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DAILY NEWS — Caswell urged to deny gay group (govt.) funding

February 6, 2006

Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Please read the Hillsdale Daily News story below.

Then, please call or e-mail Rep. Caswell and thank him for pledging to investigate a government grant of $40,000 to the Triangle Foundation, a left-wing homosexual activist group based in Detroit.

Rep. Bruce Caswell
Phone: 517-373-1794

Thanks for your support.
Gary Glenn

Hillsdale, Michigan
February 6, 2006
Caswell urged to deny gay group victims’ rights funding
Conservative group’s leader calls for refund of federal grant
by Tom Kondilas, Staff Writer
A conservative family group is asking Hillsdale County’s legislator to refund federal money given to a gay rights organization.

State Rep. Bruce Caswell, R-Hillsdale, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Michigan Department of Community Health will investigate whether his panel can control the distribution of federal money for state groups.

Addressing a $40,000 Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grant to the Triangle Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving gay and lesbian communities, Caswell said the money came from federal funds. He said he will find out whether the committee has any say in allocating that money in years to come.

The question came into play after the American Family Association (of Michigan) urged officials to take the money back. AFA President Gary Glenn started the campaign to have the VOCA grant rescinded from the Triangle Foundation on the premise that the grant came from misappropriated taxpayer money.

A combination of restricted and federal money is used for VOCA grants. Some of the money is collected from the fines and costs people have to pay after being convicted of a crime.

“Whenever crimes are committed in this (country), the perpetrators have to pay a small fee … it’s not taxpayer money,â€? said Triangle Foundation Director of Policy Sean Kosofsky.

This was the first time the Triangle Foundation ever received that kind of funding.

The federal Victims of Crime Act of 1984 made federal funding available to every state to support crime victim assistance and compensation programs. A minimum percentage of each grant must be allocated to programs supporting services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and undeserved victim of crime.

“One of the things we do here is help people that have been victimized,� said Triangle Foundation Director of Development Kevin McAphine.

“We’re one of the best (groups) in the state of Michigan serving those clients,� said Kosofsky.

In a press release, Glenn urged lawmakers to refund the grant, making specific pleas to Caswell and Sen. Tony Stamas, R–Midland, because they both chair appropriations subcommittees.

“We urge you to investigate this unethical misappropriation of government funds and demand that the Triangle Foundation immediately refund in full any or all of the government funds it has received,� Glenn wrote in an e–mail to Stamas and Caswell.

“The state of Michigan awarded (us) this money because we deserve it … If (Glenn) wants to deny victims of crimes services he should just say so,â€? said Kosofsky.

Caswell said he was not familiar with the Triangle Foundation, but said, “That money’s going to be there whether we want it to be there or not.�

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