Monday, February 27, 2006

Harper's Big-Up of Conyers ...

The attached is a fairly compelling piece excerpted from the March 2006 of Harper's Magazine, written by Harper's editor Lewis Lapham, giving new life to Congressman John Conyers' (D-MI) call for House impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

Lapham admits: many failed or outright refused to lend any credibility to the respected, yet often rhetorical Conyers, who is known for his loquacious rebuttals and accusations against the Republican regime - plus, let's get real for a moment while we're on the subject: most White folks think raging Black Congress Members "fighting against the Machine" are simply crazed radicals or "militants" from a bygone era. It's the sticky stigma of "Black Anger" which transforms into the political world's chosen ignorance of concerns raised by the Black political establishment. Unfortunately, Conyers gets placed into that category too many times, viewed as a grumpy and old Black man parting with political reality. So, when he introduced House Resolution 635, commentators, pundits and other interlocutors of the dogmatic elite were already throwing their hands up in the air and dissing Detroit John - "here he goes again!" - without even giving him a chance.

This article begins to set that record straight and gives Congressman Conyers the benefit of the unfair cloud of media-induced doubt. It's definitely worth checking out. How amazed and confounded we continue to be over the fact that one President gets impeached for improper sexual conduct which breifly tarred the image of the Oval Office, yet the current President seems to get away with murdering the very foundation upon which the Constitution was built ... and unnecessarily ruining or taking many lives in the process. As much as the modern Republican establishment supports strict Constitutional interpretation, criticizing the judiciary for its activism, they are mighty quick to subvert it when politically convenient.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Monroe "The Art Truck Guy" Lee, Democrat for Governor

In our quest to keep you notified of African American candidates running for statewide office in key battlegroud states, we could help but throw in a plug for Monroe Lee (D). Mr. Lee won't fare as well as Mr. Reed since he doesn't even have an email address. His statement on the complimentary Florida Elections Division web page:

I feel I am qualified for this office, me being born and raised in Florida and I am 51 years old. I have worked for the system for 45 years from picking cotton for 3¢ per pound in 1963 to work for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce (NOAA) NGS to architectural, engineering, built Interstate 10 & 75 (multi-billion dollar projects).

In his posted photo, Mr. Lee looks extremely young for 51. One could be inclined to believe that explorer Juan Ponce de' Leon did, indeed, discover the Fountain of Youth in 1513 during his travels through Florida.

You Don't Know About C.C. Reed? Better Ask Somebody ...

C.C. Reed, write in candidate for the Florida Gubernatorial race, is rearing to run. He's got the Hotmail account. He's got a domain name - - but, it's taking him a little time to get the website up. But, the Florida Department of State Division of Elections was kind enough to provide the attached page (hidden deep within their servers) and posted the following statement from Reed (with a prominently displayed disclaimer):

All of us shall not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. We were created separate, but equal. People can identify when you have gone through the same things as they have. We are the products of Social Security Disability, recipients of USA Medicare, Florida Medicaid, and Food Stamps. Been through waiting for Worker’s and Unemployment Compensations and medical attention @ several clinics and hospitals. Been falsely and totally wrongly Baker Acted and imprisoned for crimes politically motivated against the election of us for GOVERNOR in 1994, 1998, and 2002. HELLO!!!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jefferson as Democrats' Scapegoat ....

Congressman Bill Jefferson (D-LA) beginning to seriously dominate political headlines, as reflected in a recent column by Dana Milbank that predicts what or who Democrats will blame for feared '06 mid-term losses:

The blame goes to Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat ensnared in a bribery probe. The scandals of Abramoff and Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham could help Democrats portray a Republican "culture of corruption," but Jefferson complicates things. The FBI raided his home last year and reportedly found a large quantity of cold, hard cash in his freezer. The investigation, involving business deals in Africa, has already produced a guilty plea by one of Jefferson's former staffers.

