John Lewis challenged for re-election

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Hat Tip: By Jim Galloway, Atlanta Journal Constitution

For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta on Wednesday picked up opposition to his re-election to Congress.

Markel Hutchins, an Atlanta minister who took up the cause of a 92-year-old woman killed in a botched police raid, announced he would challenge the 11-term congressman and civil rights icon in the Democratic primary.

“Now is the time for us to move beyond the nostalgia of the Civil Rights era,” said Hutchins. The minister said he met privately with Lewis on Tuesday.

Hutchins, 30, said Lewis’ October endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race, while the 5th District largely supported Barack Obama, was a factor in his decision to challenge Lewis. “That presented some problems for many of us,” Hutchins said.

But Hutchins also said Lewis had not brought home enough federal dollars to help the city of Atlanta cope with its crumbling infrastructure. On Wednesday, to illustrate the point, he made his announcement on a Martin Luther King Jr. Drive bridge that he said was in desperate need of repair.

Lewis, who will turn 68 today, declared he was ready for the fight.

“Leadership cannot be given. It has to be earned with respect and integrity,” the congressman said in a statement issued by his campaign. “There is no question that something is happening in America. There is a movement, a movement I helped give birth to, that creates the conditions and the climate for change. I have always been a fighter.”

19 thoughts on “John Lewis challenged for re-election

  1. Andrea

    See what you did, SB!

    You started a revolution!

    LMAO!!!

    All people needed was a little push…to see the light…of ceremonial nothingness.

  2. Andrea,

    It wasn’t me, honey. This brotha has an extensive background as a community activist, minister, and advocate for victims of police brutality. He simply got tired of the B.S. and decided, “What the Heck.”

  3. Andrea

    Oh, Please!

    You pushed democracy. Atlanta needed external forces in outside advocates to highlight THEY NEEDED TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES. You are partly responsibility for your assistance to teach and incite.

    I know Atlanta and they were/are docile. People murmured but they could not get the gumption to do or be. For change to happen, it requires external forces to create the dynamics of variables to create the access for opportunity to change.

    So yes, you did, you Trouble-maker! I bet Dred Scott, Ida B. Wells, and Ella Baker are smiling down on you. You had a hand in this. I told you that people read your blog. They just don’t comment because they are scared or they are playing it careful.

    Keep being humble. I know though. I know what is needed to infiltrate and inspire. Youre work supports the moral courage these people are going to need to find the Black Establishment.

    To all the advocates that used the internet as their sword, I applaud you. People needed that boost to have the courage to proclaim their right to serve their duty-assignments.

    Freedom ain’t freedom. We have to fight for it. And like I told that student Friday night when she told me that democracy was held from us, I told her that was a cop-out. We have to earn it by fighting for it.

    Don’t be scared!

  4. Andrea

    I meant to say freedom ain’t free.

    Freedom ain’t free. Democracy costs. We have to pay the price to whine and complain.

  5. I’m loving this, cause y’all know someone in his camp is going to put CBCMonitor’s Report Card in his hands.

    I respect John Lewis, but y’all don’t see him around DC like I do, and it’s a sad commentary on what he’s become.

    Being in the closet can’t help him, either. He was going to retire and out himself; the other brothas in the CBC beat him back into the closet and pushed him to run in 2006.

    He ain’t been right since he took that beating in Selma, but before we get excited about this brotha, follow that money trail. If he’s taking AIPAC dollars, he will be another Hank Johnson/Denise Majette representative.

    ATL gets people who want to fight for them and then they take them out. What’s up with that?

    Now, if Artur Davis and David Scott get challenges, not to mention Mel Watt, I can get excited about that more than I can about John Lewis – but I like the message it sends:

    YOUR CONGRESSIONAL SEAT IS NO LONGER “SAFE”.

  6. Andrea, a popular talk show host in my home state of California always ended his show with this line:

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

    It’s not his line, mind you, but he’s right. Freedom ain’t free – and we have to fight the good fight because power concedes nothing without a demand.

  7. TPJ,

    The CBC is all up in arms over SEIU helping to take out Wynn and they are scared to death. They are a big enough pocket to take them all out. From what I can tell, this cat is progressive and has already testified before congress about the Kathryn Johnston case.

