To the Editor:
Kwame Raoul, the Democratic Party’s nominee for Illinois Attorney General, numbers among the most thoughtful politicians I have ever met. I am excited for him and his victory in last week’s election; I worry for him that he may have too much confidence in his ability to resist pressure and persuasion. His donations from Big Tobacco feel to me less like a sign he was bought off and more like an indication he thinks he can take the money and take the pressure and still do what’s right. As his star ascends, so will the pressure – exponentially.
As Kwame heads up and out in the tradition of many of Hyde Park’s great politicians, let us confidently anticipate a victory, which then leaves us contemplating a space to fill. The method that has been used to fill this spot is that the committeemen who have a chunk of his senate district vote with proportionate weight for a replacement. The whole thing is done behind closed doors. With the Fourth Ward having the lion’s share of the district, Cook County Board President and Fourth Ward Committeeman Toni Preckwinkle will therefore be calling the shots.
We should ask for a step between Kwame’s step up and some connected favorite son or daughter’s step in. Let’s know well in advance who is vying for the position and hear their arguments as to why they should be nominated in a public forum. Let’s hear from the community regarding their preferences and why. And let President Preckwinkle be informed in her choice by these deliberations.
Before we’re sure, while it’s all theoretical, why not ask President Preckwinkle to commit to an more open, more democratic deliberative process? And then let’s turn out in huge numbers to get him elected.