The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

Problems still linger around Congresswoman Corrine Brown

Congresswoman Corrine Brown is accused of conspiring to commit fraud by using campaign funds for personal purposes and improperly soliciting charitable donations along with other allegations.

Carla Wiley, Director of the non-profit organization, “One Door for Education,” plead guilty to fraud and agreed to fully cooperate with federal prosecutors. Wiley will also be sentenced on June 13th for the crime.

Brown is linked to the organization that collected $800,000 dollars in donations since 2012 and only gave out a scholarship for $1000 within the same time frame. Wiley also transferred $140,000 into her own bank account.

Brown told the media, “I am clean.” However, allegations surfaced that Brown used letterhead or a logo representing the United States House of Representatives to align herself and the House of Representatives to a fundraiser golf tournament in Virginia, where the organization is based.

Allegations also surfaced that the organization hosted events for Brown and that Brown also wrote letters encouraging donors to send in money.

Some of Wiley’s statements led some to believe the trail of funds or the benefits lead back to Brown or an unnamed official.

Last month, the House of Representatives ethics committee voted to investigate Brown and her affiliation with this group.

Redistricting is also giving Congresswoman Brown a tough run at re-election. Last July, a Florida Supreme Court Judge ruled the congressional district Brown has served in for years, violated the “Fair Districts” standards approved by voters 6 years ago.

Although there were more districts involved in the gerrymandering case, Brown’s district may garner the most change for people of color.

Once the new maps were drawn and approved, it spelled disaster for Brown, her district and her upcoming election.

Last week, television stations caught up with the Congresswoman and she said, “this is not acceptable the way this is working,” in regards to the investigation process.

As reporters pressed her for information, she continued, “Do you think if I hired a team of attorneys and they tell me to zip it, or else, they would divorce me, I don’t know what you think I am gonna say!”

As for the most important of them all, Brown’s constituents, she spoke on their behalf saying, “They don’t have any questions for me, because they know me.”

Geraldine Thompson takes an odd, sloppy swing at Chief Val Demings

Geraldine Thompson takes an odd, sloppy swing at Chief Val Demings

Geraldine Thompson made a statement about District 10 Candidate Chief Val Demings regarding an excessive force case that happened while Demings was in office over six years ago.

Thompson said she was working with the NAACP on legislation that would require FDLE to investigate uses of police force that results in death or serious bodily harm and then cited a case where a man involved in an altercation with the Orlando police was injured and settled his case.

She then added that incident was on Demings watch. The story started to unfold and the Black Lives Matter movement was thrown in the mix in what appeared to be a sloppy attempt to confuse black voters. But, the man in the case Thompson mentioned is an 84-year old white man.

The case is old and it’s over. Yet, currently we are witness to a sitting police chief that has excused excessive force against black people right here in Orlando.

However, Thompson didn’t call that out. She called-out a former black, female police chief that actually has a stellar record. Being afraid to question and if need be, attack (not physically, of course) the source of the current problem is something our leaders must be able to do effectively. When there are 23 inexcusable, excessive force cases under the current leadership now and a candidate takes a shot at someone who previously led that force instead of the current leader is frankly a cowardly move.

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King this month, we should all take a good look at our strategies against our own people, especially those looking to lead our communities. Not only that, we should take a good look at how we treat each other and that includes what we say to each other and how we say it. During the Democratic debate last Sunday, Bernie Sanders refused to bring into question the past indiscretions of Hillary Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

Sanders almost emotionally embraced and protected her from the firestorm that is already brewing to use the former President’s affair(s) as a public relations target in an effort to shy people away from voting for her. Sanders’ move was not only classy but it was right. It was also the ethical thing to do. Most of all, he stayed on the issues that Americans want to discuss.
Frankly speaking, here we have two white people, Clinton and Sanders, who refuse to personally destroy each other on the campaign trail. Is it too much to ask for our local candidate to do the same? In the District 10 race, the move made by Thompson was an oddly desperate move to destroy the character of Demings amongst voters in the black community after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Demings. What else could it be?

Oddly, the only current thing she linked it to was the Black Lives Matter movement yet the injured man was again, an 84-year old white man. Thompson’s move certainly doesn’t describe the character of Demings. Sure, it wasn’t an affair like Clinton, but the issue surrounding it was simple mudslinging. If this excessive force case meant that much to Thompson then why not lead the charge against the multi-excessive force cases against OPD right now by being just as vocal about these 23 excessive force cases as she is about this one that settled years ago?

The real reason is because she is not running against Chief Mina or any officers. She’s running against Congressional Candidate for District 10, Val Demings. Why is all this important to you and me? It’s important because it shows the character of Thompson. This is not a fight for the people, it’s her own personal fight for the congressional seat, otherwise, her sights would be set on the faulty agenda that holds Central Floridians back; especially black Central Floridians.

This kind of campaigning is what we all should think about when we go to the polls. And, let me be clear. I am not directly defending Chief Demings. I am directly defending YOU.

Those who are in the district need to hear the issues surrounding what will help them, not be witness to a mudslinging contest. It’s understood that no campaign is going to be nice, warm and fuzzy. We get that. However, attack the opposition on the issues because that’s what matters to us.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t care any less about a settled case that happened years ago. I want to move forward and I would like to know how each person stands on the issues that matter to me and you and our families. Both candidates are running for U.S. Congress and the election will be held on August 30, 2016.

The Supreme Court ruling on redistricting is in

The long-awaited, newly drawn districts have been approved and this is good news for Democrats.

Matter of fact, this is good news for black people and black candidates, in general in the state of Florida. Especially, Central Florida.
Democrats may have a chance to gain two new seats in the U.S. House making the weight of the Republicans versus Democrats closer to equal whereas the weight of the Republicans currently exceeds that of the Democrats.

The districts that are most likely to feel the effects of the redistricting is District 5, which is currently held by Democrat Corrine Brown and District 10 which is currently held by Republican Daniel Webster.

These districts were redrawn even after Representative Brown unsuccessfully took the case to court to fight to keep her snake-shaped district that ran all the way from North Florida into Central Florida.

At that time, Brown fought on the grounds that if the districts were redrawn, her district would include fewer back people. Today the ruling came down from the Florida Supreme Court, putting to rest all the arguments and rumors.