Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shields could be asked to step down as chairman of Dems Party


Long-time Alderman Michael Shields now is trying to explain away a vote that he made against the licensing of a proposed gay community center in Uptown Racine.

Shields, also recently elected president of the Racine NAACP, was one of four no votes cast to deny the petitioners for the LGBT Center in Racine. The other no votes came from Aldermen Q.A. Shakoor, Ron Hart, and Jim Kaplan.

Kaplan argued the LGBT Center didn't fit with the city's plans to relocate artists into Uptown. Apparently, gay people and the arts are a bad match suggests the article that appeared on the RacinePost blog.

The blog went on the say, "When that argument didn't work, Kaplan and a few others went to the old fallback of parking. (Note to readers: If you're ever trying to kill a building project, bring up the parking issue. When it suits their interests, elected officials love to worry about where people put their cars.)"

According to Insider News sources close to the Democratic Party executive committee, plans are in the works to ask Shields to step down from his position as chairman. Shields told friends that his no vote was misunderstood by the Racine Journal Times. He said his intention was to vote to have the entire recommendation sent back to committee for additional study.

The LGBT Center would be located in Shields' district near the Uptown area where an arts district has been proposed by Racine Mayor Gary Becker and City Council members.

The council voted 9-4 in favor of granting the conditional-use permit. Shakoor said during the debate that the issue needed more public discussion. Hart and Shields didn't add much more than their vote to the discussion

The Insider News was also contacted by phone and told a group loyal to the petitioners had recruited a candidate to run against Shields in the upcoming spring election. It had been reported in the RacinePost that no one had filed papers to run against Shields until he voted against the tavern. Anyone planning to run for the alderman's seat will have to file papers no later than 5 PM Tuesday, January 6, 2009.

It was also rumored that the NAACP executive committee was also looking into action to take because of Shields vote. "The NAACP does not discriminate against anyone," said the informant.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The NAACP do not discriminate against anyone........

That's a funny one.

Anonymous said...

How could Shields do something so idiotic especially when he's the chair of the democratic party? He needs to realize discrimination is not just about color. He needs to be ousted, fast. Shields is an embarrassment!

Joe Hill said...

At the Yes we Can meeting at Blueberry (and where where you Mr. Lumpkin?) A man (sorry did not catch the name) was getting his paperwork signed by many in the crowd. I think Mr. Shields in in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Joe, unless there were two collecting signatures, the Todd Price for State Superintendent of Schools campaign was at that meeting with nomination papers.

joe hill said...

No this guy was collecting for a run on Shields, just wish I would have gotten his name.
Looked very happy with the numbers he had

Anonymous said...

Shields said "his no vote was misunderstood". He voted no TWICE, once to send it back and once against it. There is no misunderstanding!

“I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.”

Coretta Scott King

Anonymous said...

I just looked at the minutes of the meeting at the City website. The final vote, which was the one on the resolution, shows only Shakoor, Kaplan, and Hart voting against it. Shields is shown as voting with the majority to approve the permit.

Anonymous said...

I was there, we heard him. I don't know what the record says, he voted against. Someone take a look at the CAR25 tape, because everyone around me heard the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Something is fishy:

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/12/17/local_news/doc4949a4855eb21034925606.txt

Anonymous said...

Sorry, go here-
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/12/17/local_news/doc4949a4855eb21034925606.txt

Anonymous said...

It won't print the full link, but the journal times confirms the next day 4 votes against. Now the minutes say something different. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

The minutes shows he voted against the committee report, but FOR the resolution.

It is the resolution that matters and approves the permit.

Very confusing, but the minutes show he voted FOR the center.

Anonymous said...

Yes but he publicly opposed the center and didn't try to hide his feelings, that's what counts. Shields should be held accountable for his actions. If he had his way the center would not have been approved.

Anonymous said...

I was there. The minutes are wrong. The paper confirmed his vote and he's never contradicted it.

The reporters wrote what they heard too, so it wasn't just me. The whole town has been talking about this vote and Shields was quoted defending his vote against the center.

Anonymous said...

The several people who run the RCDP are already working to change the history of Shields vote and his game playing on this one.
He told someone that it wasn't that he was against it but that it was part of the "game".
Why is he playing games? Why can't he follow Obama's example and just say what he means and and then follow through with action.
The RCDP should kick him out for a lot more than just this vote. He has been doing nothing but causing trouble for that party since he began attacking them years ago.
Campaigns that come into the city don't ever want anything to do with him because he's so disrespectful and always trying to work some angle to get something for himself.He has a terrible reputation in the political circle in town

Anonymous said...

Racine Post has a link on the discrepancy:
http://news.racinepost.com/

Anonymous said...

Why did Shields wait until today to set the record straight? He could see the controversy brewing over his vote that was incorrectly reported by both the Journal Times and the Racine Post, yet said nothing. He could easily have demanded a prominent and quick correction from both papers and most of those nasty blogs would never have been written. Perhaps he wanted his constituents to be misinformed about his vote, and only saw the need to correct the record when his chairmanship of the Racine Democratic Party was threatened. His letter today in the Journal Times was quite arrogant. After waiting so long to set the record straight, how dare he put his detractors down because they failed to check the official record and responded to his vote as reported in the two local newspapers? It is neither reasonable nor realistic that the public should ignore newspapers and be required to get political news from reading official government records. I find his holier-than-thou outrage against his detractors laughable when he could easily have put the controversy to rest the same day his vote was misreported! The alderman doth protest too much, methinks.