- Created on 09 April 2013
(NNPA) – National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Cloves Campbell, Jr. has instructed Attorney James Belt of Dallas to “take whatever steps necessary” to collect a $418,180.12 judgment against Robert Bush, a former independent contractor responsible for advertising sales.
“I have asked Attorney Belt, who heads a special committee I appointed to bring a close to this matter, to take whatever steps necessary to collect on the order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins,” said Campbell, publisher of the Arizona Informant. “The order was issued a year ago and Mr. Bush has yet to voluntarily comply with it. Under the circumstances, we will take whatever steps needed to make sure he complies with the judge’s lawful order.”
Bush, who is believed to be living in Glendale, Calif., filed a suit against the NNPA in federal court in the District of Columbia.
According to the complaint filed on behalf of Bush on June 4, 2010, he was has hired to serve as NNPA’s chief advertising salesperson, with an annual base salary of $120,000, plus up to 5 percent in commissions. Bush alleged that he was on target to secure at least $15 million in advertising over the first three years. However, nine months into the 5-year NNPA contract, Bush said he “was being suspended for alleged wrongdoing which [the NNPA] declined to specify.”
Bush sought unspecified compensatory damages, attorney fees and costs and a jury trial.
In its response to Bush’s complaint, the NNPA stated that in February 2009 Bush notified NNPA that, among other things, “he was not devoting his full time and attention” to his NNPA work “and that he was using time and resources which were to have been devoted to [the NNPA] for other matters.”
When then-NNPA Chairman John B. Smith requested an accounting of his activities on April 26, 2009, Bush “stated that he would not provide the requested information.” Consequently, the NNPA’s executive committee voted to again request the pertinent information from Bush. After he failed to comply with a second request, the executive committee voted to suspend Bush.
According to the NNPA’s counterclaim, Bush has refused to turn over company records and documents.
The case was heard by a jury in Washington, D.C., which dismissed one of the claims NNPA had made against Bush and one of Bush’s claims against the NNPA. Judge Wilkins issued a partial summary judgment on April 12, 2012 authorizing the NNPA to recover $32,706.06 from Bush that had gone to him as overpaid commissions.
Judge Wilkins noted that Bush’s failure to oppose NNPA’s motion for attorneys’ fees constituted a concession.
Wilkins wrote that it was “Further ordered that, based upon Bush’s concession and the Court’s thorough review of the Independent Contractor Agreement and the documentation submitted in support of NNPA’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs, NNPA recover from Bush the amount of $385,474.06 for attorneys’ fees and costs.”
James Belt, who chairs the NNPA committee set up to resolve the matter, said: “Chairman Cloves Campbell has asked me to take any and all necessary steps to recover nearly a half million dollars that we have spent defending ourselves against baseless allegations. The court’s judgment was issued a year ago and we will aggressively try to make sure that another year doesn’t pass without the judge’s order being fully enforced.”
- Created on 08 April 2013
The Jumpstart Our Business Start Up Act (JOBS Act) was signed by President Obama one year ago today and a leading organization that represents entrepreneurs and small business owners has expressed frustration regarding inaction it feels from the administration.
According to a statement issued by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s response to the JOBS act has been subpar. They’ve failed to issue any rules helping small business improve capital access and have missed key deadlines set up under the JOBS Act.
SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan who was present for the bill signing and was part of the group that helped to spark the JOBS act legislation said: “The SEC is undermining this important capital formation initiative that was supported by an overwhelming majority in Congress. Entrepreneurs and high-potential businesses that can bring our nation back to robust levels of job creation and growth are being undermined. There really is no excuse for the SEC’s lack of progress.”
Of particular importance was the provision in the JOBS Act which makes debt and equity-based crowdfunding legal. Organizations such as the SBE Council realized that capital was and remains a critical issue for small business owners.
“While lending standards have eased some, according to the latest Fed senior loan officer survey, getting credit remains a difficult task for small businesses. For good measure, it’s worth noting that venture capital investment took a notable dip in 2012. Access to financing remains the biggest hurdle for most entrepreneurs, which makes crowdfunding a critical option in the marketplace,” noted SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating.
- Created on 06 April 2013
The number of African Americans in the unemployment line has declined with March’s unemployment rate dropping to 13.3 percent. According to figures released by the Dept. of Labor Friday morning, it was13.8 percent in February.
