Go to ABC7Chicago.com

abc7chicago.com blogs
Read more ABC7 blogs


- Chicago news

« The Invisible Black Mayor | Main | The Making of Bubba's GOTV Speech »


Meeks In The Middle

  As he stood holding the left hand of the Reverend Senator James Meeks at the House of Hope  megachurch Sunday morning, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was in a low boil.

  That's because Meeks' right hand was being held by Quinn's republican opponent Senator Bill Brady.

  Nine days before the November 2nd election and Meeks, arguably the most powerful African-American elected official in Chicago, is still playing the middle between Quinn and Brady.  

  No matter how you look at it, the picture of a conservative republican like Brady being given equal status to a sitting democratic governor in Chicago's largest black church was stunning.

  From a Quinn campaign point of view, the all-important black vote was supposed to be ninety-some per cent in the democratic column by now.   The fact that Brady is still campaigning in Chicago south of Cermak and East of Western Avenue is a "Bad Moon Risin'" and possible sign of big trouble on the way for the Governor. 

  The Reverend Senator Meeks, who is exploring a run for Chicago Mayor, is the democratic party's proverbial "loose cannon".  While he caucuses with the democrats in Springfield and conducts his re-election campaigns under the party's banner, remember that he initially ran for the Senate in 2002 as an Independent who defeated longtime democratic hack, the late Bill Shaw.

  Earlier this year, Meeks enlisted support from republicans--including Senator Brady--in his attempt to pass a bill to set up a voucher system for children in the worst Chicago Public Schools.   Most Springfield democrats (many of whom depend on campaign donations from teachers' unions) opposed the bill which passed the Senate but failed in the House. 

  If elected, Brady says as governor he would twist the necessary arms to pass a Meeks vouchers bill in the general assembly and unlike Quinn, would sign it into law.

  Meeks also sided against many democrats and their union donors on the question of whether retail giant Walmart should be allowed to expand within the city limits.  Earlier this year, Brady joined Meeks in a show of support for a Walmart Supercenter in the Pullman neighborhood which eventually was approved.

  And there is new friction between the Reverend Senator and several black aldermen/democratic committee members over Meeks' mayoral aspirations.  Meeks is miffed that some members of the Chicago Coalition for Mayor are publicly questioning the reverend's plan to continue Sunday sermons at his 20,000 member church if he's elected to run the fifth floor at city hall.   

  The politicians--most of whom are Brady-haters--and their "separation of church and state" criticisms have taken a lot of the shine off Meeks' mayoral star. 

  Is Meeks, with his Brady move, giving his critics a lesson about payback?

  He certainly is reminding them...again...that he's a "democrat" who cannot be counted on to tow the party line.



Visit www.Martin4Alderman.com

Lionell Martin is running to be the next 7th Ward Alderman! I am running to be the next 7th Ward Alderman in order to help those that have helped me. I'm a fighter and I'm ready to fight for not only myself and my family, but for the 60,000 residents of the 7th Ward that have been under served for far too long.

How can we expect more, when those that we have elected continue to do less? The definition of insanity is Doing the same thing over and over again – but expecting a different result. I am 100% committed to doing things differently and thus reforming the 7th Ward to a better state.

We can no longer accept absentee leadership. The 7th Ward is one of Chicago's most economical stricken communities. Thus, it is critical that we have responsive, committed and competent leadership. We cannot afford to continue to have leaders who are under serving us by being ABSENT from the community and who lack the ability to relate and connect with the day-to-day issues of the ward. Our city is changing at a rapid pace and the 7th Ward must be willing to embrace and participate in CHANGE if we are to become a sustainable and vibrant community. The needed CHANGE will only occur if we change our leadership structure, our community's outlook, and our approach to solving problems

The comments to this entry are closed.