WWJD? Not Endorse Stroger

But Chicago clergy coalition does

By Steve Rhodes
|  Thursday, Oct 15, 2009  |  Updated 7:46 AM CDT
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Stroger won the endorsement of a group of ministers.

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If the sermons that preachers give on Sundays are any indication, Jesus stood for honesty, transparency, accountability and against corruption.

He wouldn't have made a very good Chicago pol.

And while some believe he had a very powerful father, there is no reason to believe he was in favor of nepotism.

It's also pretty clear that he wouldn't have much bad to say about Toni Preckwinkle, and maybe not even about Danny Davis and Dorothy Brown, who are all running for board president.

But a coalition of about 100 African-American ministers calling themselves "Members of the Clergy for a Better Chicagoland" endorsed Todd Stroger's re-election bid for Cook County board president, even though it's doubtful that's what Jesus would have done.

The ministers have taken a decidedly racial tone with the endorsment, despite the fact that Preckwinkle, Davis and Brown are also black.

"Don't you dare tell me that our interests can't be your interests," the Nation of Islam's Leonard Muhammad told WBEZ after the Stroger endorsement party. "That our interests can't be the Hispanics' interests. That our interests can't be the Irishmen's interests. Well, if your interests can be our interests, then our interests can be yours."

Huh?

The clergy members' endorsement was announced at the Stroger campaign's kickoff event - held at the Quinn Chapel AME Church. Better or worse than Brown's campaign event during the workday at the County Building?

The latest Chicago Tribune poll found Stroger's approval rating at 10 percent, so just about every supporter he has in the county was at Quinn for the event.

The clergy - and Stroger's campaign - is trying to leverage that 10 percent, plus the endorsement, to get the other African-American candidates to drop out of the running.

But Preckwinkle, who is also running for board president told the Tribune that "This is a Democratic primary, not an African-American primary,"

It's not a Christian primary, either. Leave that to the Republicans.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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