Scott Lee Cohen Locks Up the Black Vote! But Probably Not! - NBC Chicago
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Scott Lee Cohen Locks Up the Black Vote! But Probably Not!



    Scott Lee Cohen just nailed down the black vote!

    Shrewdly realizing that the black community is still seething over seeing Rep. Art Turner passed over for the lieutenant governor nomination -- in favor a white chick, no less -- Cohen went out and found his own black dude as a running mate.

    Since Turner, who is still a Democrat, was not available, Cohen looked inside his own campaign apparatus and found … Baxter Swilley, who served as Downstate coordinator during Cohen’s own run for lieutenant governor, and who has a name straight out of All the King’s Men. (At least Swilley knows how to run a successful lieutenant governor campaign.) Cohen will introduce Swilley this morning at a 10 a.m. press conference in Chicago.

    Better yet, according to Cohen’s campaign, Swilley shares an important characteristic with President Obama.

    “As a community organizer, Baxter spent his life bringing positive change to Illinois by working for organizations including the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA and the Chicago Urban League,” John Davis, a Cohen campaign spokesman, said.

    Judging from his resume, Swilley can be better described as a political organizer. The 34-year-old was political director for John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign in Missouri. He also organized volunteers for U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, and founded an organization called Citizens for 2016, to rally support for Chicago’s Olympic bid. Here he is on YouTube, talking about how Rogers Park’s diversity will impress the International Olympic Committee.

    Swilley has also described himself as a senior associate at the Haymarket Group , a public affairs consultant that specializes in grassroots campaigns, and a founder of the Chicago chapter of the Coffee Party USA , an anti-Tea Party movement.

    So, Swilley has been around the block when it comes to liberal politics. So how did a progressive guy like that end up working for Scott Lee Cohen.

    “Scott is a friend of mine and I strongly and genuinely believe in him,” Swilley said before the primary.

    Let's hope so, because from now on, the first line on his resume is going to be “Scott Lee Cohen’s running mate.”

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