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Willie Wilson announces US Senate candidacy

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020

* Willie Wilson’s announcement statement…

America is at a crossroads and we need a leader in the United States Senate who will prioritize all people over a political party. Minority Whip Durbin has been in public office for 37 years, and many communities in Illinois have been ignored and forgotten.

He is out of touch with constituents. I attempted to arrange a meeting with Sen. Durbin and for four weeks I did not get a call back from his office. As a businessman, I ask what has been the return on investment for Durbin’s 37-year career? The statistics reflect record levels of unemployment, gun violence, disinvestment, and hopelessness in too many communities. To add insult to injury, Durbin voted for the pernicious 1994 Crime Bill that provided $8.7 billion to build more prisons and led to the mass incarceration of Black boys and men. Black males account for 6.5 percent of the population and 40 percent of the federal prison population. Sen. Durbin’s vote for the 1994 Crime Bill ensured that there are more Black men in prison than on college campuses. Sen. Durbin’s decision to look tough on crime has cost Black men their lives and broken up families.

“Just last week Sen. Durbin displayed his contempt for the Black and Brown community when he voted “no” to allow debate on Police Reform in the Senate. The deaths of George Floyd, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice and others at the hands of law enforcement demand police reform. Sen. Durbin knows that for young men of color, police use of force is among the leading causes of death. Nonetheless, Sen. Durbin again chose the Democrat Party over the people. Sen. Tim Scott’s Police Reform Bill fell four votes short of allowing debate to proceed,” Dr. Wilson said.

“Sen. Durbin for three decades has stood in the way of building a third airport to accommodate growth in the South Suburbs of Cook County and congestion at O’Hare and Midway airports. Building a third airport would address overcrowding issues, improve safety, stimulate the local economy and improve the environment. I strongly support building a third airport for the South Suburbs,” says Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson stated: I am running for the United States Senate because Sen. Durbin has taken the African American community and others for granted. Quite frankly, his 37 years in office has caused him to become arrogant and out of touch with citizens from the Land of Lincoln. He has become drunk with the wine of power from the Potomac. He no longer can relate to the problems of people in Englewood, East St. Louis, Austin, and Aurora. Specifically, more than 1.6 million people left Illinois for other states between 2014-2018. Sen. Durbin’s propensity to raise taxes is driving people and businesses out of Illinois. He is more interested in serving the interests of lobbyists and corporations than the people. As a former sharecropper, I understand people, pain, poverty and business. I will always put people before politics.

“The COVID-19 pandemic unmasked the woeful investment the federal government has made in closing gaps in racial disparities in healthcare. In fact, more African Americans and Latinos have been diagnosed with and died from COVID-19. Sen. Durbin has failed in 37 years to improve the quality of healthcare for Black and Brown people in Illinois. For example, there is a 30-year life expectancy gap just based on where you live in Chicago. A person living in Streeterville can expect to live 30 years longer than someone in Englewood. Sen. Durbin has failed to address inequality in wealth, healthcare, housing, education, criminal justice, and contracting. He does not deserve another six-year term. As a part of the Senate Leadership he should be ashamed that he has not done more to improve the lives of poor people. There is no higher calling than serving others, I believe the United States Senate would allow me to better serve the citizens of Illinois and the nation,” Dr. Wilson said.

* I asked the Durbin campaign for a response. From his campaign manager Greg Bales…

Dr. Wilson is not an independent—he’s a Republican who publicly supported Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner, and contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates this election. On police reform, he opposes the Congressional Black Caucus and every major civil rights organization — including the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund — and instead supports Trump’s position. A vote for Wilson is a vote for Trump and a Mitch McConnell controlled U.S. Senate.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Curious citizen - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:45 pm:

    Isn’t this a little late to start a campaign?


  2. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:46 pm:

    Not even if you greased my palm with a stack of twneties wrapped in a facemask, Willie.


  3. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    Announce? The dude has been running for months now, has already started his own party, and is running ads.

    “I attempted to arrange a meeting with Sen. Durbin and for four weeks I did not get a call back from his office”

    Yea, because you’re running against the man. Get real.

    I get annoyed that Chicago TV always falls for his feel-good philanthropy stories (as they did a few months ago) and fail to mention that he only seems to pull said stunts when he’s running in an election that year.


  4. - Can - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    Good. It will divide up the Republican vote between Wilson and whoever the actual GOP nominee is.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    Willie (different spelling) Wilson is a Raunerite, has no base, sees self gratification as a reward to his ego

    Best news Durbin got this week.


  6. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    I don’t believe even Willie Wilson believes Willie Wilson.


  7. - Near West Side - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    Can we please stop calling him a doctor? Durbin has honorary doctorates too (as well as an earned JD) yet he doesn’t insist on co-opting the title for himself. This Benjamin Franklin approach of using an honorary doctorate in your title is obnoxious


  8. - PIA - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    Will the BLOCheads be endorsing the good doctor?

    Money talks.


  9. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    Willie who?


