Our Lord High Minister of Injustice strikes again ... or does he?
Justice Dept. Weighs Lifting Antibias Order on Hotel Chain: Justice Department officials said today that they were considering ending an order requiring a hotel chain to comply with an antidiscrimination settlement imposed after complaints that its hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., discriminated against black guests by making them wear neon-orange wristbands and assigning them to lower quality rooms at higher prices. [...] The HBE Corporation is owned by Fred S. Kummer Jr., a longtime friend and political supporter of Attorney General John Ashcroft, a former senator and governor from Missouri. Barbara Comstock, a spokesman for the attorney general, said today that neither Mr. Ashcroft nor any of his immediate staff members had any involvement in the case.
All right. I'll concede that it may be possible that there was no direct intervention by Ashcroft of his staff in this case. Is there anyone out there who believes that his friendship with this person didn't matter? That it somehow didn't filter down that Ashcroft would not find it distressing if his good friend's odious compliance order somehow just went away? The plain fact is, the compliance order didn't go into place until late 2000, and to end it after so short a time is almost unprecedented.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, at least, is not amused:
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday for a "full and complete explanation" of the Justice Department's decision to consider an early termination of an agreement the department signed with the Adam's Mark hotel chain to end a prominent race-discrimination case two years ago. [...] Adam's Mark owner Fred S. Kummer Jr., his family, his employees and his company donated a total of $30,200 to Ashcroft's Senate campaigns. Lawyers in the case said that he boasted of his ties to Ashcroft and that he acknowledged expecting better treatment now than what he had received during the Clinton administration. But Kummer also said that Ashcroft did not involve himself in the Adam's Mark case after he took office.
I do wonder what The Shrub thinks of all this. He seems to be, in some ways, relatively hands-off on some aspects of his administration, but that means that his cabinet officers keep blindsiding him, which can't be good.Posted by iain at March 22, 2002 11:18 AM