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"I do not expect the white media to create a positive black-male image." -
Huey P. Newton
The NorthStar News & Analysis -
February 28, 2010
Michael Jordan Buys Majority Stake In Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Jordan Saturday purchased a controlling stake in the National Basketball Association Charlotte Bobcats, a team he has managed five years.
Jordan, managing member of Bobcats basketball operations, headed a group that purchased a majority share from Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson. Jordan joined the Charlotte Bobcats ownership group in June 2006.
Johnson signed a definitive agreement selling the team's majority interest to Jordan and MJ Basketball Holdings, LLC, Johnson said in a statement. The National Basketball Association must approve the deal, he said. Johnson did not disclose the deal's terms.
Jordan, a Wilmington, N.C., native, won six NBA championships during 13 years with the Chicago Bulls.
Johnson owns RLJ Companies, a Bethesda, Md.-based diverse-holding company with business interests in film making, asset management, real estate development, hospitality, automobile and Harley Davidson motorcycle dealerships. RLJ Companies owns Urban Trust Bank, one of the nation's largest black-owned banks.
Johnson entered the ranks of the nation's billionaires selling Black Entertainment Television for $3 billion to Viacom, CBS-television's owner, in 2001.
House Committee Orders Black Caucus Members To Repay Conference Travel Costs
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Friday cited five Congressional Black Caucus members and a United States Virgin Islands delegate for acceptance of free travel to two Caribbean conferences.
Of the five, the committee directed it harshest criticism at U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The committee admonished Rangel, D., N.Y., ordering him to repay the undisclosed cost of the trips to U.S. Treasury after concluding the congressman violated the House Gift Rule. Rangel's staff sought Standards Committee permission to accept tickets to attend Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conferences in Antigua and Barbuda in 2007 and St. Maarten in 2008. The foundation sponsored the conferences promoting trade between the U.S. and Caribbean.
The committee, following an eight-month investigation, involving 29 witnesses and more than 3,000 documents, concluded Rangel's staff knew corporations contributed conference funds, but staff members did not share information with committee members. The committee learned AT&T Corp., IBM Corp., Pfizer Corp. and Verizon Corp. paid the trips cost.
The committee concluded Rangel may not have known about his staff's deceit, but their actions were his responsiblity. "The report finds that Representative Rangel was responsible for the knowledge and actions of his staff in performance of their duties," the committee wrote.
The committee ordered Rep. Bennie Thompson, D., Miss.; Rep. Yvette Clark, D., N.Y. ; Rep. Donald Payne, D., N.J.; Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D., Mich.; and Virgin Islands Congressional Delegate Donna Christensen to repay conference-travel costs.
The committee concluded Thompson, Clark, Payne, Cheeks Kilpartick and Christensen did not knowingly violate the U.S. House of Representatives official conduct code by attending both conferences. The Standards Committee said congressional members relied on others--not their staffs--who provided false conference information. Nevertheless, the committee ordered congressional members repay the U.S. Treasury conference travel costs.
The committee admonished Dawn Kelly Mobley, Standards Committee attorney, for former chairman U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D., Ohio. Mobley improperly communicated internal committee information to conference organizers Karl Rodney and Patricia Louis, the report found. Committee members found Karl Rodney, Faye Rodney, and Patricia Louis submitted false or misleading information to committee members before the conferences. The committee referred their names to U.S. Justice Department attorneys for further legal action.
Desiree Rogers To Leave White House Post
White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers resigned Friday four months after a couple crashed a White House State Dinner, shaking hands with President Barack Obama in the receiving line. Rogers is scheduled to leave her post in March.
Rogers was charged with overseeing security for President Obama's first state dinner Nov. 24, honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Uninvited guests Tareq and Michaele Salahi posted photos on their Facebook account, shaking hands with Vice President Joe Biden. The photos angered members of Congress who demanded Rogers testify before committees, explaining how the Salahis crashed the state dinner. The White House refused to let Rogers testify, citing United States Constitution's separation of executive and legislative government branches.
President Obama expressed unhappiness with the 'screw up,' saying it would not happen again. The U.S. Secret Service suspended three agents, but some political observers believed Rogers should have shared the blame.
Yesterday, the President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama bid Rogers good bye in a one-paragraph statement.
