouched some of the biggest obstacles victims face.

. . . .

District Attorney Power Still Unfettered

A critical area for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse that has been left ignored by legislators this year and in years past is the district attorney’s absolute power to refuse to file charges no matter how solid the evidence. Even if a district attorney refuses to file charges on a whole crime category, there is no legal remedy for victims. This unrestricted prosecutorial discretion is particularly dangerous for women in Sonoma County where D.A. Mike Mullins’ rate of conviction on domestic violence is one of the lowest in the state, and where he systematically under-charges cases of violence against women and children.

For example, at this writing, we at Women’s Justice Center have a case of three days of spousal rape, sodomy and beatings which the district attorney has filed only as misdemeanor domestic violence. The detective in the case states there is ample evidence to file multiple felonies.

In another case of a woman beaten to the point of a fractured skull, the D. A. refused to file at all for five months until one day the perpetrator went out and committed another assault with a deadly weapon on another victim. In yet another case of spousal rape, the district attorney and Cloverdale Police have been fighting for six months over who should pay for translating key evidence. Sadly, those are just a few of many examples.

Not only are all women put in direct and great danger by the absence of any legislative check on the district attorney’s denial of justice to women, but the D.A.’s refusal to file proper charges on these cases also suffocates and discourages police efforts. We need to work with our legislators to give them the fortitude to put restrictions on district attorney discretion now.

(For Spanish translation of this and other violence against women information, see the WJC website:www.justicewomen.com )

Back

© Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center
You can copy and distribute this information at will
if you include credit and don’t edit.

Back to Myrna Melgar’s article, minimizing the incident:

Unquestionably, there are women in deeply abusive relationships who need assistance getting out, who may not be able to initiate an escape on their own. Eliana’s relationship with Ross did not even come close to that standard.

It seems Myrna is oblivious to the fact that, through the family court, if Eliana did decide (later) to go to Venezuela without her husband’s assent, he could — in a moment, and don’t think such a person is unaware of this — charge her (or find someone to charge her) with parental kidnapping, put an arrest warrant out for her, and in the meantime get practically ANY family law judge in San Francisco — unless they had a personal grudge or other political reason to not do this — to switch sole custody to him, demand some sort or extradition, and/or have her thrown in jail if she came back to work things out.  And don’t think that this isn’t a possibility.  Maybe they would’ve worked it out — or maybe not.  But one thing’s for sure — I read a LOT of material put out by domestic violence groups, and have networked with hundreds, literally, of mothers over the years, and most of them were completely ambushed by the concept that appealing to domestic violence laws to protect themselves and kids, even if they were IN a battered womens’ shelter — was no shield at all for later transfer of their children to their abusers.  This is literally a third line of advocacy, now — “protective parents.”  So, while it did not NOW rise to that abusive level, it certainly could’ve later.

Yet in the eyes of Ivory Madison, Phil Bronstein, District Attorney George Gascon, and even the Director of La Casa de las Madres, once her husband had grabbed her arm, Eliana was simply no longer competent and her wishes were irrelevant.

In other words, an action done by a man, over which a woman has no control whatsoever, renders the woman incompetent and irrelevant, and empowers a long list of people — most of whom are male — to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes. No one in the entire chain of people who made decisions on Eliana’s behalf offered her any help — besides prosecuting her husband

 How ironic — because it is literally true, and how I WISH someone would’ve intervened in this manner during the abusive years, while our kids were growing up, in a Bay Area County.   The most dangerous place for ME to be in that county was in my home, which was one reason I became an excellent networker and made sure to get those children into a variety of activities (“healthy,” they’d be called now) in nonabusive environments and connected with other kids their age and families, too.   Police came after incidents more violent than this one (I think — I wasn’t a witness to Eliana’s case) and didn’t arrest — ever.  So they left, and the violence continued, until finally I got out, before the “fatherhood”movement was in full swing — although it was definitly operational and almost prevented me from getting a restraining order at the time.  I hadn’t been assaulted recently enough (in part, because over time one learns how to avert, avoid, dodge and diffuse situations, i.e., live like a near-fugitive in one’s own home).  This man NEVER spent a night in jail on my behalf — but it’s quite likely that if he had, earlier on, he might have woken up and mended his ways.  Maybe.
My kids and I will never know, because no officer ever arrested him.  And now that he’s been very well informed that there will be NO prosecution beyond the initial restraining order with kickout type of even (apparently the DV organizations’ funding is tied to some sort of head count on “clients served”??) — my and my kids’ lives afterwards — though there was a noticeable improvement — no one could assault me IN my house — there has been stalking, serious, harassment around (times right before and right after) my work, repeated job losses surrounding this, and long-term litigation in the family law system, which utterly drained my resources, and finally stolen, then abandoned by their father, children.
So in light of that, I am in favor of more aggressive early intervention — although it’s not quite cldear to me how to label this high-profile case, except it highlights the hypocrisy of who is, and who is not, prosecuted.
Consider, however, if there’d been a subsequent argument around the same issue after Mirkarimi had been installed as sheriff and was still in that role.  How endangered might Eliana be at that time?  I have, literally, taken a phone call from a terrified women form a (DV) support group who had just learned that her (police officer) husband had been released.  She was headed off to a shelter.  Yes, law enforcement can be abusive –and plenty abusive.
From the same article, I want to address these two paragraphs, by Eliana’s friend Ms. Melgar, which make me wonder about her other professional connections in the area:
So here is the challenge to domestic violence advocates and progressive folks who care about women: A more progressive approach to Eliana and Ross’s particular situation, and to domestic violence in general, would be to work on emphasizing early, non-law enforcement intervention and the prevention of violence against women in addition to the necessary work of extricating women from dangerous situations
I.e., she is 100% unaware of one of the largest groups in the nation doing EXACTLY this — and based in San Francisco?  (the Family Violence Prevention Fund, formerly) — and yet has this Op-Ed in the Bay Guardian, a well-respected (progressive) publication?
Professor Laureen Snider at Queens University in Ontario has argued that criminalization is a flawed strategy for dealing with violence against women.
So what? if this person argued so?  And the one anecdote (ms. Melgar’s own life) which would indicate the re-socialization of men (in particular) to not assault family members actually worked in her case.  Perhaps along with the education cited in her case, her father was also aware that criminalization would get them all deported, and that was a factor in his change?   Meanwhile, in this particular area alone (and California, even moreso) we have ample evidence that this policy is a failure — women are still being shot, attacked, stabbed, beaten, burned, stalked, and sometimes put homeless — and what’s more, bystanders are now getting increasingly shot in the process too.  Seal Beach, California.  This has happened, moreover, around the arena of the family law and custody matters, and AFTER separation from violence!!
For the record, we are in the USA, and not Canada, and under a different system of law?  Got it?  They don’t have the Bill of Rights, to my understanding.  They have closer ties (i THINK – am beginning to wonder) to a country with a monarch!  And Dr. (Ph.D.) Snider is a sociologist.  Why would this writer bring in this viewpoint – are there no adequate viewpoints on this matter of an inbound sheriff violating domestic violence laws in the USA?

Laureen Snider

Laureen SniderDepartment of Sociology, Queen’s University, Canada

Laureen Snider, a Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, has published numerous studies on corporate crime, regulation and governance including Bad Business: Corporate Crime in Canada (Nelson: 1993) and Corporate Crime: Contemporary Debates (University of Toronto Press, 1995, co-edited with Dr. Frank Pearce). Her present research centres on the asymmetries of surveillance, comparing the monitoring of employees versus that of employers (“theft of time”); and the surveillance capabilities of traditional police forces against traditional criminality (“crime in the streets”, versus those of regulatory agencies against corporate criminality (“crime in the suites”). Recent publications include: “But They’re Not Real Criminals”: Downsizing Corporate Crime” (in B. Schissel & C. Brooks, eds., Critical Criminology in Canada . Halifax: Fernwood, 2008: 263-86); “Economic Crimes”, (in J. Minkes and L. Minkes, eds.,Corporate and White-Collar Crime. London: Sage, 2008: 39-60), “Safety Through Punishment?”, (in M. Beare, ed., Honouring Social Justice, Honouring Dianne Martin. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) and “Accommodating Power: The “Common Sense” of Regulators”, Social and Legal Studies 18(2), 2008 (forthcoming).

Faculty website: http://www.queensu.ca/sociology/?q=people/faculty/full-time/sniderl

Queens University, Ontario, Canada, is also a known hangout of some serious AFCC propaganda — In looking up Ms. Snider (who may or may not be involved in such things), the same brochure has a large inset designed to honoring Nicholas Bala (search my blog) in association with AFCC.  He is a definite supporter of PAS theory — i.e., minimizing child & wife abuse, or reframing it as NOT a criminal, but a “relationship” issue, as much as possible.  “Coincidentally” the international organization AFCC has a wide membership among relationship counselors and another psychological sorts, plus a clos connection to the fathers’ rights (= mens’ rights) movement in general, no matter what they “say” about how it’s all about the children…
http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/queensLawReports/lawReports2008.pdf  Here he is in this brochure, being honored (photo visible at the link):

Professor Nicholas Bala is introduced as the recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award by Bill Howe, a board member of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts, at its 45th Annual Conference in Vancouver on May 29, 2008.

BALA RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAMILY AND DIVORCE LAW

On May 29, 2008, Bala received the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award from the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC) in recognition of his outstanding work in family and divorce law. “I am deeply honoured by this recognition,” Bala said, “particularly in light of noteworthy contributions from previous winners.”

Bala became the first Canadian to win the award from the AFCC, an international organization of professionals involved in the family court system striving to empower families and promote healthier futures for children. Most of the award’s previous recipients were leading American researchers in the mental health field, including such scholars as Sanford Braver, Joan Kelly and Janet Johnston, whose work focused primarily on the effects of divorce on parents and children. . . .

In contradiction to the concept of “no-fault” divorce law…

As one of Canada’s leading family and children’s law scholars, Bala has a distinguished reputation for his innovative and traditional research methods and his diverse range of publications. Scholars in Canada and abroad frequently cite Bala, and Canadian lawyers and judges frequently quote his research. In its recent decision in R. v. D.B., the Supreme Court of Canada cited Bala’s work for the 25th time.

In addition to Bala’s traditional legal scholarship, much of his research draws from a variety of disciplines: he collaborates with psychologists, criminologists and social workers to address the problems children and families encounter within the justice system.

“I have not only been involved in consuming the research of social scientists about the justice system; I’ve helped to produce it,” Bala says. “My collaboration with mental health professionals and social scientists has allowed me to appreciate both the value—and the limitations—of their work for the justice system.”

Besides his interdisciplinary work with the Child Witness Project, Bala has been taking a closer look at how domestic violence is handled in the family-law arena. He has been working with three mental-health professionals {{Want to bet $100 they’re all AFCC members?  I could use a little extra cash to upgrade some of the blog….!}}} to produce a series of papers on this issue, and the group recently created a model to address the effects of family violence on the determination of child custody and access. **

**Jargon translation:   wife-beating is no reason to restrict a child who witnessed this having access to their biological father.  Let us do supervised visitation, etc.  — hence (in the US) HHS “Access/Visitation” funding, with help from the (also international) Children’s Rights Council, which developed the term “access” to replace the term “visitation.”   This model will be ADMINSTRATIVELY or PRACTICALLY begun (or has been already) and then other highly placed individuals (state by state in the US) will suggest — hey, why not make it a law?  (Example:  PA:  Commission on Justice Initiatives:  Changing the Culture of Custody).

The team’s article about their family-violence-assessment model, which was published in the most recent issue of the international journal Family Court Review, {{Co-produced with AFCC & Hofstra Univ. School of Law in NY}} is already being cited in a number of countries.

The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award (Stanley Cohen being a principal in the development of AFCC) is Bala’s second major award in three years for his valuable research contributions. He won the Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research in 2006 during an annual university-wide competition. For more information about this award, see “Nicholas Bala Wins Top University Research Prize” on page 2 of the 2007 issue of Queen’s Law Reports at http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/publications/lawReports2007.pdf

Last I heard, United State of America claims to be somewhat of a unique country, based on its Constitution, Bill of Rights, and reputation for freedom, right to trial by jury, protections of due process, etc. — people immigrate here for a better life.  We are labeled (or maybe were, not too long ago) the “leadership of the free world.”
So why this urgency to bring all our legal institutions — especially one dealing with families, and raising the next generations of children — into consonance with international standards, including socialist countries, countries such as the UK, which still maintain a Queen, a national religion, and until about 100 years ago, were about as imperialistic, colonizing and enslaving a country as could be found on the globe?  HUH?
And why is Ms. Melgar quoting someone who hangs out at a University which is known (at least as to family law) as an “AFCC safe harbor”?  Because she’s a feminist? California doesn’t have enough feminists to reference?    (The New Transparency group) (the Conversation:   Snider blurg:)

My major research interests lie in the intersection between knowledge, punishment and law. I have applied this in several substantive areas, in studies examining the poisoned water disaster in Walkerton, Ontario, the reception of knowledge claims on corporate crime, and the constitution of the punishable woman.

Experience

  • Professor of Sociology, Queen’s University – present

Education

  • Toronto University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D
Site “The Conversation” (Obviously I am just looking up Laureen Snider and wondering why she’s quoted in re: prosecution of a SF inbound sheriff):
OUR CHARTER
  • Give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas by providing a trusted platform that values and promotes new thinking and evidence-based research.
  • Unlock the knowledge and expertise of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
  • Create an open site for people around the world to share best practices and collaborate on developing smart, sustainable solutions.
Not that it may be enforceable at this point, but I happen to live in a country where the underlying concept was NOT an “aristocracy of the experts” to solve social problems, but a government of “We the People” through institutions that limited any resurgence of the tyranny of religion, individual interests (including royalty from other countries), and, to the extent we have taxation, and pass laws, they are to come from our elected representatives, who are accountable to the people living here (i.e. ,citizens) — and are not to be imported laced with concepts NOT innate to the US, and for which it fought a serious “war for independence” — from Great Britain — in the 1770s!  ! !! (not a topic to be developed in this post, but there’s a lot more depth I’m learning these days about HOW we became a country of collective debt to an international banking cartel, etc. etc.)
 The matter at hand here has to do with an  official — appointed Sheriff – a government employee of the USA — not Canada.  have the discussion, but the prosecution, leadership and the dialogue around domestic violence advocacy groups here (mostly nonprofits which take some HHS funding, I’m fairly sure) is not an international matter — as pertains to should or should not it have been prosecuted…
 CONTINUING. . . . .  Bay Guardian article:
Snider argues that feminists and progressives have misidentified social control with police/governmental control. In other words, we are substituting one oppressor for another — and glossing over the fact that in the judicial system, poor people of color fare worse than white middle-class people. We have punted on (forward) the hard work education, and of shaping and reshaping men’s definitions of masculinity and violence, of the social acceptance of the subjugation of women, of violence against children. We have chosen to define success in the fight against domestic violence by women saved from horrible situations and incarceration rates for their abusers — rather than doing the difficult work of community and individual change necessary to prevent violence from happening in the first place
Perhaps Dr. Snider (who operates and was educated in Canada — exclusively — it seems, but shares through internet and other means (I don’t know) an international dialogue on certain issues of interest to her and them) is completely unaware of the heavily subsidized ‘Minnesota Program Development Fund,” the “Duluth Model,” the prevalence of the term “CCR” (COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE) in this country, thanks in great part to Ellen Pence, who, I note was college-educated also in Toronto:

Ellen Pence

Ellen Pence (1948 – January 6, 2012) was a scholar and a social activist. She co-founded the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project[1], an inter-agency collaboration model used in all 50 states in the U.S. and over 17 countries.[2] A leader in both the battered women’s movement and the emerging field of institutional ethnography, she was the recipient of numerous awards including the Society for the Study of Social Problems Dorothy E. Smith Scholar Activist Award (2008) for significant contributions in a career of activist research. . .

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pence graduated from St. Scholastica in Duluth with a B.A. She was active in institutional change work for battered womensince 1975, and helped found the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1980.

She is credited with creating the Duluth Model of intervention in domestic violence cases, Coordinated Community Response (CCR), which uses an interagency collaborative approach involving police, probation, courts and human services in response to domestic abuse. The primary goal of CCR is to protect victims from ongoing abuse.[citation needed]

She earned her Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996. She used institutional ethnography as a method of organizing community groups to analyze problems created by institutional intervention in families. She founded Praxis International in 1998 and was the chief author and architect of the Praxis Institutional Audit, a method of identifying, analyzing and correcting institutional failures to protect people drawn into legal and human service systems because of violence and poverty.[citation needed] Ellen pence died [RECENTLY] at the age of 63 , from breast cancer .

PRAXIS means “practices.”   Who is practiced upon?  (Sorry, this wasn’t brought before our voters — except it went through the US Reps House Appropriations Committee,  I guess. . . ..

Not before endorsing and propagating a system of educational institutions — taking public funding — based on social theory, and which have attracted a host of inappropriate misappropriations of public employees times, and which set up a built-in HIERARCHY — the exact OPPOSITE of what women, particularly mothers, leaving abuse need.  This hierarchy is a lose/lose situation for any person imagining he/she has enforceable, legal rights in the USA — as an INDIVIDUAL.   It sets up the hierarchy of the TEACHERS (for hire // mercenaries) versus the “TAUGHT.”

The social science THEORY that one can educate or train men out of violence is just taht — a theory.  It is also contrary to the american (USA) form of government, which is to expect people to keep an identifiable law, and maintain a fair process of assigning punishments for those who choose not to.  This means all people can be informed of WHAT their laws are — and leaves no room for speculations on the social  impact of father-absence, single-parenthood, or even violence against women — and then millions of $$ which the public (and private interests) fund to tinker with the demonstration projects each time they get it wrong.

Back to the C.W.Nevius article (top of post), which continues:

Witnesses save lives

“Most cases are not this public,” said Beverly Upton, executive director of San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. “But if anyone made this more difficult, it was Ross Mirkarimi. There was a lot of activity trying to silence the witness, and that doesn’t usually happen. What we know is that witnesses coming forward saves lives.”

Mirkarimi was initially charged with three misdemeanors related to domestic violence and eventually reached an agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. Mayor Ed Lee also filed charges to permanently remove him from office.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quqyOPjT

FYI, I do not live in San Francisco (some may wonder), but have lived in the area for over two decades, and worked frequently in the city and in surrounding counties — both during and after my “domestic violence” marriage.  I notice that whenver there’s a high-profile event, here is this SF DVConsortium and Beverly Upton being consulted for help.  I never got any help from them, nor did I get ANY help from the Family Violence Prevention Fund, although, they do throw a great conference, and how validating to know that domestic violence is a health risk (like, I didn’t know that?).  It did NOTHING to address the ongoing violence enabled by the family law system to any and all mothers who, after doing the right thing, but having for some reasons, very persistent Exes — are thereafter psychologically, economically, legally and in other ways tortured (if not extorted) — in the custody realm.

This group apparently could care less, so long as they get their funds and keep up the reputation for protecting women from violence – without addressing the land mines ahead of them.   SEE MY BLOG!  no one gave me a federal fund to publicize this, and apparently the more other groups immunize themselves from DV rhetoric, the better it is for BOTH pro and con grantseekers.  So, here — for a quick update — this “Consortium” consorts in getting public grants to continue their agenda.  I gather this is a progressive agenda because it’s under the umbrella of the (very large) TIDES Foundation, which also sponsored the nonprofit “Stop Family Violence” — which appears (best I can tell) to consist of a website, and one or two professionals who got to fly around to conferences nationwide (Irene Weiser, i forget who the other person was) and now is perhaps inactive, although the website is still up there.

Members of this agency

aka SFDVC and/or DVC) founded in 1982, is a network of seventeen domestic violence service agencies that come together with the goal of providing high quality, coordinated and comprehensive services to San Francisco’s victims of domestic abuse. {{ABUSE?  or VIOLENCE?  Make up your mind!!}}

The services of the individual agencies include emergency shelter, transitional housing, crisis lines, counseling, prevention programs, education and legal assistance. Services are available in the many different languages of San Francisco’s diverse populations. One of the main activities of the SFDVC is networking. SFDVC agencies share information, learn about issues that impact their work and coordinate their services and activities with a particular focus on public funding, specifically coordinating grant proposals and conducting advocacy/lobbying of government departments as to the importance of funding domestic violence services.

The SFDVC is a nonprofit organization and a project of the Tides Center. The SFDVC is led by its co-chairs and committees. The SFDVC recognizes that San Francisco is a diverse city and domestic violence is a problem in all communities regardless of ethnicity, race, class, physical ability, religion, age, immigration and economic status, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Obviously this is important work — HOWEVER — notice the collective grants-obtaining clout they have?  That must be HOW there has been such coordinated and collective silence on the fathers’ rights grants and movement I report, and so have other UNsponsored INDIVIDUALS.  Do they teach women about to file a kickout order about the upcoming Access/Visitation grants (in place, $10 million a year since 1996), how the Federal Incentives to the Child SUpport Enforcement system include running demonstration grants on how to increase noncustodial (father) time with the children, and how if they go on welfare, they are quite likely to be ex-parte consolidated into a divorce action, and thrown to the family court wolves, whose funding is MUCH larger?

NO — not last I heard.

Do they say anything about the organization AFCC, which practically runs the local Family Courts, let alone the Family Court Facilitators’ offices where people NOT as well-off financially (probably) than Ms. Lopez will end up seeking remedies?  AFCC publishes most of the brochures available there — and (I checked in recent years) the coverage of domestic violence issues is highly diminished.  So, what does that say about women’s right to know and make an INFormeD decision about whether to confront their batterer (sometimes with a civil protective order — not even mentioned in these dialogues), or call the police and hope a criminal one is instated?

LASTLY (and that’s enough for today!), I wanted to also show the Mayor Ed Lee catering to the FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE organization, which currently owns prime real estate (or owns the organization that owns the real estate) in the SF Praesidio.  Futures without Violence, indeed.  The antidote to tyranny in our country (whether by domestic individuals within their family walls, or outside them by public officials) is a balance of powers between (1) the government and (2) the people, and fair enforcement of crimes against the state which jeopardize the safety of the public — which domestic violence DOES, and there’s plenty of evidence in the form of innocent bystanders shot, businesses disrupted, as well as responding police officers.  We live in one of the more violent countries in the world, in many levels, and despite decades of advocacy by DV groups, their inherent demand for public funds to “coordinate services” and educate — the world, essentially — they are not open to criticism from the street level about this agenda.

