Fudge is now “Hatch Act” silent as HUD’s Secretary and it leaves the 11th Congressional District race wide open

Former State Shirley Smith and State Rep John Barnes, Jr. have name recognition and solid backgrounds, so counting them out as congressional candidates is foolish

CLEVELAND, OH – United States Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Louise Fudge is out of “partisan” politics.   It’s why she’s not made any public comments about who will replace her as the 11th Congressional District representative.

The Hatch Act of 1939 prevents federal officials and workers from engaging in partisan political activities.  There has been and will be no endorsements for any of the partisan races coming from HUD Secretary Fudge.  Any candidate claiming Fudge’s endorsement is dragging her name into a selfish life and an unnecessary controversy.  Newspaper reporters publishing the lie that Fudge has violated the Hatch Act should produce their proof instead of sharing what someone may have told them.

For those of us who have come to know Marcia Louise Fudge as she ascends to lead the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development we feel nothing but pride. She is a credit to the American Negro race and represents the excellence of our people.

Fudge has come too far in political life to jeopardize an opportunity she wanted for anyone.   The 11th Congressional race is wide open.  Anyone can win.

A candidate thinking they have a “lock” on the race just because they’ve got money, position, endorsements and modest name recognition is living in a fool’s paradise.   Their “upper tier” support isn’t making it to the streets.  In this political climate anything can happen.  One well-orchestrated “hit” and their hopes are over.  Just ask 2017 Cleveland mayoral candidate Jeffrey Johnson.

Johnson had name recognition, money and an early jump on every contender to Mayor Frank Jackson.  He had the complete “foot soldier” and financial backing of the SEIU labor union.

Cleveland voters learned he was seeking the mayor’s job while living with his wife and family in Twinsburg.  Johnson’s campaign was over.  It can happen to anyone.  Every “front running” contender has best believe their past is in some researcher’s crosshairs.  It’s happened to me and other candidates who were expected to win.

Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairwoman and County Councilmember Shontel Brown’s reading her answers to debate questions hasn’t come across well. She’s also drawing heat from party insiders who think she’s cheating to win.

In the 11th Congressional District there are candidates like former State Senator Shirley Smith and State Representative John Barnes, Jr. whose names have already been dragged through the political mud and survived.  They’ve had long careers in public life and lived, unlike Johnson, freely without any “real” scandal.  They also have real accomplishments and a demonstrated commitment to the American Negro community.  Neither has ever been perceived or described as a “sellout.”

Barnes bears the name of his father who served Ward 1 as a Cleveland councilman with George L. Forbes.  He’s the longest serving council president.

Smith served in the Ohio Senate and as a State Representative.  She represented my House District during my term as East Cleveland’s mayor and we worked well together.

Smith distinguishes herself from the crop of candidates currently in the race with her mission driven performance as a state legislator where she remained focused and worked with both sides of the General Assembly to get second chance legislation enacted for ex-offenders with State Senator Bill Seitz.  After she was term limited out of office as a state senator, Republican Governor John Kasich appointed the Democrat to the Ohio Parole Authority.

In our conversations she complained about how they were treating American Negro men and how she “wasn’t going for it.”  It was the same type of conversations we had during my time as mayor and she was my state legislator.   Once Shirley got on “Second Chance” she didn’t stop until the law was passed.  Every Ohioan whose criminal records histories are clean should be thanking Shirley for her commitment to “them.”

Former State Senator NIna Turner, the chairman of Communist Bernie Sanders Bolshevik thinking “Our Revolution,” is perceived as too far to the left for the average American Negro who prefers to have immigration laws enforced; and who see unions as racist, job stealing organizations. 92 percent of Americans are not in labor unions whose members in 1917 sought to “exterminate the niggers” out of East Saint Louis, Illinois on July 6, 1917.  1000 unarmed American Negro men, women and children were burned out of their homes and shot to death, beat to death and burned to death in the streets by Sander’s Russian, Ukrainian and Polish ethnics along with Irish Catholics.

Barnes sued the Ohio Democratic Party for acting as if American Negro legislators could only speak through the leadership of the Legislative Black Caucus.  It was similiar to a discussion I had with former Parma Heights Mayor Martin Zanotti about William D. Mason’s county reform initiative in 2009.

Zanotti said he hadn’t sought my opinion as East Cleveland’s mayor, and a member of the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association, because he had spoken to Arnold Pinkney.  In his demented mind the late Pinkney, a private citizen, spoke for all “Black” elected officials so he didn’t need to talk to me.  When I aggressively opposed the so-called reform plan as nothing more than the installation of an organized crime gang Zanotti learned, quickly, that American Negroes don’t have leaders.

I related to Barnes’ indignation as one of my Son’s Godfather’s was an Italian American and another is like a brother to me.  I asked each if Zanotti spoke for Italian Americans and their answers were the same.  “Get the fuck out of here.”  My sentiments … exactly.  Barnes insisted that he be treated the same as every Caucasian legislator and consulted with individually by Democrats in the General Assembly.

There will be a full campaign to replace HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge in the 11th Congressional District. It means a Republican and a Democratic primary campaign. Laverne Jones Gore is hoping to represent the Republican Party. Former Judge and county council president thinks a candidate can win the primary with 4000 votes.

If voters in the 11th Congressional District feel “pushed” and “manipulated” into choosing a candidate; the truth is they are by the racist and largely segregated mainstream media.  There are more candidates to consider than those who think they have a “lock.”  In the immortal words of the late George “P Funk” Clinton of the Parliament Funkadelics.

“Free your mind and your azz will follow.”  Pick your own candidate.  No one can choose for you.  The only endorsement that matters is your vote.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.

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