Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shirley Sherrod and 80,000 phantom farmers

Black famers were discriminated against for loans in late 20th century. So there was a lawsuit on behalf of the 18,000 black famers. So 97,000 claimants were paid $50,000. Uh... why pay more than the 18,000 farmers? Or the subset of them who didn't get loans?

Because... Shirley Sherrod is behind this and got a check for her community organizing group. Fraud. Maybe this is why she so quietly bowed out of her plum federal job when stuff hit the fan.

John Stossel at Fox Business

Black farmer Jimmy Dismuke says it’s fraud. He said lawyers went to black churches and told people who had never farmed to file for the money.

“People say well, how do I qualify?” Dismuke told us. “And then [the lawyers] started talking about potted plants. They said if you had a potted plant, you can be a farmer. And if you have a yard and you fertilize it, you're a farmer.”

Just about anyone can say that they “attempted to farm.” And the USDA – which did not keep all its loan records--has no way to refute that. So the taxpayers pay, and pay.

Jimmy’s former lawyer, Othello Cross, helped thousands of people file claims. He told us that, years afterwards, he concluded that some cases were fraudulent. People came up to him in the street and told him:

“Lawyer, you know -- John never farmed in his life. … when I went back and looked at it, it was true.”

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