TOO BAD – it’s here, it’s coming and I’m not going to stop, if I can help, this outrage.  I have one-third of my adult life thrown down this rabbit hole ,and the concept of betrayal is absolutely high.  MSM is owned, and is never going to tell the whole story.  More bloggers are needed — bloggers that cite their sources where possible, and make sure that this situation is no longer covered up, or specially framed when it comes time to renew the funding for the VAWA act and the counterintuitive simultaneous funding of the next round of fatherhood/marriage etc. grants.  No wonder this keeps going on, perhaps — our society is so stressed and compartmentalized, and has been already pre-trained to have their income taxes garnished, so garnishing wages for child support is a short step away.  No privacy, no safety, and no justice.  Just more debt!

My parting shot, I think:  The Mayor that wants Mirkarimi out references Futures without Violence.  Label this:  “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!”

Siana Hristova / The Chronicle
S.F. Mayor Ed Lee delivers the keynote address at a national domestic violence conference
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qux42sTZ

Without mentioning Ross Mirkarimi by name, Mayor Ed Lee on Friday delivered an indirect rebuke of the man he suspended from the sheriff’s job after he pleaded guilty to a domestic-violence-related charge of false imprisonment of his wife.

The mayor made his remarks during a brief keynote address at a national conference on domestic violence under way in San Francisco sponsored by the Futures Without Violence organization.

Seizing on sentence

Mirkarimi was elected sheriff in November after serving seven years on the Board of Supervisors. He was sworn in to his new job on Jan. 8 and was arrested less than two weeks later for allegedly bruising his wife’s arm during a New Year’s Eve argument in front of their 2-year-old son. The district attorney charged him with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.

The new sheriff pleaded not guilty to those three counts, but on March 12, under a plea-bargain agreement, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, weekly domestic violence intervention classes, and one day in jail with time served for when he showed up at the Hall of Justice for booking; he did not serve time behind bars.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qv2FUQhL

I have yet to find out a news article actually naming who is the provider of the weekly classes!  But this whole deal sure does give us a picture of how political the entire field is.  NOT TO MENTION — that once they get their mileage and some funds (he has to take those classes, right?) with the case, and the press — these programs that didn’t teach a county supervisor how to behave to his wife — and I’ll bet he probably approved some of the programs too — are going to continue, with MSM coverage while the private tragedies, ongoing, and far larger in scope, danger to the women involved, and near-lethal or lethal — surrounding the insane institution of the family courts — will continue, probably.  Talk about rocking the power structure to the center– if THAT story got out, I seriously doubt MSM (mainstream media) would take it!
They are right to suspend the guy.  Not that there aren’t others in the area that ought to lose their nonprofit standing for simply not profiting the public — like the huge Futures without Violence!
Full Name: FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE FEIN: 943110973
Type: Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1648791
Registration Number: 077397
Record Type: Charity Registration Type: Charity Registration
Issue Date: 12/31/2005 Renewal Due Date: 5/15/2011
Registration Status: Current Date This Status: 5/16/2007
Date of Last Renewal: 9/23/2010
Address Information
Address Line 1: 100 MONTGOMERY STREET, PRESIDIO – MAIN POST Phone:
Address Line 2:
Address Line 3:
Address Line 4: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129
Annual Renewal Information
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-01
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-01
Total Assets: $8,143,898.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $10,345,721.00
RRF Received: 25-MAR-02
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fast forward 10 years, some additional Annie E. Casey participation and of course the concept of “Fatherhood” as a tool to prevent domestic violence (see my blog), and an institute (downloadable trainings?) to promote that concept:
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-09
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-09
Total Assets: $26,157,567.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $11,614,069.00
RRF Received: 12-AUG-10
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-10
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-10
Total Assets: $36,603,585.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $17,118,149.00
RRF Received: 14-JUN-11
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status:
The extra $10 million in ASSETS between 2009 & 2010 is most likely the acquisition of the real estate at the Praesidio.  I dare you to look at their (rejected) tax return to the IRS, and figure out why it was rejected (letter uploaded to the same site).  this is the Office of Attorney General’s site, and anyone can search through it, and should:

(STATE CHARITABLE RETURN FOR 2009) FORM RRF-I INFORMATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT FUNDING STATEMENT 14 ART B, LINE 6

  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAM 810 7TH STREET NW, 5TH FLOO~ WASHINGTON, DC 20531 NEELAM PATEL, 202-353-4338  — AMOUNT   $2.9 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 370 L’ENFANTE PROMENADE, 6Tl FLOOR
  • WASHINGTON, DC 20447  — AMOUNT  $1.5 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DHUMAN SERVICES INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE 801 THOMPSON AVENUE ROCKVILLE, MD 20852 — AMOUNT $86K
  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JUVENIL! AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES P.O. BOX 8970 RENO, NV 89507  — AMOUNT $91K
  • OTHER GOVERNMENT GRANTS (whose?)  AMOUNT $30K
  • TOTAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING  $ 4,649,368
(that was year 2009)….
the heavy involvement of the US HHS and the NCJFCJ — which is a family court organization (and, the current head of the office of VAW, Susan D. Carbon, used to be president of the NCJFCJ, I heard) — ensures that no real critical analysis of the feminist backlash in the family court system is going to take place — that would be biting the hand that feeds them!
There were (year 2009) TEN (10) paid directors of this NONprofit — and their combined regular compensation was about $1.6 million, with Esta Soler’s being the largest salary ($234K & $71K “other”), and the lowest of any of the others being $112K.   If you add “other compensation” for all ten, the total is NEARLY $THREE MILLION  ($3 mil).
In addition, campaign /project manager professionals — $428,323….three individuals.
There are (moreover– see that tax returns), TWO real estate LLCs and ONE real estate “C-Corp” (an “Inc.”) with the word Praesidio in them, at the same street address (383 Rhode Island #304, SF) of the then-FVPF.  At least one of these is 100% owned by FVPF.
Futures without Violence is international in scope, but heavily supported — year after year (actually decade after decade it seems — I think it began ca. 1989) by US taxpayers, while being itself free from income tax (as a corporation) and investing in real estate.  GO FIGURE!  They are living “high on the hog” and running the show, while men, women and children around them continue to get molested, have their income, lives and assets SQUANDERED through ongoing litigation in the family law arena, which is funded in good part by similar corporations behind this monster DV agency.
I have heard Esta Soler speak, and she’s impressive.  What they have done is impressive.  However it doesn’t compensate for the intrinsic disparity of influence between this group — and actual mothers who need protection and help, and to keep their kids away from violent fathers — AND vice versa.
AND — in 2010 — they decided not to report their Schedule B — List of Contributors, including names and addresses (see amounts, above).  The notice was sent to the group in August 2011 — and the situation apparently has not yet been corrected.  Nor did they send in their annual $225 fee (notice also sent August 2011).  Perhaps this group is going to pull up roots, sell its real estate to a foreign-based corporation and simply stop dealing with the American law and order system entirely.
It should be looked into. It’s not too big to look into.   Why do we need a multimillion$$ NONprofit to run campaigns and things like “Coaching Boys into Men” — that’s the job of schools and parents.  take that money down and make better schools, or almost any situation might be preferable.
Publicize the actual LAWS against such violence on their sites and teach pastors, teachers, and others to report.  I reported to plenty of individuals in mandatory reporting positions during my marriage.  None of them, for the most part, did much.  They must have figured out it was someone else’s job.
Can you imagine running a ‘Batterers Intervention Class” for Ross Mirkarimi?  And can we imagine that a politician of this stature couldn’t convince anyone that he’s absorbed and believed the material?  There’s a LOT more than meets the eye to this case.  I’m glad he got suspended, not that this would have made him an inappropriate county supervisor or other political leader.  Just not sheriff!!

Maryland’s Family Court Expansion, AFCC Model, takes Unifying Symbols to a New Level: Paper, Cotton, Leather, Fruit, Wood, Iron…

with 3 comments

This post is PR on something I just discovered recently and, to be honest, am distressed enough about to follow up by phone with the leadership of some of the groups involved, asking they why these things should be happening statewide.  The dialogue illustrates what’s going on, but is a little complex, and unless you have an interest in monitoring the expansion and methods of expansion of the family law bureaucracy WITHIN or as an ADJUNCT to our court system, you may not want to go through it all.

I think there is some legitimacy — however widespread, commonplace, and entrenched this system currently is, and however expensive and status quo it has become — to a theory that the “Family Court Services” if not the “Family Courts” themselves (as it pertains to divorce and custody) — are illegitimate.  They are private enterprises posing as public ones, and servicing their funders, who as it happens, tend to occupy high places in (1) the Executive Branch of the United States Government (I’m talking HHS, DOJ in particular) and (2) the Corporate /tax-exempt foundation stratosphere — almost none of which is truly accessible to individuals who are coming through these courts, unless they already have prior involvement.

First of all, they are about as unbelievingly condescending and patronizing (‘move over, let us experts handle your family — give us your kid, etc.’) as it is possible for any human relationship to be, apart from some truly unhealthy (i.e., violent/abusive) ones.  They deal in force, and subterfuge when it comes to proliferating the program, and like any good, truly “disaster capitalism” enterprise, they deal with distressed populations, exploit them, and call that service.  I come from California, and preliminary expose on this was done courtesy one of the oldest and (not exactly being updated) sites around — but it still is up and still serves a purpose — Johnnypumphandle.com.

assn.gif (5213 bytes)  ”

Dedicated to Exposing Illegal and Immoral Practices in The Courts

… Particularly the Family Law System which includes the Courts, Attorneys, Family Services, Psychologists and Therapists,Visitation Monitors, Ad-Litems, Social Workers, Child Protection Agencies and all of the agencies that support these so-called professionals.

Collusion among individuals within the family law system takes place to extract assets from troubled parents. The system is designed to increase the wealth of the family law professionals at the expense and heartbreak of families. Corrupt practices abound.

For example, why does the “Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges Association” change its name to simply “Los Angeles County Superior Court” in its IRS filings? and what are they actually doing at their special events, including sporting events, and how do they manage to have (year 2010) a net loss of $10,000, being such smart judges (only revenue — membership dues, totaling $50K that year).?

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2010 $120,654 990EO 10 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2009 $95,314 990EO 12 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2008 $102,801 990EO 11 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2007 $87,134 990EO 9 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2006 $90,509 990EO 9 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2005 $70,106 990EO 8 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2004 $55,818 990EO 5 95-4663773

per “Johnny”

The Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association is a good example of one of the latter Non-Profit organizations whose stated purpose is “promotion of judicial profession pursuant to section 501(c)(6)”. (see form 3500 – Exemption application). The Association boasts a budget of over $100,000 – none of which will be received from members dues {?} – and most of which will be funded by “Professional Education programs for the legal community”. Unlike most professional organizations, this organization was granted(?) the use of County premises, complete with facilities for it’s [sic] office space and management of it’s business within the County Court facilities at 111 North Hill Street.”

Copyright © Design Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Last update 01/10/2010)

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For BMCC Day 1: Why VAWA, DV Groups Basically Can’t (Won’t?) Stop [Terroristic Threats, Murder, Assault, Battery, Stalking, False Imprisonment, Harrassment– Child Molestation–or other Crimes]

with 2 comments

Why?

Well, I have one line of reasoning — that there is a family court around basically creates an immense loophole; any police officer anywhere can just about get out of arresting domestic violence perpetrators (they could anyway) by, when children exist, simply failing to arrest, and letting it land in the family venue.  Ditto with CPS.  But even if they didn’t, they still have immense discretion to simply not arrest.  If they DO arrest, the DA’s have immense discretion not to prosecute also.

WOMEN’s JUSTICE CENTER /CENTRO de JUSTICIA PARA MUJERES

Santa Rosa, California

(a site I quote below, and refer to often enough) I see has written an October 2011 letter to:

Dear Feminist Law Professors:

I’m a women’s rights advocate who has been working for the last 20 years in the exasperating struggle to end violence against women. I’m writing because we’re stumped, and we need your help.

My opinion:  these feminist law professors and women, in many respects,  have for over a decade completely ignored the role of the family courts, and their relationship to the criminal prosecution of (see title) real-time crimes play in simply invalidating domestic violence law, child abuse law, in fact most criminal laws of any sort for women who have given birth.   And women who give birth, aka MOTHERS, represents a significant portion of women against whom violence is routine.

In this current climate, and while that off-ramp from the criminal justice system (if the reporting and prosecution even gets there), it is next to impossible for these women to get free from an abuser – with children — and stay free unless HE simply chooses not to sue for custody or further bother her.  And, if there’s a Title IV-D child support order around, even if he doesn’t want to bother her, the county can and will go after that family and those kids anyhow.   That’s My take on it.  So I would not be asking a feminist law professor for help, based on the track record and under-reporting of this scandal.  And I’ve talked to some of them (including in my area).  However, this writer has a point:

The problem is this: Modern violence-against-women laws are in place throughout most of the U.S., as are crisis centers, hotlines, counselors, and shelters. But a critical piece is missing. We don’t have anywhere near adequate enforcement of the laws. Nor do women have any legal right to enforcement of the laws, nor any legal remedy or redress when police and prosecutors fail to enforce the laws.

As such, the laws are meaningless to us.  However, it takes a while — and sometimes costs a life — to recognize this.

. . . But the daunting and particular problem for women is that these absolute discretionary powers are in the hands of law enforcement agencies that are rife with anti-women biases, structures, and traditions. Violence-against-women cases are the cases these officials are most overwhelmingly prone to ignore, ditch, dismiss, under-investigate, under-prosecute, and give sundry other forms of disregard. This disparate impact and denial of equal protection is undermining all the other monumental efforts to end violence against women.

Despite all the high flying official rhetoric to the contrary, way too many police and prosecutors don’t want to do these cases. They know they don’t have to do these cases. They know a million ways to get rid of these cases. They know nobody can hold them to account. And the Supreme Court keeps driving this impunity deeper into the heart of American law. Not surprisingly, the violence against women rages on.

We can social work these cases endlessly, but when police and prosecutors don’t do their part and put the violent perpetrators in check, the perpetrators easily turn around and undo any stability and safety we and the women have attempted to secureThe freer she gets, the angrier he becomes. Without adequate law enforcement, victims of violence against women are doomed. And then they are double doomed by the void of any legal cause to hold unresponsive police and prosecutors to account. And then, all too often, she is dead

Notice that at the end of this eloquent (and I believe, truthful) letter, she refers to the “Judicial Ghetto of Family Law.”  It is this Ghetto that has to be addressed if “violence against women” is to stop.  To date, we are still the gender that produces children, gives birth to them, no matter how nurturing Dad is.  As such, this arena, that ghetto, ALSO has to be addressed, or as an obstacle to life itself for those in it, removed:

We urgently need your help. Not in the judicial ghetto of family law where victims of violence against women are too often shunted to fend for themselves.

Why NOT?  Why should women have to fend for themselves in a biased system  — because thats where it typically goes after any civil restraining order (see VAWA, below) is put in place.   Perhaps if there’d been more “feminist law professors” who’d gone through leaving DV AS MOTHERS, this might have been handled by now.  Not saying that it wasn’t a tough uphill battle to start with.  But we mothers are certainly not ballast in this journey; just treated like it in these circles!

But in criminal law where the state itself must take responsibility for securing justice for these heinous crimes. We can’t solve this problem without you.

As a first step, please pass this on to colleagues you think would most fervently fight to create a women’s right to justice. And then consider joining in yourself.

Thank you for your concern.

Marie De Santis, Director Women’s Justice Center Centro de Justicia para Mujeres

mariecdesantis@gmail.com www.justicewomen.org

We like to believe that criminal law always applies when crimes are committed (the title lists some of the crimes which comprise “Domestic violence” and “Child abuse” and characterize the lives of people who sometimes, after years enduring these things, end up dead, or paying their abuser, which is a form of institutionalized extortion).

BUT — when a case is labeled “high-conflict” or “custody dispute” of any sort, BY LAW (apparently) it comes under the jurisdiction of a different court — which is not a real court, it’s a business enterprise.  (See this blog.  See other NON-federally-supported blogs or articles.

For example get this (“johnnypumphandle, re:  Los Angeles “Public Benefit Corporations Supported by Taxpayers”   Not only ALL the people walking through the halls — but the real estate — the halls themselves, apparently are often part of this enterprise!  Why this never occurred to me before reading these matters, I don’t know.   The family court is in a separate building from the main (Criminal) courthouse in MANY towns and cities across the county.  That alone should have caught our attention.  Now (same general idea), they are building, sometimes, “Family Justice Centers” as part of a National Alliance movement (see “One-Stop Justice Shop” posts, mine).

I reviewed this material carefully before, it takes a while to sink in.  It will NOT sink in if all you see mentally is the visual of the building and its inhabitants.  In order to “See” straight, one needs to see and be willing to think in terms of corporations, tax returns, and cash flow.  And something relating the words “taxpayer” with “tax-exempt.”  As the site says:

 We have again reminded the IRS of the same scheme being perpetrated by the Private Corporation – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation – with the same bond guarantees by the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Taxpayers are still getting stiffed by this scam, since there is no accountability for the money and NO TAX FORMS HAVE EVER BEEN FILED!

Key in this EIN#

470942805

to This Charitable Search Site (for California) — and tell me why the Relationship Training Institute — which does business with and takes business FROM the court, evidently — is still marked “current” when no (zero, nada, zilch, nothing at all) has been filed (and uploaded) by this organization for the state of California as a charity -EVER; even though it’s filed with the IRS?  Is that cheating the citizens of California, or what?   Here they are (and here goes continuity in my post today):

Relationship Development and Domestic Violence Prevention, Training, and Consultation

The Relationship Training Institute (RTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1986* by David B. Wexler, Ph.D. to provide training, consultation, treatment, and research in the field of relationship development and relationship enhancement.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2583174 05/17/2004* ACTIVE RELATIONSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE DAVID B WEXLER

Because — in the 7 years (at least) it’s been operating in California, David B. Wexler, Ph.D.’s group has not bothered to file it’s (by law) annually required tax return with the state (NOTE — which provides the California Attorney General with a Schedule B showing names and addresses of contributors, and has to list government funding) and because the CA Corporations search site is so limited, I can’t see  from there OR its founding articles if this is a domestic (Ca originated) or “foreign” (out of state) corporation.   

On the other hand, the group California Coalition for Families and Children which incorporated in 2010 (per same site) — and is critical of the San Diego Family Court Practices — has twice received a “file your dues” letter, which you can search at the same charities link, above.  It has no EIN# because it hasn’t registered yet.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3284403 03/09/2010 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA COALITION FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS CSC – LAWYERS INCORPORATING SERVICE

I believe any group that calls itself a 501(c)3 (or “4”) should fulfil the requirements of it.  However, there seems a bit of favoritism (OR, This group has no bribe to pay — below the table — for the regulatory agencies, including the OAG?); Emad G. Tadros, Ph.D., checked out the suspicious credentials of a custody evaluator, discovered a custody Mill (plus that a house cat got a diploma from the same place) and put up a website about all this, plus filed a suit, which was simply the right thing to do.  In retaliation for challenging the right of the courts to continue their fraud up on the public he was fined $86K in fees, and an attempt has been made at obtaining interest, too.   Apparently, this group has not cut a deal with anyone, and so the OAG WILL go after their nonprofit status.  Here’s the link to “San Diego Court Corruption.”

So, as to The Relationship Training Institute, I guess not filing with the state is “close enough for jazz The Office of Attorney General.”  And also close enough for an NIMH sponsored grant on Domestic Violence in the Navy, too.  If our Navy was run this waywe’d be losing a lot more wars.

RTI offers an on-going series of informative workshops and state-of-the-art training programs for mental health professionals and for the public, bringing innovative leaders and teachers to the San Diego community. RTI staff also travel throughout the world training professionals in the treatment models that we have been developing and publishing for over 25 years

So, don’t try to tell me the courts and attorney general are unaware — see its website, and see the detail on its charitable registration.  A letter has been sent to this charity, and its site claims it’s approved by the Judicial Council of California to provide CLE credits for its trainings!

(the logos of approving organizations).

Approving Organizations

APA American Psychological AssociationWDCA Board of Behavioral SciencesBRN Board of Registered Nursing     CATC Certified Addictions Treatment CounselorJudicial Council of California Administrative Office of the CourtsNAADAC Association for Addiction ProfessionalsNBCC National Board for Certified CounselorsNevada Attorney General

By the way, Dr. Wexler is listed under another one, IABMCP or something:

David B. Wexler , Ph.D., Diplomate IABMCP
Director, Relationship Training Institute, San Diego, California

International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy  (group registered in Dallas, TX in 1979, EIN has 11 numbers # 17523304719.  Usually it’s 9 or 12):

Name Taxpayer ID# Zip
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE COUNS 17523304719 75225

The actual EIN# is 751726710 and it’s registered in Colorado as a 501(c)6 ” Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc. formed to improve conditions..”  It has a tiny budget and apparently exists to distribute a newsletter, per 990 (2010 ruling.), registered as a foreign nonprofit (citing the Texas org.) since 1999 and apparently is filing its reports in Colorado OK.

2010  751726710 International Academy of Behavioral Medicine Counseling and Psychother CO 1980 06 31,455 1,402 990

Dr. Wexler anyhow, is on its Advisory Council, along with a long list of mostly but not all male personages, including Deepak Chopra…

I also note that this domestic violence training is very man-friendly…  But RTI is apparently the group that does the trainings OUTSIDE the courthouse, which makes them part of the personnel bill.  The earlier article was about who pays rents on the real estate, who owns the real estate, of the courthouses themselves?  Reading on:

August 25, 2001 – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation and others. e.g. Los Angeles County Law Enforcement-Public Facilities Corporation and (too many to name or to discover). The Crusaders think that there are over a dozen of these ‘Public Benefit’ Corporations hiding in LA County. If you are aware of any of the others, drop us a line.

These companies are established as Tax exempt ‘charitable trusts’ under the Federal Statute – 501(c)(4)They direct millions of dollars but are basically unaudited. The Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation (LACCC), for example, controls projects for $632 million, but as yet has not registered with the California Department of Corporations even though they have issued outstanding securities for this amount.

They have established trust agreements with banks, lease and leaseback agreements with developers, securities agreements with underwriters, legal assistance from high powered law firms, yet they have no employees. All work is done ‘outside’ on authorization from an officer of the Company. e.g. bills are paid, rents are collected, legal services are performed by outsiders through agreements. As an exampleO’Melveny & Myers pays the fees for this Corporation.

Is this a donation? Somehow, I think O’Melveny & Myers are not providing legal services for free.

The company has offices in the LA County facilities, claims no employees, but has all of its utilities, telephone, rent, etc. paid by the County.