    I’ll see where his money comes from before I make an endorsement. As for Lewis’s orientation, I could care less about it. What concerned me was his hiding in his closet like a scared child when Cynthia McKinney needed his help. I haven’t forgotten that.

  8. SB:

    ALL of the brothas hid out when Cynthia needed them.

    Alcee Hastings was the first one to sling her under the bus by saying she brought the po-po harassment on herself and she got what she deserved because she was “loony” and the Caucus didn’t support her anymore.

    That fool went on record with those comments.

    As for Lewis’ orientation, I’m from California, and my home state is nicknamed “the land of fruits and nuts.” I offered that bit because it plays into why Lewis sounds so incoherent when he publicly speaks and why he appears to be a broken man in spirit. There’s no fire left in him.

    And why is it when someone challenges these old timers, they want to holler about integrity and how positions are “earned”. Don’t they remember they had to take the mantle from someone for them to get where they are?

    So there’s no integrity when someone is telling him that as a valiant warrior he’s paid his dues and it’s time for him to stand down?

    No wonder Martin was concerned about intergrating us into a burning house.

    Let the CBC keep grumbling about the SEIU – Bruce and Glen, as the tax commercial says “got people” all up in that SOB and one by one, any of them pissing and moaning about Donna Edwards could not only find their money being cut off, but endorsements going to challengers to clean house.

    But, that’s the CBC for ‘ya – always picking the wrong battles and bringing knives to gunfights when they do.

  9. Lucia

    The young Black people must organize to take care of their destiny. A 68 years old man, no matter how many GINGKO BILOBA pills he takes, should not be in a position to dictate to any generation 50 years or younger what they should do in a changing Global Arena. The 68-year old man should have the wisdom to act as advisor to younger generation and not be a stooge, particularly, if there is no tangible evidence that he is making a difference in the lives of the people he represents.

    The world is changing so fast and this 68-year old guy may not have a clue that the train has already left the station.

    The Congressional Black Caucus members are so loyal to the corporations and pac men sponsoring their campaigns that they have lost touch with their constituents. The behave as if Black community does not have issues to be addressed in Congress.

    Public service should not be treated like a coronation to royalty. The constituents must see tangible benefits for sending these folks to Congress. It looks like these CBC members are merely bridges predatory lenders use to reach the Black Community in exchange for campaign contributions.

  10. Lucia, I co-sign with your comments, because I’m one of those under 50 crowd that Lewis is saying I need to earn something.

    Hell, my parents, if living, would be older than him, and they still would know when to let go and let “the young people” handle it.

    I see the Congressional Black Caucus changing in the next five years:

    Old timers – swept out of office if not voluntarily resigning.

    More sistas getting congressional seats.

    More people under 40 getting congressional seats, who have been educated by their elders properly.

    A wake up call to the rest who think they “own” their districts, and have a job for life.

    Consider:

    Conyers – 78 in May
    Lewis – 68 this coming Thursday
    Rangel – 77 this year
    Edolphus Towns – 71 this year

    I think Clyburn, Scott, Hank Johnson, Emmanuel Cleaver, Diane Watson, Maxine Waters, Al Green, Eddie Bernice Johnson, and a couple of others are in the 60+ group and may still have a little usefulness in them.

    The 50+ crowd would be Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Gwen Moore, Bobby Rush, Greg Meeks, Chaka Fattah.

    Lacy Clay is either late 40s or early 50s. This group would also include, in either their 40s or 50s, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Kendrick Meek, Artur Davis, Yvette Clark, Keith Ellison and Laura Richardson. So, with the youngest in the CBC averaging around 40 years of age, (and that’s my generation), I’d be the first to say we need new blood in the CBC, but they need to have a sense of our history, and not turn into Harold Ford, Jr. Artur Davis and Meek need watching; Yvette Clark may be a one-term rep if she doesn’t clean up her act, and no real progressive in that bunch outside of Ellison, Waters and Barbara Lee.

    I know why Conyers has stuck around – he wanted to go out as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, plus he personally told me he couldn’t trust Ford, Meek and Artur Davis not to give away “the store”.

    Problem with that was he got fooled by Rangel and his corporate connections which helped Ford, Davis and Meek take half of the caucus with them on stuff like the BK bill and the Iraq War. But with Al Wynn being shown exit stage left, maybe they will wake up and realize we DO KNOW what we’re talking about.

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