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Braun: Mayoral Opponent a "Former Crack Addict"

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 31, 2011 2:37PM

Trinity United Church of Christ hosted a mayoral forum yesterday notable for two things. First, Rahm Emanuel skipped it (you'll see why in about a half-hour) and another gauche statement from the mouth of Carol Moseley Braun.

It all started when Mayoral candidate, minister and activist Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins questioned Braun's commitment to the African American community. “Carol Moseley Braun hasn’t been around for 20 years,” Watkins said. "We haven't seen her." Braun, when given a chance to respond, went for the personal nuclear option.

"Moseley Braun... listed her public service and told Watkins, “You were strung out on crack. I was starting a business on the South Side. I was hiring people.”

Watkins, who has never shied away from her past life as a drug addict in profiles of her, said after the forum, "She has a way of embellishing her own history and other people’s experiences." Watkins' campaign also sent out a press release announcing an 11 a.m. press conference on the Daley Center Plaza to demand an apology from the consensus Black candidate.

“What Carol said to me today was indefensible and untrue. Carol owes an apology to me and to every person who has struggled with an addiction in the city of Chicago,” Watkins said in the statement. “This says a lot about her character and shows she is not ready to be a leader for Chicago residents."