Monday, September 01, 2008

Carson Accuses Christian Minister Of Extortion

Buried in a story in today's Star discussing U.S. Rep. Andre Carson's efforts to increase the political influence of Muslims in America is a claim by Carson that an Indianapolis Christian minister sought to extort money from him during his special election race earlier this year against State Rep. Jon Elrod to succeed his grandmother in Congress. The Star's Robert King details the allegation by Carson:

Carson shared one of the challenges he faced as a Muslim candidate: 10 Christian pastors in Indianapolis said they would oppose him because of his faith. One pastor, Carson said, made it clear that he would make trouble for Carson unless he was paid off. Carson didn't pay and didn't name the pastor. Other pastors, he said, embraced his candidacy.

So the career law enforcement officer faced an extortion attempt by a local Christian minister and did not report the crime to the appropriate authorities? Or was Carson simply all too familiar with the common practice of some local politicians to give so-called "walking around money" to black ministers to get out the vote for them? It's a very serious charge as alleged by Carson. Because he didn't report it to law enforcement, I have serious doubts about whether he's telling the whole story. It looks like Carson may have gotten a bit of Joe Biden talking disease while basking in his new-found rising Muslim star status in the Democratic Party at last week's convention in Denver.

It is worth noting that King touches on just how much Carson is relying on the Muslim community to raise money for his campaign, a topic which seemed off limits to the local news media during the special election race and primary race this year. King writes of a recent Muslim fundraiser Carson held:

This is a new day today," Carson said. "This is a day to be proud as Americans and as Muslims." The crowd, heavy with professionals and Ivy League grads, then opened their checkbooks for Carson's campaign to the tune of more than $10,000 . . .

"More than $200,000 of the $1.3 million Carson has raised this year has come from Muslims," King writes. "Carson has been welcomed at private Muslim fundraisers in California, New York and Florida, to name a few," he adds.

It is quite a contrast in how Carson so boldly embraces his Muslim religion while Sen. Barack Obama runs as fast and far from his Muslim heritage as possible. Obama denies he was ever a Muslim despite the fact that he was enrolled in an Indonesian school as a Muslim and was required to attend the mosque on the school's campus daily for prayer. Obama's father, grandfather and step-father were all Muslims. Obama's father was buried at a traditional Muslim funeral. A New York Times reporter interviewing Obama a couple of years ago recounted how Obama could recite a Muslim prayer in perfect Arabic dialect. Similarly, Obama sought to distance himself from controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, while Carson welcomed the controversial leader to his grandmother's funeral, where he eulogized the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson.

11 comments:

Bart Lies said...

I'm still amazed at the widespread natinal interest regarding the functioning of one congressional district in Indiana.

artfuggins said...

Andre Carson is a real treasure and we are lucky to have him as our congressman.

Jon E. Easter said...

"no religious test shall be imposed on our public officials and offices of trust."

Your words, AI. You seem to forget this when you start talking about "Muslim" officeholders or candidates named Carson.

Funny, too, how you can turn any article or news item into an attack on Obama.

Advance Indiana said...

Quite to the contrary, jon. Carson is the one invoking religion into his political campaign. He is raising money all over this country based upon his religious views. As this blog has noted, he has even had to return campaign contributions from people linked to terrorism. I've hit people of my own political party plenty of times on this blog for constantly pushing their fundamentalist religious agenda into the political process. You and Carson's supporters are complete hypocrites on this point.

artfuggins said...

Why dont you condemn Mitch for raising money from fundamentalist Christians...you know the ones who hate gay people......

Sean Shepard said...

artfuggins ... Andre Carson is a very nice guy but he does not come across very well studied in important economic theory, the promise given to us by our country's founders or what kinds of various unintended consequences might result from his various policy positions.

I worry that he already has probably been sucked up into the Washington Democrat "do as we say" machinery and his potential independence is gone. I also worry that he grew up within the confines of the Democrat "echo box" where outside opinions were not common or ridiculed because of political necessity.

Nobody should care what religion (if any) he is if there are principled positions on the role and impact of government that form the basis for his policy decisions.

And I have to agree with art's 1:32 comment. People are more inclined to give money to those who they feel are more like them whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim or a woman. Is somebody going to criticize Palin if she raises lots of money from women? Or Rep. Frank if lots of LGBT voters raise money for him?

Too bad Carson probably can't prove which minister it was who tried to extort money, I think this is the sort of thing that would be important for all to know BUT also might shed some unwanted negative light on the Democrats political machinery, which apparently must be oiled from time to time.

Advance Indiana said...

The fundies hate Mitch Daniels. If you think otherwise, you haven't been paying much attention to Indiana politics.

7th CD guy said...

Andre Carson is a real treasure and we are lucky to have him as our congressman.

A real treause??? "X" marks the spot
Thats "Malcolm X"

BornHoosier said...

I have no issue with Carson, or anyone else for that matter, practicing any faith they wish - as long as it doesn't cause harm in another human being's direction. Let's hope Carson's affiliation with Farahkan isn't the underground violent kind.

MY REAL ISSUE - is why (?) would Carson find it necessary to go to 'other States' in order to collect Political Campaign donations while running for Office? He's running in the State of Indiana... his campaign donors should be residents of the State he wishes to represent.

It smells bad all the way around and definitely looks like a conflict of interest as far as Hoosiers are concerned. Is this an ethics violation?

artfuggins said...

bornhoosier...look at the contribution records of all of or congresspeople from both parties. They have fundraisers all over the country. Look at Mitch Daniels....where he has had fundraisers........this is not uncommon.

Joe said...

I support Islamic practiconers in America and while I love the idea of a Muslim congressman in our very undiverse state of Indiana, I am quite disappointed in his recent choice at voting for the economic bailout, which is at all glances, a disaster. If he truly supported the justice talked about in the Quran, he would not be providing corporate welfare to the very businesses who put us in the shithole. These are the same people who argue for economic deregulation in the name of Capitalism at all turns through their lobbying power in Washington, but they're unwilling to accept the consequences of the same Capitalist system. When they succeed, it charges the taxpayer, when they fail, it charges the taxpayer more.