Campaign Reform

By the time you read this, the local election will be over. The winner is the winner. Congratulations to you all. All of the candidates in this race were dead, dull and boring.

Sorry folks, but the truth is what it is. There was little excitement. I am calling for campaign lessons to turn into campaign reform. The newscasters struggled to talk about the campaigns.

The Black community needs to wake up and stand up to the political candidates. Politicians continue to come visit the community for the campaign and conveniently forget after the election. They are obviously not coming to Black churches for worship.

I would like to see campaign reform. Eliminate the black church from the political tour or add the white church to the tour. I would like to see what happens if either was implemented.

My second gripe is graveyard politics.

There should be a ruling that says you cannot use a dead man to get live votes. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gets quoted and dug up for the national stage along with Harold Washington in his commercials to depict Washington's firing of Pat Quinn.

The tape was as though Harold was still sitting on the Fifth Floor -- the incident was over 20 years old. The irony is Hynes' father, Tom, who was so sour or racist on Harold that he started a third party, America First, and was part of the cabal of white men who hated Harold because he was the Black mayor. The Hynes commercials mentioned his mother the teacher, but never his father, the politician.

Quinn was too much of a gentleman or too broke to turn the tables on him. He might have done a commercial that said, 'like father like son, racism passes to the next generation.'

The Black community needs to begin to have forums, like the one Trinity held, where the politicians come forth to debate the issues, head up, and straight up. There should be following up. The follow-up should be monthly meetings, where the politician is held to his or her promises. Cameras should be present, so that there could be playback. If we allow the politician in the pulpit at the time of campaign, bring him back after the election when he has budget allocation power. Let him tell us face to face in the church why the expenditures for schools are low and prison is high. Let the elected official tell you to your face why black enterprise is only one percent of the spending budget.

My third gripe is that politicians should be instantly dismissed if they do something stupid while running.

If it's discovered that you are engaging in charging people to wear clothes to work, as in the instance of Dorothy Brown, this is cause for instant withdrawal from the campaign.

The white media should be held to a standard for fairness.

Black and white candidates should be treated equally. They are not, as admitted by John Kass of the Chicago Tribune in campaign articles. For example, it is unfair to talk about the second generation of politicians without talking about them all. If Todd Stroger and his father are discussed in generational politics, Mayor Daley should be discussed in the same article. All of the ills of both fathers should be footnoted. If there is a noticeable difference in the father and the son, it should also be noted.

Inspired by the new Supreme Court ruling, politicians should be given an equal amount of money for campaigning, or the media should be forced to run a pre-determined amount of ads for each person.

There is no equal opportunity for politicians and the public gets bombarded from those with money, not necessarily the best candidate. Also, political phone calls should be made before 5 p.m., while most people are still at work.

And finally, candidates should have to pass tests to ensure issues of the office will be discussed exclusively.

This is what I would do, if I could pass campaign rules.