Jesse Jackson

Government watchdog Judicial Watch has released a report it says reveals new details about the intimidation and shakedown tactics of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition.

The report, “Jesse Jackson Exposed,” claims Jackson is “an extortionist who uses his influence as a civil rights leader to essentially blackmail wealthy corporations with absurd discrimination threats.”

Judicial Watch says that while some of Jackson’s tactics have been published, this report offers new information gathered during the discovery process of a lawsuit and subsequent trial brought by Judicial Watch.

Included, the group says, are “incriminating admissions from Jackson made under oath at trial.”

Among the tactics highlighted in the report are:

  • Jackson lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to block companies seeking government approval to merge until they donate money to Rainbow Push.

  • Jackson publicly chastised Toyota for running an ad Jackson deemed “racist.” After Toyota pulled the ad, Jackson threatened a boycott the automaker to force it to launch a $7.8 million “diversity program.”

  • Jackson installed one of his friends, J.L. Armstrong, in a management position at Toyota to determine which organizations would receive $700 million in contracts awarded by Toyota.

  • Minority businesses pay Jackson’s “Trade Bureau” a fee to help extort lucrative contracts from corporations. During the trial, Jackson compared the Trade Bureau to “Noah’s Ark,” claiming minority businesses and organizations had to be inside the “ark” to survive.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said forcing Jackson to answer for his behavior in a court of law proved to be informative, as new information was revealed about how “corrupt officials like Jackson operate.”

“This is an important public education benefit that comes with every single lawsuit Judicial Watch pursues,” Fitton said.

Judicial Watch brought the lawsuit against Jackson, his son Jonathan Jackson and Rainbow Push Coalition on behalf of Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a black minister and founder of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny.

The case arose from a December 2001 meeting at which Peterson claimed he was assaulted physically by Jackson and his son.

The meeting featured the announcement of a new minority outreach program Toyota had created in response to threats by Jackson to boycott the car maker because of an allegedly racist advertisement.

Peterson asked a Toyota official how a conservative, black organization like BOND could participate in the new program without going through Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition, prompting Jackson to call him a “parasite” who is “trying to pick up apples from trees he didn’t shake.”

Shortly thereafter, Jonathan Jackson struck Peterson and cursed at him, and Jesse Jackson angrily told the crowd of his supporters to get Peterson out of the room.

Judicial Watch filed assault, battery, civil rights and other claims.

A jury in Los Angeles County Superior Court, after deliberating three days, decided in favor of the defendants on all but one count, on which the jury deadlocked. The parties eventually reached a settlement.

Peterson’s book “Scam,” takes Jackson to task as one of America’s “self-appointed” black leaders.

“I don’t recall the entire black race in this country taking a national vote to elect Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, the NAACP, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Congressional Black Caucus or liberal black preachers as our leaders,” Peterson writes, “yet they’ve seized the mantle of leadership and claim to speak for all blacks in this nation.”

Another expose of Jackson, Kenneth Timmerman’s book “Shakedown: Exposing the real Jesse Jackson,” goes back several decades, including his ordination as a reverend.

“I describe a two to three year process for earning that title,” Timmerman said. “Jesse Jackson got himself ordained two months after Martin Luther King was shot. It was essentially a ‘political ordination,’ a ‘shotgun ordination.’ He did not go through the long procedure. He was not licensed to preach, as far as I could determine. I went to the church where he was ordained. He did not go through this two-year process. He never submitted himself to the authority of the church. He has never had a church himself, and he has been accountable to no one.”

Timmerman asserts Jackson “is not doing things to help the black community. Jesse Jackson is … to help himself first.”

Related stories:

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.