Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention administrator J. Robert Flores didn’t look very comfortable in the spotlight on ABC’s Nightline last night. Which is understandable, considering investigative correspondent Brian Ross tracked him down on the sidewalk, after Flores denied several interview requests, and put a microphone in Flores’s face, asking him why he saw fit to award a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation, a nonprofit with ties to the Bush family, which scored so much lower than so many other grant applicants. And why, Ross wanted to know, did Flores give more than $1 million to a faith-based abstinence-only social group headed by the wife of right-wing poobah Bill Bennett, but deny all funding to higher-rated secular programs for at-risk teens that include condom distribution?
It was a short piece–available in streaming video here–but full of punch and testimony from OJJDP whistleblowers, set to run a day before Congressman Henry Waxman takes up a hearing on the Oversight Committee to discuss OJJDP grantmaking. The hearing has been pushed back a week–which should give mainstream media some time to play catch-up on this important story. And it should give Flores some time to get his story straight; I don’t expect Waxman will allow him to go catatonic like he did on Ross.