Voting against the CBC 128 times â€˜disrespectfulâ€™
By Chinta Strausberg
Addressing the City Club of Chicago, mayoral hopeful Willie Wilson Thursday threw down the gauntlet and blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel for allegedly voting against the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) 128 times and using the â€œbâ€ word during a heated meeting with CTU president Karen Lewis.
Wilson, who had a number of black ministers present including Rev. Stephen Thurston, Rev. Dr. R.L. Patterson, Pastor Ira Acree, discarded his printed speech opting instead to â€œspeak from the heart.â€ He was particularly upset with Emanuel for having a record of voting against the CBC. â€œOh, he didnâ€™t think I was smart enough to pull that (record) did he,â€ Wilson said smiling. â€œWell, I did.â€
Wilson was referring to the time when Emanuel was in congress when he voted against the CBC Emanuel allegedly said, â€œFâ€ the Congressional Black Caucus.
According to congressional records obtained by this reporter, Emanuel voted against the CBCâ€™s efforts to secure adequate funding for education and affordable housing. H.R. 95-H Con. Res. 393-H. Con. Res. 99.
Emanuel voted against the CBCâ€™s effort to send $5 million in 2004 for access to water during the drought in Sub-Sahara Africa. H.R. 4818.
He voted against the CBCâ€™s efforts to save job and training programs for federal prisoners in 2006. H.R. 4818.
Emanuel voted against the CBCâ€™s attempt to fund the National Center on Minority health to fight cancer, diabetes, AIDS, heart diseases and infant mortality in minority communities, 2004. H.R. 5006.
He voted against funding for a pharmacy school for Chicago State University. 2003. H.R. 2673.
The then congressman voted against the amendment which would have stopped credit companies from raising their introductory rates because of payment records on other credit cards. (HR 2622, 9/10/2003).
He voted against allowing sellers of â€œdownedâ€ animal meat-(meat from animals that are unable to stand or walk unassisted-thus probably sick) from being sued. (The Ackerman amendment to HR 339, March 11, 2004).
Emanuel voted against holding gas prices down. (Stupak amendment to HR 2419; 5/25/2005).
Referring to Emanuel, Wilson said, â€œHe called the CBC then have the nerveâ€ to seek support from black voters. Several African American preachers shouted â€œcall the roll.â€ â€œIt ainâ€™t right no matter what color you are. It was disrespectful.â€
Wilson also wanted to clear up his misunderstanding of the word panhandle that was used during Wednesday nightâ€™s first televised debate on WTTW. Admitting he didnâ€™t know the definition of the word, Wilson said, â€œI give $300,000 to $400,000 a year to the people on the streetâ€¦out of my pocket because it could be me tomorrow.â€
Wilson also said he would like to put a trade school in the prisons so when they are discharged, they can find viable work. This, he said, could â€œstop all of the killing out there.â€
Once again he took a shot at Emanuel for closing down 50 schools that were mostly in black and Hispanic areas â€œHe does not get itâ€¦. If you close a school, the kids have to cross gang territories and you can lose a life, but he doesnâ€™t get itâ€¦. I lost a kid, 20-years-old, who was shot in the head.
Wilson vowed to fire the top cop replacing him with four superintendents who would get close to the community. He would also integrate the police department saying it was too segregated. Wilson wants to see a more diverse city.
He also laid out his platform of improving economic development; contracts and jobs he said would be open to all Chicagoans.Â Referring to construction jobs and contracts, Wilson said he would make sure minorities get their fair share.
He cast a number of key votes that eroded American citizensâ€™ civil liberties and privacy rights often while helping his top campaign contributions. Warrant-less wiretaps and surveillance. (HR 3199-12/14/2005; HR 2050, 4/27/2006; HR 6304, The FISA Amendments Act of 2006, Roll 6/21/2008).
Emanuel rejected giving teachers the right to strike when they have no other negotiation tools left. Chicago Sun-Times, January 10, 2011.
He rejected increases in pay for our hard working teachers. Chicago Sun-Times, January 10, 2011.
Shrugging off some critics who poke fun of the way he talks and for his lack of education, Wilson Thursday addressed the CityÂ Club of Chicago saying he doesnâ€™t want to change because he likes being able to talk to all people especially those at the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder.
And, when the mayor criticized him, Wilson said, â€œIâ€™m open for anything heâ€™s got to throw out. Once he attacks me, I got some more ammunition for him.â€ Wilson said heâ€™s got more stuff on the mayor.Â â€œMaybe he is uncomfortable around Blacks.â€ â€œHis record speaks for itself,â€ Wilson said.
Asked if he could get along with Springfield and Gov. Bruce Rauner, Wilson said he could and while he doesnâ€™t go along with some of Raunerâ€™s policies, he could work with him. Wilson said it clear that heâ€™s â€œnot for saleâ€ which is why he uses his own money to run for office.
If elected, Wilson said he would accept a paycheck but that he would give it away to the churches and community groups. â€œI am not for sale. This is a moral issue,â€ he said. â€œI am not for sale.
Wilson said he never forgets that he is two generations form slavery and how when he was in Louisiana, he worked for 25-cents an hour. When he came to Chicago, he had 20-cents in his pocket. He remembers having to go to washrooms marked â€œcolored,â€ and having to go to back doors.
Asked if he thinks he would win, Wilson said he plans to win the Feb. 24th election and prevent a runoff.
But, Wilson also took a shot at some black aldermen who are supporting the mayor. He criticized them for voting 100 percent with the mayor.
â€œI would be the friendly mayor,â€ he said urging reporters to come and see him without an appointment.
Efforts to reach the mayorâ€™s spokesperson failed.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.