Opposition and Boycott


Office Phone: 520 327 7113
Facsimile: 520 327 3414

December 19, 1997

Thomas Berning
Tucson City Attorney
255 West Alameda
Tucson,  Arizona 85701

Barbara LaWall
Pima County Attorney
32 N. Stone Suite  144
Tucson,Arizona 85701

Grant Woods
Attorney General/ Civil Rights Division
400 W. Congress  Suite 115
Tucson, Az.. 85701

Re: Pima County Interfaith Council Job Path Program Funding Request  /Request for inquiry into PCIC track record and motivation

Dear Madam and Sirs:

I represent a diverse group of Pima County taxpayers, the poor, as well as  social service organizations who serve the job training needs of the rural and  urban disadvantaged work force, as well as Native American and Farm worker  groups. The group I represent, Citizens for Separation of Church and State Inc.,  are questioning recent events involving the funding of and potential further  funding of the Pima County Interfaith Council's Job Path and School Plus Jobs  Program using City of Tucson and County of Pima taxpayer funds. Further, we  question whether the funding of a program with a controversial political agenda  operating under the guise of an interfaith and nondenominational religious group  is proper.

It has been widely reported by the press and by advocates of the poor that  the Pima County Interfaith Council is promoting its interfaith agenda through  the vehicle of the Job Path and School Plus Jobs programs at the expense of the  taxpayer. In this regard, please see exhibit #1.

As an organization, our members have identified many issues concerning PCIC's  agenda and PCIC's ability to deliver on the promises made to both the Pima  County Board of Supervisors and the City Council concerning these Programs.  These concerns must be addressed. The concerns are:

