Skip to comments.Memos, E-Mails Detail Hostile Relations Between AmeriCorps and Ousted IG
Posted on 10/08/2009 3:38:54 AM PDT by Man50D
Well before Gerald Walpin was fired as the inspector general of AmeriCorps, government documents show that he and the agencys management did not get along, to say the least.
Documents obtained by CNSNews.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, including e-mails, letters and memos, demonstrate a confrontational relationship between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency that runs AmeriCorps, and its inspector general, whose ouster in June prompted questions from Congress.
A corporation board member wanted to let the record reflect what he says was Walpins confusion at a Mar. 20 board meeting, the members notes from that meeting show. Meanwhile, a memo to board members just before the meeting references Walpin and concern about potential for damage being done. Bad timing.
According to one memo, the major issues of dispute between Walpin and the board revolved around the Sacramento charity, St. Hope Academy, education grants to the City University of New York, and the IGs questions about agency expenditures.
After members of Congress demanded the White House provide a reason for firing Walpin, Norman Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, said in a much-publicized letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the CNCS board wanted Walpin out because at the May 20, 2009, board meeting Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve.
The Sacramento non-profit, St. Hope Academy, and its management were suspended from receiving federal funds in 2008 after Walpins office found that St. Hope misused some of the $847,673 in AmeriCorps funds it received from 2004 through 2007. In some cases, those funds were used to run personal errands for Johnson, according to Walpins probe.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
I’m sure they didn’t like the man pointing out their corruption.
if ever there were a time for RICO... it’s now.
What IS this AmeriCorps beast, anyhow?
I’d like to know the lowdown on it. Not what they say they are or even what Wikipedia says it is.
Part of the reason is, it’s personal. I’ve been Barney Fifed for three years over yard grass height and other vegetation disputes by an occifer in my township who uses an AmeriCorps letterhead. When they threatened me last week “THERE WILL BE NO MORE WARNINGS” I decided this means war. The stupid ordinance they’re using literally calls for the removal, jackbooted if necessary, of ALL plants higher than eight inches — yup, no exceptions for landscaping or trees etc. by the “letter of the law” which Mr. Fife told me he was going to “follow.” But it also requires notice from the township, something they just can’t skip if they’re tired of dealing with me.
I don’t know much besides what I’ve seen on Fox or Glenn Beck. Its my understanding they are a govt funded community organizer group pushing a liberal agenda. Not much different than Acorn or SEIU.
I feel for ya on the grass height thing. It can be tough to fight those because nobody except the victim cares until its their turn.
Let them come in and cut everything over 8 inches off. Sounds like a good way to have them pay for new landscaping. They’ll probably bring a sheriff and charge you for the work to cut everything.
My grass has never been that high. Some unfindable neighbor gets upset when the tall things like cattails and Queen Anne’s Lace start to appear. Occifer Fife has averred over the last three years that “your neighbors have even offered to HELP you” (gee, why haven’t I been approached in all this time, save by one guy who wants to sell me his lawn care services).
I’d like to plant the whole bloomin’ yard as a prairie.
The Walpin Story:
Pray for America and Our Troops
There’s an old lady in Harpers Ferry that had a landscaper cover her entire yard with landscape cloth and PEA GRAVEL. She only needs a leaf blower. Another planted her entire yard with wildflowers...
Not exactly a paean of praise to the rascals is it? :-)
No, and there is likely a connection between Americorp and ACORN that needs looking into.
Pray for America and Our Troops
So far on Holder's watch: declined to look into the IGs complaints about Americorps, declined to look into the Black Panther voter intimidation in Phil.; decided to chase after the CIA agents; and authorized a disinformation program regarding anti OZero web sites. He is leveling the playing field by moving up the scum and moving down the righteous.
AmeriCorps was started by President Clinton in 1993 to hire a legion of people to perform federally designated good deeds. In Mississippi, AmeriCorps members went door to door to recruit people for food stamps. In Buffalo, New York, AmeriCorps members helped run a program that gave children $5 for each toy gun they brought in. In Southern California, AmeriCorps members busied themselves foisting unreliable, ultra-low-flush toilets on poor people. In San Diego, AmeriCorps recruits carried out an undergarment drive to collect used bras and pantyhose for a local womens center.
