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Quinn shoring up his African-American base

Though no public events were listed on his Friday calendar, Gov. Pat Quinn had a 10 a.m. private meeting with a critical constituency.

The invitation read, “All African American elected officials are invited and welcomed by Governor Pat Quinn to attend a planning session to develop action steps for the fall election.”

How was the meeting?

“How did you know I was there?” replied state Rep. Monique Davis when I called.

More on our conversation in a second.

The gathering was held, ironically enough, at the Quinn (no relation) Chapel AME Church at 2401 S. Wabash. According to some who were there, about 100 people showed up, including committeemen and community activists. The elected officials numbered about 30. Among them were U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, Secretary of State Jesse White, aldermen Will Burns, Pat Dowell and Howard Brookins Jr., and state lawmakers such as Sen. Emil Jones III and Rep. Monique Davis.

Now, you might assume that Quinn, a populist Democrat, would have a lock on the black community and therefore would be focused elsewhere. Like on trying to convert white suburban women and dyspeptic Downstaters.

But Rule Number One in politics is secure the base.

How secure is that base?