Craig DeLuz

Writer, Actor, Public Speaker, Media Personality
Posts Tagged ‘California Politics’

Rep. Richardson’s home declared a ‘public nuisance’

Laura Richardson just can’t get get it together!
Today, the LA Times is reporting that Laura “Pimp my ride Richrson’s Sacramento home (you remember the one that was foreclosed on, sold, stolen back by the bank that sold it and given back to Richrson… that home) has been sighted by Sacramento Code enforcement as a public nuisance.

First Rep. Laura Richardson was having problems making house payments, defaulting six times over eight years.

Then after a bank foreclosed on her Sacramento house and sold it at auction in May, the Long Beach Democrat made such a stink that Washington Mutual, in an unusual move, grabbed it back and returned it to her.This week, in the latest chapter in the housing saga, the Code Enforcement Department in Sacramento declared her home a “public
nuisance.”

The city has threatened to fine her as much as $5,000 a month if she doesn’t fix it up.Neighbors in the upper-middle-class neighborhood complain that the sprinklers are never turned on and the grass and plants are dead or dying. The gate is broken, and windows are covered with brown paper.

“I would call it an eyesore,” said Peter Thomsen, a retired bank executive who lives nearby.

The city action was prompted by police action.

Police were twice called to investigate reports of a suspicious person in or around the house, perhaps a homeless man squatting there. Officers called the Code enforcement Department, which boarded up a broken door.

Code enforcement inspectors visited the house twice in July, finding “junk and debris” in the driveway and “rotting fruit on the ground in the rear yard which creates rodent harborage,” according to department documents.

Ron O’Connor, operations manager of the Code Enforcement Department, said homes in the Curtis Park area seldom were tagged as a public nuisance.

“It’s a really nice neighborhood,” he said.

Asked about the house, Richardson’s office released a statement that said: “Neither Congresswoman Richardson nor her attorney have received any information referring to this matter. Any additional information will be provided at a later date.”

Richardson has few worries in the November election. The 37th District is so solidly Democratic that no Republican is running against her. Democrat Peter Mathews, who has sought the seat several times before, is mounting a write-in campaign.

Richardson even stiffs the Kids! THE KIDS!!!!

Let’s see, she defalults on her mortages in three different cities, she doesn’t pay her car repair bills, she uses a taxpayer funded vehicle for personal use, and now it’s discovered that she flaked on promise to send school aged contest winners to Washington, DC?

Yep…. she’s qualified to be in Congress!

Read this story from the Longbeach Press Telegram:

Rep.’s kids finally get trip

CONTEST: Airline,
councilman honor Richardson’s promise to send winners on a trip to D.C.
By
Paul Eakins, Staff Writer

LONG BEACH – From 2004 to 2007, then-Long
Beach City Councilwoman Laura Richardson made a promise that 10 young contest
winners would get a trip to Washington, D.C.

While Richardson got her
own trip to the nation’s capital, winning a seat in Congress last August, the
students stayed grounded in Long Beach, according to staff members of the sixth
District council office and one of the students.

The unrealized trips
are just a few of the unresolved commitments left behind by the Long Beach
Democrat during the year she ascended from council to state Assembly to
Congress’s 37th District.

Recent published reports have detailed
Richardson’s financial troubles, including multiple defaults on her three homes,
the foreclosure of her Sacramento house and bills owed to local businesses left
unpaid for years.

Now, some of the winners of the Martin Luther King Jr.
Unity Parade and Celebration contest will finally get a chance to fly to
Washington, or one of dozens of other destinations, thanks to JetBlue Airways
and Councilman Dee Andrews, Richardson’s successor in the 6th District. Working
with Andrews, JetBlue is donating airline tickets to all of the winners.

William Marshall, a spokesman for Richardson, said Thursday that the
D.C. trips had taken place every year of the contest except in 2007, when
Richardson left the council.

“Not all of the kids may have gone, but
those trips did take place,” Marshall said.

