All Blog Posts Tagged 'mark' - The Hutchinson Report News 2016-05-25T21:20:44Z Mark Ridley-Thomas and Crony, Alex Johnson - An Insidious Virus Within the Black Community,2014-07-30:6296329:BlogPost:82796 2014-07-30T03:57:55.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson




Mark Ridley-Thomas, Alex Johnson

Three of the most tenaciously destructive problems endemic to the Black community is political apathy, a lack of education, and the self-serving corruption of some of our politicians and so-called "community leaders," and the race for District 1 of the Los Angeles Unified School District has revealed conclusively that County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and his new young crony, Alex Johnson, are the resulting embodiment of all three of those problems.
Subsequent to the sudden and untimely passing of longtime LAUSD board member, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, a large coalition of parents, clergy, politicians, local activists, and groups within the education community came together to support the interim appointment of George McKenna to complete Ms. LaMotte’s term of office. That’s how such matters have been routinely handled in the past. 
McKenna is a lifelong educator with an illustrious background, a proven track record, and is highly respected - in fact, esteemed - within the educational community. He became nationally renowned after being portrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie, "Hard Lessons," chronicling McKenna’s stunning turnaround of George Washington Preparatory High School in South Central Los Angeles. McKenna enjoys the endorsement of the Democratic Party, the United Teachers Los Angeles, the LA Times, La Opinión, LA Sentinel and over 100 leaders in the education, ecumenical, political, civic community, and now, 4 of 5 of his former June 3rd opponents.
Yet, in spite of all of the support that George McKenna enjoys from within the community and the fact that by forcing a special election the community was left without representation for months and it cost the district over $2.5 million that could have been going toward our young people’s education,  Mark Ridley-Thomas completely ignored all of that, used all of the political influence that he could muster to force a special election. And why did he thumb his nose at the best interest of the community? - so he could promote the candidacy of a political crony, Alex Johnson, one of his deputies on educational affairs. It was a clear case of giving the political consolidation of power priority over the best interest of the people.  In short, cronyism - or the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority without proper regard for their qualifications (or lack thereof), or the interest of the people.
Of course, Johnson/Thomas supporters might ask, how do we know that Supervisor Ridley-Thomas doesn’t simply feel that Alex Johnson is the better man? That’s a very simple question to answer - the tone of the Johnson/Thomas campaign.
Whenever you have a candidate whose primary concern is to better the plight and conditions of the people, that’s what their campaign will focus on. Such a politician will generally come to the people with an agenda, tell the people what he or she hopes to accomplish, and then begin to explain why they think they’re the better candidate. But that certainly doesn’t describe the Johnson/Thomas campaign. They came out slinging mud and feces everywhere.
Alex Johnson and Ridley-Thomas have taken a page right of the Republican play book. They’re using the EXACT same tactics against George McKenna as the GOP has been using against Obama, and that fact alone should tell us that these two individuals are bad news. They have no sense of integrity. They hope to benefit from anger, animosity, and turmoil rather than competence. That accounts for why they're slinging mud instead of an agenda, because they clearly don’t have a presentable agenda to present. 
