Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A 'novel alliance'

How the hedge-fund "reformers" bought Sharpton

Thanks to Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News ("Rev. Al Sharpton's $500G link to education reform") for blowing the lid off the EEP, Klein/Sharpton "school reform" charade. Hedge-funders (as if we already didn't know) secretly paid for Sharpton's allegiance by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to his National Action Network, improperly using a non-profit, Education Reform Now, as the back-door for the money. Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) also got a cut. Even former NY Chancellor Levy was involved in the scandal. He acted as the pass-through. What else do you need to know about these sleazeballs?
The money came at a critical moment for the National Action Network. Sharpton was then settling a long-running IRS investigation of his organization. As part of that settlement, he agreed in July to pay $1 million in back taxes and penalties both he personally and his organization owed the government.

"The collaboration between Rev. Sharpton and Chancellor Klein is a novel alliance that we thought might help raise the visibility of the issue." The odd pairing will be on display this week at the annual convention of the National Action Network, where Mayor Bloomberg, Klein, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and several mayors are expected to speak.


  1. The Village Voice also picked up Juan's story.

  2. Michael FiorilloApril 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Al Sharpton has always been a fraud. He worked as an informer for the FBI in the 1980's, has often endorsed Republican candidates over Democrats (D'Amato vs. Green in 1986) or sabotaged Democrats (Green vs. Bloomberg in 2001). He has also had an ongoing relationship with Republican consultant/slimeball Roger Stone, as reported in the Village Voice.

    He has also never taken responsibility for the Tawana Brawley hoax of the 1980's.

    Even some of the ostensibly goods things he's done, such as protesting US Navy control over the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, is questionable, since there have been rumors that it was local real estate interests that finally put that struggle over the top. If true, that would explain how Al's bread was buttered,

    He also, by the way, did not send his own children to public school, sending them instead to Poly Prep, an elite private school in Brooklyn.

    Juan Gonzalez has, once again, performed an important service for New Yorkers, exposing the fraud of Al Sharpton, Joel Klein, Michael Bloomberg.

  3. Yes Mike, Sharpton's list of scams is long as your arm. He came out to Chicago last year and claimed that he would lead a movement against police brutality. If fact, he was hustling for Hilary Clinton and trying, without success of course, to build an anti-Obama base. But the real issue here is not Sharpton so much as it is the very nature of Klein's EEP group and DFER and how these phony school reformers operate with impunity.

  4. If Sharpton was the whore, who were the Johns?

  5. I take strong exception to the tone and the rumor-mongering of this post (by M.Fiorillo).

    No matter what your disagreements with Rev. Al Sharpton, he has been associated with many perfectly legitimate mass movements for civil rights, peace and justice. To smear the Vieques movement as being just a "real-estate" scam, for instance, is inexcusable and unsupported by fact (as the poster admits, he's just repeating rumors).

    Susan Klonsky

  6. Michael FiorilloApril 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM


    As to my post about Al Sharpton, let me address your points in order:

    1. My tone was intentional, appropriate given Sharpton's career as a Civil Right misleader, and I stand by it. As someone who has followed his career for years, I can confidently say that Sharpton has had only two legitimate moments in his career: helping to organize the Amadou Diallo protests against the NYPD in the 1990's, and during the protests against the US Navy occupation of Vieques

    In virtually every other case, though he has perhaps been occasionally "associated" with legitimate movements, the thrust of his career has overwhelmingly been that of a self-seeking opportunist.

    He represents the pathological afterlife of the 50's and 60's Civil Rights movement, not its evolution.

    As for the rumor I mentioned, I identified it as such, and it is you who are trying to put the word "scam" in my mouth. My point was a little more sophisticated and shouldn't sound so foreign: that commercial and powerful interests are often in the background and sometimes stand to gain from legitimate popular protests.

    Is it not possible that local real estate interests on the Island could have simultaneously opposed the Navy occupation AND hoped to gain from its departure? And given Sharpton's undisputed shady financial dealings, that it might not be such a stretch to connect them?

    2. Object to my tone if you wish, but you seem unable to dispute my facts:

    - Sharpton informed for the FBI and has admitted it.
    - He has repeatedly sabotaged and undermined Democratic
    candidates. (Mark Green, Mario Cuomo and others)
    - He foisted a hoax (Tawana Brawley) on the public (and more
    unforgivalbly, his own supporters!)that did
    inestimable damage to real African-American female victims
    of racist violence, by making it easy for doubters to publicly
    question their accounts and motives.

    - He has not sent his children to public schools, though he now
    travels the country as a shill for corporate ed deform.

    3.In addition, Sharpton was the public face of boycotts in Harlem and Brooklyn that devolved into bigotry and violence, and was closely associated with Anti-Semitic thug Sonny Carson.

    Watch Al during this fall's mayoral race: five will get you one that he does absolutely nothing to assist Bill Thompson, City Comptroller, African-American and likely Democratic nominee. Instead, he will place a well-timed attack against Thompson in the weeks leading up to the election, insuring victory by that embodiment of finance and real estate capital's stranglehold on the city, Michael Bloomberg.

    After all, Sharpton has already helped elect Bloomberg once.

    Mike, as to your comments, I largely agree: it fundamentally is about the brazenness and dishonesty of the corporate ed deformers. I just felt that, given the importance of the Gonzalez story, your readers who might be less familiar with Sharpton's behavior should be informed.

  7. Someone should tell DUncan to stay away from these folks. They're toxic. He's in NY today and tomorrow with Klein, Sharpton, Gingrich, Fenty and others supporting mayoral control. This article represents a small piece of the puzzle---Levy - former chancellor - now a hedge funder - launders money for Sharpton's IRS tax penalty thru Jo Williams who runs the chancellor's charter school front. Why? Because Levy is trying to curry favor with the Mayor to get the OTB account. Klein who is trying to keep his job, is closing schools at a rapid rate, turning them over to charters like Eva Moskowitz's ---she's the former chair of ed in the city council who pays herself $375,000 to run 4 charter schools and threatens parents with expulsion from her schools if they dont show up at demos at hearings looking into mayoral control legislation). We have a really nice situation here. Black boys under Klein/Bloombeg now graduated at 32 percent and it's going to get worse. I fear Obama will leave office with kids of color being worse off than when he started.

  8. It's not just Duncan. Obama has sent half his administration over to the conference, including Joe Biden and HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan, to pay tribute to Sharpton. What's funny is, that Sharpton didn't even endorse Obama.


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