Ex-NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence for Public Corruption

ray nagin 350x238 Ex NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin Gets 10 Year Prison Sentence for Public Corruption

Ex-NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence for Public Corruption (Credit: Wikipedia)

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for public corruption. Under the sentencing guidelines, he was facing 20 years in prison.

Nagin, 58, the two-term mayor who was the face of the city during Hurricane Katrina, joins a list of Louisiana elected officials convicted of misdeeds. He is New Orleans’ first mayor to be convicted and sent to prison for public corruption.

Nagin is set to report to prison on Sept. 8. He could serve his term at a minimum security federal detention center in Oakdale, a city in central Louisiana.

U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan handed down the sentence in a packed courtroom five months after a jury convicted Nagin on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, wire fraud, tax evasion and other charges. She said the seriousness of his crimes could not be overstated, but said he was not the leader of a conspiracy and she felt it just to sentence him below the range called for in federal sentencing guidelines.

Nagin spoke briefly.

“The only thing I want to say is I want to thank you and your staff for the professionalism that you provided,” Nagin told the judge during the brief hearing. “As far as my role in this, we stand by the testimonies already presented.” Source: Times-Picayune

Another black mayor bites the dust….

MSNBC Cancels “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” Who’s Next?

KarenFinney6 1 350x233 MSNBC Cancels Disrupt with Karen Finney, Whos Next?

MSNBC Cancels “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” Who’s Next? (Credit: Google Plus)

MSNBC cancels “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” ending its nearly one-year run. An MSNBC spokesman told TV Newser, “Our thanks to Karen and her team for their great work. Finney will remain with MSNBC as a contributor.” Um, who’s next? Joy Ann Reid, Melissa Harris-Perry or Ronan Farrow?

“Disrupt,” which aired at 4 p.m. on weekends never really caught on with audiences. TV Newser reports the show posted just 14,000 viewers in the A25-34 demographics last November for one of its Sunday shows. It never really overcame those numbers since then.

 

 MSNBC Cancels Disrupt with Karen Finney, Whos Next?

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes

patrick cannon 350x246 Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes

Another black politician bites the dust… Former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal corruption charge for taking bribes. He is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Cannon, a Democrat, resigned his position as mayor hours after he was arrested in March. He pleaded guilty to a single count of honest services wire fraud as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors. Though the charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years, it is likely that he will serve a shorter sentence.

Many of the details of Cannon’s alleged acceptance of almost $50,000 in bribes during a three-year FBI sting became widely known at the time of his March 26 arrest.

But the new document also alleges a different case of bribery. This one involves Cannon and Charlotte strip club mogul David “Slim” Baucom. Prosecutors say money illegally changed hands as Cannon tried to lessen the impact of the city’s new light-rail line on one of Baucom’s clubs, Twin Peeks.

In January 2013, prosecutors say Cannon pocketed $2,000 from the club’s owner to influence zoning, planning and transportation departments to make it easier for the night spot to stay in business, despite being in the path of the light-rail construction zone.

Twin Peeks, adjoining the Blue Line extension on North Tryon Street near W.T. Harris Boulevard, was demolished in June 2013 but could be rebuilt on the remainder of the lot, according to Charlotte Area Transit System documents.

According to federal prosecutors, by the time the light-rail negotiations took place, Cannon had been taking bribes from Baucom for years. Source: Charlotte Observer

Anne Tompkins, the U.S. attorney for Charlotte, signaled in an interview that her office might pursue charges against others. She said, “This investigation did not end with Patrick Cannon’s arrest.”

Patrick Cannon’s fall from grace is tragic because he had so much promise. He becomes the latest black mayor to be charged with taking bribes. Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is currently imprisoned for taking bribes, while former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin will be sentenced on June 11 after he was convicted on 20 counts including bribery, fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Last month, Tony Mack, former mayor of Trenton, NJ, was sentenced to five years in prison on bribery charges.

 Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes

Black GOP Congressional Candidate Niger Innis Says Cliven Bundy Isn’t a Racist

niger innis 350x193 Black GOP Congressional Candidate Niger Innis Says Cliven Bundy Isnt a Racist

Black GOP Congressional Candidate Niger Innis Says Cliven Bundy Isn’t a Racist (YouTube Video Screengrab)

Black Republican congressional candidate Niger Innis doesn’t think “Welfare King” rancher Cliven Bundy is a racist. It’s no surprise that Innis is running to represent the district where Bundy’s ranch is located — Nevada’s 4th Congressional district.

