Sunday, December 09, 2007

State GOP making overtures to African-Americans

This column from the Southtown I found over at the conservative community at Illinois Review. At times I think Republicans doesn't do well with black voters over the years because they may not know how to cater their message to black voters. History is great but I don't think it's the only thing. I've heard about the history of black and the Republicans and well I don't see much success with that.

I'd say if you approach blacks as potential voters offer your vision. Especially when it comes to economics, i.e. values of tax cuts or even a flat tax. How about crime and police? Some might respond to law and order but you might need a vision for helping those who were either wrongfully accused or convicted. For those who weren't wrongfully convicted or accused and sent to jail what can we do to help them with their transition from the penitentiary to regular everyday life.

A number of issues a good Republican candidate could use to attract black voters. And I'd rather hope they follow thru on it too. There's nothing worse than making all these promises then a constituency doesn't see any movement on these issues by this candidate anymore. Here's an excerpt on it...
Michael Zak, author of "Back to Basics for the Republican Party," says Republicans haven't always been perceived as so antagonistic toward minorities.

As a matter of fact, Zak writes, 150 years ago, "Radical Republican" U.S. Senator Charles Sumner starkly defined the difference between the newly-founded Republican Party and the Democrats in this way:

"The Republicans inculcate, with whatever of ability they can, that the negro is a man, that his bondage is cruelly wrong and that the field of his oppression ought not to be enlarged. The Democrats deny his manhood, deny, or dwarf to insignificance, the wrong of his bondage as 'a sacred right of self-government.' "

Republicans led the fight against slavery.

Indeed, every Democrat in Congress voted against the 1863 D.C. Emancipation Act, which freed 3,100 blacks enslaved in the nation's capital.

Throughout the past few years, these hidden Republican roots have cultivated an array of minority conservative political leaders. Nationally-prominent blacks, such as former Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele, as well as renowned football player Lynn Swann, former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts and former Ohio Attorney General Ken Blackwell, encourage others to follow.

The Illinois GOP will be kicking off its new minority outreach council this weekend. Matteson resident Dr. Eric Wallace - on the February primary ballot as 2nd Congressional District delegate for Fred Thompson - has been asked to serve. Others representing Latino- and Asian- Americans will join minority voices in the Illinois GOP.

Like Illinois, Florida is a major Republican state in the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries. Florida GOP spokesperson Erin VanSickle said her state's Republican outreach to minorities is just beginning to flourish.

"We are finding that the Republican message of lower taxes, small business tax incentives, less government interference and more freedom appeals to minority communities," she said.
Here's more...
One Republican presidential candidate is particularly focused upon nabbing the black community's vote. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher, credits black church members in gaining 48 percent of the black vote during his gubernatorial re-election.

While that figure is questioned by many, one political consultant says Huckabee approaches minority voters the right way:

"He breaks the traditional mold of the Republicans in trying to persuade African-Americans to vote for him, and that's what he did in Arkansas," Little Rock-based Stacy Williams told an Arkansas reporter. "African-Americans are pretty much like anybody else; if you advertise to them or target them and solicit their support, you're going to be successful."

While that's not a earth-shattering political revelation, Huckabee now appears to be leading in Iowa polls. His Illinois supporters slid him in as the last choice listed on the Feb. 5 Republican ballot.

The chances of getting the Chicago area's black community to vote for anyone but Barack Obama in the upcoming primary seems remote, and voters will need to ask for either a Republican or a Democratic ballot that day; that's something those coveted independent voters are hesitant to do.

But whether or not the new life among black conservatives will spring forth this election cycle, there's hope minorities will return to their alive-and-well Republican roots. It will be up to the Illinois GOP powers-that-be to nurture those tender roots to fruition once again.
Oh that's great. I wish him luck on that, but I want to get back to one aspect of this column that is more of interest. I does seem that in the past Republicans weren't very interested in fostering a Republican movement in minority communities.
A few years ago, a Republican running for state representative in Harvey told me he was "pissed off to the height of pissivity" when the Illinois House Republican organization told him they couldn't financially help his campaign.

Such is a common complaint from so-called Tier 3 candidates running in strong Democratic districts or challenging solid incumbents. Republicans in Illinois learned long ago to pick their battles carefully. But J.R. Jordan really was irritated to discover thousands of those precious GOP funds being funneled to incumbent GOP House members facing no opposition that year.

I really couldn't blame J.R., nor the other black south suburbanites who voluntarily sought petition signatures for the 2002 GOP ballot, for being so angry.
This individual according to this column was back to supporting a Democrat. Kind of unfortunate when you think about it. Even more unfortunate is how since that time Republicans hadn't seem to have been doing very well since that time.

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