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Whitburn criticizes Roberts’ vote on Life Perspectives grant

September 8, 2010 - 1:06 pm

Stephen Whitburn, the Democrat who is challenging incumbent Republican Ron Roberts for his San Diego County Supervisor’s seat, held a rally-like thing this morning at the county building.

It was the usual rah-rah sort of press conference event, poorly attended by the media and fairly vague on details. Whitburn’s gearing up for round two and plans to hammer Roberts on issues ranging from the lack of a county fire department to Roberts’ use of discretionary grant money to curry favor.

After the show, we asked Whitburn about a specific discretionary grant sponsored by County Supervisor Bill Horn, but approved by Roberts and the rest of the Board of Supervisors. Following a CityBeat investigation of a grant to Life Perspectives, a group that produces Christian educational materials, the county decided to cancel the payment. However, the group has already received $60,000 since 2008  to fund those same activities.  We wonder what should and can be done about those grants.

Whitburn’s response:

That money should have never gone to that group to begin with. All five of our of supervisors, including the supervisor I’m challenging, voted to give that group that money and that was wrong. It may involve a legal process to settle the disposition of that money…Our supervisor was asleep at the wheel when that vote came up and as a supervisor I will pay attention to every dollar that our board approves.

To be fair, Supervisors were only told that the grant would support an event called “Life Walk.” On its application,  Life Perspectives omitted any reference to its religious activity in its grant application. Here’s how it described itself:

Funds raised through Life Walk are used to underwrite educational programs that empower students to make healthy choices. Educational material and curriculum developed by Life Perspectives equips students with critical thinking, goal-setting and decision making skills.

But we wish Whitburn luck with his plan; this year alone there were 33 pages worth of grants to pick through.

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