At the time Bush took office, many conservatives viewed AmeriCorps as incorrigible and demanded its abolition. Bush was far more interested in politically exploiting the program to showcase his own benevolence.
For their 1,700 hours of service, AmeriCorps members receive roughly $16,000 a year in cash and benefits, including a $4,725 education award that can be used for college costs or paying off college loans. Many AmeriCorps members are unskilled and earn more on the federal payroll than they would in private employment.
Bush hails AmeriCorps members, despite their paychecks, as volunteers. The agency refers to its recruits as stipended volunteers. The political exploitation of the volunteer label epitomizes the false piety that has always seeped from AmeriCorps.
CNS NEWS.com: "FORMER DEMOCRATIC WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, GOP ATTORNEY GENERAL CONTEST WHITE HOUSE CLAIM THAT FIRED IG WAS 'CONFUSED' AND 'DISORIENTED'" by Fred Lucas (SNIPPET: "A letter signed by a former Republican U.S. attorney general, a former Democratic White House Counsel, and 144 other prominent lawyers is challenging the White House's claim that fired AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin was "confused" and "disoriented."") (June 24, 2009)
ON THE INTERNET:
(Off Thread Topic, but posted here for archival purposes.)
Note: The following text is a quote:
THE BRIEFING ROOM
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secrectary
For Immediate Release
April 21, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT SIGNING OF THE EDWARD M. KENNEDY SERVE AMERICA ACT
The SEED School of Washington, D.C.
3:56 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please be seated. Thank you. Well, what an extraordinary day. It is good to be here with all of you.
I want to, first of all, thank President Bill Clinton for joining us here today — wheres President Clinton? — (applause) — for his lifetime of service to our country, but also the fact that he created AmeriCorps, and that not only made this day possible, it has directly enlisted more than half a million Americans in service to their country; service that has touched the lives of millions more.
Now, it just so happens that one of those people who have been touched by AmeriCorps was FLOTUS, otherwise known as First Lady of the United States — (laughter) — Michelle Obama, who ran a AmeriCorps-sponsored program, Public Allies, in Chicago. (Applause.)
I also want to thank former First Lady Rosalynn Carter for being here — (applause) — for her advocacy on behalf of those with mental illness, and for her husbands continued good works that inspire us all. I am thrilled to have Caroline Kennedy here — (applause) — for carrying on her familys long legacy of service.
To my congressional colleagues who did such a fantastic job on a bipartisan basis ushering this through, starting with the two leaders of the House and the Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Im grateful to them, and obviously to Barbara Mikulski and Orrin Hatch, George Miller, the entire delegation who helped to shepherd this through — please give them a huge round of applause. (Applause.)
To my outstanding Vice President, Joe Biden. (Applause.) To Dr. Jill Biden. (Applause.) A couple of outstanding public servants in their own right, please, a warm welcome for General Colin Powell and his wonderful wife, Alma. (Applause.) For the outstanding Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. (Applause.) And Ive got to give some special props to my fellow Illinoisan, a great friend, Dick Durbin. (Applause.)
Finally — and I know that Ive got some prepared remarks — but I just want to go ahead and say it now. There are very few people who have touched the life of this nation in the same breadth and the same order of magnitude than the person who is seated right behind me. And so this is just an extraordinary day for him. And I am truly grateful and honored to call him a friend, a colleague, and one of the finest leaders weve ever had — Ted Kennedy. (Applause.)
All right. I want to thank the students and the faculty of the SEED School — (applause) — our hosts for today — and their headmaster, Charles Adams. Wheres Mr. Adams? Is he here? (Applause.) A shining example of how AmeriCorps alums go on to do great things. This school is a true success story — a place where for four of the last five years, every graduate from the SEED School was admitted to college — every graduate. (Applause.)
Its a place where service is a core component of the curriculum. And just as the SEED School teaches reading and writing, arithmetic and athletics, it also prepares our young Americans to grow into active and engaged citizens. And what these students come to discover through service is that by befriending a senior citizen, or helping the homeless, or easing the suffering of others, they can find a sense of purpose and renew their commitment to this country that we love.
