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Two more big holes blown in discrimination lawsuit against Pritzker

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018

* From the lawsuit against the Pritzker campaign

DeJuan Jackson, as a Regional Field Director, used to take many of the complaints of racial discrimination and harassment related to POD 4 to higher ups on behalf of the organizers.

However, in exchange for his silence, he was given a shiny new job title and pay raise. He was also strongly encouraged to cut his dreadlocks; therefore, he no longer comes across as crass and was the least offensive African American that could be put in that spot.

I reached out to Jackson, but didn’t hear back. I also asked the campaign for a statement because the lawsuit’s claim seemed so weird. They flatly denied that anyone told Jackson to cut off his dreads.

* And now we have this from Jackson’s Facebook page

Pretty darned strong. That claim was just insulting on its face, so I’m glad he responded.

* Meanwhile, remember this tweet from one of the plaintiffs about an event the day her lawsuit was filed?



* ABC 7 followed up

“I think the policies and practices that were put forth during the campaign have racial undertones and that my clients have been discriminated upon based on those policies,” said attorney Shay Allen.

Yet in a tweet posted by one of the workers in the lawsuit, Celia Colon wrote, “Had an amazing event tonight,” seeming to refer to an event the same day the lawsuit was filed.

When asked why eight of the plaintiffs are still working for their campaign, Allen said “even though the situation is horrible, they’re powering through it” so they can finish what they started.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

48 Comments
  1. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    The lead plaintiff, who has never been involved in politics before, and has only been working for the campaign since July, feels his superstar qualities have not been fully appreciated and rewarded.

    And for context, he thinks he’s ready to be alderman.

    Yeah, I’d say he’s got some lofty expectations.


  2. - Reserved - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Can part of this ridiculousness be attributed to Pritzker not being that dynamic or inspiring as a candidate? Seems like campaign staff can put up with a lot when they have a belief in their candidate, but Pritzker doesn’t come across as someone who can inspire others simply with the power of their beliefs an d ideas.


  3. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    The discussion of Jackson in the Complaint was unnecessary to the objective and needlessly insulting.


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    ===Can part of this ridiculousness be attributed to Pritzker not being that dynamic===

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame Pritzker for false and kinda racist accusations like these against a member of his staff.


  5. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Wow, the preponderance of evidence supporting the campaign is growing by the minute. I’m honestly shocked. I didn’t think it would go down like this.


  6. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    ==Can part of this ridiculousness be attributed to Pritzker not being that dynamic or inspiring as a candidate?==

    Maybe, but most of his staff seems to really like the guy.

    Anyway, your job is your job, regardless of how inspired you are.


  7. - DownstateGirl - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    Even if their claims are legit, I don’t fault people for continuing to work in “hostile” work environments. That’s the same logic that is often used against women who claim sexual harassment (”why didn’t you quit?”). Not everybody can afford to just quit their jobs. And a job isn’t always just a job. Sometimes quitting will potentially end your chances at advancing in the broader professional arena you are currently working in (politics, for example).
    I do think it’s a bit weird she would be still posting positive and encouraging things about the campaign on her own social media accounts. I would expect silence on that end. Particularly in light of now pending litigation.


  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Grifters gonna grift. But they really didn’t think this one through.

    After the threat of a lawsuit didn’t result in a payday, there was absolutely nothing to be gained by actually filing the lawsuit. No way any politician could settle; it would be a public, possibly fatal, admission of wrongdoing.

    All the suit did was reveal some very shoddy lawyering.


  9. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Starting to look more and more about what’s in it for Shay Allen and not about justice for the plaintiffs.


  10. - plainclothesman - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    I don’t think the fact that 8 of the plaintiffs are still working for JB is “blowing a big hole”.

    Their lawsuit is about how poorly racial minorities are treated in the political work place, so why are you surprised that they are keeping their jobs in a landscape where it is very tough for minorities to find work?


  11. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Do these disgruntled campaign staffers have no clue?

    Remember the documentary film “The War Room” about the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign? George Stephanopoulos and the others were lucky to dine on pizza deliveries every night. James Carville related stories about being close to dead broke working on campaigns and sleeping in cars before Clinton became president. It is not easy way to make a living. Staying in discounted chain hotels ought not to have been a surprise.


  12. - plainclothesman - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    is it not entirely possible that you can have legitimate, legal grievances with your employer while still choosing to work for them?


