Hatch: â€œRahm ainâ€™t no Obama.â€
By Chinta Strausberg
Chicago, IL – Several supporters joined Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) Saturday at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition forum in taking swipes at mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel where he accused the controversial candidate of allegedly trying to buy the February 22nd mayoral election with his misleading and untrue media ads Rush says are designed to ‘confuse”Â the black and brown electorate.
During a forum held at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition just 15-days to go before the election, Rush and four ministers laid out their reasons why and how the African American vote can determine who will sit on the Fifth Floor of City Hall and revealed shocking allegations against mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuelâ€”charges he denies.
Ironically, the election falls during Black History Month and on the exact date that the late Mayor Harold Washington won the historic mayoral primary on February 22, 1983.
In answering questions field by the moderator, Rev. Dr. Attorney Janette Wilson, Rush accused some mayoral candidates of spending mega bucks just to allegedly â€œcreate a state of confusionâ€ among black and brown voters.
â€œOur adversaries are trying to confuse each and every one of us, and they are spending $11 million or more primarily to keep our African American and Hispanic community confused,â€ said Rush. â€œThey got us in the wrapper and throwing the candy bar away and any time the wrapper taste better than the candy bar, then you out to check yourself out. You got it upside down and inside out.
â€œThis election is probably the most critical election than weâ€™ve had since 1983â€¦and in some instances, itâ€™s even more critical than 1983,â€ said Rush referring to the historic election of the late Mayor Washington who won the April 12, 1983 general election with 668,175 votes or 51.72 percent. It was the united black vote that propelled him over the victory line.
Glancing back at the 1983 mayoral election, Rush said it is more critical than that race because today African Americans â€œare positioned better in order to win. What our enemies are trying to do, Emanuel and the other folks, is to snatch our victory from their jaws of defeat. We can win this,â€ Rush told the audience.
Explaining, Rush said Blacks have 43 percent of the registered voters in the city of Chicago, the Hispanics have 18 percent and whites have 40 percent. â€œWe can win this if a coalition of good-thinking white folks, Hispanics and a preponderance of blacks votesâ€¦. We can win.â€
According to Rush, the registered non-white votes in the city of Chicago are 65 percent. â€œNever, ever has a credible African American candidate received less than 75 percent of the African American vote.
â€œNow, that is what Emanuelâ€™s challenge is. He is trying to break into that number using hollow words, the White House, all of this high falutinâ€¦the financial elite,â€ said Rush.
He said the raw number of Black registered voters is 601,675, which is 43 percent of the vote. â€œThe biggest secret is that there is no Democrat who won countywide, statewide or nationwide can win without some of the black votes in Chicago.â€
Wilson said, â€œWe are the margin of victory.â€Â Rush explained saying, â€œWe are sitting in the seat of power. We got the power, but we just donâ€™t recognize it and wonâ€™t use it. The power is ours. We can define whom not only the mayor and the governor but the president (will be) because they all have to come through the black community in Chicago. â€œIf Rahm Emanuel gets even 40 percent in a six-wide candidate race, he should fall shortâ€¦. â€œ Wilson said to avoid a run-off a candidate has to get 50 plus 1 percent of all the votes cast.
Rush broke it down explaining that in order for Emanuel to win, he will allegedly need 70 percent of the white vote, 30 percent of the black vote and 20 percent of the Hispanic vote. â€œThis has never been done in the history of this cityâ€¦,â€ said Rush.
He said for mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun to win she needs 70 percent of the black vote. â€œA credible candidate usually gets 75 percent of the black vote. She needs 20 percent of the Hispanic and white vote and 30 percent of the non-black women vote and 80 percent of the non-black men vote. Rahm is probably going to tie. Itâ€™s probably going to be a close tie if we turn out. If we keep Carol at 75 percent or more of the black voteâ€¦.â€
â€œThere is a real conscientious hard-driving campaign with all of these media commercials showing black people and a few major black endorsements from some folks, but we cannot be confused by this,â€ said Rush.
