FAIRFIELD — – By the time Asaad Jackson showed up at the cobblestone edge of AIG executive Douglas Poling’s driveway Saturday, Poling had already agreed to return his $6.4 million bonus. Still, Jackson, a 24-year old musician from Hartford’s North End, meant to issue an invitation, even if Poling wasn’t home and a pair of tight-lipped private security guards were his only representatives in sight. Standing at the foot of the driveway, in a sun-soaked cul-de-sac in a Connecticut town synonymous with wealth, Jackson read aloud from a letter he and other visitors from poorer places wanted to hand-deliver but ultimately left in the mailbox.
Then it was back on the bus for the next stop on a seven-hour outing originally billed as “a tour of the homes of ‘rich and infamous’ AIG executives.” As it turned out, the tour consisted of brief, uneventful visits to just two homes — Poling’s and that of James Haas, another AIG employee who had already pledged to forfeit his bonus.
A third bonus recipient’s home, belonging to Jonathan Liebergall in New Canaan, was dropped from the itinerary mid-tour because the bus was running behind schedule. Liebergall, too, has said he will return the bonus.
While more than 400 AIG employees received bonuses — now estimated by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal at $218 million in all — tour organizers said they chose destinations from among employees whose identities had already been disclosed.
In the past week, AIG bonus recipients have been the subject of widespread scorn and, according to company CEO Edward M. Liddy, generalized death threats. Tour organizers said the event was not intended to intimidate or harass anyone.
Pardon me, but me B.S. Detector just exploded out the side of my head. If this little Maghical Mystery Tour “was not intended to intimidate or harass anyone,” then why the hell do it all? What’s the damned point, then?
And did you REALLY think we were stupid enough to believe this line of unadulterated bullcrap? Puh-Leez.
Roughly 40 activists boarded the bus in Hartford, joined it in Bridgeport or followed it in other cars, according to organizers.
At Poling’s home, and later at Haas’, who also lives in Fairfield, a small delegation of activists left the bus, followed by reporters, to try to deliver a letter addressed to “AIG Financial Products Executives.” The letter invited the executives to consider the variety of pressing social needs that might benefit from the amount of money awarded them as bonuses, such as health care, housing and education.
(Sniff, Sniff) Is that an AGENDA I smell wafting gently through the air, like fresh roadkill dipped in doggy doo?
At both houses they were greeted by private security guards who asked the visitors to “respect the property line” and refused to deliver the letter on their behalf but allowed them to read it aloud and place it in the mailbox. There was no shouting or hostile conversation between the activists and the guards at either residence. Police were on hand at both places, mainly directing traffic, and there were no arrests.
Two guards parked in a Honda at the driveway leading down to Haas’ home, a large white colonial with light blue shutters on a hill facing Long Island Sound, said he was not at the residence. They said their firm, Espion International, had been hired “by the tenant,” not by AIG.
Asked where Haas was, one of the guards said, “He went away.” They declined to give their names.
From Haas’ home, the bus proceeded to the AIG Financial Products headquarters in Wilton. There, the activists on the bus tour were joined by a few dozen apparently unaffiliated protesters from nearby towns, many of them bearing hand-made signs.
“Dude, Where’s My Life Savings?” read one.
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless,” read another.
“Damn you, AIG,” read a third.
And, of course, there were chants:
“Bail out Main Street, not Wall Street,” the assembly rang out to passing traffic on busy Danbury Road. “AIG gets bailed out, the people get sold out.”
Oh, please. This is absolutely reprehensible. Not that I’m trying to engender any sympathy for the executives of a company that have taken multi-billions of bailou money by any means.
But loading a bus full of homeless people to protest in these people’s driveways?
People who have had their names and addresses outed in the mainstream media?
People who have received Death Threats, even AFTER they have given back the bonuses?
From as reprehensible an organization that institutionalizes vote fraud like ACORN?
Mark my words, we have crossed a threshold here. ACORN has progressed from being just another government-fund-sucking special interest group that promotes leftist liberal agendas. ACORN has now become a leftist liberal movement on the order of the Daily KOS leftois that practice the politics of personal destruction against their “enemies”, real and imagined.
And this can’t be a Good Thing by any means.