They don’t want that seat because they want to help the people. They couldn’t care less about the people. They want that office - or ANY office - because it helps to consolidate the PERSONAL political power of Mark Ridley-Thomas. Period.   
Ridley-Thomas’ behavior seems to indicate that he sees himself as the big city version of "Boss Hog"(no pun intended) - and this sort of thing has been going on for quite some time with him. In the 2010 article, "L.A. County supervisor gives his side of the story," that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez writes:
"L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas greeted me warmly Monday afternoon, even though I'd come to hear him explain why he used $25,000 in taxpayer money to buy a place in "Who's Who in Black Los Angeles." I wanted to ask him whether his decision to buy the spread had anything to do with the fact that the book's associate publisher has made campaign donations to the supervisor and is a longtime ally.
"But first Ridley-Thomas wanted to give me a tour of his office, which he had intended to refurbish at a cost of $707,000 — until the project made the news . . ."
In the same article, Lopez gives Ridley-Thomas’ explanation as to why he paid $25,000 of the taxpayer’s money to be featured in "Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles":
" Ridley-Thomas told me it was worth honoring those county employees because many in the African American community ‘don't know’ there are black people ‘in positions of leadership’ in the county. I thought he must be kidding, but he said he wasn't. I suggested that it might be cheaper to use his newsletter to break the news, rather than "Who's Who," especially since I don't think anybody's buying the book unless they're featured in it.
"I wasn't all that surprised to learn that the associate publisher of "Who's Who," Anthony Samad, happens to be a longtime friend of Ridley-Thomas. But I was a little rattled to discover when I looked up campaign contributions that Samad donated $1,250 to Ridley-Thomas' campaign in 2007 and 2008. And that's not all. I also laid my hands on a document showing that Samad had been awarded a $24,999 consulting contract in 2002 by the city of Los Angeles, at the behest of then-Councilman Ridley-Thomas."
Now, I suppose if one is a logical contortionist, one could say that by funneling that money to Anthony Samad, it COULD be considered funneling it back into the community. But I’m not a contortionist, so it looks to me like cronyism - especially considering the fact that Samad is one of Ridley-Thomas’ longtime friends and political contributors. But I’m not going to past judgment on whether this kind of palm-greasing is improper or not. While it looks highly suspect to me, I’m going to leave it to the reader to make that determination for themselves.
But it does make one thing irrefutably clear, however - Mark Ridley-Thomas feels absolutely no reluctance in using his office to promote his own interest and benefit friends, and that’s exactly what he’s doing in this race for District 1 of the LAUSD. But this time it's a little different from greasing a friend’s palm. This time around, by supporting his friend, the eminently inexperienced Alex Johnson over the renowned George McKenna, he’s clearly demonstrating that his loyalty to self, friends, and cronies is given a much higher priority than you and your children. 
So the bottom line is this - with all the adversity that we're already forced to face in the Black community, can we afford to also have politicians in office who place their needs before our own?  I don't think so, and we need to keep that thought in mind, not only for this election, but also when Mark Ridley-Thomas faces the voters again.  When a politician becomes so comfortable that he begins to think HE'S runnin' things, it's time to get rid of him.

