CBC PAC backs corrupt “Dollar Bill” Jefferson over Karen Carter

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Sister Jill¬†at Jack and Jill Politics¬†has the scoop on the betrayal of the Congressional Black Caucus¬†and the Caucus decision to back “Dollar Bill” over Sister Karen with $5000 in campaign cash.¬†¬†The hypocrisy behind this move cannot be overstated.¬† Some of the most prominent CBC members like Maxine Waters, who said, “We have to watch the redevelopment in New Orleans for a lot of reasons, and one of them is to make sure that the shadow government of the rich and the powerful does not end up abusing eminent domain to take property that belongs to poor people in order to get them out of the city,” has decided to add campaign contributions to the campaign kitty of “Dollar Bill” Jefferson.¬† WTF?¬† How in the Hell can you claim to be in the corner of Katrina victims when you endorse a¬†corrupt corporate servant like Jefferson, a congressman too busy trying to line his pockets with illicit cash to bother fufilling his duty to constitutents.

I have admired Maxine Waters for twenty years.  Her uncompromising advocacy on behalf of important issues to the community has been inspirational. This latest crap has caused me to re-evaluate her leadership and her character.  This move is simply unfathomable.

Even John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement who still bears the scars of multiple beatings,¬†and who couldn’t be bothered to help home state democrat Cynthia McKinney, has given campaign cash to “Dollar Bill.”¬† I guess he got beat down one to many times.¬† This is not what the civil rights movement was about.¬† It was about equal opportunity and equal treatment, not equal opportunity graft for black politicians.¬† His support for Jefferson is¬†akin to¬†desecrating the grave of Dr. King.

Do these Negroes have no concept of the meaning of bull*#it.  Is it just me? Am I loosing my mind? 

Jack Murtha for Majority Leader

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The battle for House Majority Leader may not be an obvious thing for me to be blogging about. Too inside baseball.  However, I do have an opinion.  Democrats have an obligation to present a unified, dignified, and diverse front to the American People.  In her reign as House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated a personal style in some respects reminiscent of a plantation mistress.  Her treatment of the Congressional Black Caucus as her personal servants and her refusal to defend the honor of Cynthia McKinney has left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

Mrs. Pelosi forced the removal of some members of the¬†Congressional Black Caucus from co-sponsoring the Voting Rights Act of 2006 for fear the¬†Republicans in control of Congress would back off and kill it because it was “too black.”¬† Miss Nancy rules with an iron hand and demands compliance with her dictates.¬† She cut Congresswoman Jane Harman loose from having a leadership role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, where she has been nothing more than a coquettish doormat for the Bush Administration.¬†

Now, as she sits on the precipice of unprecedented power as the Speaker of the House in waiting, she has made her choice for Majority Leader known for all to see.  When she needed someone to manage her race for House Leadership, Jack Murtha was the man to who she turned.  When the House Democratic Caucus needed someone of unchallenged credibility on military matters to articulate opposition to the Iraq debacle, she turned to decorated marine and Vietnam Veteran Jack Murtha.

Now that she needs a number two man of unquestioned loyalty, she has turned to Jack Murtha again.  Jack Murtha is a conservative, there is no doubt about that.  But when events called upon someone to speak out about the calamitous events in Iraq, Jack Murtha rose to the challenge.  

In March of this year he called for the resignation of the arrogant¬†bastards in charge of Defense policy in¬†this administration: Cheney and Rumsfeld. When American service men massacred innocent civilians in Haditha this year, Murtha told the world and didn’t participate in covering it up.¬†“It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that’s what the report is going to tell. ”

Jack Murtha is a man of courage and a man of compassion, it is because of that courage and compassion on the central issue of concern to the people that Democrats, in concert with a fifty-state strategy, were able to mount credible challenges in congressional races and take back the Congress.

Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip, is Murtha’ s only opposition.¬† A DLC republicrat, Hoyer led the charge against Kweisi Mfume’s¬†Senate campaign¬†and strong-armed democratic donors from giving to Mfume and steered them to Ben Cardin.¬†

According to an article on AlterNet by Joshua Holland, “For six weeks after his announcement, Mfume was the lone candidate. I spoke with a number of Democratic operatives for this story, on and off the record, and several told me that House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and his allies tried to kill Mfume’s candidacy. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which is in charge of recruiting and aiding Senate candidates across the country, was less than neutral early on, according to (Joe)Trippi.”

Mfume detected the machinations against him, “I think in many respects this has become a manifestation of the good old boy network in the Democratic Party refusing to embrace me. Now was that because I’m black, because I’m an independent Democrat? Was it because I’m from the city and not some other part of the state? I don’t know.”

The Congressional Black Caucus has never had adequate representation in the U.S. Senate and their failure to rally around a progressive black candidate is unconscionable political negligence.  If not for the negligence of the CBC and the malevolence of Hoyer, Mfume could have won.

For the second ranking House Democratic leader to sabotage a black former colleague’s candidacy and expect anybody to believe he has the interests of black democrats and black America at heart is ludicrous. He has disqualified himself in the eyes of thinking black folks from a position of leadership in this House.

Nancy Pelosi has stepped on a lot of black toes during her reign, but on this matter she is right and should be supported.  She is a committed liberal, but will rule pragmatically, kinda like former Speaker Jim Wright in a dress.

I intend to contact my member of Congress and ask that he vote for Murtha.¬† Y’all should do the same.¬† It is just that important.¬†¬† Prominent¬†Black democrats like¬†Maxine Waters,¬†have announced they are going to support Hoyer.¬† Call¬†your member of Congress and tell them to¬†support Murtha¬†202-224-3121.

#1 The Congressional Black Caucus is falling down on the job

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Congressman Kendrick B. Meek (D-Miami) is sworn in as a Member of the 109th Congress with Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York and Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen of the Virgin Islands.  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus participated in a mock ceremony at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, January 4, 2005.

¬†“Where there is no vision, the people perish”-Proverbs 29:18

The Politics of Division

The Congressional Black Caucus, according to the CBC monitor, has transformed into the¬† “Corporate Black Caucus” , due in large part to the nefarious tentacles of the “racist and rightwing Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). The DLC was created after the Reagan years to move the Democratic Party more to the right and to do this they have unleashed the corporate hounds to payoff Black faces¬† to perform for them what whites cannot. ”¬†

We can see ample evidence of this nefarious corporate influence and lack of black unity in the glaring disparity of support for two members of the CBC attempting¬†to move up to the U.S. Senate, an elected body called, “the greatest deliberative body in the world” that has only elected five African Americans in 216 years. The U.S. Senate is the most stunning example of the power of white privilege and social connections.¬†¬† The top three richest Senators are Democrats with a combined net worth of at least $1.193 billion dollars.

Given the millionaires club atmosphere of Congress,¬†123 members of the House of Representatives are also millionaires, you’d think that Black members of Congress would do their part to show some love to their contemporaries tryin’ to move up the rough side of the political mountain.¬† Not so.

Former NAACP President and former Congressman Kwesi Mfume ran for the U.S. Senate this year as did a younger, brasher contemporary, Harold Whore, Jr.¬† Who do y’all think the CBC showed more¬†love to,¬†the one who used to lead them as Chairman, or the Corporate Whore?

You guessed it, the Whore.  Most members of the CBC vote differently than Ford on the vast range of issues, yet they still support the Charlatan in their midst. CBC members gave $36,268 to Harold Whore, Jr. Barack Obama and Charlie Rangel gave nearly $19,000 alone. 

Hall of Shame

If they were trying to treat both men equally, which Ford doesn’t deserve, the following contributors would have given to both him and Mfume.¬† The following gave only to Ford: Dianne Watson, Kendrick Meek, Gregory Meeks, Sanford Bishop, Emmanuel Cleaver, Alcee Hastings,¬† Barbara Lee, Barack Obama, Charlie Rangel and former Congressman Bill Clay whose successor, his son, told the Hill newspaper that he and his father would both support Mfume, but¬†neither¬†came¬†through with enough money to show up on a disclosure report.

