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Jackson won’t repudiate Steele

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009

* Sheesh

A racially charged comment from former Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele had U.S. Senate hopeful Cheryle Jackson explaining the sentiments of her supporter Monday.

At a Sunday endorsement event for Democratic candidate Jackson, Steele asked, “Do we need another rich white man?”

“Cheryle believes anyone has a right to run for the Senate and she respects that right,” Jackson’s spokeswoman, Susan Chandler, said. “But the makeup of the Senate suggests that the glass ceiling exists and more needs to be done so that not only wealthy candidates can finance winning campaigns. We believe what Bobbie Steele meant to say was that Cheryl was the only candidate in this race who is not self-funded.”

I seriously doubt that Bobbie Steele meant to say that Jackson is the only self-funded candidate.

Weak, weak response by Jackson.

…Adding… Timing is everything. From an e-mail…

New primary media contact for Cheryle Jackson campaign

This is to introduce Susan Chandler, a former Chicago Tribune reporter who has joined the campaign as our in-house communications director. Susan will be your primary contact for the campaign moving forward.

Welcome to the game.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    What does Cheryle think about politicians who double their pension in a few months, lie to everyone about running for re-election, and then engineer the appointment of their son to her office in a back room deal immediately after the election, thus disenfranchising the voters?

    Perhaps she’d like to comment on that?

  2. - Obamarama - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    Is this the same Susan Chandler that was at the Trib?

  3. - The Doc - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    By failing to admonish Steele’s comments, one can reasonably conclude that the Jackson camp is tacitly endorsing them.

    An ugly and tasteless strategy, but perhaps an effective one.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    Steele’s comment speaks for itself. Chandler’s spin is ludicrous.

  5. - corvax - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:00 pm:

    must be talking about Meister….Alexi’s not white, he’s Greek-American

  6. - OdysseusVL - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

    At risk of stating the obvious, but isn’t that the response that we would expect from somebody who worked for Blago?

  7. - Studenting - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    Steele just said what plenty of people actually think. Honesty and openness in politics — that’s what we want, right? I guess not if it’s bad for the patriarchal establishment.

    I thought Jackson’s response was thoughtful and appropriate.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    corvax, c’mon, man.

  9. - SWC - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:09 pm:

    HA! I see the article goes on to say Mark Kirk is rich too. Guilt by association I guess…

    Another example of lazy journalism.

  10. - Obamarama - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===We believe what Bobbie Steele meant to say was that Cheryl was the only candidate in this race who is not self-funded===

    We believe what Bobbie Steele meant to say was that Cheryl was the only candidate in this race… who still doesn’t have her signatures.

  11. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    Worst part is that Ms. Steele is correct.

  12. - Brennan - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:21 pm:

    Is Hoffman “white”?

  13. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    Steele’s comments are pure racist, period.
    What if some non-colored politician said ” Do we need another middle class black man or woman”. All hell would break out!

    Ms. Steele what we need is a competent and honest person, nothing more and nothing less.

    That should be the qualifications for both Senator and Cook County Board President.

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:34 pm:

    Well if Greeks aren’t white then I guess Jews aren’t white either.

    And BTW, last time I checked, both Hoffman and Alexi outraised her before dipping into their own pockets. So self-funded? Umm, not exactly.

  15. - SweetLou - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:35 pm:

    The worst part about this is that there was an escape for Jackson that would have gotten her off, had she said that Steele’s comment was meant to reflect the lack of diversity in the US Senate, and was not directed, at least intentionally, at her opponents. But she fumbled it big time. Even Jackson’s own supporters can’t possibly believe that Steele was trying to say that the Senate are a bunch of rich people. give me a break.

  16. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:36 pm:

    Ms. Jackson hasn’t generated any buzz so this is about as good as she has gotten. It might help bring her a base. Lots of folks don’t like rich white guys.

    Of course, it is completley trying to appeal to a human beings lowest common denominator, race baiting and success envy, but who cares-it’s Illinois politics-so you might as well start in the sewer.

    I mean, she is trying to take over Roland Burris’s seat.

