I've been meaning to post this for a few days: Murray Waas, Brian Ross and Anna Schechter have a eye-boggling story of Justice Department corruption that's getting lost in the political news maelstrom.
A senior Justice Department official says a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation is an appropriate use of money designed to deal with juvenile crime in America.
"We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook," said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
But the program was ranked 47th out of 104 applicants. What pushed it over the top? Of course:
The honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush. On a videotape presentation, the former President Bush praised the program for "serving others and building character and building values."
And what got the shaft?
A program to help troubled teens in San Diego, Vista, was ranked number two by the staff out of 202 applicants in its category of prevention and intervention but was turned down for a grant to help deal with inner city teen violence in San Diego. Another program, designed to train adult guards to deal with teens in custody, also was denied federal money even though it was ranked by the staff number 2 out of 104 in its category.
Another program that got money: Best Friends, an abstinence program run by Bill Bennett's wife and ranked 53rd on the merit list.