Betty Pleasant Guest Column On The Maligning of George McKenna,2014-07-20:6296329:BlogPost:82820 2014-07-20T14:00:00.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson
‘The George McKenna Story II’
THIS IS IT! --- For the past seven months, the people of Los Angeles County have been engaged in a great war against the politicians we elected to represent us. For the most part, our battles have been pity-pat encounters to make our local politicians respond to our needs --- rather than to their own obsessions to reign over us as little kings doing everything they can to create and/or perpetuate rich dynasties for themselves, their…
‘The George McKenna Story II’
THIS IS IT! --- For the past seven months, the people of Los Angeles County have been engaged in a great war against the politicians we elected to represent us. For the most part, our battles have been pity-pat encounters to make our local politicians respond to our needs --- rather than to their own obsessions to reign over us as little kings doing everything they can to create and/or perpetuate rich dynasties for themselves, their kin and their sycophants.
Well, nuclear war was declared this week when residents of LAUSD’s District 1 received two sets of campaign mailings in support of the election of Alex Johnson, King Mark Ridley-Thomas’ chosen minion, to the district’s seat on the Board of Education. These mailings are the worst pieces of campaign literature I’ve ever seen in my lengthy career. They are full of boldface lies about the people’s candidate, George McKenna, and constitute the nastiest smear campaign money can buy. I did not believe King Mark could stoop that low.
Sentinel publisher Danny Bakewell and I have not agreed on a single thing in almost 50 years --- until now. We both wholeheartedly support the election of McKenna --- who last week received the overwhelming endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and today was endorsed by LAUSD board member Monica Ratliff, who, like everyone else, maintains that McKenna’s “years of experience as a dedicated and successful teacher, principal and administrator will continue to serve the students and parents of District 1 well.”
It’s time to fight nuclear bombs with nuclear bombs. The only people who support Johnson are preachers who tow King Mark’s line because they have charter school and preschool contracts with L.A. County which they believe would be jeopardized if they didn’t back Johnson. They told me that and told others in the community as well. It’s now common knowledge, particularly in view of what reportedly happened in one of our largest black churches a couple of Sundays ago when the pastor refused to interrupt his service to allow Johnson and King Mark to speak to his congregation. The preachers are getting bold, as they come to realize that the election of the truly qualified candidate, McKenna, would set them free.
The first batch of smear literature against McKenna sported the disclaimer that it was not sent by the candidate or his campaign committee. It did state, however, that it was sent by the African American Voter Registration, Education, Participation Project (AAVREP), which, as we all know, is King Mark’s pet organization. He founded it and he is, therefore, responsible for viciously maligning McKenna’s stellar career. The offending document lists as supporters, King Mark, Rep. Diane Watson (ret.), Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (ret.), Congresswoman Janice Hahn, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson and SEIU #99, Education Workers United. Now, it really upsets me when people I like do something I hate. So I called them for an explanation. I called Hahn in Washington D.C. and Watson at her house and both women were appalled that their names appeared on such a raunchy piece of campaign literature. “You know I’ve never participated in anything like that!” Watson said. “Johnson came to my house and presented himself well and asked for my support if he ran for the school board,” Watson explained. “This was early when the election was finally agreed upon and I wanted McKenna in the seat, but he said he did not want to run for it. So I agreed to support Johnson, not realizing that McKenna would change his mind,” Watson said. “Now that he’s in the race, I definitely support McKenna and I do not like having my name on campaign pieces that attack him. I’m going to get to the bottom of this,” Watson said.
Like Watson, Rep. Hahn said she made an early commitment to support Johnson when he took her to lunch, where he made a decent impression on her. “Politics can get really dirty sometimes and this looks like one of those times,” Hahn said. “I must call over there,” she added. The other supporters named are obvious, as Burke’s support of Johnson is quid pro quo for King Mark’s support of her daughter for the Assembly, and Wesson’s support may have something to do with the rumors that Wesson has been anointed to replace King Mark on the Board of Supervisors when he terms out. We will speak of this, and related matters, some more.
THE HOUSE IS OPEN --- The McKenna campaign held an open house Saturday at its Crenshaw area headquarters to which an overflow crowd attended. The people left the morning rally held in Leimert Park to protest the beating of Marlene Pinnock and headed straight to the McKenna party. In addition to good food and great camaraderie, we had the pleasure of hearing rousing speeches from Rep. Maxine Waters, former school board member Rita Waters, venerable LAUSD teacher Owen Knox and Rep. Karen Bass’ deputy chief of staff, Solomon Rivera, who exclaimed to the enthusiastic crowd: “We will not be owned by anybody!!” 
Mark Cuban Got it Right About Stereotypes,2014-05-24:6296329:BlogPost:82705 2014-05-24T18:30:00.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took much heat for speaking plainly and boldly about race, more particularly racial stereotypes. He said he’d cross the street if he sees a black kid in a hoodie and a white guy with tattoos and a shaved head coming his way. Forget the tattooed, bald headed white guy. That was a  throw away line that had no meaning since few instantly hightail it to safety at the site of this character. And Cuban didn’t feel the need to tweet an apology to any Aryan Brotherhood or Neo-Nazi namesake for his blanket labeling of them as inherent menaces to society.