Jefferson, in his famously stoic manner, is still staying cool and soliciting funds for a re-election bid. Republicans and political insiders may be stretching this a bit by using Jefferson as an issue to paint the left side of Congress as equally corrupt; it's a saucy, tawdry piece of political gossip that doesn't bode well forJefferson's political or personal future; but, it's just not as big or deserving of honorable mention. Democrats aren't running anything in Washington right now, and it's the party with the juice that has the most impact. We agree ethical lapses and abuse of power are pervasive on both sides, but it appears thickly spread within GOP leadership ranks in a way that's thrown us into a messy geopolitical situation, botched federal emergency response efforts and an uncontrollable budget deficit.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lynn Swann & The Right to Vote

This is something all African Americans should hold absolutely sacred on a mandatory list of basic community rules: voting. Basic respect for those who died, bled and sweat for those rights dictates not missing an election. That's what absentee ballots are for. For that matter, the rule should be applied to all Americans considering the enormous sacrifices made.

According to the Philly Inquirer, GOP Gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann is a serious offender:

Despite once saying that the right to vote should never be taken for granted," Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann (R) "missed 20 of the state's 36 elections in the last 18 years -- including 13 of his party's primaries.

In that period, Swann missed elections for governor, U.S. senator and president, while also skipping a chance to vote on a dozen statewide referendums, including a 1989 question on property-tax reform - now a centerpiece of his campaign.

We hold no sympathy for Swann on this issue. Unless there was a family or personal tragedy unknown to the general public, we can't imagine what excuse he'll come up with.

Patrick Catches up to Reilly

Deval Patrick, a relative newcomer to the political game, is edging Mass. Attorney General Tom Reilly in the Democratic nomination race. The poll found both men with 40% support " ... in sharp contrast to Reilly's strong lead in a similar poll taken last September when he led Patrick by a 49 percent to 18 percent margin."

The Decline of Congressman William J. Jefferson (D-LA)

The attached article found in the Washington Post could be another nail hammered into the political coffin of Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson (D). Jefferson - for now - is playing it somewhat cool, with a primary focus on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. The Post acknowledges that voters in New Orleans obviously aren't paying attention to Jefferson's troubles:

Jefferson's legal problems have received modest attention in New Orleans, where residents and officials are consumed with rebuilding the city and upcoming local elections. But names of potential challengers are starting to circulate, and political observers are handicapping their prospects.

Not to say there is a conspiracy, but there is a mad media rush to diminish New Orleans' Black political edge. Some in the Black political community will say this is intentional - but, we've reached a certain pinnacle of success in electoral politics and should expect the occassional consequences. Mayor Ray Nagin (D) and Jefferson don't help the situation any - Nagin must exercise a bit more rhetorical control and Jefferson is looking as shady as Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX). Of course, Republicans are thrilled by this:

Jefferson's woes are unwelcome news for his party and have undercut the Democrats' election-year assertion that Republicans have created a "culture of corruption." If Jefferson is indicted and pleads guilty or is convicted, he will have to step down or face expulsion. But if he is indicted and decides to go to trial, he may remain in Congress and stand for reelection -- the course Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has followed since being charged last year with violating Texas campaign law.

Federal corruption investigations have produced guilty pleas from former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) and have forced Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) to relinquish his committee chairmanship. Investigations also won guilty pleas and the cooperation of former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose plea agreement cited only GOP aides and lawmakers.

The investigation of Jefferson and the recent guilty plea by a former aide give Republicans the chance to argue that corruption in Washington has a bipartisan tinge.

It's not so thrilling to see an African American legislator bearing the burden of of that "tinge." And as the city is much less "Blacker" than it was pre-Katrina, neither elected official's campaign prospects are looking good. The most unfortunate outcome is that the Congressional Black Caucus might be minus one come Fall 2006.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Steele on Stem Cells ...

Recent remarks by Maryland Lt. Gov. & U.S. Senate aspirant Michael S. Steele that compared stem cell research to Third Reich experiments on Jews in WWII add another bizarre twist to that ongoing saga of foot-in-mouth disease called the Black-Jewish Relationship. Media outlets are as eager to highlight the tensions between these two historically oppressed groups than the many instances when they have partnered and coalesced. But, Steele's remarks reflect the frequency with which high profile Black political figures are publicly chastised for disputed references to the the Jewish community.

As to Steele's comments: politically irresponsible and foolish; but clearly not "anti-Semitic." He knows that and the Jewish community in Baltimore and Washington know that. Still, we agree with this assessment in the attached Washington Post article:

Keith Haller, who conducts polls for Maryland media and others, said his recent surveys show that Steele has "risen above the cacophony of partisan battles" in the state. "His popularity has been steadily soaring, so he certainly didn't need to engage on this issue, in such an awkward way."

