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Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has sponsored a $500,000 earmark for Minnesota Teen Challenge. MNTC is a ministry of the Assemblies of God. MNTC believes that Halloween, Harry Potter and Pokemon are gateways to drug addiction. MNTC has fostered close ties with many politicians, mostly  Republicans such as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty (Tim Pawlenty's wife was a MNTC board member ).Minnesota Teen Challenge is also tangled up in the investigation into the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme alleged to have been operated by businessman Tom Petters and associates. One of those associates, Frank Vennes Jr. is a former board member of MNTC and Tom Petters was a major booster of MNTC.

Watch video clips about Teen Challenge that will make you wonder why Senator Klobuchar would support MNTC.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Andy Birkey has an excellent commentary at Minnesota Independent about Amy Klobuchar's $500,000 earmark for Michele Bachmann's favorite charity  MN Teen Challenge.

If you accept taxpayer money, you have to accept that you’re going to receive public scrutiny.

That simple point seems to be eluding Minnesota Teen Challenge (MNTC), the faith-based drug treatment program which secured a federal earmark in early 2008 arranged by Rep. Jim Ramstad, for its “Know the Truth” program which aims to prevent drug use. According to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Web site, the senator is requesting (PDF) an additional $500,000 this year — a sum that would more than double the program’s budget. MNTC is becoming ever more dependent on public money. Operating close to the border of church and state, the group’s members are unrealistic if they think their work is not going to get attention.

Maia Szalavitz has tow excellent  Huffpo articles on Teen Challenge "Obama Drug Czar Pick Tied to Christian Rehab Linked to Contributor Charged with $ 3.5 Billion Fraud " and "Lies, Damn Lies and Drug Statistics: Treatment Version".

DKos diarist Dogemperor's series  on Teen Challenge.

MNTC "Official Endorsements" include Michele Bachmann, Norm Coleman, Tim Pawlenty and George Bush.

Teen Challenge promotes the "pray away the gay" Exodus ministry.

MNTC Director Rich Scherber said the "Holy Spirit" protected Teen Challenge members from the 35W Bridge Collapse.

Norm Coleman & Michele Bachmann, wrote pardon letters on behalf of former MNTC board member Frank Vennes Jr (associate of accused Ponzi fraudster Tom Petters). Vennes has not been indicted... but, that didn't stop Bachmann from thowing Vennes under the bus when she rescinded her pardon request and gave the campaign donations she recieved from Vennes to MNTC..

Vennes has a previous conviction formoney laundering, drug and gun trafficking.



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Originally posted to A Blog on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:38 AM PST.

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