Aunt Nikki

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Move over Aunt Jemima. There is a new corporate mammy in town. EMILY’s List, the “feminist” political action committee that uses the pretext of gender equality to support status quo females in their quest for power and prestige in the halls of congress, has endorsed Nikki Tinker, Harold Ford Jr’s malevolent protégé, against progressive Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen.

The decision to support Nikki Tinker is typical of the brand of corporate feminism that EMILY’s List is known for. There are only two requirements for endorsement: the resourcefulness to raise sufficient cash to be viable enough to justify turning on the pac spigot, and the good fortune of being born female. Matt Stoller wrote a post on the same topic some weeks ago. One reader of Matt’s post couldn’t have said it better, I never got the sense that EMILY’s List was a progressive organization. Its goal is to provide funding for people with vaginas [and] …some semblance of a pro-choice orientation, especially against opponents who don’t fit those two criteria.”

Skimming through Aunt Nikki’s campaign finance reports, I saw that EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcolm has taken a personal interest in the corporate mammy by contributing $1250.00 of her own money. The criticism that EMILY’s List is primarily a benevolent pocket for aspiring white women apparently struck close to home and is underscored by the paltry $15,870 in bundled contributions it supplied this year. That’s hardly the level of beneficence provided to the corporate mammy in the last cycle.

Moreover, It is frustrating that the organization will sometimes support a genuine black progressive like Donna Edwards against a corrupt incumbent, then turn around in the same year, and endorse a fraud like Tinker against a more acceptable pro choice and progressive Congressman like Steve Cohen.

Longtime readers of this blog know of the animosity I have for Harold Ford Jr and his demagogic brand of corporate prostitution that masquerades as political centrism. Everything he touches turns to shit and the same could be said of his protégé.

I didn’t think it was possible to be more repellent than Ford, but Aunt Nikki is the willing overseer on Pinnacle Airlines corporate plantation as Vice President for Labor Relations and General Counsel. Aunt Nikki is representative of the lowest form of human life and is the worst kind of counterfeit Negress imaginable. As an employment lawyer, she specializes in destroying employee rights to collectively bargain and be free from workplace racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Her campaign report is full of two kinds of people, acquaintances from her home state of Alabama and her motley collection of crooked contacts in the business world. The CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, Phil Trenary, her boss and corporate puppet master, is represented, as are Republican corporate employment lawyers from her former law firm, John and Ruth Alley. Finally, there is a member of Pinnacle’s Board of Directors, GOP rainmaker and real estate magnate James McGehee and his kith and kin.

JOHNINE BARNES and NIKKI TINKER-Corporate Doppelgangers separated at birth

Johnine Barnes, an employment lawyer for Washington D.C.’s high-powered Baker & Hostetler, is a fellow corporate employment law predator, Delta Sigma Theta sorority sister, and gal-pal of Nikki Tinker. She is emblematic of the employment lawyer/corporate whore type. Her web profile on the firm’s webpage says it best:

Johnine P. Barnes is experienced in various phases of employment law, including litigating and defending administrative claims of harassment; retaliation and discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, and disability; wrongful discharge and breach of contract issues;

This essentially means that the sister is a professional Uncle Tom who uses her race as a shield to defend corporate clients when they actively discriminate against their employees on the basis of age, race, sex, and disability.

By kicking into Nikki’s congressional kitty, she curries favor with a potential Congresswoman for her firm and its malevolent clients, and she enhances her own prestige, which rightfully ought to be lower than a pedophile.

I am given to colorful hyperbole and I love to kid around, but this is serious “bidness” as my girl Molly Ivins used to say. Baker and Hostetler as a powerful player in the employment law racket because they specialize in defending corporate clients against legitimate discrimination and retaliation suits and they say so on their own damn website.

Baker and Hostetler touts its win over the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when it challenged their client’s callous layoff of a pregnant woman during a workforce reduction. They conceded that she was a good employee with solid performance reviews and they happily defended the company’s effort to cut her loose in the middle of her pregnancy and leave her without income or insurance. We carefully explained the legitimate business reasons for the employee’s inclusion in the reduction (relatively weak technical skill set) and focused on the EEOC’s aggressive treatment of company witnesses at trial. We ultimately succeeded in portraying the EEOC as oppressive and overreaching in attacking the character of reasonable people who honestly made the difficult business decision of whom to include in a workforce reduction.”