This is another example where Black Republicans must face the balancing act between appeasing the interests of White conservatives and the reality of campaigning for elected office. Steele need not worry; Republicans and conservatives want Maryland so bad that he can scrap the pro-life platform and not stress about losing their votes. But, if he keeps it up, he could lose precious African American votes (accounting for over thirty percent of Maryland's electorate) once they start feeling he's a bit too Right for their comfort.

And perhaps, in an odd sort of way, he has reached that pinnacle of national prominence where it was only a matter of time before this happened. From Malcolm X to NOI Minister Louis Farrakhan; from one-time Black Presidential candidate Rev. Jesse L. Jackson to the late Khalid Muhammad - there is an uncomfortable history.

But, there are also those moments of collaboration where both groups stood arm-in-arm. As Martin Luther King, Jr. put it: "The racists and the segregationists make no fine distinction between the Negro and the Jew." This is true, underscored by the horrific parallels of violent oppression against both groups. Finding a common bond in their histories, and despite the disagreements and differences, Blacks and Jews have long been close partners in the human rights movement. The rise of racism and anti-Semitism in the United States culminated in the civil rights movement. And despite the 1991 Crown Heights riots, that relationship endures.

One will not glean that from the attached article. That is unfortunate. And Maryland Congressman and Democratic Senate front-runner Benjamin L. Cardin will certainly exploit Steele's comments in total ignorance of that tested, yet proud legacy. Steele could avert sudden political disaster by reclaiming the personal ties between these two groups. Ultimately, Cardin can't relate to that. Steele can.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Tom Reilly's Slip Up is Deval Patrick's Catch Up ...

Here's a Gubernatorial race we, admittedly, haven't paid a lot of attention to ... perhaps because the spotlight of the Pennsylvania and Ohio races blinded us a bit. But, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick is making a strong showing in the Massachusetts Democratic caucuses. Attorney General Tom Reilly was considered the Dem favorite, but he's been dropping the campaign ball in a bad way as of late through a series of inept political moves.

Democratic delegates give Patrick a 2-to-1 edge; rather than let the brother run, the state Dem party apparatus is engaging in as reports: " ... a renewed drive to recruit some other Dem into the race -- and several names are in play as "draft" targets."

Poll Shows Rendell With Shrinking Lead ...

This recent Philadelphia Daily News/CN8 Keystone Poll on the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Race may confirm our assessment of Lynn Swann's potential as a winner. Writes Bob Warner at

"This looks like a very competitive election, the likes of which we have not seen for an incumbent governor seeking re-election," said G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College and director of the poll.
"You could call it the clash of the titans - two celebrity candidates running from either end of the state, both of them national figures."

In a survey last week, 497 registered voters in Pennsylvania were asked whom they would support if the Rendell-Swann election were held that day. Rendell was the choice of 45 percent, compared to 42 percent for Swann, with 13 percent undecided. Faced with the same question last September, 53 percent chose Rendell and only 33 percent went with Swann.

We are actually, a little surprised by this recent development. Swann, of course, has the GOP nomination clinched with the withdrawal of Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton who admitted he couldn't defeat Swann. Still, he was starting to sound like another annoying, preachy Black Republican touting the usual set of tired themes that have never proven to resonate with African American voters. It remains unclear as to how appealing Swann is to Pennsylvania's Black electorate - particularly in Philadelphia. But, as we predicted, he's getting mad support in Western Pennsylvania.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Radio Archive: ASCENT LIVE!, 2.8.06 Show ...

Starting today, we're offering streaming audio archives of our weekly public affairs program ASCENT LIVE! You can access the mp3 files through the attachments in this blog or simply go to Last night's show featured an interview w/ Howard University Law School Professor and commentator Reginald L. Robinson. Also: check out the in-house analysis w/ AL! Sr. Producer Charles D. Ellison & CAAP Senior Fellow D.L. Chandler. You can hear the entire hour ASCENT LIVE!.

Next week we'll split the two segments up since this file might be a little too big for you cats still suffering on dial-up.

On Danish Cartoons & Deadly Unrest ...

On some levels, we have to agree with Vice President Dick Cheney's recent comments regarding the snowballing violence erupting over a Danish newspaper's publishing Prophet Muhammad cartoon caricatures: the senseless - yet strategically manipulated - reaction is a tad "overdone." Some Democrats want to say that's insensitive; some Republicans are taking a step back to watch the polls on this. But, privately, we're all a bit tired and through.