  • Were the Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of the Pima  County Interfaith Council, amended in November of 1992, reviewed in regard to  PCICs' controversial mission prior to any funding decisions which were made or  contemplated by both the Board of Supervisors and the City Council? In this  regard, please see exhibit #2, The  Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of the Pima County  Inter-faith Council indicates the exclusive reason for the existence of the Pima  County Interfaith Council. Job training is not part of that mission. The mission  of Pima County Interfaith Council is that of a Political Action Committee (PAC).
  • What review and comment, if any, was made prior to any funding decision?
  • Were any requests for proposal regarding the Job Path program issued prior  to the granting of the $85,000 money funds by the Pima County Board of  Supervisors? If so, were job training programs, already established with a  proven track record in Pima County, given an opportunity to compete on a level  playing field for these funds?
  • Where any background checks performed concerning the ability of the Pima  County Interfaith Council to track the use of funds, such as a review of  accounting systems, management of monies, and reporting capabilities back to the  funding source? With regard to such background checking, were resumes of  qualified training staff presented and evaluated, including those working for  agencies whom will, in turn, handle the funds as directed by PCIC?
  • The primary purpose of the organization I represent, Citizens for Separation  of Church and State, Inc., is to insure that an organization such as the Pima  County Interfaith Council operates in a truly non-denominational and  non-political way. Has the issue of the separation of church and state as it  impacts the formation and background membership of the Pima County Interfaith  Council been addressed? In this regard, see exhibit #3.
  • County Supervisor Mike Boyd has previously raised this issue with regard to  the $85,000.00funding or seed money granted from the County to Pima  County Interfaith Council, but to the knowledge of my clients those concerns  have not been addressed, and clearly did not impact the decision to fund Pima  County Interfaith Council with seedmoney.
  • It is the understanding of my clients that Pima County Interfaith Council  claims that it has job commitments from businesses that will place individuals  at the rate of $8 an hour. Were these job placement offers put in writing so  that they may be reviewed?
  • Have the concerns raised by the Tucson Citizen's Editorial written by Mark  Kimble, dated September 8,1997, "Interfaith Council uses jobs for political  gain" (see exhibit  #4) been addressed?"
  • What impact will funding the Pima County Interfaith Council's Job Path  program have on other existing job training programs such as Hughes Aircraft's  Program or the United Way QFD Plan?
  • At present, the framework in Tucson and the greater Pima County area is for  the Pima County Private Industry Council to handle job training programs which  are funded by the county. Accordingly, will the Pima County Private  Industry Council and its' experienced job training staff have input into the  PCIC's utilization of the $85,000.00 seed money?
  • To my clients knowledge, the county has never in the past given an  $85,000.00 grant to an organization just to see if that program worked as was  suggested by a Pima County Supervisor. This grant was given to an unproven  program. One of the organizations which is a member of Citizens for Separation  of Church and State, Inc. has a proven job training program with more than two  decades of experience and has been recognized as a national model bythe  U.S.Department of Labor and by the U.S. Congressional Record. Can this  member of Citizens for Separation of Church and State, Inc. pick up a check from  the County as well, and when?
  • It is our understanding that Pima County Interfaith Council has as a part of  its membership, a considerable number of houses of worship. Have these houses of  worship such as the Diocese of Tucson which Pima County Interfaith Council  claims is a member and for which it claims to speak, been solicited for a cash  match, since these houses of worship may have the means to make such a cash  match?
  • Doesgiving an unsolicited grant ofthe magnitude of  $85,000.00, with an addition of $700,000.00 in the pipeline if "the  program worked",where no open competition and procurement procedures were  followed, violate city and county procurement procedures currently in place?
  • While there may be a precedent for the county or the city providing loans,  which require payback, for the training of poor and disadvantaged, does the  county or city understand that such training of the poor and disadvantaged for  work positions may include community service, including attending political  rallies which are required by contracts being used by Pima County Interfaith  Council in connection with its School Plus Jobs program? As an example, see exhibit #5,  "SunnySide and Desert View School Plus Jobs parent involvement contract", which  indicates that parental involvement includes an absolute requirement that they  participate in meetings (link to Pima County  Community Services Department response), act and react to program issues,  and that they recruit other parents? It is my client's concern that such a  contract, obtained from parents using the leverage of alleged job training and  placement for their children, manipulates the poor and disadvantaged, creates a  time commitment they can ill-afford, and convert them into willing storm  troopers for Pima County Interfaith Council's political agenda.
  • How is this cash performance grant from the County of $85,000.00to  be repaid? Will these funds be used for work for the Job Path program or will  they be recycled for the political agenda? By way of example, the PCIC calender  for the months of April through November of 1998, (see exhibit #6)  indicates that its members are to sign up and "take charge" of the 1998  elections.
  • Has the Pima County Interfaith Council's Job Path plan been carefully  evaluated and compared with other proven job training plans and is it cost  effective, or does it duplicate efforts already performed by other qualified  programs?
  • The information obtained by my clients indicates that Pima County Interfaith  Council uses the El Pueblo and Kino Veterans Memorial Center located on Ajo Way  for staging political rallies, which members are forced to attend, pursuant to  contracts similar to Desert View High Schools School Plus Job parent involvement  contract previously referenced, to appear and be given instructions by their  leaders. Does Pima County and/or the City of Tucson have regulations or statutes  that prohibit the use of taxpayer funds of facilities for religious and  political purposes such as those just outlined?
  • Has the Internal Revenue Service been contacted to validate the non-profit  status of the Pima County Interfaith Council? My clients have information that  an Interfaithorganization in Omaha, Nebraska put together by the same  outside organizers County Interfaith Council are presently having their  not-for-profit status questioned by the IRS in that state. In this regard, see exhibit # 7
  • Has Pima County Interfaith Council signed the attached lobbying disclosure  document as required of a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt corporation which engages in  lobbying activity? In this regard, see exhibits #8 and refer  back to PCIC calendar (exhibit #6).
  • Does the Pima County Interfaith Councils' political and religious agenda as  indicated by its membership and by the amendment to its' Articles of  Incorporation, and its receipt of public support monies, jeopardize the tax  exempt status of its member churches? If it does, does such a grant call into  question whether or not the city and/or county might be liable as a party to  these activities? In this regard, see the attached article regarding the IRS  investigation of the out-of-state group. (exhibit #9)
  • Has the audit performed on Pima County Interfaith council for the past three  years been reviewed by City or County personnel?
  • How will the County and if money is awarded, the city, verify the  performance of the Job Path project? Will the Job Path program be held to a  performance standard, be required to explain and discuss its results and  expenditures, and account for money spent through rigid accounting procedures  which other job training grantee organizations are required to adhere to by any  other lending source?
  • Will the Pima County Interfaith Council be required to reimburse the  county,and if funded, the City, if is fails to meet its job training  commitments?
  • Will the School Plus Jobs program currently being run by PCIC have  measurable objectives and be closely monitored, and by whom? Readers should  remember that while this program was administered by Tucson Youth Development it  was highly regarded and considered 'a model program. Will this past performance  be the standard for the future performance of the School Plus Jobs program?
  • My clients have information indicating that the School Plus Jobs program is  only available to Pima County Interfaith Council recruits who are required to  sign contracts. Isit proper for the city to fund a program whose sole  purpose is to benefit those individuals who essentially are recruited to assist  Pima County Interfaith Council and its political agenda?
  • What are the sources of the public funds the County and, if funded, the City  using to fund that Pima County Interfaith Council's request? Are these funds  required to be issued in a competitive application and/or bid process? If so,  was such a process followed during the initial grant of the $85,000.00 to Pima  County Interfaith Council?
  • What action has been taken to answer the past written complaints made to the  offices of the city and county attorneys (exhibit #10)  regarding Pima County Interfaith Council's use of the School Plus Job programs  at SunnySide, Desert View, and Amphi High Schools, to forward their political  agenda by forcing participants to sign contracts which require them to attend  political meetings? In this regard, please see exhibit 5, the  SunnySide and Desert View School Plus Jobs parent involvement contract, as well  as exhibit #6, a  copy of the Pima County Interfaith Council's calender as of November 13, 1997  and exhibit #1,  the Tucson Citizen Editorial of December 11, 1997,

