Representive Rangel, Governor Patterson & Former D.C Mayor Marion Barry


Right now, black politicians are all over the news for misdeeds. Is it a conspiracy or evidence of real power?


What is wrong with these black politicians? The headlines in the papers are dominated by black elected officials in trouble. There’s Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., stepping aside (temporarily) as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Then there’s Marion Barry, the former Washington, D.C., mayor, stripped of his chairmanship of a city council committee. Finally, a couple of hundred miles north of the nation’s capital, there’s David Paterson, the governor of New York, under pressure to quit despite having announced he will not seek re-election.

In all three cases, it’s a matter of ethics—and power. Rangel was found to have violated House ethics rules by accepting trips to the Caribbean paid for by corporations. He took fire over the past couple of years for a series of embarrassing situations, including using a rent-regulated apartment in New York as an office and failing to pay taxes on a vacation home he owned in the Dominican Republic.

Barry, whose up-and-down-and-up-and-down career is worthy of a Philip Glass opera, was censured by the D.C. city council for awarding a city contract to a former girlfriend. The council, in an unusual rebuke, voted 12-0 to take away his chairmanship of a council committee and asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate possible criminal activity. This is small potatoes to a man who was once busted on camera for snorting cocaine, spent six months in a federal prison, and yet was re-elected mayor by an adoring grassroots constituency.

Then there’s the case of Paterson, the “accidental” governor who suddenly found himself in the executive mansion when Gov. Eliot Spitzer was caught in a call-girl scandal. Paterson, the lieutenant governor, had not expected to play more than a ceremonial role. Once he was bumped upstairs, he had his own ethics problem, including charges that he tried to influence a young woman who had accused one of his close aides of domestic violence.

If you’re a conspiracy theorist, seeing the faces of all three on the front pages of the tabloids might well drive you to suspect a plot to unseat black men in power. Last fall, Politico reported that all seven active ethics investigations of House members involved black legislators. “Is there concern whether someone is trying to set up [Congressional Black Caucus] members? Yeah, there is,” a black House Democrat told Politico. “It looks as if there is somebody out there who understands what the rules [are] and sends names to the ethics committee with the goal of going after the [CBC].”


Sadly, the explanation is much more complex. All three men have fallen due to the arrogant misuse of their office, and they have no one to blame but themselves for that. But at the same time, the unusual scrutiny of African-American politicians reflects the unprecedented acquisition of power by black Americans. With 42 members, the Congressional Black Caucus is one of the most powerful blocs in House, and it was recently the subject of a New York Times investigation into its nonprofit foundation’s collection and use of funds.

Meanwhile, there is a long list of white politicians who have gotten into trouble for their behavior and received media scrutiny for it. In addition to Spitzer, there was Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina who sneaked off to see an Argentinean amor, and Jim McGreevey of New Jersey who admitted to having a homosexual extramarital affair. On Tuesday, New York’s Rep. Eric Massa announced he will retire for health reasons, amid accusations that he sexually harassing a male staffer.

No one should defend the behavior of Rangel, Barry or Paterson on the grounds that white politicians have done the same or worse. African Americans should hold their leaders to the highest standards at all times. The end doesn’t justify the means.

Rangel’s exit from his chairmanship is a huge loss of power for him—and by extension, for African Americans. After 40 years in Congress, he finally reached the top spot of the House Ways and Means Committee, a powerful body that controls legislation on taxes, international trade and entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and welfare. The committee has played a key role in President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation.

Ironically, Rangel himself succeeded the legendary Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who came under fire for misusing House committee funds and was found guilty of slandering a Harlem woman as a collector of bribes for the police. Powell’s ethical problems gave Rangel the opening to take his place. Now Rangel may face a challenge from an upstart himself.

The news media have taken an aggressive role in pursuing these black politicians. It may be that in our “post-racial” era, with a black president in the White House, editors are less worried about being accused of racism in pursuing African-American wrongdoers. But why now? Maybe it’s because having finally achieved real political power, black politicians have become worthy of intense media scrutiny. The flaws and missteps that might have gone unnoticed in the past are cast in the spotlight because what they do suddenly matters.


That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also scrutinize the news media. The most important decision news organizations make long before a story is published is whom to go after and whom to give a pass. We would be more comfortable with such judgments if we knew that African Americans were also involved in the process. Sadly, the news business is well behind politics regarding the “post-racial” thing.


http://www.theroot.com/views/p...lack-power?auto=true

Original Post
I'd say the main thing wrong with these Black politicians is the fact that their POLITICIANS!    Next would be that their all corrupt and .. in some cases.. just plain ol' stupid.