There is no passage in the Holy Qu'Ran (Koran) that explicitly prohibits portraits or artistic representations of the Prophet Muhammad. However, it is a widely respected and traditional custom in certain sects of the Muslim world based on interpretation. As the attached link shows, there are numerous portraits representing the Prophet from the Muslim world (you'll find linkages to such art on the website for Bilkent University's History Department in Ankara, Turkey) You will find many fundamentalist Sunni Muslims intolerant of these representations, but there is more tolerance amongst more liberal sects. The offense, we agree, is what the BBC reports as: " ... the satirical intent of the cartoonists, and the association of the Prophet with terrorism, that is so offensive to the vast majority of Muslims." That could be understandably considered an eggregious and tasteless offense in judgment. But - is it acceptable to respond with violence? And, is it acceptable to confirm such ignorance by burning embassies and creating havoc that leads to the reported deaths of dozens.?

This blog might get a little heat from a variety of activists in the African American community who will jump at this as an opportunity to underscore the injustice and irresponsibility of the Bush Administration's war on ... well, just about everything and everybody (we stopped keeping tally). The predictable thing for us to say, since we are all oppressed "people of color" bound by the history of Western supremacy over the southern half of the world, is that we are shocked and appalled that the cartoons were ever printed in the first place. But, as outraged as Muslims in locations throughout the Middle East and Europe are over the "defacing" and "violation" of the Prophet, we never see this sort of outrage or expression of angst over the genocide committed by the Janjaweeds of Sudan against Black Muslims. Should the African Diaspora be expected to support worldwide jihadism or protest over cartoons when the Arab/Muslim world makes little sound over the atrocities in Darfur? Black people throughout the world are routinely used as the butt of ugly stereotypical jokes, art and pop culture caricatures - from Blackface & Sambo to degrading stamps issued by the Mexican postal service and cannibalistic Africans in Spanish cartoons. Do you see us ripping the world apart in a nuclear blast of extreme anger? Recently, Rev. Al Sharpton condemned Cartoon Network for airing episodes of Aaron McGruder's "The Boondocks," particularly one "what-if" episode where the late Martin Luther King, Jr. uses the dreaded "N" word in reference to his disappointment with African Americans now. Did you see Sharpton or his entourage storm the CN offices, burning furniture and breaking windows in a fit of ghetto-inspired rage? Of course not. We could watch a few hours worth of television and easily discover more than several questionable representations or stereotypical references to Black people on any given day. We could make a sport out of it - but, do we throw molotov cocktails at and batter-ram the front doors of major networks? Of course not.

And where is the outrage against militant Islamists killing innocent civilians - Muslims and non-Muslims - in the name of a religion that stands for peace? Where is the violent rage against despotic governments in the Middle East who continue to repress Muslim men, women and children through tyrannical police-state activities, economic oppression, political corruption and religious dogma?

And, yes, we can argue that these depictions of Muhammad serve as a flashpoint for a general frustration over the war in Iraq, the continuing perception of a war on terrorism really being a war on Islam and the hopeless economic outlook of millions of Muslims. We can talk for days, months and have engaging civil discussions about the intersection of the media's freedoms and the use of that freedom in a responsible manner. But, that's the point: civil discourse and persuasion.

Creating public expressions of apocalypse over cartoons is like a scene out of the Brit horror/sci-fi film "28 Days" (you know you get a kick out of our occassional references to film, TV and pop culture). And it makes many who don't or refuse to understand Islam continue to linger in the abyss of their ignorance. For those of us in the non-Muslim world who have a basic understanding and respect for the "Religion of Peace," we can't help but curl in confusion over why some Muslims (even though they perhaps represent one percent of the fastest growing religion in the world) would pick this as the breaking point, the straw breaking the - no pun intended - camel's back. It also shows how rumor, innuendo and political manipulation can truly create a disastrous situation, particularly if sauced with a heavy dose of fanatic religiosity and intolerance. How can can you claim intolerance against you by perpetrating acts of violent intolerance? The lengths some will go just to get an audience and a press conference. It doesn't compute.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Was the Coretta Scott King Funeral Too Political?