Who answers the phone? A county employee, doing ‘part time’ work but receiving no pay. At least the Corporation claims to have no employees.

How are bills paid? We have a letter to Henry P. Eng, an auditor , who is told that he will receive a check for $4,730 and a like amount will be charged to the rent due to the corporation in order to balance the books. You see, the Corporation has issued bonds (Certificates of Participation) recently for $115 Million to build the Antelope Valley Courthouse. The Banc of America and four other underwriters have guaranteed the purchase of all of these certificates.

So WHY do I make those claims in the Title of this post today?   Well, for one, I research TAGGS grants, and read conference brochures, and pay attention to what groups do – -and don’t — report on, including the various elephants in the room…  

I’m not the only one, either, questioning what VAWA is for, except to inspire a lot of anti-feminist backlash, give Fathers & Families (GlennSacks hounds) something to complain about, and a source of funds to set up websites and conferences (ad nauseam) to perpetuate the illusion that whatever a civil — or even criminal — domestic violence action DOES, Family Courts will not quickly UNDO, even if neither parent  asks them to!

You might want to look at this article:

VAWA Critique
In Which a Little-Known Legal Brief Plows into Hallowed Terrain

I almost felt like a traitor (though I was sure in my opinion) with this round of requests I write someone to reauthorize VAWA.  WHY? I thought.  I already know who’s collaborating with these other courts.  Well, another (non-federally funded, intentionally so) site – I like this site, too — explains:

Ever since the U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994, women’s advocates have rallied again and again to assure that VAWA stays authorized and funded. The steady torrent of threats against the act from antagonist men’s groups has left advocates with little inclination to question whether VAWA is truly delivering what’s needed to end the violence and secure justice for women. But a little-disseminated legal brief we came across recently rips along the fault lines and suggests that giving VAWA a thorough critique may be one of the most important steps we should be taking to advance the struggle.

“The legal brief, signed by a dozen domestic violence scholars from around the country and submitted in 2007 to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, emphatically makes the case that VAWA not only is failing to protect women, but that this failure is rooted in fundamental flaws in VAWA’s structure and administration. “VAWA is a limited remedy,” the document states, “That fails to protect women or to discharge the United State’s obligations under international law.”

(it’s going to talk about the Jessica Gonzales case, and the IACHR. However, NO — I say that these DV scholars have simply fallen asleep at the switch, or decided to look the other way, to keep their publications, etc. coming.   )

In summarizing their analysis, the brief states, “VAWA fails to accomplish four crucial things: 1) It does not provide any remedy when abuser’s or police officer’s violate victims’ rights, 2) it does not require participation of all states or monitor their progress, 3) it does not fully or adequately fund all the services that are needed, 4) it does not require states to pass or strengthen legislation around civil protective orders or the housing rights of domestic violence victims.” . . .

VAWA: “primarily a source of grants” which has not reduced domestic violence

The brief goes on to characterize VAWA as “primarily a source of grants” with non-binding terms, voluntary participation, unmonitored compliance, and which mandates nothing. And the funding is paltry. According to the brief, in 2007, the median total of VAWA grants to individual states was 4.5 million dollars. That’s less than the cost of one wing of a fighter jet allotted per state to combat violence against women.

If the core of this brief is accurate, despite the services VAWA has provided to tens of thousands of women, the message VAWA delivers to law enforcement and other public officials throughout America is disastrous. ‘You can prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women – if you feel like it. But if you’d rather not, don’t worry about it. VAWA doesn’t mandate that you do anything. And if women are upset by that, rest assured, VAWA and the courts have also made sure there’s not a darn thing women can do about it to hold you to account.

Most troubling of all, the brief finds that in the time from VAWA’s passage in 1994 to 2007 when the brief was filed, VAWA has not reduced domestic violence in the U.S., despite the U.S. government’s claims to the contrary. As stated in the brief, “Since the passage of VAWA, domestic violence rates have not been reduced in proportion to other violent crimes

This site writes their rationale:

And perhaps worse, these fundamental flaws in VAWA are not even a matter of discussion, debate, or protest among frontline women’s advocates. It’s critical for progress in ending violence against women that that discussion begin.

which they analyze as, and I can see this:

The Tie that Binds

VAWA requires that shelters and rape crisis centers that receive VAWA funding must demonstrate their cooperation with their local law enforcement agencies.

Individual states that administer the VAWA grants have implemented this requirement in various ways. But typically the shelters and crisis centers seeking VAWA grants must obtain signed operational agreements with their local law enforcement agencies. This has given law enforcement veto power over the survival of the violence against women centers, a controlling power law enforcement has not hesitated to use.

People should read this article — and a lot of this site, based in Sonoma County, California (wine country north of SF).  I notice that the Family Justice Alliance Center made sure to get a center into Sonoma County — and if I were going to donate to somewhere to stop violence (other than the time I’ve donated, here, and off-blog) it’d be to this group, responsible for the website:
Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center,
www.justicewomen.com 

rdjustice@monitor.net

VAWA is a Federal Act of Congress first passed in 1994.  By Contrast (and to oppose its premises), the National Fatherhood Initiative is a NONPROFIT started by someone with close connections to HHS, and Washington, and now many legislators — and is not only still funded, but has permeated the structure and purpose of violence prevention, child welfare, and child abuse prevention  areas of goverment.  While VAWA (which at least went past Congress initially — the NFI did not) promotes one kind of training, NFI promotes the opposite theories.

Then the two groups get together, for example, The Greenbook Initiative and congratulation their federally-paid-behinds for being able to get along, while women continue to die after breeding and leaving abuse.  And etc.

The DOJ Defending Children Initiative:  even has an “Engaging Fathers” link:

The ILLUSION that there is protection for women and children through groups such as “Child Protection Services” is fatuous.  That’s not what they’re there for, apparently.  Nor, apparently, are the civil restraining order issuers (typically a domestic violence nonprofit of some sort, or possibly a parent might get one on his/her own) there to prosecute or punish any crime.

I heard this from a woman (grandparent) in an unidentified urban area, regarding her grandchildren’s being in the sole custody of an abusing father AFTER CPS and police had confirmed sodomy and forced copulation with the (young boy):

Hearsay #1:

There are no laws or penal codes against child abuse by a parent.  Child abuse by a parent comes under the Welfare and Institution Code (WIC).

The welfare and institution code does ONE thing — offers reunification services to the abuser.  The one and ony law mandated by legislators (in such cases) is reunification.

Since the theme is “reunification” (and really, let’s get honest — “supervised visitation” concept comes from this field, reunification), no family court has any interest in re-unifying a protective mother with her child once that child has been completely (and physically) “reunified” with the abuser father.  There are no fatherhood-promotion services for this (access/visitation concept is actually a fatherhood concept).  Supervised visitation with a sex offender (young) father and mother has resulted in child-rape INSIDE a supervised visitation facility in Trumbull County, Ohio, recently.  It has resulted in financial fraud on East and West Coast both (Genia Shockome/Karen Anderson of Amador County, PA), it has resulted in a child literally being supervised by a woman who had criminally sexually assaulted a DOG in Contra Costa County California courts (Welch v. Tippe), and — the commissioner? who made that order, as recommended by her court-crony, is I believe still on the bench — and has been, while we’re at it, on the Board of Kids’ Turn, too.  After all, it’s all about the “Kids” and what’s best for them, right?  How often do women whose children have been abused get put on supervised visitation for “alienating” the father by reporting — or allowing their kids to even report to someone else unsolicited, like a schoolteacher — real live criminal activity upon themselves?

Hearsay #2:

Child Protective Services labeled our case high-conflict which put it in custody court.  Neither the father or I had even mentioned divorce at the time.

This mother says she saw it on their report.  I’d like to see that report.  Assuming it’s true, this means that CPS knows quite well that they don’t have to prosecute anything against a parent when it comes to abuse of children; they can shunt it off to family court.

Hearsay #3 (to you — this is my case):

When my children were being stolen (abducted), and I was protesting on the basis of a valid court order giving me physical custody, an attempt was made to bring CPS in — although no abuse was being alleged!  When I pointed this out, the officers supervising the exchange — which I’d requested for personal safety — refused to enforce the court order, mocked me, and when I realized there was no recourse from this crew, I had to let my “ex-batterer” and the children’s father, drive off into the sunset with children I’d raised, and from this point forward (til today) not ONE single court order was consistently obeyed for more than a month, including visitation or phone contact with me, alternating holidays, or the children with the mother on mother’s day, all of which remained in the CUSTODY order.

In short, if I wasn’t going to voluntarily justify bringing on more (paid, public employee) professionals AFTER existing paid, public employee professionals simply refused to do their job (which I later learned — they don’t have to, even if not doing their job results in someone’s, or even three children’s, deaths.  See Castle Rock v. Gonzales).

Talk about “interlocking directorate” – – – – I also heard from a savvy investigator (mother) (noncustodial) in another state how that, literally, when a father is accused AND found guilty of abuse in one sector (for example, criminally, or child support services) this literally causes the father to be declared “incapacitated” or incompetent — making the child a “dependency” case.  The court that the mother then walks into is, in effect, a “dependency court.”  The state owns her child, and if she can’t ransom it back, too bad.  The ransom process is simply this:  the hearings go on, and on, and on and as much money is extracted from the mother, who WILL fight back, until she’s broke too, if not in spirit.  That’s the plan.  That’s not an anomaly or “burp” of the system — that IS the plan.

We have heard also of horrendous situations, and I’ve reported this, of dual electronic docketing.  (“Computerized or Con-puterized?”  Janet Phelan on Joseph Zernik reporting.  One week after she published the layperson’s explanation of this, he was picked up by police without cause and held).   We’ve heard of collected but intentionally not distributed child supportin the millions of $$ (Silva v. Garcetti (who was Los Angeles D.A., involving Richard Fine).    Even a brief look at what happened to Mr. Fine (besides getting incarcerated and disbarred) and how the California Legislature handled the fact that the entire judiciary was subject to bribery at the county level by payments to judges — from the county — in cases where — the county — was a party.  It retroactively granted immunity, and did this quickly, lest the entire judicial system get shut down.  (SBX-211) — that brief look should say, what we are dealing with is XX % crooks, and X% enablers or people who can’t themselves get out of the system because by participation, they’d be prosecuted too.  Talk about “gangs” . . . that’s a Gang.  Sometimes deals go between one jurisdiction and another, making them a little harder to catch (Gregory Pentoney)

Two other things which I’ve heard of from a non-BMCC “let’s ask the expert source” in recent times — and again, I present this as Hearsay, but it’s entirely in character for the venue — of more than one physical case file being kept.  One is shown to the litigant when she can afford it (which ain’t always), or qualifies as low-income enough to be shown it.  The other is shown and hauled out when it comes to justifying program billing — that one or both parents may be totally unaware of, occurring in their case, under their or their kids’ social security #s, and in their name.

Again, my plan is to curtail posting on this blog (I believe I’ve “said my piece” on most major points) at the end of January, and get about other aspects of life.  Oh yes, and I signed the blog up for Twitter, which should curtail the length some, like by ca. (10,000 to 14,000) – 140 characters!

I realize that conversational style isn’t communication, yet the information is urgent to present and get out.  The “end of January” date was in honor of the BMCC conference, which I plan to comment on every day it’s in session.  Ideally, you will see one post a day from here til 1/31, however, some of the material does cause vicarious trauma to report, which may affect quality of post, or my getting one out on a certain day.  While I know what I know, from study, research observation, reflection, and synthesis, expressing it is another matter.

Also, the conversing with the material style is laborious, and takes hours.  Whereas in a personal conversation, say, by phone, with interaction, I know I could convey the key FAQs, overall, in 10 minutes or less, and tell people where to find more information, should they be motivated.

So here we go:

Some people I know are headed up again to the Battered Mothers Custody Conference IX in Albany, New York again this year, where the same basic information will be presented by experts, while mothers are welcome to participate from the floor and by adding their square to the quilt, by buying books which the presenters will be selling (last year’s hot-off-the-press available in softcover and at a discount – only $59 — for conference attendees) and donate, too.   This is addressed to mothers who are probably being fleeced in the courts, have tortuous situations to handle, and some are paying child support to their child’s or their abuser, which is why they pull it together to come to this conference, seeking help and answers — from the experts.

One difference — a positive one — THIS year is the attendance of Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who also will be selling her newly revised “Mothers on Trial”  which I know incorporates some new stories, and I plan to order it on-line.

However, I also know that it’s not about to contain the information on this blog, on NAFCJ.net, or much on the AFCC, Welfare Reform (1996), and the role of the Child Support $4 billion industry in prolonging custody conflicts, for profit.  However, it will be a new presenter, and an experienced feminist who I’ll bet is not afraid to address some of the issues of Gender Apartheid (which also results in “Battered Mothers”) in front of this audience, and on which she is an expert.  Perhaps she will — as I don’t think others have — bring up the impact of religion on this situation in the family courts.  It’s there – -not talking about it would hardly make sense.

At the  bottom of this post, I am going to list the Presenters, and brief comments or links on the ones I know.  The ones I don’t, I’ll look up.  Perhaps in the next post (as this one expanded into handling a few other items).

And in this post, I’m going to charge pretty hard into the entire concept behind this conference, as I did last January, afterwards.

NB:  I attended one conference in all its years, but primarily to meet mothers I’d been blogging with; I’d already realized that it was a marketing conference.  That’s responsible behavior for people shelling out travel, hotel, and conference fees, not to mention in general.  You find out who’s saying what and evaluate it.

The Title of this year’s conference is apparently “IS WHAT WE’RE DOING WORKING”?

HUH?

 

  • We who?  (Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, et al.?)

  • Working for whom?*

  • Define “working” — what’s the goal here?  (Sales, Self-Promotion, Shaping Distressed Mothers’ Perceptions?)

Ask a foolish question, you will get a very foolish answer.  Act on those answers and you become a fool.  A sucker is born every minute, and I regret every minute of my own “suckerhood” which listened to domestic violence rhetoric for too long, and didn’t think to GO CHECK TAX RETURNS AND NONPROFIT FILINGS FIRST, which might’ve had a different result.  

That’s why I believe that it’s the “experts” that should be sitting around the tables in the conference and taking notes, and the women themselves that should be up on stage giving testimony, ideas — and controlling the microphones.  Then some of the questions they have might get some answers, through collective wisdom, as women tend to do — when not co-opted into the hierarchical model of relating to each other which is more characteristic of males, and of this society we live in.

The structure of this type of conference is didactic — from presenter to participant.  They are the dispensers of wisdom, women & mothers attending, the recipients.  Go forth and deliver the expert wisdom to your areas, (seek to hire us as expert witnesses in your court cases) and if it doesn’t work — next year we are going to do the same basic routine anyhow, and your feedback will NOT be front and center, if it is allowed at all.

Seriously — that’s how it goes.  And anyone with a child in a custody case has a ticking clock, if not time bomb, which is running.  We do not have time to beat around the bush and fail to address things in PRIORITY order.

So anyhow, “is what we (?) are doing working?”

Somehow this is going to be stretched out into a weekend’s worth of material?  Is there a better question to ask, such as — what can we do to either clean up or shut down the family law courts if they refuse to clean themselves out, which is unlikely?  How many experts does it take to distract a mother’s attention from who is paying her abuser and the judges that gave that kid to the abuser?  Why doesn’t this conference ever bring up child support, welfare reform, or mathematical issues, such as economics?

Or, for that matters, why are not the people who experienced abuse considered THE experts, and why are the true experts (the battered mothers) not as informed as the presenting experts on things that others figured out over 15 years ago in this field?

This is, among other things, a marketing conference, and a chance for women to sit with each other and have company in their distress.  It is NOT a place for them to actually reform the courts, or learn the most direct possible ways (if any ways are possible) to get their children back, or a crooked judge off their case.  That I can tell.

*A comment on the site says women can contribute to a quilt for missing children.   (Which somehow reminds me of a church situation — you may attend, women:  Here — serve some cookies,  greet perhaps, and of course work child care, the sermon and other important things will be piped in from our (male) minister).  . . . . now, there are presenters who are mothers on the platform, some of who I know by name, and I know those mothers are not about to rock the boat — by reporting on what you’ll find here, NAFCJ.net, Cindy Ross, Richard Fine (Emil Tadros either, for that matter) and other places.   Somehow that information isn’t worth informing Moms of, which results in Uninformed Moms, wondering why things aren’t changing.

You see, professionals (and I was one in one or two fields) know they’re not expert in other fields and so tend to defer to people presenting as the experts in a different field.  This works REAL well when mothers in panic, danger, or serious trauma go for help to DV experts who are hired (or volunteered) with agencies which do not themselves see fit to look at the larger picture AND TELL THE MOMS ABOUT IT.

Moreover, once a case — or person — moves out of their area of “expertise” — meaning, case in point for mothers, into the family law system — it becomes “not my problem” and they can, I suppose, somehow sleep with themselves at night (those who actually have functional consciences) without drugs or sedatives, by saying – it’s out of my hands now, I did my part!

Ay, there’s the rub.  It’s a win-win for the civil restraining order (DV agency) field AND for the Family Law Field, because no one “out-ed” either field’s collaboration and centralization over the years.  No one has done this much to date  because so few people follow the funding, particularly experts protesting “Child abuse, Domestic Violence” and so forth.

RE:  “IS What We’re Doing Working”

Here’s a short answer:   “ExcUUse me?   You  * #$!- ing (kidding) me, right?”

Slightly Longer answer, Fresh kill, two children (10 & 14) into someone else’s care (foster?  relatives?)  this week in California.  The woman showed up, obediently, for a family court hearing, and was murdered in cold blood, in her car.

Authorities say the man shot his wife, gave chase to police, then shot himself; they were scheduled to appear in family court for a hearing

BY JOHN ASBURY AND KEVIN PEARSON

STAFF WRITERS

kpearson@pe.com | jasbury@pe.com

Published: 04 January 2012 08:42 AM

A man at the Hemet courthouse for a child-support hearing calmly walked up to his wife’s car and fired two fatal shots, then led police on a car chase before killing himself Wednesday morning, according to witnesses and police

. . . .

Costales had no criminal record in Riverside County, and the couple had no history of domestic violence with each other, nor was there a restraining order in the case. However, Costales was accused of domestic violence in a previous divorce.

The two children now aged 10 and 14, we don’t know who their biological mother was –whether the woman slumped over in her car that day, or the former Ms. Costales:  However, they were born (do the math, see article) prior to this marriage:  2012 January minus ten, minus fourteen years.  Mr. Costales prior marriage had mutual restraining orders as of the year 2000.

‘A HORRIBLE SIGHT’

Kimberly Jones, 45, of Hemet, said she was in her car when she heard the first gunshot, which she thought was a firecracker. She looked back to see Schulz back away quickly.

Jones ducked as additional shots were fired, then ran over to find Schulz bleeding and slumped over in the driver’s seat. Jones, who is a nurse, said she tried to resuscitate the woman in the parking lot as Costales casually walked back to his car.

. . . She moved out, not him….

Schulz told the court in September that she was unemployed and receiving $550 in monthly aid. She asked for Costales to be required to make child and spousal payments and to make payments on their Honda Pilot until she could afford to get her own vehicle.

“I need hearing because of no income but aid,” Schulz wrote in court documents. “Living on my brother’s couch, looking for work daily, been unsuccessful. Children need their own home and stability.”

The age difference:  Him vs. Her — was 17 years.  We don’t know this situation, but here’s a woman who never apparently even SAID “domestic violence” — and yet still died asking for something reasonable.  Did she bring children into the relationship (was he their father?).  Did he seek a needy woman with children to make up for loss of his first wife and two sons (now adults)?

Do second wives EVER believe the record on the first wives’ court docket?

I went to look this one up at the Riverside Court, but found out that it’s not even free to view the images, and in doing so, they will know who is looking.  So much for public oversight from a safe distance!

Police closed off a portion of the courthouse parking lot, stranding about 50 people who were unable to get to their cars to leave, but the courthouse remained open. The Hemet branch of the Riverside County courts handles family law cases in addition to civil, small claims and traffic issues.

Why did she leave?  Who knows?  Was this unreported violence, nonsupport, or what?  Where are the children going to live now?  Who HAS them now?

This was a TANF case.  She was on aid — that means that only if there has been violence, or some severe extenuating systems, is she allowed some sort of diversion away from seeking child support from the father.  The county wants its programs funded.  If “aid” goes out, the County controls the collection of child support.  This was likely an administrative hearing — there seems not to be any discussion over custody or visitation.    This woman didn’t know, and now never will, what receiving welfare from anywhere in California puts one at risk of.  Had it not ended this way, it might have stretched out for years in the courts as well.

Suppose this man had not been just Mr. Costales, but Mr. DeKraii, and been in a real bad mood that day?  Who else might have died?

Hence, we have to re-think this phrase:  “Clear and Present Danger.”  It has 3 usages.

1.  In the law, unless it’s been rescinded by now — in California, a Batterer is a “Clear and present danger to the mental and physical health of the citizens of California.”  If one continues reading the law, they then talk about something like a task force at the District Attorney level.

2.  In Usage by AFCC,  “Lack of Resources” to the family courts is the “Clear and Present Danger.”

3.  I feel it’s safe to say now, clearly, and quite presently, that “the family courts are a clear and present danger to the citizens (not just parents) of the state of California.”

So much for the domestic violence industry.  It doesn’t hold water once it’s in “conciliation court.”  They just forgot to tell the mothers this, evidently.

I fully realize that’s “heresy” (but the courts themselves are based on psychological theory and clear intent to undermine the meaning of criminal law and drive business to therapists, etc.) but anyone concerned about my POST-battering relationship, POST-family law custody matters (like we say, it goes, so long as minors and two parties are all alive, until the children reach majority) — I have no criminal record and no criminal intents either.  I showed up to court hearings no matter how scared I was, and was forced to sit at the table with my ex, and from this close range, somehow “negotiate.”

People want to “reform” Family Court.  That’s crazy thinking.  It doesn’t account for the roadkill.

Although I can’t blame the average citizen, who thinks that his /her taxes are going to support something noble or good when it pays these salaries for family courts throughout the land, and more.  When the situation hits them, personally (evidence is that not all close relatives or friends figure it out, either), perhaps the 2 + 2 will = 4.    Who has it helped, and what’s the ratio of helped to roadkill, to children being tortured, children sent into foster care, parents experiencing MIA children, etc.?   That’s a system someone can supposedly MANAGE?

Here’s a summary, a post from long ago (about 1.5 years ago) which I’m amazed it still gets attention, and was today:

Toms River NJ femicide/suicide post-mortem concludes strangled DYFS worker should’ve hooked up with “agencies such as ourselves

I posted this on August 17, 2009

This detailed a murder/suicide which occurred FIVE HOURS after the man posted $1,500 bail and was released.  The woman did everything right — almost.  She didn’t leave her job and the area, she didn’t evidently know to insist that if this man was released, she be notified (nor was she, apparently) in fact, perhaps she didn’t have a fast enough learning curve to understand that once provoked by resistance, some men become extremely dangerous, at which point in time, it is imperative to stay alive — and anything short of ENSURING that is risky, even putting job retention ahead of it.
I then in the blog talk back to the various circus of people saying “it spiraled out of control” and so forth, essentially failing to analyze.  THEN I go back approximately 10 years and look at DV murders in that area and in NJ, compare it to the money spent to stop domestic violence, and have to ask, HUH?
There are a few things I noticed on the re-read of my older post, which I may get out later.  For example — that the Prosecutor quoted had been Presiding Family Law Judge, and it had been a civil restraining order.
Is it possible that this very system of civil restraining orders, although they jumpstart safety, are themselves a fail-safe, which still end up with dead bodies afterwards?  How sad – in that this young? woman wasn’t a mother yet, either- – she really could’ve possibly relocated.  It is easier for a single person who doesn’t have to deal with ongoing visitation, custody orders, the children’s change of schools, etc. — to locate, than a woman with children attached.  Not that it’s easy, but it would seem LEGALLY easier.  If she wants to go, they were not married, have no property in common — what could LEGALLY prevent her from leaving?
But it’s not that way when there is a family around, in the eyes of the state.
Meanwhile:  We have a 7500 word post here, and below are the listed (possibly not the latest list, but from the website) PRESENTERS at BMCC IX.
I have to go now, but will comment another time on those that I know of.   It is not an alpha list and I notice that Jennifer Collins (who is a young woman and associated with or running “Courageous Kids” — daughter of HOlly Collins) is on their twice.
Several of these people, I have personally and sometimes several times, talked to about why there is so little tracking of AFCC, fatherhood funding and other things, in their advocacy.
2012 PRESENTERS   Bios to be added shortly

Jennifer Collins

Carly Singer

Michael Bassett, J.D.

Carol Pennington

Liora Farkovitz

Lundy Bancroft- author

Barry Goldstein – author, former attorney

Joan Zorza  – DVLeap, doesn’t blog family law matters

Kathleen Russell*

— *of Center for Judicial Excellence.  Won’t report on AFCC, barely reports on fatherhood funding, but loves high profiles.  Not a mother.

Connie Valentine  (CPPA)

Karen Anderson  (CPPA and her case is detailed in Johnnypumpandle — but this crowd simply ain’t interested.)

Phyllis Chesler  

(if there were better company I’d try and get there this year, to meet her)

Gabby Davis

Loretta Fredericks

Loretta Fredericks in my opinion should not be allowed to present.  She should be put on the spot and have women fire questions about her.  Unfortunately, so few women know ANYTHING about MPDI, Duluth Abuse Intervention Programs, Battered Women’s Justice Project, how much TAGGS says the MPDI (etc.) got (HHS funding) — or the infamous collaboration with the AFCC in “Explicating Domestic Abuse in Custody” (or similar title) which was also public funding.   She also is featured in AFCC as a presenter, i.e., on the conference circuit?   Has she influenced them to understand abuse — or vice versa.  This situation (not her personally — we’ve never spoken) PERFECTLy represents what Liz Richards of NAFCJnet has correctly (my research validates this) calls a DV expert functioning as a “heat shield” for fatherhood providers.  They lend legitimacy where there is non.

Michele Jeker

Maralee Mclean

Angela Shelton

Wendy Murphy

Jennifer Hoult

Sandy Bromley

Renee Beeker  (advocates court watch)

Joshua Pampreen

Nancy Erickson

Karin Huffer

Jason Huffer

Crystal Huffer*

*Huffers talk about and help women deal with Legal Abuse Syndrome).

Holly Collins

Jennifer Collins

Zachary Collins

Garland Waller

**Collins and Waller are central to the conference and high-profile, I believe people know about them.

 

Dara Carlin*

*Formerly DV advocate from Hawaii, then it happened to her.  Didn’t notice that the legislator she was sure was on women’s side actually had close ties to a Fatherhood Commission in Hawaii (a What?).  This was how I learned about Fatherhood Commissions, actually.  She didn’t “Get” it.  Also hadn’t noticed that AFCC was presenting — in Hawaii — on PAS, etc.

Toby Kleinman

Linda Marie Sacks

(mentioned in my 2nd “About This Blog” — how to get to the Supreme COurt citing Dr. Phil, Oprah, and a Radio show onesself was interviewed on, thereby giving the rest of mothers protesting abuse a nice reputation for not being too bright.  Seriously!)

Rita Smith*  

(NCADV Leadership.  NCADV is atop the pile of statewide Coalitions Against Domestic Violence which are state-funded, although not too much funding.  It takes fees from these organizations and sells things, has conferences, etc. Was cited positively by Women in Fatherhood, Inc. which I find interesting …..)

Eileen King  (“Justice for Children” also I think on Linda Marie Sacks case, which Supreme Court refused to hear).

Mo Therese Hannah

(self-explanatory — and running the conference, with help It says from Ms. Miller.  I don’t recoqnize the other names).

Liliane Miller

Raquel Singh

Tammy Gagnon

Louise Monroe

Chrys Ballerano


Hopefully publishing this post won’t cost me what friends or colleagues remain (which is few anyhow), but I always am favorable to truth over friendship, when the latter compromises it and so much is at stake.  This conference, unless it exposes the operational structure, financing, and purposes of the entire family law business enterprise, can probably not help mothers win their court cases, u9nderstand the situation, and will redirect their activism towards asking for more task forces.  We just got this — and not one family law spokesperson on the last one (for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence).
Perhaps they all need a year off, and to go take a starter course from H&R Block, spend some time on their state corporate and charity websites, learn how to write a FOIA, WRITE some, and look at what comes up.  NOTE:  That’s not Rocket science, doesn’t require a Ph.D. and they won’t perish if they actually learn from sources, in tead of as interpreted through people who have things to sell.
I reserve judgment (any further judgment) until I find out who the other presenters are.  Meanwhile, say some prayers for the two children of Mr. Costales and his “estranged wife” he just murdered, while she was complying with a court order in order to have enough to live on after leaving him, this past week in Hemet California — which is in Southern, CA, Riverside County.

1996-2010: How “Ending welfare as we know it” morphed to [so far…] Statewide Marriage and Relationship Education –for Everyone

with one comment

Some of my friends scold me for showing too much and not just telling.  They’re right.    But as I like to SHOW (and then TELL, too) — posts run to triple-length size,  then I split them up with new — and long — titles.

(Those of you who know me — this is a “Conversational Public Data Dump.”  You are forewarned!)

(see also my comment — it has a major double-pasted section in it, too.  I will printout & purge the duplicates….  The value of this post is in the narrative, plus the links).

This post began as a TANF introduction to another one on a specific Healthy Marriage Grantee.

You may not think this information relevant — but, it has already landed in your back yard; it is restructuring the United States; it is a financial issue with global ramifications.  The story of HOW this happened (and through whom) will help us pay better attention in the future, and should rule out certain distractions — such as choosing which battle to fight, and which diversionary propaganda to ignore.

However, someone has to protest the incremental removal of civil liberties going along with incremental spending down of public dollars, diverted to . . .. for lack of a better word . .. Bush appointees, and Obama cronies.  And when it comes to THIS category, I don’t hear a lot of specific protests.

Want to Occupy Something?  Occupy This — your senators and representatives voted welfare infinite expansion, for private profit actually, into being through public laws.  How could that be?

Well, we have  public school systems that still (apparently) teach U.S. Mythology, not Accounting, that are places for Values & INdoctrination Wars.  Somehow, the importance of the House Ways and Means Appropriations Committee — let alone about how corporations and government actually interact, were not considered pre-requisites for graduation. Meanwhile,  people LIVE in neighborhoods where they can observe this discrepancy, know that the common explanations do not hold water, but may not have a coherent explanation of what does, of what happened (historically).

Moreover, there is a digital divide and closed-doors deliberations.   We are not [certainly anyone ever on welfare is typically not] given or pointed to the best tools to finding out how things work. The cult is of the experts — who teach the uninstructed and presumably not smart enough to “get it.”

The tools available to the unfunded public (like TAGGS) have been also tinkered with, obfuscated and otherwise screwed with, to beyond credibility (accuracy) – although they do reveal traits and patterns to a degree.  TAGGS cannot be reconciled with USASPENDING.gov (and isn’t) even when just looking up HHS grants only on the latter.  I have not made up my mind yet which is more in error, but USASPENDING.gov already has its accuracy critics –and so few people seem to ever USE TAGGS, that leaves me.

Name me ONE other blog or public website that began posting those HHS grantee & project charts before this blog did (earliest, 2009) and recommending their use.  Yet its data goes back to 1995.

Now a point has been made, by the structure AND content of this resource — well read, clearly understood — that this information is NOT reliable; moreover that it’s not reliable — or in really useable form — is no accident.

For example — a big stink since 2001 has been made about laying down the red carpet for (and building capacity for) the faith-based organizations to go help the poor hungry, under-educated slobs get some jobs and visit their sons and daughters, and be taught how to “relate” better to the other parent.

YET — TAGGS has no designation (or classification) for  Faith-based organization.  It’s been 10 years since Bush Executive Order, and the word “faith-based” is all over government (federal state, and nonprofit groups, such as CNCS), other sites — and yet no field has been added to the database to designate “Faith-based” or NOT Faith-based.    The same goes for the fine distinction between “Marriage” grantees and “Fatherhood Grantees.”  yet there is one CFDA (93086) for both — and, moreover, marriage and fatherhood activities could be in, literally, almost any category of federal domestic assistance, such as social welfare research and demonstration, which are NOT under “93086.”  Or in Head Start.  So what’s that about, eh?

Is this really about promoting responsible  “Fatherhood”?  I don’t think so.  Responsible Fathers (note:  this does not include Glenn Sacks or Nicholas Soppa!) like some accountability here and there, and deserve resources to get it, just like others do, and can come to a debate that is not predetermined, and occasionally lose a point or two (i.e. humility).  I don’t know any decent father who’d advocate stealing from the public under false pretenses, and attempting to cover one’s tracks, yet this IS what’s happening.  Or a responsible father helping set up any systems which, after about 53 failures, are still going full force, in the same manner – which many faith-based groups are.  Or which INTENTIONALLY undermines separation of church & state, OR the separation of powers in the federal government — and does so for personal sense of power, fame (or for profit).  Responsible fathers are willing to sacrifice, not specialists in sacrificing others, or what’s right.

this entire responsible fatherhood movement is, essentially (to quote Liz Richards/National Alliance for Family Court Justice, in testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, Appropriations — in June 2010) – An Expensive Solution looking for a Legitimate Problem:

Protective Mother’s Response to Ways & Means Income Security & Family Support June 17, 2010 hearing for re- reauthorizataion of Responsible Fatherhood program funding.

AN EXPENSIVE REMEDY IN SEARCH OF A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM!

The June 17th 2010 “Responsible Fatherhood” hearing testimony supporting the administration’s reauthorization request for $150,000,000 for a program which has failed to offer any verifiable data on program implementation or specific outcomes, such as the easy to verify job skill training and improved child support compliance factors. Program promoters have become defensive, or hostile, when their operations or intent is questioned. They reject complaints from protective mother advocates who describe serious systemic problems occurring with divorcing and “absent” fathers. In short – the Responsible Fatherhood program advocates have never shown any interest toward the very people who they purport to be helping- divorced or separated mothers of the fathers enrolled in their programs..

Responsible Fatherhood programs have been funded since 1996, but have yet to offer any outcome data or analysis verifying positive impact on mothers and children. Instead they rely on vague claims of involvement of domestic violence specialists to claim [their] activities are not causing mothers any problems. HHS ACF officials confirm they do no requirement for collecting or reporting program enrollment or outcome data.

{Heck, HHS/OIG/OAS can’t even keep track of millions of undistributed child support already collected at the state level, and eschews responsibility for doing so — after all, isn’t it TANF blocks to the states, for flexible use? so long as federal incentives are met for their $2 of ours for $1 of yours, and they get some back, who’s going to rock that boat?  Yet in part it’s from child support enforcement funds that Fatherhood Promotion is done!}

Why should they be getting millions more if they won’t verify the millions already spent are producing positive results, or any other performance or outcome information? Why don’t the fatherhood promoters know anything about the protective mother movement, or show any interest in the concerns of divorcing and separated mothers?

(actually, some of these DO know about this movement and viciously attack it in print and on on-line forums — see Peter Jamison, SFWeekly earlier in 2011)

We believe their data omissions are done deliberately to cover up another agenda – which our members observe and are negatively affected by – which is recruiting dead-beat and abusive men into lucrative high-conflict litigation. I alone have over 2000 victim intake contacts from nearly all US states. NAFCJ has state leaders, in over 15 states collaborate with other protective mother leaders. I have been communicating with fathers’ rights and fatherhood leaders and activist since as early as 1992, have attended their conference and have determined the two movements are one [and] the same.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

LGH Note:   Since last June 2010, I have seem more influences than just the fathers’ rights upon these grant series, but still believe it a valid factor nevertheless at the “street” and HHS etc. level)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I note that this 2010 testimony (filed on-line) also refers to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005:

The US Senator who sponsored the earlier $150,000,000 Responsible Fatherhood earmark in the 2005 deficit Reduction Act has been a fathers rights supporter since he was a state legislator and has been collaborating with the fathers right leader and founder from his state from state since the start. This fathers’ right founder also has collaborated with Dr Richard Gardner on specific case litigation. Gardner’s writings included heinous remarks – such as ( in paraphrase): “mothers who complain about father’s sex abuse of children should be told to get a vibrator and become more sexually responsive to her husband so he won’t have to seek sex from his daughter.” This and other sick and deviant opinions from Gardner and other publish pro-incest men (e.g Ralph Underwager and Warren Farrell) are the reason why Responsible Fatherhood promoters conceal their relationship with the father rights people.

In order for the Responsible Fatherhood promoter to conceal their history of collaborating with the deviant fathers rights movement, they use domestic violence counselor as a “heat shield” to make themselves look pro-woman. But our movement of litigating protective mothers, many of whom have been in domestic violence shelters, have never observed any officially designated fathers representatives collaborating with domestic violence representative or producing and positive actions or outcomes for them. What we do hear from d.v. victim mothers who have gone from her home into shelter with her children – only to be arrested and put into jail a few days later for “kidnapping” the children. Most not allowed any contact with their children, because they are then deemed to be a flight risk. An ex- parte sole custody order is establish for the father is without any notification or hearing for the mother. The d.v. shelter people refuse to support them or testify for the mother and ignore her concerned about the father’s abuse of the children. Many of these falsely arrested mothers don’t see their children again for months {{or years…}} on grounds she is a flight risk. Unfortunately our movement is very dissatisfied with the d.v. movement and believe they also need reforming. However, some of their leaders are working with us to correct this part of the system failure

If I get the rest of the follow-up post out — there is a demonstration of this “heat shield” phenomena — at the “Domestic Violence Coalition” level, typically.

and she also wrote:

All the evidence I’ve observed indicates the Responsible Fatherhood programs are merely a cover for recruiting bad dads with offers of child support abatements into high-conflict litigation, giving sole custody of the children to the father and getting the mother out of picture and forcing her to pay excessive child support obligations to him

Then there are (I learned through the Kentucky example:  “Turning It Around”) the times fathers in arrears were, literally, extorted into participating in programs such as fatherhood classes, parenting skills, self-esteem, ABSTINENCE education (for a father?), and more — which have their promoters throughout the system, usually with a for-profit organization selling the materials behind any nonprofit group.   These are not so many or varied that they are hard to locate and recognize the presence of, any more…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _OK, enough of that particular angle . . . . . . .

Personal:

My interests and activism took another “sea change” after documenting (some, at least) of the Sea Changes at for example California Healthy Marriage Coalition, which boasted on outset of its programs of THE largest HHS marriage promotion grant yet ($11 million over 5 years).

Again, at the corporate level (California Secretary of State) a search of the words ‘Healthy Marriage” (singular) produces this chart:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2629035 11/08/2004 SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA STATE HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE CHRIS GRIER
C2896098 06/01/2006 ACTIVE FRESNO COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION, INC., A NONPROFIT PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION ROBYN L ESRAELIAN
C2271911 03/07/2001 DISSOLVED HEALTHY CHALLENGES MARRIAGE, FAMILY AND CHILD COUNSELING PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ELIZABETH LEHRER
C2884897 06/23/2006 SUSPENDED NATIONAL HEALTHY MARRIAGE RESOURCE CENTER DENNIS J STOICA
C2884898 06/23/2006 SUSPENDED ORANGE COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COALITION DENNIS J STOICA
C2955473 10/04/2006 SUSPENDED RIVERSIDE HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION, INC. LEGALZOOM.COM, INC.
C2650745 05/12/2004 ACTIVE SACRAMENTO HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT CAROLYN RICH CURTIS
C3210304 05/29/2009 ACTIVE SAINTS HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT REGINA GLASPIE
C2860238 03/02/2006 ACTIVE STANISLAUS COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION JAMES CARLETON STEWARD
C3013354 08/13/2007 ACTIVE YUBA-SUTTER HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT WILLIAM F JENS

and “Healthy Relationship,” this one:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3073670 01/16/2008 SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, INC. LEGALZOOM.COM, INC.
C2746528 05/13/2005 ACTIVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA PATTY HOWELL
C2790720 06/09/2006 ACTIVE OAKLAND BERKELEY INITIATIVE FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ** RESIGNED ON 06/20/2011
C2494811 01/06/2003 DISSOLVED THE CENTER FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, INC. TAMARA ILICH

Meanwhile — as far as the 990 finder (which uses IRS filings) is concerned, the Sacramento Group has indeed changed its name by 2010, and there IS no “California Healthy Marriage” nonprofit around.

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Dba Relationship Skills Center CA 2010 $64,938 990 31 13-4280316

Now, on TAGGS, this ONE EIN (13480316) pulls up a slightly smaller set of grants, but two different DUNS# — why? (I put these here for readers to click on)

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 147288935 $ 2,446,593
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 827612631 $ 1,148,512

  

Showing: 1 – 2 of 2 Recipients


Searching by Principal Investigator “Curtis” (within California) we see some — not all — of the grants:

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 1,647,768
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90IJ0205 COMPASSION CAPITAL FUND (CCF) TARGETED CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM – MARRIAGE 93009 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 50,000

and of course the last one, a new award, goes to — “CAROLYN CAROLYN” (i.e., FN FN)

Grantee Name City Recovery Act Indicator Grantee Type Award Number Award Title CFDA Number Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project SACRAMENTO NON Other Social Services Organization 90FM0059 FLOURISHING FAMILIES PROGRAM 93086 CAROLYN CAROLYN $ 798,825

SO, this $3 million plus is going to an organization in Sacramento (California State Capitol) that is not maintaining is nonprofit status with the state of California — is this affecting our budget?  Please also note that of these 5 awards, two are “Recovery” (ARRA) awards — totaling $1,647,768.  In another OMB or GAO report, we found that ARRA awards specifically have been tagged as notoriously NOT paying their still-due payroll and other taxes (even were the nonprofit legitimate):

(posted July 14, 2011 at Patton Boggs, LLP, with the alert that this is general information — and not legal advice)

Federal grant award recipients should carefully review their own federal tax compliance and use vigilance when engaging subrecipients and contractors, based on recent Senate testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

On May 24, 2011, a GAO representative testified before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that thousands of contract and grant recipients under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) owe hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid federal taxes. The testimony summarized GAO’s April 2011 report of its investigation of 15 entities that had collectively received some $35 million in ARRA funds despite federal tax delinquencies totaling roughly $40 million. GAO referred all 15 entities to the IRS for possible criminal investigation.

ARRA grant award recipients may face risks to their projects stemming from federal tax delinquencies even though, as the GAO acknowledged, federal law does not generally prohibit applicants with unpaid federal tax debts from receiving federal grant awards. With federal debt continuing to climb, and federal spending far outstripping tax revenues, Congress may at least examine changes to the law to impose new restrictions in this area. In addition, in many cases, the tax delinquencies stem from  unpaid payroll taxes, meaning that even entities exempt from federal income taxes may be affected.

The GAO accounts.  It has no teeth.  Congress has to act….  More from the GAO site indicates that groups such as these may be included, i.e., if they don’t includ amounts from groups that have not filed federal tax returns 

At least 3,700 Recovery Act contract and grant recipients–including prime recipients, subrecipients, and vendors–are estimated to owe more than $750 million in known unpaid federal taxes as of September 30, 2009, and received over $24 billion in Recovery Act funds. This represented nearly 5 percent of the approximately 80,000 contractors and grant recipients in the data from Recovery.gov as of July 2010 that we reviewed. The estimated amount of known unpaid federal taxes is likely understated because IRS databases do not include amounts owed by recipients who have not filed tax returns or understated their taxable income and for which IRS has not assessed tax amounts due. 

(Back to TAGGS and our HM grantees)

And the $15 million went to an organization incorporated by Dennis Stoica (in Leucadia) that had its corporate status suspended, as well as the OTHER two organizations he formed, around the same time.   Patty Howell’s nonprofit, who carried on the name — is still associated with the bad behavior (by association) with CHMC’s originals.

Yet the only one of the BUNCH that I can see actually filed (with California, where they are) with the OAG — as required to — was the Sacramento Healthy Marriage (Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D.)

The California Healthy Marriage (Stoica, Suspended) became, somehow “Healthy Relationships California” (Howell) — think Leucadia, San Diego Area.

Meanwhile, the SACRAMENTO HM group (Curtis) — not that its ‘charitable status is, er, current — at least created one with the OAG, which looks like this

(on the actual site, the headings background color would be BLUE).  I am coding it GREEN, to match the PATTY HOWELL group – and indeed, the letter on this site (From the OAG) saying’ hey whassup, is addressed to “Sacramento Healthy Marriage”

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA CT0149740 Charity Delinquent LEUCADIA CA Charity Registration Charity
1

TAGGS grant for This one, EIN# 6806790  (which I believe I’ve gone over before, at some length) shows:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 003664535 $ 7,883,475
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 361795151 $ 7,142,080

Or, in the latest ACF announcement (just to make life a little harder for the novice in all this) as:

Healthy Relationships California

Leucadia

CA

$2,500,000

Which is it not called, any more — on the TAGGS  – – – OR, on the website itself, because Patty Howell’s  actual organization “healthy Relationships” apparently subsequently bought (or, at least claimed) the registered name “California Healthy Marrriage Coalition.”