Cuban, however, did tweet Trayvon Martin’s parents and apologize if his words were taken as a direct or oblique inference to Martin. It was well that he did. Because a compelling case can always be made that it was not the hoodie that got Martin killed by rogue, self-appointed vigilante George Zimmerman, but the fearsome stereotype that Martin’s wearing of it conjured up in the mind of Zimmerman and countless others.

This was plainly evident in the non-stop avalanche of veiled and not so veiled hints, innuendoes, digs, and crass, snide, accusing comments, remarks, slander and outright lies about Martin’s alleged bad background in the days after the killing, and the months that preceded the trail, and the over the top subtle and no so subtle play on them by Zimmerman’s defense attorneys, and his resultant acquittal.

The pantheon of stereotypes and negative typecasting of young black males such as Martin that Cuban honestly fingered had deadly consequences with Martin. Put plainly, it's the shortest of short steps to think that if an innocent, Martin can be depicted as a caricature of the terrifying image that much of the public harbors about young black males, then that image seems real, even more terrifying, and the consequences have been just as lethal consequences for other black males.

The hope was that Obama's election buried once and for all negative racial typecasting and the perennial threat racial stereotypes posed to the safety and well-being of black males. It did no such thing. Immediately after Obama's election teams of researchers from several major universities found that many of the old stereotypes about poverty and crime and blacks remained just as frozen in time. The study found that much of the public still perceived those most likely to commit crimes are poor, jobless and black. The study did more than affirm that race and poverty and crime were firmly rammed together in the public mind. It also showed that once the stereotype is planted, it's virtually impossible to root out. That's hardly new either.

In 2003 Penn State University researchers conducted a landmark study on the tie between crime and public perceptions of who is most likely to commit crime. The study found that many whites are likely to associate pictures of blacks with violent crime. This was no surprise given the relentless media depictions of young blacks as dysfunctional, dope peddling, gang bangers and drive by shooters. The Penn State study found that even when blacks didn't commit a specific crime; whites still misidentified the perpetrator as an African-American.

Five years later university researchers wanted to see if that stereotype still held sway, even as white voters were near unanimous that race made difference in whether they would or did vote for Obama. Researchers still found public attitudes on crime and race unchanged. The majority of whites still overwhelmingly fingered blacks as the most likely to commit crimes, even when they didn't commit them.

The bulging numbers of blacks in America's jails and prisons seem to reinforce the wrong-headed perception that crime and violence in America invariably comes with a young, black male face such as Martin’s. It doesn't much matter how prominent, wealthy, or celebrated the black is. The overkill frenzy feeding on the criminal or borderline criminal antics of a litany of black NFL and NBA stars, that run afoul of the law or are poorly behaved, and of course, everyone's favorite stomping boy, the rappers and hip hop artists, further implant the negative image of black males.

Cuban tried to drive the point home that racial stereotypes stir irrational fears, even terror, in millions. However, this can’t be admitted in polite company and Cuban’s claim that he and everyone else is a bigot badly misses the point. A person’s individual dislikes and prejudices can’t be equated with the kind of racial stereotypes that imperil black males, such as Martin. But Cuban still gets a high mark for at least recognizing that.


Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.

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Exclusive Interview with Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute.,2012-02-11:6296329:BlogPost:18745 2012-02-11T16:23:23.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on February 10, Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute

Transcription by…

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on February 10, Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute

Transcription by Annette Lockett, McAl Typing Service * Los Angeles, CA 90062 * 323-293-3244 * FAX 323-293-0404 * E-Mail *

EOH:   What is justified in the criticism of the Federal Reserve?

MAC:   The Federal Reserve is looked at as one of the stewards of our economy.  Anytime the economy is performing poorly, the Federal Reserve is going to take some heat, just as the president would, regardless of whom ever that person or party would be.  To a very large degree, some of this is a function of the weakness of the economy, and once the economy starts moving stronger, I think some of the criticisms will go away.  The other part is the Federal Reserve played a key role in the decision making in 2008 in terms of the rescues of Bear Stearns, AIG and other companies.  I would say before 2008 the typical person on the street had no idea they even had these powers to do these rescues.  It woke a lot of people up.  We didn’t know they could lend to J.P. Morgan to buy Bear Stearns or AIG.  The original purpose of the bank bailout was to buy all of these mortgage assets.  It didn’t do that, but then the Fed bought a trillion dollars in mortgage backed securities, showing it could do the same thing Congress does without the democratic accountability that comes with it.  Interest income for savers has declined by about $400 billion a year.  When we had the economic stimulus in 2009 there was $800 billion tracked over several years.  Interest rates that led to the decline in interest income per household has more than offset the stimulus.  Savers have really taken a hit and a lot of anger has been felt in that regard.  There is a sense of “what is that leading to?”  I think the thinking on the part of Chairman Bernanke and others is that you need to have this loose monetary policy so you can turn the labor market around.  The problem is we have had essentially zero interest rates for a number of years with only modest improvement in the labor market.  So there is a sense of pumping all this money into the system and it hasn’t created jobs on main street.  We’ve seen prices go up and because many of these products are bought on world markets, that means products trade and world market go up higher in price for us.  Part of the increases are driven by monetary policy.  Lowering the dollar helps exports, so it’s a push and pull.