We're not certain if this question/argument is even relevant. All funerals for major public figures or dignitaries are by their nature political. Funerals for Presidents are political, a convergence of world leaders, elected officials and other public figures attached to that particular individual through political connections.

To make this argument suggests a certain amount of naivety in the American public psyche.

It's a question obviously being posed and pushed by commentators on the Right, possibly egged on by White House hacks, who simmer with rage that the President is caught in a moment of unscripted remarks. And, we all know, those who support the President and his policies hate to see him caught off guard. So, perhaps the question should be:

Was the Coretta Scott King Funeral Too Political for President Bush?

First, the original question hints to a prevailing level of cultural ignorance on the part of White America and mainstream media: African American funerals in the traditional Black religious setting are, by nature, lively - they are a beautiful blend of "call-&-response" as it is called. The ritual manifestations of African cultural rythms - underscored by the very emotional sermons, stirring gospel and congregational response - are very foreign to Western norms. Hence, one reason behind many referring to King's funeral as a "celebration" rather than a moment of somber reflection. She has not passed; rather, she has "transitioned" or she is "going home."

Second, if President Bush had been absent from this event, this would not have been an issue. Yet, it is since it underscores this President's inability to engage an audience that is not handpicked. It also underscores the gulf of perception between he (as representative of his party) and the Black electorate. And, it speaks to what our recent editorial referred to as the "arrogance" and "royalesque" pomp of American Presidential appearances, as if the Executive is above the questioning or critique of the general public.

Clearly, this was not a hostile or "political" audience - contrary to the mischaracterizations of pundits, commentators and news producers who salivate for such outbursts. This was a concerned and respectful audience, grieving not only for the loss of an icon, but for uncertainty over the future.

Captain America v. Teen Titan: McCain Rips Obama ...

No one can really say with surety what exactly transpired between Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to trigger what is being described (overstated) as the hottest political fight on Capitol Hill right now. And, that's really fueled by the speculation that each of these cats are mounting presidential campaigns in 2008 (Obama doing so a bit too prematurely, we might add). We can continue to speculate on it. Perhaps Obama, dipping his foot in those tempestuous political waters, needed to gauge just how cold that path to the White House is - particularly after breaking away from the sizzling heat of the superstar spotlight for a few hung-over moments.

And, some might speculate that McCain wanted to school Obama in some public fashion that essentially let the freshman Senator know that "Naw dawg - I'm the Big Man on this Campus." Simply put, McCain may have felt overshadowed by Obama, who seemed to draw some of that Hill celebrity steam McCain thought he dominated while making brief appearances in "Wedding Crashers" and more recently handing off a manila folder to Jack Bauer's ex-girlfriend in the Fox hit "24." Obama's sudden rise to political stardom somehow violates McCain's public turf.

And, there are some who will say this is a case of one respected, mighty, white-haired White Senator who wants to pick on the chamber's only Black Senator just for the racist kicks. We might agree that the media's framing of it is suspiciously juvenile: young Black kid goes to Capitol Hill and gets scolded by old White guy. Even Chris Matthews, in this attached interview, implies some sort of wrongdoing on the part of Obama when there isn't anything anybody can see as being clearly wrong. Who did what? Who said what? And, how is it right or wrong? But, seriously, Obama can't hide behind his Blackness to save him from constructive criticism - nor should any in the Black political community expect such. He's a U.S. Senator and we expect a couple more to reach that plateau in November. We'll have to accept the fact that if we expect to achieve major political success, then our political maturity must exceed the boundaries of our political Blackness.

We disagree that race is McCain's motivation. Obama has put himself out there on one of those issues that McCain wants ownership of; he's typically the go-to guy for bipartisan settlements in the Senate. This is how Senators act - like untouchable Greek gods atop Olympus. As Obama gets a littled settled, he'll figure that out ...

Whatever the reason, it's not clear in the Senate Speak of both letters. And, if neither Senator is using this issue for "political posturing," then why make the letters and the whole affair public in the first place?

Is this really worth the headline? Probably not. We've been seeing a lot more important, substantive stuff coming out of Obama's office than just scribbled notes across the chamber. It'd be nice if he got a headline or two on that.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Grading the NAACP ...

