By Scott Tibbs, December 17, 2012
County Government's social services fund met on December 13 to hear presentations from community groups seeking a portion of the money the county council would be distributing to social service agencies. As is usually the case, more money has been requested than is available to spend, so the money needs to be spent wisely. This means no money should be given to Planned Parenthood.
Perhaps the most unusual request was submitted by the Bloomington Fire Department. The BFD is requesting about $20,000 to purchase batteries for equipment. The batteries are a decade old and are not holding a charge for the length of time needed, so the fire department is looking to replace them. This leads to one very obvious question.
Why is this not being funded by city government?
This is strange. Surely, the need for this equipment was known this past summer, when the city budget was being considered. Why did the Bloomington City Council and Mayor Mark Kruzan not prioritize the purchase of equipment needed for one of the two most important functions of city government - police and fire protection? Are the citizens of Bloomington to believe that the city council and the mayor could not find $20,000 to purchase needed equipment? Why is the fire department forced to go to the county council and grovel for money to pay for equipment?
These are very serious questions that need to be answered.
The main reason I was there was because Planned Parenthood is applying again. PP was not invited to present in 2011 and was not given funding by the city's social services fund this past summer, which is good news. PP is undeterred by these rejections and is requesting another $5128 for "preventive health services" including cancer and STD screenings as well as birth control.
Without even getting into the moral issues surrounding Planned Parenthood (the biggest one being the fact that they murder hundreds of babies every year on South College Avenue) it makes absolutely no financial sense to fund PP because they do not need the money. According to their own fiscal report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana took in over $900,000 more than they spent in their 2011 fiscal year. PPIN does not need $5,000 from county government, especially when many other organizations genuinely need the money.
So why are they asking for another handout? I have answered this question before, and the answer is always the same: They are seeking a political endorsement from county government. The fact that there are other organizations that do not have the backing of a state and national organization and legitimately operate on a shoestring budget does not concern Planned Parenthood. They want to be vindicated by having the county council take a public vote on funding them, and they want to "stick it" to pro-life taxpayers who object to funding an abortion clinic.
This is simply shameful. This is a show of extreme disrespect to the county council, to the taxpayers and to the other social service organizations. In a sane world, PP would not even have been invited to make a presentation to the social services funding committee. Their application should have been automatically rejected and they should have been told not to bother applying in the future.
If it were up to me, both the city and county social services funds would be abolished and the people of Bloomington and Monroe County would decide for ourselves which charities we will support, instead of having that choice made for us by city government. But if there is going to be a social services fund, it should be spent in a responsible way. Giving money to an organization that is only seeking a political endorsement is irresponsible, as well as disrespectful to both the taxpayers and to the organizations that were denied funding.