CLEVELAND, OH – None of Vanessa A. Bee’s background and “American” story adds up as writer for the INTERCEPT edited by Betsy Reed; and neither does her completely uninformed opinion of United States Representative Marcia Fudge.
In her first article for the “INTERCEPT” website Reed oversees as editor-in-chief, Bee bashed Fudge as a “token” nominee of Joe Biden to lead the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). She initially and wrongly claimed that Marcia was the first American Negro woman to serve in the job; but later corrected her flawed opinion piece to include Patricia Harris.
Digging would have revealed to “Bee” that the first HUD Secretary in 1968, the man who built agency, Robert Weaver, was an American Negro; just like Ralph Bunche who built the United Nations and got the 1948 deal signed between Israel and Egypt. There’s nothing “token” about Marcia’s nomination or an American Negro’s role in the Government of the United States of America. American Negroes are just getting the agency back.
I once interviewed Harris for the Call & Post in 1978 or 1979 about “spatial deconcentration” when I worked for the nation’s 5th largest American Negro-owned newspaper published by the late Mr. William O. Walker. The late Cleveland Councilwoman Fannie Lewis and retired Council President George Forbes didn’t approve of spatial deconcentration.
Fred Pizzedazz was running the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency at the time; and Harris wanted the agency he led to be a clearinghouse for her plan to “spatially deconcentrate” American Negroes out of Cleveland neighborhoods into five surrounding counties with no public transportation connecting them to their families. I talked to Fred about it as well. He saw the plan as doomed once Fannie and George lit a political match under everyone’s azzes about it.
Fannie and George joined with U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes and every other American Negro leader in the city to keep Harris’ scheme from moving forward. This is information far beyond Bee’s scope of knowledge.
Fudge is my 11th Congressional District representative and a former fellow mayor. We led the two most American Negro populated cities in Ohio in the same county. Mine was 94 percent and her’s was 88 percent. Frank Jackson is an American Negro mayor who leads 60 percent American Negro populated Cleveland.
Marcia and I were together with the late U.S. Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones’ family the night she died at Huron Hospital on August 20, 2008 in the city I led as mayor. East Cleveland. It was once the home of John D. Rockefeller when he was the world’s first billionaire. I know Marcia. Bee doesn’t. But I’ve learned who Bee is and evaluated her “where the hell did she get this crap” opinion of my Congresswoman.
Bee’s biography on the “INTERCEPT” describes her as a Harvard Law school graduate and an attorney. I’ve found a book planned for release called Home Bound she authored. It places Bee as a citizen of Cameroon who left Africa for France; and France for the United States of America at 16. Nevada. From there she went to Harvard Law School and became an attorney. No high school or undergrad school.
It’s amazing how so many dirt poor and barely-developed nation’s produce more Harvard level thinkers than we do in the U.S. At least that’s what’s in so many foreign bios. It’s like all the sons of “diplomats” in the email I get from Nigeria asking for banking information.
Her book summary identifies Bee as traveling back and forth annually to her home in France. Mina Chang claimed to be a Harvard graduate and bunch of other made-up stuff that only appeared on internet sites and links she created.
There are two references to Bee’s name on Harvard’s website. Both link to articles she’s written for the INTERCEPT claiming to be a Harvard law school graduate. Harvard’s website like others has an RSS plugin that lets it link to articles where its name is referenced. She’s not identified in any law school or undergraduate graduating class over the past 15 years even on the Wayback Machine. There is no listing for a Vanessa A. Bee under a 50 state American Bar Association search of licensed attorneys.
Bee claims to be U.S. citizen. Her Home Bound confession to traveling annually to her “home” in France disqualifies the citizenship claim. Residence has to be uninterrupted with no back to the other land travel. When aliens “renounce” allegiance to their “home land” they’re supposed to forget it and assimilate. Back and forth is not assimilation. Either way the confession in Bee’s book makes her citizenship claim questionable. The only references to her name are in the news articles she’s published.