Niger Innis said, “I don’t consider Cliven racist at all.” He added, “They will try to distract, with the firestorm that Cliven started by using the r-word. The racism word. I can only tell you my experience with the Bundys. Having eaten with them and broken bread with them and I don’t consider Cliven or his wonderful family racist at all.” SMH.

Bundy sparked outrage after telling a New York Times reporter about the “Negro” being “better off as slaves, picking cotton.” No surprise you have a black Republican saying he’s not a racist.

Niger is just as nutty as his dad, Roy Innis. As they say, the apple never falls far from the tree, does it?

[H/T Buzzfeed]

Niger Innis heaps praise on Cliven Bundy:

 Black GOP Congressional Candidate Niger Innis Says Cliven Bundy Isnt a Racist

Gov. Rick Scott Suspends Miami Mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau Over Fraud Charges

lucie tondreau 350x309 Gov. Rick Scott Suspends Miami Mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau Over Fraud Charges

Gov. Rick Scott Suspends Miami Mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau Over Fraud Charges

North Miami mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau was suspended from office by Gov. Rick Scott after she was charged in an alleged $8 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Tondreau, who was released on $50,000 bail, faces up to 30 years in prison for six counts of wire fraud, federal officials said in the unsealed indictment.

Lucie Tondreau, the first female Haitian-American elected as mayor of North Miami, told the local ABC TV affiliate that the allegations against her are a “lie.” She is the fourth Miami-area mayor to be indicted in the last year.

Prosecutors allege Marie Lucie Tondreau, 54, used her weekly radio show and illegal cash payments to recruit buyers to lie on mortgage applications to get loans that were never used to purchase homes. The mortgage company owner, a radio show host and a former attorney were also named in the indictment. They were charged with fraudulently obtaining home loans on 20 South Florida properties between 2005 and 2008, the indictment alleges.

Tondreau had to surrender her passport and  her travel is restrict to the Southern District of Florida. The federal judge also imposed an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for her at her home.

Among those charged are Karl Oreste, 56, of Miramar; Okechukwu Josiah Odunna, a/k/a “O.J. Odunna,” 49, of Lauderdale Lakes; and Kelly Augustin, 57. Marie Lucie Tondreau will be arraigned on May 30.

 

 Gov. Rick Scott Suspends Miami Mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau Over Fraud Charges

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson Calls Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom”

rep. bennie thompson 350x267 Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson Calls Clarence Thomas an Uncle Tom

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson Calls Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom”

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is in hot water for some inflammatory comments he made during an appearance on a New Nation of Islam radio program.

Thompson called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” and said that “it’s almost to the point saying that this man doesn’t like black people, he doesn’t like being black.” He also called Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is a “racist.”

Rep. Thompson also said Republicans are only anti-Obamacare because President Obama is black.

“I’ve been in Washington. I saw three presidents now. I never saw George Bush treated like this. I never saw Bill Clinton treated like this with such disrespect,” Thompson said. “That Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the president of the United States — not the chief executive, but the commander-in-chief — that ‘I don’t care what you come up with we’re going to be against it.’ Now if that’s not a racist statement I don’t know what is.” Source: Buzzfeed

Many blacks can’t stand Clarence Thomas and view him as something of an “Uncle Tom.” It is true that President Obama is being viewed through the prism of race by some people, but not all.

 Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson Calls Clarence Thomas an Uncle Tom

Sarah Palin’s Endorsement of GOP Senate Candidate Karen Handel Amounts to Nothing, Really

karen handel 350x208 Sarah Palins Endorsement of GOP Senate Candidate Karen Handel Amounts to Nothing, Really

Sarah Palin’s Endorsement of GOP Senate Candidate Karen Handel Amounts to Nothing, Really

(OPINION) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel have a few things in common, most notably that they can’t seem to finish anything they start. Karen Handel is running in a crowded field of Republican loons — Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston and David Perdue (cousin of ex-governor Sonny Perdue — vying for the seat of retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The last person who will get my vote is Karen Handel. 

Last month, quitter Sarah Palin endorsed fellow-quitter Handel, singing her virtues:  “You know her background, you know her record. The conservative who has walked the walk. Cutting budgets, not raising taxes, how often do you see that in government?” Yeah, we know her background for sure and a U.S. Senate position isn’t what that background warrants.  Now Handel is out with a new ad promoting Palin’s endorsement.