And that is the spirit in which we gather today, as I sign into law a bill that represents the boldest expansion of opportunities to serve our communities and our country since the creation of AmeriCorps — (applause) — a piece of legislation named for a man who has not only touched countless lives, but who still sails against the wind, a man whos never stopped asking what he can do for his country, and thats Senator Edward M. Kennedy. (Applause.)
In my address to a joint session of Congress in February, I asked for swift passage of this legislation, and these folks on the stage came through. So, again, I want to thank wide bipartisan majorities in the House and the Senate who came together to pass this bill — especially Barbara Mikulski, Mike Enzi, Chris Dodd, John McCain, whos not here, Thad Cochran, as well as, on the House side, Representatives Miller and Carolyn McCarthy, Buck McKeon and Howard Berman.
More than anyone else, the new era of service we enter in today has been made possible by the unlikely friendship between these two men, Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy. They may be the odd couple of the Senate. (Laughter.) One is a conservative Republican from Utah; the other is, well, Ted Kennedy. (Laughter.) But time and again, they placed partnership over partisanship to advance this nation even in times when we were told that wasnt possible. (Applause.)
Senator Hatch was shaped by his experience as a young missionary serving others, a period he has called the greatest of his life. And last year he approached Senator Kennedy to share his ideas about service. Out of that conversation came this legislation. And last month, at Senator Hatchs selfless request, the Senate unanimously chose to name this bill after his dear friend, Ted. (Applause.) Thats the kind of class act that Orrin Hatch is.
Now, Teds story and the story of his family is known to all. Its a story of service. And its also the story of America — of hard work and sacrifice of generation after generation, some called upon to give more than others, but each committed to the idea that we can make tomorrow better than today. I wouldnt be standing here today if not for the service of others, or for the purpose that service gave my own life.
Ive told this story before. When I moved to Chicago more than two decades ago to become a community organizer, I wasnt sure what was waiting for me there, but I had always been inspired by the stories of the civil rights movement, and President Kennedys call to service, and I knew I wanted to do my part to advance the cause of justice and equality.
And it wasnt easy, but eventually, over time, working with leaders from all across these communities, we began to make a difference — in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plants that had closed down and jobs that had dried up. We began to see a real impact in peoples lives. And I came to realize I wasnt just helping people, I was receiving something in return, because through service I found a community that embraced me, citizenship that was meaningful, the direction that I had been seeking. I discovered how my own improbable story fit into the larger story of America.
Its the same spirit of service Ive seen across this country. Ive met countless people of all ages and walks of life who want nothing more than to do their part. Ive seen a rising generation of young people work and volunteer and turn out in record numbers. Theyre a generation that came of age amidst the horrors of 9/11 and Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an economic crisis without precedent. And yet, despite all this — or more likely because of it — theyve become a generation of activists possessed with that most American of ideas, that people who love their country can change it.
Theyre why the Peace Corps had three applications for every position available last year; why 35,000 young people applied for only 4,000 slots in Teach for America; why AmeriCorps has seen a 400-percent increase in applications in just the past four months. And yet, even as so many want to serve, even as so many are struggling, our economic crisis has forced our charities and non-for-profits to cut back.
What this legislation does, then, is to help harness this patriotism and connect deeds to needs. It creates opportunities to serve for students, seniors, and everyone in between. It supports innovation and strengthens the nonprofit sector. And it is just the beginning of a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to involve our greatest resource — our citizens — in the work of remaking this nation.
Were doing this because Ive always believed that the answers to our challenges cannot come from government alone. Our government can help to rebuild our economy and lift up our schools and reform health care systems and make sure our soldiers and veterans have everything they need — but we need Americans willing to mentor our eager young children, or care for the sick, or ease the strains of deployment on our military families.
Thats why this bill will expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 in less than a decade. (Applause.) And its not just for freshly minted college grads. As I said, my wife Michelle left her job at a law firm to be the founding director of an AmeriCorps program in Chicago that trains young people for careers in public service. And Michelle can tell you the transformation that occurred in her life as a consequence of being able to follow her passions, follow her dreams.
