Friday, May 23, 2014

Oberweis doesn't want Durbin/Quinn to get African-American vote on Nov. 4

It must be true if the Chicago Tribune says it is (slight sarcasm dripping). But Republican Senate nominee James Oberweis has a vocal African-American pastor working to turn out the vote on his behalf come the Nov. 4 general election.
OBERWEIS: Seeking support?

The Tribune reported Thursday that the Rev. Corey Brooks, clergy at the New Beginnings Church of Chicago, is coming out publicly in support of Oberweis -- who faces Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., in the general election cycle.

ACCORDING TO THE Tribune, Brooks is discouraged by Democrats, whom he says take the African-American segment of the electorate for granted.

He says he doesn't want to be bound by any political party, and he says he is impressed that Oberweis (who lives in the outermost western suburbs) has actually been willing to make campaign stops on the South Side.

Brooks says that Oberweis listens to him, while he claims to have never actually met Durbin. Hence, an endorsement.

Now all of this may well be true. There certainly isn't anything wrong with people wanting to have options when in the voting booth on Election Day. No one's vote should be automatically determined by their race.

BUT EXCUSE ME for thinking there's something a bit funky about this particular endorsement, and that I don't believe we're about to see some massive shift in the voting tendencies of Sout' Side Chicago.

I suspect that Brooks' backing for Oberweis is very similar to the African-American pastors (including one-time state Rep. and Rev. James Meeks) who say they're publicly backing Republican nominee Bruce Rauner for governor -- rather than Gov. Pat Quinn.
RAUNER: Seeking apathy?

There are the rumors going about that both of these GOP candidates (who have significant financial wealth) are throwing about their money in ways to support the pet causes of the assorted pastors.

If that makes them appear more sympathetic, then so be it.

BUT WHAT I honestly believe the candidates are going to get from these efforts to "reach out" to the African-American vote is a sense of apathy.

Which is exactly what the Republican candidates want to create.

It is a unique factor of the African-American segment of Chicago that pastors can carry significant amount of influence over their congregation members.
DURBIN: Needs to do more for black vote?

It is why political people always are willing to make stops at black-oriented churches in an attempt to get the vote. Get the pastor to extend his influence, and you could wind up with a lot of voting booth touch-screens being touched in your favor.

LIKEWISE, GET THE pastors to promote a sense of apathy and the idea that it really doesn't matter much who you pick, or even if you bother to vote at all, and you drive down the overall vote totals.

Do that in an area such as South Side Chicago where it is likely that 90-something percent of the votes will be  for Democratic Party candidates, and you have the effect of making Republican-leaning areas all the more important on Election Day.

Personally, I'm offended that pastors, if this is so, would promote such an idea. Largely because I believe people express themselves politically when they cast ballots, and that people who don't vote lose any right they have to complain about the way government behaves.

Seriously, why should political people care about those who can't even be bothered to cast a ballot?

TO THE DEGREE to which this particular election cycle in Illinois is turning out to be the rich guys (a venture capitalist and a dairy magnate) trying to use their financial resources to buy themselves into political office, should we really be apathetic?

Because if they're willing to spend so much money of their own to get the office, I wonder to what degree they will go to entrench themselves to remain in office in future election cycles.

Would you willingly leave something you spent millions of dollars to "buy," just because the voters decreed otherwise?


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