Is he crazy?
I have lost my mind
Hip-hopper sings Steele praise
August 21, 2006
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons will be the host of a campaign fundraiser Thursday for Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's run for U.S. Senate.
The fundraiser for Mr. Steele, a Republican who would be the state's first black U.S. senator if elected, will be held at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Baltimore.
Also scheduled to participate in the event are Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of Radio One, a black-run broadcasting company specializing in urban markets, and hip-hop pioneer DJ Kid Capri.
Tickets to the reception are $35. VIP reception tickets are $500. An estimate of how much the event will raise was not available.
Ms. Hughes and Mr. Simmons, the man behind the Def Jam Recordings music label and the platinum-plated careers of acts including the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Run-DMC, embody Mr. Steele's message of economic opportunity, campaign spokesman Doug Heye said.
"These are both people who not only built extremely successful companies but companies that are actively involved in their communities," Mr. Heye said. "It goes to what Mr. Steele talks about in building legacy wealth."
Mr. Simmons, who often has used his music empire to advance liberal political activism, has backed the Republican administration in Maryland.
He applauded Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, in February 2005 for winning over black voters with urban initiatives, especially criminal-justice reforms, and raising the Republican Party's profile among blacks nationwide.
"He raised the whole party up," Mr. Simmons said at the time. "He makes every Republican open for discussion" among black voters. Mr. Simmons campaigned in 2002 for Mr. Ehrlich's Democratic rival, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and said he initially had negative impressions of both Mr. Ehrlich and Mr. Steele. But he says the Ehrlich administration has demonstrated that both men "should be held up to the light as examples" of Republican leaders who are committed to all of their constituents.
Somehow I don't think this will go over well. Especially when the former head of the NAACP is running for the same seat.
There are times when associating with politics helps the politician, there are times when it hurts the person associating with them.
I think Simmons is a single issue person, but I expect him to take a lot of shit for this in Maryland. Steele has a record of failing black voters and for him to back him over Mfume will cause him more problems than help Steele.
posted by Steve @ 6:51:00 PM