Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brooklyn Zoo ...

NYC's Congressional District 10 looks to be a fairly interesting and tight race - if played right by political novice and noted "hip hop historian" Kevin Powell. Powell seems to make all the right moves on the surface: he has a DC fundraiser set up for this Saturday, May 13th; he's got a nifty little website; and he's got a bling appeal that the current incumbent for that District does not. In fact, we don't see much of Edolphus Towns anyway - so, all Powell might have to do is take a train to DC and sit in Towns' office.

If Powell works it right, he might win. The current Congressman for that district, Edolphus Towns, is one of those ghost representatives. He misses votes and committee meetings. House Democratic leaders haven't been too happy with Towns. He has a notorious reputation for M.I.A. Powell may see an opportunity in that - but, he certain hasn't made a spill about it.

But, on the flip side, being a "hip-hop intellectual" and former MTV reality show cast member doesn't qualify you for taking on Brooklyn's issues. What makes Powell more qualified than Towns? Towns will work his business community connections and argue that Powell is less experienced. Towns will also go for the older, more established vote in District 10, as they will scoff at Powell's age and lack of political experience.

Powell could be drawn into one of these flashy, get out the hip hop and neo-soul vote campaigns, focused primarily on voters between 18-30. He'll probably get the usual set of suspects to come out: Sharpton, Simmons, Diddy, etc. There will be an entourage of other "hip hop thinkers," musicians and a sting of bling. But, at the end of the day, he should be careful not to alienate other voters in that District whom Towns (if hungry enough) could be skilled enough to tap.