To the People

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Bud's For Demagogery

The feds are taking a hard look into the finances of that dangerous buffoon Al Sharpton. The New York Post reports that the investigation stepped up when IRS sent subpoenas to ... Anheuser-Busch? Yes, the beer company:
Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser and Michelob, confirmed yesterday that it received a federal subpoena in connection to its charitable giving to Sharpton's National Action Network.

"We have received a subpoena and are cooperating with the IRS," the company said in a statement.

Sharpton blasted the subpoena as a "fishing expedition" and said his donors are proud of their financial support. The St. Louis-based corporation donated between $100,000 and $499,000 to NAN in 2007 alone, according to its Web site, but declined further comment about its relationship with Sharpton. A knowledgeable source said several other corporate donors received or would soon receive subpoenas.
Sharpton himself, his business entities and his nonprofit civil-advocacy group owe millions in back taxes, documents show.

The IRS and the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn have an ongoing probe into Sharpton's finances going back to his 2004 run for president and stewardship of NAN.

It seems that the reverend is quite the shakedown artist:
Almost 50 companies - including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase - and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton's National Action Network annual conference in April.

Terrified of negative publicity, fearful of a consumer boycott or eager to make nice with the civil-rights activist, CEOs write checks, critics say, to NAN and Sharpton - who brandishes the buying power of African-American consumers. In some cases, they hire him as a consultant.
***
In May 2004, Chrysler began supporting NAN's conferences, which include panels on corporate responsibility and civil rights and a black-tie awards dinner to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Sharpton gave Chrysler an award for corporate excellence.

In 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management.

"We support those that support us," wrote Sharpton and the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president of NAN's Michigan chapter, in a letter to American Honda. "We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner."

Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN's events - and continues to pay "a modest amount" each year, a spokesman said.

Disgusting.

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