By Ray Hanania
I was on a business trip to meet my Middle East editors in Las Vegas this past weekend, and the questions about Chicago crime and even the Safe-T Act were coming at me from every direction.
The cab driver wondered if all hell had broken loose in Chicago under that “alien-looking mayor with the bug-eyes” (Lori) Lightfoot.
She certainly looks as crazy as her policies.
My editors were shocked by the weekly number of shootings and killings and wondering what happened to the Chicago police, and wasn’t I afraid living even out in the nearby suburbs?
Yes, I told them. Chicago is a “hellhole” as gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey has said, although he isn’t referring to the people but to the lawlessness that has consumed Chicago.
I told them Illinois is a predominantly Democratic state and that has a massive influence on the media’s lack of objectivity.
Daily Springfield gossip columns rely on subscriptions from the Democrats — their close lobbyist friends and pals — and businesses, so they downplay the responsibilities for Chicago crime and instead protect their lying and bullying Democratic lobbyist pals.
I added that the mainstream news media, which is based in Democratic-controlled Chicago, is also going to cover for them, too.
The Safe-T act is the biggest, most exploited and exaggerated legislation I have seen in 45 years of covering Chicagoland politics.
It’s not as bad as the Republican extremists are describing it and it is not as good as Daddy Warbucks Gov. JB Pritzker and his paid mouthpieces assert. But this law that was shoved through in the middle of the night back in January with no pushback from any responsible media, and that has delayed provisions that don’t begin until after the Nov. 8 elections, is little more than 800 pages of garbage.
It was pushed by the Black Caucus so they could go into their communities to tell their constituents — who are the biggest victims of this raging crime wave — that they are doing something to “restrain the police,” who the media has allowed to be portrayed as the bad guys in this tragedy.
Many legislatures went along with the bill in part because on its face, some of the provisions make sense. Why clog the already clogged criminal justice system in Cook County with minor low-level offenses (not crimes), first-time offenses that don’t involve injuring anyone or threatening anyone but involve petty theft?
Of course, our illustrious pro-criminal State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who has eased criminal accountability on the criminals, has blurred that line, so it’s really hard to tell who is or isn’t a petty thief these days.
Removing automatic cash bonds for suspects won’t allow “accused” rapists and murderers on the street. It makes judges decide. It’s not really explained very well in the Safe-T Act. The flaw is that you might have a judge — this is Cook County after all — who could allow an accused rapist or murderer to go free without cash bond, only to rape and murder again. It’s happened.
Another is preventing police from responding to electronic monitoring violations for 48 hours. The point is there are many trivial problems with electronic monitoring that waste police time. The Safe-T Act doesn’t address the real problem at all.
As for the Safe-T Act preventing police from arresting criminals who trespass on your property, the fear mongerers don’t say that the trespassing provision only applies to minor issues of trespassing that involve neighbors who file ridiculous and petty complaints everyday against the neighbors, dragging the police into these little squabbles. The police are not prohibited from responding to a trespasser who poses a real threat of violence or property damage.
This bill is being used to inflate far right Republican extremists going into the election who don’t care about truth, and who publish all kinds of lies and exaggerations in fake newspapers. A “fake newspaper” is one that doesn’t disclose the names of the people publishing or writing the articles. There’s no accountability.
Meanwhile, Gov. Daddy Warbucks has failed to explain the law, preferring instead to dish out cash to anyone he thinks he can enlist for support the way he bought his own election.
There are some good Democratic candidates and some good Republican candidates. Pritzker is not a good candidate. Despite his flawed response on abortion, Bailey is the best candidate for governor to address crime and protect law-abiding citizens.
Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.
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September 17, 2022 at 04:21PM