Monday, December 17, 2018

MLK Memorial Foundation Forced To Change Name By King Children

By Joseph Williams and Roland S. Martin
TV One, Washington Watch
They spent six years raising more than $100 million, one cocktail fundraiser, and souvenir mug and lapel pin at a time.
And on October 16, 2011, the idea to build a monument in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., an idea that began 28 years earlier at the kitchen table of a member of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., came to fruition.
Thousands of people of different races and backgrounds watched as President Barack Obama, two of King’s children, and countless other entertainers and veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, dedicated a bold statue to civil rights icon.
Less than two years later, however, the organizing force behind the national monument – the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation – is no more after the surviving children of Martin and Coretta Scott King refused to grant a license for the group to continue to use the name “Martin Luther King Jr.”
The website that served as the centerpiece of the foundation’s fundraising and informational efforts – – no longer exists. What used to be a vibrant site that served as the centerpiece for online donations and information related to the memorial has vanished after the King children, through their attorneys, demanded it be turned over to them.
King’s surviving children – Dexter, Bernice and MLK III – control the copyrights to their father’s images and words through a for-profit entity, King, Inc., which was set up after his death to handle all affairs of his estate.
There have been a number of contentious moments between the MLK foundation and King, Inc., over the last few years. At one point as the memorial was ready to be dedicated, King, Inc. had all of Dr. King’s books removed from the bookstore on the site of the memorial. The King children wanted to control the bookstore and reap all profits from the selling of merchandise.
All of this despite the foundation paying MLK children through King, Inc., $2.7 million to use the likeness of King and his quotes on the memorial on the National Mall.
“We are trying to keep the memorial relevant,” said Harry E. Johnson Sr., a Houston lawyer and president of The Memorial Foundation, the foundation’s new name (The site is and bears the slogan, “Builders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial).
“We had planned a hundred events around the memorial” and King’s famous name – including year-long classes and a seminar on nonviolent protest featuring the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who was King’s inspiration, Johnson said.
Clarence Jones, who served as a personal advisor and attorney for Dr. King, called the refusal to grant a new license by King, Inc., to the foundation “obscene.”
“They have done something unique in the history of this country in getting corporate America, private America to fund a memorial to honor the greatest hero of the 20th century,” said Jones, a scholar-in-residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute at Stanford University.
“They did this in a tribute to his legacy as an Alpha member…it’s not about protecting the legacy or encouraging discussions of King. It’s not about that. It’s about unexplained, selfish interests, which I believe Martin King would be appalled.”
Civil rights historians who have studied King and his family say the move follows a familiar pattern, one in which King’s children tightly control his image – and use a heavy hand to protect it.
That pattern could be at the center of plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
The historic August 28,1963, event has left an indelible imprint on the history of America when 250,000 people gathered before the Lincoln Monument to present a series of demands to the federal government. The march has long been credited with setting the stage for the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
But it has also gone down in history due to the stunning speech of Dr. King. Today it is known as the “I Have A Dream” speech, even though that wasn’t the initial name, and the dream portion of it was never in the written text.
The march was convened by the top civil rights organizations and organized labor, including Congress of Racial Equality, the National Urban League, NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It was organized by A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin.
The 50th anniversary march was supposed to commemorate that historic day, but the King children have different plans. For them, that day is more about King’s speech rather than the march. In fact, the King Center, the non-profit entity set up to continue his works, is promoting August 28 as the 50th anniversary of the speech first, and the march second, based on a logo they are using on various materials.
Since late last year, leaders of the civil rights organizations who organized the original march, as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, have been quietly meeting with King family representatives and officials from the National Park Service, which issues permits for demonstrations on the Mall.
The latest meeting took place two weeks ago in Washington, and involved high-level representatives from some of the organizations involved in the event planning. The talks are so sensitive, however, that no one is willing to speak about them publicly or privately.
National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, Wade Henderson of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and Ben Jealous, NAACP president and CEO, all declined to comment on the record. Sharpton did not return several calls requesting an interview.
“Some things are being sorted out,” said one activist with knowledge of the situation. “In two weeks, we will have a clearer picture… The march is going to happen.”
Eric Tilden, a principal of Intellectual Properties Management, which controls Rev. King’s words and image, agreed to facilitate an interview with Dexter and Bernice King, two of the three shareholders of King, Inc. Their brother, Martin Luther King III, is the other (Yolanda King, the eldest child, died in 2007).
Tilden has not responded to follow-up calls and emails and the King siblings have not been made available for comment. We also called and texted Bernice King and MLK III to no avail.
Civil rights historian David Garrow said if the March on Washington organizers are negotiating with the King children – and putting money on the table – they’re making a mistake.
