Sharpton’s Arizona Mission: Corporate- and Union-Sponsored

Sharpton waves paper photoReverend Al Sharpton has something new to be angry about. Last Friday, April 23, Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed legislation known as “SB1070” requiring law enforcement authorities to ask all criminal suspects to provide evidence of legal U.S. residence. The law is set to take effect 90 days after signing. Sharpton is determined to prevent that from happening. He recently announced his intent to travel to Arizona to stage mass protests against what he says is an assault on Hispanic civil rights.

Staging this campaign will cost money. But “the Rev” doesn’t have many worries on this score. His New York-based nonprofit group, National Action Network (NAN), continues to receive financial support from some of the nation’s biggest and most well known corporations and unions. This was very much in evidence at NAN’s four-day 12th annual conference, his biggest fundraising event of the year, held earlier this month in New York City. 

Sharpton in recent years has revamped his public image in an effort to attract mainstream support. That he has become in short order a confidante of President Obama says much about the success of this makeover. The ‘old’ rabble-rousing Al Sharpton, say defenders, is a thing of the past. In its place is a ‘new’ Sharpton, more mature and pragmatic, willing to search for common ground among people of different viewpoints. But as I argued in my Special Report of last year, “Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton’s Rise to Respectability,” his menacing brand of “social justice” remains just beneath the surface, ever waiting to erupt at a perceived provocation.

The following is the full list of 45 sponsors of National Action Network’s 12th annual conference, all of which are named in the conference program:

1199 SEIU (i.e., Service Employees International Union Local 1199)
Advent Capital
All Stars Project, Inc.
American Honda
American Postal Workers Union
Anheuser Busch
Ariel Investments
Black Entertainment Television
JPMorgan Chase
The Coca-Cola Company
Czar Entertainment
Dewey & LeBoeuf
Entergy Corporation
The Home Depot
Johnson & Johnson
National Education Association
NBC Universal
News Corporation
Omnicom Group Inc.
Perennial Strategy Group
Republican National Convention
RLJ Companies
The ServiceMaster Company
TV One
United Federation of Teachers
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The Williams Capital Group

The leaders of these organizations, whether consciously or not, are bankrolling Sharpton’s pending Arizona campaign. According to NAN, sponsorship requires a minimum contribution of anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. Thus, these sources are highly significant.


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