But that isn’t what Andrews’
staff members and one of the contest winners believe.
On Thursday, staff
members gave a ticket to winner Midori Sanchez, 16, in Andrews’ office at City
Hall. Her mother, Donna Cottrell, also received a ticket because she was
supposed to have been a chaperone in the original trip.

When Sanchez was
in eighth grade in 2005, she was one of four contest winners. The contest asked
children from kindergarten through 12th grade to capture the theme of the annual
Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in one of four categories: art/drawing, poem/
speech, essay, or sculpture/multi-media work.

Sanchez, who won the essay
category, said Thursday she felt like she finally had some closure to the
disappointment of never getting the trip.

“I’ve waited for a long time,
and I was really excited at the time,” said Sanchez, who on Thursday completed
the 11th grade at Poly High School.

Cottrell said that she had given up
on her daughter ever going, and she felt like Richardson had lied to her. But
Richardson received publicity through the years for the contest, Cottrell said.

“I’ve sort of had this simmering anger the whole time, because she comes
out looking so great,” Cottrell said this week. “Nobody knows that it never
happened.”

The contest had been held for several years as part of the
parade, then Richardson began offering the Washington trip, which included
airfare and hotel, in 2002.

By all accounts, the contest winners in 2002
and 2003 went to Washington. But the two winners in each subsequent year – four
winners were named in 2005 – never went.

JetBlue, which has provided the
tickets now being given out, had donated tickets for the earlier trips that did
happen.

In addition to the unfulfilled trips, Richardson also left an
almost $5,000 debt from the last parade that her office planned in 2007. John
Edmond, Andrews’ chief of staff, said the councilman has begun paying the money
back to parade sponsor Partners of Parks with outside donations.

During
the five months between Richardson’s departure from the council and Andrews
taking office in May 2007, Mayor Bob Foster represented the sixth District and
attempted to arrange a trip for the 10 winners, but that didn’t come together,
Edmond said.

Since 2007, Tonya Martin, an Andrews staff member who also
worked for Richardson, has been trying to locate all of the winners who are owed
a trip, she said. So far, she has reached eight of them and given out a handful
of tickets, though two have been difficult to contact.

The problem, she
said, is that so much time has passed, some of the winners have moved or left
for college.

Marshall said Richardson hasn’t abandoned her promise to
the students.

“She has been in contact with Dee Andrews and has been
wanting to discuss that last trip with him,” Marshall said of the reward for the
2007 winners. “She’s very concerned and wanted to be a part of whatever took
place with the kids.”

Edmond said Andrews and Richardson had “talked in
passing” about the matter in recent weeks, but nothing else. On Wednesday,
Andrews’ office received an e-mail from Richardson offering her assistance in
planning the trips, but everything is almost resolved now, Edmond said.

Sanchez was emotional Thursday as she expressed her gratitude.

“I just really appreciate a lot that Dee Andrews, even though it wasn’t
his problem, made a great effort to ensure that everything that was wrong was
right,” she said.

Edmond said Andrews wanted the winners to get what
they deserved.

“We took on this responsibility because it’s the right
thing to do,” Edmond said.

paul.eakins@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1278

In Case you missed it: Foreclosed Sacramento home, with upgrades, may be returned to Congresswoman Laura Richardson

Just when I thought I heard it all. The forclosure saga of Conresswoman Laura Richardson proves once again to be the gift that keeps on giving.

Today the LA Times is reporting that the bank who foreclosed on Richardson has taken the house back from the new owner, presumably to hand it back over to the congresswoman:

Real estate investor James York bought Richardson’s house in an upper middle-class neighborhood on May 7 for $388,000. He recorded the deed May 19. His crew has painted it, laid tile and landscaped the house, he said.

York said the lender, Washington Mutual, had contacted him to buy back the house and that he gave the bank a price. He said the next thing he knew, the lender filed a letter of rescission of the foreclosure sale June 2 with Sacramento County and asked him for the keys.

“They took the property back, and they didn’t even send back the money,” York said.