Website — not that this group is current as a charity in California any more, but at least Ms. Howell’s nonprofit founded JUST a bit earlier than Mr. Stoica’s, saved the day and kept the name — it’s still showing up as:  California Healthy Marriages Coalition and (I see) features a “Dads & Kids” relationship education initiative, …

stating that this is funded in part by:  “Partial funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FE0104. “

ward Number: 90FE0104
Award Title: HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 1
OPDIV: ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)
Organization: OFFICE OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE (OFA)
Award Class: DISCRETIONARY

Award Abstract

Title Healthy Marriage Demonstration, Priority Area 1 
Project Start/End  /
Abstract Healthy Marriage Demonstration, Priority Area 1
PI Name/Title Howell, Patty   Vice President of Operations
Institution

There are 7 award actions (4 of which read “$0”) and the other three (discretionary) $2.3 million & $2.4 + $2.4 million from 2006, 2009 & 2010= $7,142,080.  The grant is labeled “healthy marriage” and “FE” and the use was for Dads & Kids relationship building — which just so happens to be another business Ms. Howell is in.

Quite honestly, I don’t remember now (or feel like checking) whether it was Howell, or Curtis — on both nonprofits, receiving $32K for work on the one, and $7K for work on the other.

HM/FR GRANTEE BEHAVIORS

I am now learning that their behavior is typical — not atypical– for the healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood grantees.  As such, I am starting to comprehend that the entire system wasn’t even nominally set up to promote marriage, but to deconstruct the lines of authority between federal and state, to divert welfare funding SPECIFICALLY from single mothers (who, even when under attack are still a force to be reckoned with) towards fathers, and change language acknowledging us as both mothers and citizens (individuals) with equal rights under the law — which, by the way, we DO have.  But not safely enforceable.

The Child Support monster is just that — and as it feeds gas in to county & state agencies, and (diversionary programs) — it has been spilling, and some of these spills turn into conflagrations where people get hurt.  Men, women and children.   Other than that, it often drains an economy — but DRIVES the bureaucratic economy.  Whatever it may have been, it is now a monster.  It recruits, it solicits — but it does not produce and does not contain viable checks and balances.

WHO VOTED THIS AGENDA IN?  AND WHO PUT THEM IN OFFICE?

I am gradually understanding that it was THE United States Congressmen, and some (not many) women that voted for these laws, from TANF (1996/Clinton), through DRA (2005/Bush) through ARRA (2009/Obama) and through 2010 Claims Resolution Act (also Obama).  It took me a while to realize that these years paralleled the hell extended nightmare of a marriage, followed by what at this point, I’d call worse — because it destroys hope of an off-ramp, EVER, and has definitely altered my family line’s wellbeing — in EVERY measurable category — for the far worse, since we first met the courts.   And people who go through this marginalization tend to listen to others who have; mine is no isolated instance; it’s a systemic situation.

This is relevant history to current history, on its course.   Don’t we want to know who helped set what in motion, and how?  Particularly when history tends to run over the very families (and economy) it is pretending — or purporting — to help?

Normally, this subject matter wouldn’t be on my radar.  It only got there when I demanded a reasonable explanation for a clear double-standard based on gender in what I assumed (wrongly, as it turns out) to be courts of law, i.e., “family courts.”   Of course my opposite gender’s proponents have been saying for decades that these courts are biased against THEIR gender, and must be adjusted to compensate.  They have now (far’s I can tell) been saying this with impunity for FAR too long.

SO — in some detail, and FYI  —

PRWORA 1996, DRA  2005, ARRA 2009 and 2010 Claims Resolution Act.  Slippery slope to evolving definitions of welfare and child support enforcement – incremental tipping of the purposes of TANF from Purpose #1

(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives

towards Purpose #4 — and then expanding the application of Purpose #4 beyond anyone who might have actually needed the resources from Purpose #1.

(4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. . . .

We are in the new millennium, which kicked off (after surviving the Y2K scare) pretty much with a possibly stolen election, and a King in the form of a President.  Kings, as their manner is, like to rewrite laws, restrict civil liberties, protect their cronies, equate their causes with “godly” causes, and protect THEIR, not the People’s Interest.  Such was definitely true the moment G. W. Bush took office in 2001, being sworn in to office under the same oath as previous Presidents.

The way was paved before him with 1996 Welfare Reform, which granted to states, allegedly, some of the co-dependent power it took from them, by allowing them “flexibility” (Block grants to states for TANF / welfare) to better address the needs of their citizens and reduce the welfare caseload.  If you are not “up” on this then research it some.  Center on Budget & Policy Priorities gives a brief recap.  These are good basic readings if you are, say, living and working in the United States.  Even if you are not doing this as a legal resident, or permanently, it may potentially affect situations such as were found in Seal Beach, California, when the father of a little boy, having 56% custody (despite prior violence, threats, and significant issues that would otherwise alert a reasonable person to danger) — being an ex-Marine — walked into a beauty salon with guns (and a bulletproof vest) and “offed” 6 people in the room (starting with a man, then his wife, then everyone else in there — a 73 yr old mother I heard survived serious wounds — and, who knows why, another innocent man sitting in a parked vehicle outside.  The joint custody policy comes from a combination of groups such as AFCC/CRC AND policies such as set in welfare reform.   These are not isolated incidences; they are recurring incidents (with more or less victims depending on circumstances) and their occurrences has not modified either welfare reform, or AFCC/CRC policy and agenda one whit, that I can see.  So, as a US resident, you will at some level be both funding these policies — and paying for clean up.   This is what we get for not paying closer attention to our legislatures, and doing WHATEVER is necessary to make time to do so, where at all possible!

From the “Center on Budget & Policy Priorities” whose board includes a person from the Brookings Institute, the Urban Institute (and Marian Wright Edelman of Children’s Defense Fund).  This nonprofit was founded in 1981, it says, and focuses on policies regarding low-income families, among other things.  I may not agree with all the viewpoints, but this outlines some of the facts:

They are going to detail some points about 1996 PRWORA, 2005 DRA, 2009 ARRA, and (let’s not forget the most recent, although I don’t know if this details), 2010 Claims Resolution Act

Sooner or later, (I hope), the public is going to wake up and ask just WHAT is its Congress authorizing when it comes to promoting marriage and fatherhood, and taking away from the original purpose of “AFDC” (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or even the original purpose of TANF (aid to needy families), let alone the original purpose of the Child SUpport Enforcement (which was, child support enforcement).  Whatever the original purposes were — it’s clear which direction things are heading — which expansion of purposes, programs, and applications, and undermining of the ORIGINAL concept to a more circuitous, theory-based concept of how to help feed hungry children, and adult caretakers (including, like, parents?!)  in the households where they live, in America.

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a block grant created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as part of a federal effort to “end welfare as we know it.” The TANF block grant replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had provided cash welfare to poor families with children since 1935.

Under the TANF structure, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs. States can use TANF dollars in ways designed to meet any of the four purposes set out in federal law, which are to: “(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” . . .

The law that created the TANF block grant initially authorized funding through the end of federal fiscal year 2002. After several short-term extensions, Congress reauthorized TANF in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and made some modifications to the program;**TANF is now authorized through the end of federal fiscal year 2011 (September 30, 2011).

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

States have broad discretion to determine who is eligible for various TANF and MOE-funded benefits and services. In general, states must use the funds to serve families with children, with the only exceptions related to efforts to reduce non-marital childbearing and promote marriage . .

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

The basic TANF block grant has been set at $16.6 billion since it was established in 1996. As a result, the real value of the block grant has already fallen by about 28 percent.

The 1996 law also created supplemental grants for 17 states with high population growth or low block grant allocations relative to their needy population, as well as a contingency fund to help states weather a recession.** Congress regularly extended these supplemental grants, but the most recent extension covered only three of the four quarters of federal fiscal year 2011, and these grants expired July 1, 2011. This year represents the first time since 1996 that Congress has not fully funded the supplemental grants.

As noted above, states must spend state funds on programs for needy families as a condition of receiving the federal TANF block grant.

(Notice the #1 goal.  However, in Oklahoma, Ohio, other states, the emphasis was on goals 4, 3, 2 & 1, in approximate order, as shown by their policies.  I have blogged on the “OMI” before.

Apparently the DRA (2005) allowed states to categorize “MOE” expenses to NON-needy families (this is a footnote to a 2007 CRS report by the same person, Mr. Gene Falk):

 FN 15 Prior to the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, P.L. 109-171) MOE funds used to achieve TANF’s family formation goals were restricted to expenditures on “needy” families with children. The DRA had a provision that allows a state’s total expenditure on activities to achieve these goals to be counted without regard to a family’s need. However, HHS regulations issued on February 5, 2008, limit MOE expenditures related to the family formation goals except for activities related to promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. (See Appendix, “Families Considered “Engaged in Work” (the Numerator of the Participation Rate)” later in this report for a listing of these activities. For a discussion of this regulatory provision, see Federal Register, vol. 73, no. 24, p. 6517-6318.

THIS, friends, is how one can encounter divorce or custody cases in which one side is a millionaire, but still benefitting from the priorities these programs set up in the courtroom, i.e. promoting more noncustodial (meaning father) parenting time by means of — supervised visitation, counseling, mediation, parent education, etc.  Court-referrals..

Using Federal TANF Grants

Federal TANF grants may be used for a wide range of benefits and services for families with children. Grants may be used within a state TANF program or transferred to either the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF, the “child care block grant”) or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Unused TANF funds can also be reserved (saved), without fiscal year limit.12

FN12 Before the enactment of the ARRA, reserved funds could only be used for the purpose of providing “assistance” (often, cash welfare). The ARRA eliminated this restriction to the use of reserve funds, so that reserve funds can be used to provide any allowed TANF benefit or service.

**what Oklahoma did with its contingency fund, and other states (or certain appointees in other states) seem to like this model.  The ACF/HHS site mentions Oklahoma Marriage Initiative  as a model of how to use MOE funds, after first asserting that:

Healthy marriages are vitally important to the long term well-being of children. Beyond the economic advantages important for supporting children, the experiences and examples shown to children being raised by parents who enjoy a loving and long-term commitment yields tremendous developmental benefits for children. Forming and sustaining a happy and healthy marriage requires, in part, good fortune and, in larger part, parents possessing the knowledge and commitment to exercise healthy relationship skills that form the basis of healthy marriages.

(From the Director of HHS’s Office of Family Assistance, year, 2004.)

Certainly inherited wealth, circumstances of birth including where and to whom — have little to do with this; really, it’s about skills moreso.  Therefore, forget those other factors, let’s focus on the “healthy relationship skills” Well said, from an organization that distributes, but apparently doesn’t track too well, the funds!

Since the inception of PRWORA, Oklahoma has capitalized on the flexibility of TANF funds by investing $10 million in the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI). OMI was established under the third and fourth statutory purposes of TANF. OMI currently delivers marriage and relationship training statewide through social service systems, educational systems and volunteer organizations. Participants access training in diverse settings such as workforce development classes, high schools, military bases, prisons, first time offender programs, churches, universities and many more. In 2003, Oklahoma reported{{who checked??}}  that 938 workshops were conducted, serving 1,250 participants and training 1,200 individuals to provide future workshops. For additional information on Oklahoma’s Marriage Initiative please visit:http://www.okmarriage.org/services/healthyrelationships.asp

As I blogged before, the Governor of Oklahoma pushed this one from the top, with help from “expert speakers” and the head of his HHS, who pointed out there was TANF money sitting around.

The economic researchers found some social indicators that were hurting Oklahoma’s economy. They mentioned the high divorce rate, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and high rates of child deaths because of child abuse. One OSU economist wrote in an editorial, “Oklahoma’s high divorce rate and low per-capita income are interrelated. They hold hands. They push and pull each other. There’s no faster way [in Oklahoma!] for a married woman with children to become poor than to suddenly become a single mom.”

(Child abuse, of course doesn’t happen within marriages, and abuse of one’s kids is not a cause of divorce.) Then “Governor and First Lady’s (day-long) Conference on Marriage” with speaker..

(See, as recounted on a “smartmarriages.com” list-serv in 1999, how Gary Smalley & Wade Horn of the NFI were there…”Marriages must be strengthened for the sake of America’s children”

Theodora Ooms with the Family Impact Seminar in Washington
D.C. called the marriage conference historic. "You are pioneers here in
Oklahoma. I have been trying for ten years in Washington D.C. to get this
on the agenda and get some money to work on this issue and no one in
Washington will talk about it.

The Conference also included breakout sessions with attendees discussing
how the various sectors can work together and how government policy can
also impact the success of marriages. Among the items discussed:

Tax laws-possibly eliminating marriage penalty
Possible repeal of no fault divorce
Public education- emphasize the positive aspects of marriage to young people
  • Covenant marriages
  • Emphasis on premarital counseling, possibly even legally requiring it
  • Making laws more “family friendly”
  • e laws
  • The Governor and First Lady¼s Conference on Marriage was facilitated by
  • Jerry Regier, the Governor¼s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human
  • Services. It was privately funded by several groups and individuals,
including the Burbridge Foundation and the Baptist General Convention.

Good grief.   the Baptist General Convention got with the Governor and helped propose taking welfare funds to promote marriage,

since their own Sunday Sermons weren’t persuasive enough?  That’s “ripe.”

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 1:

Burbridge Foundation, I’m going to look up, obviously.  From “TheLostOgle.com” (apparently some Oklahomans having some fund poking fun at their state, although I note, “*.com”)  This foundation was #93 on the top 100 most embarrassing things about Oklahoma (from 2007, its centenary?):

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2007 under Best of OKCDean BlevinsOKC Music,Oklahoma City AlumniOklahoma City MediaOklahoma City RadioThe Sports Animal,Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments by Tony

For the eight of you out there who didn’t realize it, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma. To mark this, various publications around the state have been featuring all sorts of Top 100 lists that have provoked virtually no controversy and have not been talked about at the water cooler. In fact, we’ve heard so little discussion about these lists that we wonder if anyone is actually reading them. We sure don’t.

It does seem, though, that the focus has been on the more positive elements of Oklahoma. While we celebrate those things just like the rest of the world, it seems wrong to ignore the more humiliating aspects of the state of Oklahoma. Naturally, we’re here to fill that void, in this ten-part series that will run every Monday. Today, numbers 91 through 100 of Oklahoma’s Biggest Embarrassments..

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

Those commercials for the Burbridge foundation are possibly the most annoying thing on local radio, which is saying something. When listening to Burbridge Lane lecture us about pornography or religion being taken out of public schools or whatever the pet issue of the day is, we’re convinced that Burbridge Lane wants to return the United States to the 1950′s, which probably sucked really bad. 

There’s usually some truth on the heels of humor, and this one rings true:

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 2:  Could THIS be why The Burbridge Foundation is so big on Marriage (dates to 1974).

(read for comic relief): (from “law.justia.com”)

496 F.2d 326: The Burbridge Foundation, Inc., Appellant,

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

Robert E. Hornberger, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellant.

G. Alan Wooten, Harper, Young & Smith, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellees.

Before VAN OOSTERHOUT, Senior Circuit Judge, and LAY and ROSS, Circuit judges.

PER CURIAM.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. – 496 F.2d 326

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

. . .(The present suit is basically an action in rem seeking relinquishment of certain stocks held by the stakeholders, Reinholdt & Gardner. The Foundation’s memorandum in the trial court stated that ‘the relief specifically sought is the return and delivery to The Burbridge Foundation of its stock deposited with that defendant (Reinholdt & Gardner). …

Upon registry of a personal judgment arising from a divorce decree, Velma Jean Holloway, formerly Velma Jean Burbridge, obtained a writ of garnishment from the Chancery Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas, against Reinholdt & Gardner, a stock brokerage firm, to attach any stocks belonging to her former husband, R. O. Burbridge. The brokerage firm denied holding any stock in Burbridge’s name, but admitted it had an account in the name of The Burbridge Foundation. The Burbridge Foundation intervened in the state court proceedings. Shortly thereafter, The Foundation brought suit in the federal district court against Reinholdt & Gardner, seeking recovery of the stocks. In its complaint, The Foundation made the same allegations it raised as intervenor in state court, i.e., that the stocks belonged to it and not R. O. Burbridge personally. In addition The Foundation for the first time asserted that the Arkansas garnishment statute was unconstitutional in that it sought to deprive The Foundation of its property without due process of law.1 Reinholdt & Gardner answered that it could not relinquish the stocks until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Holloways2 intervened in the federal action and moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Burbridge Foundation appeal.  (and apparently lost).

(SMILE): [2]Russell B. Holloway was the divorce attorney for Velma Jean Burbridge (now Holloway) and was awarded $12,000 in attorney’s fees. He was also a party to the state garnishment suit
So, Velma Jean divorced Mr. Burbridge, eventually married her divorce attorney, and seems to have gotten some of his stock, too, this being 1974;
So in 2000, here is this Burbridge Foundation sponsoring a let’s support marriage (and potentially institute covenant marriage / eliminate no-fault divorce, etc.) in Oklahoma.  Moral:  There is usually a back story to most public policy, somewhere . ..   and more than not, based in someone’s personal issues.  But wealth & power tends to think large (how do we think they got wealthy & powerful in the first place?), and the rest of the world should conform to their  theories…

BURBRIDGE INFO (Random, from internet) PART 3:   Self-description on website:

The Burbridge Foundation is a Christian foundation dedicated to working solutions to problems impacting our families and our culture. We do this by bringing public awareness to these problems, by working alongside other faiths and concerned citizens interested in strengthening the fabric of our community character, and by providing leadership support to organizations of like vision.

Is sponsoring a meeting/conference with the Governor which then results in him intentionally bypassing the Legislator to get this Marriage Promotion Process going — “Christian”??

From OMI site:

  • Governor Keating was aware that his support of a marriage promotion agenda was controversial and would not be immediately popular.
  • As evidence of his serious commitment to this issue, Keating put his Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services, Jerry Regier, in charge of developing a plan of action for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.  (after committing funds from HHS)  In addition, Public Strategies (PSI), a small public affairs/public relations firm, was awarded a project management bid and, from the beginning, national experts advised various aspects of the Initiative. {{We showed who some of these were, including Wade Horn of National Fatherhood Initiative}} This leadership outlined the main themes and components of the OMI. They deliberately decided not to appoint a Commission to “study” the issues, nor did they propose a legislative package of reforms. 

At the legislative level, they might have faced a fight, and been forced to justify — TO OKLAHOMA RESIDENTS — the diversion of TANF emergency funds to marriage promotion!

I looked up Jerry Regier, and Voice of Freedom (albeit a gay rights publication?) says “Gov. Bush’s Appointment Of Jerry Regier For The Dept Of Children & Families Is More Than A Right-Wing Extremist; He Leaves A Record Of Increased Child Abuse & Neglect” (apparently from OK he was going — courtesy of the brother of then-President George Bush — to FL).  Look at the commentary: (color:  TEAL)

And what we found is not good for the children and families of Florida. Here is what Oklahoma Governor did not tell Jeb:

August 24, 1999: Secretary for Health and Human Services Jerry Regier is violating both the spirit and the letter of a new state law in his zeal to hasten the downsizing of Eastern State Hospital in Vinita

Sept. 20, 2000: Health and Human Services Secretary Jerry Regier is trying to dodge responsibility for recent problems

April 11, 2001: Associate Press: State Office of Juvenile Affairs charged the state and federal government $1.2 million more than it was eligible to receive during a period of 19 months. Jerry Regier, secretary of HHS, said that once a program is in place, an acceptable error rate would probably be 5 percent or less. Last fiscal year, Oklahoma County had an error rate of 59.2 percent. Tulsa County’s error rate was 26 percent

April 12, 2001: Regier Skirts Competitive Bidding Laws – A controversial political consultant was awarded more than $1.2 million in state contracts without having to compete for the business, according to state records.

(this seems to be a hallmark of certain faith-based groups; I’m thinking of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based (whatnots) in Ohio, re:  Krista Sisterhen.  It’s all over the web; she was there 2003-2006; eliminated otherwise qualified groups to get a contract to a group (formed only in 2000 and not in-state) called “WeCare” which then screwed up.  And — had ties to Bush Administration. )

Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Fact Book 2001:
     Reveals that 2 key benchmarks tracked worsened when compared to data from a dozen years ago:

  • Child abuse & neglect
  • More than fifteen thousand (15,518) are abused or neglected
  • More than two hundred thousand (210,470) Oklahoma children live in poverty an increase since 1998 (Regier took office in 1997)
    This brief synopsis points to an administrator whose track record is not favorable for the task at hand. Although he received honors as a good administrator, the fact that child neglect and abuse increased while he was HHS Director demonstrates a lack for a sense of priorities, in this case the welfare of our children. Florida does not need more scandal; downsizing or political mismanagement in the Department of Children and Families, Regier has got to go! 

By

  • Initial activities were funded with private foundation monies and discretionary state dollars. Howard Hendrick, Department of Human Services (DHS) Director, pointed out that using TANF monies to fund the initiative fit within the intent of the family formation goals of the 1996 federal welfare reform law. {{YES — as I said, of the four purposes, it as purpose #4 only}} The DHS Board set aside $10 million of undedicated TANF funds for OMI activities. The funds were earmarked primarily for developing marriage-related services, and leaders acknowledged that efforts should be made to make them available to low-income populations.

TANF was at this time FOR low-income populations.   FOR helping children be cared for in their own households, as much as possible.  For leaders to say “well TRY to offer them to low-income populations” while targeting the entire state of Oklahoma — NOT the needy populations  (not all of who is poor, but obviously many of who have been divorcing) is OFF-purpose.   $10 million is a LOT of money to set aside, to some families.  How many mouths would’ve been fed, for sacrifice of rhetoric?

  • Thus, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative was launched and has grown to become the broad-based social service prevention project that it is today.

More on REGIER — guess where he was in December 2006?  Sitting as “US Department of Health and Human Services Washington, DC 20201

Jerry Regier, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation” {{ASPE == a Program Office or OpDiv of HHS }}and writing a glowing recommendation of the OMI.  In this brochure (which has his name on it), it says that Jerry Regier — as Cabinet Head of HHS — prodeed the Governotr to get this started, citing specifically 1996 TANF reform.  The economic studies were secondary…. 

Nearly eight years ago, Oklahoma’s then-Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services, Jerry Regier, encouraged then-Governor Frank Keating to take action to strengthen Oklahoma’s families, in response to emerging research and the increased emphasis on two- parent families in the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation.

