WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has approved a $622,000 grant for a group with ties to Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, which sought the funds to balance federal grants to feminist groups, People for the American Way said today.
American Way, a 250,000-member liberal lobbying group, asked for a congressional investigation of the two-year, $622,905 grant awarded to the Task Force on Families in Crisis.
Although the Justice Department denied there is any legal connection between the Eagle Forum, a prominent right-wing, anti-feminist group, the application shows that the Task Force's board of directors and staff are dominated by Eagle Forum officials. Task Force President Tottie Ellis also is vice president of the Eagle Forum.
In addition, the documents show that Schlafly met with Justice Department officials to lobby for the grant.
Neither Schlafly nor Ellis was available for comment.
In its application, the Task Force pledged to create an ambitious grass-roots program of volunteers to combat family violence. But it also acknowledged in a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Victims of Crime, "The only reason we made the (grant) application in the first place was because we believe the government has an obligation to balance the tremendous amounts of government money already given to feminist groups who pursue their own agenda at taxpayers' expense."