If you’re unaware of the Pigford scandal, it is supposed to be a settlement between the USDA and black farmers who were discriminated against by the agency. It has become a slush fund writing $50,000 checks to anyone claims to have “attempted to farm,” whether or not they have any evidence of their efforts, and a major payday for lawyers.
Here’s a video of Eddie Slaughter, a black farmer, discussing the Pigford scandal and his ongoing problems with the USDA.
Andrew Breitbart led the charge to expose this fraud, and was smeared in the media for his efforts. Lee Stranahan, who also did pioneering work in this investigation has continued the investigation for Breitbart.com.
Three days ago, on 25 April 2013, 2 years 2 months 16 days after Eddie Slaughter’s CPAC speech, 2 years 5 months 5 days after Rep. Michele Bachmann penned a guest post at Breitbart.com asking congress to investigate Pigford before funding it, and nearly 3 years after Andrew Breitbart began investigating the case, the New York Times finally conceded he was right, Pigford is rife with fraud.
On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling, interviews and records show, the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court.
The deal, several current and former government officials said, was fashioned in White House meetings despite the vehement objections — until now undisclosed — of career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination. What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.
Andrew Breitbart and Lee Stranahan did great work bringing this case to light. The NY Times, however reluctantly and late, granted it investigative resources and front page space. Now it’s time to keep the momentum going. May 1st is the deadline for new claimants to file their paperwork and start down the path to a $50,000 gift from taxpayers. It’s time taxpayers were informed of their generosity.