Please keep in mind that Richardson had stop making payments and owed more than $9,000 in back property taxes on the Sacramento home. And this was not her only property she was not making payments on:

Although the Sacramento house was the first of Richardson’s to go into foreclosure, she has defaulted six times on houses in San Pedro and Long Beach, most recently March 28. Five defaults have come in the last 13 months, when she was lending her campaigns for Assembly and Congress a total of $177,500.

Did I forget to mention the two auto repair bills and the printing bill and…… you get the point.

I can’t wait to see what the House Ethics Committee has to say about this one…

Rep. Richardson leaves a trail of unpaid bill along her path to congress

More news is eminating from Longbeach related to political staffer, turned City Councilwoman, turned Assemblywoman turned Congresswoman Larua Richardson. It turns out that her mortgage paymentes were not the only bills that went unpaid during her climb to congress.

The Longbeach Telegram is reporting the following:

Car trouble takes on a new meaning when it comes to financially distressed
Congresswoman Laura Richardson.

In 2005, when she was still on the Long
Beach City Council, she left one mechanic in a lurch with an unpaid bill, then
later had her badly damaged BMW towed to an auto body shop but didn’t pay for
any work and abandoned the car there, owners of the businesses said this week.

The next day, Richardson began using a city-owned vehicle – putting
almost 31,000 miles on it in about a year – and continued driving the car five
days after she had left the council to serve in the state Assembly, city records
show.

I find it sad that someone who has such little regard for their personal finances would be trusted to make decisions over taxpayer dollars.

Too bad Republicans failed to put up a candidate to run against her.

Hattip to Calitol Alert.

Listen to Craig DeLuz on the Capitol Hour with Eric Hogue

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 3rd at 12:30 pm I will be joining Eric Hogue as we breakdown several local races and discuss the battle for the heart of Sacramento’s Republican Party

Here are the details:

Tuesday, June 3rd (Tomorrow) @12:30 pm

1380 AM KTKZ

Call in numbers :916-923-3300 or 888-923-1380

To listen online simply Click Here. Thenk hit the “Listen Live” button in the upper righthand corner of the page.

Should Republicans vote for Kevin Johnson?

On Saturday, I received three different mailers from the Kevin Johnson for Mayor campaign urging me to support his candidacy. The one that stood out the most was the piece that lead with “Attention Republicans”. Then it finally hit me… I don’t know if I, as a Republican should vote for Kevin Johnson.

I realized that the true choice is between two democrats; one who is an unabashed liberal and the other who is clearly more moderate. I am forced into a quandary as to whether I would be selling out my Republican values to support a democrat-Kevin Johnson, based only on the hope that he will be better Fargo on the issues that are important to me. And while a side by side comparison of the two candidates bears this out to be true, a closer inspection into the Johnson campaign presents numerous contradictions that leave this Republican voter with more questions than answers.

For example, between Johnson and the incumbent, Heather Fargo, Johnson clearly has a better platform from which to promote economic development and job growth. As a business owner and most importantly an employer, Johnson knows what it takes to make Sacramento an attractive place for business. Lower taxes, less regulation and incentives would likely result from a Johnson administration; that is if he is able to stand up to anti-business, entitlement crowd who view business as nothing more than a fatted calf to be tied down fleeced to pay for pet government funded program. The California Legislative Black Caucus, United Healthcare Workers and Teamsters Local 150 represent a small sampling of Johnson’s endorsees who will be inevitably leaning on Johnson to curb his enthusiasm toward the business community.

The Johnson campaign has also tried to portray their candidate as a public safety and limited government advocate. His proposal to increase the number of officers on the street without increasing spending sounds like a great idea on the surface, but lacks the level of specificity that would make it believable. It is also import to consider whether the support Johnson is receiving from the Central Labor Council came with a price. When the chips are down, will Johnson stand up to the pressure from public employee labor unions or will he be like most Democratic electeds and fold like an empty suit, giving up more in salaries and benefits than the City can really afford?