There are 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Barack Obama in the Senate and 42 members in the House.¬†Nine members of the CBC gave contributions to Kweisi Mfume.¬† Yes, that’s right, I said Nine.¬† Of the $1.3 million raised by Mfume, $16,500 came from Black members of congress.¬† That’s about 1%.¬†

Mfume’s heroes

Mfume’s contributors represent a heroes and sheroes roster: Elijah Cummings, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Chaka Fattah, Danny Davis, Corrine Brown, Mel Watt, Don Payne and Bobby Scott.¬† I find this list fascinating because it says so much about us as a people.¬†

Prominent black and white celebrities stepped up. The white creator of Good Times and the Jeffersons, Norman Lear, gave $2,100,¬† Black Billionaire Bob Johnson and Debra Lee, the corporate¬†chieftains of BET, gave over $17,000 between the two of them, more than the entire CBC.¬† Black Publishing executives, Susan Taylor of Essence, Linda Johnson Rice of Ebony and Jet, and Earl Graves, Sr of¬†Black Enterprise¬†gave $19,300 between them.¬† Friend of Bill Clinton, Atty Vernon Jordan and Michael Jordan’s wife Juanita gave as well.

Mfume came within 3.2% of winning that primary against five white opponents who raised nearly $12.5 million against him.  He was outspent by nearly 12 to 1 and almost won. 

The Washington beltway crowd and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee led the charge against Mfume.¬† Mfume’s two leading white opponents Ben Cardin and Josh Rales spent over $11 million to defeat him.¬† Rales spent millions of his own money. Cardin raised over $373,000 from Members of Congress alone, including two Uncle Tom’s in the CBC, Alcee Hastings and Kendrick Meek.¬† A single white Senator, Blanche Lambert Lincoln, gave Mfume a contribution so it wouldn’t look so obvious¬†that¬†Senate Democrats were attempting to prevent a qualified and respected former Black Congressman from being elected. The white power structure conspired through negative press coverage and aggressive arm twisting of potential donors to damage Mfume’s candidacy. With all of that going for him, Cardin barely won the primary.

Jesse Jackson, Sr, whose son also sits in the Congressional Black Caucus gave so little to Mfume that it didn’t show up on a disclosure report, or gave him nothing at all.¬†¬† I find that astounding.¬† I have always had great respect for Jesse.¬† It wasn’t too long ago that Mfume and Jackson were leading marches together.¬†¬† He found time for Ned Lamont, a white Connecticut Millionaire running against Senator Joe Lieberman. So did Maxine Watersand Al Sharpton.¬† Lamont is not going to ultimately defeat Lieberman, so these people wasted their time and effort on a white candidate that cannot win and didn’t help a black candidate that could.¬†

It makes no sense that Kweisi Mfume¬†was struggling for cash while Harold Whore, Jr is buoyed by a river of special interest cash $7.3 millon dollars greater. Similarly, I hope Barack Obama doesn’t think these Negroes are gonna help him¬†get elected President.¬† Left to their own devices, they will do for him what they did for Mfume: next to nothing.

Our Black leadership is hopelessly fractured and leading in opposite directions¬†that usually lead to the same right-wing corporate cul de sac.¬† They can’t even support each other based on general principle, is it any wonder that they don’t support or represent us?

Where in God’s name is the vision?¬†¬† The distorted and confused amalgamation of leaders and positions is disheartening.¬† We are¬†marinating in the aftermath of two Presidential Elections in which significant questions of black and brown voter suppression exist and these Black politicians can’t even get it together enough to fight that and support each other at the same time for election to the Senate, where the community has never had adequate representation.

Manning Marable teaches us that, ” Oppressed people learn strategies for survival: if they do not learn, they perish.”¬† If these highly educated people cannot navigate these shallow waters, how can they fight poverty, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, Globalization and the rest of the ailments to the black diaspora?¬†