Ignorance and greed do not discriminate or choose sides based on race.  The fact that they are Black, IMO, is of no consequence whatsoever.  And while it's quite possible they were specifically targeted because of their race (we have not yet 'overcome' and there are still plenty of people that would like to cause us societal harm!)... they are in the hot seat right now because they have abused their power and committed crimes!    That's the bottom line.

And they are not the only ones ... only the ones that have been caught.  So far.
Don't hate the player, HATE THE GAME!  For the life of me I'm still trying to understand what exactly David Patterson did that was wrong? It was his aide that beat up his spouse/girlfriend. Believe me NY state politicians have done much worse, so why is this brother being singled out? I'll tell you why because last year he was told by National Democrats not to run for governor, that's why. Now this 'incident' comes up?
David Paterson is definitely being railroaded, arm-twisted, pressured, and brow-beaten out of the governorship.  But there are a couple of reasons for that.

The first is that, for whatever reason, New Yorkers don't care for him.  His approval ratings were in the toilet (and that's not to say that they necessarily had good reason for that - the voting population as a whole is basically unknowledgable about the intracacies of politics) ... but, the truth is that it's highly unlikely that he could win an election with a low approval in an election that's sure to have a low voter turnout.

The second reason is that Gov. Paterson is not a "true" Democrat.  He's more like an Independent, or a 'Blue Dog' ... which means that he can't be trusted to tow the 'Party line' because he has his own (conservative) ideas ... and the Democratic Party would rather have in place someone who they can count on and control running a state as important as New York.

The Governor talks a good game, but his actions have proven that he's a political renegade.  Which is a liability to the White House and the Party as a whole.  And they would rather not have to deal with surprises .. especially  supposedly coming from one of their own.

I'm not saying that these reasons are right or good ... but, as far as how the game is played ... this guy simply doesn't not make the team!  He refused to go quietly, which could have saved him a whole bunch of grief .. and possibly his political career, which is probably now over due to all the dirt he's being buried under.

It's unfortunate ... but, I think his arrogance has played just as big a part in doing him in as those who've plotted against him.
Reference:
No one should defend the behavior of Rangel, Barry or Paterson on the grounds that white politicians have done the same or worse. African Americans should hold their leaders to the highest standards at all times. The end doesn’t justify the means.

The governor of south carolina remains in office. DAvid Vitter of Louisiana remains in office after a scandal. Bill Clinton Remained in office after IMPEACHMENT, Timothy Geithner was confirmed for Secty of the Treasury even after his tax problems were exposed and no consequences whatsoever have happened to the criminal bush/cheney administration...


But blacks have to be held to a higher standard....?
One more to add to the list .... 


Former Birmingham mayor gets 15 years for bribery




TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was sentenced Friday to 15 years in federal prison for taking clothes, Rolex watches, loan payments and cash worth more than $240,000 as bribes in return for lucrative bond work.

U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler imposed the sentence on Langford, 63, who told the court, "I am sorry all this has occurred."

The sentence was about nine years shorter than the minimum term sought by prosecutors. Asked outside court whether he was pleased, Langford sneered at a reporter.

"Are you?" said Langford, who claims he did nothing wrong.

Langford and his wife have blamed his conviction on vindictive prosecutors, inattentive jurors and racism. Langford is black; most of the jurors were white.

Defense lawyers already are working on an appeal.

Langford, a dapper political figure, was convicted in October of taking cash, loans and gifts — including expensive clothes and jewelry — while he was president of the Jefferson County Commission. In exchange, prosecutors said, he steered county bond work to an investment banker who paid the bribes.

"He sold Jefferson County out," said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin.

He said Langford committed a "gross abuse of trust" with every Italian suit, Rolex watch and cash payment he received. Initially valued at $235,000, authorities said a final tally of the bribes came to $241,843 — which Langford was ordered to repay, along with about $119,985 in back taxes. Langford must report to federal custody by April 5.

The defense claimed the cash and other items were personal gifts and loans from friends and did not influence Langford's decision on the bond work.

But investment banker Bill Blount pleaded guilty to making the payments, and lobbyist Al LaPierre admitted being the middleman. Blount, the former state Democratic Party chairman, last week was sentenced to more than four years in prison. LaPierre, the former executive director of the state Democratic Party, got four years. Blount also was ordered to pay $1 million to the government, and LaPierre $470,000.

Prosecutors had argued Langford showed no remorse and should spend up to 30 years in prison.

