Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Arkansas Double Standard Duggar Exception for Reporting Child Abuse

There must be a double standard for Child Protective Services.
In any other situation CPS would have come in, immediately, and removed the children of a family who are victims of sexual abuse or even suspected victims of sexual abuse.

In the situation of the Duggar family nothing has been done, not even a public concern for the girls who may be victims of incest.

The questin now raised is, "Why?"

I can only speculate that moral turpitude does not apply to those who spout the similar christian values of the child protection organizations who are in charge of protectng the best interests of children, or their political agenda.

If this was a poor or even a poor minority family, Arkansas Child Protective Services would have swooped in and proceeded with termination of parental rights.

According to the State of Arkansas, the situation should have been reported:

​What is Child Maltreatment?


Not only has it not been reported, former Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee dismissed his own polices under his former administration by publicly supporting Josh Duggar.

I guess Huckabee is not considered a mandatory reporter considering a similiar situation with his own son in dealing with questionable violent behavior was also swept under the rug.

This is a matter of incest and could still be happening with the other children.  It is a learned behavior, and in this case, it was learned as a religious belief.

I encourage anyone who is offended to report the Duggars to Arkansas Child Protective Services.  Is this not what the child abuse prevention campaigns which are funded with millions of tax payer dollars tout or is there a double standard in chld abuse?

Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline:



  • 1-800-482-5964 phone
  • 1-501-618-8952 fax


  • A timeline of the molestation allegations against Josh Duggar

    This week, a shocking series of allegation, apology and repercussions rocked one of the most famous families in reality television. Josh Duggar, the oldest son of the Duggar family, apologized Thursday after a tabloid published allegations that Duggar had molested multiple young girls as a teenager. A day later, TLC announced that the family’s show, “19 Kids and Counting,” which just finished airing its most recent season Tuesday, had pulled all episodes of the program off the air “effective immediately.”
    Although the developments moved quickly, the allegations themselves have existed out of the public eye for more than a decade. A police report obtained by In Touch Weekly and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette appears to detail those allegations, though the names of the suspect and all of the victims have been redacted from the report, because all were minors at the time.

