Bachmann Accuses Black Farmers of Fraud

Rep. Michelle Bachmann along with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) alleged in late September that the National Black Farmer's Association's own data proves fraud on a national scale in a settlement known as Pigford II.

The settlement is designed to distribute money to black individuals who were unfairly denied federal funding and assistance during the 80's and 90's due to racial discrimination, City Pages reports.

Bachmann has said that the discrimination claim process was subject to "massive and widespread fraud and abuse," Free Republic reports. King said that he believes the Obama administration to be willfully ignoring the abuse in the same publication.

Their reasoning, City Pages reports, is based off of data provided by the National Black Farmer's Association stating that 18,000 black farmers exist in the United States. In the Pigford II case over 94,000 claims have been filed so far; that disparity is the cause for such ire.

Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Congressman who took part in crafting the settlement, called Bachmann and King's allegations "simply nonsense", City Pages reports. "The reason they're not in farming is because they couldn't get financing. That's part of their argument," Peterson said.

The whole controversy is made significantly more interesting considering the fact that Bachmann's own family has willfully accepted farmer's assistance from the government.

Her opinion is not held party-wide, though. The measure passed 256-152 in the house in late November. As Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said, "We are correcting historic wrongs that should never have occurred in the first place."

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Cooper published on December 18, 2010 12:39 PM.

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