I would argue that the INTERCEPT’s employment of her as an associate editor, if Bee is even real, violates U.S. immigration laws. The name Vanessa A. Bee is more than likely fake. Reed’s writer’s claims about Fudge showing “no interest in the housing universe” as a member of Congress are comic book stupid.
Marcia took over the 11th Congressional District after Tubbs-Jones death. Stokes led a committee to identify someone best qualified. Marcia made the most sense. I trusted what I already knew about her, and Lou’s opinion as a 30-year congressional veteran, and joined with other members of Cuyahoga County’s Democratic Party executive committee in supporting her for the job.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was ongoing as a way for HUD to get money to cities needing an extra bump in block grant dollars. Marcia was the most prepared to step right in.
After Stephanie’s death Marcia did what the former 11th District representative hadn’t. She assembled all the mayors in the 11th Congressional district to discuss HUD’s NSP at the city hall in Orange Village. HUD field office manager, Doug Shelby, briefed us on the program and told us the rules hadn’t yet been written. They were going to keep us informed and they did. Every step of the way.
The NSP program eventually came under Lee Fisher’s supervision when he served as Governor Ted Strickland’s lieutenant governor. Lee took up where Marcia left off and organized statewide meetings for us to “prepare” in advance for the quick timetable coming out of the administration of President Barack Obama. Marcia will tell everyone that we got rules on Thursday and by Tuesday plans had to be written and resolutions of support enacted by councils.
I walked up to Marcia after the first meeting and hugged her. What she’d done was brilliant. Every mayor who wanted the HUD information got it at the same time; and got their questions asked. I personally wrote East Cleveland’s NSP I grant with my staff for the $2.2 million we got from HUD. We also got another $600,000 bump after my team and I passed a HUD Inspector General’s audit with zero findings in 2009.
I was managing East Cleveland’s Community Development Department simultaneously as mayor. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told me then when we met in his office at HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 2008 that I was the only mayor running a city and directly managing a block grant program. I got to his office because he was speaking at the City Club. I asked a question neither he nor his staff could answer; and he invited me to meet with him and his staff in Washington.
Alphonso assigned Nelson Bregon to arrange a series of floor-by-floor meetings for me with the directors and their key deputies on each floor. He wanted to immerse me in the agency so HUD’s Secretary, President George W. Bush’s appointee, gave me unprecedented access to all the directors. It was his last day on the job before he gave President Bush his resignation on March 31st. Alphonso told me he was tired. No privacy. He couldn’t even drive himself and his wife to the store; or have a private conversation with her in their car.
I also served for two years as Chief of Communications for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority as well as the agency’s project planner. Former board chairman Robert C. Townsend, II asked me to write Claire Freeman’s performance standards when she was first hired by the agency in 1990. I wrote the Master Plan for the initial renovation of King Kennedy South with architects Brad Gellart and the late Michael Benjamin. $22 million project. It included the “social services mall” George James, not Freeman, wanted.
George was the first American Negro to lead CMHA from 1983 until 1989. I along with 8th District Court of Appeals Judge Emmanuella Groves were members of his cabinet.
I’m seriously offended by Bee’s garbage as someone who actually knows Marcia and something about HUD’s operational interactions with outside agencies. Bee’s “opinions” in contrast to my “knowledge”makes me someone she could and should have called for an opinion. All these so-called social media journalists and editors think “they” are the experts on everything. I can’t watch any mainstream news with people who know the least leading the discussions. I wouldn’t give two shits about the INTERCEPT and Bee if someone hadn’t sent me her lies about someone I know.
If the INTERCEPT’s writer from the Cameroon knew anything about Marcia and the depth of her experiences and successes as the mayor of Warrensville Heights, and understood the characteristics of the city she managed, she would know that everything about Marcia’s background makes her ideal for the Biden administration. I personally thought she would have made an excellent vice president; and I’ve repeatedly told her. My Congresswoman has made me proud as a constituent; and I’ve never regretted my support.