So the REAL question is — where was Regier before this, and how did he get to be in the Cabinet Position in Oklahoma?

This Brief is a good (short read) showing that when the TANF-Reformers come to town (carrying NFI-ideas), they are going to force system change.  For example, the system change in Oklahoma was definitely focused on pushing MARRIAGE to people from ALL sectors of life — not alleviating poverty and helping poor or needy families.  Moreover, there was a connection somehow, to the Denver Crowd (who produced PREP).

The brief comes right from ACF.HHS.GOV/healthy marriage site. In the flow chart, a central square reads ” PRIORITY 2:”  BUILD DEMAND FOR SERVICES”

and from that, arrows to 3 boxes, the top one of which reads:  “TRAIN AGENCIES (like child support!) TO MAKE REFERRALS”

OK (I think I have it).  First, Jerry Regier was formerly president of the ultraconservative “Family Research Council” prior to Oklahoma

But this report (2004) from Florida — where it seems he went next — is scathing, and — in short — read it.    I can’t say it more emphatically.

  • How could Bush not have seen this mess coming? Regier was a GOP party
    hack in Oklahoma with an undistinguished track record in the family
    services bureaucracy. An ultraconservative Christian, his byline had
    turned up on two published papers that espoused spanking kids, even if
    it caused “welts and bruises.”
A scalding report by the governor’s chief inspector general has
revealed that high-ranking DCF officials handed out fat and dubious
contracts to pals and political cronies, and accepted gifts, favors
and lodging from outside contractors.

As a result, three of Regier’s top administrators have quit, and
Regier himself has been reduced to defending his own outrageous
socializing with a DCF contractor.

It’s much more than the mere “appearance of impropriety.” It is the
greedy, rotten essence of impropriety — profiteering at the expense of
Florida’s neediest and most vulnerable children.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been spent hiring
more caseworkers and investigators were instead doled out to
well-connected firms as part of Regier’s rush to “privatize”
child-welfare services.

In recent weeks, the Miami Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller has documented
the DCF gravy train in infuriating detail. A few of the lowlights:

  • A $21 million contract to fix DCF’s computer system was awarded to
  • American Management Services, although another company had been ranked
  • first after the initial screening process.
  • The lobbyist for American Management happened to be Greg Coler, a
  • former chief of the state child-welfare agency and a close friend of
  • Regier. Sitting on American Management’s board of directors was former
  • Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating — the man who recommended Regier for the
  • DCF job in Florida.

—DCF Deputy Secretary Ben Harris gave out a $500,000 no-bid contract,
split between two of his friends, for computer ‘‘kiosks’’ that
dispense food stamps.

ACTUALLY — WIKIPEDIA pretty much lays it out.  Jerry Regier worked for the elder Bush administration.  Best read in sequence:  (and I now have a 20,000 word post, too….)

Includes this section:

Family Research Council

Regier, in cooperation with Dr. James Dobson, founded the Family Research Council, a conservative, Christian right group and lobbying organization, in 1983. Regier served as that organization’s first President from 1984 until 1988. Gary Bauer, a domestic policy advisor under President Ronald Reagan, succeeded Regier as President.

Federal government career

President Ronald Reagan appointed Regier in 1988 to the National Commission on Children, an advisory body in the United States Department of Health and Human Services on children’s issues. Reagan’s successor,George H.W. Bush, reappointed Regier in 1991. Regier continued to serve on the Commission until 1993.

(SIGH — I looked up “Family Research Council” and found among its board members, the mother of the man tied to Blackwater, and a board member of

The Council on National Policy among other things — here it goes, a 2008 “Muckety Site” (visual diagram of relationships).  This relates to tracking down a single person influential in starting

the “Oklahoma Marriage Initiative” (Jerry Regier), learning of his former Bush & FRC connections, and looking up FRC.  WHich just goes to show, when is it time to stop!?)

Story by Laura Bennett, Oct. 2008, posted at “Muckety” under “Erik Prince’s Mom gives $450,000 to stop same-sex marriage in California

I’m less concerned about that than the Blackwater connection, who else this woman is funding.  See Diagram:

Focus on the Family (one of the followers) figured in my life personally, exacerbating already virulent abuse, to the point that I ended up quitting a FT night job, that had been supporting our family.  I’m talking WHILE I was married.  My husband loved James Dobson, and listened to his stuff also

Speaking as a heterosexual Christian — I don’t know WHO these guys are — they do not do a resemblance of what I see in the Bible; and in person, and in influence are virtually terroristic to women.  If I’d NOT been a Christian, I’d probably have bailed out of the marriage much faster — and this might (not sure, but MIGHT) have been better for our kids.  When I hear WHO is behind some of these groups (years later) it somewhat validates the personal experiences (not mine only) that they are essentially domestic terrorists — unless one submits willingly.

Two Voices from a while back warn us on this movement:  Patricia Ireland, (NOW) and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Both are responding to the Promise Keepers’ “Stand in the Gap” rally on the Washington Mall.  Listen to them!  ”

We are talking, 1997!….(I don’t have the date of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s speech).

Recently, hundreds of thousands of religious American males were on display at the Promise Keepers‘ “Stand In The Gap” rally in the nation’s capitol. What could possibly be wrong with men bonding, praying and pledging to be better Christians, with the goal of becoming better and more responsible husbands and fathers, and active in their local church? Nothing that I can see.

There is certainly nothing wrong with men exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and to enjoy the freedoms of speech and religion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging that we have done wrong, we recognize our weaknesses,confess our sins before God and the public and vow, with God’s help, to change our ways, to do better and to be better men in the future. The genuineness and validity of the religious experience for any of the participants, and any long-range good that comes from it, must be affirmed and respected.

There is nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s all there is to it.

(and he goes to accurately characterize the group):

Women now want to be priests, pastors and preach in pulpits. These demands come from a feminist and womanist theology and biblical interpretation born of experiences of denial and oppression from conservative and non-liberating Christian men.

As Christians, we all read the same Bible, but our biblical interpretations are born of our varied life experiences. It was Martin Luther’s experiences with Roman Catholicism that led to a critique (95 Theses) that began the Protestant Reformation. Similar experiences have led to modern critiques and new interpretive contributions of scripture and theology that run all the way from the birth of our nation — a theology that gave us a liberal democratic and constitutionally-based government to replace a traditional, conservative and God-based Monarchy— to a Latin American-oriented liberation theology; to an African American-originated “Black” theology; to a female-led feminist and womanist theology; to a gay and lesbian theology; all of which respect all religions, advocate for human rights and equal protection under the law for all regardless of race, national origin, sex or sexual orientation, and all of which are liberation theologies reflecting a God of the oppressed.

The Promise Keepers deny the legitimacy of most, if not all, of these theological and biblical interpretations that have grown out of experiences of oppression, and resent our commitment to not go back –theologically, biblically, socially, politically or culturally.

QUITE FRANKLY — this is where a lot of “Christian Domestic Violence” (contradiction in terms – the false term there is “Christian”) comes from — it is an outraged insistence on previously inherent male dominance.  Enforced physically and all other kinds of ways, and acknowledged by the male bonding in surrounding institutions, and well-tamed females in them also.  This is why I no longer frequent — or even darken the door of — churches, if I can help it.  Maybe for a music event — not for worship, not for socializing, and not for any form of support.  Life is too short.

That which, in the past, has been identified as “religious” and “Christian” has not always been liberating and quite often has been oppressive. In South Africa it was the Dutch Reformed Christian Church that provided the religious foundation for apartheid. In the United States’ South it was the Southern Baptists and other mainline churches that practiced and theologically justified slavery and Jim Crow. The Ku Klux Klan identifies itself as a Christian organization. It was white Christian ministers who attacked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama for fighting racism that brought forth his “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.” At our foundation, good Christian men owned slaves and defined African Americans as three-fifths human in our Constitution, they committed genocide against Native Americans and stole their land, and they denied women the right to vote. In Congress today,many who call themselves religious and Christian, vote against laws to provide food, health care, housing, jobs, education and an equalopportunity to millions of Americans. There’s an old Negro Spiritual that speaks to this point. It says, “Everybody talkin’ ’bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.”

The Promise Keepers’ answer to that very real problem is not to look to the future with hope and confidence, confronting the changes needed and reinterpreting male identity in terms of gender equality. Instead, Promise Keepers try to give men identity and, therefore, security, by returning to a familiar past. Their preaching and teaching, mostly subliminal, though not exclusively so, was to reveal a fear of that future. The Promise Keeper answer is to retreat and recapture this biblical past.

SO NOW HERE COMES THIS REVELATION — OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FOCUS ON THE FAMILY (Types) and BLACKWATER.  I  can’t say I’m really surprised.

And I do believe — especially seeing the Bush/Regier/OMI/FRC (etc.) connections that when we are looking at any Healthy Marriage / Responsible Fatherhood grant, program, or initiative — even though there may be innocent and sincere participants — this is the essence of what we are seeing — which is the intent to dominate, control, force to submit, and (this being a necessary means to dominate in a country with a Bill of Rights — to force institutions to line up, removing the due process and civil rights, permanently.

(to be continued)

(ELSA PRINCE) Broekhuizen is the mother of Erik D. Prince, founder of Blackwater Worldwide, the controversial operation that provides security services to federal officials in Iraq and other countries. Her daughter, Betsy DeVos, is a former Michigan GOP chair and wife of failed gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos.

Broekhuizen’s first husband, Edgar, founded an auto parts company that was sold after his death for $1.4 billion. She later married her pastor, Ren Broekhuizen.

An assistant told the Grand Rapids Press that Broekhuizen gave to the campaign because the issue is “very important to her. It’s near and dear to her heart. She likes to give from her heart and not for public recognition.”

Broekhuizen heads the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, which had assets of more than $42 million in 2006 (the last year for which tax returns are publicly available). The foundation and Broekhuizen personally are longtime supporters of religious organizations and conservative political groups such as the Haggai Institute, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

BURBRIDGE FOUNDATION — A CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION — helped this happen, then.  Make a note of it, because this was wrong!

We continue to work across the country with individuals and organizations combating the scourge of pornography – a deadly and often underestimated cancer assaulting the family. For information on the “WRAP Campaign” and other information on fighting porn go to www.moralityinmedia.org.

Our current effort focuses on Christian leadership development. In 2007, we reached out to several Oklahoma City Christian lay leaders with a vision for the creation of “salt and light leadership training” to leaders of this and other cities. This has now become the “SALLT Fellowship” which can be found at www.saltandlightleadership.com.

Soli Deo Gloria  (Latin: to God only be Glory; JS Bach used to sign his manuscripts with this, hear tell)

“We are not a direct grant-giving organization.”
Also at the same street address is “Character First”

Our Approach

Character First is a professional development and character education program that is delivered many ways—training seminars, books, magazines, curriculum, email—that focus on real-life issues at work, school, home, and the community.

Gee, then why might they NOT sponsor such a conference with the Governor on curriculum-based ways to strengthen marriages?

Communities & Character Councils

Character First works with government leaders and community organizations around the world who want to promote character on a local basis.

[[website says “Character First” began in 1992 at an Oil & Gas-servicing company called “Kimray”]]

To do this, many communities form a “Character Council” (often a non-profit, non-religious charitable organization) to promote character in all sectors of a community—including business, government, education, law enforcement, media, the faith community, and families.

The following communities have taken various steps toward promoting character, such as passing resolutions, forming character councils, implementing Character First, and organizing special events.

AND also at this address (3rd organization):
Strata Leadership, LLC is a small consulting firm located in Edmond, Oklahoma focused on helping individuals and organizations succeed.

Strata Leadership, LLC.

And here is where we see some Dispute Resolution background, familiar in the anti-divorce courtrooms around AFCC personnel as well:

hrough Strata’s partnerships with other organizations such as Character First!, our team consists of nearly 15 full-time employees.  Strata is led by our executive leadership team of Strata President, Dr. Nathan Mellor and Executive Vice-President, Wayne Whitesell.

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

Dr. Nathan Mellor is a co-owner and president of Strata.  He is a popular speaker who makes 125-175 presentations per year across America and around the globe.  He has spoken in over  states and in countries such as: Australia, Belize, Guyana, Jordan, Mexico, Russia and Rwanda.

Dr. Mellor holds the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Science in Education (MSE) degrees fromHarding University. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the Doctor of Education (EDD) in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University.

STrata’s Partners (at least 2 at the same address):

Strata is proud to partner with and promote the work of the following friends:

Copyright © 2009 Strata Leadership, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Products — pricey!

The “other” sponsors of the Governor and First Lady’s year 2000 Conference are not mentioned, but I think we get the general idea…

Choice quote:

Even with a lack of comprehensive data about why the problem exists, the research information clearly demonstrates that something must be done. (: (:
OK -- just DO something -- and afterwards, maybe, look for actual cause & effect connections....  "Lack of Comprehensive Data"
* According to data provided by the CDC, Oklahoma has the 2nd highest
divorce rate in the nation, by state of residence.
   Only Arkansas has a worse divorce rate.
- Only 14% of white women who married in the early 1940's eventually
divorced, whereas almost half of white women who married in the late
1960's and early 1970's have already become divorced. For African-American
women, the figures are 18% and nearly 60%
Presumably some men, then, also divorced.  Any stats about them??  Go figures -- a NFI participatory event is going to
talk about the women! (behind their backs, too).

It’s Oklahoma!  Notice, the emphasis on divorce rate, by race.   …   Here, amazingly, is the 2002 Testimony of that Director of HHS for OK:

United State Senate Finance Committee Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:00 A.M.

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

Testimony of Howard H. Hendrick Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director, Oklahoma Deparment of Human Services

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the privilege of appearing today to share the genesis and status of Oklahoma’s strategy to strengthen marriages and reduce divorce. In Oklahoma, we are spending TANF funds for this purpose because the research clearly shows that child well-being is enhanced when children are reared in two parent families where the parents have a low conflict marriage. …

(Governor Keating):   He hosted the nation’’s first ““Governor and First Lady’’s Conference on Marriage”” in March, of 1999. Based on the information learned there, Oklahoma’’s Marriage Initiative was launched. The Governor took key steps to ensure that the goal of reducing divorce and strengthening marriage was more than simply a political statement. Specifically the governor:

␣ Took the bold step of setting a specific, measurable goal – to reduce divorce in Oklahoma by 1/3 by the year 2010.

Question:  What right does any Governor have to even TRY and do this?  (Notice, by this time both houses of US Congress had already voted National Resolutions to Support Fatherhood:  1998, 1999).  By 2002, they had already chosen a curriculum, “PREP(r).”  This curriculum, well — as 2002 testimony says:

We selected PREP® (the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) as the state’’s curriculum because of its research basis and its evaluation record. It is a curriculum that has been used in the military for many years. PREP can be tailored to a variety of constituencies and the long-term efficacy of the twelve hours of education has been validated in a variety of research settings.

We are presently in the training stage of implementing the service delivery system. These skills are beginning to be offered in workshops throughout Oklahoma. The training includes identifying substance abuse risks and presentations by the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence. . .

(Concluding statement):

Based on what we’’ve learned so far, we continue to support the use of TANF funds to fund activities that strengthen families by growing healthy marriages.

GROWING HEALTHY MARRIAGES?  Then, literally, they are farming their populace — which is objectionable!

The input of “Theodore Ooms” of “Family Impact Seminars” was noted.  Here is the “Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars (PINFIS).  “Surprisingly” it is funded by many of the responsible fatherhood grantees I have come to recognize over the years, such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars aims to strengthen family policy by connecting state policymakers with research knowledge and researchers with policy knowledge. The Institute provides nonpartisan, solution-oriented research and a family impact perspective on issues being debated in state legislatures. We provide technical assistance to and facilitate dialogue among professionals conducting Family Impact Seminars in 28 sites across the country. If you are a PINFIS Affiliate, please click here to login.

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars is currently funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. Past supporters include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Copyright © 1993-2011. Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

26 States + D.C. get seminars from this Wisconsin-based (presumably nonprofit) group based at UW-Madison/Extension.  “The Seminars target state policymakers, including legislators, legislative aides, governor’s office staff, legislative service agency staff, and agency representatives. The traditional format of the 2-hour seminars consists of three 20-minute presentations given by a panel of premier researchers, program directors, and policy analysts. For each seminar, discussion sessions are held and a background briefing report summarizes high-quality research on the issue in a succinct, easy-to-understand format.”

UMichigan reveals they’ve had 16 Family Impact Seminars since 2000— and that the Kellogg Foundation is helping them receive this also.  This 2000 report, on one page sites a survey of “9 barriers to employment that single mothers face” and doesn’t mention — domestic violence at all.  However, on page 17, in a page dedicated to Domestic Violence, the two authors note:

Background Data and Research

Families who experience domestic violence are often also victims of poverty. Studies examining the association between domestic violence and poverty have found:

 Of current welfare recipients in Michigan, 63% have experienced physical abuse and 51% have experienced severe physical abuse during their lifetimes[12].

• Physical abuse/being afraid of someone was cited as the primary cause of homelessness (in a survey of homeless adults in Michigan) [7].

• Half of homeless women and children report being victims of domestic violence [5,7].

AND,. . . . well, here is the rest of the page:

These barriers consist of:

• Psychological effects of domestic violence (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, or anxiety)

• Sabotage by the abuser (destroying homework assignments, disabling cars and alarm clocks, interference with child care efforts, or harassment at work)

• Manipulation by the abuser (leaving marks and/or bruises that prevent the woman from attending work or an interview, or undermining self-confidence

These employment barriers can lead to tardiness, absenteeism and lack of productivity. Research shows that between 23% and 42% affected by domestic violence report that the abuse had an impact on their work performance [4,5,12].

A study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests that domestic violence by itself is not a barrier to employment,** but that the more barriers one has, the more difficult it is to leave welfare for work [2]. Further research is needed on multiple barriers to employment resulting from domestic violence.

**personal.  True, it’s possible to work — at times, and as allowed by an abuser — with domestic violence.  I have done many things competently immediately after and immediately preceding devastating attacks, some physical, some threats, some involving threats to our children, and once even after they were removed illegally, overnight, and despite law enforcement having been alerted to the threat shortly (same season) before.  Yes it is possible, depending on the person and the relationship, to hold down a job or series of jobs and simply take the abuse at home going or coming.  But, over long-term, the violence does escalate, and a person has to take action on it.  And it DOES cut down on productivity.   It is also possible to work, and in a relationship, not be able to spend the proceeds from one’s own work on one’s kids’ welfare.  Also because work tends to empower women, with men threatened with that independence, it is sometimes a time of increased harm, as he’s torn between wanting the money from that work, but realizing that “his” woman is going to have some work relationships he may not be able to utterly control.

A recent study found that approximately 70% of domestic violence victims did not disclose the abuse to their TANF caseworkers [10]. The same study found that 75% of those that did reveal information about the violence did not receive the appropriate support or services. These results imply that without the proper services, many victims of domestic violence and their children are forced to return home to their abuser.

(from page “Domestic Violence and Poverty Deborah Satyanathan and Anna Pollack”)

In a climate (see Oklahoma Marriage Initiative) where the powers that be believe — or say they do — that it’s lack of marriage (and not really, violence in marriages or other forms of abuse impacting work & home life) causing poverty, the only alternative individuals have, who are caught up in that — is to request the state to honor its laws against such abuse.  If the state, based on ITS own decisions made with help from The National Fatherhood Initiative and others, based on their theories — chooses to overstep Executive Authority, as Governor Keating of OK specifically intended to, and did, do — then he just weakened the very state (as a member of states under the US Constitution — at least at some time in the past century or two, we were) in the name of “strengthening families.”

This Study quotes the “Center for Budget & Policy Priorities” I cite also for a TANF summary (above).  They cite 4 barriers to work, NONE of which applied to many of the women I knew in DV support groups in the 1990s and have known since (to this day) in custody battles for their children, in the 2000s, where judicial discretion wins the day, and judges sit on the boards of nonprofits taking business from access visitation and other TANF-funded activities!   This study from a group named in influencing the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, relates:

Four of the major barriers identified by analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities include [2]:

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

I am sure these are relevant areas — but NOT for all families that are being driven ONTO (not helped OFF) TANF!  None of these applied to my case, nor many women I network with.  They are women (at least one, homeless), some have done jail time over failure to pay allotted child support (after being stay at home mothers, then forced to fight for custody), others have had to drop out of school; whatever it was they were doing in life — had to STOP to accommodate the machinery of the courts, and with activists and attorneys — neither of them — telling which end was up, until common sense said, those were poor answers (to the circumstances) and some began looking other places for rational explanations of the behavior of those making critical decisions about our lives and our kids.

It makes zero sense to at least acknowledge the role of DV in work sabotage, sometimes long-term, and not continue to insist that to receive help, someone absolutely needs coaching.  I had work experience AND degrees, and as it happens, many educated and/or professional women leaving abusive relationships, where part of this abuse was economic control under duress, did not need more “job skills.”  What we needed was quite different, namely a SAFETY ZONE with which to rebuild.   However, thanks to dynamics, and Governors like Governor Keating in OK, or any other Governor who is enabling some administrative or executive agency to undermine legal rights of the states’ citizens (regardless of race, gender but with regard to marital status), women like us, mothers innocent of child abuse or any criminal wrongdoing — have been literally destroyed and taken out of the work force, while the concept that somehow faith-based organizations give a damn, and deserve special-status red carpet in order to grab those grants and ram marriage & relationship education down peoples throats — and from a VERY narrow range of potential marketeers, several of who already receive federal funding to run demonstration studies on citizens in the military, in prison, on welfare, paying child support (or not, as case may be), in schools — and even in Head Start — to fine-tune how to produce THEIR desired result in society!

Public Strategies Inc. of Oklahoma continues to get its share — $2.5 million, this last round — of GRANTS (not just contracts) to do more of the same and expand it — as the situations in which TANF funds may be applied to form two-parent families continues to expand.  The OMI knew — from the start (Testimony in 2002 shows) that the curriculum of choice, PREP(r) was going to be used.

Notice who paid for that first “Governor and First Lady’s Conference.”

The phrase “low conflict” is typically an AFCC one.  Wonder what there input was here.

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

The amount states must spend is set at 80 percent of their 1994 contribution to AFDC-related programs. (In some cases this “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement can be reduced to 75 percent.) In 2009 states spent roughly $15 billion in state MOE funds. The amount states are required to spend (at the 80 percent level) in 2009 is about 45 percent below the amount they spent on AFDC-related programs in 1994, after adjusting for inflation.

* * *The Deficit Reduction Act also provided $100 million per year to support programs designed to promote healthy marriages.

When TANF was created in 1996, Congress provided $2 billion in a contingency fund; this fund was not used much until the current recession but a number of states have received contingency funds for one or more years between 2008 and 2011. The fund is now depleted and states only received partial allocations for 2010 and 2011. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act {{ARRA}} (sometimes referred to as the “stimulus” bill), Congress created a new and temporary Emergency Funddesigned to provide aid to states that see increases in assistance caseloads or certain program costs as they address the needs of families during the economic downturn. Congress appropriated $5 billion to this new Emergency Fund for 2009 and 2010 — by the time the fund expired in September 2010, the $5 billion had been fully used.

Another Summary, from CRS (Congressional Research Service), prepared in 2007 — this is an outline

However, money taken from the public, collected in the U.S. Treasury, and reallocated out from there, usually has strings attached.  The strings attached to the restructuring of the child support system (Title IV-D) were significant; i.e., states needed to centralize their child support distribution system, and they were blessed with access visitation grants from a $10 million/year pool, proportionate to some stipulations based on their population, by Congress somehow, and this could be maintained IF the states were GOOD boys and complied.

The states have NOT been complying, but they are still getting the money, so I am presuming that there is some mutual benefit involved between state and local government stakeholders.  By the way, the word “Stakeholder” never usually applies to the people most drastically affected by policies set by stakeholders — which is those not at the table when policies are set, and likely in need of the services being restructured, recirculated, reframed, and redirected.

We are in the new millennium, which kicked off (after surviving the Y2K scare) pretty much with a possibly stolen election, and a King in the form of a President.  Kings, as their manner is, like to rewrite laws, restrict civil liberties, protect their cronies, equate their causes with “godly” causes, and protect THEIR, not the People’s Interest.  Such was definitely true the moment G. W. Bush took office in 2001, being sworn in to office under the same oath as previous Presidents.

The way was paved before him with 1996 Welfare Reform, which granted to states, allegedly, some of the co-dependent power it took from them, by allowing them “flexibility” (Block grants to states for TANF / welfare) to better address the needs of their citizens and reduce the welfare caseload.  If you are not “up” on this then research it some.  Center on Budget & Policy Priorities gives a brief recap.  These are good basic readings if you are, say, living and working in the United States.  Even if you are not doing this as a legal resident, or permanently, it may potentially affect situations such as were found in Seal Beach, California, when the father of a little boy, having 56% custody (despite prior violence, threats, and significant issues that would otherwise alert a reasonable person to danger) — being an ex-Marine — walked into a beauty salon with guns (and a bulletproof vest) and “offed” 6 people in the room (starting with a man, then his wife, then everyone else in there — a 73 yr old mother I heard survived serious wounds — and, who knows why, another innocent man sitting in a parked vehicle outside.  The joint custody policy comes from a combination of groups such as AFCC/CRC AND policies such as set in welfare reform.   These are not isolated incidences; they are recurring incidents (with more or less victims depending on circumstances) and their occurrences has not modified either welfare reform, or AFCC/CRC policy and agenda one whit, that I can see.  So, as a US resident, you will at some level be both funding these policies — and paying for clean up.   This is what we get for not paying closer attention to our legislatures, and doing WHATEVER is necessary to make time to do so, where at all possible!

From the “Center on Budget & Policy Priorities” whose board includes a person from the Brookings Institute, the Urban Institute (and Marian Wright Edelman of Children’s Defense Fund).  This nonprofit was founded in 1981, it says, and focuses on policies regarding low-income families, among other things.  I may not agree with all the viewpoints, but this outlines some of the facts:

They are going to detail some points about 1996 PRWORA, 2005 DRA, 2009 ARRA, and (let’s not forget the most recent, although I don’t know if this details), 2010 Claims Resolution Act

Sooner or later, (I hope), the public is going to wake up and ask just WHAT is its Congress authorizing when it comes to promoting marriage and fatherhood, and taking away from the original purpose of “AFDC” (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or even the original purpose of TANF (aid to needy families), let alone the original purpose of the Child SUpport Enforcement (which was, child support enforcement).  Whatever the original purposes were — it’s clear which direction things are heading — which expansion of purposes, programs, and applications, and undermining of the ORIGINAL concept to a more circuitous, theory-based concept of how to help feed hungry children, and adult caretakers (including, like, parents?!)  in the households where they live, in America.

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a block grant created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as part of a federal effort to “end welfare as we know it.” The TANF block grant replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had provided cash welfare to poor families with children since 1935.

Under the TANF structure, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs. States can use TANF dollars in ways designed to meet any of the four purposes set out in federal law, which are to: “(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” . . .

The law that created the TANF block grant initially authorized funding through the end of federal fiscal year 2002. After several short-term extensions, Congress reauthorized TANF in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and made some modifications to the program;**TANF is now authorized through the end of federal fiscal year 2011 (September 30, 2011).

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

States have broad discretion to determine who is eligible for various TANF and MOE-funded benefits and services. In general, states must use the funds to serve families with children, with the only exceptions related to efforts to reduce non-marital childbearing and promote marriage . .

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

The basic TANF block grant has been set at $16.6 billion since it was established in 1996. As a result, the real value of the block grant has already fallen by about 28 percent.

The 1996 law also created supplemental grants for 17 states with high population growth or low block grant allocations relative to their needy population, as well as a contingency fund to help states weather a recession.** Congress regularly extended these supplemental grants, but the most recent extension covered only three of the four quarters of federal fiscal year 2011, and these grants expired July 1, 2011. This year represents the first time since 1996 that Congress has not fully funded the supplemental grants.

As noted above, states must spend state funds on programs for needy families as a condition of receiving the federal TANF block grant.

(Notice the #1 goal.  However, in Oklahoma, Ohio, other states, the emphasis was on goals 4, 3, 2 & 1, in approximate order, as shown by their policies.  I have blogged on the “OMI” before.

Apparently the DRA (2005) allowed states to categorize “MOE” expenses to NON-needy families (this is a footnote to a 2007 CRS [Congressional Research Service — you see their bill summaries also at Thomas.loc.gov) report by the same person, Mr. Gene Falk, Social Policy Specialist):

 FN 15 Prior to the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, P.L. 109-171) MOE funds used to achieve TANF’s family formation goals were restricted to expenditures on “needy” families with children. The DRA had a provision that allows a state’s total expenditure on activities to achieve these goals to be counted without regard to a family’s need. However, HHS regulations issued on February 5, 2008, limit MOE expenditures related to the family formation goals except for activities related to promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. (See Appendix, “Families Considered “Engaged in Work” (the Numerator of the Participation Rate)” later in this report for a listing of these activities. For a discussion of this regulatory provision, see Federal Register, vol. 73, no. 24, p. 6517-6318.

THIS, friends, is how one can encounter divorce or custody cases in which one side is a millionaire, but still benefitting from the priorities these programs set up in the courtroom, i.e. promoting more noncustodial (meaning father) parenting time by means of — supervised visitation, counseling, mediation, parent education, etc.  Court-referrals..

Using Federal TANF Grants

Federal TANF grants may be used for a wide range of benefits and services for families with children. Grants may be used within a state TANF program or transferred to either the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF, the “child care block grant”) or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Unused TANF funds can also be reserved (saved), without fiscal year limit.12

FN12 Before the enactment of the ARRA, reserved funds could only be used for the purpose of providing “assistance” (often, cash welfare). The ARRA eliminated this restriction to the use of reserve funds, so that reserve funds can be used to provide any allowed TANF benefit or service.

**what Oklahoma did with its contingency fund, and other states (or certain appointees in other states) seem to like this model.  The ACF/HHS site mentions Oklahoma Marriage Initiative  as a model of how to use MOE funds, after first asserting that:

Healthy marriages are vitally important to the long term well-being of children. Beyond the economic advantages important for supporting children, the experiences and examples shown to children being raised by parents who enjoy a loving and long-term commitment yields tremendous developmental benefits for children. Forming and sustaining a happy and healthy marriage requires, in part, good fortune and, in larger part, parents possessing the knowledge and commitment to exercise healthy relationship skills that form the basis of healthy marriages.

(From the Director of HHS’s Office of Family Assistance, year, 2004.)

Certainly inherited wealth, circumstances of birth including where and to whom — have little to do with this; really, it’s about skills moreso.  Therefore, forget those other factors, let’s focus on the “healthy relationship skills” Well said, from an organization that distributes, but apparently doesn’t track too well, the funds!

Since the inception of PRWORA, Oklahoma has capitalized on the flexibility of TANF funds by investing $10 million in the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI). OMI was established under the third and fourth statutory purposes of TANF. OMI currently delivers marriage and relationship training statewide through social service systems, educational systems and volunteer organizations. Participants access training in diverse settings such as workforce development classes, high schools, military bases, prisons, first time offender programs, churches, universities and many more. In 2003, Oklahoma reported{{who checked??}}  that 938 workshops were conducted, serving 1,250 participants and training 1,200 individuals to provide future workshops. For additional information on Oklahoma’s Marriage Initiative please visit:http://www.okmarriage.org/services/healthyrelationships.asp

As I blogged before, the Governor of Oklahoma pushed this one from the top, with help from “expert speakers” and the head of his HHS, who pointed out there was TANF money sitting around.

The economic researchers found some social indicators that were hurting Oklahoma’s economy. They mentioned the high divorce rate, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and high rates of child deaths because of child abuse. One OSU economist wrote in an editorial, “Oklahoma’s high divorce rate and low per-capita income are interrelated. They hold hands. They push and pull each other. There’s no faster way [in Oklahoma!] for a married woman with children to become poor than to suddenly become a single mom.”

(Child abuse, of course doesn’t happen within marriages, and abuse of one’s kids is not a cause of divorce.) Then “Governor and First Lady’s (day-long) Conference on Marriage” with speaker..

(See, as recounted on a “smartmarriages.com” list-serv in 1999, how Gary Smalley & Wade Horn of the NFI were there…”Marriages must be strengthened for the sake of America’s children”

Theodora Ooms with the Family Impact Seminar in Washington
D.C. called the marriage conference historic. "You are pioneers here in
Oklahoma. I have been trying for ten years in Washington D.C. to get this
on the agenda and get some money to work on this issue and no one in
Washington will talk about it.
The Conference also included breakout sessions with attendees discussing
how the various sectors can work together and how government policy can
also impact the success of marriages. Among the items discussed: 

Public education- emphasize the positive aspects of marriage to young
people
Covenant marriages
Emphasis on premarital counseling, possibly even legally requiring it
Making laws more "family friendly"
Tax laws-possibly eliminating marriage penalty
Possible repeal of no fault divorce laws 

The Governor and First Lady¼s Conference on Marriage was facilitated by
Jerry Regier, the Governor¼s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human
Services. It was privately funded by several groups and individuals,
including the Burbridge Foundation and the Baptist General Convention.

Good grief.   the Baptist General Convention got with the Governor and helped propose taking welfare funds to promote marriage,

since their own Sunday Sermons weren’t persuasive enough?  That’s “ripe.”

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 1:

Burbridge Foundation, I’m going to look up, obviously.  From “TheLostOgle.com” (apparently some Oklahomans having some fund poking fun at their state, although I note, “*.com”)  This foundation was #93 on the top 100 most embarrassing things about Oklahoma (from 2007, its centenary?):

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2007 under Best of OKCDean BlevinsOKC Music,Oklahoma City AlumniOklahoma City MediaOklahoma City RadioThe Sports Animal,Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments by Tony

For the eight of you out there who didn’t realize it, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma. To mark this, various publications around the state have been featuring all sorts of Top 100 lists that have provoked virtually no controversy and have not been talked about at the water cooler. In fact, we’ve heard so little discussion about these lists that we wonder if anyone is actually reading them. We sure don’t.

It does seem, though, that the focus has been on the more positive elements of Oklahoma. While we celebrate those things just like the rest of the world, it seems wrong to ignore the more humiliating aspects of the state of Oklahoma. Naturally, we’re here to fill that void, in this ten-part series that will run every Monday. Today, numbers 91 through 100 of Oklahoma’s Biggest Embarrassments..

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

Those commercials for the Burbridge foundation are possibly the most annoying thing on local radio, which is saying something. When listening to Burbridge Lane lecture us about pornography or religion being taken out of public schools or whatever the pet issue of the day is, we’re convinced that Burbridge Lane wants to return the United States to the 1950′s, which probably sucked really bad. 

There’s usually some truth on the heels of humor, and this one rings true:

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 2:  Could THIS be why The Burbridge Foundation is so big on Marriage (dates to 1974).

(read for comic relief): (from “law.justia.com”)

496 F.2d 326: The Burbridge Foundation, Inc., Appellant,

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

Robert E. Hornberger, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellant.

G. Alan Wooten, Harper, Young & Smith, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellees.

Before VAN OOSTERHOUT, Senior Circuit Judge, and LAY and ROSS, Circuit judges.

PER CURIAM.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. – 496 F.2d 326

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

. . .(The present suit is basically an action in rem seeking relinquishment of certain stocks held by the stakeholders, Reinholdt & Gardner. The Foundation’s memorandum in the trial court stated that ‘the relief specifically sought is the return and delivery to The Burbridge Foundation of its stock deposited with that defendant (Reinholdt & Gardner). …Upon registry of a personal judgment arising from a divorce decree, Velma Jean Holloway, formerly Velma Jean Burbridge, obtained a writ of garnishment from the Chancery Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas, against Reinholdt & Gardner, a stock brokerage firm, to attach any stocks belonging to her former husband, R. O. Burbridge. The brokerage firm denied holding any stock in Burbridge’s name, but admitted it had an account in the name of The Burbridge Foundation. The Burbridge Foundation intervened in the state court proceedings. Shortly thereafter, The Foundation brought suit in the federal district court against Reinholdt & Gardner, seeking recovery of the stocks. In its complaint, The Foundation made the same allegations it raised as intervenor in state court, i.e., that the stocks belonged to it and not R. O. Burbridge personally. In addition The Foundation for the first time asserted that the Arkansas garnishment statute was unconstitutional in that it sought to deprive The Foundation of its property without due process of law.1 Reinholdt & Gardner answered that it could not relinquish the stocks until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Holloways2 intervened in the federal action and moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Burbridge Foundation appeal[ed].

(and apparently lost).

(SMILE): [2]”Russell B. Holloway was the divorce attorney for Velma Jean Burbridge (now Holloway) and was awarded $12,000 in attorney’s fees. He was also a party to the state garnishment suit”
So, Velma Jean divorced Mr. Burbridge, eventually married her divorce attorney, and seems to have gotten some of his stock, too.  This being 1974; so in 2000, here is this Burbridge Foundation sponsoring a let’s support marriage (and potentially institute covenant marriage / eliminate no-fault divorce, etc.) in Oklahoma.  Moral:  There is usually a back story to most public policy, somewhere . ..   and more than not, based in someone’s personal issues, but wealth & power tends to think large (how do we think they got wealthy & powerful in the first place?), and the rest of the world should conform to their  theories…
(Is this the same Burbridge Foundation as in Oklahoma, or that sponsored that Governor’s Leadership Conference?  Possibly.  I’m not going to stress over this today.)

BURBRIDGE INFO (Random, from internet) PART 3:   Self-description on website:

The Burbridge Foundation is a Christian foundation dedicated to working solutions to problems impacting our families and our culture. We do this by bringing public awareness to these problems, by working alongside other faiths {{REALLY?  I’d like to see that — because the  “SALT & LIGHT LEADERSHIP TRAINING” below indicates non-Christians need not apply, and the carefully balanced photo on there  (with middle-aged Caucasian an at the front of the pyramid) doesn’t even contain a single African-American woman — does Oklahoma not have any?  There is an African-American male, at the back of the triangle, too….}} and concerned citizens interested in strengthening the fabric of our community character, and by providing leadership support to organizations of like vision.

We continue to work across the country with individuals and organizations combating the scourge of pornography – a deadly and often underestimated cancer assaulting the family. For information on the “WRAP Campaign” and other information on fighting porn go to www.moralityinmedia.org.

Our current effort focuses on Christian leadership development. In 2007, we reached out to several Oklahoma City Christian lay leaders with a vision for the creation of “salt and light leadership training” to leaders of this and other cities. This has now become the “SALLT Fellowship” which can be found at www.saltandlightleadership.com.

Soli Deo Gloria  (Latin: to God only be Glory; JS Bach used to sign his manuscripts with this, hear tell)

“We are not a direct grant-giving organization.”
Also at the same street address is “Character First”

Our Approach

Character First is a professional development and character education program that is delivered many ways—training seminars, books, magazines, curriculum, email—that focus on real-life issues at work, school, home, and the community.

Gee, then why might they NOT sponsor such a conference with the Governor on curriculum-based ways to strengthen marriages?

Communities & Character Councils

Character First works with government leaders and community organizations around the world who want to promote character on a local basis.

[[website says “Character First” began in 1992 at an Oil & Gas-servicing company called “Kimray”]]

To do this, many communities form a “Character Council” (often a non-profit, non-religious charitable organization) to promote character in all sectors of a community—including business, government, education, law enforcement, media, the faith community, and families.

The following communities have taken various steps toward promoting character, such as passing resolutions, forming character councils, implementing Character First, and organizing special events.

AND also at this address (3rd organization):
Strata Leadership, LLC is a small consulting firm located in Edmond, Oklahoma focused on helping individuals and organizations succeed.

Strata Leadership, LLC.

And here is where we see some Dispute Resolution background, familiar in the anti-divorce courtrooms around AFCC personnel as well:

hrough Strata’s partnerships with other organizations such as Character First!, our team consists of nearly 15 full-time employees.  Strata is led by our executive leadership team of Strata President, Dr. Nathan Mellor and Executive Vice-President, Wayne Whitesell.

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

Dr. Nathan Mellor is a co-owner and president of Strata.  He is a popular speaker who makes 125-175 presentations per year across America and around the globe.  He has spoken in over  states and in countries such as: Australia, Belize, Guyana, Jordan, Mexico, Russia and Rwanda.

Dr. Mellor holds the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Science in Education (MSE) degrees fromHarding University. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the Doctor of Education (EDD) in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University.

STrata’s Partners (at least 2 at the same address):

Strata is proud to partner with and promote the work of the following friends:

Copyright © 2009 Strata Leadership, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Products — pricey!

The “other” sponsors of the Governor and First Lady’s year 2000 Conference are not mentioned, but I think we get the general idea…

Choice quote:

Even with a lack of comprehensive data about why the problem exists, the research information clearly demonstrates that something must be done. (: (:
OK -- just DO something -- and afterwards, maybe, look for actual cause & effect connections....  "Lack of Comprehensive Data"
* According to data provided by the CDC, Oklahoma has the 2nd highest
divorce rate in the nation, by state of residence.
   Only Arkansas has a worse divorce rate.
- Only 14% of white women who married in the early 1940's eventually
divorced, whereas almost half of white women who married in the late
1960's and early 1970's have already become divorced. For African-American
women, the figures are 18% and nearly 60%
Presumably some men, then, also divorced.  Any stats about them??  Go figures -- a NFI participatory event is going to
talk about the women! (behind their backs, too).

It’s Oklahoma!  Notice, the emphasis on divorce rate, by race.   …   Here, amazingly, is the 2002 Testimony of that Director of HHS for OK:

United State Senate Finance Committee Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:00 A.M.

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

Testimony of Howard H. Hendrick Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director, Oklahoma Deparment of Human Services

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the privilege of appearing today to share the genesis and status of Oklahoma’s strategy to strengthen marriages and reduce divorce. In Oklahoma, we are spending TANF funds for this purpose because the research clearly shows that child well-being is enhanced when children are reared in two parent families where the parents have a low conflict marriage. …

(Governor Keating):   He hosted the nation’’s first ““Governor and First Lady’’s Conference on Marriage”” in March, of 1999. Based on the information learned there, Oklahoma’’s Marriage Initiative was launched. The Governor took key steps to ensure that the goal of reducing divorce and strengthening marriage was more than simply a political statement. Specifically the governor:

␣ Took the bold step of setting a specific, measurable goal – to reduce divorce in Oklahoma by 1/3 by the year 2010.

Question:  What right does any Governor have to even TRY and do this?  (Notice, by this time both houses of US Congress had already voted National Resolutions to Support Fatherhood:  1998, 1999).  By 2002, they had already chosen a curriculum, “PREP(r).”  This curriculum, well — as 2002 testimony says:

We selected PREP® (the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) as the state’’s curriculum because of its research basis and its evaluation record. It is a curriculum that has been used in the military for many years. PREP can be tailored to a variety of constituencies and the long-term efficacy of the twelve hours of education has been validated in a variety of research settings.

We are presently in the training stage of implementing the service delivery system. These skills are beginning to be offered in workshops throughout Oklahoma. The training includes identifying substance abuse risks and presentations by the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence. . .

(Concluding statement):

Based on what we’’ve learned so far, we continue to support the use of TANF funds to fund activities that strengthen families by growing healthy marriages.

GROWING HEALTHY MARRIAGES?  Then, literally, they are farming their populace — which is objectionable!

The input of “Theodore Ooms” of “Family Impact Seminars” was noted.  Here is the “Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars (PINFIS).  “Surprisingly” it is funded by many of the responsible fatherhood grantees I have come to recognize over the years, such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars aims to strengthen family policy by connecting state policymakers with research knowledge and researchers with policy knowledge. The Institute provides nonpartisan, solution-oriented research and a family impact perspective on issues being debated in state legislatures. We provide technical assistance to and facilitate dialogue among professionals conducting Family Impact Seminars in 28 sites across the country. If you are a PINFIS Affiliate, please click here to login.

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars is currently funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. Past supporters include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Copyright © 1993-2011. Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

26 States + D.C. get seminars from this Wisconsin-based (presumably nonprofit) group based at UW-Madison/Extension.  “The Seminars target state policymakers, including legislators, legislative aides, governor’s office staff, legislative service agency staff, and agency representatives. The traditional format of the 2-hour seminars consists of three 20-minute presentations given by a panel of premier researchers, program directors, and policy analysts. For each seminar, discussion sessions are held and a background briefing report summarizes high-quality research on the issue in a succinct, easy-to-understand format.”

UMichigan reveals they’ve had 16 Family Impact Seminars since 2000— and that the Kellogg Foundation is helping them receive this also.  This 2000 report, on one page sites a survey of “9 barriers to employment that single mothers face” and doesn’t mention — domestic violence at all.  However, on page 17, in a page dedicated to Domestic Violence, the two authors note:

Background Data and Research

Families who experience domestic violence are often also victims of poverty. Studies examining the association between domestic violence and poverty have found:

 Of current welfare recipients in Michigan, 63% have experienced physical abuse and 51% have experienced severe physical abuse during their lifetimes[12].