    September 2005: The Duggars star in their first big national television special, “14 Children and Pregnant Again!” The special aired on Discovery Health. The Duggars did a series of specials from 2005 to 2007 that documented the births of the 15th, 16th, and 17th Duggar children, as well as the family’s move into a larger home.
    May 23, 2006: Jim Bob Duggar runs in a Republican primary for a seat in the Arkansas Senate. He loses the primary bid by 200 votes.
    Dec. 7, 2006: An anonymous tipster calls the Arkansas Child Abuse Hot­line, 3½ years after the first time the alleged offense was brought to police. Springdale Police reach out to the Duggar family to schedule interviews to investigate and are told that the family is in Chicago until Dec. 11.
    On the same day, an anonymous source sends an e-mail to Harpo Studios in Chicago. The e-mail seeks to warn Oprah Winfrey’s television program against airing a scheduled interview with the family because of the allegations. The producers of Oprah’s show passed along the e-mail to law enforcement.
    Dec. 12, 2006: Springdale police begin interviewing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, along with the person believed to be Josh Duggar and the victims.
    Dec. 20, 2006: Investigators determine that the statute of limitations has expired and that no charges may be filed.
    2007: As Gawker reporter Allie Jones (who, for disclosure, was a past colleague of this reporter at the Atlantic Wire) has written, 2007 is approximately when similar rumors of sexual misconduct begin to appear online, mainly on comment threads and forums that focus on the Duggars. At the time, the rumors do not appear to be substantiated by any publicly available information.
    The same year, a reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Times, who now works for the Democrat-Gazette, finds a court document for a case titled Josh Duggar vs. the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The Democrat-Gazette reports:
    A trial in that case took place Aug. 6, 2007, according to notes attached to the file. Sealed cases aren’t supposed to be left in public view, but the Duggar case file had been left in a stack of routine court filings at the circuit clerk’s office. The reporter saw no other information on the case at the time.
    According to the Democrat-Gazette, the reporter asked Jim Bob and Josh Duggar about the trial at the time, but they declined to comment.
    2008: TLC’s series following the Duggar family, then called “17 Kids and Counting,” premieres.
    June 2013: Josh Duggar, then 25, moves with his wife and children from Arkansas to Washington to take a job with the Family Research Council.
    February to May 19, 2015: TLC airs the most recent season of “19 Kids and Counting.” One episode features the gender-reveal party for the child Josh and his wife, Anna, are expecting this year.
    May 19: In Touch Weekly, a tabloid, publishes an article alleging that Josh Duggar was the subject of an investigation into allegations that he molested multiple girls as a teenager.
    May 21:  In Touch Weekly publishes a follow-up to its original article, this time with a police report online that, it says, details the allegations against Josh Duggar. In Touch reports that it obtained the police report through a Freedom of Information request. The Democrat-Gazette is also able to obtain the document through an FOI request, but a Thursday FOI request from The Washington Post was answered on the same day with a court order, dated May 21, ordering that the police report in question be destroyed. The order was a result of a “motion to expunge” from one of the alleged victims.
    That evening, Josh Duggar issues an apology for unspecified “wrongdoing” he committed as a teenager, and he resigns from his job as the executive director of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” the statement reads.
    This was Josh’s full statement:
    Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.
    That evening, TLC continues to air a marathon of past “19 Kids and Counting” episodes.
    May 22: TLC announces that, effective immediately, the network is pulling all episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the statement says.
    On the same day, Springdale Police Department spokesman Scott Lewis confirms to reporters that the department has destroyed the police report in question. Speaking to the Associated Press, Lewis says, “The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record … as far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.” Similar reports, Lewis added, are typically kept on file indefinitely.
    September 2005: The Duggars star in their first big national television special, “14 Children and Pregnant Again!” The special aired on Discovery Health. The Duggars did a series of specials from 2005 to 2007 that documented the births of the 15th, 16th, and 17th Duggar children, as well as the family’s move into a larger home.
    May 23, 2006: Jim Bob Duggar runs in a Republican primary for a seat in the Arkansas Senate. He loses the primary bid by 200 votes.
    Dec. 7, 2006: An anonymous tipster calls the Arkansas Child Abuse Hot­line, 3½ years after the first time the alleged offense was brought to police. Springdale Police reach out to the Duggar family to schedule interviews to investigate and are told that the family is in Chicago until Dec. 11.
    On the same day, an anonymous source sends an e-mail to Harpo Studios in Chicago. The e-mail seeks to warn Oprah Winfrey’s television program against airing a scheduled interview with the family because of the allegations. The producers of Oprah’s show passed along the e-mail to law enforcement.
    Dec. 12, 2006: Springdale police begin interviewing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, along with the person believed to be Josh Duggar and the victims.
    Dec. 20, 2006: Investigators determine that the statute of limitations has expired and that no charges may be filed.
    2007: As Gawker reporter Allie Jones (who, for disclosure, was a past colleague of this reporter at the Atlantic Wire) has written, 2007 is approximately when similar rumors of sexual misconduct begin to appear online, mainly on comment threads and forums that focus on the Duggars. At the time, the rumors do not appear to be substantiated by any publicly available information.
    The same year, a reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Times, who now works for the Democrat-Gazette, finds a court document for a case titled Josh Duggar vs. the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The Democrat-Gazette reports:
    A trial in that case took place Aug. 6, 2007, according to notes attached to the file. Sealed cases aren’t supposed to be left in public view, but the Duggar case file had been left in a stack of routine court filings at the circuit clerk’s office. The reporter saw no other information on the case at the time.
    According to the Democrat-Gazette, the reporter asked Jim Bob and Josh Duggar about the trial at the time, but they declined to comment.
    2008: TLC’s series following the Duggar family, then called “17 Kids and Counting,” premieres.
    June 2013: Josh Duggar, then 25, moves with his wife and children from Arkansas to Washington to take a job with the Family Research Council.
    February to May 19, 2015: TLC airs the most recent season of “19 Kids and Counting.” One episode features the gender-reveal party for the child Josh and his wife, Anna, are expecting this year.
    May 19: In Touch Weekly, a tabloid, publishes an article alleging that Josh Duggar was the subject of an investigation into allegations that he molested multiple girls as a teenager.
    May 21:  In Touch Weekly publishes a follow-up to its original article, this time with a police report online that, it says, details the allegations against Josh Duggar. In Touch reports that it obtained the police report through a Freedom of Information request. The Democrat-Gazette is also able to obtain the document through an FOI request, but a Thursday FOI request from The Washington Post was answered on the same day with a court order, dated May 21, ordering that the police report in question be destroyed. The order was a result of a “motion to expunge” from one of the alleged victims.
    That evening, Josh Duggar issues an apology for unspecified “wrongdoing” he committed as a teenager, and he resigns from his job as the executive director of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” the statement reads.
    This was Josh’s full statement:
    Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.
    That evening, TLC continues to air a marathon of past “19 Kids and Counting” episodes.
    May 22: TLC announces that, effective immediately, the network is pulling all episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the statement says.
    On the same day, Springdale Police Department spokesman Scott Lewis confirms to reporters that the department has destroyed the police report in question. Speaking to the Associated Press, Lewis says, “The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record … as far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.” Similar reports, Lewis added, are typically kept on file indefinitely.


