Fliers Bring New Racial Overtones To County Board Race (UPDATED)
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 12, 2010 3:40PM
Fliers containing racist language and accusing U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Dorothy Brown are "splitting the black vote 4 the Irish 2 win" are being distributed by a group called Soldiers 4 Stroger, alleging to support incumbent president Todd Stroger. Chicago Current reports:
The fliers give phone numbers for interested people to call, one of which is that of Wallace “Gator” Bradley, a reformed gang member turned community activist, who endorsed Stroger in a racially-tinged e-mail today.
Bradley, a gang member pardoned by Gov. Jim Thompson and co-founder of 21st Century Vote and the Gang Peace Summits, designed to help decrease gang and youth violence, released a statement declaring his endorsement for Stroger, but did not explain why he supports Stroger.
Messages left on Bradley’s cell phone, as well as the other number included on the flier, were not returned Monday.
Current's full story includes Bradley's email. Conservative blog The Illinois Review was the first to report on the flier and claims they'll have an interview with one of the flier's distributors. While Stroger has not been shy to make race an issue in the primary - be it against the unions, the media or against fellow black candidate Dorothy Brown - there are no indications, according to Current, that Stroger is in any way involved with or approved of the fliers. Neither Stroger's or any other campaign has responded to questions about the fliers. Of course, one can't necessarily rule out the old "distributing crazy campaign literature that even though it claims to support your opponent it actually hurts your opponent by connecting them to a controversial organization" trick that's been used countless times. Who knows? In this heated election, anything is possible.
Update: As expected, the Stroger campaign has denied any connections to the fliers and those who made them. The campaign said in a statement: "The Stroger for President campaign did not produce or distribute the flyers in question. The Stroger campaign does not endorse or condone this type of behavior or activity."