• Physical abuse/being afraid of someone was cited as the primary cause of homelessness (in a survey of homeless adults in Michigan) [7].

• Half of homeless women and children report being victims of domestic violence [5,7].

AND,. . . . well, here is the rest of the page:

These barriers consist of:

• Psychological effects of domestic violence (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, or anxiety)

• Sabotage by the abuser (destroying homework assignments, disabling cars and alarm clocks, interference with child care efforts, or harassment at work)

• Manipulation by the abuser (leaving marks and/or bruises that prevent the woman from attending work or an interview, or undermining self-confidence

These employment barriers can lead to tardiness, absenteeism and lack of productivity. Research shows that between 23% and 42% affected by domestic violence report that the abuse had an impact on their work performance [4,5,12].

A study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests that domestic violence by itself is not a barrier to employment,** but that the more barriers one has, the more difficult it is to leave welfare for work [2]. Further research is needed on multiple barriers to employment resulting from domestic violence.

**personal.  True, it’s possible to work — at times, and as allowed by an abuser — with domestic violence.  I have done many things competently immediately after and immediately preceding devastating attacks, some physical, some threats, some involving threats to our children, and once even after they were removed illegally, overnight, and despite law enforcement having been alerted to the threat shortly (same season) before.  Yes it is possible, depending on the person and the relationship, to hold down a job or series of jobs and simply take the abuse at home going or coming.  But, over long-term, the violence does escalate, and a person has to take action on it.  And it DOES cut down on productivity.   It is also possible to work, and in a relationship, not be able to spend the proceeds from one’s own work on one’s kids’ welfare.  Also because work tends to empower women, with men threatened with that independence, it is sometimes a time of increased harm, as he’s torn between wanting the money from that work, but realizing that “his” woman is going to have some work relationships he may not be able to utterly control.

A recent study found that approximately 70% of domestic violence victims did not disclose the abuse to their TANF caseworkers [10]. The same study found that 75% of those that did reveal information about the violence did not receive the appropriate support or services. These results imply that without the proper services, many victims of domestic violence and their children are forced to return home to their abuser.

(from page “Domestic Violence and Poverty Deborah Satyanathan and Anna Pollack”)

In a climate (see Oklahoma Marriage Initiative) where the powers that be believe — or say they do — that it’s lack of marriage (and not really, violence in marriages or other forms of abuse impacting work & home life) causing poverty, the only alternative individuals have, who are caught up in that — is to request the state to honor its laws against such abuse.  If the state, based on ITS own decisions made with help from The National Fatherhood Initiative and others, based on their theories — chooses to overstep Executive Authority, as Governor Keating of OK specifically intended to, and did, do — then he just weakened the very state (as a member of states under the US Constitution — at least at some time in the past century or two, we were) in the name of “strengthening families.”

This Study quotes the “Center for Budget & Policy Priorities” I cite also for a TANF summary (above).  They cite 4 barriers to work, NONE of which applied to many of the women I knew in DV support groups in the 1990s and have known since (to this day) in custody battles for their children, in the 2000s, where judicial discretion wins the day, and judges sit on the boards of nonprofits taking business from access visitation and other TANF-funded activities!   This study from a group named in influencing the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, relates:

Four of the major barriers identified by analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities include [2]:

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

I am sure these are relevant areas — but NOT for all families that are being driven ONTO (not helped OFF) TANF!  None of these applied to my case, nor many women I network with.  They are women (at least one, homeless), some have done jail time over failure to pay allotted child support (after being stay at home mothers, then forced to fight for custody), others have had to drop out of school; whatever it was they were doing in life — had to STOP to accommodate the machinery of the courts, and with activists and attorneys — neither of them — telling which end was up, until common sense said, those were poor answers (to the circumstances) and some began looking other places for rational explanations of the behavior of those making critical decisions about our lives and our kids.

It makes zero sense to at least acknowledge the role of DV in work sabotage, sometimes long-term, and not continue to insist that to receive help, someone absolutely needs coaching.  I had work experience AND degrees, and as it happens, many educated and/or professional women leaving abusive relationships, where part of this abuse was economic control under duress, did not need more “job skills.”  What we needed was quite different, namely a SAFETY ZONE with which to rebuild.   However, thanks to dynamics, and Governors like Governor Keating in OK, or any other Governor who is enabling some administrative or executive agency to undermine legal rights of the states’ citizens (regardless of race, gender but with regard to marital status), women like us, mothers innocent of child abuse or any criminal wrongdoing — have been literally destroyed and taken out of the work force, while the concept that somehow faith-based organizations give a damn, and deserve special-status red carpet in order to grab those grants and ram marriage & relationship education down peoples throats — and from a VERY narrow range of potential marketeers, several of who already receive federal funding to run demonstration studies on citizens in the military, in prison, on welfare, paying child support (or not, as case may be), in schools — and even in Head Start — to fine-tune how to produce THEIR desired result in society!

Public Strategies Inc. of Oklahoma continues to get its share — $2.5 million, this last round — of GRANTS (not just contracts) to do more of the same and expand it — as the situations in which TANF funds may be applied to form two-parent families continues to expand.  The OMI knew — from the start (Testimony in 2002 shows) that the curriculum of choice, PREP(r) was going to be used.

Notice who paid for that first “Governor and First Lady’s Conference.”

The phrase “low conflict” is typically an AFCC one.  Wonder what there input was here.

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

The amount states must spend is set at 80 percent of their 1994 contribution to AFDC-related programs. (In some cases this “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement can be reduced to 75 percent.) In 2009 states spent roughly $15 billion in state MOE funds. The amount states are required to spend (at the 80 percent level) in 2009 is about 45 percent below the amount they spent on AFDC-related programs in 1994, after adjusting for inflation.

* * *The Deficit Reduction Act also provided $100 million per year to support programs designed to promote healthy marriages.

When TANF was created in 1996, Congress provided $2 billion in a contingency fund; this fund was not used much until the current recession but a number of states have received contingency funds for one or more years between 2008 and 2011. The fund is now depleted and states only received partial allocations for 2010 and 2011. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act {{ARRA}} (sometimes referred to as the “stimulus” bill), Congress created a new and temporary Emergency Funddesigned to provide aid to states that see increases in assistance caseloads or certain program costs as they address the needs of families during the economic downturn. Congress appropriated $5 billion to this new Emergency Fund for 2009 and 2010 — by the time the fund expired in September 2010, the $5 billion had been fully used.

Another Summary, from CRS (Congressional Research Service), prepared in 2007 — this is an outline

However, money taken from the public, collected in the U.S. Treasury, and reallocated out from there, usually has strings attached.  The strings attached to the restructuring of the child support system (Title IV-D) were significant; i.e., states needed to centralize their child support distribution system, and they were blessed with access visitation grants from a $10 million/year pool, proportionate to some stipulations based on their population, by Congress somehow, and this could be maintained IF the states were GOOD boys and complied.

The states have NOT been complying, but they are still getting the money, so I am presuming that there is some mutual benefit involved between state and local government stakeholders.  By the way, the word “Stakeholder” never usually applies to the people most drastically affected by policies set by stakeholders — which is those not at the table when policies are set, and likely in need of the services being restructured, recirculated, reframed, and redirected.

Here’s a 2010 (June 24, 2010, to be specific) Heritage Foundation article complaining about increasing entitlements Obama’s escalation of welfare roles (true) and how the “success” of TANF should be applied to other federal programs.

Confronting the Unsustainable Growth of Welfare Entitlements:

Principles of Reform and the Next Steps

June 24, 2010

  • Do you know who the Heritage Foundation is?
  • Do you know who funds them? or where to find out?
  • Do you know who they fund, or where to find out?
  • Could you participate pro or con in this argument, supporting it with any facts?
  • Do you agree or not?
  • Can you put those arguments in a different context than they do?

They proclaimed:

Abstract: The growth of welfare spending is unsustainable and will drive the United States into bankruptcy if allowed to continue. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request would increase total welfare spending to $953 billion—a 42 percent increase over welfare spending in FY 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration. To bring welfare spending under control, Congress should reduce welfare spending to pre-recession levels after the recession ends and then limit future growth to the rate of inflation. Congress should also restore work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and apply them to other federal welfare programs.

They also said of TANF that it was a success.  Yet — in reality — it is the means by which expansion of the welfare state — particularly after faith-based organizations were invited in — was assured.   The track record is that MANY of these are not just incompetent — but chronically dishonest, and when caught (as I tend to stay) in one state, simply hop over to another.  I can name names and organizations and dates, sometimes States, of the “hops.”   They obtain web resources through HHS “compassion capital” or other grants, and this last season, our government just gave over $1 million GRANT to ICF International, LLC (or whatever it’s proper current name is) a group currently doing $1 BILLION business with the Feds, and with an agenda to transform communities through (basically, media domination).

Listen to this:

Reform should be based on five principles:

  1. Slowing the growth of the welfare state. Unending government deficits are pushing the United States toward bankruptcy. The U.S. simply cannot afford the massive increases in welfare spending planned by President Barack Obama. Welfare spending is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years.[1] Congress needs to establish reasonable fiscal constraints within the welfare system. Once the current recession ends, aggregate welfare spending should be rolled back to pre-recession levels. After this rollback has been completed, the growth of welfare spending should be capped at the rate of inflation.
  2. Promoting personal responsibility and work. Able-bodied welfare recipients should be required to work or to prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid. Food stamps and housing assistance, two of the largest programs for the needy, should be aligned with the TANF program to require able-bodied adults to work or to prepare for work for a minimum of 30 hours per week.  (see ## my footnote)
  3. Providing a portion of welfare assistance as loans rather than as grants. Welfare to able-bodied adults creates a potential moral hazard because providing assistance to those in need can lead to an increase in the behaviors that generate the need for aid in the first place. If welfare assistance rewards behaviors that lead to future dependence, costs can spiral out of control. A reformed welfare policy can provide temporary assistance to those in need while reducing the moral hazard associated with welfare by treating a portion of welfare aid as a loan to be repaid by able-bodied recipients rather than as an outright grant from the taxpayer.
  4. Ending the welfare marriage penalty and encouraging marriage in low-income communities. The collapse of marriage is the major cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. When the War on Poverty began, 7 percent of children in the U.S. were born out of wedlock; today, the figure is over 40 percent.[2] Most alarmingly, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among African–Americans is 72 percent. The outcomes for children raised in single, never-married homes are greatly diminished.Current means-tested welfare programs penalize low-income recipients who get married; these anti-marriage penalties should be reduced or eliminated. In addition, government should provide information on the importance of marriage to individuals in poor communities who have a high risk of having children out of wedlock. Particular emphasis should be placed on the benefits to children of a married two-parent family.***
  5. Limit low-skill immigration. Around 15 percent ($100 billion per year) of total means-tested welfare spending goes to households headed by immigrants with high school degrees or less.[3] One-third of all immigrants lack a high school degree.[4] Over the next 10 years, America will spend $1.5 trillion on welfare benefits for lower-skill immigrants. Government policy should limit future immigration to those who will be net fiscal contributors, paying more in taxes than they receive in benefits. The legal immigration system should not encourage immigration of low-skill immigrants who would increase poverty in the nation and impose vast new costs on already overburdened taxpayers.

**Never mind that this has been done now — for years — and at statewide level.  Can we reasonably assume that no one at the Heritage Foundation knows this?

##FN2 — how about requiring recipients of diversionary programs from child support and TANF to document that THEY worked at least 30 hours a week?  And have incorporated, and that their incorporations have actually been proper, are current, and if required to, filed a 990?  I’ve seen dropped loose ends of $50K a pop (SolidSource in Van Wert, OH comes to mind) or others have found dropped loose ends of $227,000.  MOreover, we have child support privatized to outside organizations, such as MAXIMUS — themselves caught in fraud and overbilling — and THEY continue to receive government benefits from the US in the form of renewed contracts, even after paying, for example $30 million in settlement fees over these matters.

So I say, let’s put the focus on the MACRO-ECONOMIC trends — namely allowing corporations and HHS / DOJ /DOE to get in bed with them to determine whether future employees of these corporations eat, have safe drinking water, and have access to decent educations (not just skills training for globally noncompetitive jobs in the same corporations!)

POINT 4, above:

. . .encouraging marriage in low-income families.   The Collapse of Marriage is the Major Factor in Child Poverty Today.

No it’s not.  That’s a single-source, single-interpretation of the causes of poverty.

Now, I could debate that at least logically, following the words “Sez who?” and “Who Sez those are the only experts?” and then poke some holes in the rhetoric.

Could You? Should You?  Or don’t you care about the use of taxes and public policy any more?

Go to the actual laws:

THE LAWS IN QUESTION:

PRWORA link:

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA,Pub.L. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105, enacted August 22, 1996) is a United States federal law considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill added a workforce development component to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract With Americaand was introduced by Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL-22) who believed welfare was partly responsible for bringing immigrants to the United States.[1] Bill Clinton signed PRWORA into law on August 22, 1996, fulfilling his 1992 campaign promise to “end welfare as we have come to know it”.[2]

(Wikipedia note — TANF Reauthorization was contained in this);  
 The reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was also contained in the bill, as was the provision for the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. Part of the TANF reauthorization reduces the threshold for passport denial for child support arrearages under 42 USC 652(k)to $2,500.
 
 

Senate bill S. 1932 passed the Senate, with a tie-breaking vote cast by Vice PresidentDick Cheney, and House bill H.R. 4241 passed the House 217-215. The Senate bill was signed by PresidentGeorge W. Bush on February 8, 2006.[2]

[Dispute over legal status

A dispute arose over whether both houses of Congress had approved the same bill. Those contending that the bill is not a law argue there were different versions of the same bill, neither of which was approved by both the House and the Senate. They argue that the document signed by the President would not have the force of law, on the ground that the enacting process bypassed the Bicameral Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  (For what wikipedia is worth, find this interesting….)

 

P.L. 109–171, Approved February 8, 2006 (120 Stat. 4)

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

SECTION 1. [42 U.S.C. 1305 note]  SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Deficit Reduction Act of 2005”.

Has sections on TANF & Child Support.

SEC. 7101. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES AND RELATED PROGRAMS FUNDING THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2010.

(a) [None Assigned]  In General.—Activities authorized by part A of title IV and section 1108(b) of the Social Security Act (adjusted, as applicable, by or under this subtitle, the amendments made by this subtitle, and the TANF Emergency Response and Recovery Act of 2005[275]) shall continue through September 30, 2010, in the manner authorized for fiscal year 2004, and out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are hereby appropriated such sums as may be necessary for such purpose. Grants and payments may be made pursuant to this authority on a quarterly basis through fiscal year 2010 at the level provided for such activities for the corresponding quarter of fiscal year 2004 (or, as applicable, at such greater level as may result from the application of this subtitle, the amendments made by this subtitle, and the TANF Emergency Response and Recovery Act of 2005), except that in the case of section 403(a)(3) of the Social Security Act, grants and payments may be made pursuant to this authority only through fiscal year 2010[276] and in the case of section 403(a)(4) of the Social Security Act, no grants shall be made for any fiscal year occurring after fiscal year 2005.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

SEC. 7301. ASSIGNMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD SUPPORT.

 (etc.)

The Deficit Reduction Act also reauthorizes welfare reform for another 5 years. Welfare reform has proved a tremendous success over the past decade. By insisting on programs that require work and self-sufficiency in return for Federal aid, we’ve helped cut welfare cases by more than half since 1996. Now we’re building on that progress by renewing welfare reform with a billion-dollar increase in child care funding and new grants to support healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs.

One of the reasons for the success of welfare reform is a policy called charitable choice which allows faith-based groups that provide social services to receive Federal funding without changing the way they hire. Ten years ago, Congress made welfare the first Federal program to include charitable choice. The bill I sign today will extend charitable choice for another 5 years and expand it to the new healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs. Appreciate the hard work of all who supported the extension

of charitable choice—including the good- hearted men and women of the faith-based community who are here today. By reauthor- izing welfare reform with charitable choice, we will help millions more Americans move from welfare to work and find independence and dignity and hope.

The message of the bill I sign today is straightforward: By setting priorities and making sure tax dollars are spent wisely, America can be compassionate and respon- sible at the same time. Spending restraint de- mands difficult choices, yet making those choices is what the American people sent us to Washington to do. One of our most impor- tant responsibilities is to keep this economy strong and vibrant and secure for our chil- dren and our grandchildren. We can be proud that we’re helping to meet that respon- sibility today.

Now I ask the Members of the Congress to join me as I sign the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:31 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. S. 1932, approved February 8, was assigned Public Law No. 109– 171.

{{He also began by distinguishing between DISCRETIONARY and MANDATORY spending:

At the same time, my budget tightens the belt on Government spending. Every American family has to set priorities and live within a budget, and the American people expect us to do the same right here in Washington, DC.

The Federal budget has two types of spending, discretionary spending and manda- tory spending. Discretionary spending is the kind of spending Congress votes on every year. Last year, Congress met my request and passed bills that cut discretionary spending not related to defense or homeland security. And this year, my budget again proposes to cut this spending. My budget also proposes again to keep the growth in overall discre- tionary spending below the rate of inflation

AND ARRA:
Wikipedia:

 (Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.

To respond to the late-2000s recession, the primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage. The Act included direct spending in infrastructure, education, health, and energy, federal tax incentives, and expansion ofunemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions. The Act also included many items not directly related to economic recovery such as long-term spending projects (e.g., a study of the effectiveness of medical treatments) and other items specifically included by Congress (e.g., a limitation on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and Rep. Frank).

The rationale for ARRA was from Keynesian macroeconomic theory which argues that, during recessions, the government should offset the decrease in private spending with an increase in public spending in order to save jobs and stop further economic deterioration.

TEXT of the LAW:

(thomas.gov)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – (Sec. 5) Designates each amount in this Act as: (1) an emergency requirement, necessary to meet certain emergency needs in accordance with the FY2008-FY2009 congressional budget resolutions; and (2) an emergency for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) principles.

TITLE II (Commerce, Justice, ….)

Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009 to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for: (1) the Office of Inspector General; (2) state and local law enforcement activities; (2) the Office on Violence Against Women; (3) the Office of Justice Programs; (4) state and local law enforcement assistance; and (5) community oriented policing services (COPS).

. . .

Subtitle B: Assistance for Vulnerable Individuals – (Sec. 2101) Amends part A of title IV (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) (TANF) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to establish in the Treasury an Emergency Contingency Fund for State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Programs (Emergency Fund). Makes appropriations to such Fund.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make a grant from the Emergency Fund to each requesting state for any quarter of FY2009-FY2010 if the state’s average monthly assistance caseload for the quarter exceeds its average monthly assistance caseload for the corresponding quarter in the state’s emergency fund base year. Requires the amount of any such grant to be 80% of the excess of total state expenditures for basic assistance over total state expenditures for such assistance for the corresponding quarter in the state’s emergency fund base year.

. . . .

(Sec. 2102) Extends TANF supplemental grants through FY2010.

(Sec. 2103) Makes technical amendments to the authority of a state or Indian tribe to use a block grant for TANF for any fiscal year to provide, without fiscal year limitation, (carry over) any benefit or service that may be provided under the program funded under the block grant, including future contingencies.

(Sec. 2104) Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to suspend for FY2008-FY2010 the prohibition against payments to states with respect to their plans for child and spousal support collection on account of amounts expended by a state from support collection performance incentive payments received from the Secretary of HHS (thus allowing such additional payments during such period).

(just pointing out, from the CRS summary, that certain parts affect TANF & Child Support, I.e., TITLE IV-A, IV-D of Social Security Act. 
 
CLAIMS RESOLUTION ACT OF 2010 (passed one year ago — 11/19/2010!)(you may need to re/search from Thomas.loc.gov)  111th Congress, H.R. 4783
Title VIII: General Provisions (AND YOU”LL SEE WHY FATHERHOOD ORGANIZATIONS, PLUS MARRIAGE EDUCATORS, WERE REJOICING OVER THIS ONE):

Sec. 802) Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of title IV of the Social Security Act to require an employer to report to the state Directory of New Hires, in addition to other information, the date services for remuneration were first performed by a newly hired employee.

Subtitle B: TANF – (Sec. 811) Amends part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]) of title IV of the Social Security Act to continue grants to states for temporary assistance for needy families programs through September 30, 2011.

(WONDER WHERE WE’RE AT ON THIS NOW …..)

Requires preference for healthy marriage promotion and responsible fatherhood grants to be given to entities that have previously: (1) been awarded funds; and (2) demonstrated the ability to carry out specified programs successfully.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES, DO YOU THINK, THAT (2) WILL BE MONITORED?

Directs an entity seeking funding for both healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood promotion to submit a combined application assuring that it will carry out such activities: (1) under separate programs; and (2) without combining funds awarded to carry out either such activities.

Revises the definition of “healthy marriage promotion activities” to include marriage education and other specified programs for individuals in addition to nonmarried pregnant women and nonmarried expectant fathers.

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN MARRIAGE AND FATHERHOOD ACTIVITIES DOES NOT REALLY EXIST.  FOR EXAMPLE, HEALTHY MARRIAGE GRANTEE (I THINK IT WAS ORIGINALLY “SACRAMENTO HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION” (Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D.) was characterized in a recent AZFFC.org publication as the “Sacramento affiliate” of this fathers and families coalition — although the title then said “Healthy Marriage” and recently reads something like (last I heard) “Relationship Education Institute” or such.

Appropriates (out of money not otherwise appropriated) for FY2011: (1) $75 million for healthy marriage promotion activities; and (2) $75 million for promotion of responsible fatherhood activities. (Current law authorized $150 million, combined, for both programs in specified fiscal years.) Limits appropriated funds awarded to states, territories, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and public and nonprofit community entities, including religious organizations, for activities promoting responsible fatherhood to $75 million (current law has a $50 million limit). Requires amounts awarded to fund demonstration projects testing the effectiveness of tribal governments in coordinating the provision to tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect of child welfare services, and other tribal programs, to be taken in equal proportion from such separate appropriations for healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood activities.

Appropriates (out of money not otherwise appropriated) to the Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs such sums as necessary for payment to the Fund in a total not to exceed: (1) for FY2011, such sums as are necessary for amounts obligated on or after October 1, 2010, and before enactment of the this Act; and (2) for FY2012, $612 million. (Current law reduces such appropriations by specified amounts.)

Well, I may regret hitting “PUBLISH” on this one, but here goes. . . . .
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