August 8, 2007
A federal employee was sent a warning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after circulating an email urging colleagues to lobby for the defeat of farm legislation in Congress, also prompting complaints from the Black Farmers of America.
The e-mail criticizes a provision in the farm bill that would reopen a 1998 discrimination settlement between black farmers and the USDA. The measure, which has passed the House and is pending in the Senate, could result in thousands of new claims.
Kim DePasquale, the F-S-A employee in Fredericksburg who distributed the e-mail declined to comment on the situation.
John Boyd, president of the Black Farmers of America says the e-mail violates a law that restricts political activity by federal employees.