Spitzer: Unfit For leadership

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Assemblyman Keith Wright has strongly expressed his dissatisfaction with Spitzer, and has become the first Democrat in the State Legislature to publicly withdraw his support

Op-Ed

Governor Jekyll, Prosecutor Hyde


With the rift between New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and Governor Eliot Spitzer (the former Attorney General), I want to believe that Black people, and now everyone else except the dead, fully understand the vicious person that now operates from the highest office in this state.

This is the true Eliot Spitzer that revealed his deceit and arrogance starting in 2002 when he began the planned destruction of the Black United Fund of New York. The unethical dirty work was carried out in collaboration with enemy “Negroes” and silent support of compliant, party-loyal “politicians” within, as usual, the Black community.  

A few weeks ago I stopped by the office of Kenyatta Punta, the listed “owner” of the former BUFNY Harlem headquarters property at 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., to ask when I could retrieve my personal belongings that I have not been allowed to get for almost four years. When I was terminated from BUFNY by the Spitzer board of five handpicked Black Republicans in August 2003, I was out of the office and never allowed back in until this day. 

I had written to Spitzer, Lt. Governor David Paterson, the appointed “has-been” board members and the executive director, and also spoke several times with Punta who always said, “I can't talk about you getting your things now.” Neither Paterson nor the disdainful Spitzer ever responded. Sadly, Paterson, who was once believed to be a “representative” for Black people, has now showed his true “politician” colors.

As Punta was not in his office at the time, I left word with his secretary asking him to call me. Interestingly, he called that same afternoon and I inquired about my belongings. He said, “Your belongings are no longer here. They have been moved.” I asked, “Where were they moved to?” He replied, “Your things have been placed in the GARBAGE,” (my emphasis added). I then asked, “Why?” Punta replied, “They told me to do it.” The obvious question, “Who are ‘they’?”

His answer, “Can’t talk about that. Good bye!” This is a “red” flag folks!  There’s something seriously wrong going on and even more suspect than previously thought.

The discarding of our, mine and former vice president Larry Barton’s, belongings included 25 years of personal items; hundreds of plaques, awards, citations, mementos; scores of CDs and VHS tapes; antique furniture; hundreds of “classic” LP albums; clothes, some even brand new; and more. 

After all of the inquiries about our personal belongings, the Spitzer board and executive director, with the sanction of or directions from legal counsel, committed, in writing, to send our things to “wherever we wanted,” but we, me and Barton, could not come into BUFNY’s office even to identify those items. They had also refused to even give Barton his logs and tax records or even comply with an IRS subpoena, thereby causing him great hardship.

The holdover Spitzer appointees and their current replacements not only threw out our belongings, but, according to witnesses, discarded -in a dumpster- all of BUFNY’s historical records, BUFNY and Harvest files, personnel files, donor and supporters files, legal and court case documents,  project research files, photographs, housing development plans, computer and office equipment, fixtures and furniture, and more.

There is also the question of the donated  IBM stocks and valuable jewelry. Why? Why the “scorched earth” policy, especially after Spitzer had promised to “help BUFNY flourish” with his handpicked board? There is something very sinister about all of this and how it relates to the ultimate destruction of BUFNY, as a pioneering, independent economic development institution and the number one self-help organization in New York State.

Its history was being erased right in front of our eyes; and its planned replacement was already in the works, with the “coincidental” help of BUFNY’s nemesis, the United Way.

There are potentially multiple state laws that have been violated, with the illegal disposition of personal and real property assets belonging to a not-for-profit without proper legal dissolution processes being followed. Basically, New York State Non-Profit Corporation Law requires specific forms to be filed with the state and court and specific actions to be taken by the board. Formal requests for those documents are being formulated.

Not-for-profit assets are supposed to be given to other not-for-profits, not via a “giveaway” to people in the street, as reported by eyewitnesses in the community. This writer and others saw a dumpster in front of the old BUFNY offices and property being thrown into it, as Punta prepared the space to become another “Bar” in Harlem. Imagine, BUFNY’s old space is now a “drinking hole”, and, as expected, not a peep from, our “elected politicians” –not daring to be our “representatives”.  Ironically, BUFNY’s “God gets the glory” slogan hangs above the entrance to the new Bar. 