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

    People, enough of this “who is white” crud. Stop it right now.

  18. - SweetLou - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    “What if some non-colored politician said ” Do we need another middle class black man or woman”. All hell would break out!”

    The difference is that there currently aren’t any middle class black men or women in the US Senate. So yeah, all hell would break loose.

  19. - TTL, III - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:41 pm:

    Wait, let’s all get this right. Alexi has yet to self-fund. He has raised almost $3 million WITHOUT putting in any of his own $$. Hoffman put in $500K and Meister put in $1 million. Steele must not have been referencing Alexi at all, right? Riiiiight.

  20. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:49 pm:

    “Do we need another rich white man?”

    No. We need an Illinois US Senator capable of bringing a more balanced view than Dick Durbin to Washington. We need a US Senator that recognizes that solutions are not partisan, that tradition has value, that the average Illinois citizen is not a member. We need an Illinois US Senator that will balance the liberal views of Dick Durbin, so that everyone in this state may feel that their beliefs are represented in Washington.

    It doesn’t matter what their race, gender or wealth is. No, we do not need another rich white man in the US Senate. We have a higher standard than that.

  21. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:51 pm:

    It was a joke, Rich.

  22. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:51 pm:

    Oh, and Obamarama, yes, it is the same Susan Chandler.

  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    I’m aware it was a joke. But I still want it stopped.

  24. - Abe Froman - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    An aside–Steele included Kirk in her diatribe against rich, white-male, self-funders. Kirk has no fortune handed down from his family or funded by ambulance chasing, and, last year, Cheryl Jackson made more money at the Urban League than Kirk did serving in Congress.

    The Dems are doing a good job turning themselves into the party of wealth and priviledge. Pretty soon Republicans won’t even be welcome at country clubs!

  25. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 3:57 pm:

    Up until that last sentence I think she was doing okay. Should have let the “self-funded” thing go.

  26. - The Doc - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    VanMan, your rhetoric is incompatible with your message. You attack Durbin while proselytizing for “solutions that are non partisan”. Can’t have it both ways.

    A state of 13 million individuals will never have all of their beliefs “well-represented” by two Senators. Get over it.

  27. - The Prophet - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:13 pm:

    Wow! Who said racism wasn’t alive in Chicago politics? Bobbie Steele certainly didn’t do Cheryle Jackson any favors with that endorsement. With friends like Bobbie Steele, who needs any enemies? The fact that Ms. Jackson did not immediately disavow herself from Bobbie Steele’s racial comment told many of us a great deal about Cheryle Jackson.

    I wonder if Al Sharpton will speak up and say the Bobbie Steele’s comments were totally inappropriate and unwarranted? I guess that it is now up to Mayor Daley to reprimand Bobbie Steele. I expect that the Mayor will “be on top of this” devisive comment quicker than ants can find a picnic.

  28. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:15 pm:


    I do not care whether or not there are any….blacks………. in the senate. My goal would be to elect a qualified and honest person. Race or gender is not my prerequisite for a candidate.

    Steele’s comment is pure racist!

  29. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:17 pm:

    What would you call Burris. Last time I looked he appeared to be black. I assume he is “middle class”.

  30. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    ====Don’t worry be happy====

    That was exactly what I was thinking about Bobbie Steele, and she was part of all the underhanded prolonging the resignation of John Stroger until after the deadline passed for another Candidate to enter. She easily was elected to his interum post, and annointed son Robert her old post (after not being sure she would run or not)
    Jackson needs to get more distance between her Bobbie Deal Steele.

  31. - Anchorwoman - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    Stay classy, Cheryle and Bobbie.

  32. - Honest Abe - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:28 pm:

    What’s the big deal? Carol Moseley Braun said as much of Republican opponent (Rich Williamson) and was elected to the US Senate.

  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:30 pm:

    Please. She never was that explicit.

    There are limits.

  34. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:42 pm:

    racist, purely racist. thanks for calling them out on it, Rich. mostly, the media lets this stuff go, and that should not be the way it works.