â€œRahm Emanuel represents the elite in Chicago,â€ he alleged. â€œThese folks are not concerned about what happens on the side streets of Chicago. He saidÂ Emanuel is allegedly more interested â€œon LaSalle Street and on Wall Street. Thatâ€™s their friend. Thatâ€™s where theyâ€™re getting the money from, Hollywood, Wall Street. Follow the money. â€œI know Rahm. Heâ€™s a stranger to you, not to me. I know what he has done as a member of congress, and I know what he hasnâ€™t done.â€
Wilson asked Rush what has Emanuel done for affirmative action or minority set-asides. â€œRahm Emanuel was the main impetus for those conservative white Democrats known as the â€˜Blue Dogs.â€™â€ Rush said Emanuel allegedly courted them and even managed their campaign.
Rush claims that Emanuel â€œordered, insisted that the Blue Dogs not to vote for the Congressional Black Caucus’ budget. He voted against a bill to eradicated health care disparitiesâ€¦. These commercials will bamboozle youâ€¦. They are paid commercials. He has actors in these commercials.
â€œIf he were concerned about hiring black folksâ€¦, when he was a member of congress how many black folks were on his congressional staff? Zeroâ€¦,â€ said Rush. â€œThis is about LaSalle Street. This is about who will control the market. This is about high financeâ€¦. Anytime you walk up and down your street and you see a vacant boarded up houseâ€¦ you ought to think of Rahm Emanuel because he was part and parcel of that whole conspiracy that whole effort when he sat on the board of Fannie Mac where all these sub-prime mortgages created instant wealth for these super rich people.
â€œHe was part and parcel of that kind of trading. Heâ€™s running to be become mayor of the market place, the LaSalle Street marketâ€¦global economy. He is not concerned about these mortgages, these abandoned homesâ€¦high crime in our neighborhoods. Heâ€™s concerned about high financeâ€¦. Itâ€™s natural to him. Itâ€™s unnatural to him to come out to someone who is losing their home or whose son is in jailâ€¦. Heâ€™s not concerned about thatâ€¦.â€
Rush said, â€œnow is the timeâ€ for blacks to take care of their own problems. â€œIf you continue down the same old place, you will end up in the same old place.â€
Jonathan Jackson, the national spokesperson for PUSH, said, â€œthe balance of power of who will be the next mayor of Chicago rests on the South and the West Side. Mayor Daley could not have been mayor without the black communityâ€™s votes; so, weâ€™re also responsible for the mess that weâ€™re in.
â€œThe question becomes do we want to change or change directions and I suggest we change direction.â€
Referring to Gov. Pat Quinnâ€™s recent victorious election, Jackson said out of 102 counties in Illinois â€œGov. Quinn only won three counties. Those three counties had African American votes. The African American community delivered Pat Quinn to Springfield, Illinois. African Americans in Cook County registered over 450,000 votes for Gov. Pat Quinn. Senator Brady only received 120,000 votes. We overwhelmingly delivered Gov. QuinnÂ to Springfieldâ€¦,â€ Jackson said.
Wilson asked about the economic disparities. Jonathan said, â€œIt is very important that you clean up the mess that you createdâ€¦..Â Now that we know there is sentencing disparities, what should RahmÂ Emanuel do about the three strike legislation that he and Bill Clinton helped create. That is tearing apart our families, tearing apart our communities.â€
Jackson said the unfairness of this policy especially when â€œyou see African Americans have an eight times more likely to be sentenced on a felony count for a minor drug possession.â€
Â Jackson said they should be committed to rehab especially since it cost $25,000 to lock up someone vs. $4,000 or $7,000 to get them into a rehab program.
Jackson said Daleyâ€™s chief fundraiser in 1989 was Emanuel. â€œThere is a reason why Emanuel will not mention Mayor Daleyâ€™s name. Who do you think the mayor is really supporting? Itâ€™s one in the sameâ€¦. The mayor is complicit in thereâ€¦.
