Originally created 03/01/01

Had enough?



African-Americans make up the largest bloc of diehard Clinton supporters. Whitewater, Monica, perjury, obstruction of justice, impeachment - most have stuck with him through it all. Under fire for unscrupulous pardons, the former president was embraced like a prodigal son when he sought office space in New York's Harlem.

But patience might also be running out for Clinton now even in the minority communities, and not just because he continued playing golf at a whites-only golf club even after he was told it was restricted.

Last week Todd Jones, a Clinton-appointed federal prosecutor, was making the rounds on TV news interview shows. He is livid about the commutation of drug kingpin Carlos Vignali - one of the jailbirds that Hugh Rodham, Sen. Hillary Clinton's brother, got paid $400,000 for after Clinton sprang him from prison. Rodham, we're told was shamed into returning the money.

Jones, a prosecutor in the Vignali trial, strongly recommended against the commutation and was shocked when it was granted. Jones is mindful that the black community rages at the injustice of having so many of its young men sentenced to long prison terms for minor drug infractions while the big fish - white traffickers living in palatial suburbs raking in the serious big bucks - go unscathed.

Well, Vignali was a big fish who was caught and, thanks in large part to Jones' hard work, sentenced to a long prison term. Now he's free, his sentence commuted, while all the young blacks still rot in prison for much less serious drug infractions.

Jones says he hopes he's not the only African-American disillusioned by Clinton. Hopefully others have also had enough.