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Supervisors kill grant for Life Perspectives

September 14, 2010 - 1:23 pm

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today rejected Supervisor Bill Horn’s attempt to revive a $20,000 grant to Life Perspectives, a pro-life group that had initially wanted to use the money for its annual Life Walk fundraiser.

Last week, the county cancelled the grant after CityBeat reported that the fundraiser paid for scripture-based educational materials for private Christian schools.  In response, Horn attempted to change the purpose of the grant so that it would instead pay for a “Group Leader Guide” to go with a book about abortion.  Since 2008, the group has collected $60,000 in funds for its Life Walk fundraisers, which are still being evaluated by county counsel.

None of the other members of the board seconded Horn’s motion and the grant died.  Prior to the vote, Supervisor Greg Cox’s office said grant money should not be used for ideological purposes.  Supervisor Dianne Jacobs said that she could not support it while the group was still under investigation.

Four members of the public spoke against the bill during the public comment, prompting board chair Supervisor Pam Slater-Price to point out that it might be the only time the public has done so regarding an individual Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant.  Horn said the attack was politically motivated and identified the public speakers as his former election opponent (Patsy Fritz),  a current opponent staffer (Cody Campbell of the Steve Gronke campaign) and Stephen Whitburn, who is challenging Supervisor Ron Roberts.  The fourth was local activist Ian Trowbridge.

“Life Perspectives is not a religious organizations and it is neither a faith-based organization,” Horn said (despite reporting to the contrary). “It doesn’t promote religion.  It promotes mental health for women who have problems with post-abortion issues. This board has funded several fundraisers for many community organizations and we have never asked how the funds raised are going to be used.”

That last part may be why Supervisors Dianne Jacobs and Greg Cox have introduced a new policy barring fundraisers from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.

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