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Black Electorate Communications' Analysis Was Out Front On Bloomberg's Black Vote

Late last night we received word of congratulations and appreciation from one of the clients of our Black Electorate Communications Financial Market And Political Economy Analysis who credited us with being the first service to identify and seriously weigh the implications of Michael Bloomberg's ability to attract over 20% of the Black vote. Our client, who is a highly successful money manager on the west coast, alerted us to the reports, prior to midnight, which indicated that Michael Bloomberg was at least even with Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Green. The early reports all indicated that Bloomberg was pulling ahead of Mr. Green in large part due to the former's "suprisingly" strong showing among Black voters. Well, that news came as no suprise to the clients of our brand new U.S. Black Political Economy who received an analytical commentary from us last Wednesday (our very first communication upon the launch of our product)entitled," Bloomberg's Unlikely Black Alliance. Can It Win Him 25% of The Black Vote?" If you haven't already, we hope that you will decide to become a client of our brand new service - you don't know what political trend or market action we will identify next. We take very seriously our motto: "where insight is the base of foresight". Here is what our clients saw last Wednesday:

Black Electorate Communications Financial Market And Political Economy Analysis:

Bloomberg's Unlikely Black Alliance: Can it Win Him 25% of the Black Vote?

October 31, 2001

The phrase the "enemy of my enemy is my friend", has taken on new meaning in the New York City Mayoral campaign, the election for which takes place next Tuesday. In the backdrop of the numerous recovery efforts currently underway, a potential seismic shift is taking place among the city's Black electorate, which has historically been in the Democratic Party's backpocket.

The political turbulence centers around three of the Black community's most controversial figures : William Tatum, publisher of the nation's most prestigious Black newspaper, The Amsterdam News; Lenora Fulani, one of the most influential figures inside of the important Independence Party; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, noted civil rights leader, and a figure that New York's media alternately refers to as "kingmaker" and "rabble rouser".

The three have a sorted past together, sometimes on speaking terms, sometimes not, sometimes marching and campaigning together, sometimes exchanging words with one another through the Black and White-owned media. And for good measure all three are distrusted and periodically attacked by the city's influential Jewish community. On that count the three scored a hat trick this week with Ms. Fulani being publicly opposed by the Jewish political establishment who are seeking to derail the Bloomberg campaign for their own reasons; Mr. Tatum drawing considerable heat by making reference to a "Jewish mafia" which he believes has aided Democrat Mark Green underhandedly; and finally Rev. Sharpton attracting disapproving glances for his refusal to apologize for past statements while in Israel on Monday.

But their usual disagreements and opposition from the Jewish political establishment pales in comparison with the fact that the three Black leaders are part of the most interesting political drama, and possibly the most important in decades, involving the Black electorate. For the first time in recent memory an unusual confluence of forces has produced a scenario where a Republican nominee may walk away with nearly 30% of the Black vote.

That real possibility is the result of an extremely bitter Democratic primary which saw the city's Black politicians and opinion leaders divided in their support of Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer. After Mr. Green defeated Mr. Ferrer in a narrow and disputed runoff, political wounds did not heal as is normally the case. Rev. Sharpton took things to a new level by, in effect, calling for a boycott of the general mayoral election arguing that neither Green or Bloomberg are adequately responsive to the needs of the Black community. At the same time Ms. Fulani has continued her unqualified support of Bloomberg (The billionaire has won the endorsement of Ms. Fulani's Independence Party) despite his careful but repeated efforts to distance himself from the Black political maverick. And Mr. Tatum muddied the waters considerably by putting the weight of the Amsterdam News behind Bloomberg with an official public endorsement.

Ms. Fulani's full-embrace of Bloomberg and Mr. Tatum's warming support of the Republican nominee coupled with Rev. Sharpton's refusal to support Green has produced what was the unthinkable only a year ago - a Democratic nominee facing the possibility of losing a quarter of the Black vote to the nominee of the political party that gave Black New Yorkers Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, and many believe racial profiling, as few have ever seen it.

A recent poll tells the story. While Green holds an expected measurable edge over Bloomberg in the Latino and Jewish communities, his lead over Bloomberg in the Black community is far less than expected, with a considerable number of Blacks undecided over who they will vote for with just seven days remaining before New Yorkers head to the polls. The numbers? Green has 66% of the Black vote while Bloomberg has garnered 19% of the Black vote with 15% of the expected vote undecided for either man.

Ms. Fulani told us in July that she felt that if Bloomberg were to obtain 20% of the Black vote it would represent a victory for the Black electorate, whether Bloomberg became mayor or not. She said:

What this election is about is whether or not we in the Black community are going to break with the Democratic Party. The four Democrats running for Mayor (City Council Speaker Peter Vallone; Public Advocate Mark Green; City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer) have not produced any passion in the Black community. If 20% of the Black community voted for Bloomberg it would help the entire community. If we give him 20% then we win because it makes the Black vote an unpredictable vote in the future. The Black community doesn't realize how valuable unpredictable votes are. People have to negotiate with you if they don't know what you are going to do. In 1992, when Ross Perot got 20% of the White vote, that group was the most sought after group of votes in the country because they were unpredictable"

While Ms. Fulani certainly deserves much of the credit for Mr. Bloomberg's showing among Black voters in recent polls, it was the bad feelings among some of Ferrer's Black supporters, created by Mr. Green, according to sources close to these same supporters, that may be causing the firm refusals to support the Democratic nominee. Sharpton and others believe that Green has not as much as lifted a finger to oppose the disrespectful manner in which Rev. Sharpton's support of Mr. Ferrer was depicted and characterized by publications like the New York Post and some of Mr. Green's supporters. Few in the Black community failed to recognize the veiled language they believed was being sent to the city's White population that a vote for Mr. Ferrer would hand control of the city over to the most feared member of the Black political establishment. Some were offended that Mr. Green did not distance himself from such arguments or veiled references. Others believe that he was directly behind some of the questionable electronic phone messages and flyers that explicitly made the "vote for Ferrer is a vote for Sharpton" arguments. When the primary ended in a tight run-off victory for Green, some waited for Green to extend not only an olive branch to Mr. Ferrer but also to his chief Black supporters. No such outreach was forthcoming. And individuals like Mr. Tatum had seen enough and went vocal with their suspicions that Mr. Green's victorious campaign was not only disrespectful to the Black community but also the byproduct of underhanded tactics like race-baiting and even deliberate "voter irregularities". The ill-feeling, for Mr. Tatum, did not stop at a refusal to support Green enthusiastically in public, as has been the case with Rev. Sharpton thus far, but evolved into an endorsement of Mr. Bloomberg.

While it remains to be proven whether Mr. Bloomberg's Black support is shallow and only a temporary phenomenon, the fact that Rev. Sharpton, the country's most influential Black Democrat is not out front in center campaigning for the Democratic nominee; that the nation's most prestigious Black newspaper in the country has endorsed a Republican; and the most prominent Black Independent in the country has endorsed that same Republican are all signs that something serious is happening inside of the Black electorate.

If Mr. Bloomberg walks away with 25% of the Black vote, New York, not to mention Black politics may never be the same.

Cedric Muhammad

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

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