Why is hip hop entrepreneur and emerging progressive leader Russell Simmons supporting Michael Steele over Josh Rales to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate. Rales has a clear and strong progressive platform. Steele’s recent TV commercial shows off his immense charisma and manages to say nothing about his actual positions. Apparently he is going to “talk straight” in Washington about the things people really care about. That sounds great — and very open to interpretation.

Look, diversity in government is important. Steele would join Barack Obama as the 2nd black senator serving — out of 100. Yet, he is a loyal Republican. These are the same people who abandoned African-Americans during Katrina and continues to hand them short change to re-build their lives in the aftermath. He does not share Simmons’ values. Or mine for that matter. When does race matter more than principle? In my opinion, never.

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