One problem…..

She was a Secretary of State of Georgia before she quit to run for governor, so exactly when was she involved in not raising taxes or cutting budgets? The fact is Karen Handel wasn’t in charge of taxes and budgets, so that’s another dubious claim being thrown out there for the gullible to grasp.

It’s interesting that Sarah Palin would use that line to endorse Handel considering that she raised taxes on oil companies and left Alaska mired down with a 70% debt to GDP ratio. She also increased general government expenditures by over 33% as mayor of Wasilla and a whopping 43% increase in taxes. I guess it takes one achiever to know the other. Of course, I am being sarcastic. It’s one failed conservative praising another failed conservative.

As a resident of Georgia, I can tell you that Karen Handel’s tenure as Secretary of State was not without controversy. That’s including her disqualification of a Democratic candidate, Jim Powell, who was running for the Public Service Commission five days before the July primary, despite the advisory opinion of an administrative law judge. Her decision was overturned by a Fulton County Superior Court judge.  She lost to Nathan Deal in 2010, after quitting as SOS to run in the gubernatorial race. After losing that election, she was appointed senior vice president of public policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2011.  She quit that job in February 2012 after a dust-up with Planned Parenthood. Her efforts to defund the organization resulted in a backlash of the worst kind for Susan G. Komen.

The fact is, Karen Handel isn’t right for black, Hispanic or LGBT Georgians. She calls herself a “nation builder,” but for whom? Here’s an excerpt from a previous Karen Handel blog post in which she pushed a voter suppression scheme:

Karen Handel prides herself as having saved Georgians $100 million, cutting budgets by 17% and passed the “toughest ethics laws in the country,” which I must add, led to the dismissal of Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett, the nation’s first black female sheriff, on corruption charges. If Handel wins the run-off and prevails at the polls, she would be the first woman governor in the state of Georgia. She was elected Secretary of State in 2006. She implemented  the Georgia’s photo ID law, which requires Georgian voters to show state-issued photo identification before casting their vote in person. She created the agency’s first Chief Investigative Officer to go after perpetrators of elections and consumer fraud. The voter ID program sparked controversy and many in the black community said it worked against them and was a way to deter blacks from voting. The law was challenged as unconstitutional, but was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court.

An issue from her time as a candidate for the commission continues to dog her. The former head of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay and lesbian GOP voters, recently released emails from 2002 and 2003, all sent from Ms. Handel’s e-mail address, indicating she supported granting benefits to county employees in same-sex domestic partnerships. She has vehemently denied sending these e-mails. She said it was her campaign manager in her failed 2002 race. She also denies ever filling out a questionnaire for Georgia Equality, another gay rights group, that also showed her supporting domestic partner benefits, even though it was on her campaign’s letterhead. She said the only thing that should matter is the fact that she voted against a proposal to extend benefits to domestic partners. She also said she would back legislation to outlaw gay marriage. Not good.

Lastly, Karen Handel also took her self-righteousness to the highest level on gay adoption:

In a recent interview with 11 Alive’s Doug Richards, she said a child should be in a household with married heterosexual parents. A home without such a makeup is not a suitable environment to raise a child. She was then asked about single parents and sidestepped the issue, but it was abundantly clear that she doesn’t view such a home favorably. That speaks to the fact that Karen Handel won’t make significant inroads in the black community. I wonder how her background, which was fraught with problems at home, makes her an expert on parenting in the home? She said her mother was an abusive alcoholic and her father was a passive bystander, who did nothing to help his children by leaving the home with them in tow. Don’t get me wrong, there are many people who lived in such a household and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and were successful in their lives. That doesn’t mean that Karen Handel is suddenly an expert on the family and family structures. She also said she is not in favor of gays adopting children. Again, that is very hypocritical, considering there is no hard evidence that states living in a home with same-sex parents is detrimental to the wellbeing of a child.

So, while the slate of Republican Senate candidates leaves little to be desired, it’s laughable that Sarah Palin is trying to paint Karen Handel as force to be reckoned with and one that is so fiscally conservative. Please. On the contrary. When I think nation builder, Karen Handel doesn’t come to mind.

