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.
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.