"The views espoused by Free2Be, nor the extension of a grant to the program, do not represent Governor Ivey's personal views and simply represent a requirement and demand from the federal government", the statement concludes".
The issue? Where some grant money from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs ended up. The $800,000 Dawson is referring to was awarded to Free2Be, a nonprofit that recently closed its doors.
Free2Be also had a Safe office in Birmingham that offers counseling, referral and case management services. "Additionally, Alabama was notified that grants must be extended to organizations which seek to provide victim services to the LGBTQ population". She responded by distancing herself from Free2Be. She laughed and said, "Do I look upset?" The governor went on, "He's all over the board, he's not getting any traction, he's low in the polls, he's three weeks away from the election", she said shaking her head.
Dawson also called for an investigation by the Alabama Attorney General's office and a full accounting of all Alabama grants.
"No child should ever be bullied". He said his problem is in the use of state taxpayer funds and that if those funds were given to a ministry it would have had a lot of conditions attached to it.
Patricia Todd Twitter
Ivey's campaign emphatically denied Todd's Facebook message.
WAAY 31 dug deeper into the funding and confirmed with an ADECA spokesperson Tuesday that Free2Be has received almost $1.7 million from multiple grants since 2014. As a result of recent actions by the organization, Free2Be is now being investigated and audited by ADECA. In March of this year, ADECA began planning an on-site compliance monitoring visit to the Huntsville office of Free2Be.
The closing of Huntsville-based Free2Be's offices across Alabama raised questions Monday and it became an issue in the governor's race Tuesday. During the desk review process that precedes routine monitoring, it was discovered that the organization has an outstanding federal debt with the IRS for payroll taxes.
ADECA was to conduct a monitoring and financial audit on May 21.
"I believe in the Republican Party, what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justices, other appointments the Senate has to confirm and make major decisions", she claimed.