Additionally, Baker and Hostetler markets itself as a firm that specializes in using technicalities to get legitimate lawsuits dismissed in the earliest stages of litigation and for ultimately destroying class action lawsuits against guilty clients who had the misfortune of being sued by competent counsel. Employment-related class action lawsuits are on the rise. The potential for large recoveries, adverse publicity and expensive litigation threaten a company’s bottom line, stock value and reputation. At Baker Hostetler, we are known for our ability to end class actions before they begin through creative case management, motion practice and aggressive defeat of class certification.”

As further proof of their mendacity, they site their triumph in a sex discrimination case where they denied hundreds of women their day in court, “After obtaining denial of a motion for class certification of a class of several hundred female employees, we obtained summary judgment on behalf of our FORTUNE 100 client on the plaintiff’s individual claims.”

Finally, I ran across an actual opinion in an Ohio case defended in part by Baker and Hostetler that they actually lost initially. A white plaintiff sued his employer because they fired him in retaliation for informing his only black co-worker that the company had a legal obligation to extend health insurance coverage to him because it extended coverage to everybody else. Several weeks before his termination, the partners in the business wanted him to buy into the company as a partner. After he “betrayed” them, and tried to do right by a brotha, and the brotha brought a legitimate discrimination suit against the company, they cut him loose.

Johnine Barnes is a doppelganger for Nikki Tinker. They’re cut from the same cloth and serve the same nefarious corporate interests on the Dark Side of the Force. One doesn’t get a prestigious job on a corporate plantation before 35 by being the vapid, southern fried, syrupy church lady spouting the self-serving, racially manipulative bullshit we’ve heard from her on the campaign trail.

Aunt Nikki ain’t no fool because a fool isn’t capable of raising close to a million dollars to contest a seat in congress in two election cycles.

CORPORATE MAMMY AND GOP TROJAN HORSE

The corporate tentacles of GOP power are all over the corporate mammy’s campaign filings. Phil Trenary, the CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, gave, along with his board members McGehee, Schockley, and Hunt, other executives, and their wives, nearly $25,000 to Nikki’s campaign.

McGehee and his kith and kin in particular, are major GOP moneybags having contributed more than $49,000 to the Republican Party and its candidates since 1997 and collectively kicked $8,600 into Aunt Nikki’s campaign coffers.

Other Airline industry players like Colgan Air, Sky West, and Jet Blue funneled nearly $13,000 through their executives to Nikki.

Moreover, law firms specializing in the employment law racket also took special notice of the corporate mammy. Baker & Hostetler, a major right-wing pocket, kicked in $4900. Baker & Hostetler lobbyists and lawyers have given more than $ 70,250 to Republican candidates and organizations in the last three election cycles; a sum, which is four times what they gave to Democrats.

Ford & Harrison, Aunt Nikki’s former law firm and a major employment law predator, kicked $5200 into the coffers of their former colleague. Nine of her colleagues had a favorable impression of Nikki’s Trojan Horse campaign. The Alley’s—both Ruth and J.E. Alley, are Florida attorneys and major Republican donors to both Dubya and Jeb Bush.

Other major employment law firms like Baker & Donnelson, Bryan Cave and Patton Boggs also kicked into Nikki’s kitty with $4,200, $1000, and $1050 respectively.

My colleagues at Black Agenda Report, in their former incarnation as the writers behind Black Commentator, came up with the nifty moniker of Trojan Horse to describe Black Democrats backed surreptitiously by Republican money and the corporate and right-wing foundation elite. They highlighted BET’s Bob Johnson and politicians Cory Booker and Harold Whore, Jr. Speaking of the Whore, he has used his new wife, Emily Threlkeld Ford, to funnel more than $3300 to his protégé. The Trojan Horse moniker definitely fits Nikki Tinker to a T because as her campaign finance report shows, she is a a member in good standing of this right-wing club.

As the moniker from Greek mythology implies, Aunt Nikki is a stealth weapon of the right-wing that optimally would be used to destroy progressive black representation and the social, political, and economic viability of Black Memphis. Unfortunately for our corporate enemies on the right, Aunt Nikki’s campaign exploded today like an IED in a war zone when it released an ad which strikes a note of false religiosity and implies that Steve Cohen is a Jewish interloper unwelcome in black churches and alludes to a bill to protect “religious freedom” and the unfettered right of religious organizations to discriminate against gay and lesbian people. This is the culmination of her clumsy attempts to make inroads with the black ministerial community by pandering to the homophobia of a select group of black pastors.

It looks like the wounds are fatal. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of cynical operators and puppet masters—especially Harold Ford. As of this afternoon, Emily’s List was forced to denounce the ad with egg on their faces. Finally, with the entrance of Black state representative Joe Towns in this race and the loss of prominent civil rights leaders like Maxine Smith, Aunt Nikki’s fantasy of being the power structure’s corporate mammy in Washington is just 24 hours from a lethal rejection by the voters from which there will be no appeal.