“As we’ve seen for over 15 years now, the behavior of the family’s financial representatives continue to do active harm to Dr. King’s legacy,” said Garrow, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and author of “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.”
“King’s legacy has a reduced visibility and less substantive visibility because of the family’s demands,” said Garrow, noting that the family’s estate has raked in millions through the years by managing their father’s “brand” — something King himself would have adamantly rejected.
At the same time, “it’s not as if (King, Inc.) Is using any of this income for charitable good deeds,” Garrow said. “We’ve seen none of that whatsoever.  It appears to be simply self-enrichment for a small number of people.”
For years, the King heirs have used the courts to stop any unauthorized use of their father’s likeness and words, suing for custody of documents or a share of any proceeds in merchandise and publications. In the 1990s, the family reached undisclosed settlements with USA Today and CBS over their use of King’s seminal “I Have a Dream” speech without permission; in 1999 a federal appeals court sided with the estate, ruling that the speech was not in the public domain.
Yet the civil rights hero’s words and picture – including images from the March on Washington – have been used in major ad campaigns for products like Apple Computers, Mercedes-Benz and Chevrolet. Neither the corporations nor Intellectual Properties Management have disclosed the amount of money the foundation received for the ads.
In June 2006, Dexter King, then-head of King, Inc., put up the bulk of Dr. King’s personal papers for auction. But then-Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin prevented the sale by orchestrating a $32 million deal to buy them and have the papers preserved in the city of Atlanta. That money went directly to King, Inc.
Lawyers for King, Inc. even tried to demand that the man who helped Dr. King craft the “I Have A Dream” speech, and the one who filed the copyright, pay for using the full speech in his book.
Clarence Jones, who served as a personal advisor, attorney and speech writer for King, says when he wrote his book, “Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation,” he was told by attorneys for King, Inc., that if he wanted to use the full speech in the book, he could for $20,000.
A stunned Jones said, “If it wasn’t for me copyrighting that speech, the King children wouldn’t today own their biggest moneymaker.”
His small publisher was afraid of getting sued by King, Inc., so Jones indemnified them from any costs associated with a lawsuit and dared lawyers for the King children to sue him.
They never did.
The King children angered many civil rights leaders in September 2011 when King, Inc. sued Jackson, Miss., TV anchor Howard Ballou after he broadcasted a story about the papers his mom collected working for King at the SCLC.
The estate wanted possession of documents, photographs and other items that Ballou’s mother, Maude Ballou, said King gave her when they worked together at the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1950s.
Attorneys for King, Inc. asserted they owned any and all papers of his mom. But last week, a federal court in Mississippi ruled that Ballou could keep documents and other materials associated with Rev. King. The documents include a sermon; a written statement King made after a landmark Supreme Court ruling on segregation; and a handwritten letter to Ballou’s mother from Rosa Parks.
While the March on Washington commemoration is still in the early planning stages, Carol Johnson, a National Park Service spokeswoman, said the Park Service holds the event permit for Aug. 28 on the National Mall. That’s not uncommon, she said, particularly since the march is months away, organizers haven’t specified their plans or outlined how they intend to cover the millions of dollars in baseline logistical and security costs.
Given the costs, it’s likely that the March on Washington organizers will have to raise significant amounts of money just to put the march on the National Park Service calendar.  Throw in additional events, such as seminars and a prayer breakfast, and the financial hurdles they must clear get even steeper.
At least one member of the organizing committee, however, isn’t worried.
“The preparations I know about are going just fine,” Clayola Brown, president of the Randolph Institute, told TV One’s Washington Watch. She said organizers have tentatively planned a weeklong series of events, culminating in a rally on the Mall expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people.
So far, she said, there have been about four meetings in Atlanta and elsewhere involving civil rights leaders and various unions.  They also met with the National Park Service and members of the King family for additional planning, though she wouldn’t specify the nature of the discussions.
The NAACP’s Jealous wouldn’t talk about the meetings with the King family and rejected any suggestion that the march wouldn’t happen.
“The 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom comes in the midst of a moment in which black unemployment remains the highest in recent memory,” he said.  “There needs to be a march, and it needs to happen now, or we risk our children becoming truly the first generation of African Americans to be decidedly more worse off than their parents.”
But Garrow cautions Jealous and others from reaching a deal with the King children at any cost without keeping the meaning of the original march in mind.
The organizers “don’t need to deal with [the King heirs] to do a 50th anniversary event, so long as they’re not rebroadcasting a 50th anniversary of the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech,” Garrow said.  “Dexter King doesn’t represent anybody, while you’ve got a number of organizations that do represent the African American community. You can honor Dr. King’s legacy without talking to Dexter in the slightest.”
“I think the big question is whether it goes off in a significant way or goes off in an insignificant way,” he added.  “Does it really present a policy agenda and focus on issues? Or is it just a commemoration for the sake of commemoration?”
Disclosure: Roland S. Martin is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and played a role in helping the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation raise money to help build the memorial. He has also emceeded a fundraising dinner for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and wrote an endorsement for the book published by Bernice King about her mom, “Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Sunday, November 11, 2018

