Monday, October 8, 2012

Mayor Jay Schiliro Files Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland

State funding, at request of House Democrats, went to non-profits and other organizations controlled by Kirkland friends and family

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Marcus Hook Mayor Jay Schiliro today announced that he is filing a formal complaint with the  Pennsylvania Ethics Commission regarding Representative Thaddeus Kirkland (D-159) and state funding that has been directed to non-profits and other organizations controlled by Kirkland’s family and close associates. Schiliro also provided the documents and other information to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office for review.

According to documents and research, state funding was directed by the House Democratic Caucus, presumably at the request of Representative Kirkland to at least three organizations controlled by Kirkland’s friends and family.

“I believe the method in which these organizations were funded and their close ties to Kirkland, his family, and associates raises serious ethical concerns and I believe is warrant an ethics inere were any illegal activities,” said Schiliro. 


Rep. Kirkland lists one organization that received state funding, Community Baptist Church, as a source of income on state financial disclosure reports.  The timing of the state funding of $30,000 coincides with the timing at which Kirkland began to list the organization on his statement of financial interests as a source of direct or indirect income. Kirkland's biography states that he is director of youth services at Community Baptist Church while grant documentation states that a portion of the funds, awarded in 2008 and 2009, went to pay for a program coordinator for the youth group.  If that program coordinator was Rep. Kirkland, this would appear to be a conflict of interest and serious ethical issue.  However, even if Kirkland is not the program coordinator in question, it would seem to be a serious ethics issue if Kirkland used his official capacity as an elected official to direct $30,000 in state funding to his employer. 

“The timing of the grants in 2008 and 2009 -- which coincide with the time at which Kirkland begins to list the church as a source of direct or indirect income on his statement of financial interests -- certainly raises questions,” wrote Schiliro.

In addition, the Chester Fine Arts Center East has received nearly $130,000 in state funding between 2008 and 2010, the period for which DCED grants documentation is available.  However, state funding, provided at the direction of House Democrats as WAMs, dates back to at last the 1990s.  The organization was founded by Anzer Kirkland, Thaddeus’ brother, and   Kirkland’s wife, Susie Kirkland has served as both acting president and board president of the organization.  Official grant documentation indicates that $65,000 of a $100,000 grant -- awarded in 2008 -- was used to pay the salary of the executive director of the organization, John Wooten.  Some online information appears to indicate that Wooten is a relative, perhaps by marriage, of Kirkland. 

In addition, according to a company website, Wooten serves as Senior Vice President at Starr Associates.  Starr Associates lists Chester Fine Arts Center East (CFACE) as a “current or former client.”  Of note, Starr and Associates is the public affairs firm of Ronald Starr, a former campaign consultant to Kirkland, who is also married to Kirkland’s daughter, Tyra.

“I believe it would be worth examining whether the board of directors of this non-profit approved expending money for a public relations firm that employed its family members and whether those board members benefitted in any way from the manner in which they expended state dollars,” said Schiliro.  “Given the many close family ties, it would seem reasonable that Rep. Kirkland would know whether and if this funding would benefit his family and associates.”     

The Department of Community and Economic Development also provided $85,000 in funding in 2009 to the Across Color Cultural Festival This event is widely reported in the press as “Kirkland’s” festival.  Kirkland’s daughter, Tyra Starr is listed on the Chester Fine Arts Center East as a performer and online sources indicate she has performed at the festival as a singer.  Grant documentation indicates that $42,000 of the above mentioned grant was used to pay for the performance of singing groups.  If Tyra Starr was in fact paid for her performance using state dollars and Thaddeus used his office to advocate or direct the funding, Shiliro believec this would also be worthy of an ethics review.

The treasurer of Across Colors is Leola Williams, who Schiliro believes may also be related to Thaddeus, and the President of Across Colors is Lashanda Wooten, who it is believed is related to John Wooten, the executive director of the Chester Fine Arts Center and is listed as Senior Vice President of Starr and Associates. 