He criticized the handling of the â€œBlizzard of 2011â€ and was critical of the school system including the 100 schools that allegedly have no air-conditioners. â€œWe should have adequate schoolsâ€¦. â€œ
Jonathan said the income in the black community is dried upâ€ and pointed to the Army & Louâ€™s and Edna Restaurants that have closed.Â â€œI want us to have a regime change. Daley, Emanuel and Chico should all get out the same day.â€
Wilson asked Rev.Â Attorney Jacqueline Atkins why should women be concerned about this election. Atkins said, â€œIfÂ you want to see who somebody is, you have to look at what somebody has doneâ€¦.â€
She asked who cares about education especially Blacks. â€œIf we are going to be a strong democracy, everybody needs to be educatedâ€? Atkins said unions have been important to her and asked, â€œWho will help us make sure the unions continue to work for everybody.â€
Referring to women, Atkins said, â€œwomen know how to bring people togetherâ€¦. I want somebody to be able on the Fifth Floor will hear me when I callâ€¦. Who has come into the neighborhoods to hear meâ€¦? Vote your interests.â€
When asked by Rev. Wilson what is so significant about the February 22nd mayoral election, Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director, for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said, â€œacross the country, the electorate has been on one hand apathetic and on the other, disengaged and whether it is in Washington, D.C., or New York, Atlanta, or Los Angelesâ€¦in Chicago. Our fundamental challenge is to represent the people who are our constituents.
â€œAfrican Americans have lost the most but on the other hand have the most to gain. This particular election electing an African American woman to the third largest city in America will send shock waves around the country and create a sense of political transformation at a time where we need comprehensive political sophistication where we do not vote just simply because someone is our color but she also has the content as a political leader to lead this city,â€ Grant stated.
â€œThis city is facing tremendous deficits across the board.â€ He said CPS is $6.6 billionâ€ in the red. â€œWho is going to renegotiate the police contractâ€¦the teacher contracts? There will be a number of layoffs and a number of cutbacks that this city will have to suffer and we donâ€™t have another Lake Shore Drive or Tollway to sale to somebody or parking billâ€¦.
â€œWe need sound fiscal management in the city of Chicago,â€ he said explaining Chicagoâ€™s fiscal state mirrors cities across the nation and gave Detroitâ€™s recent election as one where voters â€œvoted less than our potential.
â€œIn the past 21-years, Mayor Daley has never won an election over 300,000 votes. African Americans have 600,000 votes. All we have to do is to turn out and when we turn out things turn out right for us,â€ Bishop Grant said.
Rev. Marshall Hatch blamed mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel for the â€œunraveling of our economy of which we are still recovering, people still losing their homes. All of that is attributed to the mis-stewardship of Rahm Emanuel at Freddie Mac (which works with mortgage lenders) and Fannie Mae,â€ he alleged during a forum on the mayorâ€™s election held Saturday at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
The moderator, Rev. Dr. Attorney Janette Wilson asked Hatch why is this election important to parents, students, and educators and why should they vote, he said who ever wins on February 22nd, â€œwill appoint the leadership of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that is part of what is at stake in a district is, contradictory as it sounds, majority minority. It means there are more black and brown children in this system than anybody else.
â€œThe next mayor will appoint that leadership. All of us who are interested in education reform, whoâ€™re interested in making sure that the resources that come into the CPS that we will have a childrenâ€™s first policy that is not simply a $6 billion contract-letting operation on behalf of the administration as a business interest so that children are first,â€ said Hatch.
â€œWe should not vote for the candidate morally who has the most money. That is un-godly,â€ said Hatch. â€œWe should vote for the candidate who has the interest of poor people and poor children in particular. That is why this is such a critical electionâ€¦. Chicago is pivotal.
â€œThe black community holds the power in our hand to elect the next mayor. We just simply do. You can haveÂ $11 million, you can have $18 million, you can have $100 million none of those dollars have a vote in the city of Chicago, only the people do,â€ said Hatch. â€œRahm is no Obama.â€
Wilson urged everyone to take advantage of the Chicago Board of Election Commissionersâ€™ Early Voting Program that is available at 51 sites through February 17, 2011.
Click on the following link to see the addresses of these sites: http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=9.