CONYERS Voting Rights Report Removed From Library Of Congress: Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio - Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff - 2004

Well, it seems that this federal document has been removed from the Library of Congress.

About this Item

What went wrong in Ohio : the Conyers report on the 2004 presidential election /
Report of an investigation into irregularities reported in the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio, compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee.
Contributor Names
United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary.
Created / Published
Chicago : Academy Chicago Publishers, c2005.
Subject Headings
-  Contested elections--Ohio
-  Minorities--Suffrage--Ohio
-  Presidents--United States--Election--2004
-  Elections--Ohio--Management
-  Includes bibliographical references (p. 117-142).
xii, 142 p. ; 22 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
JK526 2004 .U55 2005
Digital Id
Library of Congress Control Number
Report of an investigation into irregularities reported in the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio, compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee.
LCCN Permalink
Additional Metadata Formats
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

But, have no fear, I found it, below, and it was not found in any U.S. governmental archive.

Now, why would someone allow such a prescient, historic report on voting irregularities be removed from the National Archives?

Perhaps, it was to seize the assets of the civil rights legacy.

But, hey, what do I know?

I know the U.S. Department of Justice should look into this.

Congress can not obviate is there is no precedent.

For your generalizable pleasure, we can now statistically reconstruct these investigations using databases, for external validity in the courts, of course.

Executive Summary

Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked
This is the first time this photo has
been published.
the Democratic staff to conduct an investigation into irregularities reported in the Ohio presidential election and to prepare a Status Report concerning the same prior to the Joint Meeting of Congress scheduled for January 6, 2005, to receive and consider the votes of the electoral college for president. The following Report includes a brief chronology of the events; summarizes the relevant background law; provides detailed findings (including factual findings and legal analysis); and describes various recommendations for acting on this Report going forward.

We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people’s trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.
Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

John Conyers, Jr. - Early Life & Biography

John Conyers Net Worth 2019
John Conyers, Jr.
Jоhn Соnуеrѕ іѕ а соngrеѕѕmаn thаt wаѕ bоrn оn 16 Мау 1929 іn Dеtrоіt.

Ніѕ раrеntѕ wеrе Јоhn аnd Luсіllе Соnуеrѕ. Соnуеrѕ іѕ а grаduаtе оf Wауnе ѕtаtе unіvеrѕіtу аnd Wауnе ѕtаtе lаw ѕсhооl.

Не іѕ аmоng thе lоngеѕt-ѕеrvіng mеmbеrѕ оf thе Соngrеѕѕ оf thе Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ аnd hаѕ bееn а рrоduсtіvе lаwmаkеr rеgаrdіng lеgіѕlаtіоn mаdе аnd раѕѕеd. Lеt’ѕ tаkе а lооk аt thе nеt wоrth оf Јоhn Соnуеrѕ іn 2018.

Реrѕоnаl Lіfе

Јоhn Соnуеrѕ іѕ mаrrіеd tо Моnіса Соnуеrѕ.

Моnіса Соnуеrѕ fіlеd fоr а dіvоrсе іn 2015 сіtіng brеаkdоwn іn thеіr mаrrіаgе.

