LAW OFFICE 0F DANIEL J. RYLANDER
4400 EAST BROADWAY -- SUITE 801
TUCSON, ARIZONA 85711
Office Phone: 520 327 7113
Facsimile: 520 327 3414
December 19, 1997
Tucson City Attorney
255 West Alameda
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Pima County Attorney
32 N. Stone Suite 144
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
- 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
- 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.
DANIEL J. RYLANDER
cc: Board of Supervisors
Exhibits - Table of Contents
Local/Regional News Reports
- "Job Program should get fair review.'Tucson Citizen Editorial 12/11/97
- PCIC Articles of Incorporation - Mission statement indicates they are a Political Action Committee (PAC)
- "Group (PCIC) crosses the line with political efforts.'Tucson Citizen Editorial 3/31/97
- "Interfaith Council uses jobs for political gain.'Tucson Citizen Editorial 9/18/97
- School Plus Jobs Contract- forces job training recipients to attend PCIC political and interfaith meetings.
- 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.
- IRS to Church in Interfaith Movement regarding possible loss of tax exempt status. World Herald Newspaper -Omaha, Nebraska
- Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995- required of all 501(C)(4) that lobby or conduct political activities - PCIC is out of compliance.
- IRS Probes- Associate Press 2/10/97
- Letter to City/County Attorney'sregarding PCIC's takeover of School Plus Jobs Program at Sunnyside and Desert View High Schools
- The Hatch Act Document - prohibits use of taxpayers funds and facilities for political purposes.
- "Faith Group called out of line on Jobs Program " Tucson Citizen Editorial 5/5/97
- "Churches must set up for the poor" - Churches who speak of social concerns must put their words into action offering their
budgets, facilities, pension funds, etc." Arizona Daily Star article 4/10/97
- Frank Pearson's background - Arizona Daily Star article 10/30/97 "big time loser stock market,"
"must end hiatus from work."
- Who was Alinsky? - 11 rules and tactics - Diagram of PCIC/movement
- "Rules for Radicals" links the interfaith movement to a very controversial past. Catholic Family News March 1997
- City views putting workers on Job Path "Tucson Citizen, Dec. 8,1997
- "City Stalls funding for PCIC's Job Path " Tucson Citizen , Dec. 9, 1997
- "Council wants more facts on job training project" Arizona Daily Star, Dec.9, 1997
- "County funds won't cover Job Path plan " Tucson Citizen , Dec. 1997
- "God and Country" - Tucson Weekly 1997
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).