Pritzker rival hits governor on Chicago violence

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The last thing needed now is for hot-shot politicians to throw gasoline on the fire. But that’s exactly what some are doing. Like today’s example: GOP gubernatorial hopeful Gary Rabine.

In a statement, Rabine tied—or tried to tie—Chicago’s violent summer around the neck of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“How many police officers and innocent civilians have to die before Gov. Pritzker takes what is happening in the city of Chicago seriously,” thundered Rabine in his statement. “Show us you are not partnered with Kim Fox. . . .JB needs to wake up and hold Kim Fox accountable for violating her professional code of ethics.”

I assume Rabine was referring to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. She indeed has some controversial policies, such as pushing for non-cash bail that arguably lets back on the street some people who shouldn’t be. But Foxx just won re-election in November in a contest that focused heavily on just such issues. County residents knew who they were getting. If Rabine has proof Foxx violated ethics, he ought to present it.

Misspelling Foxx’s name wasn’t the only thing Rabine was wrong about.

He said Pritzker “could put pressure” on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to “address the rise in violent crime, perhaps by “withhold(ing) various state funds to the city to force the mayor to solve the problems.” How should Lightfoot do that? Rabine didn’t say—or say how cutting off money would help. Nor did he say what should be up for consideration at a special General Assembly session he suggested Pritzker call to deal with violence if the governor hasn’t first done so via unspecified executive orders “to retract the bad policies that have handcuffed our police.”

I’m sure that will be a big hit downstate. Let Springfield set all the rules for your county sheriff and town police. Unless, wink wink, it’s just the evil big city that will get special treatment.

Rabine did get specific on one point. He urged residents to pray for slain officer Ella French’s “2-month-old baby now without a mother.”

Only, French did not leave behind a 2-month-old. “That’s not accurate,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters after they inquired yesterday about internet rumors to that effect. No, it’s not accurate, other police insiders say, adding that they can’t go farther without violating federal health privacy laws.

Even Rabine’s spokesman, Travis Akin, tells me the internet meme about the baby left behind is “apparently not true.”   

But all’s fair game these wild internet days.  

Attack Lightfoot if you want, folks. Rip her policies apart. There’s certainly reason to question her performance and that of her hand-picked police chief. If the City Council doesn’t hold her accountable, voters will have their chance not too long from now.

 But if we want to solve the problem—and the GOP wants to have more than a clown car of candidates to run against Pritzker next year—how about telling us exactly what you want to do and sticking to the facts, OK? Chicago and Illinois are looking for leaders, not exploiters.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

August 9, 2021 at 02:29PM

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