Latest Sharpton Confab Rakes in Corporate and Union Dough

Al Sharpton, shakedown artist extraordinaire, never has lacked energy in advancing the profile of his New York-based nonprofit, National Action Network (NAN).  Thanks to corporations and unions, he isn’t lacking cash either.  Last week, during April 13-16, NAN held its annual convention at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel in Manhattan.  The fundraising event, featuring speeches by Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, plus nearly 30 panel discussions, gave attendees what they came for:  a mix of black grievance politics and socialist economics.  If Sharpton’s corporate donors ever take time off from Celebrating Diversity, they might reconsider this odd partnership.

National Legal and Policy Center over the years repeatedly has emphasized that Reverend Al Sharpton’s ascension to the status of the nation’s most influential civil rights leader is the product of image self-reinvention.  During the Eighties and Nineties, he was perceived – and rightly so – as a boorish, …

Intel Succumbs to Jesse Jackson ‘Diversity’ Campaign

2015 Wall Street Project Economic SummitFor a first-hand lesson in the timidity of corporate America, look no further than Intel Corp.  This January, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker announced it would set aside $300 million by 2020 for hiring, training and promoting “underrepresented” racial minorities and women.  Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed the plan at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas only weeks after he and other top company officials had met privately with Jesse Jackson.  The announcement was a triumph for Jackson’s Silicon Valley shakedown campaign.  “It’s a huge first step,” he declared, urging other tech firms to follow suit.  Given the acquiescence of eBay, Google and Facebook to Jackson at shareholder meetings last May, it is no surprise those companies are doing just that.

National Legal and Policy Center long has shone a spotlight on Jesse Jackson.  The Chicago-based civil-rights hustler and former presidential candidate, through his nonprofit Rainbow/PUSH, …

Corporations Bankroll Sharpton’s 60th Birthday Bash

walmartsharptonadAl Sharpton turned 60 last Friday. That’s a psychological landmark in any man’s life. But if the New York-based civil rights activist, preacher, politician and media star is feeling blue, he can console himself with the reported $1 million in pledges from corporate and other donors to his nonprofit National Action Network (NAN). The celebration kicked off on Wednesday with a NAN-sponsored two-day education summit at New York University. On October 1, Sharpton held a celebration at Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant. The crème of New York Democratic Party politics were in attendance, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Charles Rangel and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. From the world of black arts and entertainment, Aretha Franklin and Spike Lee were present. For someone defined by his public demagoguery, Sharpton doesn’t lack for friends.

National Legal and Policy Center long has been focused on Reverend Al …

Silicon Valley Capitulates to Jesse Jackson Shakedown

Jesse Jackson

It would seem that the heyday of Jesse Jackson Sr., racial shakedown artist extraordinaire, is long over.  Regrettably, some of the largest companies in California’s Silicon Valley are resuscitating his career.  Jackson once again is flying high, issuing ultimatums for “diversity” and giving companies a choice: 1) orient hiring, marketing and other activities to favor nonwhites; or 2) get ready for a boycott, picketing, a lawsuit or other bad publicity. This May he gave information technology industry titans the full Jesse treatment – and on their own turf. At shareholder meetings of eBay, Google and Facebook, Jackson issued aggressive calls to hire blacks and other “people of color,” especially for top positions.   Two months earlier he had brought his shakedown campaign to Hewlett-Packard. The response from each company was either silence or capitulation.

Jesse Jackson, popularly known as Rev. Jesse Jackson, now 72, more than anyone this side of Al …

Walmart Sues UFCW and ‘Worker Center’ Allies for Florida Store Disruptions

OUR Walmart demonstratorsUnion activism at retail chain stores has come to blur the line between persuasion and harassment. But one retailer — Walmart — is pushing back, underscoring its failed campaign to appease left-wing activist groups. There is a certain irony here. Walmart for years has been capitulating to the demands of anti-business activists, a tendency documented in an NLPC Special Report published in 2006 titled, Wal-Mart Embraces Controversial Causes: Bid to Appease Liberal Interest Groups Will Likely Fail, Hurt Business. Yet last Friday the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer filed suit in Florida state court against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), and certain allied nonprofit groups and individuals.  The purpose of the suit, notes the company, is to protect  customers and associates from the activists' "disruptive tactics" associated with trespassing. 

