Monday, May 22, 2006

Don't Forget About Us

Today's Chicago Defender has a piece today on the future repercussions of Meeks' threatened thrid-party candidacy.

Though Meeks has dropped out of the race after brokering a deal with Blagojevich that will mean a new comprehensive school funding plan – to be announced on Tuesday - the decision to challenge a Democratic ally may be an example of an effective way to get attention for African American issues...

The Black state lawmaker’s threat to run against the governor, who needs Black votes to retain office, was a “bold tactical move to hold white Democrats accountable,” said Rogers.

Meeks told reporters Friday that polling data showed his candidacy would take more votes from Republican Judy Barr Topinka than the governor. The widespread fear, however, was that a bid by Meeks would siphon off votes from Blagojevich and benefit the Republican candidate.

“The Black vote has become all too predictable and because of that politicians on both sides feel the Black vote can be ignored,” said Rogers.

Read the rest of the article, it raises some interesting thoughts and closes with this:
Changes to school funding may be an important immediate payoff, but there may also be a longer term benefit to Meeks’ challenge of Blagojevich, Rogers said.

“You’re changing the equation. The issue is whether Blacks will come out in support of Democrats and that’s where the strategic power of African Americans lies, if the Republican Party made real overtures, it would be sensible to trade on that,” he said.


At May 22, 2006 at 8:47 AM, Anonymous Truthful James said...

I sent the email below to Reverend Meeks. It speaks for itself

Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:07 AM
Subject: A great loss to the State

My dear Reverend

You willingly gave up your best opportunity to be Governor and actually change things in this State. I can understand your devotion to Salem Baptist Church and your role as shepherd to your growing flock.

But with one change you had a clear path to being elected. I hope the Governor made it explicit how he was going to meet your demands

There were, in the view of this white, Catholic conservatives three planks to your candidacy. They would have swept the white conservative vote. Joined together with the Black vote, you would have been unbeatable. You were a force for change -- and believe me, change is needed. You were a new hope for us all, and the loss of this straw of hope has broken many hearts.

Even should the Democrats have mouthed future support for your candidacy in a statewide election, you have a long row to how to bring us to you again.

There were three paramount issues, and one fact which you should have seen.

The fact, first. Elected as governor, you could have taken the lead in any tollway lease, gotten all the credit -- and come to it with clean hands.

Now the platform.

1. Right to life and heterosexual marriages. The family as the primary unit of government. More on that, contact me if you want to hear me out.

2. Strict immigration controls and welfare reform to encourage work. It is the black community which is being pushed back into the shadows once more --this time from the continuing flood of and toleration for illegal aliens.

3. The return of Education Value to the students in the public school system. We exist in a 21st Century world economy and must educate our children to compete. Raising additional money to feed an underqualified teacher's union has not and will not increase the Value. Instruction is bogged down in education methodology. Subject matter mastery is too often not present, nor is love of that subject. As a minister you know the necessity of these two in inspiring your flock

It goes down to demand, supply and standards.

Here is the Demand side. We must vest every child equally with their share of Federal, State and Local moneys.

We must adjust the Supply side as well. We must permit the family the right of Competitive Choice to any accredited school -- public, charter, private, church or parochial (religious courses taught only outside of normal school hours) and home schooling.

Accreditation is the key. The Illinois State Board of Education is supposed to set Standards. Within the last two years, by admission, it has dumbed down the tests and normed up the results. Parents and students are given the wrong impression of how well their child is doing. On an absolute basis they are satisfied with relative results.

College admissions rejections tell the sordid tale. Public colleges, annually pay more than $2 Billion for remediating accepted entrants as well.

American high schools rank in the bottom percentiles internationally even in the content of Advanced Placement courses. References on request

Our education system without reform must eventually lead us into being a hollow, but expensive second world country.

You and only you, Reverend Meeks, could have led, not only within the State but also Nationally, the reforms necessary to correct this terrible future for your children and mine.

I would hope that you might change your mind. Your services are worth much more than simply an education deal.

At May 22, 2006 at 9:26 AM, Anonymous Neglected said...

I don't know what's worse, the fact that Democrats take the African-American vote for granted, that Republicans make no efforts to tap into this urban vote, or that our community has done little about it for the last 35 years.

And unlike the 'Latino vote' that has gotten SO much press, our community actually does vote. Look at turnout numbers in our wards and compare them to Latino wards, it's like night and day.

At May 22, 2006 at 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as the governor's decision to buckle to Meek's demand will help solidify his black support, it will have the opposite effect on the rest of the voters. No one likes extortion except for the parties that benefit from the threat.

Unless it was Meek's objective all along to make it impossible for the governor to be re-elected, I don't understand the strategy. I mean talk about solidifying and expanding JBT's base. I would bet money that she will carry all of suburban cook county as well as every county in the state plus many Chicago wards because of this deal.

Can't this governor swallow his pride and go back home to his father in law and ask how to run an election?

At May 22, 2006 at 1:15 PM, Blogger Randall Sherman said...

I am of the opinion that Sen. Meeks was foolish to abandodn his candidacy simply on the promise of future action by Gov. Blagojevich and the General Assembly. Even if the Governor could be trusted, what guarantee is there that the General Assembly would enact the needed legislation this fall (after the elections)?

At May 22, 2006 at 6:23 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

I wonder how Meeks is going to make the Govenor honor his promise...

At May 22, 2006 at 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an African-American and under no circumstances would I vote for Meeks. He is a hustler just like Jesse Jackson. We in the African-American commmunity know it. Take our votes for granted? Well, that is what Meeks was doing too. Blacks are not monolithic---we are primarily Dems but some of us can think too. Don't you people get it?

I truly believe that he and Rod cooked up this scheme. He has extorted state government to help pay those 40,000 a month interest payments on that white elephant he built.

Read "Shakedown". Meeks did. And it pays off well for him.

At May 22, 2006 at 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't give up yet, folks! Meeks is not the only option, nor are Blagoevich or Topinka. There are two other 3rd party candidates - Randy Shufflebeam and Rich Whitney. Whitney is with the Green Party, which has a full slate of candidates. If you want to vote for people who won't sell out, vote for them. From what I've heard, they are close to making it on the ballot - they "only" need another 10,000 signatures.
I don't think Meeks would have been any better than Blagoevich - he's still a member of a corporate-controlled party. That's why he sold out so quickly.

At May 26, 2006 at 4:20 PM, Blogger FightforJustice said...

Did Meeks get a MOU?

At May 31, 2006 at 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as the widely publicized illegal immigrant demonstrations across the country (the ones where huge numbers of marchers were waving Mexican flags) no doubt set a lot of non-illegal Americans to thinking maybe illegal immigration IS a problem, Rev Meeks feckless
attempt at racial politics has no doubt got a lot of Illinoisians to thinking about racial politics and where they and their kids fit in.

The Rev will look like he was duped when the whole deal collapses and it becomes apparent that Blago played him for an idiot with a fancy Goldman Sachs "free" fairytale analysis.

But the increased racial balkanization of Illinois politics will have taken a huge step

At June 17, 2006 at 5:39 PM, Anonymous LH said...

The African American community must be in collective delusion to believe that something good is for them from the political status qou.
6% of students in the CPS entering freshman high school graduate from college that means 94% are dropping out of high school or at least never graduating college even if getting a high school diploma or starting college. That is dangerous and disgraceful.

What I don't understand is that with these Jon Burge revelations of torture and wrongful imprisonment of African Americans and you can see the incredible stories on
that Rich Daley and Dick Devine both knew about, how the African American community could support either of these people who destroyed justice and lives.


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