Farmer Willie Head Responds To Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop

Willie About To Be Interviewed

Nearly two weeks ago, I did two interviews with farmers in Georgia who both made a serious accusation against Congressman Sanford Bishop related to the Pigford v. Glickman black farmers settlement — that when they brought up excessive lawyer fees and allegations of fraud, the congressman told them that an investigation of those issues might “shut down” the settlement.

Here are the clips I posted with farmers Eddie Slaughter and Willie Head.

Within a couple of days, Congressman Bishop responded to three different newspapers. His story was different each time.

  • Rep. Bishop told the Albany Herald that he was aware of the fraud but it wasn’t his job to police it. This admission is significant because USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack has claimed that there was almost no fraud in Pigford.
  • When speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rep. Bishop was suddenly stunned and perplexed and suggested that the farmers had been drinking.
  • Most recently, Rep. Bishop told the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer him that he remembered the meeting, repeated that he wasn’t responsible for monitoring fraud, suggested that there were antifraud provisions in the second Pigford bill and again insulted the farmers calling them disgruntled and irresponsible.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also focused a fair bit of energy on the implications are might be bias in my reporting because the videos were published on Andrew Breitbart’s site. This is especially frustrating me because I had talked to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Bob Keefe both before and after the story was published and told him in no uncertain terms that the videos were shot and the interviews conducted entirely by me. No mention was made of me in the AJC article, nor was it mentioned that I’m a liberal Democrat who writes for the left-leaning Huffington Post. I asked the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a clarification and so far none has been forthcoming.

So, I’m hitting back, new media style. Speak truth to power and all that.

In order to clear up some of the issues raised by Congressman Bishop and these newspapers, tonight I recorded a phone interview with Willie Head. It’s about 11 minutes long and is presented to you with absolutely no editing.

Downloadable MP3

For an excellent summary of everything wrong with the AJC story, read this piece posted a few days ago by Dana Loesch.

1 Comment

  1. Oce Complaint Filed Against Sanford Bishop Concerning Pigford Fraud
    Monday, January 24, 2011 12:12

    Contact Form – Thank you

    The following information has been received:

    Mr. Anthony J Sellars




    JAN 23, 2011

    Re: Congressman Sanford Bishop’s cover up of Pigford Fraud and Georgia farmer Eddie Slaughter’s Recorded Interview

    To whom it may concern:

    I urge the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate and take appropriate steps against Congressman Sanford Bishop for violating House ethics rules and rules of law, including any RICO charges applicable for conspiring to allow fraud against the U.S. Government in regards to an attempt to hush a black farmer that was declaring that there was fraud in the Pigford case on multiple occasions. Reportedly, Congressional Black Caucus Member Sanford Bishop knew of the fraud and conspired to cover it up. According to a recorded interview available below of an African-American Georgia farmer named Eddie Slaughter, available here (Exhibit 1),:

    Slaughter stated that he informed Sanford Bishop of the fraud only to be informed to not mention it because it would stop the flow of money, and that as long as “black folks” were receiving the money to let it flow in spite of the fraud. This interview follows a pattern of unethical dealings that steer federal funds specifically along racial lines, as well as interconnected circles surrounding the Bishop family, or where earmarks have been awarded to those caught in fraud.

    This pattern has been seen through:

    1) Threatening to withhold FSA money to a white farmer that did not plan to vote for Bishop

    2) Awarding CBC scholarships to family members and employees of his or his wife’s staff

    3) The GBI investigated Jr. Marshall Program Scandal where his step-daughter and son-in-law were being paid out of a Sanford Bishop earmark

    4) Funds were directly deposited into Creighton Bishop’s bank account

    5) Another Sanford Bishop earmark has been given to the Urban League of Greater Columbus. The CEO is Bishop’s campaign treasurer’s husband.

    6) A third Bishop earmark has resulted in Project Rebound federal earmark money being entrusted to the treasurer and original board of director member, Tony Adams, who was arrested for stealing money and having a hidden bank account where he contracted with Nike. Interestingly, his boss is Isaiah Hugley whose wife is State Rep Carolyn Hugley. Hugley had state funds go to United Way, whom her husband sat on the board of, which in turn gave to the Urban League, which the husband of Bishop’s campaign treasurer is the CEO of.

    7) A fourth earmark deals with Liberty Theatre, with whom his wife is connected again.

    8) Millions have been earmarked to Bishop’s alma mater, Morehouse College, although it is outside of his district. This is a further act of select networks of connections that money is allowed to flow towards while keeping the rest of his district at a disadvantage based upon color. The recorded interview illustrates this be stating, “as long as the money is going to black people” to overlook the fraud.

    9) Racism is racism, no matter which side of the aisle you are on, but to divert federal funds in a racist act is unthinkable and highly unethical.

    An excerpt from the article associated with the interview states the following:

    “The hours of interviews I’ve done with the key people involved in the Pigford settlement are a treasure trove of information about what really happened in this multi-billion dollar debacle. Because of the holidays and then the tragic shooting in Tuscon, I wanted to hold off on releasing details about some of the major news that we’re been able to uncover — but at the risk of creating PiggieFatigue, here’s part one of a serious allegation that a U.S. Congressman knowingly was complicit in covering up fraud. In this bombshell video clip, Georgia farmer Eddie Slaughter alleges that he told his congressman, Congressional Black Caucus member Sanford Bishop, about fraud in Pigford on multiple occasions and that Bishop responded that Slaughter should be quiet because “they’ll shut this thing down.” This isn’t an isolated incident with Congressman Bishop. Late last year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Rep. Bishop had awarded college scholarships, intended for needy kids, to members of his own family: Records from the group show that Bishop, a nine-term congressman who is active in the Congressional Black Caucus and who’s up for re-election this year, apparently awarded scholarships to his stepdaughter and his niece in 2003 and 2005. The paper also reported that Rep. Bishop directed an earmark to a company where his stepdaughter worked: Last year, he was accused of steering funds he had secured as “earmarks” as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to a Muscogee County youth group that employed stepdaughter Aayesha Owens Reese and her husband, Stephen Reese.”

    The Committee on Standard of Official Conduct has stated with respect to a Member’s obligations to his or her constituents, “[a] Member’s responsibility in the area is to all his constituents equally and should be pursued with diligence irrespective of political or other considerations.” Sanford Bishop is discriminating unfairly by the dispensing of special favors by allowing a blatant cover-up of fraud involving taxpayer money on the basis of race and connections. Based on this information, I am requesting an investigation be conducted and upon validation, I am requesting that the DOJ seek restitution and that Congressman Bishop be held accountable for his violation of law. The Office of Congressional Ethics should enforce the congressional ethics rules and hold Mr. Bishop accountable for the very serious ethics violations committed. I urge you to promptly initiate a thorough investigation into this matter. I acknowledge that the False Statement Act applies to the information in this complaint.

    Sincerely, Anthony J. Sellars

    Exhibit 1

    Update: Additional evidence not filed with the OCE but filed sent to Darrel Issa’s office.

    Exhibit 2

    Exhibit 3


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