An ordinance I copied was one Marcia got her city council to pass making marijuana a minor misdemeanor with no criminal record for under 100 grams. We passed ours in 2008. Imagine two Ohio mayors managing cities with all American Negroes on the city council and school board. In my city even my municipal court judge was an American Negro. Nine of my 10 cabinet members were American Negroes. As American Negro mayors serving with majority American Negro elected officers; the opposition to the ordinance changes to cut our people some criminal record and jail time slack was none.
As Stephanie’s chief of staff during her tenure as the first and only American Negro Cuyahoga County prosecuting attorney, woman or man, Marcia saw every case that came through the office; and that included those involving foreclosures for taxes and non-payment of mortages on both the civil and criminal side. Discrimination cases and those involving fraudulent property transfers hit her eyes. Cases involving “housing officials” came before her. This is why I’m trying to understand how the INTERCEPT’s “Bee” researched the “veteran” not “career” public official. Her INTERCEPT article makes it look like she just wrote what she believed based on a few poorly-informed articles she read from other writers like her.
Cuyahoga County is ground zero for the nation’s foreclosure crisis in 2008 and beyond. Marcia was Warrensville Heights mayor and then a member of Congress. The serious mayors were immersed in discussions with federal agencies about saving our cities; and Marcia took that sense of urgency to Washington with her. On the real. the INTERCEPT’s Greenwald’s “Bee” bullshit is pissing me off.
Everything that comes out of the United States Congress affects 19,429 cities, villages and townships “mayors and city managers” lead across this nation. 310 million inhabitants live in the 19,429 municipal corporations like one Marcia once led. The rest are in unincorporated territorities and on reservations. The President and Congress live and work in a city a mayor oversees.
The job of a mayor is the closest elected official on the ground to HUD. In East Cleveland I appointed a member to the housing authority’s board. Block grant funds from HUD support everything from free city paint programs, to tool programs, to fire trucks and community policing. It’s officials conduct site visits and offer technical support. HUD hosts ongoing meetings in each state that mayors can attend with their community development directors. I did as the mayor of a direct entitlement city.
I also took over a city whose community development department had been investigated by the FBI for corruption. The director was prosecuted and convicted. There is no closer relationship to HUD from a local government perspective than a mayor who has a HUD Inspector General assigned to an office in city hall.
The level of lunacy of Bee’s commentary is beyond astounding. It makes all these so-called Harvard-educated “thinkers” look beyond stupid. Why would anyone seek a degree at Harvard if the quality of thinking of its graduates has been diminished by 3rd World immigrants so much; it is this substandardly far down on the intellectual spectrum? What’s Harvard offering? Remedial classes in English? Curve grading? I have over 100,000 words in my vocabulary. The average immigrant’s working with just a couple of hundred words of English when they arrive. If that.
HUD had a “cop next door” program once. The agency also has a glut of empty and blighted homes its left mayors to deal with in the nation’s cities. HUD is horrible at keeping its properties up to code in cities like the one Marcia led. I wrote East Cleveland’s vacant property registration ordinance and HUD is not exempt from maintaining its own properties, vacant or occupied, up to code.
So much HUD money has been spent on nothing but demolitions and board-ups over the past decade to 15 years. Marcia would know that some of the vacancies and foreclosures “created” in Ohio came from a flawed “drug house board up” policy enacted by Lee Fisher as the state’s attorney general in 1994. This created the first glut of abandoned homes of over 1000.
Cuyahoga county treasurer James Rokakis followed with his promotion of an evil “third party tax lien” state law; and then followed by the variable interest rate mortgages instead of fixed rate mortgages banks like Charter One forced on otherwise credit worthy American Negroes. The “extermination” of American Negro home ownership began in Cleveland and Cuyahoga county.