"We are enormously grateful to Desiree Rogers for the terrific job she's done as White House Social Secretary. When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the People's House, and she did that welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local school children to NASCAR drivers. She organized hundreds of fun and creative events during her time here, and we will miss her. We thank her again for her service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."
Rogers is the second high-ranking African American to leave the Obama Administration in six months.
Van Jones, the president's Council On Environmental Quality, resigned in September, following conservative commentators' campaign, accusing Jones of making derogatory remarks about Republican officials (
The NorthStar News
). The NAACP honored Jones Friday. Jones teaches at Princeton University and is a Center for American Progress senior fellow.The Center is a Washington, D.C., liberal think tank.
Rodgers, ex-wife of Chicago businessman John W. Rogers, an early Obama supporter, is the first black woman White House Social Secretary. Desiree Rogers is a Harvard University MBA.
The White House named Julianna Smoot, chief of staff to Ron Kirk, the United States trade representative, Rogers' replacement.
N.Y. Gov. Paterson Ends Campaign For Full Four-Year Term
New York Gov. David Paterson, one of two United States black governors, announced Friday he will not campaign for a full four-year term, only a few days after launching the campaign.
"I cannot run for office and try to manage the state's business at the same time," Paterson said during a televised news conference.
Paterson, New York's first black governor, assumed the Empire State's highest elected office in 2008, following Gov. Eliot Spitzer's resignation in a sex scandal.
New York voters elected Spitzer governor in 2006. Paterson has 10 months remaining on his term. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the nation's other black governor, is campaigning for re-election this year after winning the Commonwealth's highest office November 2006.
The White House urged Paterson not to campaign for a full term because of low-poll numbers and his inability to raise substantial campaign funds, but Paterson resisted. "My plans for 2010 are to run for governor of the state of New York," Paterson said (
The NorthStar News, 9/20/2009
The governor ended his campaign a day after David Johnson, a trusted aide, resigned for his alleged involvement in a domestic battery incident. Political observers criticized Paterson's telephone contact with the unnamed woman, and because a New York State trooper questioned the woman in her home allegedly to intimidate her. A court dismissed the case against Johnson after the woman did not appear at a hearing. Harold Ford, who is expected to announce his U.S. senate candidacy from New York, urged Paterson's resignation after learning the governor talked to the woman.
Paterson, the nation's first legally blind governor, is the son of former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson.
Evidence Proves More Black Men Innocent
Three black men have been cleared of crimes they did not commit.
Two of the men, Jerry Miller, a 51 year-old Chicago resident, and LeRoy McGee, a 42 year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident, received financial compensation for their years in prison. The third man, Freddie Peacock, spent 33 years clearing his name of a rape conviction.
The Innocence Project of New York recently announced DNA evidence exonerated Peacock,60, for a 1976 rape conviction. Prison officials released Peacock on parole in 1982, but Peacock continued fighting to clear his name. Earlier this month, DNA evidence cleared Peacock of the crime.
"Freddie Peacock was released many years ago, but he hasn't been truly free because the cloud of his conviction hung over him," Olga Akselrod, the Innocence Project staff attorney handling the case, said in a statement. "Nobody in the U.S. who was exonerated with DNA testing has spent this many years outside of prison fighting to prove his innocence." Peacock is the 250th man DNA cleared of crime since 1989 (
NorthStar News, 12/6/2009
The State of Florida agreed to pay McGee $179,000 Feb. 17 after a judge cleared him of a July 1990 gas station robbery. Physical evidence did not link McGee, a high school janitor, to the crime. His attorney, since disbarred, did not raise a single objectionduring the trial. McGee served three years and seven months before prison officials released him. After his release, a judge ruled McGee's trial attorney was inadequate. The judge appointed a new attorney to represent McGee, later ruling McGee was not the gas station robber. The state will pay the $179,000 over 10 years.
The City of Chicago Feb. 22 agreed to pay Miller undisclosed funds after settling a civil lawsuit filed by Miller. Miller charged Chicago crime lab employee Raymond Lenz withheld evidence that would have exonerated Miller of a 1991 rape. Miller was imprisoned 25 years before DNA evidence cleared him of the crime. He was pardoned in 2008.
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