Schiliro also took aim at Kirkland’s campaign finance filings. He noted that incomplete information on Kirkland’s campaign finance reports is widespread.  His spring 2012 filings fail to include addresses and employment for major donors, including donors in the $1,000 to $5,000 contribution range.  One would assume Kirkland would know such basic information about his largest donors.  His failure to provide such basic information only raises additional questions. 
Kirkland’s campaign finance reports contains tens of thousands of dollars in payments to “cash” and payments to Thaddeus Kirkland himself for “campaign day expenses,” “food,” and “poll workers,” raises additional questions. 

“I would be curious what backup documentation and receipts exist for these payments and whether the campaign or Thaddeus issued any IRS 1099 forms to these campaign workers for tax purposes,” said Schiliro.  “I believe it is important that full documentation be provided that show the expenditures actually used for their stated purposes.

Kirkland said the information he has collected raise a number of serious questions: Is a legislator allowed to steer money to an entity (Community Baptist Church) listed as source of income?  Was Kirkland paid out of the grant money to the church?  Was Kirkland’s Daughter paid for her performance at the Cultural Festival and did Kirkland advocate for funding to an entity that may have then paid his daughter?  If Wooten is in fact related to Kirkland, did Kirkland direct state funding to an entity (Chester Fine Arts Center East) that then paid a relative a $65,000 salary using state money?  Was Kirkland aware that the non-profit CFACE intended to employ Starr Associates, a company run by Ron Starr, his campaign consultant and who is believed to be Kirkland’s son-in-law?

Is the apparent increase over  the past four years in State House hearings and other “official” taxpayer funded events hosted at CFACE coincidental, or related to the elimination of WAMS and subsequent limitations placed on the ability of legislators to direct DCED funding to organizations like CFACE?  Do these rentals represent the best venues for these public meetings and hearings and what are the total state payments to CFACE since 2008 for facility usage?  Is this a backdoor attempt to provide a state subsidy to a non-profit run by his family and friends that in turn sponsors a music festival that helps boost his popularity and re-election chances?

How else was taxpayer funding utilized in years prior to 2008 – the last year for which the detailed grant documentation is available online -- for non-profits that are closely tied to Kirkland and did additional family members benefit?  Who are the security personnel, consultants and dancers listed in the various grant requests and are they related to Kirkland in some way?  What type of documentation exists, if any, for the Kirkland campaign’s tens of thousands of dollars in payments to “cash” and other payments made by the campaign directly to Kirkland himself?

41 comments:

  1. This could get ugly. Mayor Linder is probably somewhere quietly smiling over all of this.

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    1. Probably not. Commissioner Bail seems to have many of the same types of accusations (providing contracts to a source of income, accepting gifts of more than $500 from a source of income, etc.)

      http://thetruthaboutsocnetlies.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/timeline-shows-20k-honorarium-from-john-giduck-to-joe-bail-for-consulting-services/

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  2. Its about time someone has the courage to go after Thaddeus. His time is up. Time to retire thaddeus before this pitbull throws you in jail.

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  3. That jackass in Marcus Hook don't have nothing better with his time. Let's see who gets the last laugh.

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  4. First let me tell you that Jay is related to the bike gang known as the pegans.... He also like to mess with his police and always making them feel like there job is on the line by lying..... The cops don't fall for it they know his a politician and will lock him up in a heart beat. Just like every cop should lock up any politician who thinks he can control a police department. I don't like jay but I think he is better then Kirkland. Jay is a fat stuttering fool but we need change. Go pegans go. Jay and Kirkland have no right in community serves but I take fat peg an jay over Kirkland. Jay is a little fool who will someday screw up and go to jail, and he will allow pagans to take over the lower east side. You go jay and Kirkland you keep selling those drugs.............. Go peg an jay go!,,,,,

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  5. Kirkland yells at kids and is a drug dealer.... That's a fact..... Kirkland must go.......

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  6. Neither has my vote

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  7. Kirkland certainly is not my favorite person. But he's a drug dealer?

    Good luck proving that one "anonymous".

