Newsmakers

On the Move

Where are they now? Former President Clinton, looking for a new office, has bumped New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services from its Harlem office suite. But ACS will remain in the same building, giving the city’s 31,000 youth in foster care a chance to make elevator talk with the 53-year old Clinton. Unlike 18-year olds leaving foster care, Clinton will have his own furniture.

Al Gore, the family man, plans to make a living from boring talk. He’ll teach at four universities. At UCLA, he’ll advise (without pay) the National Academic Consortium at the Institute for Children, Families and Communities on developing a curriculum on “family-centered community building,”  whatever that is. Gore and wife Tipper Gore will co-author a book on American families.

Some just retired members of Congress have new ties to youth. Former Education and the Workplace Chairman Bill Goodling (R-Pa.), also a former high school principal, miraculously passed the written exam to land the job of running the Bill Goodling Literacy Institute at Penn State. Dr. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has joined the board of the D.C.-based Family Research Council. While most former members of Congress scout “K Street” for six-figure rainmaker lobbying jobs, Mark Stanford (R-S.C.) is serving a one-year term as the unpaid president of the Coastal Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America based in Charleston, S.C.

Former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson and veteran U.S. News & World Report reporter Ted Gest are the unlikely duo establishing yet another Washington listening post for a university-based public policy think tank. In this case, it’s the Fels Center of Government.  Both now work for Larry Sherman at the Fels Center’s new Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, which is “dedicated to producing significant discoveries about the causes and prevention of crime.” Sherman is best known for a congressionally mandated 1997 study, “Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising,” which candidly laid out what works and what doesn’t in cost-effectively reducing crime and delinquency. Of course, Congress (described by Mark Twain as “America’s only native born criminal class”) incorporated little of Sherman’s recommendations – including financing better program evaluations –  into its budget priorities. Most federal grantmaking anti-crime programs from 1993 to 2000 flowed, on paper at least, through Robinson’s shop, the Office of Justice Programs. OJP’s appropriation rose from $400 million to $4 billion per year during the Clinton era.

During Gest’s 23 years at U.S. News, he became the swami of national crime policy reporters and thoroughly conversant in the public pieties and private follies that have crowded the history of nationally funded crime fighting ever since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Crime Commission report of 1967. Gest’s book, “Crime and Politics: Big Government’s Erratic Campaign for Law and Order,” will be published this spring. Gest is also president of the 150-member Criminal Justice Journalists, a trade group that will also be housed at Penn’s new D.C. office. Contact: (202) 296-8887; www.upenn.edu/Fels.

For Andrea Kane, life as the part-time director of public policy at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (NCPTP) began with the birth of the Bush II administration. Since 1997, she served on the staff of Clinton’s White House Domestic Policy Council responsible for such issues as teen pregnancy and responsible fatherhood. Prior to her White House stint she was welfare program director at the National Governor’s Association. She’ll also work part time at the Brookings Institution for the NCPTP president Isabel Sawhill’s “Welfare Reform & Beyond” initiative aimed at improving national welfare policy when current welfare laws are up for reauthorization sometime before October 2002. The non-partisan NCPTP began in 1996 and aims to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by one-third by 2005. The group, directed by Sarah Brown, has 21 staff and a budget of $2.7 million.  Contact: (202) 478-8500, www.teenpregnancy.org.

The new Bush-Thompson lineup in the executive branch will assuredly bring a boost in funding in “abstinence only” programs. Shepherd Smith, president of the Institute for Youth Development and an advisor to senior Bush administration appointees, predicts that based on Bush’s campaign promises,  funding for wait-until-marriage sex ed programs will quickly reach “parity” with comprehensive sex education. That would boost abstinence-only funding by $50 million to about $135 million annually.

Among the NCPTP’s Republican (and presumably abstinence-only friendly) board members are former New Jersey governor and Carnegie Corp. foundation chair Tom Kean, who is chair of the 24-member board, former Kansas senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Linda Chavez, Bush’s erstwhile nominee as secretary of labor, and U.S. News and World Report Editor David Gergen.

The NCPTP expects to release a study in April on which programs work best

to reduce youth pregnancies, by its Effective Programs and Research Task Force, chaired by ETR Associates Senior Research Scientist Doug Kirby. Spring, it seems, will be pregnant with political conflicts as Congress considers HHS’s budget for FY ’02.

The Maryland State Advisory Board to the beleaguered Department of Juvenile Justice, which among other responsibilities awards formula grant funds from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), has a new chairman, Shay Bilchik. The former Dade County, Fla., prosecutor ran OJJDP for seven years before becoming executive director of the Child Welfare League of America a year ago. Announcing the appointment was Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D) who, after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, sought the OJJDP job that ultimately went to Bilchik. With scandals involving rampant abuse at a state-run juvenile boot camp and another centered on a chronic parole violator who killed a state trooper, Townsend’s reputation as an astute, anti-crime and delinquency policy maker is in tatters. Now, preparing to run for governor, she’ll need all the help from Bilchik she can get.

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