There is no misunderstanding by Senator Bruno. He is absolutely correct in his description of Governor Spitzer's dark side personality. Spitzer is, as has been stated many times, a spoiled rich kid that rules by bully tactics and abuse of power, as Attorney General and also now, as Governor. He is mean-spirited, deceitful and shows an open disdainful.

There was no justifiable reason for BUFNY to be destroyed. Spitzer saw and knew the power that Blacks would have, as they practiced self-help economics, as BUFNY did, which I started with $8,000 and in today's market would have an asset value of over $100 million dollars. Attorney General Spitzer, along with some Black politicians, made sure this newest and successful form of self-help independence had to die to maintain the status quo.  Are our politicians still with the foul-mouthed, self-proclaimed “Steamroller”?

Spitzer’s behavior is reminiscent of a J. Edgar Hoover–a liar and manipulator with a foul mouth. We don't need or want our children hearing this foul language from this governor.

One of BUFNY' original board members, a minister now deceased, that met with then Attorney General Spitzer regarding his unprecedented  takeover BUFNY and coerced resignations, said that he “was the most rude and arrogant person that he had ever met.” Spitzer was also described as outright “nasty.”  Does this sound familiar and consistent? 

We are also very please to hear that New York State Assemblyman Keith Wright has strongly expressed his dissatisfaction with Spitzer, and has become the first Democrat in the State Legislature to publicly withdraw his support, according to the New York Post. The Post quoted the assemblyman as saying of Spitzer, "He's acting like a Giuliani Democrat. It's either his way or no way."

Why have we become so complacent and at ease with rotten, corrupt politics? When many of us were growing up, our parents expressed outrage when adults used profanity in front of children. This kind of behavior was totally unacceptable.  Now leaders, more akin to “rulers”, in government, use foul language, like Vice president Chaney’s "Go fuck yourself!", and Governor Spitzer’s reported  “I’m a fucking steamroller.”

And there is no outcry from Black leadership. Why not? This is another example of degraded or even useless leadership to match Spitzer’s. 

It is also very interesting that Spitzer’s Black United Fund “political hacks” like to discard things. Remember, they had all the BUFNY radio station (WCKL) equipment thrown out of its Catskill, NY broadcast studio unceremoniously on the ground and in the rain.  We have the photos!  Was this legally authorized? Who got the equipment?  Were the appropriate dissolution “papers” filed with the State Attorney General and the Courts?


Are Spitzer and his “Negroes” saying, we want everyone to forget that there ever was this major, self-help organization that didn't beg “Caucasians” by destroying all of its files, history and evidence of its accomplishments and the ongoing challenges and intrigues it faced from United Way, Corporate America and collaborating enemies within?

These violations cry out for an investigation and the role that Spitzer and the collaborating board members played in the destruction of BUFNY. Spitzer did not treat other organization the way he attacked and dismantled BUFNY and other Black institutions. Just look at the World Jewish Congress, the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club and Air America, and the suspiciously timed “grants” he facilitated and directed to non-profits across the State just for starters. The trail is there and some of us are on it. 

Spitzer made sure that established Jewish institutions and those in leadership positions who actually committed crimes were treated with extreme “leniency” and allowed to continue functioning and fundraising, with little or no impact on those directly involved and caught “red handed”. It was the taking advantage of “available opportunities” for quid pro quo deals by Spitzer, as an aspiring candidate for Governor.                  

This is COINTELPRO at its zenith and in a more sophisticated form.  The “Hoover Torch” has been passed; therefore, we must again rise up and build institutional power.

Always remember: Blacks were brought to this country for one purpose and one purpose only, and that was to build an economy for Europeans, i.e., “white people”. We must do as other ethnic groups have done and are doing, and that is: build our own internal economy once again, but his time, protect it with any and every means necessary. 
We are still at War!
 

Kermit Eady is president and CEO of Eady Associates and the former president and CEO of Back United Fund of New York. He can be reached at
kermeady@aol.com or info@kermiteady.com. Contributions to and editing of this article were made by Larry A Barton, IBM retiree and former vice president and general manager at Black United Fund of New York. He can be reached via email at lbperf@juno.com.

 

 

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