Thursday, November 22, 2018

Green resorting to age-old tactic to gain political backers – free holiday food

‘Twas Willie Wilson, the rich guy with political aspirations (now he wants to be mayor) who got in trouble earlier this year what with his willingness to hand out cash willy-nilly to gain the goodwill of potential voters.
GREEN: Helping Altgeld Gardens

There were those (myself included) who said his actions weren’t all that different from the political people of old who would give away the free turkeys to poor people around holiday season – so as to gain their good-will (and potential votes) on Election Day.

SUCH AS JA’MAL Green, who is one of the dozens who has hinted at running for mayor in the Feb. 26 municipal elections.

It seems that Green reached out to the people who live in the city’ Altgeld Gardens public housing complex (at the city’s far southernmost tip) to help them ensure they’ll have something to eat for a Thanksgiving holiday meal.

Specifically, he helped arrange for Cornish hens to be given away to those residents. It’s not turkey – but it is something that can make for a full meal and I’m sure there are those who will appreciate the idea of being given something they can prepare themselves; rather than being asked to settle for something served on a tray at a “soup kitchen” that is serving up a few turkeys to the needy to appease their own desire to appear helpful to the needy.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported how Green made the arrangements for people to get the food, and also have an event that created something of a festive mood within Altgeld Gardens on Wednesday.

IT SHOULD BE noted that Green isn’t paying for this. Although part of his event will include checking the participants to see if they’re properly registered to vote – and helping those who aren’t to fill out the paperwork so that they will be capable of legally casting a ballot come the February election (and April 2 run-off, if it becomes necessary).

But Green found business interests in and around the 130th Street area neighborhood who kicked in financial perks to make it possible to stage the event --- including finding a suburban automobile dealership willing to kick in a car for a raffle.

I’m sure there are those who think Green is merely buying the good will of potential voters so that they’ll keep his name in mind when they cast ballots.
WILSON: Created a stink earlier this year

Or I’m sure others will prefer to think of it as Green showing off the kind of organizational skills one would need to have if they’re truly qualified to hold an electoral office such as mayor.

IF ANYTHING, IT’S all too similar to the kind of tactics that political people have always used to try to gain support from the elements of our society who are not as financially well-off as some of us.

It shows just how cheaply a vote can be bought for.

The 2018 going rate is $7.68 each. At least that’s what Wal-mart was charging as of Wednesday for a pair of Cornish hens.

Perhaps Wilson was being overly generous earlier this year when he was handing out cash in increments of up to $100 each to people who came to him saying they had emergency bills that had to be paid off.

FOR GREEN, I’M not sure how much all of this helps. Although it did get his name in the newspaper yet again, and I’m sure his political aspirations of the future will benefit if he can create the impression that he’s a somebody.
The cost of some 21st Century votes?

He lives in the Pullman neighborhood, and I’m sure he thinks he’s merely helping the needy in a neighborhood not far from his own.

There’s nothing unusual about political people trying to publicize themselves, and get their names out. Choosing to spend a little bit of money for the public relations benefit is to be expected.

It’s when people begin to think that it’s all about the Cornish hens, or whatever other products they choose to give away, that we then have to start worrying about whether our politics are becoming too tainted.


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