Wednesday, December 11, 2013

COP 24/7 Does a Double Take

Condoms A Go-Go
The Great Condom Caper 2.0

Amazing as it seems, this forum often finds itself in a "didn't we cover that" mindset and then on to a "deja vu "attitude when it seems that matters just get blown out of proportion than necessary. Case in point is the fact that local community based organization, The Living Affected Corporation was
subjected to a hastily arranged "internal audit" to determine if the agency was negligent in its fiduciary duties concerning possibly using "state" dollars to purchase condoms. Condoms you say? Yes by golly condoms!

This forum began to wonder what's all the brouhaha about and started trolling around the Internet as well as our internal archives as to any news about such matters.

Low and behold, COP 24/7 as usual was Johnny on the spot in 2012 with a post about the rubbery subject entitled "Local Condom Nation Steps Off." And get this, we got pictures!! Check out the pictures throughout this post from our coverage of the event.

If you thought that this tale was going to be simple, well think again. Recently the local community development agency and multi year ADH grantee was at the center of a misunderstood ACA presentation that was twisted and contorted into a slight smear shank that was forwarded to numerous online outlets that had their way with a snippet of the recorded presentation.

Of course as promoters of that video excerpt did their best to damage the organizations reputation, there was a pile on affect that sling shot and boomeranged to points unknown. Including pinging across figure heads to low level adjudicators who went scurrying about as if there was mass misuse of public funds to purchase the notorious condoms.

Nobody worried about lighting the State Capitol this year for $50,000 or painting buildings on the U of A campus for a mere $150,000. But buying condoms, there needs to be an investigation or and audit damn it!

What's more surprising in this is the fact that according to our very own 10/22/12  post we cited that Governor Beebe's spokesperson Matt De Cample stated in 2011, " the governor feels that disturbing condoms in bars is not a proper use of taxpayer dollars and that the practice should not be apart of
future outreach efforts."

So if this was an edict then, why would their be a need for a "internal audit" of an organization that was fully aware that state dollars couldn't be used to do so. And more importantly had apparently not done so in this funding cycle.

And if you think that is curious, then there's the statement from" then" ADH spokesperson Ed Barham who commented on the situation stating, "..we are asking grantees to look for other sources of funding for this part of their outreach."

Are you getting this? All grantees were told that they should seek other sources to acquire those pesky but possibly life saving condoms. Ladies and Gentle it doesn't stop there! Enter Condom Nation under the direction of Mr. James Vellequette and staff whom rolled into the Little Rock area on May 12, 2012 with none other than a semi-truck filled with "FREE" condoms for the taking as an answer to the condom conundrum.

Receiving an initial donation of 12,000 was community based organization The Living Affected Corporation which needed the product to support its condom distribution efforts with arrangements to receive additional future drops. Ultimately a goal was set culminating in grossing 1 Million condoms for distribution around the state. Did we say FREE?

Sponsored by the AIDS Health Care Foundation, all of these prophylactics were donated and shipped FREE of charge to recipients.

"Condom Nation is a serious, yet somewhat whimsical and creative effort by AIDS Healthcare Foundation to help promote increased condom use and to help make condoms more accessible and affordable,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“Condoms are an essential part of preventing HIV and STDs. Not only are they extremely effective at preventing transmission, they are cheaper and easier to use than many other prevention tools. Our hope is that Condom Nation raises awareness and sparks conversations along the way—both on the coasts and in the heartland—about the importance condoms and the crucial role they play in disease prevention and safer sex.” Currently, there are approximately 48,000 new HIV infections and 19 million new STD infections every year in the United States.

Also in the condom mix was the Arkansas Department of Health which received upwards of 52,000 condoms largely due to the fact that the agency allegedly had no funding that was allowed to purchase the product even though infections persist in the state.

Not to mention that in 2012 they had HIV prevention intervention programming that promoted...wait for it...Condom usage! So what exactly did this "audit" uncover is yet to be determined but one thing that we do know is "you just can't make this stuff up!" Just saying...stay locked and loaded, because there's more hot mess crazy that you, you and yes you too should know about.


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