Extorting Nancy: White Hillarycrats threaten to lynch Speaker Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi First Woman Speaker of The House 

 “If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”    -Speaker Nancy Pelosi

I agree with the Speaker that it indeed would be harmful to the Democratic Party and harmful to the goal of replacing the brain dead, wingnut cabal atop our federal government.   It is apparent, however, that a well-heeled group of white Hillarycrats, with a billionaire blackface minstrel and wealthy Indian couple thrown in to make it look kosher, think otherwise.  

According to TPM, the group sent a threat letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which reads in part, “Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had the chance to cast their votes.   We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard.  None of us (meaning your ass) should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices (votes for Hillary) and their votes.  We are writing to (threaten your ass if you don’t take it back) say that your remarks on ABC News This Week On March 16TH did just that. “

“…We have been strong supporters of the DCCC (the campaign arm of House Democrats). We therefore (are extorting you) urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments (exactly what we fu*#ing tell you) a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the national convention in August.   We (don’t give a sh*t who the hell you think you are because you wouldn’t be there if not for our money) appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the party and hope you will be (compliant with our demands) responsive to your major enthusiastic supporters.

The brazen extortion evident in this arrogant missive really ticked a sistah off, which is probably why TPM got a hold of this letter.   I love the Illusion of inclusion that asking the colored folks to sign implies so that the strong-arming of Nancy Pelosi would look less like the high tech lynching that it is.  These Mofo’s ain’t slick.  It’s just another example of the lengths the Clinton crime family will go to in order to win. I really don’t have more to add, I just thought y’all would benefit from a few edits to put it all in the proper context.  

Big Backers: The Democratic contributors who wrote Nancy Pelosi have been major donors to the party and its candidates.

Donor Name Total to Democrats Total to Clinton Total to Obama Total to DCCC
Haim & Cheryl Saban
$10,892,848
$31,600
$0
$1,142,000
Bernard L & Irene Schwartz
$4,245,750
$32,400
$0
$1,082,300
Robert L. Johnson
$1,535,800
$24,800
$4,500
$117,500
Mark & Susie Tompkins Buell
$1,066,625
$79,200
$13,500
$207,550
Steve & Maureen White Rattner
$1,062,144
$31,300
$1,000
$45,500
Jay T. & Tracy M. Snyder
$824,999
$28,200
$0
$27,666
Alan J. & Susan Patricof
$770,918
$39,200
$1,400
$62,841
Hassan & Sheila Nemazee
$523,000
$21,200
$0
$28,000
James R. & Mary K. Pritzker
$492,900
$18,400
$8,200
$12,900
Stanley S. & Sydney R. Shuman
$454,082
$51,300
$1,000
$21,666
Marc & Cathy Lasry
$422,000
$23,900
$0
$100,000
Pradeep R. & Amy J. Rao
$341,850
$46,200
$2,000
$66,000
Sim & Debra S. Farar
$252,450
$38,800
$2,500
$0
Clarence A. & Jacqueline A. Avant
$227,300
$19,200
$15,600
$26,000
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
$218,679
$39,700
$2,000
$39,000
Christopher G. & Irene Korge
$189,600
$18,300
$0
$0
Mark A. & Judith M. Aronchick
$80,300
$9,950
$500
$7,000
 
Grand Total
$23,601,245
$553,650
$52,200
$2,985,923

Campaign mailbag: Hillary’s desperate appeal

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Dear Fool,

It should be abundantly clear to even the comatose that my imperial campaign is falling apart, my inevitability is a myth, and Darth Bubba is too self absorbed to cede the limelight to me. My maniacal dream of dynastic restoration is crumbling into a morass of arrogance, ineptitude and racist condescension.

We tried to make nice with Negroes; they rejected us, now its time to prove to them how awful it is to be on the wrong side. And we’re going to keep proving them wrong as many times as we need to until we win back the imperial throne of the White House.

You and I know that only the white power structure, not the people; get to decide where this race for the Democratic nomination will end up.
And, before very long, the nefarious corporate interests who depend on us the most – the investment banks, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical companies and the defense contractors who have given more money to me than to any Republican – will have their say in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania and others.

Yield to the power of the Dark Side. Contribute now.

Don’t forget what we’re fighting for: the unlimited power to do the bidding of the same white capitalist patriarchy that has always run America. They’re the reason our campaign was flush with cash in the beginning, and why I will do whatever it takes to win. And winning means having the M.O.N.E.Y, and a ruthless game plan to even this race up so I can aggressively steal this nomination away from Barack Skytalker with more super delegates at the convention.