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    Saturday, May 23, 2015

    Goodlatte, Conyers, Sensenbrenner, Nadler on Senate Rejection of the USA FREEDOM Act


    Washington, D.C. – Following the Senate vote rejecting the USA Freedom Act, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued the following joint statement:

    “The Senate’s rejection of the USA Freedom Act, a bipartisan bill that overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives, misses an opportunity to protect our civil liberties while also maintaining our national security. The USA Freedom Act is a carefully crafted compromise that has earned the support of the White House, the intelligence community, privacy and civil liberties advocates, private industry, Republicans and Democrats, and most importantly the American people.

    “The USA Freedom Act, which the House passed 338-88, ends bulk collection of data, increases transparency, and prevents government overreach. The bill preserves key intelligence-gathering authorities while prohibiting bulk collection under Section 215, consistent with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision. Section 215 would remain a valuable counterterrorism tool for the FBI and a targeted call detail records authority would replace the NSA’s current, unlawful program.

    “Because the Senate has rejected the USA Freedom Act, Section 215—and the NSA’s bulk collection program that some in the Senate are trying to preserve—will now expire before the House reconvenes on the evening of June 1.  The Senate has failed to make the important reforms necessary, jeopardizing Americans’ civil liberties and our national security.”
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    Friday, May 22, 2015

    Rep. John Conyers Joins Over 70 House Democrats In Urging President Obama to Adopt Fair Chance Hiring


    Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) joined more than 70 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, in issuing a letter to President Obama to adopt a federal fair chance hiring policy.  This effort was co-led by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

    “The federal government should not be in the business of erecting barriers between those who have made a mistake and are looking a job, said Congresswoman Lee.  By enacting these basic fair chance hiring reforms, the federal government will continue to lead as a model employer while working to end the cycle of mass incarceration, unemployment and recidivism.”

    There are more than 70 million Americans with criminal records and communities of color are disproportionally affected.  One in three African American men will be arrested during their lifetime.

    The letter calls on President Obama to take executive action requiring federal contractors and agencies to refrain from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record in the initial stage of hiring.  Employers would be able to inquire about convictions and conduct background checks before making an employment decision.

    The letter reads: “We urge you to build on your administration’s commitment to adopting fair change hiring reforms by committing the federal government to do its part to eliminate unnecessary barriers to employment for people with criminal records.”

    Dean of the U.S. House
    of Representatives
    John Conyers, Jr.
     “Banning the box in federal hiring would help those who are fighting for a fair opportunity to show their qualifications for employment.  This is the right thing to do for individuals seeking to provide for themselves and their families, and it is the smart thing to do for our national economy which sorely needs the talents and contributions of all of our citizens,” said Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.
    Specifically, the letter notes that seventeen states, the District of Columbia and more than 100 cities and counties have already adopted fair chance hiring reforms.  In six states, the policy also expands to the private sector.  Several private sector firms have also independently adopted fair chance hiring policies including: Walmart, Koch Industries, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.

    “The EEOC has ruled that discrimination based on prior convictions without an individualized assessment of the relevance to job performance constitutes illegal employment discrimination, said Rep. Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  The Fair Chance practices, also known as ban the box, are consistent with that EEOC guidance.  Studies have consistently shown that properly tailoring employment restrictions will help to increase public safety, reduce recidivism, and save money.”

