( – promoted by buhdydharma )
The Illinois Greens are very much an up and coming state Green Party. In 2006 they got over 10% of the gubernatorial vote and this year they’re poised to win one or two seats in the state legislature (for some perspective, nationally the Greens have had 4 state legislators ever), along with having some strong statewide candidates.
And Chicago is, from what I’ve gathered, the center of Green activity in Illinois. Their Senate candidate LeAlan Jones – you may remember him as the producer of the radio piece “Ghetto Life 101” when he was just 13 – is from the South Side of the city and when I interviewed the co-chair of the state party he thought their gubernatorial candidate would do best in Chicago, as well.
And now Rahm Emanuel’s running for mayor in that same exact city. I think you know what I’m getting at.
Rahm Emanuel represents much of what is wrong with the Democratic Party. The corporate, industrialist ideology that puts power and profit over people, the cold political calculations, the…well, John Halle says it much better in this CounterPunch piece than I could:
But while Emanuel shares some of their superficially electable qualities, he differs in an important respect: The necessarily backstage, covert activities of bland technocrats allows them to function as blank slates onto which gullible liberals and information starved low income constituencies could project a hopeful facade. In contrast, many of these groups now know exactly what Emanuel stands for and they don’t like it, or him, a bit.
These include environmentalists well aware of his role in pushing through the “pragmatic” appointment of energy industry shill Ken Salazar and Obama’s catastrophic jettisoning of his campaign pledge to continue the ban on off-shore drilling. Others will point to the role of the former investment banker in Wall Street friendly policies and at the expense of an economic stimulus package having the potential to reduce hemorrhaging unemployment. Health care reform advocates whom Emanuel referred to as “fucking retards” might have been wiling to forgive had he not made them look like fools for signing onto an absurd “public option” which had, as it turned out, already been removed from the table in a pre-compromise engineered by Emanuel with his friend chief PHARMA lobbyist Billy Tauzin.
Arab Americans have not forgotten the vile racist slurs which emanated from Emanuel’s father on the first days of Emanuel’s tenure in the White House, nor have African Americans forgotten that Emanuel did nothing to halt, indeed may have actively encouraged, the witch hunting of activist organizations ACORN and Green Energy Czar Van Jones.
With the Greens becoming an increasingly strong political force in the city – one of them was even recently appointed by the governor to help fix a failing public university – this has the potential to become a powerfully symbolic race.
More than a few of these members of the Democratic base are looking for payback. And the good news for them is that they have a way to obtain it. For Illinois is home to one of the most thriving state Green Parties, one which is currently fielding a substantial slate of candidates some of whom are running fully credible and in some cases potentially winning campaigns.
Among these is Rich Whitney, who in his previous race for Governor achieved a double digit showing. Another LeAlan Jones, a Polk Award winnning journalist from Chicago’s South Side is expected to acquire similar if not greater numbers of votes in his run for Senate. A third, Jeremy Karpen, recently received the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune in his race for State Legislature in a Chicago district.
The Greens should be fixing their eye on this race as their first big city mayoralty following the heartbreaking near victory of Matt Gonzalez in San Francisco a few years back.
And we should be helping them with the funds and on the ground resources necessary to pull it off.
Emanuel’s candidacy, and his eventual drubbing in the general election, should be the Greens’-and all of our-win.