The Pot That Won’t Stop Boiling

JB Pritzker is in trouble. The billionaire businessman who threw his hat in the ring of fire to run for the governor’s seat is in full-throttle damage control.

In the latest series of FBI wiretap recordings, the conversation between then-Illinois Rod Blagojevich and Pritzker nine years ago was published by the Chicago Tribune on Monday. During this conversation, the two men are discussing who would be a more formidable candidate to replace Barack Obama’s US Senate seat.

As the conversation continues, Pritzker’s reference to recommending an African-American replacement, his likely choice was Secretary of State Jesse White as opposed to then-Senate House President, Emil Jones, Jr. who was called “crass” and not polished to fill the seat. Pritzker gives high praises to White’s ‘relatability’ because of the “African American thing”.  As Blagojevich agrees—both Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s names are mentioned and met with disdain.

Since the public release of the audio which Pritzker has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has materialized 50 days before the March 20 primaries—it has created a major boiling pot of hot water for the Democratic party endorsed candidate. Dems accused the GOP and Rauner for playing dirty politics since he is the frontrunner in the primaries.

On Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by Black public officials and businessmen at a favorite Black owned restaurant, Pritzker issued a public apology for his comments. One of his main supporters, Jesse White stood beside Pritzker in his defense. But, there is approximately 38 percent undecided voters who are on the fence and this latest drama is not playing in Pritzker’s favor.

Now, the real work begins—how do the Pritzker team get ahead of is considered as serious damage to a great deal of energy and nearly a year’s long effort to oust Republican Governor Bruce Rauner?

In an exclusive sit-down interview with The Chicago Defender and Joliet Times, both members of the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA)—JB Pritzker and lieutenant governor running mate, Juliana Stratton discuss his conversation with Blagojevich, the apology issued, plans moving forward and their strategy in keeping their promise to the Black community.

We allowed Pritzker an opportunity to discuss his comments and why they were made but more importantly is there a strategic plan in place to help ignite financial resources and opportunities for Black owned businesses, access to quality healthcare, education and opening up real economic empowerment throughout our community?

In a four-part video series, watch our conversation with both Pritzker and Stratton.

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