For a brief moment social conservatives found a sliver of hope upon which to hang their support of Kevin Johnson. During a televised debate, Johnson unequivocally stated that he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman. But following the California Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Johnson made a considerably large step in the opposite direction declaring that he was supportive of the court’s decision and would be an advocate for the LGTB community. Now admittedly, he tempered this position by altering the statement of his website to state that his opposition to same-sex marriage was his personal view and that it would not affect his policy decisions as mayor. This apparent flip-flop is troubling because it presents Johnson as a candidate who wants to be on both sides of the issue; one who will change his position if enough pressure is applied.

All this having been said, I still will not go as far as to say that Republicans should not vote for Kevin Johnson. His primary opponent, Mayor Heather Fargo is clearly more of a big government, tax raising anti-family, job-killing liberal than Johnson. But we should be under no illusion that his campaign has presented any substantive argument that should cause one to believe that a Johnson administration will be able to stand up to the union bosses and limit the growth of our city government; cut taxes and regulation in order to the keep and bring jobs to Sacramento. And we have already been assured by Johnson that his personal inclination toward traditional family and moral values will have nothing to do with his decisions as mayor.

The choice as to whether or not to vote for Kevin Johnson comes down to voting for the devil you know (Heather Fargo) or the candidate you don’t (Kevin Johnson). My hope is that this election continues into the fall, so that I can get to know Johnson better. I know that the chances of us electing a Republican in Sacramento are slim and that Kevin Johnson may be the closest thing we may ever get to a fiscally conservative, pro-business, morally minded mayor.

But before I hang my hat on that hope, I want to know, that I know, that I know….. And right now, all that I know about Kevin Johnson is…. I don’t know.

Rep. Richardson Bails on Her Mortgage

This little nugget was reported by the LA Times blog and linked on the DrudgeReport:

Report: California Congresswoman walked away from $578K mortgage

Capitol Weekly reports that newly elected California Congresswoman Laura Richardson walked away from the mortgage on her $535,000 Sacramento home, letting the house slip into foreclosure and disrepair less than two years after she bought it with no money down.

“While being elevated to Congress in a 2007 special election, Richardson apparently stopped making payments on her new Sacramento home, and eventually walked away from it, leaving nearly $600,000 in unpaid loans and fees,” the publication reports.

Richardson, a Democrat from Long Beach, declined to comment for the Capitol Weekly story, and her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from LA Land.

Read more…

Poll shows most ethnic voters support ban on same sex marriage & Democrats believe that voters, not the legislature should decide…

In 2000 California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22, which declared that “only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in the state of California”. And an interesting side story was the fact that ethnic voters were amongst the measure’s most ardent supporters with 65% of Hispanics, 62% of Blacks and 57% of Asians voting to protect marriage.

Well, it looks like not much has changed as a recent poll shows that California’s ethnic voters are still vehemently opposed to allowing same sex couples to wed and are among those most likely to support a measure that would protect Prop. 22 from activist judges by making it state constitutional amendment.

According to a Survey USA Poll conducted on April 24, 2008, 58% of Blacks, 60% of Latinos and 57% of Asian voters in California still do not support same-sex marriage. Furthermore, 57% of Blacks, 46% of Hispanics and 55% of Asian voters said they would be willing to support a state constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Another interesting fact: Only 14% of Democrat’s polled believe that the legislature should decide the fate of same sex marriage. As a matter of fact, a whopping 45% of Democrats said that the voter should decide. This flies in the face of the Democrat controlled California Legislature who has for the last two years in a row, violated the law and voted to legalize same sex marriage.

Should Republicans compromise their values in order to win? A lesson from the Compromise of 1877…

There are many in the Republican Party who claim that the only way we can win is by changing our positions on some of the more controversial issues. Specifically, they would like to see us eliminate our Party’s opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, as is outlined in our party platform.