  35. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:44 pm:

    The irony of someone who gets a pension the size of Steeles in part due to a short stint as County Board President calling others rich is well rich.

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:47 pm:

    HA! I see the article goes on to say Mark Kirk is rich too.

    You mean he’s NOT?!!! He’s actually struggled and has had to work to survive the way some other Republicans–and (OMG!) Democrats–have?

    What the heck is going on within our Party? lol

  37. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:52 pm:

    Regardless of race, the amount of money earned by Jackson and her husband last year (both salaries are public) puts them in the top 1.5% of all households as determined by the US census. We can debate about how much you need to make in order to be rich, but they’re certainly not poor.

  38. - Studenting - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:58 pm:

    Interesting how when the race of whites is noted it’s considered racist but it’s obligatory in descriptions of all politicians of color.

  39. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 4:59 pm:

    Its sad that people need to keep bring race in to politics. The goal shouldn’t be to run or elect a candidate who is a certain race but the candidate that is going to do the best job of representation the public in office.

  40. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 5:00 pm:

    When Bobbie Steele was asked by Carol Marin (shortly after becoming interum Pres of CC) Carol asked her how many of her Children worked for the County……she could not remember, she said Maybe 2 or 3. Puh Leeze, a mother does not know where her Children work?

    Bobbie Steele is not an asset to Jackson’s Campaign, and Jackson not putting distance between her and Bobbie will hurt her, this is a State wide election, and it will not go well South of 80.

  41. - Speaking at Will - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 5:15 pm:

    Racial politics….. Sigh.

  42. - fedup dem - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 5:23 pm:

    At least now Ms. Jackson will have someone else to blame (Steele) after giving her concession speech early on the evening of February 2!

  43. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 6:14 pm:

    Former Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele may have used a poor choice of words in her comment, but she was right on the money. How absolutely ridiculous that Roland Burris will leave the only African-American seat in the U.S. Senate vacant just in time for another “establishment” or “annointed” candidate to fill. The verdict is still out for me on Cheryle Jackson, but I wholeheartedly support the push to bring racial and socio-economic diversity to the U.S. Senate. Let’s be candid and fduring these challenging times, Rich!

  44. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 6:15 pm:

    ***Spell-checked Version***
    Former Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele may have used a poor choice of words in her comment, but she was right on the money. How absolutely ridiculous that Roland Burris will leave the only African-American seat in the U.S. Senate vacant just in time for another “establishment” or “anointed” candidate to fill. The verdict is still out for me on Cheryle Jackson, but I wholeheartedly support the push to bring racial and socio-economic diversity to the U.S. Senate. Let’s be candid and during these challenging times, Rich!

  45. - Levois - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 6:26 pm:

    Nothing excuses it but Steele’s comments strikes me as something out of the old school.

  46. - Bobs yer - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 6:52 pm:

    She can say what she wants. But she’s pretty dang wealthy herself, just her money comes from the public trough.

    At some point, all this race card garbage will be referred to as the old ‘last refuge of a scoundrel’. Until then, we’ll have to accept a paraphrase of Tip O’Neil’s admonition: [In Cook County at least] “all politics is racial.

  47. - Yiddish Cowboy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 7:23 pm:

    Ok, Black Ivy, let’s be candid. If Jackson comes off as the most qualified and overall best candidate, then she should be elected. I am NOT, I repeat NOT, in favor of adding diversity to the Senate, House or anything else, simply for the sake of diversity. And another thing that ticks me off is the “rich White guy” comment Steele made. If someone made a similar comment about blacks, cries of racism from the black community would be heard from Chicago to Cairo. Enough of the double standards, folks.

  48. - regular democrat - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 7:57 pm:

    I would like to know why Ms Jackson brought that has been out of mothballs anyway. I thought she went back to Alabama with her golden parachute pension. Ms Steele is exactly what is wrong with the system and to have her anywhere near a press conference is absurd. This is the big leagues Ms Jackson. You are not running for some remote spot on the county board. This is the US Senate

  49. - Stuck in the Law Library - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 8:04 pm:

    Egad. I wasn’t going to comment on this, but after letting it stew for a while, I am offended. This isn’t too hard to figure out people and some have already said it. This is classic race baiting 101. Pure and simple.