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  8. So what if Rep. Kirkland gives money to the Chester Fine Arts Center, and other organizations that members of his family are associated with. Anzer Kirkland, the founder of the Chester Fine Arts Center, had done a wonderful job running the Center and I have never heard anything negative about this organization. Also, how do we know that other organizations inside/outside of Chester have not also received funds from Rep. Kirkland? I see no Ethics violations, and see that perhaps Mayor Schiliro has conveniently left other organizations out of his complaint that have applied/received funding from the Rep.

    I hope that Rep. Kirkland will work even harder for the City of Chester and work beside Mayor Linder in moving the city in a future we can all be proud of. In addition, I hope that the people in Chester will remember that the Repulican party, locally and nationally, represent the rich and Wall Street, they do not represent the middle and low classes. As an example - Voter ID, this suggested law makes me sick to my stomach - it reminds me in Africa when the Blacks had to carry ID cards and if they did not have they would be jailed. Also, Pennsylvania is taking away the right to vote from some who have voted all their lives and now cannot vote because they can't present paperwork required by Pennsylvania. THIS IS WHY THE COURTS HAVE SET ASIDE THIS LAW AND WE DO NOT NEED A VOTER'S ID FOR THE UPCOMING NOVEMBER ELECTION. Also, remember that the Republicans want to do away with Medicare as we know it today and take away Obama Health Care.

    Just be aware of what Mayor Jay Schilero is telling you - focus on what is best for you and the City of Chester!

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    1. doesn't kirkland also represent marcus hook, linwood, trainer.. park side. maybe he just forgot over the years.

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    2. There are a lot of african american that are in Chester that are republican and not rich. Are you BLIND? What has Linder done since he was in OFFICE? Stop voting democrat because you are black face facts Chester Dems are worthless.

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  9. Dont Think Kirkland is a drug dealer dont know where that came from. But there is a lot of CLOUDS over Kirkland and his family hook ups. I support Chester Fine Arts but Ron Star and his ad company are getting paid BIG TIME. Remember the article the Chester Spirit did last year with the Dems and Money. They are a MESS. Shep and Marrea where are you? Yall have my vote.

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  10. Thaddeus Kirkland pleaded no contest after being arrested in 1988 for buying crack cocaine, not drug dealing.

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    1. HE WAS A CRACK HEAD. LMAO

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  11. This thread is about blatant nepotism plain and simple and the corruption that all to often accompanies this practice.

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  12. Mr. Roots if you are so inclined, I would welcome a thread on the National Issues for the upcoming election rather address the comments in the earlier post that mischaracterizes or should I say expresses the posters ignorance to the facts.

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    1. This is the Chester City Blog. We try to present issue concerning Chester and the people who live, work, and play here.

      Please clarify which facts you are referring to.

      If it is something related to this post, be aware that I post almost all submissions. I don't judge them or check them for facts. If you find something wrong, speak up.

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  13. I 've be going through the legislative record and have yet to find one piece of legislation that Kirkland has put forward that improves the lives of Chester residents. Poverty is the root cause of violence, yet he has opposed any economic legislation that brings revenue and jobs to the City. He publicly opposed Harrah's, he publicly opposed the building of PPL Park, and he opposed Keystone Opportunity Zones when they were first proposed. Yet no one holds him accountable for his failure to create an environment where business would want to locate and flourish.

    Yes the residents need services and programs, but these needs come with a cost, a cost that could be paid for with additional revenue that comes with new businesses. Kirkland has done nothing but pander to a desperate community as he struts around and offers breadcrumbs and no hope for a substantive improvement of their lives or station in life.

    Kirkland has a government pension and medical benefits that his constituants could only hope for, send him packing and demand real hope from your Representative.

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  14. did you read reps and money they been stealing for 106 years
    you slave.