It is for these folks that I offer this brief history lesson, outlining what happens when we compromise what we knew to be right in order to win an election. It was Republican’s agreement to the Compromise of 1877 eventually ended reconstruction and ushered in 100 years of Jim Crowe and oppression of blacks, all so we could have a Republican in the white house .

Here was the agreement- The 1876 presidential election ended with no clear winner. So, Democrats agreed to accept the Republican presidential electors (thus assuring that Rutherford B. Hayes would become the next president), provided the Republicans would agree to the following:

To withdraw federal soldiers from their remaining positions in the South
• To enact federal legislation that would spur industrialization in the South
• To appoint Democrats to patronage positions in the South
• To appoint a Democrat to the president’s cabinet

Once the parties had agreed to these terms, the Electoral Commission performed its duty. The Hayes’ electors were selected and Hayes was named president two days before the inauguration.

This deal effectively ended reconstruction. As it died, Republicans and Democrats made promises that the civil rights of all Southerners would be respected. And for a few years this was the case.

However, by the 1880s it was clear that the northern troops would never return. Thus, as the threat faded, Democrat officials were less likely to investigate and convict those implicated in voter intimidation, making Democratic victories even more lopsided as black voter participation (the most important Republican in the south at the time) began to decline.

Then, by the 1890s, the “redeemer governments” began to segregate facilities by race and the lynching of blacks began to accelerate greatly and soon more blacks than whites were being killed without the benefit of a trial. The final “approval” of the redeemer governments came in 1898 when the Plessy v. Ferguson decision legalized segregation with the famous phrase, “seperate but equal.”

With that victory segregationists accelerated the separation of the races and soon did not even bother to worry about the “equal” part. Also in the 1890s, the great denial of civil rights to Southern blacks became commonplace as poll taxes, literacy tests and intimidation effectively ended the practice of voting by Southern blacks.

This 19th century version of “postpartisanship” would in the end, ruin our nation and our party for the next 100 years; all because of our willingness to sell out our values, simply to win an election.

Study shows that contribution limits increased influence of special interests groups

Who knew that limiting the amount of money someone could give to politicians would increase the strangle hold special interests have on our government…. CONSERVATIVES!!!! THAT’S WHO!!!

According to the Sacramento Bee:

The state’s campaign finance watch group says independent expenditure committees have given more than $88 million since 2000 to candidates for state offices, raising questions about whether campaign contribution limits have done anything to curtail money in politics.

The Fair Political Practices Commission is holding a hearing today to explore the explosion of independent expenditure spending on candidates. Chairman Ross Johnson says he’d like to find better ways for the public to track spending because it’s not always clear who’s controlling them. Johnson says even if committees don’t coordinate with candidates, candidates can see who’s helping them.
Back in 2000, voters approved contribution limits to candidate campaigns under Proposition 34. Since then, the commission found, independent committees have pumped millions into state races on behalf of candidates.
For example, in 2000, independent expenditure committees gave $376,000 to legislative races. Six years later, that figure jumped to $23.5 million.
For statewide candidates, committees gave $526,000 in 2002, but that figure skyrocketed to $29.5 million by 2006.
Here’s a list of the top 10 committees that have given to state candidates since 2000:
1. Californians for a Better Government, A Coalition of Firefighters, Police, Deputy Sheriffs, Teachers, Home Builders and Developers – $9,855,582
2. Alliance for a Better California, Educators, Firefighters, School Employees, Health Care Givers and Labor Organizations – $5,245,109
3. First Americans for a Better California Independent Expenditure Committee – $4,256,754
4. JOBS PAC – An Independent Expenditure Committee Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce – $3,900,501
5. California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) Independent Expenditure Committee – $3,536,698
6. Morongo Band of Mission Indians Native American Rights PAC – $3,378,853
7. Strengthening Our Lives Through Education, Community Action and Civic Participation, A Coalition of Labor Organizations Candidate PAC – $3,306,944
8. Team 2006, Sponsored by California Sovereign Indian Nations -$3,093,391
9. Alliance for Progress and Education, An Alliance of Professional, Employers and Small Business – $2,953,948
10. Working Californians – $2,637,860

It seems that big money always finds a way to get back into the pockets of the politicians. Every time we try to pass a law to limit their influence, it just seems to give them more power. This is why I have always said that the only thing that will remove the influence of money in politics is an informed and engaged electorate. Voters must start to do their own research and stop relying on campaign advertising to be their primary information source on candidates and issues.

