From Ken Avidor's story in Dump Michele Bachmann.
Two articles today about Congressman Jim Ramstad's earmark for Michele Bachmann's favorite charity Teen Challenge.
Maia Szalavitz at the Huffington Post and another by Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent.
Karl Bremer left this comment on MnIndy:Teen Challenge is also heavily wrapped up in the Tom Petters financial fraud scandal. The common link between the two is Frank Vennes, a convicted money launderer and former Teen Challenge board member who allegedly steered loads of Teen Challenge investments to Petters’ companies. Michele Bachmann and Norm Coleman wrote letters of recommendation for a presidential pardon for Vennes, who has not yet been charged in the Petters affair. Ramstad’s relationship to Teen Challenge should clearly be a part of any investigation of his qualifications for “drug czar.”
For 13 years, Tom Petters ran what is very likely the biggest individual Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Some people have marveled about how long Petters ran the racket and how much he raked in. It begs the question; did Petters get any help from people in high places? Petters, Vennes and their associates and family gave a lot of money to politicians and political parties.
This is an ongoing Federal investigation and I won't comment publicly about any individual's guilt or innocence... but, I'll say this; when the shoes start dropping... and that may happen soon, public officials like Jim Ramstad, Michele Bachmann, Norm Coleman, Amy Klobuchar and others are going to have some explaining to do.
Commenters weigh in on Andy Birkey's story:
Comment posted December 9, 2008 @ 4:36 PM
Lots of reckless reporting and innuendo here. Teen Challenge is an incredibly successful faith-based program that saves peoples lives from addiction.
Teen Challenge also promotes Exodus - an ex-gay ministry.
Minnesota Teen Challenge has several locations in Minneapolis. Teen challenge is notorious for being abusive to their clients:
For some first hand accouts go to here and here.
Teen Challenge believes Halloween and Harry Potter is a gateway to drug abuse.
Finally check out the Teen Challenge "Men at War" God Tube video.
Teen Challenge is NOT successful. They manipulate their success rates by booting out unsuccessful clients.
They should NOT get ANY public funding. People should contact Amy Klobuchar about this. In the past she has been part of a Teen Challenge fundraiser. People should also write Obama's transition team with their concerns.