Тhеу hаvе twо сhіldrеn, Јоhn ІІІ, аnd Саrl Соnуеrѕ. Саrееr, Аwаrdѕ & Nоmіnаtіоnѕ Соnуеrѕ hаd а ѕріrіt thаt іѕ сurіоuѕ аnd lеd hіm іntо аrеаѕ thаt аrе bеуоnd сіvіl rіghtѕ, hе, hоwеvеr, wоrkеd оn mаkіng hіѕ саrееr ѕuссеѕѕ dеѕріtе gеttіng аlсоhоl wаrnіng lаbеlѕ tо іntеllесtuаl рrореrtу rіghtѕ оf muѕісіаnѕ іn а wоrld thаt hаѕ сhаngіng tесhnоlоgу.

Іn hіѕ tеnurе аѕ thе rерrеѕеntаtіvе оf Місhіgаn’ѕ fіrѕt dіѕtrісt аnd а fоundіng mеmbеr оf thе Соngrеѕѕіоnаl Вlасk Саuсuѕ, hе wоrkеd tо рrоmоtе сіvіl rіghtѕ аnd ѕосіаl wеlfаrе саuѕеѕ.

Whеn hе аrrіvеd frоm Wаѕhіngtоn, hе ѕuрроrtеd Рrеѕіdеnt Lуndоn Меdісаrе рrоgrаm аnd vоtіng rіght асtѕ іn 1965.

А fеw dауѕ аftеr thе аѕѕаѕѕіnаtіоn оf Rеv. Dr. Маrtіn Luthеr Кіng Јr. іn Арrіl 1968, hе ѕubmіttеd а bіll thаt wоuld сrеаtе а nаtіоnаl hоlіdау fоr thе bіrthdау оf thе сіvіl rіghtѕ lеаdеr.

Whіlе hе hаѕ bееn аdvосаtіng fоr іndереndеnt blасk роlіtісаl mоvеmеntѕ, hе hаѕ рut hіmѕеlf fаr frоm аlіgnіng hіmѕеlf wіth thе blасk ѕераrаtіѕtѕ.

Іn 1972, hе wаѕ сrіtісаl оf thоѕе реорlе whо wеrе аdvосаtіng fоr fоrmіng аn іndереndеnt blасk роlіtісаl раrtу, аt thе nаtіоnаl blасk роlіtісаl соnvеntіоnаl thаt wаѕ hеld іn Gаrу, Іndіаnа.

Соnуеrѕ ѕеrvеd аѕ thе сhаіrmаn оf thе gоvеrnmеnt ореrаtіоnѕ соmmіttее аnd аlѕо ѕеrvеd оn thе hоuѕе ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ соmmіttее аnd thеn оn thе ѕреаkеr’ѕ tаѕk fоrсе оn mіnоrіtу ѕеt-аѕіdеѕ.

Іn 1998, hе wаѕ а vосаl орроnеnt thаt аdvосаtеd fоr thе іmреасhmеnt оf Рrеѕіdеnt Віll Сlіntоn. Nеt wоrth & Еаrnіngѕ Тhе nеt wоrth оf Јоhn Соnуеrѕ іѕ ѕоmеwhеrе аrоund $1 mіllіоn.

Соnуеrѕ’ mаіn ѕоurсе оf іnсоmе іѕ hіѕ саrееr аѕ а mеmbеr оf thе Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ Соngrеѕѕ. Тhе mаn hаѕ ѕеrvеd fоr 26 tеrmѕ аѕ оf nоw.

Durіng hіѕ tеnurе, hе hаѕ аlѕо ѕеrvеd аѕ thе сhаіrmаn оf vаrіоuѕ соmmіttееѕ.

Wіth thоѕе еngаgеmеntѕ, іt wоuldn’t bе а ѕurрrіѕе іf thе fіgurе іѕ ѕubѕtаntіаl. Іn 2005, Јоhn Соnуеrѕ rеlеаѕеd а bооk tіtlеd, whаt wеnt wrоng іn Оhіо: thе Соnуеrѕ Rероrt оn thе 2004 рrеѕіdеntіаl еlесtіоn thаt wаѕ аbоut thе fаultѕ іn thе vоtіng ѕуѕtеm. Не hаѕ hаd ѕіgnіfісаnt еffоrtѕ tоwаrdѕ bеttеr-unіtеd ѕtаtеѕ.

