Jim Oberweis for U.S. Senate - my choice

Opinion

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By Rev Ira Acree

I'm urging all African Americans to join me in supporting Jim Oberweis in his bid to become the next U.S. senator from Illinois. For decades, African Americans have religiously elected Democrats to office that are not serving our best interests or improving our quality of life. To keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Like any other healthy community, we want jobs. We want a thriving economy, great schools, and safe neighborhoods, but we clearly have none of the above and the outlook has gotten worse over the last six years.

Now is the time to make a statement. 

Some Democrats have used the African American vote as their tool for far too long. They have successfully tricked us into thinking that every Republican is racist and wants to turn back the hands of time. They have also persuading us that all white Democrats are just madly in love with black people, and that they are our best allies in our pursuit of a leveled playing field, economically and educationally.

Until we give some indication that our vote is up for grabs, we will continue to get ignored and played in a two-party system.

The game-playing of some key power brokers in the Democratic Party has been beyond frustrating. Here in Illinois, they run every branch of government and can't pass legislation to increase the minimum wage, which is something that they claim they are passionate about. With a Democratic governor, Pat Quinn; a Democratic Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan; a Democratic President of the Senate, Tom Cullerton; a Democratic Senate and House of Representatives — what's stopping them? 

Give me a break. 

I expect when Jim Oberweis is elected U.S. Senator he will use some of his entrepreneurial skills and experience to help mentor a new generation of businessmen and women, especially in the African American community. 

It's time to rethink the whole notion of "Voting Democrat" across the board, because they have truly failed miserably in being the party that "helps black people."

I'm not saying by any means that the Republican Party will solve all of our issues, but I am saying my Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate has failed to deal with those issues in a meaningful way. After blind loyalty and monolithic support to Mr. Durbin, maybe this one time it's worth giving the Republican a crack at our vote. That's why this year I'm supporting Jim Oberweis as the next United States senator for the state of Illinois. 

Ending the epidemic of violence in Chicago is an issue that's dear to my heart. 

Much of the violence can only be addressed with an economic resolution. We need to start electing people based on their skill-set and policy positions rather than party identification.

In Illinois, our economy is in the toilet, and it's time to flush out the waste that's impeding our progress.

We need a person in the United States Senate with an economic vision for our state. Enough with continuing the foolish practice of re-electing unproductive party hacks. Our lives and the prosperity of future generations are at stake.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis has a stellar track record of creating jobs. Sen. Dick Durbin, from a distance, seems to be a nice guy but has an atrocious record of killing jobs over the last six years. He's also not visible in addressing the critical issues in our community.

Every other ethnic group in America has both parties competing for their vote. Why have African Americans been duped into believing that we have to vote as Democrats 100 percent of the time — we are clearly an afterthought to the Democratic Party.

Socially, many African Americans have more in common with Oberweis than they do with Durbin — I know I do. I too support traditional marriage. I believe civil unions allow every adult the necessary freedom needed, and legal support and protection, in choosing the life partner of their choice.

 Although I don't advocate anyone forcing their religion down someone's throat, I, like many Republicans, am unashamedly Christian. Just like Jim Oberweis, I believe in choice and quality schools, and the support for entrepreneurs.

Mr. Oberweis is here, ready to serve. It is time we give him a chance to produce the results that Durbin over and over again has failed to deliver.

The choice on this day is simple — Jim Oberweis.

Rev. Acree is pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church in Austin

Reader Comments

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Raven from Schaumburg  

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 4:57 AM

If you want gun violence to end then legalize guns so that people who are not criminals have them! Just do some research, Chicago is one of THE MOST VIOLENT places in the country, and has the worst gun laws! I am homeless and I know that Jim Oberweiss is better then Dick Durbin! But if you want EVERYONE to be respected as human beings then the one you should vote for is Sharon Hansen! http://sharonhansenforussenate.org/issues

Larry from Chicago  

Posted: October 16th, 2014 7:56 AM

Interesting to see so many support their "Pastors" endorsement. Oberwies doesn't need to be a Senator to help entrepreneurs! He could do that on his own. As for the Founding Fathers, they were Deists. They knew that prayer alone won't change your conditions. They took what they wanted! They wrote laws to justify their actions. That concept doesnt bring money into church, does it?! Religion is used to enslave the masses while the only pastors get rich. Your pastor knows that! Just look at them!

