President Obama To Headline Sharpton Conference FeaturedWritten by Tierney Gill
The tie between President Obama and Al Sharpton continues to grow stronger, as evidenced by Obama's decision to headline the MSNBC host's National Action Network (NAN) conference in New York.
Opposition is decrying the president's decision, claiming that it gives a sense of political legitimacy to the "controversial leader and his much-maligned organization". Sharpton's organization has been accused of engaging in "questionable financial practices" and yet owes the federal government $1.9 million in back taxes and penalties. Sharpton has been known to utilize boycott threats to force corporations to donate while providing himself the position of a consultant. According to the New York Post, some 50 companies, including industry giants like GM, Pepsi and Wal-Mart, had capitulated and donated to NAN.
The conference, which is reportedly meant to "not just commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination, but to honor his legacy by proactively engaging in dialogue that will spawn change", will feature a "who's who" of liberal leaders, including US Attorney General Eric Holder, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Al Sharpton has been a regular guest in Obama's White House, meeting for everything from jobs and the state of the economy to Obama's young black and Hispanic men initiative, and most recently partaking in the First Lady's 50th birthday celebration. This is the second time the president has been a guest at the NAN convention, having spoken there in 2011.
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Tierney Gill is a senior at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, studying American History and Business Management. A homeschool graduate who is politically active on both the local and state level, Tierney has had the privilege of interning in the Milwaukee County Executive and Governor's offices, presiding over Students for Life, local College Republicans, volunteering in several political campaigns, and receiving an appointment by Governor Walker to serve on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Commission, a state policy advisory board. When not politically involved, Tierney loves spending time with her large family, writing, and reading.
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