Mayors, as chief municipal law enforcement officers, have duties to enforce building, housing, fire, occupancy, zoning, blight and even immigration laws. HUD’s national objective is and has been to eliminate slum and blight. As Alphonso told me at HUD HQ in DC, the “D” in HUD does not stand for demolition. The money is supposed to be used to develop and perpetuate the continued development and redevelopment; and ongoing maintenance of low-income housing.
Bee never heard of the Housing Act of 1937. If she knew anything about Cleveland she’d know this is the birth place of public housing. Ernest Bohn envisioned the idea here. So there’s a natural association with it in this area as two of the globe’s largest real estate developers were headquartered in Cleveland during her time as mayor and even now. Diversified Developers founded by former East Cleveland resident Bert Wolstein. Forest City Enterprises founded by the Ratner family of Russia.
Bee kept referencing “renters.” She must not have ever owned a home. She referenced people paying 30 percent rent. She obviously has no knowledge of the Brook and Adams amendments that set caps of 25 and 30 percent of a family’s household income for rent in 1969 and 1971. Those two laws drove the working families out of public housing.
My family lived in public housing in East Saint Louis, Illinois for 9 years. It was in the Samuel Gompers Homes and I hate the thought of his name. His mainly Irish Catholic and Eastern European “unionists” led the Holocaust of 1917 thatwhere these violent animals slaughtered over 300 American Negro men, women and children. Congressional testimony reveals them saying, “We’re going to kill all the niggers” and they tried.
Had Bee checked the website of Warrensville Heights Marcia once led she would have learned about its department of economic and community development. Had she visited the now 90 percent American Negro populated city led by Mayor Brad Sellars, a former NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, she would have driven along Northfield Road and seen all the low-mod apartments on Dalebridge.
Spending a little more time in the area and she would know that the “forensic level” knowledge Marcia’s acquired serving “successfully” and “corruption-free” in the most corrupt county in the nation makes her a perfect choice for Biden to lead HUD. He and Kamala Harris are going to have their hands full with four years of investigations. Marcia running HUD will give them a Secretary whose management won’t be an added distraction.
Here’s the approach I would expect Marcia to take as HUD’s secretary as she returns to the “administrative” side of the government aisle. Keep in mind. Chief of staff to Stephanie Tubbs-Jones as Cuyahoga County’s prosecuting attorney. Chief of staff to Stephanie in Congress. Mayor of Warrensville Heights. Member of Congress. She’s more “administrative” than “legislative” and she’s competently-thorough.
Coming fresh out of Congress Marcia’s had a decade to review and question the Secretaries of the various federal agencies and their subordinates about their oversight. Marcia’s read and or received briefings from the variety of Inspector Generals and Government Accounting Office about the wide array of site specific and problem specific oversight issues affecting the agencies.
Marcia’s also fresh off a national Congressional committee that investigated elections. I know she creatively subpoenaed the presidents of the election equipment companies. Instead of the entire federal bureaucracy; she now has to focus only on one.
HUD bureaucrats should expect Marcia to be a reader and prepared as a former state prosecuting attorney and mayor with a cabinet. They should expect her to be disciplined and no nonsense. They should see a “law enforcement officer” coming to clean up HUD. From my perspective, and knowing her, the bullshit is going to stop.
Part of the clue for me is in the way Marcia met with and “educated” mayors when she replaced Stephanie in the 11th Congressional District. Once she’s familiar with the agency and assesses her own priorities the HUD workforce will be educated. They’ll be instructed to spread the message.
I would expect her to be big on making sure HUD’s employees and recipients are reminded of their duties. Expect her to demand and follow-up to ensure compliance. As a former mayor and chief of staff she’ll instinctively follow-up in way that’s going to catch an unprepared UnderSecretary or Director off guard. Subordinates would be wise not to insult her intelligence with a lack of preparation.
I believe she’ll offer technical assistance for outside agencies requesting it in writing to come into compliance. I think she’ll recognize the lack of compliance from the past administration at the top. I think she’ll quickly set a new tone.