But the untold story here is who makes up these “Top 10 Committees”. Liberals would have us believe that Big Business is controlling politics here in Sacramento. The truth is that liberal interest groups have given the most and have given most (if not all) of their money to Democrats. These groups include: Six groups that are controlled by labor, Three by Indian tribes and only one (Jobs PAC) is a business group. But Jobs PAC actually contributed as much (if not more) money to Democrats as they did to Republicans.

So the next time you hear a Democrat proclaim that he/she plans to end the strangle hold that special interests have on Sacramento, remember to check his bank account.

NAACP head is paid by tribes, backs their plan- Conflict of Interest?

Please forgive the lateness of this post. But it was the discussion surrounding this issue that prompted the formation of this blog in the first place. So, it seems only appropriate for us to share our thoughts on it with our readers.

Last week the Sacramento Bee reported that Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP’s California Conference was serving as a paid consultant for those who support the Indian Gaming compacts, while at the same time advocating for these compacts as the head of the state NAACP. And according to the Bee this is not the first time.

According to the Bee:

The president of the California NAACP has been paid more than $40,000 in consulting fees – and the organization itself has received $60,000 – from a coalition of Indian tribes at the same time the civil rights group has endorsed four ballot measures pushed by its tribal benefactors.

The payments to Alice Huffman, who has served as president of the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People since 1999, continue a three-year pattern in which Huffman’s political firm has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by special interest groups.


Those same interests, including tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, have also donated tens of thousands of dollars directly to the state NAACP while receiving the organization’s backing.

It is commonplace for political campaigns to hire consultants for outreach to various constituencies and ethnic groups. But Huffman’s dual role as a paid political strategist and president of a respected civil rights organization has raised questions about whether the group’s endorsement can be bought.

I have to say that I do know Alice and have found her to be genuinely committed to serving the interests of the NAACP. And I truly do not believe that she sees anything wrong with getting paid to advocate on behalf of a position that she would have advocated for anyway. I have to admit that I can understand the reasoning. However, I would not be as quick to write off the potential conflict of interest as Ms. Huffman seems to be doing in this article.

The first question that came to my mind was, “When advocating for these issues before or on behalf of the NAACP, does she disclose that she is a paid consultant for the group supporting the position she is advocating?” I seem to remember another Black opinion leader, Armstrong Williams being racked over the coals a few years ago for being supportive of No Child Left Behind in opinion pieces and speeches because he failed to mention that he was paid by the Bush Administration to promote the policy. His argument was that he was always supportive of the landmark education policy and was simply being paid to express an opinion which he already held.

I can’t disagree with that. But I will say the same thing I said back then. As an opinion leader, he had an ethical obligation to disclose his contractual arrangement. Otherwise, those who value his “unbiased” opinion would know all the facts. The same can be said of Alice Huffman. Although, as the head of a major civil rights organization and not just an opinion leader, she has an even greater responsibility to provide full disclosure to the NAACP membership and to those to whom she spoke to while wearing her NAACP hat.

On another note: Right or wrong, it is a commonly held belief that many leaders in the Black community can be bought off. One only need consider Jesse Jackson and Al Shaprton’s history of shaking down corporate America to prove my point. Well, it is hard to argue that this conduct by Alice Huffman does anything but further this negative perception. Yes, she has to earn a living. Yes, she has also gotten some of the same groups to also contribute financially to the work of the NAACP. But taking money to advocate a policy and then using your hat as the head of a respected organization to conduct that advocacy just doesn’t pass the smell test.