EOH:   You’re keeping inflation down, but not creating mass employment.  What’s going wrong?

MAC:   The economics profession in general feels in the long run there is no trade off.  Higher inflation will not create jobs.  The debate in the economics profession is “do you get that trade off in less than a year’s time.”  That debate is not settled.  Some of the comment you see runs the gambit that there is this tradeoff that if I take 3% inflation I can get 7% unemployment.  That doesn’t exist.  Bernanke’s job is complicated and not a matter of choosing a trade off.  The theory behind low interest rates creating jobs is: lower the cost of credit, businesses will borrow more, they will invest, build capital, hire people.  Usually the interest rate in effect on consumers and investors is usually a wash.

              Most of the impact on monetary policy by trying to lower interest rates to get the economy turned around is geared at the demand side of the market for borrowing.  Every market is driven by demand and supply and part of the problem is banks are unwilling to take long dated assets on their balance sheets.  For instance, you get a mortgage with good credit at 4%.  The average life in this environment is about 8 or 9 years.  The likelihood if a bank makes that loan and holds it on its balance sheets, the cost over the life of the mortgage is higher than 4%.  This is partly what did in the savings and loan industry in the ‘80s.  Banks have learned that lesson and have tried to avoid it by passing on the loans.  That has limited the availability of credit.  My concern is that the Federal Reserve is taking the approach that the problem in the economy is the price of credit.  I think the real problem is the availability of credit.  The banking industry never decreased lending, they have just changed their lending.  In today’s low interest rates they can borrow from the Federal Reserve at close to zero and lend that money to the treasury at 3% risk free.  Banks make a profit and there is no incentive to lend to the private sector.  I think if we raised interest rates a little, we would push banks away from government lending and more toward the private sector.

EOH:   Is there over micro managing on the part of Ben Bernanke and the other federal reserve governors?

MAC:   I think here is.  There really is no more important price in the economy than the interest rate.  Inflation doesn’t hit all goods equally.  It changes relative prices which changes the choices between what we buy.  I worry that the Federal Reserve is throwing sand in the wheels of the economy.  I would rather see interest rates move toward what would balance investors, savers and borrowers.  The availability of credit is needed here. 

EOH:   Criticism is that the Federal Reserve is operating on behalf of the banking industry.  Your thoughts?

MAC:   I think there is validity.  Federal Reserve regional banks are not considered part of the government.  They are treated as quasi-government.  Their boards are picked by the banks and public directors.  The Federal Reserve in Washing has to approve them but it has always existed in a shadow world between government and private sector.  For that reason I think it lacks accountability.  It has also tied itself closely to the banks in order to do monetary policy.  The Federal Reserve sells and buys treasury bills with the banking system.  The Fed is not working with the local community banks in terms of monetary policy, it’s working with the New York banks which then work with the local banks.  The Bear Stearns and Lehman’s of the world are their monetary policy partners and you have a privileged sector of the banking industry that gets treated differently.  We’ve moved away from arms-length regulation.  We’ve got into the situation where the Fed is looking out for the bankers and vice versa.

EOH:   Do you feel the Fed needs to be audited?

MAC:   I think we absolutely have to.  What we need to know is who they are lending to, how much and on what terms.  We need to know what sort of rescues and assistance is going on.  Some of that has come out, and you have had some sort of audits, but we need a broader audit of actual monetary policy.  Part of this is the role of the Government Accounting arm of Congress that does program evaluation to try to educate members.  Most Congresspersons do not understand monetary policy and the purpose would be to educate the public and Congress on being able to provide appropriate oversight.  I think we need to have a real audit of monetary policy for the Fed and the rescue program so we know who’s being helped and benefits, and bring accountability and transparency.  The Federal Reserve is not independent from Congress, but from the treasury and the executive branch.  There is no daylight between treasury and the Federal Reserve and there is a revolving door between them in terms of staff.  Congress is as close as you get to being accountable, because we elect them.  A dollar when the Federal Reserve was created, is only worth a nickel today.

