CentristNet Blog

Dedicated To Providing Objective Information and Centrist Analysis of the American Political System.
April 2, 2010

“Billboards Against Obama” Born in Atlanta – Nationwide Next?

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Barack Obama, seen here campaigning in 2007 with convicted felon and former Detroit Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, may be troubled by the new opposition group in Atlanta know as Billboards Against Obama

A mysterious new entity opposed to the big government agenda of the Obama Administration emerged recently, posting several large billboards on Atlanta’s main highways speaking out against the Administration.  This dynamic new form of political speech, born in Atlanta, GA, may set off a new wave of political activism on both the right and left as others follow suit.   The new entity, Billboards against Obama, apparently is not in tune with Obama’s call today for Americans to tone down opposition to his policies. Local Atlanta NBC affiliate 11Alive reports:

One group is taking freedom of speech and freedom of expression to the limits in a series of Metro Atlanta highway billboards voicing strong opinions against President Barack Obama.

The billboards are the latest move to sway public opinion — and for a price you can have your say.

The signs are in a series of four digital billboards ranging in price from $2,500 to $3,500 a month. They offer pre-packaged messages like “Stop Obama Socialism,” or one that can be seen at Spaghetti Junction saying “Now it’s personal.”

The group behind the billboards call themselves BillboardsAgainstObama.com.

Two of the billboard locations are on Interstate 85; one is at Spaghetti Junction and one along Peachtree Industrial.

New Obama Opposition Group "Billboards Against Obama" Has Bought up Billboards on Major Atlanta Highways and Posted Messages Such As This

Friends of CentristNet in Atlanta tell us that Interstate 85 is one of the highest traffic highways in the city, and Spaghetti Junction is perhaps the busiest intersection in the metro Atlanta area, meaning millions of Georgians are viewing the billboards every day. Here’s the main message from the Billboards Against Obama website:

Do you love freedom? Do you love independence? Do you value the opportunity in the United States to work hard, take risks, and succeed? If the current administration completes the process they are racing to achieve, all of this will be gone! To stop the madness, we must speak out now. BILLBOARDS AGAINST OBAMA is a practical and effective way to join the battle, be seen, be heard, before it’s too late!

The messaging appears to be standard fare of the rank and file of Americans opposed to Obama’s agenda, with a focus on maintaining a capitalist, free market system where growing government does not become the predominant in the America economy and everyday life.

Obamacare clearly exemplifies this goal of the of increased federal government size and involvement in everyday life, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new federal health bureaucrats (and new IRS agents) set to be added to the already-bloated federal payrolls by 2014. Indeed, as noted by House Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the senior House Democrat and major figure in the Obamacare passage drama, between now and 2014 the government will be busying itself with the “necessary administrative steps” to bring Obamacare fully online by 2014 “to control the people” by 2014.

It appears micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama are a reaction to Obamacare and the unsettling implications of what American life would look like ion 2016 or so if Obamacare is allowed to be implemented without a rollback of some provisions, if not an outright repeal.   There is a very real possibility that America could sink into a social democratic welfare state, simliar to the many “enlightened” Western European societies that allegedly have better health care systems than America.  The signs went up just a few days ago, and so far the local media has gotten little information on the site’s owners:

11Alive News contacted the Web site owners today via e-mail and they said they would not reveal who they are or where they are based. They said they simply rely on e-mails to communicate.

So far, the nameless head of the group says their Web site has received more than 1,800 hits and that contributions that go toward paying for the billboards.

There is no indication that any one person is paying for any one display.

The group does say it’s getting some negative feedback on the Web site, but the site says the amount of money being raised to expand the program.

So far on the Web site, there are three anti-Obama messages to choose from, and contributors are given the option to create more.

CentristNet predicts that this site, and sites like it, may be the leading edge of a new form of opposition to the high spending/big government agenda of President Obama, as epitomized by his signature initiative, Obamacare. On the site, people are implored to donate small amounts to a sign of their choice in a place of their choice in the Atlanta area, and site creators promise to add a national set of choices soon:

WE’VE NEGOTIATED PACKAGE RATES ON MULTIPLE BILLBOARDS TO MOST EFFICIENTLY SPREAD THE WORD — for questions please email stopobama@billboardsagainstobama.com

OPTION A — Buy a month on a billboard
1. Click on PICK MESSAGE to select a billboard, or create your own message at CHECKOUT.
2. Click on PICK LOCATION 1-2 or 3-4. We currently have negotiated rates on 4 metro Atlanta billboards.
3. Click on CHECKOUT to submit an advertising application. NOTE: Not a commitment to purchase.
4. We will contact you with an advertising agreement to confirm your order, subject to payment.

OPTION B — Contribute to BillboardsAgainstObama

Your contribution will go directly toward the purchase of an ad in the Metro Atlanta area (more markets coming soon).