Jonathan from Chicago  

Posted: October 6th, 2014 12:03 PM

Rev. Acree, What we do not need is to add the 269th millionaire to the senate! Whereas I strongly agree with you that we need to address the violence plaguing our city, Mr. Oberweis nor the Republican party has any plans on changing that.

Ed Washington from Chicago   

Posted: October 1st, 2014 12:21 PM

It's sad that independent thinking beyond blind (and ultimately ineffective) allegiance to the Democratic Party in Illinois is worthy of such pejorative language that Jeremy Johnson used. In response, he offered no real rebuttal of Acree's statements about the IL Democratic Party's exploitation of the African American community.

Mr. Moss from Chicago  

Posted: October 1st, 2014 12:11 PM

The results (or lack thereof) of having one-party democratic representation for us in Austin are obvious. Rev. Acree has some points, especially the lack of progress even with a Democratic supermajority in Springfield. Why not consider other candidates and demand more from both (any) parties?

Tyrone Williams from Chicago   

Posted: October 1st, 2014 11:27 AM

Ira Acree has correctly called out the ongoing exploitation of the African American vote by the Democratic Party in Illinois. I've been watching schools fail and close, observing the lack of city and state investment, and watching the breakdown of the socioeconomic infrastructure of Austin. This has all taken place with a Democrat alderman, committe-man, ward boss, mayor, governor, state rep., state senator, attorney general, congressman, AND senator. Our vote is taken for granted. Enough!!

Penny Corcoran from Chicago  

Posted: September 30th, 2014 6:32 PM

I second Dwayne's comment about Rev. Acree. We should applaud African-American men who stand up and take a stand and make their reasoning public. That is what leadership is all about. We all want to help our communities and Rev. Acree is searching for a new direction and new path to achieve that.

Dwayne Cash from Chicago  

Posted: September 30th, 2014 3:05 PM

I believe Rev. Acree is a great man and great leader who is showing courage here. He realizes he is not taking a populist position but it trying to make people think about their votes and their political leverage. I believe he is educating his congregation. I give him great credit and wish there were more like him taking a stand.

Sharon Hansen from Pontiac  

Posted: September 29th, 2014 11:38 AM

There is a 3rd choice for US Senate which the media tends to ignore. Oberweis has a very successful investment business as well as a number of successful dairies. He is also a billionaire. His wife lives in Florida. How much time do you think he will spend representing the people of Illinois as our Senator? He ran for office for 20 years and a year after finally getting elected, he's running for something else.

Diane from Ellsworth  

Posted: September 29th, 2014 6:52 AM

Larry from Chicago: Want proof blacks were tricked? Your comment about the Founding Fathers proves it. Separation of Church and State was created because ministers led the revolution. The Constitution was founded on Judeo Christian values. You won't find separation in the Constitution. Politics has failed America because God was taken out. Read history for yourself instead of falling for the Democrats propaganda.

Jeremy Johnson  

Posted: September 29th, 2014 6:23 AM

All these fat greasy nosed so called "Pastors" of the dead head people they prophalie too are all voting agains their own interest. Acree,Brooks, Meeks, Trotter among many need to go somewhere and shut the hell up! These uncle tom n****rs all sold themselves out for a glass of red kool Aid and a chicken dinner and kissing up to the white man thinking he's gonna do something for the black community when he has no plans to do so at all! I can't stand these Django ass negros!

William Knight  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 10:18 AM

Harold Washington was a life long Democrat. He didn't always like what he saw, the performance of others and the many times he felt the party let his people down. But he believed in working within his and the system. If we/you want change, get involved and find better Democrats. If you are a Republican, be one. If you are a Democrat, Be one and fight for change within your respective party.

Austin Father from Chicago from Chicago  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 8:00 AM

As an African-American resident of Austin and father of young kids, I am concerned that if the political status quo stays as it is, my kids will not have much of a chance to succeed. It's been clear that the African American vote has been taken for granted by the Democratic party. I'm not convinced that Mr. Oberweis will do significantly better, but with an entirely Democratically controlled state house, state senate, governor's mansion, and Mr. Durbin's years of service, ARE WE BETTER OFF?

