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October 15, 2005

The truth about Caldwell

James Caldwell spoke during the Community Session at this week's Community Board 8 meeting in order to set the record straight. To be fair to Caldwell, NLG is attempting to finally put some rumors to rest.

A reader had posted in the DailyHeights community forum that Caldwell claimed to have had a triple bypass.

The plain-spoken truth is that he had a QUADRUPLE bypass. There is something suspicious about "Captain M's" missing the additional bypass, especially since the entry has been corrected; an investigation is pending.

The Daily News reported that BUILD claimed to receive $5 million from Forest City Ratner.

It was good ole-fashioned investigative reporting, by The NY Observer's Matthew Schuerman that reported that BUILD's lawyer claimed that he made that number up. In case Caldwell missed it, NoLandGrab.org posted Schuerman's reports here and here.

Currently, FCR is only claiming it made a generous $100K donation to BUILD, only after the Community Benefits Agreement had been signed (no quid pro quo here?) and was only for job programs not the new storefront sign.

Aside from the cash, BUILD has only received material and logistical support from Ratner in the way of computers, office equipment, furniture, rent-free office space (to go with the new sign), paying the bill for the and outdoor catering for supporters in line for public meetings.

To set the record straight, there is no evidence that BUILD has received support from Ratner besides the above listed items.

BUILD's own IRS form claims that Caldwell is making $125K a year.

Caldwell told Schuerman "We haven’t been paid for the last 20 months. People don’t think that black people volunteer."

Caldwell could have started by volunteering the truth. Since September 5, 2005 he has actually been drawing a salary, though "at a rate equal to half the salaries listed on the group's original I.R.S. form," according to yesterday's NY Times report.

Caldwell is tired of everyone in the neighborhood asking him for money, according to sources in attendance at last week's CB8 meeting. So, those of you who are hitting Caldwell up for money, cut it out, unless you adjust your figures to "a rate equal to half" of what you originally had in mind.

Caldwell: "There is nothing wrong with a black man owning a Cadillac in America."

This is one item where we all agree (except for the public transportation junkies who want to deprive New Yorkers of their god-given right to drive a car).

NLG only pointed out Caldwell's fine set of wheels because he brought up cars and traffic at the NYC Council Hearing on May 26, 2005.

Caldwell's joked during his testimony, "Traffic. First of all, I'd like to get me a job so I can buy me a car so I can sit in the traffic." African American Brooklynites have noted that his joke was racially insensitive toward the group Caldwell professes to serve. They were further incensed when they found out that Caldwell drove a brand new Cadillac CTS.

Caldwell proclaimed to CB8 that we "can't even get our facts straight."

The truth is that it's "noLANDgrab.org" and "dailyheights.COM." Also, we try our best to be fair, in fact, the DailyHeights Forum has been a sounding board for both sides of in the fight. `

Posted by lumi at October 15, 2005 9:15 AM