It’s MY TURN, dammit. I command you to make a contribution now.

When we embarked on this journey, I promised you crumbs from my imperial table and you bowed in submission. I command you to kneel at my feet again. That’s what you’ve got to do — right here, right now.

With sincere condescension,

Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Empress of Triangulation

P.S. Remember, no matter how many Negroes bail on us, you and I will keep courting and brainwashing Hispanics to vote against their class interests in an effort to help drive our campaign to victory in the weeks ahead. I refuse to go down without a fight.

Hillary and Obama to pull in about $20 million in 3rd Quarter

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 Obama_vs._Hillary

Hat Tip: By John King, CNN Political Ticker Blog

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Fundraising dropped off dramatically for the two leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, but Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama will still report raising in the neighborhood of $20 million each over this three month time period, sources close to both candidates tell CNN.

Clinton will show she has pulled in between $17-$20 million, while Obama will report he raised between $18-$19 million. Fundraising is historically slow in the third quarter, which covers the final two months of summer and the first month of fall. In the second quarter, Obama shattered fundraising records by reporting that he raised $32.5 million, $31 million of which he could use in his bid for the Democratic nomination. Clinton raised $27 million during this same time period, and all but $6 million of it could be used in the primary.

There are still three days remaining for candidates to raise money for this fundraising period.

On the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain is expected to show he raised more than $5 million this quarter, but a McCain advisor noted that his recent poll numbers in New Hampshire and a busy fundraising schedule next month shows that they “have some life.” Sources close to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggest that he will lead the GOP pack in fundraising this quarter, but would not reveal their fundraising totals.

Obama snags Oprah and Hillary courts Magic

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Photo

Hat Tip: by Michael R. Blood, Associated Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton pursued votes Friday in the city’s historical black heartland with basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson at her side. Less than a week ago, her rival Barack Obama banked $3 million at a fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey’s seaside estate.

For the two leading Democratic presidential contenders, the dueling events just six days apart highlighted the stiff competition for support and dollars within one of the party’s key voter groups — blacks.

Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers star whose sprawling business interests range from movie theaters to health clubs, was also holding a fundraiser for Clinton at his Beverly Hills home Friday night. It was expected to be considerably smaller than the lavish event staged by Winfrey for Obama, an Illinois senator, on Sept. 8.

Johnson’s fundraiser was co-hosted by music industry heavyweights Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Clarence Avant, and scheduled guests included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Guests at the Obama event included Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker and Chris Rock.

The divided loyalties among blacks show “the community just isn’t going to go lockstep behind any candidate, even a black one,” said University of California, Los Angeles, political scientist Franklin D. Gilliam Jr.

When it comes to competing celebrity endorsements, “I don’t know if anybody stands equal with Oprah,” Gilliam said. But Clinton, a New York senator, is not conceding the black vote to Obama and “she can compete for it in a legitimate way.”

On Thursday, the California Legislature’s black caucus endorsed Obama — but one of its eight members is backing Clinton. And independent polls in California suggest the black vote is divided, largely between Clinton and Obama.

Obama, whose late father was Kenyan, gives blacks a chance to put one of their own in the White House for the first time. But Clinton benefits from the strong relationship her husband, former President Bill Clinton, maintained with blacks for years.

“People in the black community love Bill Clinton; she’s seen as comfortable in the community,” Gilliam said. And “there’s concern about Obama being electable, period, because he’s black.”

The rivalry between Obama and Clinton also showcases the clout of black political influence and money.

Obama has predicted that black voter turnout could swell by at least 30 percent if he wins the presidential nomination, giving Democrats victory in Southern states that have been voting Republican for decades.

Asked last month why she would be a better candidate for blacks when Obama was in the race, she cited her years of public service and advocacy, and described herself as the more experienced candidate.

“My attitude is, I don’t deserve anyone’s vote. I have to earn everyone’s vote,” Clinton said.

At an event earlier Friday at a school in a heavily minority neighborhood near the Watts section, Clinton shared a stage with Johnson, Villaraigosa and other local leaders. She told a largely minority crowd including many students and supporters that she would bring a new style of leadership to Washington to take on issues like health care, education and ending the Iraq war.

“When I’m president, there will not be any invisible Americans,” she said.

Several people in the audience said they were comfortable with Clinton, in large part because of her long record in the public eye and efforts in her husband’s administration.

John Bruce, 45, a Democrat from Los Angeles who works in security, said the black community is looking for leaders and Obama “seems to be heading in the right direction.” Bruce, who is black, said race was not an issue in picking a candidate.

He said he remains undecided on 2008 but added, “I’m an all-Clinton Democrat.”

