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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (November 6, 2013)

In Audio on November 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

What does a Republican win in New Jersey and a Tea Party near-win in Virginia mean for Democrats moving into a “hopeful” 2014?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (November 6, 2013) – PODCAST TOPIC: What does a Republican win in New Jersey and a Tea Party near-win in Virginia mean for Democrats moving into a “hopeful” 2014?


Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.


Catch this version of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. Also catch “The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network, where “The McAllister Minute” commentary is aired on over 400 stations throughout the AURN network.


A New Month: New Steps of Action or Accentuating the Status Quo?

In Articles on June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm
Gov VA and Pres NAACP

“As Americans we believe in second chances and we believe in the right to vote,” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We commend Governor McDonnell for his courageous leadership to restore the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of Virginians…Anyone who has made a mistake, done their time and paid their debt to society should be able to join their neighbors at the voting booth.”

With a groundbreaking move by the Gov. Bob McDonnell that was publicly commended by the NAACP and other Black leaders last week, can the GOP finally seize any momentum to reel in Black voters?


Since the unnerving election losses of November 2012, Republicans have been looking for win-win situations that will allow them to approach, engage, and win over Black voters to reverse a years-long trend of losing the Black vote at a 10-to-1 clip to Democrats at all election levels. With each new initiative – from the roll-out of Michael Steele’s “Say It Loud” program that aided big GOP wins during the 2010 midterm election to efforts by various Black Republican organizations to heighten conservative principles – there has usually been an accompanying incident to hamper any move to gain ground with the Black vote.


Last Wednesday’s decision by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is one that can move the needle in the opposite direction, perhaps serving as a bridge for Black voters and the GOP to finally begin walking towards common ground.


McDonnell’s announcement that he will, on an individualized basis, reinstate the voting rights of Virginia’s non-violent ex-felons upon completion of all terms of their sentences was greeted with complimentary praise by the NAACP and other Black leaders nationally alike.  Due to the imbalanced nature of the prison population in Virginia (as well as other states) being skewed towards impacting the Black community more than others, this change in suffrage is a noteworthy step in the right direction that should be mirrored around the nation.


If the Republican Party is paying attention and is genuine about gaining ground on the minority voting blocs in time for the 2014 midterms, the 2016 presidential election, and beyond, this is an opportunity that they must jump on immediately. There are several significant reasons why the RNC, its operatives, and politicians should move forward with using this move by McDonnell as a stepping stone to reverse the media perception and political reality that the GOP will remain a non-option for Black voters.


For starters, the instant potential creation of thousands of Black voters that have been disengaged with the current political minutia during their period of incarceration creates an opportunity to engage new voters that have been let down (in many regards) by the status quo of politics – a status quo that overwhelmingly has African-Americans living under Democratic elected officials. With a genuine effort to embrace, mentor, and develop a new segment of second-chance Americans with policies that will make their transitions successful as small businessmen or rehabilitated re-hires, the GOP can make the case that Republicans are willing to create environments where “bootstrap pulling” efforts by these individuals works. These efforts – which would include making it easier for small businessmen and workers to gain access to local work and necessary capital as viable blue-collar entities – would provide more promise and opportunity to a different future than the current trend of recidivism and government assistance that often awaits those coming back into society.


As well, actively looking for ways to appropriately partner with legacy African-American organizations removes the casted label that Republicans are in opposition to organizations such as the NAACP, the Urban League, and others along with their national leaders.  As long as this perception remains, it is also perceived that the GOP not only stands against these organizations, but that it also stands against the Black constituents that they regularly interact with.


Too often, the Republican Party (and many Blacks within the conservative movement as well) consider such partnerships a waste of time, feeling as though the best move is to start from square one with the Black community in the process of establishing trust-based relationships. Aside from the oft-occurring references to the “Democratic Plantation” and other insulting slave analogies, the belief that it is easier to compete from scratch in the midst of Republican missteps against years of trust is a mindset that can be reversed, leveraging the McDonnell move in Virginia as an example of common ground initiatives that both Republicans and Black civil rights-focused Americans can embrace.  For example, between four of the most-renowned Black equal rights organizations through the nation (the NAACP, the Urban League, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the National Action Network), African-Americans have built up a particular trust level over the combined 271 years of activism that these organizations have offered. To constantly compete 100% against this mountain of established political capital – regardless of their past errors or flawed positions – only serves as an ingredient for a recipe of on-going failures to re-engage the Black vote. Using conservative perspectives to partner with legacy Black organizations on key policy shifts from ex-felon suffrage to urban employment initiatives provide the GOP the best opportunity to remove the “boogeyman” label that it carries within the Black voting base while providing policy grounds to make it viable as a voting option.