 Sarah Palins Endorsement of GOP Senate Candidate Karen Handel Amounts to Nothing, Really

D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser Wins Democratic Mayoral Nomination

muriel bowser 350x203 D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser Wins Democratic Mayoral Nomination

D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser Wins Democratic Mayoral Nomination (Credit: WAMU.org)

Washington D.C. councilwoman Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday, defeating incumbent Vincent Gray, whose tenure in office was marred by a fundraising scandal stemming from his 2010 campaign.

Turnout in the 143 precincts was light. With 127 of the 143 precincts reporting, Bowser got nearly 44 percent of the votes, to Gray’s 33 percent. He conceded the election shortly before midnight.

In his concession speech, Gray said, “The amount of work we’ve done over the past three-and-a-half years has been nothing short of phenomenal.” He added, “One thing I have to say, I hope the city will change the date of the primary.””This is really poor…having to run a campaign in winter. Trying to knock on doors in February is hard, it’s complex and it’s cold.” He has nine months left in office.

Muriel Bowser pledged to reunited the party. She said, “We know we need a fresh start,” [Democrats] will unite. The Democrats of the nation’s capital have always elected a Democratic mayor, a Democratic mayor, and in big numbers. And we’re going to do it again in November … I accept your nomination!”

Bowser will now face former Republican and now an Independent David Catania in November’s election.

Former Lawmaker Denise Majette Disbarred by GA Supreme Court

denise majette disbarred 350x318 Former Lawmaker Denise Majette Disbarred by GA Supreme Court

Former Lawmaker Denise Majette Disbarred by GA Supreme Court

Former lawmaker Denise Majette was disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court over findings she overbilled and misled the court about how much she was owed in fees.

In a 4-2 decision Friday, the court sided with the recommendation from a special master (an experienced lawyer appointed by the high court), who investigated a complaint filed against her by a former client  in 2010. The special master wrote in a report last year that he found “inexcusable” conduct involving unsubstantiated legal billings.

Denise Majette was elected by DeKalb County voters to Congress in 2002 after she defeated then-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in the Democratic primary. Majette resigned after one term to run for the U.S. Senate and lost to Republican Johnny Isakson in 2004.

In the decision written by the majority of the GA Supreme Court, Denise Majette had on “multiple” occasions submitted “wholly unsupported and materially misleading time sheets and invoices to her client.” The decision also said she misrepresented her hours and fees to a court when she submitted them in court cases. The justices wrote, “Majette has failed to express any remorse.”

Majette started having financial troubles in 2008 while working as a part-time attorney and real estate agent, even asking other attorneys for loans, the decision said.

 Former Lawmaker Denise Majette Disbarred by GA Supreme Court

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Resigns After Arrest on Theft & Bribery Charges

mayor patrick cannon 350x297 Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Resigns After Arrest on Theft & Bribery Charges

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Resigns After Arrest on Theft & Bribery Charges

Another black mayor bites the dust! Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned Wednesday after he was arrested on public corruption charges. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleges he took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes, including $20,000 cash delivered in a briefcase to his mayor’s office last month. He also solicited $1 million more. #OhMy

Cannon was arrested Wednesday morning at a South Park apartment used by undercover FBI agents after he arrived to pick up another payment. #Bold

According to allegations contained in the charging document and the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, during the course of a separate criminal investigation, the FBI received reliable information that Cannon was potentially involved in illegal activities associated with his position as an elected official, and began an undercover investigation in or about August 2010. The complaint and affidavit allege that during the course of that investigation, Cannon allegedly solicited and accepted money bribes and things of value from undercover FBI agents, posing as commercial real estate developers and investors wishing to do business in Charlotte. As alleged in the filed documents, Cannon solicited and accepted such bribes and things of value in exchange for the use of his official position as Charlotte Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and/or as a City Council Member.

The complaint and law enforcement affidavit allege that Cannon accepted the bribes from the undercover FBI agents on five separate occasions. On the last occasion, on February 21, 2014, Cannon allegedly accepted $20,000 in cash in the Mayor’s office. According to the complaint and the affidavit, between January 2013 and February 2014, Cannon allegedly accepted from the undercover agents over $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room, and use of a luxury apartment in exchange for the use of his official position. Source: Justice.gov

Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said Cannon was charged with theft and bribery. He was released on $25,000 bond pending indictment.

The arrest comes after a six-year FBI sting. It seems like he was on their radar for quite some time. If convicted, Patrick Cannon, 47, faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.