Exclusive Interview with Mark Lundberg, Iowa's Sioux County's GOP Chairman,2011-12-27:6296329:BlogPost:17827 2011-12-27T23:20:46.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on December 23


Transcription by Annette Lockett, McAl Typing Service *  * E-Mail…

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on December 23


Transcription by Annette Lockett, McAl Typing Service *  * E-Mail *

EOH:   In the past candidates have come under fire for not spending time in Iowa.  Is that still a valid criticism?

ML:      I would say that is accurate.  The cycle has been different than in 1976 and we have had little participation from the main candidates.  I think part of it is related the  major debates.  I think the candidates are putting a lot more emphasis on the debates, and that takes away from efforts here in the state.  Regarding Gov. Romney, 4 years ago he spent a great deal of time in our state, and this time around he’s kind of backed off.  Doesn’t have as good a ground game as he had 4 years ago.

EOH:   Do you think Mitt Romney has a sense that he has it locked up and doesn’t need Iowa?

ML:      I would say the Romney campaign will probably do well not spending time or resources such as in the past, partly to what happened 4 years ago and partly to his performance in the debates.  If you look back, Senator McCain did not have a lot of effort in Iowa, and ended up being the nominee.  The Iowa Caucus is different than a primary, in that you get more advocates and conservative flavor on the Republican side, like the Democrats have a more liberal flavor on their caucus’.  

EOH:   Could you explain the difference between a Caucus and a Primary election

ML:      The Caucus system is basically individuals have to show up at one location, and there is a limited window of opportunity to cast a ballot.  You have to be there at a certain time, on a certain night.  It’s difficult for people to get there.  With a primary you may have 12 hours to vote.  Here you have a 10 minute window.  You get people who are more in tuned to what’s going on politically, and get a much higher educated voter group.

EOH:   I believe Sioux County is located in Western Iowa?

ML:      We are in the northwest corner of Iowa, and it’s a very unique part of Iowa.  Iowa is basically a 50/50 state, swinging back and forth between Republican and Democrat.  In my county in the last general election, 88% of the votes were for Republican candidates.  It’s a very conservative area.

EOH:   How are the voters evaluating each candidate?

ML:      Iowa as a whole is different from my part of the country.  It is much more conservative than the rest of Iowa.  With my constituents, the social conservatives will do well up here.  We have 8 individuals on the ballot because Herman Cain is still on the ballot.  With a potential 8 person split, 18% or 19% could win the Iowa Caucus and Ron Paul could easily reach that number.  The Iowa Caucus is not designed to allow Iowans to help pick the next president.  It’s more to thin the herd and weed out lower level candidates.

EOH:   If you had to pick at this time, Could Ron Paul possibly win the Iowa caucus?

ML:      I think it’s very possible Ron Paul could win on a percentage basis.  I would say it will be a tight three person race with Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  I think Rick Santorum could be a surprise as well.

EOH:   Has Ron Paul spent much time in Iowa?

ML:      He spent some time, not as much as Santorum and Bachmann.  He has been in our country a couple of times this year, but I would say Rick Santorum has done the finest job being on the ground in the state.

EOH:   If Ron Paul lands on top, would it shake up the GOP nationally?

ML:      I don’t think so.  Ron Paul is an interesting candidate.  He has things I’m favorable to, a few I’m not.  In a 7 or 8 person split he can show very well.  If it gets down to a three person race, I don’t think he will have much of a chance.  He is a shake-up kind of candidate, and that theme resonates with a lot of people.

EOH:   What are you and your constituents looking for in a candidate?

ML:      I would say that in my area, several issues come into play; economics, security and conservatism.  We have a strong social conservative group; the pro-life issue is very important to many of the voters, as well as the marriage issue.  We have a combination of issues both economic and social.

EOH:   Which candidate comes closest to addressing these issues the way they should be addressed?

ML:      I think the candidate that kind of leads the pack in many of those areas would be Rick Santorum.  He has a very consistent past.  Michele Bachmann would also fit quite well.  Some of my fellow voters are saying we’ll give up some of our ideal candidate issues because it is important to have a person who can win the national election.  So they might look toward Romney or Gingrich who might play better on a national general election basis.

