Opinion: Black Chamber of Commerce exec Alford angered by Barbara Boxer

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Maybe you were too busy the other day watching the Senate hearing for the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court to catch another Senate hearing, this one chaired by California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Sen. Boxer likes to rule her hearings with a, uh, firm hand. You may recall The Ticket item and video here not so long ago where Sen. Boxer ordered an Army general to stop calling her ‘Ma’am’ and to call her ‘Senator’ instead.


Well, this time Harry Alford, the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, was about to testify against some climate change legislation when Boxer had him wait and took the occasion to introduce for the committee record a whole bunch of printed statements in support of the legislation, contradicting Alford’s upcoming testimony, from groups not at the hearing.

Alford took offense to that (see video below) as disrespectful, dismissive and condescending to his appearance, and there ensued another verbal boxing match. As you’ll see on the video, Boxer explained that she’d be introducing all kinds of diverse statements. (As you’ll also see, Alford repeatedly referred to Boxer as ‘Ma’am.’)

Surprisingly, this evening Bill O’Reilly, who normally shuns rhetorical confrontations involving Democrats like the ratings booster they always are on Fox News Channel, had Alford on ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ where the black chamber executive had some more to say about the California Democrat:

‘It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He’d go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. Yes, it is – it was ugly and she jumped – she opened up a pit, a mud pit that I wasn’t going to jump into.’

Did Alford think Boxer intended to introduce racism to the hearing?:

“Actually, Bill, I think it’s her persona. I don’t think she can help herself. When she gets caught up in a – like that up against the wall, race comes up. You know, she’s – the brainchild of Anita Hill attacking Clarence Thomas was Barbara Boxer. You go back – you mentioned 2004 and all of that garbage against Ken Blackwell, secretary of state of Ohio, saying he rigged the election, that was Barbara Boxer.”

On the reaction Alford’s received since that Boxer hearing:

“Well, I’ve got a great fan club right now, as a lot of people don’t like her. As I’ve gotten about 7,500 e-mails and 98% are cheering me on.”
So, just saying, it doesn’t look like Sen. Boxer will get Alford’s vote in her reelection campaign next year, even if he did live in California.


-- Andrew Malcolm

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