    “The cruel, relentless logic of mass incarceration has now become apparent to all.  One in four Americans has a conviction history which often excludes them from the workforce and from housing creating new layers of crisis for our communities,” said Congressman Danny Davis (IL-07).  “Ban the box is a critical step for formerly incarcerated individuals to a dignified, productive civilian life and helping families and communities become self-sustaining once again.”

    “Almost one in three adults in the United States has a criminal record that will show up on a routine criminal background check.  This creates a serious barrier to employment for millions of workers, especially in communities of color hardest hit by decades of over-criminalization, said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.  Nationwide, 100 cities and counties have adopted what is widely known as ban the box so that employers consider a job candidate's qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record.  These initiatives provide applicants a fair chance by removing the conviction history question on the job application and delaying the background check inquiry until later in the hiring.  Fair chance policies benefit everyone because they are good for families and the local community.”

    The effort was supported by various groups including Policy Link, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Employment Law Project (NELP), PICO Networks LIVE FREE Campaign, and All of Us or None, a national organizing initiative founded by formerly-incarcerated individuals to fight against discrimination and for the human rights of prisoners.

    “It's rewarding to witness the work started in our backyard reach national levels, and continue to dismantle the barriers facing formerly incarcerated communities,” said co-founding member, Dorsey Nunn, of All Of Us Or None.  “This effort could not have come at a better time to reflect that All Black Lives Matter, including the lives of people with arrest and conviction histories.”
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    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    White House Begins to Recognize the Need to Examine the Child Welfare Industry

    The Child Welfare Industrial Complex needs a “Pink Ribbon”

    As a former foster youth, having spent more than a decade in and out of care, I have lived through the best intentions of institutions in multiple states.  The Child Welfare Industrial Complex (CWIC), made up of the myriad of actors in the life of a dependent child, acts to perpetrate the agency’s particular interest.  Often, this coincides with the best interest of a child, but not always.  For example, in the name of privacy, there was often a slow transfer of educational documents, preventing my timely enrollment. While serving a valid privacy interest, this is a lack of common sense in the youth's interests – and education is the victim.  Actors remain in their silo, serving their agency goals, but doing so inadvertently causes the youth to suffer. Structural reform requires collaboration between all parts of society, and especially public engagement.  Public engagement can translate into political attention, power and resources that can change outcomes.  Yet the public only hears from (or about) the CWIC during times of tragedy, leading to benign neglect or short bursts of brutal attention.  Achieving fundamentally different outcomes, requires all parties to work together in telling the full story about Foster Care.

    In order to effect structural change in Child Welfare, the CWIC must convene as a larger societal ‘movement.’  FosterMore, is an effort in that direction.  Between what works, evidence based practice, and sustained implementation, is a gulf – a gulf made up of a lack of public awareness and engagement.   Instead of speaking to the vast majority of Americans, the CWIC uses terms and language that disenfranchises the public.  Forming a partnership with the public, private groups, foundation and government – FosterMore came together to bridge that gap – engage the public, and therefore their elected leaders.  In much the same way as the environmental, women's cancer, and other movements have come together; FosterMore is a brazen attempt to recruit Americans to join a movement to understand and end the inherited poverty of foster care.
    Much as “Race for the Cure,” represented by the pink ribbon, seeks to orient our passion and attention around curing women’s cancers; FosterMore seeks to have “Education” as the north star, a rallying point to do right by our children.  Education is the communication of knowledge and culture, from one to another.  Education can be communicated passively, through the culture or more succinctly, through formalized settings.  The remarkable nature of this knowledge is its ability to act as a key to unlock potential.  At times, one aspect of education is valued over the other – yet both are vital to thrive.  Foster youth have "graduate degrees" in resiliency, but have their progress in education impeded by circumstance.   The cumulative effect of this is to lock foster youth into a cycle of inherited poverty.

    Educational access can be the bridge out of this cycle – but extra care must be taken to empower this last generation of educationally impoverished; and that requires an army, movement that must include the general public.  Working together, FosterMore has raised awareness, chipped away at ignorance, prejudice and indifference to shine a light on the amazing potential of foster youth and families.  FosterMore has created an “American Indian College Fund-equivalent,” a national scholarship for foster youth, to underpin all of our efforts in public engagement. The Scholarship will help the public think of our foster youth differently, but just as the Pink Ribbon is a symbol, it will be a gateway that allows the public to be part of the solution.

