An audiotape of democratic candidate for Governor, JB Pritzker, talking with then Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is sparking outrage.
The tape was recorded by the FBI and obtained by the Chicago Tribune. It reveals the two talking in overtly racial language. The wiretapped conversation is over who should be appointed to then President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.
During the 2008 call, Pritzker had a suggestion for a replacement for Barak Obama’s vacant sentate seat, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
“It covers you on the African American thing,” Pritzker told Blagojevich. “He’s Senate material in a way that [President of the Illinois Senate] Emil Jones isn’t. Emil’s a little more ‘crass.’ I know the Jesse White thing is like, it’s not a perfect thing because he’s not like your best friend. But, it does cover you and it doesn’t get you Jesse Jackson, Jr.”
“You can argue… he’s got a lot in common with Obama,” said Blagojevich. “He’s black and white.”
Upon hearing the tape, democrats were outraged.
“I’m not hurt by what he said because I always knew it was there,” said Jones. “If you’re black, you have power. You stand up for your people, I know what they’re going to say, ‘uppity [and] crass.'”
“We are still not seen as complex, educated, and dynamic individuals,” said Lt. Gov. candidate Litesa Wallace (D). “We’re simply seen as objects. Our racial backgrounds are simply used as something that can be checked off on a long list of the less or least dynamic characteristics of a political candidate.”
Pritzker issued a statement: “I wasn’t my best self on that call and I apologize for that. I regret some of the things I said and some of the things I didn’t say. But, that is not what is in my heart and those are not my values.”
Recent polls show Daniel Biss (D) is now closing in on Pritzker in the polls.