* Maze Jackson and Charles Thomas interviewed JB Pritzker on WVON yesterday. Click here for the full video.
A caller who said he owns a small company in the building industry asked whether Pritzker would consider making a commitment to putting a million dollars into a black-owned bank “so we can have loans and hire people.” Pritzker’s reply…
“As a matter of fact, I have made a commitment to do that. And we’ve met with a number of African-American faith leaders who were very encouraging about that and felt that’s a very important way for us to help create employment in the African-American community. So, it’s something I’ve already done.”
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner made good on a promise to deposit $1 million in a South Side credit union for small business loans.
Rauner arrived in his 20-year-old Volkswagen van. At the teller’s window he made a $200,000 donation and an $800,000 deposit to help the African American-owned credit union make small business loans. […]
“Is he the kind of person who would rather buy votes in the community as opposed to being here all along?” said Rikeesha Phelon of the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Charles Thomas: I have talked to so many black people over the last several weeks, who say JB’s my guy. Man, they got JB’s personal cell phone number. Everybody’s trying to get paid. These politicians and political operatives, it seems to me, by JB Pritzker because they know he’s got three and a half billion dollars…
JBP: That’s not happening in my campaign. Listen, we have gained a lot of support in the African-American community which I think is a direct consequence of my spending a lot of time in the black community.
CT: Not money.
JBP: No, no. I am spending time in the black community. You ask, people have seen me everywhere. I am going West Side, South Side, everywhere. I’ve spent time and I have a lot of friends in the black community for some time. So, I’ve been successful I think because I’m working hard.
CT: So, you’re not being that guy who’s buying, you say you’re not buying…
Maze Jackson: Hold on. Look. In the interest of what’s in it for black folks, and there’s a half billion dollars being spent, find some black people to hire, because we need to participate in the economic part of this election process too.
So, on the one hand he’s going to make a large deposit into a black bank. But on the other, he’s spending time not money, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective.
Not really sure there’s a good answer to this line of questioning. If he doesn’t spend money in black communities, he’s a billionaire being withholding of his dollars. If he does, he’s trying to buy votes.
I’m far from a Rauner guy, but this isn’t a fair thing to hit him on either. Dude gave a million to a credit union. Sure it’s peanuts for him and he was doing it for publicity, but what are we expecting? How many white Winnetka billionaires are spending large amounts of time in the black community in Chicago without cameras around? I wish it weren’t the case, but let’s not be willfully ignorant.
It was good of Rauner to donate/invest, and other rich folks should do the same. Their reasons behind it don’t matter to the folks getting small business loans they otherwise couldn’t have gotten (presuming that’s actually happening).
I would suggest that JB give money to Chance the Rapper’s fund to help Chicago school instead. That way JB can highlight what Rauner did to Chicago Public schools. And if JB can get Chance as an ally, that would go a long way. At least give Chance the equivalent amount that he saved on property taxes, maybe a bit more.
- Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 1:09 pm:
I see a difference between throwing a million dollars to a bank vs. commitment to diverse campaign staff and vendors, and longtime support of important issues in African American communities.
I made a comment about how Maze Jackson was bought off by Rauner and my comment was removed. Why is that?
I am a black Chicago resident and I have personally interacted with Maze Jackson several times back when he defended Ken Dunkin. Why would my comment be deleted for speaking the truth without curse words? We’re all grown folks here.
Pritzker has every advantage a front runner except in the polling ID, but they’re working on that, but that also means Pritzker is going to face serious scrutiny, like with oppo research and here and in his and the campaign’s workings with neighborhoods, groups, etc.
Where Rauner excelled was his the campaign’s ability to be Teflon by aggressiveness.
Attack Rauner, Rauner and Crew hit back as hard or harder. Rauner would drive his own narrative, then drive at the same time his opponents into areas of their own vulnerabilities.
Pritzker and his Crew?
Nice positive ad rollouts, but they’ve yet to find serious sea legs to take hits, then give back hits to get Pritzker back on the Pritzker game plan.
This is another really great example. Ok, no money, yes money, what money… Have answers to the commitments and what building the campaign looks to… to be successful.
When Pritzker Crew can plan and be deliberate in a message or messaging in a release or ads or a statement, really quality stuff.
On their feet, after a hit, quick response / quick pivot discussion… not the best at handling the communication aspect of being a top flight campaign.
That Crew really needs to get communications and the communication house in order, in so far as that Crew and Pritzker himself need to look at how they need to be better; be it in prep, or impromptu thinking in communications.
Pritzker MUST reach out to Jimmy Odom and learn about his experience with the Rauner folks. They plied him with perfidy. He made a stab at doing good for his community but it was all promises and staged press releases.
I applaud Odom for calling the bluff
1) Pritzker needs to totally throw himself behind state workers.
A huge amount of African Americans have stable jobs with government. A good start is to protect those jobs.
2) then yes. Fund a bank, fund entrepreneur programs and put promising folks in your administration. But don’t have tokens. Odom, as likable and well meaning as he is, was not in any way qualified for the positions he held.
If JB follows the Rauner blueprint, then we have further evidence that a) our democratic system can be easily purchased (notably with dollars from the candidate himself) and b) the Democratic Party is not interested in fixing that broken system, but seeks to benefit from it.
Token donations to Black banks and businesses can’t make up for the many years of disinvestment and disenfranchisement of Black communities and other communities of color. Any candidate that presents a real economic investment plan for all working communities deserves support. I am interested to see JB’s plan, because we know what it means to live under Rauner’s.
Every so often I may have something that could be construed as a salient point. Thank you.
To the Post,
The end game for whomever is the eventual Democratic Nominee is maximizing turnout, especially in Chicago and Cook. Rauner will try to suppress. Dems will need to close ranks after March and be committed to turnout, including AA turnout.
Can they start now, Dems, with that building, as one party?