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  15. WOW!!! N ANYWAY TO DEGRADE THE CITY OF CHESTER... WHY DO THE RESDIENTS OF THE PLACE THEY LIVE PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF THE MEDIA AND DISS OUT DIRT ABOUT THEIR OWN... ITS GOING TO TAKE ALOT OF WORK TO GET CHESTER WHAT IT USE TO BE BECAUSE DON'T LOOK LIKE TO MANY ARE THIER BROTHERS AND SISTERS KEEPER. WE GOT CRIIME, MAYOR & COUNCIL NOT ON THE SAME PAGE SO IT SEEMS, A MESSED OF SCHOOL DISTRICT, AMONGST ALOT OF OTHER ISSUES.. THESE ISSUES HAPPENING EVERYWHERE IN SOME PLACES LESS BUT IN OTHERS JUST AS MUCH.. BOY, THE DEVIL SURE IS BUSY AND IT IS NOT EASY TO DECEIVE AND TAKE HOLD BECAUSE SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS CITY EASILY BEING PENETRATED. I PRAY FOR THIS CITY AND THE GOOD AND BAD PEOPLE THAT LIVE HERE... WHERE IS THE LOVE IN A CITY THAT ONCE WAS AND STILL CAN BE A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND RAISE A FAMILY.. THERE IS HOPE BUT WE ALL NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHO WE ARE VOTING FOR. MOST OF ALL WE NEED TO STOP POINTING THE FINGER AND WANT TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION BECAUSE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS IF NOT ALL OF THEM CAN BE FIXED.. WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE IS A WAY......POWER COMES WITH NUMBERS!!!

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  16. I think Rep. Kirkland should challenge Mayor Schrillo to a debate to set him straight! Expose the lies that Mayor Schrilo is putting out there.

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  17. Not only did Kirkland plead no contest to possession of crack cocaine in 1988, he plead no contest to DUI in 2008 in Delaware. This self promoting man of God seems to have a problem, voters will have to decide if this man who has a pattern of making bad choices should represent them in Harrisburg.

    http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2004/09/28/today's%20stories/13019931.txt

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  18. Who supports Kirkland, top contributors:

    RODRIGUEZ, RENNIE$5,000.00
    BOB BRADY FOR CONGRESS$5,000.00
    SPECTRA ENERGY$2,500.00
    STUDENT FIRST PAC$2,000.00
    FRASCELLA, DAVID W$2,000.00
    PECO ENERGY$1,500.00
    HAN, KO KWANG$1,000.00
    LEE, THOMAS$500.00
    MERCK & CO$500.00
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION$500.00
    PPL CORP$250.00
    MAGUIRE, KEITH & JENINE$150.00
    SHELTON, DELORES R$100.00
    LINDER, JOHN$100.00

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  19. Kirkland 1999 after vote legalizing slots:
    "This is more than a referendum," said Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-Delaware. "It's a gamble that millions and millions of Pennsylvanians will lose."

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  20. City Paper May 16, 2002:
    Thaddeus Kirkland - state representative, Delaware County
    He’s against gambling and denounces the ideas of slot machines at racetracks and riverboat gambling.

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  21. Chester City Solicitor listed in top 20 contributors for Kirkland in 2004, another case of pay to play?

    Pennsylvania 2004 > Contributions to KIRKLAND, THADDEUS From SHUSTERS, KENNETH


    Total amount: $500


    Contributor
    Industry Recipient Name Location ↓Amount↓ Date
    SHUSTERS, KENNETH
    Uncoded KIRKLAND, THADDEUS MEDIA, PA $500 Unknown

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  22. The drug dealer rumor has been following Kirkland around for years it is because of the company he keeps. He associates himself with individuels that are of questionable character and colorful past.

    If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas

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  23. You got that right

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  24. VOTE KIRKLAND!!!!During his tenure Kirkland has helped secure state funding to complete Route 291 and federal funding to refurbish the Chester Transportation Center. He played roles in making PPL Park, Harrah’s Racetrack and Casino and the Boys and Girls Club realities.

    Check out the FACTS!
    http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2010/10/17/news/doc4cba6d54f3b75384469834.txt

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    1. Typical of Kirkland bait and switch: he opposed Harrah's, I remember reading articles in the 'Times' including the one here this blog posted on 11/10 @ 1:10pm. I remember him speaking out and protesting against Chester Downs and Marina (Harrah's). He would talk about how it would exploit Chester. He was wrong and when he found out what a good cooperate neighbor Harrah's was and just like the slick Philadelphia politicians that he is so friendly with, he took credit for its succes and being located in Chester. He stated publicly that Soccer in a baseket ball town would never work, he was wrong again.

