Here's a heads-up for folks in the SF Bay Area: Have a look at one of my images that is being used on a corporate billboard. It's on Highway 101, between San Jose and San Francisco, on the Northbound side between Ralston and Hillsdale Avenues. How cool is this.... For me, anyway...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
”I wanted to follow up on my June 6, 2007, email regarding the United States Anti-Doping Agency ( USADA ). My previous email contained an error: in further investigation of the USADA , I have uncovered that while the USADA is not a governmental body and operates independently of direct governmental influence, it does, in fact, receive some federal money in the form of a grant in the yearly Congressional appropriations process along with other, mostly governmental, anti-drug programs. I have included a copy the USADA's annual audit report detailing the amount of federal funding in the previous five years.
I've also enclosed the transcripts of three Congressional hearings in which a representative officer of USADA has testified before Congress on matters of performance-enhancing-drug control policy. I thought this material may be of interest to you.
In addition, I've also shared your concerns regarding the Floyd Landis case with my colleague Congressman Henry Waxman, who is chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is the committee that would have jurisdiction on this issue.
Again, thanks for being in touch. Please do not hesitate to be in contact on other issues of importance to you.
Member of Congress “
I do want to thank Congresswoman Lofgren for taking the time to send me several documents...
The USADA financial statements sent to me were from 2002 through 2006. Federal Grants were $6,225,929 in 2002, and up to $8,415,000 in 2006. USOC is their second major source of income: $3,700,000 in 2002, and up to $4,104,967 in 2006.
Legal Expenses were listed in 2002 as “Adjudication” at $1,034,282 and listed as Legal Expenses in 2006 at $1,801,739. It will be interesting to see what the Legal Expenses are for 2007...
General and Administrative Expenses were $1,121,613 in 2002 and dropped to $833,109 by 2006, but that was an increase from the 2005 number of $741,334...
USADA shows Investment Income with “Gains on Investment” in 2002 of $17,239 and steadily rising to Investment at $131,404 in 2006. Hmmm - wonder what companies they invest in?
USADA has income from Third Party Testing. In 2002, it was $116,677, rising to $291,466 in 2006.
Note this document: S 529 To Authorize Appropriations for the US Anti-Doping Agency. This was before the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the United States Senate. May 24, 2005. This is a 28-page document. Barbara Boxer is on this committee from my state of California. I have not received a response from Senator Boxer to the letter that I sent... Maybe she forgot that she was there, too...
The Anabolic Steroid Act of 2004 Hearing was before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary - House of Representatives on March 16, 2004. Among the members of the Committee of the Judiciary is listed one Zoe Lofgren of California...(Obligatory Editorial Sarcasm: How quickly we forget...) This is a 43-page document.
Congresswoman Lofgren’s staff sent a 150 page document from the Hearing on Steroid Use in Professional and Amateur Sports by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the US Senate in March 2004. Wonder what their expertise was in Sports? Silly me...
Letter writers take note: According to Lofgren, the person to communicate with is Congressman Henry Waxman, who is chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is the committee that would have jurisdiction on this issue.
And the committee that approves USADA budget appropriations appears to be the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the United States Senate .
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"USADA receives approximately two-thirds of its annual budget via a pass-through appropriation to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. What does this mean? Simple: Congress approves (or not, their choice) the appropriation that passes to USADA as a Federal grant. They have full power of the purse strings. They can fund USADA, or they can choose not to fund USADA. And if they do fund USADA, they can choose how much, and what strings are attached. And that means they can exercise oversight. Period. It’s taxpayers’ money. We, the taxpayers, should have a say in where it goes and how it’s spent."
Right On and, in addition, Daniel/Rant sent me contact info for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:
Deputy Director for State and Local Affairs
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Executive Office of the President
Washington, D.C. 20503
More info can be found at:
So, if enough of us write to Mr. Burns, maybe he might have a look at USADA’s practices, rather than their policies... But then again, I don’t think that Mr. Burns is an elected official, so what is his incentive to open a can of worms? How does he answer to us taxpayers? Who is he responsible to? The Prez? And so the bureaucracy rolls on...
Leaving us to a Congress, who apparently doesn’t know or care about appropriations to USADA... What’s in it for them, politically, to know or care - that’s the core question...
Thanks, Rant - you are always on top of it... Follow the link to read Rant's blog, it's a good one to bookmark.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I don’t know how many of you wrote to your elected officials about Floyd Landis and the USADA hearings, or what you might have received back from them... I wrote to a few political folks, and received only one response. This is from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren:
“Thank you for contacting me with your comments and concerns about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with me.
According to the USADA , it is "the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic related sport in the United States . It was created as the result of recommendations made by the United States Olympic Committee's Select Task Force on Externalization to uphold the Olympic ideal of fair play, and to represent the interests of Olympic, Pan American Games, and Paralympic athletes." The only governmental connection the USADA has is that the U.S. Congress has recognized USADA as "the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sport in the United States ." The U.S. government, however, does not provide any funding for the USADA , nor does it have oversight power over this independent agency.
If you would like to send your comments to USADA directly, you may contact them through their website:
http:// www.usantidoping.org/contact/feedback.aspx .
Again, thanks for being in touch. If I may be of assistance to you or your family, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Member of Congress “
So, according to Lofgren’s staff, there is no oversight from any US Gov branch over the goings-on at USADA. If this is true, they do not answer to any US agency? No accountability to any government entity, or to the public? Nobody looks at their expenditures and expense accounts? No public entity audits their financial records? Nobody looks at how much USADA spent on lawyers to try to crush Floyd and his team and obliterate the truth?
My question is, then, from who and where does their seemingly endless, deep-pockets financing originate? Who created USADA? “It was created as the result of recommendations made by USOC”, but who created it and who funds it? Why, then, are the words “United States” used in their title? It sure makes me think that it is some kind of offspring of a federal agency, but I guess not... We do not fund it and we have no voice in it, I guess. Sounds like our idiotic Congress has given their stamp of approval to another bungling agency that is above and beyond the public reach. Or maybe the info I received is not correct - I kinda hope so...
No oversight and no accountability. Incredible... That should be really, really scary to all athletes here in the US who want fair, impartial justice. While we have been out happily cycling in the sunshine, it seems that a powerful bureaucratic monster has been created right under our noses. And then there is WADA, but that's another story... or is it?
Maybe we've all symbolically crashed and didn't even realize it until Floyd and his team took a stand against USADA.