Well, the Meek family will come out of the 2010 Florida political debacle in great shape, as Kendrick Meek loses his bid to move up from the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez. As a former state lawmaker from South Florida having to campaign statewide, Meek will undoubtedly garner sufficient clout to remain in Washington as a consultant/lobbyist with a gaggle of Florida clients.
Kendrick has a great partner in his wife who is an attorney, so look for them to do extremely well. And, lest we forget, the matriarch of the Meek family, Kendrick’s mother and political mentor Carrie Meek, is already deeply ensconced as a Miami-Dade County lobbyist.
Non-Floridians may not know that Carrie Meek, a former educator, served in the Florida House and Senate before becoming one of the first black members of Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. Kendrick got his congressional seat in 2002 handed to him by his mother. Carrie Meek announced her retirement from Congress just two weeks before the qualifying deadline to get on the ballot. Kendrick qualified and was a shoo-in.
Next year, 2010, though, looms as a political debacle for Florida blacks. Why? Blacks are willy-nilly entering this all important political season without a plan. Aside from the several blacks that will lay waste to each other competing for Kendrick Meek’s congressional seat, and the Meek Senate campaign, what other mainstream activity is in the offing?
By not coming together to forge a correct analysis of, and an action plan for, the seismic political changes afoot in Florida, the black intelligentsia will cause black power to dissipate rather than coagulate. As a result black people will be “bamboozled, hoodwinked, and led astray.” Florida blacks could easily exit the coming Florida elections with nothing more than the vacuity comparable to the hole in a donut.
Gov. Charlie Crist could slide into a coma, God forbid, and still get elected to the U. S. Senate — barring he does nothing to fall from grace. In 2006, many blacks, choosing “the lesser of two evils,” crossed over and voted for the Republican gubernatorial candidate – Crist. But what has happened in Florida as a result of the Obama onslaught is very significant.
Since Obama’s outreach efforts here, black Democratic Party registration is up by 21 percent. Conversely, according to The Miami Herald,
Florida’s Republican Party lost four percent of its black voters in 2008. But Alex Sink, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, now the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor, has got to suddenly improvise a script for the black vote.
Sink will tailor it for the black churches, state NAACP branches, and other organizations. It will be the usual fare: something like pledging advocacy for hot-button issues germane to blacks, making promises, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and praising the Lord. Her opponent, Attorney General Bill McCollum, a neo-conservative Republican former Congressman, will do much the same, but sound even less convincing. What a gubernatorial mess!
While this political show will be on the road for the next 18 months, the time is now for black Floridians to get deeply involved. If the white nationalists succeed in keeping blacks on the outside of the door, not seated at decision-making tables and consequently not dealt with as stakeholders, then this coming election will be historically viewed as a step backward for Florida’s black populations.
It’s early, yes, but right down the list of candidates for every open position resulting from the musical chairs started by Meek and Crist, there seems to be a spate of mediocrity gathering to engulf us through the electoral process.
My God, what will we get for Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Agriculture Commissioner? (Current Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson is term limited in 2010.)
There’s opportunity here, folks. I mean, Floridians of African descent have a commanding voting block that if utilized for maximum effect, could exact a model quid pro quo (tit-for-tat) from Florida’s political system. Just keep in mind: Economics and politics go together like the fingers on the hand. They are inseparable and interdependent.