Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Anti (Jesse) White

Sen. James Clayborne(D-East St Louis) a potential candidate for the Treasurer's office, defies the genre of African American statewide candidates. Clayborne, willing to speak his mind and unlikely to conform to the white conception of a black candidate, is the anti-(Jesse)White. His seat is up in 2006, so an unsucessful statewide bid would end his political career-at least for the time being.

For all his independent credentials, Clayborne has earned the ire of his colleagues in the black caucus. Earlier this spring, he went on a headline-grabbing anti-ITLA jermiad in which he characterized trial lawyers as the "new slaveholders" and urged fellow African American legislators to "get off the plantation."

Clayborne himself is a trial lawyer and has a resume that reads like any other's: a stint in the State's Attorney's office, and then private practice.

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