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Congressional Black Caucus pushes bailout for Air America/Sharpton/Jackson crony

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 3, 2009 12:51 PM


Percy Sutton and Malcolm X, 1963.

Well, well, well.

The Congressional Black Caucus is trying to shake down the White House — and taxpayers — by holding a Democrat financial regulation “reform” bill hostage until Team Obama stuffs it with taxpayer goodies for a minority-owned radio station and other minority-owned businesses.

The story is here and here. In brief:

A clash between the Obama administration and the Congressional Black Caucus intensified Wednesday, illustrating how lawmakers’ unease about the economy has the potential to derail White House priorities. Ten black lawmakers refused to appear at a House committee vote on financial regulations Wednesday, a move that nearly allowed Republicans to kill a major Democratic bill. The move was the culmination of weeks of tension, including a testy meeting two weeks ago that included Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In the meeting, Ms. Waters berated the administration for not doing enough to help minority-owned businesses, mentioning specifically a New York broadcaster that couldn’t get a loan reworked.

Less than two weeks after the meeting, the company, Inner City Broadcasting Corp., said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to restructure the loan. The exchange about the company, which to some administration officials sounded like a bid to have the government intervene in a corporate matter, heightened distrust on both sides, people familiar with the matter say. Caucus members at the meeting stressed they weren’t asking White House officials to do anything improper, people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear whether any government official played a role in having the loan reworked.

Of course, Goldman Sachs! Earning its “Government Sachs” nickname once again. Victor Davis Hanson notes: “Rarely has a single scandal summed up nearly all the current pathologies of the corrupt Washington scene, combining insider bailouts, revolving-door influence peddling, racial-identity politics, subsidies for failing institutions that have a proven record of partisan Democratic politics, and Democratic efforts to reward wealthy friends under the guise of social justice.” See also: Culture of Corruption.

Now, I have some back story that you may remember about the crony of color behind the CBC shakedown. Percy Sutton is head of Inner City Broadcasting Corp. The ailing radio station was in the middle of the Air America disaster several years back. Radio Equalizer blogger Brian Maloney and I collaborated on an extensive investigative series into the left-wing empire’s finances — and Sutton’s ICBC was entangled in the dealings as the minority front business/flagship station for the sinking ship. The company shunted aside its black-themed talk format at WLIB to accommodate Air America. In return, Air America made room for a few minority radio hosts and also entered into lucrative lease management agreements with Inner City Broadcasting, which owns and operates 17 radio stations in five markets.

Air America, of course, collapsed. And ICBC has apparently never recovered either.

Sutton and his son, Pierre (who now runs the business), are leaning on all their race-hustling friends to put you and me on the hook for rescuing the business. It’s not corporate welfare, you see, it’s “media justice!”

Things you should know about Sutton, as I reported in 2005:

The co-founder of Inner City Broadcasting is New York media mogul Percy Sutton, best known as Malcolm X’s lawyer and former Manhattan borough council president. Sutton helped bail Sharpton out after Sharpton was ordered to pay former Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones over the Tawana Brawley race hoax. Sutton also raised and donated money for Sharpton’s 2004 presidential bid. Sharpton still broadcasts a Sunday radio show on WLIB. Sutton and Jackson are longtime friends and partners. Sutton served as Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign finance chairman. Jackson has lobbied on Sutton’s behalf. Sutton sits on Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund. As original investors, Jackson and his wife reportedly hold more than 23,000 shares in Inner City Broadcasting.

The Orwellian Fairness Doctrine comes in many forms.

***

More fun facts: Ben Smith recalls Percy Sutton’s claim that Saudi royalty supported Obama through proxy ex-Black Panther/Muslim confidante of the Sauds Khalid al-Mansour.

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