image Awhile back Iowa Family Policy Center received a sizable federal grant to provide marriage mentoring.  They launched a program called Marriage Matters, and their vice president, Dr. Mike Hartwig (pictured on the left), became the President of Marriage Matters.

Now The Iowa Independent who last month reported that IFPC has received federal money through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services between 2004-2009.  I know from my conservations with Mike that IFPC desired to give up the federal grant because they became increasingly convinced it that marriage mentoring shouldn’t be funded through taxpayer money.

So they’ve been funded through other sources for some time, and now The Iowa Independent posts on this as though it has been some big secret.  I knew about this grant since before it was even awarded to them.  It was pretty well known that they had this grant.

Where’s the story in this?  Oh I know!  Because they also have the Iowa Family PAC who has endorsed Bob Vander Plaats, have an issues oriented PAC – Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION,  have been advocates of preserving traditional marriage, and they are a Christian organization they must be misspending the money.

Any proof?  None.

Now the ACLU is bringing an investigation.  Again why?  Because Marriage Matters is not a separate organization from IFPC.  In my experience working with grants.  There is a lot of reporting that goes on.  There are budgets submitted.  There are budget justifications that are required.  You have quarterly reports – data and narrative.  You keep separate books, and they check your auditing procedures to make sure money isn’t going to be spent inappropriately.  Money and payments have to be coded a certain way.  There is a high amount of accountability.

I personally know there was a desire to keep Marriage Matters as separate as possible from IFPC.  If you go look at IFPC’s website and Marriage Matters’ website you can see there is hardly any mention with the exception of Mike’s bio.  Having participated in some Marriage Matter events I am positive they have walked the church-state line with integrity.

Now speaking of integrity, Andy Kopsa’s only contributions to The Iowa Independent have been these two stories.  She is an Iowa native who now lives in New York, and has an obvious bias.  She tweeted last month.

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Wow, that’s the question of an unbiased, intelligent journalist (having talked with her on the phone I recognize that while I disagree with her it was wrong of me to question her intelligence).  Her “news stories” are nothing but a hatchet job.  She offered absolutely no proof.

Presumptions do not equal facts, and I hope that the ACLU ends up wasting a lot of time and resources for nothing.

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