    What is Cheryle Jackson ’s strategy going to be??? Put this kind of stuff out there, fire up the base and pray they turn out. End of story. You won’t find her talking to any Rotary club in Elgin, she won’t be going to no farm breakfasts outside Decatur, she won’t be putting out any policy papers on the economy…Suck up to all of Stroger’s henchmen and hope people turn out.

    Then hope Hoffmann throws the entire kitchen sink at Alexi, hope Alexi’s takes Hoffman’s bait and they go to war and then squeak by in the primary.

    As a Dem, what ticks me off is that Emily’s list is wasting resources on this race. Do they ever poll or test messages before they endorse? Doubtful . Cheryle Jackson was Blago’s chief apologist and she claims “she didn’t know what was going on” during that time. If true, that made Cheryle Jackson the only one in the whole Administration that didn’t know Blago was a crook. The media should do its job and start asking some simple questions.

  50. - colt 45 - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 8:28 pm:

    it’s not a black seat. it’s not a white seat. it’s a senate seat. sadly, moving beyond race will not happen in my lifetime. i hope my kids live to see that day.

  51. - babs - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 9:21 pm:

    Yiddish Cowboy, exactly what planet do you live on where the most qualified and overall best candidate wins? The fact is that candidates, good or bad, who win are, mostly, white men. Women and people of color are largely under-represented.

  52. - Inish - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 10:23 pm:

    She needs to be able to get into the race- and I don’t see the signatures, the money or the systems to make that happen. Bobbie Steele’s comments was distastefuly- the repsonse from the pR person of Blago- just lame.

  53. - Levois - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    Hey rich Black guy or something to that effect. I doubt there’d be outcry. Something far worse could be said than that.

  54. - Yiddish Cowboy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 10:40 pm:

    Babs, take a look at Obama. Obviously a lot of whites voted for Obama; many thought he was the best candidate…and, look, he won. Last time I checked, he was not a “rich white man.” If women and minotities believe there is a lack of representation, then let them take a shot at running for public office…kinda like Jackson is doing now, eh? Too bad Jackson has the pillar of backwards- and atiquated-thinking Steele behind her. Steele just sounds too much like Sharpton and the “Rev.” Jesse Jackson. In today’s society, there should be no room for this type of thinking, regardless of a person’s race.

  55. - Honest Abe - Tuesday, Oct 27, 09 @ 11:40 pm:


    Braun’s swipe at Williamson was less explicit, but her implication was clear. She did reference her opponent’s wealth. She played the race card more blatantly when syndicated columnist George Will accused her of corrupt fundraising practices.
    The investigation was conveniently halted by the DOJ.

    In any event, Bobbie Steele is an embarrassment. I would like to know how much it cost the taxpayers to place her framed photographs in every Cook County facility during her five month reign as the interim president of the County Board.

    I do think Cheryl Jackson should not be blamed for Steele’s idiotic remarks.

  56. - jaded voter - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 1:51 am:

    Who cares what Bobbi Steel says. She’s and old county board hack who fought and clawed to get old man Stroger’s president seat for 6 months just to pad her pension. Shameless.

  57. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 9:38 am:

    You attack Durbin while proselytizing for “solutions that are non partisan”.

    This is what I wrote - We need an Illinois US Senator that will balance the liberal views of Dick Durbin, so that everyone in this state may feel that their beliefs are represented in Washington.

    That is not an attack. It is an acknowledgement that we need a senator that will balance the liberal views of our current senator. Hoping that Illinois can have two senators that can present a bipartisan view that better represents Illinoians, shouldn’t be considered unreal. Illinois is currently drowning in one-party rule, and suffering as a consequence. It is rather pitiful to hear someone complain if we send someone who is not a liberal Democrat to Washington, when we have too many already.

    I favor a balanced view. Too bad you do not.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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