  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    ===is “blowing a big hole”.===

    Never said it was. The two big holes are contained in Jackson’s Facebook post.


  14. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Reserved:

    The plaintiffs are/were paid staff. Not volunteers.

    Volunteers fall out of love with a candidate and drift away from the campaign all the time.

    The plaintiffs were paid professionals.

    Or not.


  15. - Reserved - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Rich, I agree, it’s not fair to blame Pritzker, he is what he is and can beat Rauner and is doing what he needs to do to beat Rauner which is the whole point. But, part of me can see how his message isn’t that inspiring to younger minorities who may not be willing to simply accept that the Democrat candidate is going to be the best candidate simply because they are a Democrat.


  16. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    == they’re powering through it ==

    Translation: it would look bad if we ended up working for some non-democratic organization while this lawsuit is ongoing


  17. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Terrific response by Jackson. With all the exclamation points and capital letters, it seems quite sincere (not written by the Pritzker campaign’s communications director).


  18. - Real - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Rich, I agree, it’s not fair to blame Pritzker, he is what he is and can beat Rauner and is doing what he needs to do to beat Rauner which is the whole point. But, part of me can see how his message isn’t that inspiring to younger minorities who may not be willing to simply accept that the Democrat candidate is going to be the best candidate simply because they are a Democrat.

    -I’m black and I disagree. We have two choices Nov 6. Either Rauner or Pritzker. If you not satisfied with Pritzker then don’t work on his campaign and be happy with Rauner.


  19. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    It’s a big stretch to try to blame perceived lack of leadership by JB for this situation. As of right now it looks like this is a shakedown attempt. JB has been throwing a lot of money around during this campaign and it looks like a few folks who felt under appreciated were looking to get their hands on some of that money.


  20. - Buck'n'Irish - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    Unnecessary to drag someone else’s name through the mud without their consent for your own lawsuit whether it be fruitless or not. I’m sure Jackson didn’t want to be dealing with this during perhaps the most important 3 weeks of his career


  21. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    “is it not entirely possible that you can have legitimate, legal grievances with your employer while still choosing to work for them?” Yes. See “AFSCME”


  22. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    It looks like major parts of the allegations are unraveling.

    “so they can finish what they started”

    That would be the election of Pritzker/Stratton, no?


  23. - Groucho - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Just curious, but can the lawyers file these complaints without the consent of the plaintiffs?


  24. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    “is it not entirely possible that you can have legitimate, legal grievances with your employer while still choosing to work for them?” Yes. See “AFSCME”

    That’s not the same. AFSCME is trying to beat Rauner in November. The campaign workers are trying to get Pritzker elected.


  25. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    ==Just curious, but can the lawyers file these complaints without the consent of the plaintiffs?==

    Sure, if they’re looking for an abrupt career change.


  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    ===Yes. See “AFSCME” ===

    Make sure to let me know the next time AFSCME tweets something super-positive about Gov. Rauner.


  27. - BC - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    ==Can part of this ridiculousness be attributed to Pritzker not being that dynamic or inspiring as a candidate?==

    Based on the complaints about hotel accommodations, it seems at least some of the plaintiffs approached their role on the campaign as just another job, not a quest to get a guy they really believe in elected to office. Or maybe the campaign is so big and so staffed up that working there is impersonal and transactional — they don’t feel any bond to the candidate.


  28. - Quimby'sSash - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Bingo, Practical Politics!

    Campaigns are exploitative in nature(which is bad), but the workload, demands etc are all par for the course. Also, you wouldn’t send a Muslim to do Jewish outreach or an devout Catholic to do Planned Parenthood outreach… Race and ID politics, for better or worse, is all in the game…


  29. - Jocko - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    ==even though the situation is horrible, they’re powering through it==

    Celia is sure putting on a brave face…and posting no less. /s


  30. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    The mean and pointless bashing of DeJaun Jackson in that complaint was so awful.

    If these people are mad at the Pritzker campaign, fine. But based on what was disclosed the drafters of that complaint had no reason to be dissing DeJaun basically as a sell-out just for cutting his hair.

    It was clear that is what they were doing by describing him in the same language as the Blago tapes stuff. And it just came across as so petty and mean-spirited and didn’t do anything to advance the interests of these clients in terms of their chances in prevailing in this lawsuit.


  31. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    I have no idea whether one of the plaintiffs (or attorneys) is motivated here to help Rauner.