The defense said Langford had been ridiculed by news media and, based on another Jefferson County official's sentence for corruption, should spend no more than five years in prison.

Defense attorney Michael Rasmussen also argued Friday that the bond deals were in the best interest of the county at the time.

"Unfortunately, since that time things went sour, but they didn't go sour because of Mr. Langford," he said.

Defense attorneys previously asked the judge to ignore new allegations that Langford won excessive jackpots at a longtime supporter's casino — at least 555 over a recent three-year period ranging from slightly more than $1,000 to more than $14,000. Court filings said his tax returns showed he won $1.5 million during that time from gambling at various casinos, and also claimed to have lost $1.5 million.

Nonetheless, Rasmussen — Langford's lawyer — was the only one who tried to bring up the gambling allegations. The judge cut him off.

"I'm not going to consider that at all," Coogler said. It wasn't clear what Rasmussen planned to say.

Blount's Montgomery firm was accused of making $7.1 million off the bond deals with Jefferson County. The bonds were part of risky financing of sewer debt that has grown to more than $3 billion and pushed Alabama's most populous county to the brink of filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Langford was accused of telling major Wall Street banks JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers to include Blount's investment banking firm if they wanted to handle the county's bond work.

Elected mayor in 2007, Langford was known for his rapid-fire ideas to revive the city. But some drew ridicule, such as his proposal to try to bring the 2020 Olympics to Birmingham, a city without a major sports franchise. He was automatically removed from office after his conviction.

Somewhere after Malcolm and MLK, we start thinking we were equal. WE  even
started dissin OUR Black Own Businesses and so grateful that at last WE could be accepted into the great white society!! WE thought wE could do what wyte been getting  away with..
Reference:
The governor of south carolina remains in office. DAvid Vitter of Louisiana remains in office after a scandal. Bill Clinton Remained in office after IMPEACHMENT, Timothy Geithner was confirmed for Secty of the Treasury even after his tax problems were exposed and no consequences whatsoever have happened to the criminal bush/cheney administration... But blacks have to be held to a higher standard....?
That's what I want to know. They set our folks up time and time again. You'd think we'd figure this out by now.
Nehisi Reference:
Somewhere after Malcolm and MLK, we start thinking we were equal. WE even started dissin OUR Black Own Businesses and so grateful that at last WE could be accepted into the great white society!! WE thought wE could do what wyte been getting away with..
Great post Nehisi...especially the part where they get away with it, but Blacks are endlessly pursued, scrutinized, and dealt harsher consequences.
Hey just a quick note: Has anyone really read the title of this article? Its entitled "The Perils of Black Power. . . " Let me print it again, THE PERILS OF BLACK POWER. Shit, what is the author saying here? What is so PERILOUS about BLACK POWER and to WHOM? Why couldn't they just have entitled the article "What's wrong with these black politicians"?
I'm not a big fan of the Root by any means, but this is just proof positive of their co-signing with White Supremacy ideology and systems.
For all of my life, I have experienced crooked politicians.

The first my father thought he was a friend until my dad sold him a piece of land immediately behind our house, and he built a red, brick chicken house right on the property line 40 feet from our back door....and told my dad to 'go to hell'.

If it matters, he was a Republican...so was my Dad...then.

Then Roosevelt became President.

No change.

It could be said that this is evidence of equality.

We have bad politicians too.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Reference:
Hey just a quick note: Has anyone really read the title of this article? Its entitled "The Perils of Black Power. . . " Let me print it again, THE PERILS OF BLACK POWER. Shit, what is the author saying here? What is so PERILOUS about BLACK POWER and to WHOM? Why couldn't they just have entitled the article "What's wrong with these black politicians"?

You got a good point!!  I had problems with that title, too ... but just couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was that was rubbin' me the wrong way! 

But it sounds racist, is what it is.  Plain and simple as that. 
Reference:
For all of my life, I have experienced crooked politicians.

I think the terms are simply synonymous with each other.  Even if you don't start out that way .. that's where you end up.  

There are those who've been caught .. and those that haven't.

It's also often political ... when Dems are in the majority, Republicans get caught.  When Repubs are in charge, Dems' hands are found in the cookie jar!  And then there are those who are just stupid! 

But ... with racial tensions running on high on 'the other side' right now ... stemming from the election of President Obama ... are/will Black politicians be targeted more .. perhaps for less?  I wouldn't doubt it.

Lots of folks are mad at the current situation in America right now. And they want to change it. It's bound to get uglier than it already has.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×