It seems that hardly a day can now go by without seeing that old sour mug belonging to C. Delores Tucker on some TV newscast or TV talk-show. And just as it was just a few years ago with Tipper Gore and her infamous blue dress, C. Delores is fast becoming the fashion plate of the pro-censorship movement always sporting her grey pin-stripe suit and that God-awful thing she wears on her head.
R.O.C. got to witness this piece of work last September, when she blew into Harrisburg, PA (in a whirlwind of media coverage) to testify in behalf of TJ Rooney's HB-377 before the Pennsylvania Judiciary Committee. HB-377 is the bill that will make it illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase any recordings with a "Tipper-sticker." It was apparent from her testimony at these hearings that the only recording artist that she was even remotely familiar with was Snoop Doggy Dogg, and despite the fact that many musicians covering a wide spectrum of music gets stickers on their albums for a wide and sometimes unclear variety of reasons, C. Delores lumps them all into her category of "pornographic smut."
At these hearings, Tucker made it clear that she somewhat supported limited access by youth under 18, but, her ultimate goal was to have everything into her "smut" category to be totally banned to everyone, regardless of their age. At these same hearings, and as she did later in March 1995 when she spoke at a Pentagon observance of National Women's History Month, Tucker called for the use of closed military bases for training centers (labor camps) for inner city youth. Tucker's proposal is that these will be operated and administered the National Guard and Army Reserve. "Nobody or no institution can turn boys into men other than athletic coaches and the military," Tucker told the crowd that included Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Perry. She went on to say that todays youth needed, "a strong military hand to turn them into productive citizens." Gee, we wonder if these labor camps ever become a reality, will they have a sign over the main gate that states, "WORK MAKES YOU FREE"?
Recently through an arrangement made by PMRC President Barbara Wyatt, Tucker has now joined forces with former Bush-era drug czar William Bennett. Bennett currently heads the ultraconservative organization known as Empower America. It was Tucker, Bennett and Wyatt who crashed the recent share-holders meeting of Time-Warner in New York last May. They demanded that Time-Warner drop its 50% ownership of Interscope Records, which is the distributor of Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, Nine Inch Nails, and other artists on their "hit list."
It is interesting that C. Delores Tucker is a share-holder of Time-Warner stock. She claims she bought stock in order for her to have a voice in the company. We believe she may have had other motivations as well. Currently Tucker is being sued by both Interscope and Death Row Records for alleged extortion, threats and illegal business practices. Apparently Tucker tried to induce Death Row Records (who is distributed by Interscope) to cut all its distribution ties with Interscope and join a new label she would form. At an alleged meeting with Death Row's Suge Knight at the home of psychic hotline ripoff/Aids Benefit scam artist, Dionne Warwick, Tucker allegedly promised Knight $80 million in start up funds from Time-Warner for this new label. It is also alleged that she promised that Death Row would be destroyed if he didn't go along with Tucker's deal.
Why on earth would a person who claims to be so hell-bent opposed to rap music, and lumps it all as "pornographic smut" on one hand be trying to muscle her way into that very business on the other? We feel this cast a shadow of doubt on her entire motivations. It sure ain't "saving the poor children" as she tries to claim.
But Tucker is no stranger to fraud, deception and outright scandal. According to a piece by Kevin Powell and John Connolly in the September 1995 issue of VIBE MAGAZINE, Tucker would perhaps be a likely candidate if one of those Army bases she about was ever turned into a "labor camp" for "white-collar" criminals. Here's what the VIBE article says:
"In January 1971, C. Delores Tucker became the highest ranking black woman in State Government when she was appointed Pennsylvania's equivalent to Secretary of State. But during her six years as commonwealth secretary, Tucker was criticized for spending more time raising her political profile than working at her desk. In 1975, despite having been publicly admonished by Governor Milton Shapp for accepting thousands of dollars in unreported honoraria, she was reappointed for a second term. A year later she was criticized by a state senator for using her title and office to solicit funds for Bella Abzug's New York Congressional campaign, an accusation she denied.
Then, in 1977, Tucker, who had been on President Carter's list for both U.S. Treasurer and Director of the U.S. Mint, was abruptly fired by Shapp because 'she was running a private, profitable business at state expense.' Shapp said a three-month investigation had revealed that she had used state employees to write speeches for which she received $66,931. Furthermore, in 1973, Tucker and her husband were found to owe almost $25,000 in real estate taxes on 12 rental properties they owned in North Philadelphia. "We were always concerned that the Tucker's personal financial dealings would prove to be an embarrassment to the party," says a former Philadelphia Democratic politician, who does not wish to be identified.
Despite repeated attempts, including an unsuccessful primary bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 1980, Tucker never regained her political clout until her most recent gangsta-rap-bashing campaign. As head of the National Political Congress of Black Women, a small but vocal D.C. based non-profit organization that claims to have chapters in 23 states, she finds herself once again back where she's always wanted to be---in the headlines." (VIBE September 1995, page 94.)
So once again an outright rouge scoundrel is attempting to determine our rights to listen, see or read what we want. We at R.O.C. reject these hypocrites and we hope you will too. Give C. Delores a call or drop her a FAX and tell her that if she wants to form a rap label, then do it, but don't use "saving children, or anyone" as a smoke-screen for her real intentions. Call her at: 202-338-0800 or FAX her at: 202-625-0499.