Monday, May 22, 2006

Rev. James Meeks is out of the running...

The news over the weekend was that state Sen. James Meeks is out of the race and had come to an agreement with Gov. Rod Blagojevich on school funding. It seems that there were those who thought this wasn't serious. For a not so serious campaign though I'm quite sure that he would have had a lot of support. I think there could have been a potential for realignment in Illinois politics had he gone forward.

This new plan he and the governor forged is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Meanwhile read this post from northside state Rep. John Fritchey. He linked to a Chicago Defender article which talked about the future repercussions of Meek's third party candidacy. Check out this quote...
Though Meeks has dropped out of the race after brokering a deal with Blagojevich that will mean a new comprehensive school funding plan – to be announced on Tuesday - the decision to challenge a Democratic ally may be an example of an effective way to get attention for African American issues.

“A lot of research suggests Blacks have become a captured constituency,” said Reul Rogers, a political science professor at Northwestern University.

The Black state lawmaker’s threat to run against the governor, who needs Black votes to retain office, was a “bold tactical move to hold white Democrats accountable,” said Rogers.
“The Black vote has become all too predictable and because of that politicians on both sides feel the Black vote can be ignored,” said Rogers.

Democrats feel Blacks will automatically support them and Republicans counter that Black voters are spoken for, and as a result, don’t make a serious effort to capture them, he explained.

Meeks told reporters that the agreement reached with the governor showed not “rubber stamping” candidates can yield results.

“I got what I wanted,” he said.
He sure did. Hopefully Blagojevich will make good on this agreement. And then this has to get through the General Assembly. Still aside from this aspect of getting something in return for not running against Blagojevich I think this could have been a great opportunity.

Let me just state at this time that in this article it is mentioned that Meeks said he would have taken more votes away from Judy Baar Topinka that he would have from the governor. Although ther convention wisdom and the fear was that he would take votes away from the governor for this upcoming gubernatorial general election.

This article closes at this point...
Changes to school funding may be an important immediate payoff, but there may also be a longer term benefit to Meeks’ challenge of Blagojevich, Rogers said.

“You’re changing the equation. The issue is whether Blacks will come out in support of Democrats and that’s where the strategic power of African Americans lies, if the Republican Party made real overtures, it would be sensible to trade on that,” he said.
Perhaps more politically saavy independen-minded individuals can come forward and step up to the plate as Meeks had.


Cynthia said...

Interesting. Let's just see if these are empty promises by the Governor...

Bill Baar said...

...they look empty to me. Meeks could have build a unique movement. Illinois was ready for it.

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