Не аlѕо hаd а gооd hоuѕе rерutаtіоn hаvіng wоn thе соngrеѕѕіоnаl еlесtіоnѕ 25 tіmеѕ аnd ѕеrvіng hіѕ 26th tеrm.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Sunday, October 7, 2018

John Conyers: Music legends deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Quirk in copyright laws allows free use of songs recorded before 1972. That's wrong.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Does it make any sense that Motown legend Dionne Warwick is being compensated by digital music services when they use her recording of I'll Never Love This Way Again (1979) but not for her recordings of Walk On By (1964), I Say a Little Prayer (1967) or I'll Never Fall in Love Again (1968)? Similarly, should The Temptations be compensated for the use of their recording of Papa Was a Rollin' Stone (1972) but not for their recordings of My Girl(1964)?

A quirk of history protects songs recorded before 1972 under state law and songs recorded after Feb. 15, 1972 under federal law. Some digital radio services interpret that disparity to resist paying legacy artists who recorded music before 1972. The inexplicable result is that artists whose recordings were made before 1972 are not compensated by digital radio services while their counterparts whose recordings were made after that time are paid.
For creators and producers, music is their livelihood. Their work product — their property — is what pays the bills.

House panel investigation
In recent months, the House Judiciary Committee has begun exploring whether copyright law is in need of revision in light of technologies that have revolutionized the way we access information and entertainment. This investigation could also reveal whether the compact between those who create music, those who distribute music and those who consume music remains fair and workable.

Rolling Stone compiled what the magazine considers the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Nine out of their top 10 songs, and 18 out of their top 20, were recorded before 1972. Many of these songs were a soundtrack for social movements and change and are still played all the time. For example, No. 4: Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On (1971), and No. 5: Aretha Franklin's Respect (1967), which not only anointed her as the Queen of Soul but also became an anthem of feminism. It is undeniably disrespectful for the digital music services not to compensate Aretha for her work.

Satellite radio included
And don't forget that there are numerous stations on satellite radio that air nothing but songs recorded before 1972. Clearly, they do artists wrong by not paying to use their older songs.

This arbitrary line in copyright law also means that these music services are compensating some artists for the use of the newer parts of their catalog but not for the older parts. While state law offers a patchwork quilt of protection, the Library of Congress has recommended revisions that ensure consistency and uniformity by bringing all sound recordings under the federal copyright umbrella. While we would need to work with the Library's experts, users and rights holders to address the complex issues presented by such a transition, it is worth the effort to protect older artists, curtail litigation and eliminate the untenable withholding of royalties.

I can only imagine what new devices will be used to listen to "oldies" in the future — but we're grateful that technology will keep our rich music history alive. As Congress undertakes its review of copyright law, ensuring due compensation for sound recordings made before 1972 is worthy of our consideration and, most certainly, our Respect.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cocktails & Popcorn: Arnold Reed, Attorney For John Conyers, Enters The Stage

Image result for happy girl eating popcorn
I have popcorn. Want some?
I wonder if the DOJ OIG Report is about to be declassified.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Perkins Coie Sucks.


Marc Elias Of Perkins Coie Sucks & So Does The FEC

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: Marc Elias Of Perkins Coie Sucks & So Does The FEC
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

Arnold Reed, 'lawyer on the side of the people'

When his beloved father fell ill, Arnold E. Reed didn't hesitate. He swapped the cloistered halls of law school for Chicago's south side, where his dad owned a barbershop. To keep the business going, Reed, who'd learned the craft from his father, spent the next few months cutting hair.


Meanwhile, a classmate would mail Reed homework, and he studied when he could.
In the end, not only did the University of Iowa College of Law student graduate, he did so on time.

"I read the books and taught it to myself," said Reed, 54, whose Dad lived to see him graduate.

"Really, there was never a question that I would finish. Some things ought to be a given."

That kind of decisiveness, devotion and determination would mark his career as one of the state's pre-eminent trial lawyers, specializing in criminal, personal injury, civil litigation, medical malpractice and entertainment law, plus damage control for high-profile clients, such as now-retired Congressman John Conyers and Aretha Franklin. This year, he was cited by Michigan's Lawyers Weekly as one of 30 Leaders in the Law Class of 2018.

While the widely respected trade newspaper is mum on how it culls from a pool of nominees, its website says winners are honored for significant accomplishments in law practice; outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan; seeking improvements to the legal community and their communities at large; and setting an example for other lawyers. In its current form, the award has existed for the last decade.