EOH:   If Mitt Romney is the standard bearer, will the party still come together?

ML:      I would say the vast majority will support whoever the nominee is, because they feel there is such a critical need to have a change right now.  Obviously you will lose some people, but I think for the most part the conservatives will rally around the candidate.

EOH:   How is the president looking in general in Iowa?

ML:      It’s not nearly as favorable as 4 years ago.  We have a trend toward an anti-president feeling.  Some of my democratic friends are very discouraged about what has occurred the last 2 or 3 years and felt there has been an overstepping by the administration in many areas.  There is a sense of getting back to balance and if that means bringing back a Republican president, the Republicans have a significant advantage.  I think the middle of the road voters will be moving toward the Republican side of the fence in Iowa.

EOH:   Do you see the GOP coming together in big numbers in 2012 behind whoever the standard bearer is?

ML:      I think they will come together with a solid turn out.  I don’t see President Obama getting near the turnout he got last time.  If the Republicans gain a little and President Obama looses a support, that is where the election will be won or lost.  I think there will be strong support for the Republican nominee.

EOH:   Who would you bet on winning the Iowa Caucus?

ML:      Actually, I think it could be Gingrich, but the top 4 will be so close, I think it will be a 1% to 2% difference.  On a national level, if I were to bet today, I would predict that Romney would be the nominee.


Top Conservative Iowa GOP County Chairman Tells Who Will Win Iowa Caucus and Why,2011-12-23:6296329:BlogPost:17821 2011-12-23T06:01:48.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson


The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour


In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM 1460 AM Radio, streamed globally on, and, and on on Friday, December 23, 9:30AM PST and Saturday, December 24, 7:00 PM, Mark Lundberg, Sioux County, Iowa GOP Chairman discusses the Iowa caucus. Lundberg assesses the strengths and weaknesses…


The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM 1460 AM Radio, streamed globally on, and, and on on Friday, December 23, 9:30AM PST and Saturday, December 24, 7:00 PM, Mark Lundberg, Sioux County, Iowa GOP Chairman discusses the Iowa caucus. Lundberg assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the GOP presidential candidates in Iowa and tells who will be the likely winner. He tells what conservatives will expect from the winner.

“The closely watched Iowa GOP Caucus January 3 is the bellwether political presidential contest that will tell much about who the likely GOP challenger will be to President Obama,” says political analyst and Hutchinson Report Host Earl Ofari Hutchinson, “One of the Iowa’s top GOP conservative officials will give an important preview of what the nation can expect in and after the caucus is held.”




The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour

KTYM 1460 AM Radio

Friday, December 23, 9:30 to 10:00 AM

Saturday, December 24, 7:00 to 7:30 PM

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Exclusive Interview with Mark W. Everson, Former IRS Commissioner,2011-04-16:6296329:BlogPost:4101 2011-04-16T14:35:58.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on April 15, Mark W. Everson, Former IRS Commissioner

Transcription by Annette Lockett, McAl Typing Service * 323-293-3244 * FAX 323-293-0404 * E-Mail…

In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on April 15, Mark W. Everson, Former IRS Commissioner

Transcription by Annette Lockett, McAl Typing Service * 323-293-3244 * FAX 323-293-0404 * E-Mail


EOH:    What are the major functions of the Internal Revenue Service?

MWE:  The perception of the IRS is like the post office in that it is one of the governmental entities that everybody interacts with.  It has that prominence because of extensive interactions.  Those interactions have extended from filing of individual income taxes to other areas of responsibility; responsibility for overseeing the charitable sector.  It does corporate tax returns, administers the earned income tax credit which is the largest benefits program in the country, and now it will be doing certain things under the health care reform where it will be checking eligibility.  More and more over the decades, responsibilities have increased beyond what it started out as.  It started in the Civil War, the first commissioner being appointed by Abraham Lincoln, to help raise Revenue for the north.  It went out of business in the 1800’s and, after a Constitutional Amendment, it was re-instated early in the 1900’s.  The responsibilities have increased over the years as Congress has done more.  Over time it has been the view of Congress to put things in the tax code that might not be seen as attractive or characterized as a social program. 

