WORTH REPEATING: McCain Booed At Lorraine Motel

HUFFINGTON POST: Senator John McCain, “who says he will court the African-American vote this year and campaign in places Republicans often shun,” spoke in Memphis on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.But his speech was met with boos and interruptions from many in the audience, as he apologized for repeatedly opposing the creation of a holiday to celebrate King’s legacy. (The image of a black man holding an umbrella over McCain’s head while he gave the speech didn’t exactly complement the moment.)

McCain voted against the creation of a holiday honoring King in 1983, a vote which was supported bylorrainemotel.jpg a large number of Republicans. McCain claimed this week that he was largely unaware on the importance of King’s work at the time, due to his Vietnam-era service overseas. Speaking on Thursday to reporters, he explained that his conversion occurred around 1990:

“I voted in my … first year in Congress against it and then I began to learn and I studied and people talked to me. And I not only supported it but I fought very hard in my home state of Arizona for recognition against a governor who was of my own party.”

But McCain’s voting record since 1990 doesn’t support this explanation. In addition to voting to oppose a state holiday in 1987 (which he later supported) and a federal holiday in 1989, McCain voted in 1994 to cut funding for the commission that promoted King’s holiday. MORE

mlklincolnsepia_1.jpgHUFFPO: When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) went to Memphis today to praise the late Martin Luther King–who delivered his famous thundering “Mountaintop” speech at the historic Mason Temple 40 years ago, the day before he was assassinated — he was already quite familiar with the town. Well, a certain part of town — and it’s not where the Mason Temple is located. I’m talking about the zip code 38120, McCain’s top contributing Memphis zip code, the source of more than $40,000 to his campaigns, according to a Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of contributions of $200+ to his campaigns provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. In this well-heeled neighborhood, the population is largely white and wealthy. Average incomes hover close to $200,000. Housing developments are gated and numerous million dollar-plus homes are for sale.

This zip code is also home to the headquarters of Federal Express, whose CEO, Frederick Smith, is a McCain finance co-chair–and reportedly a possible candidate to run as vice president on the ticket with McCain. Smith and his wife Diane have personally given McCain $13,200 over the years.Just last year, Federal Express agreed to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit for $53.5 million brought against its express unit, FedEx Express. According to the Los Angeles Times, the suit alleged that “FedEx Express discriminated against its African American and Latino workers by passing them over for promotion, paying them less than white workers and treating them unfairly in evaluation and disciplinary proceedings.” Not exactly living up to the legacy of Dr. King. MORE

BILL & HILLARY TOTAL INCOME 2000-2007: $109,175,175

NEW YORK TIMES: In her remarks at the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ, delivered in a meeting room behind the main sanctuary to a small group of religious and civic leaders, Mrs. Clinton called for the poverty czar — a proposal that would endear her to John Edwards, the former Democratic presidential candidate moneyupclose.jpgwhose endorsement she is seeking — as one in a list of things she said America needed to do to redeem Dr. King’s promises….For his part, Mr. Obama chose to spend the day not in Memphis with the other two candidates but hopscotching around Indiana, North Dakota and Montana, although Dr. King’s life and legacy were the subject of an emotional speech he delivered to a racially mixed crowd during a town meeting at a high school in Fort Wayne. The reason Dr. King was in Memphis the day he was shot, Mr. Obama told the crowd of about 2,000 people, had to do as much with economics, in the form of wages and income, as with race. “It was a struggle for economic justice, for the opportunity that should be available to people of all races and all walks of life,” he said. “Because Dr. King understood that the struggle for economic justice and the struggle for racial justice were really one, that each was part of a larger struggle for freedom, for dignity and for humanity.” MORE

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