In many ways, it's an improbable achievement for the Southfield-based legal firebrand, known for dogged representation and an outsize courtroom presence.

Reed was the first in his family to graduate college, let alone law school. While his father operated the barbershop, his mother took two trains and a bus each way to a factory job to help support the family, which included Reed and his older brother.

At age 9, Reed saw someone gunned down on the street. While fleeing, the killer had looked right at Reed, too petrified to move. That’s when Reed decided he needed to be fearless, a mindset that defines his approach to law.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas described Reed's courtroom manner as a cross between a bulldog and a chihuahua.

"I've watched him since he was a baby lawyer," Thomas said. "He is always prepared, and he will not let go. He is always focused, and he will work that case. He's also a good family man, and what you would like to see in the community and in the profession."

While his childhood community had its share of scofflaws, most of his neighbors were honest blue-collar types. Time and again, he’d see them falsely accused by police, or unable to retain proper representation. Reed decided that knowledge was power and he needed to get it.

In the sixth grade, he ran for class president — and lost. “That made me angry, so I started learning about the Constitution and how to impeach somebody,” said Reed, who is married to a lawyer, has a son in law school and a daughter pursuing graduate studies.

Reed received his undergraduate degree in journalism and political science from Indiana University in Bloomington. After law school at Iowa, he worked as chief law clerk for former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Conrad Mallet Jr., who remembers him as being the strongest member of his team.

"He would consistently present their work in a way that allowed for uncomplicated digestion of whatever argument they helped craft," said Mallet, now chief administrative officer for the Detroit Medical Center. "He's a very, very, very good lawyer."
Attorney Arnold Reed speaks about Congressman John Conyers' health and the latest accusations of sexual harassment in front of the congressman's home in Detroit. Daniel Mears, The Detroit News

That stint as a law clerk was followed by corporate work and a job in Detroit with the public defender's office. Because the fledgling lawyer couldn't convince his boss to give him a capital case, Reed, with no money to speak of, went out on his own, setting up a law practice in Detroit and winning his first multimillion-dollar verdict, in a police misconduct case, at just 29 years old.

Since then, the member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. has represented former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Conyers, Franklin and an upstart vocalist named R. Kelly in the mid-'90s.
Reed recalled meetings early on with the Queen of Soul, who he successfully represented about five years ago in a case involving misappropriation of her name and likeness.

"She's a woman who tends to be formal with people she doesn't know or have a relationship with, so it was always, 'Ms. Franklin' and 'Attorney Reed.' After I won the case for her I said, 'Now can I call you Aretha?' She didn't say anything, so I took that to mean she was still 'Ms. Franklin,'" he said, chuckling.

As for Conyers, Reed represented him last year after the congressman became embroiled in allegations of sexual harassment. Conyers ultimately retired.

Reed remembers encountering Conyers years earlier after a particularly long community event. Reed had asked him why he devoted so much time and effort to so many causes when he could find more lucrative work elsewhere.

"He looked at me, smiled and said, 'Arnold, money has never been my motivating factor. I have the best job in the world. I can help people.' So when he needed my help, I answered the call."
Reed's legal battles often extend into the court of public opinion. For instance, he took a lot of heat for representing Kilpatrick in a case stemming from the former mayor's conviction for lying under oath about an affair with his chief of staff.

 "It took me aback a bit," he said of the criticism. "Everyone deserves a right to representation no matter the allegation. Also, I've been in this game over 25 years, and I'd be lying if I said I weren't ever discriminated against based on my color, because I have been.

"When I put my suit and tie on every day and I go out, there are some people who look at me like I'm Kilpatrick simply because I'm African-American. I have to explain to people that when I represent Kwame Kilpatrick, I represent you, I represent your son.

 "In any case, I have a social responsibility not to shy away from cases merely because of allegations."

Reed's brazen style, however, leaves some cold, said Solon Phillips, in-house counsel for Southfield Public Schools.

"I have a great deal of respect for his zeal and tenacity in terms of what he does for his clients, but he is aggressive, so I can see how he could rub people the wrong way," said Phillips, who has known Reed for about 15 years.

"In his younger years, for example, he would press opposing counsel when he saw them by asking them why they weren't working, asking them whether they were working as hard as he was.

 "If you're on the receiving end, I can see where he might make some folks uncomfortable."

 His high-profile client roster notwithstanding, Reed is a self-described "lawyer on the side of the people." Everyone, he says, deserves representation under the law.

"I'm always around rich and powerful individuals, but I know my upbringing," said Reed, who often rides to work on his motorcycle, the back of his leather jacket emblazoned with "Not Guilty."

The voracious reader prides himself on going all out for his clients, often spending days and nights with them. He leans on his journalism background to do his own investigative work and visualizes courtroom plans.

“The major thing is having belief in your cause,” Reed said. “If you don’t believe, you’re not going to convince 12 others.”

He has a fan in Donna Pope, for whom Reed won a $4.2 million judgment in an unlawful termination whistleblower case in 2009.

“He’s very thorough and very patient, very poised and convincing,” said Pope, who lives in western Michigan. “This was one of the hardest things I had to go through in life, and he made it manageable to survive it.”

Mary Chapman is a Detroit-based freelance writer.

Arnold E. Reed
Age: 54
Occupation: Owner, Arnold E. Reed and Associates, Southfield
Education: Bachelor's degree, Indiana University; Juris Doctorate, University of Iowa College of Law

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Obama & Holder: The National Democratic Redistricting Committee

Former President Barack Obama highlights the damaging effects of partisan and racial gerrymandering on our democracy and calls on Americans to get engaged in the 2018 mid-term elections as it is a critical year for redistricting and restoring fairness back to elections. 

 The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is the centralized hub for executing a comprehensive redistricting strategy that shifts the redistricting power, creating fair districts where Democrats can compete. To learn more about what you can do to fight for fair maps alongside the NDRC, visit

(Those example districts were the 13th & 14th Congressional Districts of Michigan.)

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Friday, June 1, 2018

CONYERS Retired, Resigned Or Is It A Federal Investigation?: Michael Gilmore Wants A Special Election

He is going to do the dramatic Hollywood style ceremonial "filing of the complaint" on the courthouse steps.

I am excited to see the video and what he is going to do with it for his campaign, because you know he is going to use the federal litigation for his campaign.

Well, the days of the political drama have been, oh, let us just say, have been placed under the lens of the cyber community, so all eyes shall be watching this case, in real time.

To begin, let us exam the reason why Michael is filing this lawsuit.

On second thought, that would be a waste of time so I am just going to identify his motivation to file the lawsuit in the title of the article, below.

He is filing to launch his campaign, and not for the greater good of society.

I say this because a congressional seat does not belong to a man nor is it an American title of nobility; it belongs to all people of the 13th Congressional District of Michigan, not just a targeted population of Detroit.

Can one use federal resources, in this case, the federal court, for a political campaign, particularly if the suit of law is for the seat you are attempting to sway to public to win?

This is a questionable way to kick off a political campaign.

This is also the part that where I defenestrate my reservations and remain consistent.

There is a formal process for a Member of Congress to resign and it is my belief that process was executed in a fraudulent manner.

The following is copy of the Congressional Letter of "retirement" of John Conyers, Jr. which was found published with media outlets.

That does not look like his signature to me and I should know.

How could he sign a letter dated December 5, 2017 and enter it into public record when it was reported that he was hospitalized, medically incapacitated, November 30, 2017 in Detroit?


According to media reports, Conyers' "retirement" was lobbied by a non-governmental, unlicensed attorney, and other Members of Congress, despite the fact that Arnold Reed was retained to represent Mr. Conyers.


Date of signature: December 5, 2017

Date of signature: July 7, 2007

Date of signature: November 18, 2017

Date of signature: December 16, 2016

Only one of these signatures from United States Congressional Letters, is the real signature of John Conyers, Jr.

Can you guess which one is his?

Mother Superior Augustine would have had a heart attack if she bared witness to the reading of this letter with just about every sentence commencing with first person pronoun, "I", giving me every indication that the Gentlelady Jackson Lee was in rather a pressurized bind by a few unsavory characters.

See, I know what Nancy Pelosi did last summer, and the summer before that, and so on, with Bitch Boy, which is another reason why I speculate the legality of the process, because Nancy has been terribly mean to my Sweetie for quite some time.

I challenge the veracity of Mr. Conyers' voting record and policy positions because people have been forging his signature on congressional letters, for a long time, which is why I did this.

