Shirley Sherrod story, Rest of story, Media coverage, Pigford v Glickman, Obama, Citizen Wells open thread, August 27, 2010

Shirley Sherrod story, Rest of story, Media coverage, Pigford v Glickman, Obama

Has anyone out there heard Fox or any other major media player cover the complete Shirley Sherrod story and her connection to the controversy in the Pigford v Glickman payouts to black farmers? This story has been hovering in my mind for several weeks.

On February 23, 2010 Drill Down reported the following.

“Last Thursday, February 18th, 2010; the United States Department of Agriculture agreed to pay “Black Farmers” an additional 1.25 billion dollars to settle a previously “settled” class action discrimination suit.”

“Accordingly, in the 2008 “Farms Bill” House version known as “H.R.2419 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008” section “4012. DETERMINATION ON MERITS OF PIGFORD CLAIMS,” inserted 100 million dollars for money to be paid for those claimants denied due to untimely filing. A corresponding provision was inserted into the Senate version of the Bill by then Senator Barack Obama. In a public statement, NBFA President John Boyd Jr. explained that it would take “billions” to settle the claims, but that “he had to accept” the 100 million to keep the suit alive.

Last Thursday, Obama, Holder, and the USDA, proved Boyd correct by agreeing to pay an additional 1.15 billion dollars to honor the “late” filers under the original settlement. There are now more than 70,000 claims of discrimination pending adjudication. Yes, that’s 70,000 IN ADDITION TO the original 22,000 claims; making the total number of claims almost 100,000. Or, roughly 4 times more than the total number of black farms in existence at the time of the alleged discrimination. The allocated funds which now exceed 2 billion dollars, will clearly be insufficient to honor all of the pending claims.”

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American Thinker reported the following on July 21, 2010.

“Shirley Sherrod’s quick dismissal from the Obama administration may have had less to do with her comments on race before the NAACP than her long involvement in the aptly named Pigford case, a class action against the US government on behalf of black farmers alleging that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had discriminated against black farmers during the period from 1983 through 1997.”

“So where does Sherrod come into this picture?  In a special to the Washington Examiner, Tom Blumer explains  that Sherrod and the group she formed along with family members and others, New Communities. Inc. received the largest single settlement under Pigford.
 … New Communities is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit (Pigford vs Vilsack).
What makes this even more interesting to me is that Charles appears to be Charles Sherrod, who was a big player in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s.  The SNCC was the political womb that nurtured the Black Power movement and the Black Panthers before it faded away.
Blumer has some questions about this settlement and about Sherrod’s rapid departure from the USDA
•Was Ms. Sherrod’s USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization’s settlement?
•How much “debt forgiveness” is involved in USDA’s settlement with New Communities?
•Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in “pain and suffering” payments — amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
•Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?
Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
•Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
•Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
•Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?”

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From August 26, 2010.

““After all the friendly gestures between Secretary Vilsack and Mrs. Sherrod, there are still several questions unanswered. Why is Secretary Vilsack taking responsibility for the decision when Mrs. Sherrod has maintained she was contacted by the White House? Did the White House demand Secretary Vilsack fire Mrs. Sherrod? Is she still being paid by the federal government? Has Mrs. Sherrod agreed not to file another lawsuit against Secretary Vilsack or the federal government? Was Shirley Sherrod granted an additional settlement in exchange for her silence and an agreement not to sue Vilsack again? Why is Mrs. Sherrod filing suit against Andrew Breitbart, but hugging the man who fired her?””

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Is this story being covered?

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