Additional material regarding PCIC is attached. I urge the reader to  carefully review that material.

My clients clearly understand that the County has decided that it needs to  assist private non-profit organizations in the job creation process. We are  undergoing a crisis of education and job training in this country. The job  market continues to expand but the education level and work training of the work  force are lagging. In this environment it is clear that government training and  placement programs are necessary. However, the above questions and concerns of  my clients include accountability and reporting requirements and standards which  have been placed on all other providers of job training, education, and  placement services who are functioning in the Pima County area and indeed all  over Arizona. Many of those organizations are members of my client. Such  safeguards insure that the funding organizations in fact produce on the monies  they are given. It would be a tragic mistake if the county and the city set  aside those safeguards of trust - in place in order to placate a vocal minority  with no proven job training experience.

My clients anticipate a response from your staff regarding this questions and  issues before any further taxpayer funds are expended on this ill-conceived  plan. lf my clients do not receive satisfactory responses, my client may be  forced to explore other options.

Respectfully Yours,


cc: Board of Supervisors
City Council

Exhibits - Table of Contents
Local/Regional News  Reports

  1. "Job  Program should get fair review.'Tucson Citizen Editorial  12/11/97
  2. PCIC  Articles of Incorporation - Mission statement indicates they are a  Political Action Committee (PAC)
  3. "Group (PCIC)  crosses the line with political efforts.'Tucson Citizen  Editorial 3/31/97
  4. "Interfaith  Council uses jobs for political gain.'Tucson Citizen  Editorial 9/18/97
  5. School  Plus Jobs Contract- forces job training recipients to attend PCIC  political and interfaith meetings.
  6. PCIC  1997-1998 calendar which includes PCIC' participants from  April to November "to take charge of 1998 elections." This disqualifies them  from receiving public funds during that period.
  7. IRS to  Church in Interfaith Movement regarding possible loss of tax exempt  status. World Herald Newspaper -Omaha, Nebraska
  8. Lobbying  Disclosure Act of 1995- required of all 501(C)(4) that lobby or  conduct political activities - PCIC is out of compliance.
  9. IRS  Probes- Associate Press 2/10/97
  10. Letter to  City/County Attorney'sregarding PCIC's takeover of School Plus Jobs  Program at Sunnyside and Desert View High Schools

Additional Exhibits

News Reports from Religious Press:

  • The Wanderer Newspaper - Oldest Catholic Periodical in the U.S.
  • Cardinal Joseph  Ratzinger of the Vatican and Father Vincent Miceli - raise concerns  regarding the interfaith "Theology of Liberation" which is a  mixture of Marxism and Christianity, ElMonitor Hispano Newspaper  editorial
  • "Rules for  Radicals" - written by the interfaith movements founder Sal Alinsky,  which dedicates his book to "Lucifer the first radical"
  • Scripture - Matthew 6:24(quote) "No one can serve two masters,  you cannot serve God and GovernmentMoney"
  • Parable: Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!
  • Analogy-. PCIC's job training background is like flying with a pilot with  no experience.

Hispanic Press - Selected editorials and investigative  reporting on PCIC (some 12 editorials this year).