Programs like these are a force multiplier; they leverage small numbers of members into thousands of volunteers. And we will focus their service toward solving todays most pressing challenges: clean energy, energy efficiency, health care, education, economic opportunity, veterans and military families.
Well invest in ideas that help us meet our common challenges, no matter where those ideas come from. All across America, there are ideas that could benefit millions of Americans if only they were given a chance to take root and to grow — ideas like the one that Eric Adler and Raj Vinnakota had that led to this school and expanded its model to others.
Thats why this bill includes a new Social Innovation Fund that will bring nonprofits and foundations and faith-based organizations and the private sector to the table with government so that we can learn from one anothers success stories. Well invest in ideas that work, leverage private-sector dollars to encourage innovation, expand successful programs to scale and make them work in cities across America.
Because we must prepare our young Americans to grow into active citizens, this bill makes new investments in service learning. And weve increased the AmeriCorps education award and linked it to Pell Grant award levels, another step toward our goal of ensuring that every American receives an affordable college education. (Applause.)
Because millions of Americans are out of school and out of work, it creates an Energy Corps that will help people find useful work and gain skills in a growing industry of the future.
Because our boomers are the most highly educated generation in history, and our seniors live longer and more active lives than ever before, this bill offers new pathways to harness their talent and experience to serve others.
And because this historic expansion of the Corporation for National and Community Service requires someone with both bold vision and responsible management experience, I have chosen Mary* Eitel — wheres Mary*? There she is, stand up, Mary — as its new CEO. (Applause.) The founder and first president of the Nike Foundation, Maria is a smart and innovative thinker, and a leader who shares my belief in the power of service. And I also wanted to thank the acting CEO, Nicky Goren — wheres Nicky? — (applause) — for guiding the corporation through this transition.
A week from tomorrow marks the 100th day of my administration. In those next eight days, I ask every American to make an enduring commitment to serving your community and your country in whatever way you can. Visit whitehouse.gov to share your stories of service and success. And together, we will measure our progress not just in the number of hours served or volunteers mobilized, but in the impact our efforts have on the life of this nation.
Were getting started right away — this afternoon, Ill be joined by President Clinton and Michelle and Joe Biden and Dr. Biden to plant trees in a park not far from here. Its as simple as that. All thats required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. And that is, after all, the beauty of service. Anybody can do it. You dont need to be a community organizer, or a senator, or a Kennedy — (laughter) — or even a President to bring change to peoples lives.
When Ted Kennedy makes this point, he also tells a story as elegantly simple as it is profound. An old man walking along a beach at dawn saw a young man pick up a starfish and throwing them out to sea. “Why are you doing that?” the old man inquired.
The young man explained that the starfish had been stranded on the beach by a receding tide, and would soon die in the daytime sun. “But the beach goes on for miles,” the old man said. “And there are so many. How can your effort make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand, and without hesitating, threw it to safety in the sea. He looked up at the old man, smiled, and said: “It will make a difference to that one.” (Laughter.)
To Ted, thats more than just a story. For even in the midst of his epic fights on the floor of the Senate to enact sweeping change, hes made a quiet trek to a school not far from the Capitol, week after week, year after year, without cameras or fanfare, to sit down and read with one solitary child.
Ted Kennedy is that young man who will not rest until weve made a difference in the life of every American. He walks down that beach and he keeps on picking up starfish, tossing them into the sea. And as I sign this legislation, I want all Americans to take up that spirit of the man for whom this bill is named; of a President who sent us to the moon; of a dreamer who always asked “Why not?” — of a younger generation that carries the torch of a single family that has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless families.
We need your service right now, at this moment in history. Im not going to tell you what your role should be; thats for you to discover. But Im asking you to stand up and play your part. Im asking you to help change historys course, put your shoulder up against the wheel. And if I — if you do, I promise you your life will be richer, our country will be stronger, and someday, years from now, you may remember it as the moment when your own story and the American story converged, when they came together, and we met the challenges of our new century.
Thank you very much, everybody. Im going to sign this bill. (Applause.)
(The bill is signed.) (Applause.)
4:14 P.M. EDT
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