    But boy, with all the lying in the complaint, and lying about silly unnecessary stuff that is so easily proven a lie, it does smell a little Raunerish. /s


  32. - Anon0091 - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    “But, part of me can see how his message isn’t that inspiring to younger minorities who may not be willing to simply accept that the Democrat candidate is going to be the best candidate simply because they are a Democrat.”

    The problem with this whole line of “he’s not inspiring enough for staff” is that the guy is incredibly likable and treats people really well. So staff that interact with him generally like him a great deal. Lots of people have pointed to this throughout the entire campaign including Rich. He’s just a super likable guy. So with respect, no. That’s not on him.

    As to these developments, they are pretty remarkable. One of the only specific (albeit thin) allegations in the lawsuit is denied by the person they’re talking about, and in language clearly not written by campaign staff. Seems like this complaint just doesn’t hold water. Their lawyers better be careful. Federal courts will make you pay for filing a merit-less lawsuit.


  33. - MG85 - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Yes. See “AFSCME” ===

    Also, make sure to let me know when AFSCME actually works for Rauner.

    Last I checked, AFSCME works for the public employees of Illinois.


  34. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Its a camppaign. A temporary army thrown together for a few months. Temporary employment for a few months. If someone is getting praise you think you deserve, speak up. Outperform. Or leave. Do the plaintiffs have employment contracts? What are the terms? Expectations? Geez, its a cliche for a reason. “We win, and you are coming to washington (spfld) with us.”


  35. - DeseDemDose - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    The Lawyer who concocted this ransom request letter should be arrested for blackmail. He may as well have asked Pritzker to drop the 7.5 million in a duffel bag behind Billy Goat on lower Wacker or else.


  36. - Anon0091 - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    As I said above. They generally really like him.

    https://twitter.com/CatchTheRayS/status/1021900000538882049


  37. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    “Also, make sure to let me know when AFSCME actually works for Rauner.” You’re right, it’s not a perfect analogy.
    Rauner isn’t writing the checks, but he is the head of the chain of command for many agencies. That’s what I was referring to. And I’d also argue that “super-positive Tweets” were not part of the original question, so that’s also beside my point.


  38. - Anonymous II - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    It appears that Attorney Allen’s license is in jeopardy as a complaint for lying to a judge is pending before the ARDC. Right now he is a licensed attorney. Next year might lose his license or at least be suspended. Right now he can still earn a fee. If he loses his license he can’t.


  39. - Huh? - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    “Yes. See “AFSCME””

    This comment only works for those people who actually work for AFSCME, such as a BA. State, county and municipal employees may be represented by AFSCME, but their employer may be a unit of government.


  40. - Flynn's Mom - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Shay Allen thought he had a get rich quick scheme. This may be another point against him with the ARDC.


  41. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    “The discussion of Jackson in the Complaint was unnecessary to the objective and needlessly insulting.”

    That depends on what the actual objective of the complaint is.

    – MrJM


  42. - Shytown - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    I hope these recent developments and a tossing out of this complaint by a judge will finally put this ridiculousness to rest.


  43. - Molly Maguire - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    From a strictly legal perspective there is no cause of action on racial discrimination if the supes were the same race.


  44. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    –is it not entirely possible that you can have legitimate, legal grievances with your employer while still choosing to work for them?–

    Yes, but you can’t ignore the unique nature of their line of work.

    Elections are a zero-sum contest. It ain’t like you’re still successful if you’re Pepsi instead of Coke.

    So on the one hand, they’re supposedly working for a Pritzker victory. On the other hand, the lawsuit can only be an impediment to that one-and-only objective.


  45. - TominChicago - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    From a strictly legal perspective there is no cause of action on racial discrimination if the supes were the same race.

    Unless of course the racially discriminatory policies were dictated by the campaign. I am not saying that is true, but it would give rise to an intentional discrimination claim.


  46. - wondering - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    I have to wonder, are campaign jobs not, in and of themselves, temporary? Does anyone have a reasonable expectation of continued and promotable employment past an election? These are not career positions. My old friend, Lou Dela Acrass would wonder.


  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    You can bring racial discrimination complaints against supes of the same race. Sometimes they favor other races or discriminate based on skin tone.


  48. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 18, 18 @ 6:25 pm:

    =So on the one hand, they’re supposedly working for a Pritzker victory. On the other hand, the lawsuit can only be an impediment to that one-and-only objective.=

    The inside outskies.


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