From the time of the publication of the 11Alive article this evening just after midnight, when the site has “1,800 hits”. Now, two hours later, the site is at 2,800 hits, as the local media attention begins to move folks to the site. In the days and weeks to come, micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama and perhaps others may assume a new and unpredictable role in the national political fight between the GOP and Obama leading up to the all-important November 2010 elections.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 22, 2010

FBI: Former Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Received at Least a Hundred Thousand in Cash Bribes, New Charges Coming Soon

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In this May 7, 2007 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obaa acknowledges the crowd after being introduced by former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the Detroit Economic Club in Detroit, where Obama praised Kilpatrick as "a great mayor." President Obama's past praise and support of Kilpatrick may come under renewed scrutiny as the FBI and federal prosecutors prepare new bribery, corruption and perhaps racketeering charges against Kilpatrick (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Late Sunday evening, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News reported that federal authorities have obtained testimony of approximately $100,000.00 direct cash bribes paid to former Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, with hundreds of thousands more in cash bribes going to Kwame’s father and associates, from city contractors. Federal officials also informed the Detroit News that federal charges are planned for Kilpatrick and his father. For Michigan Democrats, who are already facing a difficult political environment, the prospect of new federal criminal charges against the well-known Democrat Kilpatrick in the lead up to the November 2010 is chilling as such charges would feed the GOP’s corruption narrative regarding Democratic governance. Today’s leaks from the FBI mark the first time that federal officials have confirmed that charges are forthcoming against Kilpatrick. The Detroit News provides a brief synopsis:

Detroit — Federal officials are preparing felony charges against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his father, business consultant Bernard N. Kilpatrick, The Detroit News has learned.

For at least five years, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have been investigating an alleged “pay to play” system at City Hall under Kilpatrick and allegations that contractors wanting City Hall business were directed to hire the former mayor’s father as a consultant.

Now there are new allegations that former Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado, who has been cooperating with the FBI since 2005, not only paid close to $300,000 to the mayor’s father but made about $100,000 in illegal cash payments directly to the former mayor.

Those allegations are contained in sworn statements that are part of the evidence in the wide-ranging corruption probe, a person familiar with the investigation said Sunday. Charges are expected against both Kwame Kilpatrick and his father, though the timing and specific nature of those charges are still being determined, the source said.

It’s the first time a source close to the investigation has said corruption charges against the former mayor are planned, though there have been strong signals Kilpatrick was the ultimate target of a long-running investigation that has netted nine guilty pleas.

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed records and testimony related to possible abuses in fundraising and expenditures connected with the former mayor’s nonprofit foundation, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, and possible felony income tax violations are being examined, people familiar with the investigation said.

Obama’s past political ties with Kilpatrick, including Obama’s 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club where Obama praised Kilpatrick, on video, as “a great mayor,” could come under renewed scrutiny as the more salacious charges against Kilpatrick are publicly disclosed in the near future. For Michigan Democratic Congressional incumbents, most of which worked closely with Kilpatrick and campaigned with him, the likely new charges will further darken the electoral outlook for November 2010. The Detroit Free Press summarized the new disclosures by federal authorities regarding Kilpatrick’s “pay to play” scheme:

Authorities describe a variety of alleged bribes and extortion demands during Kilpatrick’s years in office that, when taken together, could amount to racketeering violations under federal law. Allegations cited in government documents and culled from interviews include:

• That Kwame Kilpatrick accepted bribes of up to $100,000 from Kado, a businessman who had exclusive, no-bid janitorial and electrical-services contracts at Cobo Center and a sundry shop at the convention hall.

• That Kilpatrick deposited unspecified sums of cash into bank accounts without declaring the funds as income.

• That Bernard Kilpatrick received large amounts of money from contractors and business owners in return for official acts by the mayor; and that he pressured others to donate to his son’s political or civic fund.

• That Kado paid at least $30,000 in bribes to mayoral aide Derrick Miller, including $10,000 for a trip to Europe.

• That Miller told a local businessman he would be punished for backing a political opponent when Kilpatrick sought re-election. Shortly afterward, the businessman’s commercial vehicles started getting ticketed in Detroit — with the directive to do so allegedly coming from the mayor’s office.

FBI agents have said they believe these activities and others constitute a criminal enterprise — wording that indicates the government is trying to build a case under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which has been used to prosecute a pattern of crimes by public officials, Wall Street swindlers and, most notably, Mafia families.

Back in September 2008, many thought that Kilpatrick’s time in the sights of prosecutors was over when he agreed to resign from his position as Mayor of Detroit as part of a plea deal related to the cover up of an extramarital affair with a staffer. Indeed, after his plea deal, Kilpatrick served his time and moved on to a new job as “an account executive for Compuware Covisint, a subsidiary of Detroit-based software company Compuware Corp., concentrating on the health care industry, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing a company memo.” Compuware Corp.’s principal, Peter Karmanos, was a strong financial and political backer of Kilpatrick, including a gaudy “$100,000 to Kilpatrick’s Generations political action committee in October 2005, the single largest donation.”

Since Kilpatrick’s release on February 4, 2009, Kilpatrick has worked in Texas for Karmanos and has been public about his wealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, Kilpatrick was not made the agreed-upon restitution payments to the City of Detroit as of Friday’s deadline, and a Michigan judge could order Kilpatrick jailed for his violation of these terms of his probation as soon as next week according to the Washington Post. With the possibility of new federal charges looming in the near future, and the probable issuance of an arrest warrant next week for probation violations, Kwame Kilpatrick’s days in the media spotlight look certain to grow, much to the chagrin of Michigan Democrats and President Obama.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,