Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown ,ran into another stumbling block in her quest to reclaim the mayor’s office for the people of Chicago: State Senator James Meeks. Meeks, an Illinois State Senator and Pastor of the 22,000 member Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, has refused to endorse Mrs. Brown , despite the swirling corruption scandals engulfing the incumbent Mayor, Richard M. Daley. Meeks, elected to his last term as an independent, nearly ran for Governor as an independent to exact political concessions favorable to his pet projects from Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.
In refusing to endorse Brown, he sells out the black community and those interested in honest government in Chicago. He also, without saying so, is helping Daley win re-election by keeping his powder dry.
Daley has been shrewd in attempting to lengthen the white ethnic hold on City Hall by eliminating partisan primaries for city offices, the effect of which allows Republicans the power to swing city elections. Daley couldn’t win a Democratic primary in today’s Chicago, and the only reason why he is mayor today is because of a split in the black vote between two black candidates vying to succeed the late, great Mayor Harold Washington after his death.
The path for Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr to challenge Daley solo, seemed clear until Mrs. Brown jumped in precipitously, hours before Jesse’s announcement was made. Democrats subseqently won back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and he decided to stay put to exercise his newfound power. In the tiff with Meeks, Mrs. Brown is getting back some of her own medicine, but the undercurrent of sexism is clear.
Daley has been skillful in obtaining important endorsements from prominent black politicians like Bobby Rush, appointing prominent black Uncle Tom’s and Aunt Jemima’s to his administration, and preemptively endorsing Barack Obama for President to keep Obama from meddling in the Mayor’s race. His game plan is transparent and self-serving and not in the best interests of the people of Chicago.
It remains to be seen whether or not Mrs. Brown has the chops to pull this off, but I would argue that black folks will never know unless they give her a chance.