    The work of the movement will not end, as every other movement has taught us. Yet, the movement must start – and FosterMore is that start.

    David Ambroz is the Executive Director of Corporate Citizenship & Social Responsibility for Disney | ABC Television Group and in that role created FosterMore. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

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    Five Major Banks Agree to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges

    Destruction of an economy is child abuse.  Why?  Because poverty is considered child abuse.
    Agreements by Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, and UBS AG to plead guilty to felony charges were announced today by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during a press conference in Washington, D.C.
    Four of the banks—Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays, and RBS—have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange spot market and will pay criminal fines totaling $2.5 billion. According to Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, “The dollar-euro spot market is as big as it gets. Every day, about $500 billion worth of dollars and euros are traded in this market. Trading on the dollar-euro spot market is five times larger than all U.S. stock exchanges combined.”
    The fifth bank, UBS, agreed to plead guilty and pay a $203 million criminal penalty for breaching the non-prosecutive agreement it had previously entered regarding manipulation of the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), a benchmark interest rate used worldwide.
    The investigation, conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO), uncovered illegal activity that began as early as December 2007. Currency traders from four of the banks—self-described members of “The Cartel”—used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate exchange rates. The result of their actions inflated the banks’ profits while harming countless consumers, investors, and institutions around the globe. Said WFO’s Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe, “This investigation represents another step in the FBI’s ongoing efforts to find and stop those responsible for complex financial schemes for their own personal benefit.”
    In addition to paying large criminal fines, all five banks have agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation which, if approved by the court, will require regular reporting to authorities. The banks will continue cooperating in the ongoing investigation, and the plea agreements don’t preclude the prosecution of individuals for related misconduct.
    The case, said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, serves as a reminder that the U.S. government intends to “vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor, who subvert our marketplaces, and who enrich themselves at the expense of American consumers.”
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    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Conyers, Goodlatte, Nadler, Sensenbrenner Press Senate to Pass USA FREEDOM Act



    Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued the following statement urging the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act of 2015.

    “The House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act last week by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 338-88.  If the Senate rejects the USA Freedom Act, Section 215—and likely the NSA program that some in the Senate are trying to preserve—will expire before we reconvene on the evening of June 1.

    “The USA Freedom Act protects Americans’ civil liberties and enhances our national security. It ends bulk collection of data, increases transparency, and prevents government overreach.  The bill also preserves key intelligence-gathering authorities.  Section 215 will remain a valuable counterterrorism tool for the FBI and a targeted call detail records authority will replace the NSA’s current, unlawful program.

    “If Section 215 is allowed to expire, these tools will simply disappear.  The Senate will have blocked reform at great cost to the intelligence community.  The USA Freedom Act is the only option that does not lead down that path.  We once again urge the Senate to take up and pass the USA Freedom Act without delay.”

    Correcting the Record on Section 215

    Myth:  Congress can act on June 1st to reauthorize or amend Section 215.

    Fact:   Three provisions of the Patriot Act, including Section 215, are set to expire at midnight on May 31, before the House is back in session. According to the Congressional Research Service, ‘absent any reauthorization, beginning at 12:00 AM in the morning of June 1, 2015, §§ 501 and 502 of FISA would read as they read on October 25, 2001.’  Moreover, the current FISA court order authorizing the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata program expires on June 1 at 5:00 p.m.

    Myth:  The USA Freedom Act reverts our intelligence-gathering programs to a pre-9/11 posture.

    Fact:   The USA Freedom Act enacts sweeping reforms to surveillance programs – ending bulk collection, creating a panel of experts at the FISA court, and mandating transparency – but the bill also preserves key authorities.  Section 215 will remain a valuable counterterrorism tool for the FBI.  A targeted, narrowly-tailored call detail records authority will replace the NSA’s current, unlawful program. Additionally, the USA Freedom Act enhances national security by providing targeted tools to keep America safe.

    Myth:  A brief sunset of Section 215 and other authorities under the Patriot Act is a mere technicality. 