Austin Father of Five from Chicago  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 7:34 AM

As an African-American resident and father of the Austin

Valerie F. Leonard from Chicago  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 12:44 AM

I posted a link about Bruce Rauner's business dealings in error.

Valerie F. Leonard from Chicago  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 12:27 AM

Look at how Bruce Rauner handles his business as it relates to "The Least of These". Is this what we want to emulate in business? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-ibendahl/trial-underway-in-legal-t_b_5868602.html?utm_hp_ref=chicago&ir=Chicago

Valerie F. Leonard from Chicago  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 11:22 PM

Rev. Acree says, "I expect when Jim Oberweis is elected U.S. Senator he will use some of his entrepreneurial skills and experience to help mentor a new generation of businessmen and women, especially in the African American community. " I don't know where he gets that expectation. Oberweis hasn't mentored an older or current generation of African America businessmen, let alone a new generation. Unfortunately, Dick Durbin hasn't done anything for the Black community either.

Dwayne Truss  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 8:55 PM

The Democratic Party has never tricked black voters into believing the Republican Party is racist. The policies, politics, and laws promoted by the current Republican Party such as voter suppression is what pushed and kept black voters monolithic to the Democratic Party. Mr. Oberweis is a co-sponsor of SB 1393. SB 1393 is a proposed voter ID law cloaked as "voter integrity" but is intended to intimidate and restrict voting in poor and minority communities. SB 1393 is currently re-referred to Assignment in Springfield. I am equally frustrated with the economic condition in all poor communities like the Austin community where I reside. Because Congress has almost eliminated "pork spending," what can Mr. Oberweis deliver? Remember he is a Tea Party Conservative who believes in no federal money for heating assistance programs like LIHEAP for the poor and senior citizens. Mr. Oberweis campaign website proudly promotes his Oberweis Asset Management which manages over $2 billion in no-load mutual funds. Is there a history of Oberweis Asset Management providing loans or capital to small black businesses? Is there a history of Bruce Rauner investing in the black community? What is the number of blacks in senior management within their businesses? Rev. Acree referenced the gun violence in our community in his op-ed but not Mr. Oberweis's pro-gun position. Go to Mr. Oberwies website: senatoroberweis.com. Both Mr. Oberweis and Mr. Rauner have supported disinvestment in public education and school c

Dwayne Truss from Chicago  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 8:52 PM

Ministers like Rev. Ira Acree and Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch are correct that (both nationally and locally) the Democratic Party has taken black support and votes for granted, however, I specifically disagree with Rev. Acree's September 24 Austin Weekly op-ed analysis for endorsing Republican 25th District State Senator Jim Oberweis's bid to unseat Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and other ministers support of Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner for Illinois Governor. The Democratic Pa

Ande-Voting Independent in Austin from Chicago  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 3:19 PM

Unfortunately, we have another wayward religious zealot expounding to his community and others that they should vote and align with a particular party or person. One should vote to support the issues and interest that are most important to you and your community. And vote for good government. As you study the "Word" study the alignments, actions, rhetoric, & effects of elected officials in your community, your neighborhood, your family. Have you seen the wanted improvements or developments?

Arlene Jones from Chicago  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 9:24 AM

Pray tell Joe and Larry that you two didn't list a plethora of things that Dick Durbin has done for the black community. Had you done so, the list wouldn't exist because he hasn't done anything of value. He hasn't even been the bully pulpit for his once co-senator Obama. Time for Dick Durbin to go!!!!

Joe  

Posted: September 24th, 2014 3:20 PM

MOT ELCNU SPELL THAT BACKWARDS AND THATS WHAT YOU, HATCH, MEEKS, AND BROOKS ALL ARE. WHEN YOU GET IN BED WITH RACIST REPUBLICANS YOU SELL OUT YOUR PEOPLE

Larry from Chicago  

Posted: September 24th, 2014 7:13 AM

I'm urging you, Rev. Acree, to stay out of politics. Mind your church and, your religious beliefs as the Founding Fathers of this nation intended. You care about the violence in the community? Do something about it...in the community. With a Republican Senate, the first (and only) order of business will be impeachment of President Obama. Are you really that unconscious?! What were you promised for your endorsement?!

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