NNPA's Hazel Trice Edney reports: "Although the head of the Republican National Committee and President George W. Bush have pledged to make a more concentrated effort to win over Black voters, 98 percent of Republicans in the House and Senate earned an F on the latest NAACP Civil Rights Report Card, compared to only 2 percent of Democrats receiving failing grades."

That accounts for over half the U.S. Congress receiving failing grades on civil rights issues of significance to the NAACP. Could we ask if that reflects more on the modern NAACP's ability to muster support for its priorities than it does on the attitudes or direction of the modern U.S. Congress?

“[Republican Party Chairman Ken] Mehlman has been out beating the bushes and saying that the Republican Party was appealing for the Black vote, but this is the most powerful evidence and continuing evidence that the Republicans have not realigned their public policy approaches to attract the Black vote,” says University of Maryland Political Scientist Ronald Walters.

To a certain degree that it true. But, there is the serious problem of the African American political community's collective inability to seriously realign its own public policy approach for the 21st century. The report card - in predictable form - highlights the glaringly poor performance of Republican lawmakers on legislative issues prioritized by the NAACP, but we caution against that being the ultimate measuring stick for such issues, particularly in a world increasingly defined by technological advances and economic globalization. And in the case of Black Congress members Harold Ford (D-TN) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) receiving a grade of "C," the NAACP must mature to a point where it is recognized that Black elected officials are not just representing traditional "Black" interests - they are elected officials obligated by the office to represent the demographics of their particular legislative districts.

The "civil rights" formula has matured into something much more complex and intricate, hence it deserves greater intellectual reflection than simply emphasizing the divergence between two political parties. The focus of this report card should not just question what party we have reason to align ourselves with, but whether we have reached a level of political maturity and leverage to control those parties as opposed to the other way around.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Bush Administration Defense of Texas Remapping ...

The Washington Post has been fairly consistent in recent months with this story regarding the battle over legislative redistricting in Texas. Still, they keep leaving one crispy, rather important detail out (we'll get to that in a minute). This dates back to the days when Congressman Delay was "King of the Hill" (in true form almost idolizing the Fox cartoon series on beer guzzling, introspective working class White Texans pontificating life and the American Way) ... well, who knows, he probably still is as the rule of law in Washington is upstaged by the rule of favors. Anyway, Delay got greedy and wasn't satisfied with overrunning Capitol Hill, K Street and the Red State frontier - he needed a heavy Lone Star shout out.

Serious drama unfolded between hardheaded Texas Republicans and equally stubborn Texas Democrats over the redrawing of voting districts as the Texas GOP (rallied by Delay's "Hammer"ing hands) sought to tighten its political grip nationwide by sending even more Republicans to Washington. Republicans, it seemed, would vicariously run the country through everything Texas. Well, it is the state of all things Big ...

The Administration now feels compelled to rush to the aid of Texas lawyers in a bid to underscore (or salvage) that control in the wake of Delay's fall and over concerns that the Texas Republican delegation could shrink in the 2006 Congressional mid-terms. But, what's problematic for opponents of the remap is that it's somewhat difficult to argue African American voting power in Texas was diluted when the 2003 plan partly contributed to the election of an additional Black Congressional Member to the Texas delegation in 2004: Rep. Al Green (D-TX), overseeing the 9th District in southwest metro Houston. We've read Texas newspapers highlighting that interesting factoid. It causes reason for pause: can we frame this case as the story of politically anti-Black/anti-minority Republicans seeking to usurp Black and Latino electoral power in Texas? And how does Green factor into all of this? What's his take? Or was this a personal power grab driven by the lust of one Member who didn't care about unintended "consequences" so long as he got what he wanted? Appreciate the Post headlining the issue, but it would be nice if we got some perspective from the fairly prominent African American members in the Texas delegation who must have some sort of angle on this.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cardin's cash edge over Mfume draws ire of Black Democrats

Of course, the Washington Times point to this article is to tell Black Democrats: "hey - come over to the right side." But, the overall story is very compelling and speaks to a larger problem than just the Democratic Party apparatus being unwilling to support Black candidates with money. Black lawmakers in Maryland can't complain about the state Dem party machine without first looking internally at the fundraising prowess and abilities of the African American community. There is so much focus on voting registration drives that other considerations - such as the process beyond Election Day - get placed on a backburner.

Obviously, this is having negative consequences on certain Black political candidates as we reach a level of maturity several bars above the civil rights phase.