      He takes credit for the hard work of others while bad mouthing them at the same time. Kirkland the politician has no integrity, Kirkland the man has made numerous bad choices in his personal life that have crossed paths with the law. Among his peers in Harrisburg he's a joke who's vote always mirrors the Philadelphia Cronies.

      The largest contributions he receives are from Philadelphia politicians and Philadelphia businessmen that send money to his campaign so Philadelphia's puppet can stay in office. Not the person I want in Harrisburg, I want a person that has my fellow Delaware County residents best interest at heart representing me.

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    2. Kirkland opposed Harrah's- Don't try to spin MORE BAIT AND SWITCH LIES WILL BE EXPOSED!

      http://articles.philly.com/2003-07-21/news/25453259_1_slots-track-trash-to-steam-plant

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  25. He was against PPL park and the Casino.

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  26. he for being free you slaves

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    1. The Democrat Party is the party of slavery. You really should do some reading.

      Democrat opposition to the Civil Rights Movement:
      A little known fact of history involves the heavy opposition to the civil rights movement by several prominent Democrats. Similar historical neglect is given to the important role Republicans played in supporting the civil rights movement. A calculation of 26 major civil rights votes from 1933 through the 1960's civil rights era shows that Republicans favored civil rights in approximately 96% of the votes, whereas the Democrats opposed them in 80% of the votes! These facts are often intentionally overlooked by the left wing Democrats for obvious reasons. In some cases, the Democrats have told flat out lies about their shameful record during the civil rights movement.

      Democrat Senators organized the record Senate filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Included among the organizers were several prominent and well known liberal Democrat standard bearers including:
      - Robert Byrd, current senator from West Virginia
      - J. William Fulbright, Arkansas senator and political mentor of Bill Clinton
      - Albert Gore Sr., Tennessee senator, father and political mentor of Al Gore. Gore Jr. has been known to lie about his father's opposition to the Civil Rights Act.
      - Sam Ervin, North Carolina senator of Watergate hearings fame
      - Richard Russell, famed Georgia senator and later President Pro Tempore

      The complete list of the 21 Democrats who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes Senators:

      - Hill and Sparkman of Alabama
      - Fulbright and McClellan of Arkansas
      - Holland and Smathers of Florida
      - Russell and Talmadge of Georgia
      - Ellender and Long of Louisiana
      - Eastland and Stennis of Mississippi
      - Ervin and Jordan of North Carolina
      - Johnston and Thurmond of South Carolina
      - Gore Sr. and Walters of Tennessee
      - H. Byrd and Robertson of Virginia
      - R. Byrd of West Virginia

      Democrat opposition to the Civil Rights Act was substantial enough to literally split the party in two. A whopping 40% of the House Democrats VOTED AGAINST the Civil Rights Act, while 80% of Republicans SUPPORTED it. Republican support in the Senate was even higher. Similar trends occurred with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was supported by 82% of House Republicans and 94% of Senate Republicans. The same Democrat standard bearers took their normal racists stances, this time with Senator Fulbright leading the opposition effort.

      It took the hard work of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen and Republican Whip Thomas Kuchel to pass the Civil Rights Act (Dirksen was presented a civil rights accomplishment award for the year by the head of the NAACP in recognition of his efforts). Upon breaking the Democrat filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Republican Dirksen took to the Senate floor and exclaimed "The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!" (Full text of speech). Sadly, Democrats and revisionist historians have all but forgotten (and intentionally so) that it was Republican Dirksen, not the divided Democrats, who made the Civil Rights Act a reality. Dirksen also broke the Democrat filibuster of the 1957 Civil Rights Act that was signed by Republican President Eisenhower.