I would expect her to take an intense review of the real estate transactions connected to the Trump and Kushner families. She’ll have an instinct for the structural conflicts in relationships and processes; and a prosecutor’s eye for corruption. The president and vice president are former prosecutors. The discussions at that level are going to be internally and “national security level” profound. Just from my outside perspective I can see HUD under Marcia initiating several major criminal investigations involving real estate developers, public housing authorities, discrimination and addressing some of the agency’s internal corruption she learned of in Congress.
HUD workers know what they’ve done wrong in the Inspector General audits and GAO reports. Now is the time for them to re-familiarize and be ready to explain how they’re going to address them before she comes on board. Those with deep skeletons might learn she already knows.
Bee referenced Marcia’s support of “our” friend Lance Mason. Lance’s law office was 20 feet from mine in 75 Public Square when I published the Cleveland Challenger. I didn’t know his late wife, Aisha Mason. I know her uncle, George Fraser of Successnet, a friend. George asked Marcia to speak at Aisha’s funeral. Mayor Frank Jackson who hired Lance after his release from prison is a friend.
Bee’s perspective of Marcia writing a letter of support for Lance, after Aisha asked her to write it so he could get back to work and helping her with their children, is just as ignorantly uninformed as everything else she wrote. Besty Reed needs to stop and be exposed for this lunacy at the INTERCEPT.
I saw in the “Bee” story the argument she sought to make about making politicians lead administrative bureaucrats. She made herself the expert on the job of an “American” mayor without knowing anything about the job as she offered the perspective that someone who had led a city was not prepared to manage HUD. She had ex-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in mind.
Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and I were in the Bexar County Young Democrats in the 1970’s when he served on San Antonio city council. I lived in that city and was active in its politics with people like T.C. Calvert, Sr., Jessie Henry, Eugene Coleman and Eddie Williams of Carter Taylor Mortuary. Percy Sutton’s nephew, Oliver Sutton, LouNelle Sutton’s son, was in the Bexar County Young Dems with us.
I attended college … there. I spent three of my four years in the United States Air Force … there. I spoke at President James Earl Carter’s Poor People’s Forum there led by Grace Olivarez. 1977. It was my first public presentation and the topic was education. I wanted the 9th through 12th grade years of high school to be the equivalent of college. By the time a student reached the age of 18, and studied law for four years, they’d have enough knowledge to acquire a law license and keep going … early.
My first radio appearance was there when I worked as an outreach worker for the United Citizens Project Planning & Operatiing Corporation. I got the basics for newspaper publishing there taught to me by Eugene Coleman. San Antonio Snap. I write and took pictures for Jessie Henry’s San Antonio Community Journal. My last campaign there was helping Price Daniel for Texas Attorney General before I left; and before his wife shot him to death. Clevelanders who listened to WJMO in the 1960’s and 70’s will remember Rudy Green. “Mean Rudy Green.” He left Cleveland for San Antonio. San Antonio Spurs player George Gervin and I dated the same woman. Different times. Mayor Lila Cockrell liked the way she looked in the pictures I took of her.
San Antonio is managed by a city manager. Castro’s experience as San Antonio’s mayor was not an “administrative” fit for HUD. That’s not the same for Marcia in any way as a hands on upper government manager before she became a hands on elected official. I followed a similar path as a mayor’s chief of staff and special assistant before my election to mayor.
I’ve evaluated Bee’s INTERCEPT commentary about Marcia. I see Glenn Greenwald resigned and I’ve read Reed’s response to his blast. They are fighting over who gets the final say on the content of the articles that appear on the site. Like immature children their problems are now in the streets. What’s also in the streets is Bee’s manufactured opinion about a highly-qualified Biden appointee that came out of thin air just like her name.
Who is Vanessa A. Bee? The United States Bureau of Immigration and Enforcement should want to know. That’s even if she’s in the United States of America. The truth of the matter is the woman in the picture could be real; and her name made up and picture stolen by slick”editors” of a website called “The Intercept.”
The email and telephone number on my website leads directly to me.