The national unemployment rate decreased to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that for the week ending March 30 the number of new unemployment claims sprung to a 4-month high of 385,000.
For the week ending March 18, the total number of people receiving unemployment was 5,288,614 compared to 7,050,710 during the same week in 2012, according to the most recent statistics available said BET.com.
The US economy added 88,000 jobs, which is the fewest added in nine months. The decrease in the unemployment rate was mostly due to about 500,000 people no longer looking for work.
Economists surveyed by Newswire predicted the economy would add 200,000 new jobs in March. Automatic Date Process, the payroll provider, estimated 158,000 jobs.
Reuters attributed the lagging hiring to the dwindling demand for construction workers.
Sequestration, otherwise known as programmed extensive federal budget cuts, is also a concern because as soon as it is felt its effects will be indicative of the economy’s continued weakness.
Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that the “arbitrary and unnecessary cuts” mean less investment in the nation's future competitiveness and warned that the sequester could eliminate 750,000 full-time jobs by the end of the year.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, however, insisted that the Democrats were just making excuses for why unemployment was still high, and did not have enough solutions. He made no comment about the lower jobless rate and used the "disappointing" report to push the Support Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, a job training bill recently passed in the House.
The SKILLS Act was passed March 15 to assist employers, curb bureaucracy and provide workers with job training services, according to its sponsors.
- Created on 08 April 2013
It was a day many couples dream of for Mignon R. Moore, 42, and Elaine Harley, 43, who exchanged wedding vows at a beachside ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2012. The native New Yorkers marked their 10-year relationship by obtaining a marriage license from the state. Unfortunately, they are not receiving all the benefits of a legal marriage because they have been living in Los Angeles for the past six years, where they are recognized not as spouses but as domestic partners.
“We only had a small window of time to get married in California before Prop 8 [the ballot initiative that stripped same-sex marriage], so we never got the opportunity,” says Moore, an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Most people take for granted the financial safety net a legal marriage creates, says attorney Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and people with HIV.
“There are roughly 1,100 benefits, rights, and protections conferred on married couples on the federal level. And hundreds more benefits, rights, and protections that married couples receive under state law,” says Taylor. Among these is the right to joint parenting, joint adoption, status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions, and inheritance of jointly owned real estate.
The marital benefits couples such as Moore and Harley receive from a state that recognizes their union doesn’t extend across state lines. Moreover, the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines a marriage as a union between one man and one woman, restricts the federal government from recognizing any state-issued marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The financial consequences of this can be grave. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case challenging DOMA filed by Edith Windsor, 83, who paid more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance after her wife, who she had been with for 40 years, died in 2009. Had their 2007 Canadian marriage been recognized federally, no estate tax would have been owed.
Historically, states have decided who can marry within their borders, says Michael Crawford, director of online programs at Freedom to Marry, which is leading the campaign to overturn DOMA nationwide and is working to win civil marriage in battleground states including Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Iowa, and New Jersey.
“Civil Marriage—much like divorce—is not governed under any religious jurisdiction, contrary to much of the public debate over marriage equality. To date, eight states have civil unions or domestic partnerships. Another nine states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage, and 29 states have banned same-sex marriage. If DOMA is struck down, the federal government would be required to treat same-sex couples legally married in their state the same as any married spouses,” says Crawford.
Read the full story at BlackEnterprise.com - http://www.blackenterprise.com/b-e-exclusives/why-gay-lesbian-couples-pay-more-marriage-inequality-laws/
- Created on 05 April 2013
Congressman David Scott will host his 10th Annual Jobs Fair on Friday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center.
Job seekers who attend may obtain information and be considered for more than 1,600 positions with this year's participating employers. Companies confirmed to participate include: AFLAC, AT&T, UPS, Lowe's, Home Depot, CSX, Regions, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Waffle House, Georgia Power, Alorica, Gate Gourmet, MACK 2, Regions Bank, Douglasville Police Department, City of Atlanta, and many others.
Scott will partner this year with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' HomeSafe program. Funded by the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund, HomeSafe Georgia is a statewide unemployment mortgage payment assistance program to prevent foreclosures. The program may help homeowners by providing "bridge" mortgage assistance for up to 18 months to many Georgians who are unemployed or have seen a dramatic decrease in their income through no fault of their own.
For more information about the 10th Annual Jobs Fair, including a complete list of participating employers, please call 770-432-5405 or visit www.house.gov/davidscott.