Kendrick Meek on Principles & Values
Democratic Representative (FL-17)
We needed to help Meek get free airtime. Debates were the best way to do that. And so, 2 days after the Democratic primary, we agreed to 7 televised debates. They served their purpose. They kept Kendrick in the news & relevant. Thanks in large part to Kendrick's effectiveness as a debater, Crist never had a clear field to court Democratic votes.
The 7 debates served as a regular reminder that there was an actual Democrat in the race. Kendrick performed very well in all of them. I thought he won at least 2 of them. He certainly surpassed the low expectations people had set for him. I never understood why people expected so little of him. He was smart, quick on his feet, an agile campaigner and very likable. Those qualities came across quite well in the debates.
In 1992, Carrie Meek made Florida history, becoming 1of the 1st 3 black members of Congress since Reconstruction following the drawing of black and Hispanic seats in a court-ordered redistricting. Kendrick's success tracked his mother's. He graduated from Florida A&M, where he played linebacker, and entered the Florida Highway Patrol.
In 1994, Kendrick left the police business and ran for and won a seat in the House. In 1998, he risked that seat to take on incumbent state senator Bill Turner, beating him soundly in the Democratic primary for the seat his mother had once held.
On January 2, 1969, [three newly elected and six previously elected] African-American Members of Congress met as the Democratic Select Committee. On February 2, 1971 the group agreed to be known as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
The goals of the CBC are to positively influence the course of events pertinent to African-Americans and others of similar experience and situation, and to achieve greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services. The Caucus has not only been at the forefont of issues affecting African-Americans, but has garnered international acclaim for advancing agendas aimed at protecting human rights and civil rights for all people. Today, the Congressional Black Caucus stands 38 members strong.
Upon her election as Chair of the CBC for the 107th Congress, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson expounded: “Whether the issue is popular or unpopular, simple or complex, the CBC has fought for thirty years to protect the fundamentals of democracy. The Caucus is committed to ensuring that the standard of living for minorities in America does not retrogress, but instead rises to meet the expectations of both our ancestors and our children. The Congressional Black Caucus is probably the closest group of legislators on the Hill. We work together almost incessantly, we are friends and, more importantly, a family of freedom fighters. Our diversity makes us stronger, and the expertise of all of our members has helped us be effective beyond our numbers.”
There is overwhelming evidence of official misconduct, deliberate fraud and an attempt to suppress voter turnout by unlawful means that were used to produce George W. Bush’s false victory. The preponderance of the available evidence points to Vice President Al Gore as the actual winner of the most votes in Florida and he should have been awarded the state’s electoral votes.
Vice President Al Gore may have conceded his judicial contest, but that is irrelevant. There is not provision for the concession of candidates in the Constitution. There is, however, a process set out in law for Congress to consider challenges to electoral votes. The Congress, on behalf of all Americans, is the final judge of how much election fraud to accept.
The hearings held by the NAACP clearly showed that there were massive violations of the Voting Rights Act, and that tens of thousands of Floridians were denied due process when they were removed from the voter rolls without notice. Still others were intimidated by police checkpoints set up near polling places. In Miami-Dade and Broward, investigations by independent news organizations have found hundreds of ineligible persons who were allowed to vote. There clearly were significant inequities in assigning what turned out to be non-working voting machines to precincts that were heavily African-American in Miami-Dade. We would not tolerate any of these errors if they took place in some other country. Is our duty to our own country any less?
Millions of Americans have already expressed their public outrage at the myriad injustices which occurred in the making of George W. Bush’s mistaken victory. But public outrage is not enough. The laws of this country provide for the objection which we herein make on behalf of freedom, justice and democracy. We, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, therefore wholeheartedly object to the acceptance of the presidential electors from Florida.
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