Original signature of John Conyers, Jr.
I was quite shocked when I found out how much individuals were getting for his forged signatures on congressional letters.

Quintessentially, if there are relevent questions raised surrounding the legitimacy of the "retiring" of Mr. Conyers, perhaps, this is the real reason why there will be no special election, as there are multiple, ongoing federal investigations.

Maybe Michael could attempt to validate his racist theories in discovery, or he could just do a basic internet search.

It is just a jurisdictional issue that would immediately halt any state "retirement" process.

But, hey, what do I know?

Candidate says he'll sue Gov. Snyder to move up election for Conyers' seat

A candidate for the U.S. House seat vacated by former U.S. Rep John Conyers filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder demanding that the election be moved up to an earlier date.

On Dec. 8, Gov. Snyder had announced that Conyers' congressional seat would remain empty until the regularly scheduled November election, leaving it vacant for nearly a year. What's more, political observers have pointed out that since the post will be listed twice — once in the August primary and again in the November general election ballots — the office could be held by two different people before January is out.

In short, the move would leave Detroiters without effective representation for 11 months — and perhaps even longer.

Michael Gilmore announced today that he intends to sue Gov. Snyder to move up the election for Conyer's vacant U.S. House seat. - PHOTO COURTESY MICHAEL GILMORE FOR U.S. HOUSE
Michael Gilmore
As the Associated Press noted earlier this month judging by a review of roughly 100 vacancies and successors listed on the House website for the last 20 years, it is unusual for a congressional district to stay vacant for so long. Eleven months would be the longest time a House seat stayed empty during that period.

Gov. Snyder had said his decision would both save money and give candidates ample time to campaign. But given his role in establishing Emergency Management in Michigan, this situation calls another lawsuit to mind — namely one filed by the Detroit Branch of the NAACP against Gov. Snyder that Emergency Management has violated the voting rights of the state's African Americans, effectively stripping representation away from residents in majority-minority cities and school districts. By some estimates, more than half of the state's blacks had their representatives overruled by Snyder-appointed viceroys.

None of this is lost on candidate Michael Gilmore, who has announced his intention to sue the governor over the scheduling of this election:

"Gov. Snyder continues to treat residents of urban areas across the state as second-class citizens and is violating a laundry list of constitutional laws in doing so," Gilmore said in a statement released today. "By holding this congressional seat vacant for 11 months, he is denying minority residents of the 13th Congressional District the right to vote and the right to be represented in Congress. This is yet another attempt to further silence the voice of minorities in the state and disregard their views. From putting emergency managers only in minority school districts and city halls to signing off on the Flint water crisis for fiscal benefit, Gov. Snyder has historically cited cost-saving measures as his reason for denying civil and human rights to urban areas. Here, he is once again attempting to balance the state's budget on the backs of Black people, in the name of 'cost savings.'"
Gilmore says he will discuss his lawsuit against Gov. Snyder at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at the Fort Street entrance of the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, Detroit.

One man hoping to win an empty congressional seat is suing the governor for waiting until November to fill the seat. Most residents have a representative in Congress until the next election.

However, because Congressman John Conyers resigned in 2017, and Gov. Rick Snyder set an election to fill his seat starting in November, residents of the 13th congressional district will not have a representative in Congress for 11 months in 2018.

"Governor Snyder continues to treat residents of urban areas across the street as second class citizens," Michael Gilmore said. Governor Snyder has historically cited cost saving measures as his reason for denying civil rights and human rights to urban areas," he said.

The governor does believe setting the date for the special election in August and November on the same dates as the regular general election will save local taxpayers up to $2 million.

"Divide $2 million by the 658,000 residents, that totals roughly $3 per person," he said.
Gilmore calls this systemic discrimination in the 13th congressional district, which he says is composed of over 62 percent minority residents.

"He is once again attempting to balance the state's budgets on the backs of black people in the name of cost savings," he said.

Gilmore is also a candidate for this seat. Might his lawsuit be self-serving?

"I don't believe this is self-serving, in fact I'm actually quite ashamed that I'm the only one talking about it," he said. "Donald Trump has already begun to illuminate important social programs that we need in this area, and no one else is talking about it?"

Gilmore says that typically vacancies are filled within a few months and he has asked the federal court to make a quick ruling hopefully by the end of February. There's been no formal response from the governor's office. 

Stay tuned.

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