The establishment media has treated the story of despicably racist basketball owner Donald Sterling as if it is a world crisis, but it has given full credibility, with no context at all, to one of Sterling’s chief detractors, NBA Players Association adviser and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson – even though Johnson himself has a terribly tawdry past involving both financial and sexual improprieties.
This is not to argue that Sterling deserves any sort of pass. He doesn’t. The now-famous audiotape makes him sound like vermin.
A prominent Democratic politician who was banned from receiving federal aid three years ago over fraud charges is once again raking in government funds from the very same program he abused. It pays to be a FOTO — Friend of the Obamas.
Our publicly subsidized con artist is Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. He donated the maximum individual amount to Obama for America, campaigned across the country for Obama in 2008, and bragged to California media during his mayoral run about his friendship and access to both Barack and Michelle Obama. The Obama administration's Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently bestowed Johnson's city with an AmeriCorps grant worth more than $650,000.
Thursday's Today show on NBC showed an excerpt from Tom Brokaw’s upcoming documentary, "American Character Along Highway 50," during which the former NBC Nightly News anchor plugged Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson – a friend of President Obama -- and delivered a puff piece on Johnson’s life and political goals, giving Johnson several soundbites to promote himself without being challenged, with Johnson proclaiming that he ran for mayor partly because "there’s a lot of inequality in our country."
But, even though at one point Brokaw recounted that Johnson founded the St. Hope foundation to help provide education, the former NBC anchor did not bring up Johnson’s history of corruption, specifically the finding that he misused $800,000 in AmeriCorps funding at St. Hope.
Last June, in an interview on FNC’s Fox and Friends, former inspector general Gerald Walpin of the Corporation for National and Community Service – who had just been fired by the Obama administration – recounted his findings against Mayor Johnson and theorized that Obama had fired him because of his aggressive stance against the President's political ally. Walpin:
Apart from several reports on FNC, and a few on CNN, the mainstream television news media have ignored the controversial firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had recently battled for tougher penalties against Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after an investigation by Walpin found Johnson had misused hundreds of thousands of tax dollars granted by the AmeriCorps program to the Johnson-founded St. Hope charity. Over the past weeks, there have been a number of developments, including the opening of an FBI investigation into the St. Hope charity, further casting doubt on the White House's decisions and bolstering Walpin's case that he was wrongfully booted.
Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC gave attention to the case of former inspector general Jerry Walpin, of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who was abruptly dismissed from his position, after he headed up an investigation of one of President Obama's political allies for misuse of AmeriCorps funds, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Co-anchor Steve Doocy also brought up the possibility that Obama had broken the law in firing Walpin without just cause. As he was interviewed by co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Doocy, Walpin summed up his agency's findings against Johnson:
We found out that Johnson had misused the members of the AmeriCorps volunteers for his own personal purposes, had used them in political campaigns, had used them to wash his car, and had even taken them to New York to lobby for him, and they're supposed to be working tutoring students in Sacramento. He took them to New York to lobby for him to get a charter school charter here in New York.
Walpin also charged that Johnson was never required by the Obama administration to reimburse the $800,000 he owed the government: