Holder To Appear At Training Session For Black Ministers Preparing For 2012 Election

Attorney General Eric Holder has been criticized repeatedly for actions viewed as political (or his abandoning independent role) during the Clinton Administration and the Obama Administration. Few, however, seem quite as raw as his participation in an upcoming event to advise black ministers on how far they can go in campaigning in this presidential election, presumably for President Obama who is expected to secure the overwhelming percentage of African American votes. The event is being hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus and will include appearances by other government officials like IRS officials. While the CBC is bipartisan, there remain questions about the propriety of the appearance.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. is quoted as noting that the ministers represent roughly 10 million voters and will be key in the upcoming election. He adds “President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote.”

The direct participation of Holder in such an event is problematic in my view and shows (again) a complete lack of judgment.

Holder leaves the impression of actively using his office to advance the political agenda of the White House. Admittedly, I have been a critic of Holder as I was a critic of his predecessors in the Bush Administration. I have no problem with the CBC holding this event. There are legitimate concerns over suppression of voting through various state laws and training is a useful response. However, Holder should have shown a modicum of judgment in declining to participate in an event viewed as a training session for Obama supporters in the clergy. Just as liberals denounced the participation of Associate Justice Scalia in a congressional event for the Tea Party, this decision should also be condemned as undermining the integrity of the Justice Department.

Notably, it is the Justice Department and IRS which will be on the forefront of dealing with alleged violations of neutrality among religious organizations with tax-free status. Many such charges have always emerged this year on both sides of the campaign. In Washington, there is an army of private counsel that is readily available to explain the rules. The Justice Department also releases information on these rules.

Even if the DOJ wanted to send someone to the event, the question remains why the Attorney General should be that person when he will be the ultimate decision-maker in future cases involving violations. At a time of growing unease over the entanglement of church and state (as well as faith-based politics generally) the participation of the Attorney General is not a welcomed sight for many who are uncomfortable with the increasing role of religious leaders in our political process. If Alberto Gonzales went to Congress to brief evangelical religious leaders on campaigning in the presidential election, the hue and cry would be deafening. Yet, again, there appears to be little criticism of this appearance by Holder.

What do you think?

Source: MSNBC

51 thoughts on “Holder To Appear At Training Session For Black Ministers Preparing For 2012 Election”

  1. Great article from Media Matters, Swarthmore. It is interesting that Holder’s speech appears to be benign. Would it be improper for Holder to address the vote fraud being perpetuated right now in Florida to an audience of Florida voters who are the lists bing used to purge legitimate voters?

  2. “Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to attendees at a summit of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches about the importance of voting as well as the significance of new voter ID laws, which disproportionately affect minorities. The summit was designed, in part, to help black leaders learn about the new laws — yet Rush Limbaugh and a Fox News contributor attacked Holder’s appearance as “reprehensible” and “unseemly.” ” Media Matters

  3. Jefferson used his often. Did Martha have conrol over George? And Abe was said to like men. What’s not to like, he is said to have said. Speculation, pure speculation.

    What is justic? Cells and chanmers whitewashed once a year. Clear of all grime and crimes committed within these walls. The almighty eye rules. Look at the dollar bill.

  4. And at least he’s not supporting anti-conception decisions by your boss. Next ALEC bill will be restoration of seignorial rights, al’italiano.

  5. The Turley blog and some of you would bitch if Holder went to a Klan meeting and told them to stop lynching people.

    BarkinDog, you get an extra biscuit for this one!

  6. Someone above brought up the well-used point about voting fraud.
    I amused myself imaginíng how it quite systematically could be done within a family. It would be regarded as a proper expression of confederate rebellion and patriotism, how
    one can combine the two. I don’t really understand.

    Sometime in advance on a suitable occasion the old tin box comes out with IDs of deceased family members who have been registered and still are. A family council is made as to who resembles best the deceased, and I’m sure you all can guess the rest…..

    Shall we guess which party will get their support?

    Particularly hard for voting controllers. All blacks and red necks look alike don’t they—-depending on which color you carry.

    When will the day come when we are all the same color and have IQs of 130 minimum and speak 5 languages, can four cultures, and have only science as a religion.

  7. “However, the sad fact is that most Attorney Generals in our country’s history have fallen far below the standard we should expect of them. In a time when Supreme Court Justices are actively political, what can we expect? Our legal system has been broken since the country’s inception and the fact that it is probably better than the legal system’s in most country’s is scant succor to those who believe in the rule of law.”

    Yeah, what HE said!

    Not only is EVERYTHING political now, but everything is secretly political. Perhaps it always was so, but we persist in imagining that there was a time when the Star Chamber wasn’t in full swing behind every curtain that hung vertical. (Hanged vertical?)

    One time I was in a court in New York somewhere — I think White Plains. The Judge came out of chambers and invited us to come speak with him — while “we” were five women obviously representing (and including) only ONE SIDE of the case. We were all kinda shocked because of course you’re not supposed to even TRY to talk with a judge without the other side represented, but we respectfully filed into his office. He sat us down at a conference table. He asked us, “what is it you ladies want?”

    The mother herself was too flummoxed to speak. The rest of us sat still and the judge looked at me and said, “Can you tell me?” I started off with a few disclaimers (not trying to speak for the mother, not personally a witness to what the children said, not a lawyer, not a doctor, not this, not that) and he kept nodding, nodding, and then politely said, “OK, that’s fine, go ahead.”