Despite the common perceptions on race and politics in the Era of Obama, there are opportunities that allow for future oft-occurring partnership between Black America and the Republican Party to make sense. Governor McDonnell and the move to allow those that paid their debts to society to be fully empowered as citizens is but one example that, with some innovative open-mindedness and political savvy, the Republican Party can heal their past with Black voters and leverage present opportunities where the Black community needs partners – all while creating better results at the ballot box in the future.


Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” that is a talented media personality, public speaker, writer, author, and rising leader that has “… a mission to make positive changes to the status quo within politics, societal matters, and other issues that hamper our American way of life …” Lenny has been featured at Tea Party rallies and other conservative events from Springfield, IL to Boston, MA, Phoenix, AZ, and points in between.  Featured as one of the “40 Under 40 to Watch in 2012” by the historic newspaper The Chicago Defender, he has been featured in several publications, including Essence, Chicago Crusader, and Charlotte Magazine. “The McAllister Minute,” a regular feature of the American Urban Radio Network, runs on more than 300 stations nationwide.


McAllister Featured in Sunday Article in The Philadelphia Tribune

In Articles on May 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Ellison McAllister interview (edit)

Ellison: “Does the GOP really want its Black Republicans to succeed?”
McAllister: “Without political activism that includes more relationships with Black America where they are right now instead of preaching sessions that hark back to 1863 or the mid-20th century, the clear answer is two-fold: yes…and no…”

PHILADELPHIA (May 26, 2013) –  Lenny McAllister, the “Working Man’s Conservative”, Republican strategist and pundit, and former congressional candidate (Illinois-2nd), was quoted in the Sunday edition of The Philadelphia Tribune by Sirius-XM Radio host and Tribune Washington correspondent Charles D. Ellison as part of an article on Black outreach and effectiveness within the Republican Party.

The full interview (unedited) can be found below:

Charles D. Ellison: “Is there a trend of GOP only picking Black GOP candidates that have heavy religious views? And, in this case and others, why does it seem as if the Black GOP candidates that are most times picked by the party during primaries/conventions are the least competitive?

“Does the GOP really want its Black Republicans to succeed?”

Lenny McAllister: “Everything seems to be swinging further to the right when it comes to Republican and conservative candidates: right-wing positions on Roe v. Wade, on foreign policy, on domestic matters, and on legislative approach. It would only be consistent that the types of candidates that the engaged portions of the Republican voting base support are those that lean in this direction in all capacities, including religious activism.

“Sadly, at this point, being a moderate Republican is akin to being a political Benedict Arnold. Being a Black Republican that supports policies such as Affirmative Action – those that reflect the growing disparities between Blacks and other Americans and seek to address it accordingly to optimize America’s talents in all communities – is seen as being un-American and race-baiting. Any Black man or woman that has a pulse on the destruction and hopelessness within urban America, yet believes that the continued approach of disengagement, chastisement, and philosophical theology is the way to get more Blacks to vote conservative, are accessories to political murder. They cement into place the very liberal policies that they believe hamper Black people throughout America with their shallowness or callousness. Not all are like this, but some argue that many of them are. Without political activism that includes more relationships with Black America where they are right now instead of preaching sessions that hark back to 1863 or the mid-20th century, the clear answer is two-fold: yes, the GOP wants its African-American candidates to succeed – those that reflect the current right-wing swing and continued divisiveness and detachment within our nation, but no: the GOP does not want its Black candidates – those that articulate the need for change within the Republican Party, the legislative bodies of the nation, and the racial and socioeconomic imbalance within our society – to succeed.”


The interview and story are found in the print version of The Philadelphia Tribune on Sunday later in the week.

McAllister will be a featured panelist in the Rose Dialogue Series debate, “Gun Control or Out of Control?” on June 5 in New York City. The series is hosted by the Riverdale Y in the Bronx.


Lenny will appear opposite Michael Skolnik, administrator and political director for hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. The discussion will be led by Fox News Contributor Sally Kohn.

Tickets for this exciting night of dialogue are $18.  Reservations can be made at