Black, Green and Dangerous For Dems
For Illinois democrats trying to hold on to the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in the 2010 general election, the emergence of LeAlan Jones is up there near the top on the list of "worst things that could happen".
And Precinct7 has learned that high-ranking democrats in Chicago and Washington, D.C. are trying to get the 31-year-old journalist and football coach off the ballot
Jones is the Green Party's nominee. And with so much voter anger and frustration aimed at the major parties, that alone would be enough to make him a factor in the race.
But he's also an African-American who wants to replace the only black member of the Senate, Roland Burris, who was appointed to take the seat vacated by President Barack Obama, who was the only elected black person in the chamber until 2008.
With white male major party nominees in Illinois--democrat Alexi Giannoulias and republican Mark Kirk--many black folks here and around the country are distressed and even outraged by the likelihood that the U.S. Senate will revert to its usual count of zero African-Americans.
And many of those black voters might express those feelings on November 2nd with a vote for Jones.
In fact, a June Public Policy Polling survey suggested Jones was favored by 14% of the electorate during a poll of 552 Illinois voters.
And what perhaps is most important about the survey is that Jones' showing means he should be invited to participate in the televised debates. Black voters, in particular, who do not know an African-American is on the ballot will realize as much after they see and hear the young, articulate black man standing alongside Kirk and Giannoulias.
Giannoulias, whose democratic party relies on the usually dependable and heavy African-American vote, has the most at risk. That's why, sources say, democratic party operatives are reaching out to Jones, who will not confirm or deny that such contacts have been made.
"At no point am I going to compromise my candidacy", Jones told me by telephone.
"I'm in this thing to win it. And I'll be in it until the end."
That's what I mean by "Black, Green and Dangerous".
Especially for Democrats.