EOH:    What is your opinion on the difference in enforcement on the middle class versus the upper income wage earners?

MWE:  I don’t think the facts really do bear that out.  I would say that the service took its lumps in the ‘90s because it was having difficulty getting its basic processing done, answering questions on the phone, and a lot of issues on basic service to tax payers.  My predecessor, Charles Rossotti’s principal job was to make sure he got the IRS working credibly again.  The IRS doesn’t get its funding as a percentage of the revenues that come in.  It gets its’ money through General Congressional Appropriations.  The enforcement activities decreased during the ‘90s and when I got there in 2003, a lot of enforcement had atrophied and we worked hard to bring it back.  The principal areas where we did that were the upper income people and abusive tax shelters.  The current commissioner, Doug Shulman, has continued that.  He has made strides in getting the cooperation of the Swiss Government, learning about the offshore accounts. 

EOH:    Reducing the percentage from 28% to 35%, Capital gains and dividends, and mortgage interest.  Were these some of the areas you had to wrestle with?

MWE:  The commissioner tries to assess all those policy options from the point of view of administration.  Can you make the tax code work?  I stood for simplification of the code.  We have made this way too complex and unworkable.  Complexity obscures understanding.  The corporate tax code, which is extremely detailed, presents opportunities for nefarious activity all the way around.  It’s so complex because of representative democracy.  The Congressman or Senator needs to get a better deal for his or her constituency, and that’s how they demonstrate they are doing their job.  You’ve got all these special provisions in there and millions of people can benefit.  We need to simplify this and that means reduction in some benefits.  Most people do not itemize, so they are not getting the benefit of their deductions.  I agree that we should eliminate a lot of those deductions and bring down the rates.  That is the fairest way to approach the problem.  One of the best things they can [IRS] do is to lock in the codes so they [businesses] understand what it is going to be like for the next 10 years.  We need to think carefully about what is eliminated.  We also need to provide incentives to businesses that are actually creating jobs in this country.

EOH:    Is the IRS capable of moving quickly enough for the changes being talked about?

MWE:  I would say they will do a good strong job of whatever is handed them.  It’s not an agile bureaucracy, its cautious.  There are over 100 thousand people there and they all want to do their job correctly and serve the American people.  You can overload it, and Congress now with the health care legislation, if it doesn’t fund it, they will have real challenges getting that job done.  If you simplify the law, it will be easier for people to understand what they are doing and easier for the IRS to enforce.  Our research indicates that the compliance rate is 85%.  If you clean up the law and simplify it, I think that 85% number will go up. 

EOH:    Do you think the IRS will ever get a handle on the underground economy?

MWE:  Obviously they will never get it all, and that is a big challenge.  The biggest non-compliance issue is the understatement of receipts by smaller businesses that are not recording their revenues.  There are new laws that are going into effect where Credit Card reporting is going to help get more compliance.  Obviously that is a tough issue.  We need to make sure everybody understands that taxes need to be paid to support all those government programs and the attitudes need to change.

              The last thing I’ll say is that I really would encourage the people who have not done their taxes yet to file an extension over the weekend and that will protect you and you won’t start to get into trouble with the service.

Mark Twain Official Curator Speaks Out on Removing the N Word from Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn,2011-01-07:6296329:BlogPost:457 2011-01-07T23:46:48.000Z Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The Hutchinson Report

January 8, 2010…

The Hutchinson Report

January 8, 2010

Henry Sweets, the Curator for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, will discuss the controversy over the removal of the N word from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn on the Hutchinson Report, on KPFK Radio 90.7FM streamed on, on Saturday, January 8, Noon to 1:00PM PST. The announcement by NewSouth Books that it would remove the N word from the novel in mid-February has stirred intense debate over Twain, his works, racism, and the use of controversial racially loaded words in literature and beyond.


“The debate rages over whether the removal of racially pejorative words from classic literature such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is a needed change for the times or racial and political correctness run amok” says Hutchinson Report Host Earl Ofari Hutchinson, “This is the issue that the official custodian of Twains’ works will weigh in on.”