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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not another "slap in the face of African-Americans."

The highest-ranking black congressman says opposition to the federal stimulus package by southern governors is "a slap in the face of African-Americans."

Blogger, African American Political Pundit says: Your kidding right? Are southern governors in 2009 really slapping black folks in the face? This is 2009 right, not the 1950's.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. is shown in this August file photo at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Clyburn, the highest-ranking black congressman, said that opposition to the federal stimulus package by southern GOP governors is 'a slap in the face of African-Americans.' (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said Thursday he was insulted when the GOP governors of several states said they might not accept some of the money from the $787 billion stimulus package. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday he would accept the money.

Image: Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Rick Perry of Texas, center, is one a number of Republican governors who are considering turning down some of the stimulus package money.

Clyburn said he was trying to protect black Americans when he added a provision to the stimulus package that would let state lawmakers override governors who oppose it. More HERE

As reported by the NY Times, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, said that he would reject the money for expanding unemployment insurance.

“There is some we will not take in Mississippi,” Governor Barbour told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “We want more jobs. You don’t get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs.”

In an interview on Saturday, Mr. Barbour criticized the stimulus law, saying: “It’s filled with social policy and costs too much. You could create just as many jobs for about half as much money.”

Meanwhile, as reported by MSNBC the U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, said the governors — some of whom are said to be eyeing White House bids in 2012 — are putting their own interests first.

"No community or constituent should be denied recovery assistance due to their governor's political ideology or political aspirations," Clyburn said Wednesday.

In fact, governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language Clyburn included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object. More HERE

AAPP: So, what do you think? Are southern governors slapping black folks in the face? Is this a color or racial issue? Are the southern governors color aroused? Did the highest-ranking black congressman go to far when he said opposition to the federal stimulus package by southern governors is a slap in the face of African-Americans ? Well, there is a history of southern governors doing bad things to black folks.

Of course we should trust Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi to do the right thing for blacks in Mississippi. Right!

But, then again what did the Congressional Black Caucus put in the Stimulus Plan to stimulate the economy in our black communities?

It's seems that all ethnic groups have been taken care of in the stimulus package but black folks. The Filipino Veterans were taken care of in Stimulus Bill. Native Americans received a well needed and deserved $2.5B for Native American tribes. I'm sure that President Obama’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, will be vigilant in ensuring that Latinos are taken care of. The list of resources to ethnic groups is great. Now the question is.... What did Rep. James Clyburn and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus get for black communities? How many new schools will be built in "our communities" vs wealthy suburban communities or gentrified communities that have turn from black to white? OK, you want to talk about color, you want to really talk about color and race, like Atty General Eric Holder suggested, well let's really talk about it. Don't be scared...

African American Political Pundit is a regular contributor to this blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is Massachusetts Ready To Steal The Stimulus Money?

AAPP: In my home town, of Boston, Massachusetts, the crooks and liars are ready to steal the stimulus money. As reported by The Boston Globe, The real estate developer chosen by Governor Deval Patrick to distribute billions of dollars in federal stimulus money has been receiving a state pension ever since he was fired from his job at a state development agency in 1995, according to state records.

Jeffrey A. Simon, 58, was tapped by the governor on Wednesday to the newly created job of director of infrastructure investment, which will pay him $150,000 a year. The governor promptly posted a summary of Simon's résumé on his website after the appointment, listing a distinguished career as a real estate specialist in government and the private sector, with expertise in redeveloping military bases.

But what the résumé posting did not say was that Simon was terminated in 1995 from his state job overseeing the redevelopment of Fort Devens.

The governor and his staff also did not disclose that, under a Massachusetts pension law intended to protect patronage hires from retribution, his firing entitled him to begin collecting an enhanced state pension while he was in his mid-40s.

Simon could not be reached for comment. His retirement records do not include a reason for his dismissal from the agency where he worked in the mid-1990s, the Massachusetts Government Land Bank. His official résumé suggests he left the Land Bank because he was recruited for a similar job by the government of Bermuda.

A spokesman for Patrick, Joe Landolfi, provided a statement last night that said the administration knew Simon had departed state government. The statement did not address the questions of Simon's pension or his dismissal from the agency, however.

"Mr. Simon was fully vetted prior to being offered the position of director of infrastructure investment. He disclosed that he retired from state service more than a decade ago," Landolfi said. "He is eminently qualified to serve in this critical role, and we are confident he will successfully ensure federal stimulus funds are invested responsibly and transparently."

State retirement records show that Simon has been paid $29,000 to $32,000 a year since December 1995 with his enhanced, early pension. He has collected $403,751.84 in all, according to state records.

Simon will forgo the pension payments while he serves in his new state job, according to administration officials. More HERE

I guess Black Agenda Report was right. Black Folks will get the short end regarding the Stimulus Package. As The Black Agenda Report noted, Obama's economic stimulus plan is built around "shovel-ready" projects already vetted by the states. That means "Mississippi will be enabled to do more of what Mississippi always does." More HERE

Note: Let's include northern Mississippi in the equation, Massachusetts.

More political report and discussion at: African American Political

Who will hold Governor Deval Patrick accountable?

Welcome to Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment

Governor Deval Patrick

Here you will find information about the pending American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and can learn about Governor Patrick's plan for investing the federal stimulus funds in the Commonwealth's roads and bridges, schools, housing, rail and other transportation needs, clean and efficient energy, information technology,broadband access and more. This central website will serve as the primary communication and reporting tool for the Commonwealth's implementation of the economic recovery infrastructure program. In the future, this site will allow you to track our performance in implementing projects and the success of the projects themselves.

Meet the Director of Infrastructure Investment Jeffrey A. Simon

Governor Deval Patrick has selected senior real estate professional Jeffrey A. Simon to lead the Administration's economic recovery infrastructure program to maximize the Commonwealth's ability to create new jobs and lay a foundation for long-term economic growth. MORE HERE