You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials
Voter Outreach

Voter Outreach

Concepts, strategies and objectives to move voters to action

Written by Peter Grear Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Each week over the past several months I’ve written about various aspects of voter suppression with the purpose of explaining its concepts,…

Read More...
Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles at Trask Coliseum. WILMINGTON, NC – Boldly proclaiming, “I’m a winner,” and promising “an exciting brand of basketball” newly-christened UNCW head men’s basketball coach Kevin Keatts said Tuesday that a new day in Seahawk basketball has arrived.

Read More...
Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance paradigm. Approximately half of the children were lied to by an experimenter, who said there was “a huge bowl of candy in the next room” but quickly confessed this was just a ruse to get the child to come play a game. 

Read More...
Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

The unconscious mind could catch a liar

“We set out to test whether the unconscious mind could catch a liar – even when the conscious mind failed,” says ten Brinke. Along with Berkeley-Haas Assistant Professor Dana R. Carney, lead author ten Brinke and Dayna Stimson (BS 2013, Psychology), hypothesized that these seemingly paradoxical findings may be accounted for by unconscious mental processes.

Read More...
Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials

Written by Peter Grear, Esq.  Since August 2013 I've continued to ask myself "what would an effective campaign to defeat voter suppression look like?” Well, on Friday, February 14, 2014, Valentine's Day, I got my answer from Richard Hooker, President of the…

Read More...
Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

Read More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

An Inside Look at the New Fronting Game

Written by Harry C. Alford on 11 June 2012.


discrimination-471There is much corruption when it comes to procurement.  Probably the industry with the most corruption is construction.  Keep in mind that corruption is the first cousin of discrimination which is why the establishment cringes at the thought of Black strangers coming into their territory.  They want to keep the graft private.
I learned much about this corruption when I was in Indianapolis. One day one of my members invited me to attend “Bid Night,” which would occur two to three times a year.  It was sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and held at a downtown hotel.  Every major highway contractor would attend.  Basically, it was a party held on the eve of bid openings.  My friend was a known contractor and always attended.  I went undercover as I would have never been formally invited to this good ol’ boy event.  He would introduce me as his new vice president.

After about two hours, most of the contractors were starting to get drunk.  My member and I were two of the three Blacks in the whole place.  It was very, very uncomfortable – red necks getting drunk.  Some would be referred to as a “b_____.”  It was explained to me that such a moniker described a front women-owned business.  White males actually owned fictitious women-owned businesses in order to get in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and would subcontract some of their work to themselves.  This would give them credit towards the DBE program at the expense of Black, Hispanic and real women-owned firms.

I left the affair early. It went on until about 2 a.m.  Starting at 8 o’clock the next morning, the bids would be awarded.  This was virtually a criminal activity.  Each bid would have five or six companies “competing” for the lowest bid.  There would be one logical bid and the others wouldn’t even be in the ball park.  The bid room would fill with laughter as this went on for hours.  It was obvious that these construction companies got together and decided who would win what.  In the end, everyone had their share of contracts.  It was bid rigging, pure and simple, and it was sanctioned by the state of Indiana.  I was appalled.  My member laughed at me and said “That’s how it’s done.”

A few days later, he invited me to come and see how “fronting” occurs.  One form of fronting is to rent your company’s name to contracting activity.  A White firm will actually do the work and get the money but the minority business report would falsely state that it was a Black firm.  My friend owned a trucking company.  The Indianapolis Airport Authority had his firm listed for dirt removal on a big project.  He took me to the work site.  I saw three different White owned trucking companies doing the work.  He informed me, “Harry, you are seeing a truck come out every 20 seconds.  Each truck means a $3 fee for me.  That’s $9 per minute; $540 per hour and $5,400 per day.  Just for the use of my name!  That’s why I front.”

Those three trucking companies simply padded their fee by $3 per haul to cover their fronting fee. That was taxpayer money.  My guy had no shame about this.  One time we were at a reception to honor the mayor of Indianapolis.  The mayor came up to my friend and asked,  “What are you doing at the airport?”  He retorted, “I am fronting.”  The mayor didn’t understand the answer.  I just shook my head.

There was the case of “Dead Man Contracting.”  I noticed a particular firm listed as doing a sizeable contract on a downtown project.  I knew the owner and he had died a year earlier, forcing  the business to close.  I found a contact number and called it.  It was the widow’s home phone and I asked her if she had taken over the business.  She explained to me, “No, I just fill out invoices per their instructions and they give me 2 percent of the invoice cost.  I feel ashamed misrepresenting my husband’s memory but the money is easy and I can use it.”  She promised to cease this illegal activity and I assured her that she wouldn’t be reported if she stopped immediately.

It got so bad that I soon started to periodically write “Fudge Reports.”  I would call out a fronting activity – names of the fronts and their respective projects.  The reports would be widely distributed. I explained how a real deal would have amounted in so many actual dollars being made.  I would show how many jobs in the Black community would be created and how many families would have enjoyed the income.  The fronting began to slow down.

Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®.  Website: www.nationalbcc.org.  Email: halford@nationalbcc.org. •

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend