Under Pressure, Pigford Lawyers Hire Lobbyists
With increased scrutiny of fraud allegations in the Pigford farmers' settlements, the lead Pigford co-counsel has enlisted the help of two lobbying firms. One of the lobbyists listed is Phil Fraas, an attorney who has been deeply involved in creating the settlements.
Fraas's online resumé lists one of his accomplishments as:
Federal Litigation: Served as the co-lead counsel for the black farmers suing USDA in the 1999 landmark civil rights case, Pigford v. Glickman. The USDA agreed to pay the farmers the largest civil rights damages award every (sic) made by the federal government--approximately $1 billion.
The resumé also points out Mr's Fraas's previous lobbying work:
Drafted a key provision that Congress adopted as part of the 2008 Farm Bill awarding $100 million to black farmers not covered by the Pigford v. Glickman settlement.
The lobbying comes in the slipstream of a front-page New York Times story and years of unrelenting pressure from Breitbart News exposing massive fraud in the farmers' settlements engineered by President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and USDA chief Tom Vilsack.
Politico broke the story of the new lobbying and quotes "Dr." John Boyd, longtime cheerleader for Pigford as being confused as the purpose of the new lobbying, saying:
“Three years after I’ve worked so hard to get the settlement done, why would someone be registering now as a lobbyist for the settlement?” Boyd asked, saying that the class settlement did not contact his association. NBFA represents more than 80,000 of the farmers alleging discrimination.
As previously reported by Breitbart News, Boyd is involved in his own legal disputes with attorneys involved in the case. It is also unclear in what way Boyd's organization, located at his home in Virginia, represents 80,000 claimants; during the period of time the discrimination is alleged to have occured, there were no more than a total approximtely 30,000 black farmers in the entire country.
As this story went to press, Mr. Fraas had not returned phone calls or emails seeking comment from Breitbart News.