  10. - Birds on the Bat - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:13 pm:

    Good. It will divide up the Republican vote between Wilson and whoever the actual GOP nominee is.

    Like it’s going to matter.


  11. - Springfield Westsider - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    As a Black man…I can confidently say he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in…

    Well, not to trigger the banned words list but y’all get it


  12. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    Durbin’s accomplishments - he got smoking banned on airliners, so there’s that.


  13. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    === Good. It will divide up the Republican vote between Wilson and whoever the actual GOP nominee is.===

    Mark Curran. The Republican candidate is Mark Curran.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:35 pm:

    === Durbin’s accomplishments===

    Then he should be easy to beat and folks should be lining up to beat him..

    … and yet…

    Oh. Before the “Illinois can’t elect a Republican US Senator”, Mr. Kirk and Mr. Fitzgerald beg to differ…


  15. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    Me in the corner eating popcorn :)


  16. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    Everytime I see Willie Wilson I think of the baseball player I admired as a kid. I don’t associate the name with anything else.


  17. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:40 pm:

    Grades:

    Wilson announcement: C-. You’re running bc your feelings are hurt he wouldn’t meet with you ? And he should vote more with GOP Senators ? Parroting Rauner and IPI talking points ?

    Durbin response: A. Wilson is a Trump Republican. Repeat.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 4:52 pm:

    === that for young men of color, police use of force is among the leading causes of death. Nonetheless, Sen. Durbin again chose the Democrat Party over the people. Sen. Tim Scott’s Police Reform Bill fell four votes short of allowing debate to proceed,” Dr. Wilson said.===

    Does Mr. Wilson believe in a national registry of bad cops and ending choke holds like the House bill says?


  19. - Rich Hill - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 5:22 pm:

    Perennial candidate runs.


  20. - Gladhander - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 5:30 pm:

    I’m just here for the Greg Bales quotes.


  21. - Nagidam - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 5:56 pm:

    I think Dr. Wilson running as a Republican could garner more votes as the Democrat turned Republican former Sheriff of Lake County Mark Curran who is the actual nominee. In case everyone didn’t know who the Republican nominee is.


  22. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    I don’t believe my vote is for sale, but I’ll entertain offers.


  23. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 7:15 pm:

    I have at least heard of Dr. Wilson.

    This is more than I can say for the Republican U.S. Senate candidate.


  24. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 7:15 pm:

    Money doesn’t buy happiness. Only more grievances, apparently. If you have ever watched Willie Wilson for even the most minuscule amount of time and find him to be trustworthy or honest, you are an unbelievably bad judge of character.


  25. - BilboSwaggins - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 8:13 pm:

    -“I attempted to arrange a meeting with Sen. Durbin and for four weeks I did not get a call back from his office”-

    Truly, no one ever has tried this “gotcha.” I’m sure the fact that you were ignored was totally a coincidence. No way they laughed at you. No. Way.


  26. - Quizzical - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 10:02 pm:

    Will he be hiring Dan Proft to burn his cash, I mean run his campaign?


  27. - Uhhh what - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 10:41 pm:

    This is garbage news, how is this even post worthy?


  28. - Just Another Anon - Wednesday, Jul 1, 20 @ 11:40 pm:

    Fun trivia.

    If elected, Wilson would be the second “Independent” senator in Illinois history. Kudos to David Davis back in 1877 for being the first. (He’s actually got an interesting bio, Lincoln appointed him to the SCOTUS, but he resigned, got appointed to the senate, then ran as an I).

    Also, he would be the first African American senator elected as an Independent.


  29. - truthtopower - Thursday, Jul 2, 20 @ 1:58 am:

    To: - Just Another Anon -
    Only problem with your Fun trivia, is Dr. Wilson is not running as an independent. According to his petitions, he is running as a new political party candidate under the Willie Wilson Party!


  30. - SouthSideGT - Thursday, Jul 2, 20 @ 7:35 am:

    I am a Durbin supporter. Willie Wilson is an American success story of pick and hard work. He has generously helped people in need. He even provided free masks recently. He has earned respect for his accomplishments as a businessman and philanthropist. Long shot fringe candidates are fun except for Alan Keyes, of course. But if Willie Wilson wants to re start his run for Senate I say huzzah.


  31. - Siriusly - Thursday, Jul 2, 20 @ 8:01 am:

    I am completely with Durbin. But as far as opponents go, Wilson is far more interesting and more of a genuine choice for voters than Mark Curran is. The IL GOP is demonstrating its lack of relevance or maybe its sense of humor by putting Curran at the top of their ticket. It’s almost like saying to voters “hang in there Republicans, 2022 is only two years away”

    So yes, Wilson is an interesting candidate and I hope he gets some coverage.


  32. - Commisar Gritty - Thursday, Jul 2, 20 @ 9:00 am:

    Willie Wilson did not give me 140 dollars to post this


  33. - Keri - Thursday, Jul 2, 20 @ 9:39 am:

    I swear to God, I thought that said Willie Nelson. I was stoked.


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