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Come Saturday Morning: Loading up the Fundie Gravy Train, Minnesota Teen Challenge Edition

This just makes my head hurt. Seems that faith-based, Bachmann-allied, and Bradlee-Dean-friendly local Christian antidrug group Minnesota Teen Challenge has talked a Republican state legislator into trying to give it a few million in free money:

House Bill #2294 (find it HERE. PDF HERE):

Teen Challenge. $1,103,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2013 from the general fund to the commissioner for the purpose of providing a group residential housing supplementary service rate to a provider under Minnesota Statutes, section 256I.05, subdivision 1e. This appropriation is added to the base.

On a spreadsheet (PDF HERE). Go to Line item 164: Dayton gives Teen Challenge nothing, but, the House Republicans want to give MNTC $1.113 million total for Fiscal Years 2012-2013 and $2,940 million total for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 – that’s more than FOUR MILLION DOLLARS for Minnesota Teen Challenge.

This is a really bad idea – taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for MNTC’s really, REALLY bad mistake allowing a convicted money launderer, who had a seat on their board to give them millions of dollars without checking to see where it came from. As it turned out, the millions of dollars was pilfered from investors in Tom Petters’ $5.8 billion Ponzi scheme. Frank Vennes is charged with 24 counts of fraud, making false statements and money laundering in relation to his role as a self-described financier for Tom Petters. Vennes goes on trial October 1st, 2012.

Oh, and in case you missed it when I mentioned it earlier, Minnesota Teen Challenge, which is looking for a taxpayer-funded mulligan on its costly decision to take Frank Vennes to its bosom, is a totally faith-based program. Listen to the Twitwid showing MNTC’s Rich Scherber’s testimony in which he says MNTC cures addicts with Jeebus. Aiiiieee.

For more on why Minnesota Teen Challenge is such a pet of certain state GOP legislators, as well as of US congresscritter Michele Bachmann, visit this Google archived post from December 30, 2008 at Pam’s House Blend (David Ehrenstein notes in the comments thread that the group had also surfaced in Pennsylvania in recent years).


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