Nearly two weeks ago, I did two interviews with farmers in Georgia who both made a serious accusation against Congressman Sanford Bishop related to the Pigford v. Glickman black farmers settlement — that when they brought up excessive lawyer fees and allegations of fraud, the congressman told them that an investigation of those issues might “shut down” the settlement.
Within a couple of days, Congressman Bishop responded to three different newspapers. His story was different each time.
- Rep. Bishop told the Albany Herald that he was aware of the fraud but it wasn’t his job to police it. This admission is significant because USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack has claimed that there was almost no fraud in Pigford.
- When speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rep. Bishop was suddenly stunned and perplexed and suggested that the farmers had been drinking.
- Most recently, Rep. Bishop told the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer him that he remembered the meeting, repeated that he wasn’t responsible for monitoring fraud, suggested that there were antifraud provisions in the second Pigford bill and again insulted the farmers calling them disgruntled and irresponsible.
In order to clear up some of the issues raised by Congressman Bishop and these newspapers, tonight I recorded a phone interview with Willie Head.
It’s about 11 minutes long and is presented to you with absolutely no editing.