Monday, January 31, 2011

Rahm Blessed By Opponents

The leading African-American candidate for Chicago mayor is former U.S. Senator Carol Mosely-Braun. She has been the subject of numerous news reports concerning her financial problems and difficulties paying her taxes in a timely manner. Braun has always been known for her sharp tongue. When I used to work for the Illinois House Republicans, she once referred to my boss House Republican Leader Lee Daniels as the Ayatollah Khomeini during debate over a threatened shutdown of state government over the budget. Yesterday, she took a similar low road in a candidates forum when she suggested one of her opponents who questioned her commitment to the community didn't know better because she had been strung out on crack for the last 20 years. CBS2 in Chicago has the story:

A fiery exchange occurred Sunday between mayoral candidates Carol Moseley Braun and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, as allegations of drug use dominated a candidates forum.

When Watkins questioned where Braun had been for 20 years, the latter candidate fired back by saying Watkins had been using crack-cocaine.

“Patricia, the reason you didn’t know where I was for the last 20 years is because you were strung out on crack,” Braun, staring at Watkins, said at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side. “Now, you have admitted to that.”

Watkins denied the charge before forum organizers cut her short. The community activist has admitted past drug use but says she has been sober for 25 years.

Braun, a former U.S. senator and ambassador, offered no apologies. Watkins planned to hold a news conference Monday morning to respond in more detail.

Rahm Emanuel, who skipped this lively candidates forum, picked up the endorsement of the Chicago Sun-Times today.

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