As a matter of fact, I wonder how many of her current political clients would still be contracting with her if she were not President of the State NAACP?
__________________________________________________

I am not mad at Alice for getting paid. I would not have said some of the things she said (see the Gucci handbag comment), but I am not mad at her…

The bottom line: Alice Huffman is a political consultant – she has never hidden this fact the entire time she has served as President of the California State Conference of the NAACP. During her tenure, the California State Conference has grown from a non-existent entity to a significant, substantive organization organizing and advocating on behalf of minority and disenfranchised Californians.

Alice is tough – she comes with a reputation of effectiveness and and ability to “get down to business” with the best of them… and as a protege of arguably the most talented politician to grace the halls of the Capital (Da Speaker, Willie Brown), she has earned her stripes. Plus, unlike Armstrong Williams (whom Craig pointed out in his column), Alice is an advocate – not a neutral observer. Armstrong was putting himself out there as a neutral opinion leader who “happened” to support the No Child Left Behind education policy (I am ashamed to call him my fraternity brother… we can talk about that later). Alice, on the other hand, has NEVER put herself out to be a “neutral” party offering her analysis. She is a paid advocate. She gets paid to persuade targeted publics to believe a particular point of view.

Alice has made it a point to disclose to the members of the State Conference those business dealings that her private firm, AC Public Affairs, that may create even an appearance of conflict with the NAACP. And because of her effectiveness at building an operation – providing coordination, training, development and funding for much needed advocacy programming that generates significant public attention around the efforts of the NAACP statewide – the members are in no hurry to see her go.

As for the contributions to the State Conference from special interests: I get the point that leaders and organizations have a special obligation to ensure that they are above reproach. However, we live in the real world where real actions have real consequences. We live in a world where attacks on civil rights occur almost daily, and where the need for resources is not met by contributions from the community. Across the nation, the NAACP receives money from tobacco, liquor, and corporations like Wal-Mart – and yet has only supported policies and positions which are consistent with the mission of the organization. When have you seen Julian Bond or the NAACP out pimping Lucky Strikes, Schlitz Malt Liquor or Viagra? You haven’t and you won’t – period. And while you will find no instances of the NAACP out pimping for these companies, you WILL find the organization out opposing policies which could be viewed as supportive of such interests – including hitting Wal-Mart hard for its perceived opposition to employee benefits and issues with organized labor. No matter who pays for it, the work still needs to get done – legislation, the courts and the lives of individual victims wait for no one.

The much larger and more important question that should be asked is why such a storied, venerable organization has to look to corporate entities to fund its operations in the first place. Time was, the NAACP was funded by the people to do this important work – the churches, civic organizations, individuals and families. Now corporations have supplanted the community as the ‘bread and butter’ of the organization – a model which does compromise the authenticity of the organization. This is not unique to the NAACP, as other organizations also must look outside the community to fund their operations. With African Americans spending an estimated $630 – $690 billion in earned income in the larger American economy, the inability of African American institutions to significantly access this market to fund ongoing advocacy threatens the gains made by the community over the last 60 years. Without the ability for its institutions to be authentic – to be fully independent of a system it must often pressure for change – the disengagement of the community from its institutions will continue unabated and result in a regression and errosion of the standing of blacks in America.

__________________________________________________

David,

Those are all good points. No one is questioning Alice’s ability or effectiveness. But let’s be real! You and I both know that in politics, perception is reality.

The general perception is that most liberal black organizations and their leadership have been bought and paid for. This includes the National and California State Conference of the NAACP. The fact that the state president of the organization is getting paid by special interests to lobby on their behalf only furthers that perception.

If you truly want to know why “such a storied, venerable organization has to look to corporate entities to fund its operations” (By the way you forgot homosexual groups, labor unions and the democratic party), you only need to look at situations like this one. Alice’s actions bring into question the credibility of an organization that already has credibility issues in the eyes of many who once believed in them.

Have you ever considered that maybe the reason why the people don’t give to the work of the NAACP is because they no longer believe that the NAACP represents their interests or values? (A topic for a future discussion.)