As part of my documentary about how the Pigford settlement designed to help black farmers was hijacked by trial lawyers and politicians, I interviewed controversial congressman Steve King (R-IA) about the evidence he's personally heard about Pigford.
During the interview, he discussed the charge that it was the White House and not the USDA that forced Shirley Sherrod to resign. This charge is actually part of Mrs. Sherrod's lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart, who is also funding my film on Pigford. I asked Rep. King about his years of experience with USDA secretary Tom Vilsack and King says that Sherrod's sudden forced resignation is out of character with the Vilsack he knows. Mrs. Sherrod has not filed suit against either the White House or the USDA.
King also discusses charges of racism against him by people like John Boyd, the head of the National Black Farmer's Association. Boyd successfully sued the USDA for $500,000 for a discrimination claim in the 1990s and after that settlement received a $500,000 outreach grant from the USDA. A few months ago, King was scheduled to appear on Anderson Cooper 360 to debate Pigford with Tom Vilsack but Vilsack was replaced by Boyd at the last minute. I was critical of that appearance and have contacted CNN and the Anderson Cooper producers numerous times with questions but have gotten no response. King reveals that he and Boyd had an 'intense' discussion after that segment.
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