Union Corruption Update several weeks ago discussed at length the rapidly growing phenomenon of "worker centers" and why they are changing the nature of labor relations in this country. …

Wells Fargo Succumbs to DOJ’s ‘Civil Rights’ Shakedown; Agrees to Pay $175 Million

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage logoObtaining mortgage aid by claiming “discrimination” has become a high art. The problem is that someone always has to pay. Just ask Wells Fargo & Co. On July 12, the San Francisco-based bank, the nation’s largest mortgage originator, agreed to spend $175 million to settle accusations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that for several years it steered black and Hispanic homebuyers toward high-cost loans, so it could charge excessive interest and fees. The agreement, in which Wells Fargo admitted no wrongdoing, ostensibly will defray borrower losses and expand homeownership opportunities in lower-income areas. More likely, it will raise the cost of borrowing for everyone, lower underwriting standards and keep lawyers employed. It amounts to a shakedown. And in the context of the big picture, $175 million is on the low side.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, often in conjunction with nonprofit civil rights organizations and other parties, …

Sharpton Annual Conference Again Heavily Corporate-Funded

Al SharptonWhatever else might be said of Reverend Al Sharpton, when he throws a party, he does it in style. The 14th annual conference of his New York-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN) last month in Washington, D.C. during April 11-14 was no exception. Once more, corporations and to a lesser extent unions paid most of the tab for a well-choreographed event that featured dozens of speakers and panelists eager to affirm the aggressive black identity politics of their host. The plenary address by Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by a panel on legal issues, amounted to a group manifesto for the arrest of George Zimmerman for the highly-publicized killing – evidence points toward self-defense – of a black Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, to the delight of virtually all attendees, was arrested that day on a state second-degree murder charge. 

National Legal and Policy Center repeatedly during the …

States, Obama Shake Down Banks in $25 Billion Mortgage Settlement

foreclosure_0It took about 500 days of negotiation. But on Thursday, February 9, attorneys general representing nearly all 50 states made the announcement: Five banks will pay a combined $25 billion over three years in civil penalties and loan write-downs for having serviced mortgage foreclosure paperwork over the previous four years without proper review. The settlement, say supporters, will compensate homeowners for prior predatory lending practices, reform the banking industry and give the economy a boost. But the context of the case suggests an ulterior motive: socializing the housing market. This by no means is the first such attempt during the Obama years. And the true cost of this shakedown, the largest of its kind since the 1998 tobacco industry settlement, may be far higher than $25 billion.

National Legal and Policy Center less than two weeks ago reported on President Obama’s broad housing policy initiative, “Plan to Help …

Facebook Caves to Greenpeace After Pressure Campaign

white Coke can

Greenpeace, which has campaigned against technology companies for nearly two years over their coal-burning electricity use at “cloud computing” data centers, has convinced one – Facebook – to promise to use renewable energy at facilities they build in the future.

The international environmental pressure group’s members have singled out the popular social networking site in a drive to “Unfriend Coal,” in order to fight the global warming problem that is still vivid in their collective imagination. They are particularly incensed that Facebook has built data centers in Oregon (Pacific Power) and North Carolina (Duke Energy) that are customers of utilities that generate a large percentage of their electricity from coal. Greenpeace initiated its campaign using the site’s own online tools against it, by starting groups in English and Spanish that gather members who wanted “Facebook to run on 100 percent renewable energy.” The group also attempted to …

Unions Play Major Role in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests

Wall Street protest photoAs “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations have gone national, observers are taking note of the prominent role of labor unions in this anti-business crusade. The rote denunciations of “corporate greed” at these events could have been lifted from almost any AFL-CIO convention speech. That doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that union organizers are putting words in protestors’ mouths. Yet it does strongly suggest that organized labor and street radicals recognize each other as natural allies. Given their overlapping worlds, it’s fitting that one of the prime movers behind this far-Left, multi-city sturm und drang festival is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), some of whose top operatives are highly experienced in the art of damaging the reputation of major companies. And there are plenty of other unions getting in on the action. Ironically, anti-corporate activists are being enabled by corporations themselves. 

Occupy Wall Street, formally speaking, began on September 17. On that …

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