Money in being a Black Leader
According to Goviva Speaking Bureau, speaking fees for Jessie Jackson range from $50,000 to $100,000, Minister Louis Farrakhan’s range is from 35,000 to $50,000 which is comparable to what Rev. Al Sharpton makes for appearances. T.D. Jakes and others also command a sizable contribution in the religious evangelist arena, so this can be big business around a cult personality and if money is not used correctly the community they claim to serve is the biggest loser.
As reported in the Chicago Defender, taking advantage of the Black community’s increasing disillusionment with Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, Rauner enlisted the services of some high profile Black community leaders including Rev. James Meeks, Pastor Corey Brooks, N’Digo Publisher Hermene Hartman, and Dr. Willie Wilson to act as surrogates for his campaign. Hartman was a paid public relations consultant to the Black community; Hartman was ridiculed for only receiving $55,000 for her services. Rauner also appointed Hartman to the $46,960/year Human Relations Committee, where she will have a say in settling employee discrimination complaints in Illinois. While the position is rather innocuous, Hartman fight workplace discrimination. Wilson’s interest in Rauner’s election was business. Sources say that Wilson, who owns a business supply company, is positioned to take over the concessions at the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Rauner appointed Brooks to the Illinois Toll way Board. While Brooks will only collect an annual salary of $31,426,
Rauner won the election, appointed Meeks to his transition team, and eventually appointed Meeks to become the Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Meeks’ critics claim that the appointment was political payback for selling out the community. For Meeks, serving as the Chairman of the ISBE, which administers billions in school grants, allowed him to have a direct say in the education process. Meeks believes education is the top determining factor in a child’s long-term success, and as Chairman of ISBE he will direct how those funds are spent.
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