Friday, May 26, 2006

Black Farmers Even More Upset with Chabot

For background, see the first post on this here.

As a recap, black American farmers were awarded a lot of money from a civil rights case. Chabot, who is chair on the Constitution sub-committee, has been under attack from black farmers for letting them down. Chabot has promised over a YEAR AGO to introduce legislation to allow for the farmers to get their money from the government. He never did.

"At issue is a 1999 discrimination lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture. Under the settlement, farmers had six months to claim $50,000 each. About 13,500 people qualified for $830 million.

As many as 66,000 farmers missed out on the money because they filed late, either because they were improperly notified or didn't believe the government would dole out the cash".

The farmers protested in Washington, D.C. over this in April. The National Black Farmers Association wrote an open letter to Chabot 2 weeks ago. Apparently, Chabot's staff was pissed at the President of the Black Farmers for coordinating a big protest over this issue. They said they hadn't yet been able to introduce a bill on the matter. Also, they told the Black Farmers President to apologize (!) to Chabot for protesting, otherwise Chabot wouldn't introduce the legislation!

So, does it really take Chabot's office over a year to write a bill for this matter? Of course not. Their defense is that they wanted to introduce it in a preferred form so that it could have a more immediate hearing. I have found no proof that Chabot's office was actually planning on doing this yet.

To make matters more embarrassing for Chabot's office, the Black Farmers actually wrote a draft of the bill for Chabot to work with and submitted it twice. Chabot's office said there's no need for the draft because they already wrote their own draft, which was approved by Rep. Bobby Scott. Of course, when contacted, Rep. Scott's office said they have seen no such draft!

Of course, the President of the Black Farmers Association is not planning on apologizing for saying Chabot has not held true to his word.

So what's going on? Why would Chabot promise to help these disadvantaged black farmers and then renege on his promise? Why would it really take a year to introduce the bill? Why couldn't Chabot have introduced the bill a while ago and scheduled hearings on it later?

Ultimately, if Chabot is guilty of anything, it is 1) not communicating to black farmers or the National Black Farmers Association properly, 2) treating disenfranchised farmers with disrespect, and 3) running an unorganized or negligent office that may have even lied about the approval of their draft of the bill.

Ironically, Chabot has found time to introduce 34 other bills since he pledged in February of 2005 to introduce the black farmer bill.

Chabot's office: Will you please come clean with everything that is going on with the bill? Will you please explain why you have not found a strategic time to introduce the bill in over a year? Why have you still not introduced the bill? Why did you threaten to not introduce the bill just because one protest occurred? Is that fair to the 66,000 black farmers that have been disenfranchised?

DNC press release response.


At 7:31 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Chabot

At 10:36 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chabot = ReThuglicans

At 9:58 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Steve Chabot joined Jack Abramoff in taking advantage of Indian tribes for political gain, now he's strongarming poor black farmers?

At 9:50 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why has it taken Steve Chabot over a year to introduce a bill for the farmers? Especially when it has been all over the news! Why does'nt he introduce a bill - the article said he already wrote - tomorrow?

Support Black Farmers

Remove Steve Chabot

Vote John Cranley


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