      Outside of Congress, the three most notorious opponents of school integration were all Democrats:
      - Orval Faubus, Democrat Governor of Arkansas and one of Bill Clinton's political heroes
      - George Wallace, Democrat Governor of Alabama
      - Lester Maddox, Democrat Governor of Georgia

      The most famous of the school desegregation standoffs involved Governor Faubus. Democrat Faubus used police and state forces to block the integration of a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. The standoff was settled and the school was integrated only after the intervention of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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    2. The next time Democrats try to dishonestly accuse Republicans of racial hatred, remember who the historical record up until this very day points to as the real bigots: The Democrat Party. In all possible ways, the Democrat Party is built around the pillars of ultra leftists, many of whom are known participants in racism and/or affiliates of racist hate groups. Consider the Democrat Party of today's heroes and leaders:
      - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrat icon and orchestrator of Japanese Internment
      - Ex-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, former affiliate of a St. Louis area racist group
      - Ex-Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd, former Ku Klux Klansman known for making bigoted slurs on national television
      - Rev. Jesse Jackson, Democrat keynote speaker and race hustler known for making anti-Semitic slurs
      - Rev. Al Sharpten, Democrat activist and perennial candidate and race hustler known inciting anti-Semitic violence in New York City
      - Sen. Ernest Hollings, leading Democrat Senator known for use of racial slurs against several minority groups
      - Lee P. Brown, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat mayor of Houston who won reelection using racial intimidation against Hispanic voters
      - Andrew Cuomo, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat candidate for NY Governor who made racist statements about a black opponent.
      - Dan Rather, Democrat CBS news anchor and editorialist known for using anti-black racial epithets on a national radio broadcast
      - Donna Brazile, former Gore campaign manager known for making anti-white racial attacks. Brazile has also worked for Jackson, Gephardt, and Michael Dukakis

      The simple truth is that the Democrat Party's history during this century is one closely aligned to bigotry in a record stemming largely out of the liberal New Deal era up until the modern day. Bigots are at the center of the Democrat party's current leadership and role models. And in a striking display of hypocrisy, many of the same Democrats who dishonestly shout accusations of "bigotry" at conservatives are practicing bigots of the most disgusting and disreputable kind themselves.

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  27. Kirkland did not want the casino nor did he want the soccer stadium he is what you call a "Political PIMP". When he is accused of wrongdoing he is in the church. LMAO, I live in Chester and Would NEVER vote for him.

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  28. Records for a 1988 drug case involving Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-Delaware, failed to turn up in a courthouse search. The state police background check said the case resulted in a no-contest plea by Kirkland, who was 33 years old at the time.
    Kirkland told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1992, during his first campaign for state House, that he had been addicted to cocaine and received treatment.
    “That’s my past and I refuse to talk about it. That’s been taken care of,” he told The AP in July, then hung up.
    The Inquirer said Kirkland’s record was expunged after he paid restitution for the cost of the undercover drug purchases.


    Read More http://timesleader.com/stories/Background-checks-of-lawmakers-turn-up-trouble,100860#ixzz29DddaXTM

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  29. Replies
    1. The only slave here is you. You're a slave to Democrats you've bought the BS party line. The Democratic Party is the party of the KKK. (Lincoln was a Republican)

      Democrats want you to stay dependent on Government Handout Programs- you are the slave, a slave to the welfare system that will never permit you live above the poverty level.

      They promise you nothing but dependence in return you keep them in power- you are truly a slave.

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    2. Aside from the multiple Klan members who have served in elected capacity within the high ranks of the Democrat Party, the political party itself has a lengthy but often overlooked history of involvement with the Ku Klux Klan.

      Though it has been all but forgotten by the media, the Democrat National Convention of 1924 was host to one of the largest Klan gatherings in American history. Dubbed the "Klanbake convention" at the time, the 1924 Democrat National Convention in New York was dominated by a platform dispute surrounding the Ku Klux Klan. A minority of the delegates to the convention attempted to condemn the hate group in the party's platform, but found their proposal shot down by Klan supporters within the party. As delegates inside the convention voted in the Klan's favor, the Klan itself mobilized a celebratory rally outside. On July 4, 1924 one of the largest Klan gatherings ever occurred outside the convention on a field in nearby New Jersey.

      The event was marked by speakers spewing racial hatred, celebrations of their platform victory in the Democrat Convention, and ended in a cross burning.

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  30. your father father own slaves wake up you slave master child

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