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You are here:Home>>Archive>>Senator Braun association with former Nigerian dictator might derail her political ambition
Saturday, 20 November 2010 13:37

Senator Braun association with former Nigerian dictator might derail her political ambition

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Carol Moseley Braun Carol Moseley Braun AP

Running for mayor this time maybe a different story

Former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun who lost her re-election due to her visit to former Nigerian dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, is running for a new position. Carol Moseley Braun, the first black female US senator is gearing and getting ready for Chicago mayoral bid."The 63-year-old former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand said that she hopes to raise $2 million for her mayoral campaign. She recently hired Mike Noonan, a former political aide to powerful Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), as her campaign manager and appointed Victor Reyes, a co-founder of the city’s Hispanic Democratic organization and close ally of Mayor Richard Daley, as a senior adviser."

Carol Moseley Braun, the only and first black elected senator in America "may try to recapture the breath-of-fresh-air enthusiasm that carried her to the Senate in 1992. But if she hopes to succeed retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has led the country's third largest city for more than two decades, Braun will have to explain the miscues and embarrassing revelations that limited her to a single term — including a visit with a brutal Nigerian dictator — and overcome her years-long absence from public service."

"A former assistant U.S. attorney and state lawmaker, Braun was a relatively anonymous figure holding a relatively anonymous job — Cook County recorder of deeds — when she won a stunning Democratic primary victory over U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon in 1992. She went on to best little-known Republican Rich Williamson in the general election. Within months, Braun had a Mr. Smith-Goes-To-Washington moment: She stared down conservative North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, angrily promising to stand on the floor of the Senate "until this room freezes over" to stop the chamber from granting a patent on the United Daughters of the Confederacy insignia, which featured a Confederate flag. When it was over, 23 senators who'd voted in favor of the patent changed their votes, and the patent — routinely approved in the past — was denied.

That victory, however, was eventually overshadowed by criticism of Braun. She was excoriated by human rights activists when she met Nigerian dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, who'd been accused of human rights abuses, during a 1996 trip to Africa with her then-boyfriend. To make matters worse, Braun did not alert the State Department to her visit Braun explained she was traveling to Nigeria for a friend's funeral, and simply did not think to contact the State Department or tell the media, suggesting that she was the victim of a double standard."

The former Senator Braun did eventually lost her relection bid and Nigerian community in Chicago did not support her for relection. Many in Nigerian community in Chicago even supported her opponent and campaign against her on the ground that she was not supporting democracy in Nigeria. This time around everybody will be keen to see how she go about getting back her lost momentum of the past years before she was stopped by her controversial visit to Nigeria's dictator.



Last modified on Sunday, 21 November 2010 14:11


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