Congress is frantic to pass “Pigford” before Republicans take control of the House next January. The race bill was passed last week by the Senate and now Pelosi is screaming the House will ratify it in time to send it to Obama’s desk for signature before Christmas. But in the meantime, Republicans are making a fuss. Well, some of them are – namely, Michele Bachmann, Steve King and Bob Goodlatte.Haven't we - almost alone - been telling America to focus on fraud? Well, it seems - almost alone - only Andrew Breitbart is listening:
For those unfamiliar with the story, in July, when liberals, the media, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were slamming Tea Partiers as racist, Breitbart released a now infamous video of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) official Shirley Sherrod’s speech before the NAACP describing how she had discriminated against a white farmer. Her comments were met with nodding approval by the members of the audience.Eventually - bad reputation or no - you people are going to end up listening to TMR as well. Because, if you haven't figured it out yet (after all the times we've called things correctly) like Breitbart, if we didn't have a bad reputation in times like this, we'd be doing something wrong.
In the wake of the release, the USDA wasted no time in forcing Sherrod’s resignation, despite the fact that Breitbart says his intent was never to harm Sherrod, but rather to expose the NAACP as a racist body.
While the partial video ended Sherrod’s career at USDA, the second half, the portion of Sherrod’s anecdote in which she explained that she learned the error of her ways, was not included in the initial video Breitbart had released. The incomplete video lost Sherrod her job and resulted in a mass demonization of Breitbart for not showing the full context of her remarks.
Since that time Breitbart has worked to understand the full story behind Sherrod’s hasty ousting and believes he has an answer. According to Breitbart, the answer lays in a piece of legislation President Barack Obama signed Wednesday — which provides $1.15 billion in funding for a case known as Pigford II. The money will be doled out in payments of $50,000 for more than 90,000 alleged black farmers as retribution for alleged discrimination on the part of the USDA.
From the initial class action suit, Pigford vs. Glickman, Shirley Sherrod and her husband received $13 million. In addition to the $13 million, the USDA gave her a job in their ranks.
With Sherrod on the outs, her defenders came out in droves, charging that Breitbart’s video release had been an ill-fated attempt to bring more attention to Pigford. Despite these adamant claims, Breitbart says that at the time he was ignorant of any such suit.
“They were trying to show that my intention was to get Pigford defunded,” Breitbart told The Daily Caller. “And, I had never heard of Pigford, so for the last four and half months, all I’ve been doing is eating, breathing, sleeping Pigford, researching Pigford, finding whistleblowers who are hiding in plain sight who have been wanting to tell the story of how this was rigged.”
Breitbart since has embarked on a mission to expose Pigford for the outrageous fraud he and others have found it to be, namely how 400 black farmers in a class action suit ballooned to over 90,000 claimants when even one of the most energetic advocates for Pigford, John Boyd, founder of the National Black Farmers Association, has admitted that there are only 18,000 black farmers in the country.
The coming weeks will find Breitbart’s site, Biggovernment.com, replete with exposes, research papers, and opinion pieces on Pigford designed to fill in the gaps he and anti-Pigford whistleblowers — such as Jimmy Dismuke, a black farmer who actually experienced discrimination, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann and former Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer — believe the government and media have overlooked.
Indeed there have been reports that USDA employees and FBI officials estimate that the number of fraudulent claims from Pigford — exacerbated by ambitious trial lawyers and community organizers — range from 50 percent to 95 percent.
Former Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer has been closely involved in exposing Pigford as a fraud. Though he had his doubts about Breitbart, he has given the news mogul assistance with his push for transparency. Schafer explained that while Breitbart appears to have rallied to the Pigford cause as a means for redemption from the Sherrod incident, his claims are entirely valid.