LITTLE VILLAGE — As pushback mounts and misinformation spreads about a law to eliminate cash bail, a Democratic state senator paid former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to record a video saying the law “will dramatically improve the lives” of Illinoisans.
He also got the former gov to call Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey “Dare Bear.”
The Pretrial Fairness Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, ends cash bail in Illinois while allowing a judge to detain someone depending on their criminal charges, or if the judge thinks they pose a danger to the community or thinks they may flee.
The law is a part of a package of sweeping criminal justice reforms passed in 2021 dubbed the Safe-T Act. The law does not, as viral TikTokers have said, create “non-detainable offenses” in Illinois or mean people accused of crimes will be released from jail en masse in 2023. Judges will still be able to detain people who pose a threat to the community or a flight risk.
The video of Blagojevich, which appears to be a Cameo, was commissioned and posted by Sen. Robert Peters (D-13th). It is at directed at Bailey, who seized upon misinformation about the law, saying “Chicago is living the purge.”
Blagojevich might not have been the most obvious choice for a rebuttal. The ex-governor tweeted this week the Safe-T Act “prevents police officers from arresting trespassers who choose to sit on your front porch or sleep in your back yard.”
But in the video, he praises “the PFA,” which Peters said refers to the Pretrial Fairness Act. The former governor addresses the one-minute video to “Dare Bear” — referring to Bailey, Peters said — and uses his infamous “it’s f–ing golden” line in talking about “the PFA.”
“The PFA will dramatically improve the lives of your friends and family,” Blagojevich said. “This thing, the PFA — well, it’s f–ing golden.”
At a press conference Thursday, Peters did not directly answer questions about whether he made it clear to Blagojevich what PFA stood for.
“You’d think the governor who had an ability to speak [about] this bill would’ve known” that PFA referred to the Pretrial Fairness Act, Peters said.
The tweet the former governor sent about the Safe-T law “was enough for me to say that’s someone who seems like he knows what he’s talking about,” Peters said.
Blagojevich could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
— Robert Peters (@RobertJPeters) September 15, 2022
Blagojevich also references Bailey’s recent move into the building formerly known as the John Hancock tower in the video.
Bailey said the Safe-T Act will “unleash the purge in neighborhoods all over Illinois” and again called Chicago a “hellhole” in a press conference announcing the move, according to ABC 7.
Viral videos and infographics have spread misinformation about the act and labeled it the “Purge Law,” equating it with the 2013 horror film in which all crimes are legal for a 12-hour period.
“Dare Bear, I hope when you move back home that you don’t look at this journey as a failure but instead as a learning opportunity about life,” Blagojevich said.
The video was commissioned by “Bob Peters” on Cameo, a platform that allows people to buy personalized videos from celebrities.
Blagojevich joined the platform in 2020, days after former President Donald Trump commuted his 14-year prison sentence on charges of corruption. He charges $100-$500 per video as of this week.
Peters has not been in touch with the former governor since the video was posted, he said.
“Our former, corrupt governor seemed to have strong opinions about the Pretrial Fairness Act just a couple days ago,” Peters said. “Clearly, he understands so much what PFA means, and he really showed it today.”
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September 15, 2022 at 05:54PM