    Fact:   If the Senate chooses to allow these authorities to expire, they should do so knowing that sunset may be permanent. The USA Freedom Act has earned the support of the White House, the intelligence community, privacy and civil liberties advocates, and private industry.  Nearly every member of the House of Representatives demands reform to these authorities.  No such coalition exists for a clean reenactment of Section 215. 
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    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    FTC, All 50 States and D.C. Charge Four Cancer Charities With Bilking Over $187 Million from Consumers

    Yes, the welfare of a child was used as a strategy to bilk donations.
    The same strategies are used to bilk donations for foster care.  The only difference is there is no enforcement mechanisms in child welfare.
    #Time2AuditGod

    Complaint Alleges Defendants Falsely Claimed Donations Would Help Pay For Pain Medication, Hospice Care & Other Services; But Spent Donations on Cars, Trips, Sports Tickets, & Professional Fundraisers


    The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.
    Named in the federal court complaint are Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), their president, James Reynolds, Sr., and their chief financial officer and CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II.
    CCFOA and Perkins, BCS, Reynolds II and Effler have agreed to settle the charges against them. Under the proposed settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II will be banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, and CCFOA and BCS will be dissolved.  Litigation will continue against CFA, CSS and James Reynolds Sr.
    “Cancer is a debilitating disease that impacts millions of Americans and their families every year. The defendants’ egregious scheme effectively deprived legitimate cancer charities and cancer patients of much-needed funds and support,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The defendants took in millions of dollars in donations meant to help cancer patients, but spent it on themselves and their fundraisers. I’m pleased that the FTC and our state partners are acting to end this appalling scheme.”
    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said, “The allegations of fundraising for personal gain in the name of children with cancer and women battling breast cancer are simply shameful. This is the first time the FTC, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia have filed a joint enforcement action alleging deceptive solicitations by charities and I hope it serves as a strong warning for anyone trying to exploit the kindness and generosity of others.”
    South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond said, “When charities lie to donors, it is our duty to step in to protect them. At the same time, however, this historic action should remind everyone to be vigilant when giving to charity. This case is an unfortunate example of why I always tell my constituents to give from the heart, but give smart.”
    According to the complaint, the defendants used telemarketing calls, direct mail, websites, and materials distributed by the Combined Federal Campaign, which raises money from federal employees for non-profit organizations, to portray themselves as legitimate charities with substantial programs that provided direct support to cancer patients in the United States, such as providing patients with pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy, and hospice care. In fact, the complaint alleges that these claims were deceptive and that the charities “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation, with none of the financial and governance controls that any bona fidecharity would have adopted.”
    According to the complaint, the defendants used the organizations for lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships. They hired professional fundraisers who often received 85 percent or more of every donation.
    The complaint alleges that, to hide their high administrative and fundraising costs from donors and regulators, the defendants falsely inflated their revenues by reporting in publicly filed financial documents more than $223 million in donated “gifts in kind” which they claimed to distribute to international recipients. In fact, the defendants were merely pass-through agents for such goods. By reporting the inflated “gift in kind” donations, the defendants created the illusion that they were larger and more efficient with donors’ dollars than they actually were. Thirty-five states alleged that the defendants filed false and misleading financial statements with state charities regulators.
    In addition, the FTC and 36 states charged CFA, CCFOA and BCS with providing professional fundraisers with deceptive fundraising materials. The FTC and the attorneys general also charged the defendants with violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), CFA, CCFOA and BCS with assisting and facilitating in TSR violations, and CSS with making deceptive charitable solicitations.
    In addition to the bans imposed on charity work by the settling individual defendants and the dissolution of two corporations, CCFOA and BCS, the proposed final order against CCFOA and Rose Perkins imposes a judgment of $30,079,821, the amount consumers donated between 2008 and 2012. The judgment against CCFOA will be partially satisfied via liquidation of its assets; the judgment against Perkins will be suspended based upon her inability to pay.
    The proposed final orders against BCS and Reynolds II impose a $65,564,360 judgment, the amount consumers donated between 2008 and 2012. The BCS order provides an option, subject to court approval, for spinning off its Hope Supply Warehouses program to a legitimate, qualified charity. BCS’s remaining assets will be liquidated and used to partially satisfy the judgment. The judgment against Reynolds II will be suspended when he pays $75,000.
    The proposed final order against Effler will impose a judgment of $41,152,231, the amount consumers donated to CSS between 2008 and 2012. The judgment will be suspended upon payment of $60,000. The full judgment amounts against the individuals will become due immediately if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.
    The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated final orders was 5-0. The documents were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The proposed orders are subject to court approval.
    NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
    Before giving to a charity, read the FTC’s Charity Scams.
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    House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. Opening Statement

