Speaking at a candidate forum at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the church once pastored by Jeremiah Wright, GOP congressional candidate Paul McKinley slammed what he called “machine politics,” telling attendees that he’s running against the “Chicago machine,” Breitbart.com reported Tuesday.
McKinley, one of several Republicans running to replace former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., spoke of the corruption in local politics, like the alliance between elected officials and labor union leadership.
According to Breitbart, McKinley got the crowd’s attention by addressing things the other candidates would not discuss.
“I’m Paul McKinley and I’m running against the machine,” he said in his closing arguments. “I’m not running against a candidate, I’m running against the machine that’s been in power in this district for 60 years. And if you think it’s alright that all these boarded up houses in our community is all right, you vote for them. If you think that it’s all right that our young men and women that have no jobs and standing on the corner, you vote for them, don’t for vote for me,” he added.
He continued by pointing out the high crime rate in the city, blaming the “machine” that voters in the city keep re-electing to office.
“440 young kids were shot in the city of Chicago last year, 3000 people in the city of Chicago were shot,” he said. “That means the machine is working, it’s no accident that’s what’s happening in our community. The machine is working and it’s working out fine. You don’t have anything and they do, your community is going to hell in a hand basket, and their community, there’s no poverty problem over there, they’re going to work, they’ve got jobs, there’s nobody getting shot up in their schools… If you want to keep the same system, you vote for them, don’t vote for me.”
Charles Thomas, a political reporter for ABC 7 in Chicago, laughed at the idea that McKinley’s message would resonate with voters, Rebel Pundit wrote, but acknowledged that “there is a lot of truth” in some of what McKinley said.
“He is in the Republican primary, he’s not even going to be on the ballot with the Democratic side,” Thomas said, “and I think that is where the next congressman is going to come from–the Democratic side.”
Breitbart noted that NBC characterized the GOP primary as “meaningless.”
Laura Washington of the Sun-Times went further, calling Republicans in the race “roadkill.”
“After Jackson resigned in November, I predicted the bid for the coveted 2nd Congressional slot would be an ‘all-out scrum,'” she wrote. “Sixteen Democrats are now on deck for the Feb. 26 primary. Several Republicans are also in the hunt, but they are roadkill in this solidly blue district.”
But DNAInfo’s Emily Morris said that McKinley’s message “seemed to resonate” with some at the forum.
“We’ve got a Democratic mayor, a Democratic governor and a Democratic president, and we’re still jacked up,” said 24-year-old community organizer Meghan Kyle, who added that McKinley and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones “spoke contrary to the system.”
The special election primary is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Video of McKinley’s closing remarks can be seen here.
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