Black community activist “Sweet Alice” Harris, who is backing Clinton, said she worked closely with her during her days in the Clinton White House.

What about Obama?

“I don’t know him, but I know her,” Harris said.

Earlier in the day, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, held a private fundraiser for Clinton at a Mexican restaurant in Lynwood, a Los Angeles suburb.

Bynum loves husband but needs to move on

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Hat Tip: D. Aileen Dodd, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Evangelist Juanita Bynum’s lawyer said Monday the pastor is seeking to divorce her husband on the basis of cruel treatment and irreconcilable differences.

The divorce filing states that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken,” said Bynum’s attorney Karla Walker of Valdosta, Ga.

by her husband Thomas W. Weeks III on Aug. 21 in a hotel parking lot near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“She loved her husband,” Walker said. “But she does feel it is necessary to stop the domestic violence and go on with the divorce.”

The divorce paperwork was sent to the Ware County Courthouse early last week, but an error delayed the filing. The legal documents were officially filed on Monday.

Bynum, 48, spent the weekend in California where she attended a fund-raiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The party was held at Oprah Winfrey’s estate.

Bynum has said she is moving forward with plans to start a domestic violence ministry. Last week, she resurfaced in the spotlight, saying she had recovered from the alleged attack and would like to serve as an advocate against domestic violence.

Weeks, 40, was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection with the attack. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.

Oprah Obama Fundraiser update

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Hat Tip: Lynn Sweet Blog, Chicago Sun Times 

MONTECITO, CALIF. — Oprah Winfrey opened the high iron gates of her highly guarded estate here Saturday to raise more than $3 million for White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his biggest single-day haul ever, in a fund-raising spectacle rarely seen in U.S. politics.

“I haven’t been actively engaged before because there hasn’t been anything to be actively engaged in. But I am engaged now to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States,” a source said Winfrey told the crowd just before the concert, starring Stevie Wonder.

Introducing Obama, Winfrey said that “nobody can stand in the way of destiny.”

“It’s unbelievable,” said Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias as the Great Gatsby party scene unfolded before him on Winfrey’s meadow under a gorgeous sky.

Real celebrities mingled with Obama’s best donors and bundlers rewarded for their fund-raising efforts with a star-studded afternoon. Among those present at the event featuring the two most famous Chicagoans in the world: actors Lou Gossett Jr.; Cicely Tyson; Forest Whitaker; Ellen Pompeo; Sidney Poitier; Linda Evans; Tyler Perry; Chris Rock; Hill Harper (who attended Harvard Law with Obama); music producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, football quarterback Rodney Peete; Winfrey beau Stedman Graham; radio personality Tom Joyner; sports legends Ernie Banks, Bill Russell and Dave Winfield; tennis great Jimmy Connors, and model Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber.

There was a contingent from Obama’s Chicago-based kitchen cabinet, including Habitat honcho Valerie Jarrett and John Rogers, the Illinois finance co-chair.

The most important VIPs got to drive right up to the mansion, with most of the estimated 1,500 attendees who either gave or raised $2,300 shuttled by bus to Winfrey’s from the Earl Warren Showgrounds eight miles away in Santa Barbara.

At 3 p.m., there was Oprah/Obama gridlock on the Highway 101 Las Positas off-ramp leading to the staging area. Two women wearing leis waiting in the traffic jam said they flew in from Hawaii for the event. Judge Greg Mathis, who presides over the “Judge Mathis” show taped in Chicago, was in line, idling in his convertible Mercedes SL500.

Security was tight. The event was closed to the press. At the showgrounds, people dressed out of the pages of Vogue and GQ, despite the admonition to wear “garden attire,” were delivered in limos and sharp cars. Everyone had to give up cameras as they went through security. A reporter trying to interview people on the showgrounds was threatened with arrest.

Inside the fund-raiser, there were separate levels of access, depending on how much money people were raising for Obama, with the most prolific bundlers staying for a dinner.

Food stations offered mini-burgers, corn-on-the-cob on sticks, guacamole and chips; lemonade and vodka; red or white wine, and a full bar.

The Obama campaign’s regional professional fund-raisers brought their best contributors, with the high-rollers bunking at the spectacular Fess Parker resort in Santa Barbara.

Making the entire experience pleasurable for Obama’s best donors; Oprah, Obama and wife Michelle were posing for individual pictures, according to a person at the party.

As the evening wore down a stream of tired-looking but exceedingly well-dressed people, some carrying green souvenir blankets, poured past the wooden doors of Winfrey’s yard, leaving the home she calls “the Promised Land” to board buses to take them back to reality.