    WASHINGTON - Today, during a full House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Policing Strategies for the 21stCentury,” Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) delivered the following opening statement:
    Law enforcement accountability is an issue that is very topical given current events, but also one that has long been a concern of mine and many other Members.

    “As a Member of Congress, I have stood on the streets of Detroit with a bullhorn and appealed for calm while my city burned around me in 1967.  On too many occasions, I have met with the grieving relatives of those who have lost their lives at the hands of the police. 

    “I have also met with the families of police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.  Some of these officers were killed by violent criminals, while other officers were inadvertently killed by their colleagues who could only see the color of their skin.

    “I have co-chaired town hall meetings with my colleagues across the Nation in response to policing incidents in Chicago, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.  At these meetings, we tried to help the residents of these cities make sense of how to respond to their collective sense of loss and to understand the role of the federal government in protecting their civil rights.

    “I have proposed numerous bills to both help protect the safety of police officers and to provide a system of accountability for law enforcement. 


     “For example, I worked with Attorney General John Ashcroft, at the invitation of President Bush, to craft federal legislation intended to end use of racial profiling in police practices, which is currently pending as H.R. 1933.  And, next month, I plan to introduce comprehensive legislation dealing with accreditation, data collection and policing practices.  

    “Fortunately, our Committee has generally approached the issue of policing with a strong bipartisanship spirit.  We have enjoyed success in passing reform legislation, notably the passage of the Pattern and Practice enforcement statute in 1994, which was codified as section 14141 of title 42 of the United States Code.  And, we twice passed the Traffic Stops Statistics Study Act under the leadership of Chairman Henry Hyde. 

    “By scheduling today’s hearing, Chairman Goodlatte continues this legacy and should be commended for his willingness to face a difficult issue that has divided communities around the United States.

    “Any discussion of law enforcement accountability must be premised on recognition of the dangerous and difficult job that all police officers perform. 

     “The vast majority of police officers perform their jobs professionally and without bias. 

    “But like any profession, there are those who make it difficult for the rest to serve their communities.

    “At the outset, I must agree with Professor Orlando Patterson when he says that the complex and confounding questions raised by Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities go well beyond the issues of racism and violent police behavior. 

    “What occurred in those cities clearly resulted from a vicious tangle of concentrated poverty and culturally disenfranchised  youth as well as a countervailing culture of law enforcement disconnected from their communities that is lacking appropriate standards and oversight.
                   
    “Yesterday, President Obama was in Camden, New Jersey to highlight his Administration’s initiatives to address the challenges of policing in our inner cities. 

     “While I support the President’s efforts and look forward to working with him to implement his programs, there is no substitute for concrete performance standards for state and local law enforcement agencies that receive billions of dollars every year in federal funding. 

    “For reform-focused police executives, many of the current administrative programs are icing on the cake and probably will not reach chronically underperforming or troubled departments.

    “The entire purpose of Section 14141 was to add teeth to federal enforcement that was absent in the grant-making process.  Although, pattern and practice enforcement has been effective in the cases of individual departments, it is far too resource-heavy to reach across more than 17,000 police departments. 

    “There must be another way and I hope that today we can talk about the combination of federal, state and local measures that are essential to support necessary changes in policing culture.

    “The national outcry that arose after Michael Brown’s death is nothing new to those who are students of policing practices. 

    “From the Sean Bell, Abner Louima, and Amadou Diallo incidents in New York to the Eddie Macklin shooting in Miami to the Timothy Thomas Over-the-Rhine shooting in Cincinnati and the Donovan Jackson beating in Inglewood, the response is always the same: national outcry followed by well-intentioned programs that never quite get to the heart of the matter. 

    “Out of respect for all who have lost their lives over the last nine months – both law enforcement and civilian – I hope we can dedicate ourselves to engaging the difficult issues to make lasting change in our communities.”

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