    I told him what we were hoping for. He asked if anybody had anything to add and a few people did. Then, right in front of us, he picked up the telephone and called the other side’s lawyer, and got him on the phone. He said, “Look, if I issue a temporary restraining order now, for a couple of weeks, until there’s a hearing, would you agree to just let that order sit, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the time period?” Silence in the room (no speakerphone). “OK, good.” He then signed an ex parte restraining order that DAY! After the time period when it was up, he threw out all the evidence and dismissed the petitions and made the whole thing unhappen, without even allowing sworn testimony on the record.

    We were all in shock because you were, at that time, not supposed to sign these TROs lightly, without some evidence that they could be upheld on evidentiary presentations. After that happened, and the appeal failed, I realized what he had done. He had done that whole thing cosmetically so that we wouldn’t try to get the press interested in what was going down. He wanted the final hearing to be unattended; he wanted to make sure there were no headlines; he had probably spoken with the other side’s lawyer way before he pulled us into the conference room.

    Our legal system has been broken since this country’s inception.

    We have had the Bill of Rights in place, coexisting with slavery, figure that one out.

    We have had decision after decision coming down out of the highest court in the land designed to accomplish political goals, almost so blatant as to be like billboard advertising. We have a system that, if replaced by a “coin toss procedure,” would work out probably not much worse than it already does, with the possible exception of parking meter violations. Nothing can be trusted in the whole system, and the leader of the system cannot be trusted either; that may be the only congruent thing.

    At least the day Holder is talking to a bunch of clergymen, he will be off the streets.

  8. shano and anon nurse, et al,

    Thanks for the news that dillary is coming. now’s our chance, he he he.

    I hope that all understand that Assange is the conceited victim of a classic honey pot with a dumb bait which
    is not traceable to the CIA. The lady in question meets´all the criteria and has been unknowingly selected and prepped by a (lesbian) police assistant for at least a year in advance. This has been established by the Swedish press.
    Assange, accustomed to being surrounded by groupies world over, walked naively into the trap. She was coached by the police assistant afterwards and mildly coerced into filing charges. He thought he was safe in Scandinavie. Poor man, now he will suffer.
    And all that for not using a condom without express consent.
    Remember that on visiting Sweden.

  9. I am not a big fan of AG Holder, but I do not have a polem if he was really speaking on the voting rights act and the repeated Republican attacks on the right to vote.

  10. MikeS,
    Not to kick sand on your blanket, but let me opine that “scant succor” is too generous IMHO.

    It should be ranked as none at all to those who can not buy it. Or those otherwise oppressed systematically.

    And the reference to other countries’ is perhaps only obligatory flagwaving. God bless the USA and I do, everyday.

    Peacefully yours from the Nordic countries.

  11. Not having read the comments (yet), I will venture to reason that Holder can well represent the DoJ as the department charged with securing justice as to registration rights regardless of other aspects. His appearance should be properly limited to a ceremaonial greetings only however.

    Other functions should be staffed below under secretary level. And notably should be multi-racial to show the non-discrimination which the department represents. And thus the wishes of the BCC should be ignored.
    They don’t get to pick and choose service level training personnel.
    This is an official DoJ function and should be held properly in their facilities, even though the BCC may be hosting. They are speaking for us, not the BCC.

    But what Holder does we will often be surprised by. Or???
    I don’t like administrative murderers of justice.

  12. nowax, I would not have minded if Bush’s AG John Ashcroft had gone to the the CBC and talked up voting rights….What was the chance of that happening?

  13. Wow. Really sad to see people defending this behavior. If this had been Bush…

    Why doesn’t the Democratic party just get it over with and declare itself the “New Republican party?”

  14. I am more worried about Hillary Clinton going to Sweden in order to get them to turn over Julian Assange. -shano

    Excellent point.

  15. Isn’t this part of his job? I have more problems with an uneducated citizenry than the AG being proactive on the limits of ministerial input. They have a tax status to protect, he is the expert, the audience is not 1 party or the other so it is balanced….so much is wrong but isn’t this right?

  16. “Yet, again, there appears to be little criticism of this appearance by Holder.

    What do you think?”

    This is more than I think, this is what I know. .. If Holder does this, FoxRove Wingnuts will be babbling about this for 5 months. It is a perfect storm over HOT political waters. Holder is a target for the Right, an associate of Obama and this action if it does occur is a perfect melding of republican scare and obfuscating MEMEs. The Right is NOT protesting, in fact they are dreaming and pleading for this to occur. Fox news has probably scoped out the best camera angles already.
    I agree with Jills earlier statement, a webinar is just fine. Prepare one for all churches all denomonations, this is a case of the rule of law. Justice is blind, when money politics and religion are left out.(and x other stuff).
    As a matter of fact, I suggest Eric Holder have Jonathon Turley write record and promote the speech. Why the AG of the US wants to put his foot in this big pile of political POO is bewildering, befuddling and below a reasoned, approach to jurisprudence.
    Please do not do this Eric,..I can’t stand seeing Rove right after he eats the Canary.

  17. I am more worried about Hillary Clinton going to Sweden in order to get them to turn over Julian Assange.

    What a vile, disgusting woman. Just like her husband only worse, because she professes to be for human rights.

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