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Trotter claims he’s staying in the race

Friday, Dec 7, 2012

* ABC7

State Senator Donne Trotter is out on bail after being charged with trying to board an aircraft with a gun and ammunition. On Thursday, he spoke about his political intentions.

“I intend on staying in the race at this time and will continue to campaign for the people of the Second District,” Trotter said.

“On advice of my attorney, I can’t respond to any questions addressing what’s going through the court system at this time,” Trotter said. […]

Only days ago, Democratic party insiders told ABC7 that Senator Trotter was the odds-on favorite to win the party’s endorsement to be the replacement for Jesse Jackson Jr. Now that Trotter faces a felony weapons charge, that has clouded his political future. […]

“Until there is something that points to him being guilty, people made promises to him so they are not going to cut and run,” U of I Institute of Government & Public Affairs Professor Cedric Herring said. “They are going to support someone who has the political power.”

* But another university political scientist had this to say

The charge does not bode well for Trotter’s congressional run, said Jeffrey Hill, chair of the political science department at Northeastern Illinois University.

“For someone who was arguably the front-runner in the campaign, this could only increase the probability he’ll face good competition,” Hill said.

This is a good example of how reporters can find any university “expert” to say whatever the reporters want them to say for their stories. I usually just skip over those sorts of comments, but it’s useful to see the contrast here, for illustrative purposes if nothing else.

* Gov. Pat Quinn was reserved in his comments yesterday

Gov. Pat Quinn said the fate of a Chicago lawmaker charged with bringing a gun to O’Hare International Airport should play out in the courts.

The governor declined to say Thursday whether state Sen. Donne Trotter should be removed from office.

* Quote of the day

As he walked down a hallway with his lawyers, he told one reporter that he doesn’t give a flying whatever you ask me. When asked if he is still running, Trotter said “from you.”

* Meanwhile, Phil Kadner reports that Trotter may have violated a city ordinance

(A)ccording to the Chicago Police Department, while Trotter did have a firearm owners identification card, required by state law, and a permanent employee registration card, required to work as a security guard or private detective, he did not register his handgun in Chicago.

“Even police officers who live in Chicago are required to register their guns,” a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said.

“Anyone who lives in the city and owns a gun is required to register that gun.”

* But the NRA’s Todd Vandermyde had this to say in comments about the issue

The city tried forcing private security and detectives to do that [register their guns], it went to court and they lost. they came back to the legislature and tried to change the law and it went nowhere. The City spokesman is wrong.

* Roundup…

* Hotline Sort: Scorecard for Illinois-02 Special Election

* Arrest Not Derailing Trotter’s Plans to Replace JJJr

* Arrest raises questions on Trotter’s job at security firm with city deal

* Quinn: Trotter’s fate should be left to courts

* State senator in O’Hare gun case freed on bond

* Mitchell: Where is Sandi Jackson?

* Former Cissna Park village clerk arrested

* Person On The Street - Westbound on Madison Street from Austin to Central: In light of the bank fraud indictment against state Rep. LaShawn Ford, do you think he should resign his seat or fight to the end?

* Ford says he’ll fight bank fraud charges, supporters mount defense - Indicted state rep heads to court next week

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Will Caskey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    I’m sure Trotter appreciates the NRA’s vigorous defense of his gun ownership. I for one think they should make some ad buys praising his de facto support for Second Amendment rights.

  2. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    When do we start seeing stories about which other state legislators and aldermen have gotten exemptions for themselves to Illinois’ conceal carry ban?

    This is a pretty brazen way the political class puts themselves above everyone else.

  3. - Rod - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    Korecki and Fuso’s Sun Times article on AllPoints Securtiy is just the start of a feeding frenzy and could become a bigger problem for the Senator than maybe the arrest itself. AllPoints is deeply tied to minority owned contracting that is linked to public contracts. Given this it seems obvious that the Senator should not have worked for this company and clearly if he has he should have declared his employment.

    A far bigger nightmare for the Democrats would be if other elected officals used AllPoints as a cover to carry concealed firearms. I am sure there is massive digging going on right now, such a story is simply to juicy to ignor.

  4. - TheGoodLieutenant - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    Kadner’s piece is pretty much a heaping pile.

  5. - Brendan - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:42 am:

    “Arrest raises questions on Trotter’s job at security firm with city deal” (

    Gee lookie…another news story clearly reflecting questions asked in my deleted comments.

    I guess I traffic in “rumors?”

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Brendan, you went way beyond what was in that story. Trying to get banned? Keep it up, pardner.

  7. - Will Caskey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:58 am:

    Carl: aldermen don’t need an exemption, holding the office allows them to carry firearms.

    There was legislation proposed in 2000 to repeal that. Trotter may have even had an opinion on it.

  8. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:00 am:

    The sun-times story is a killer.
    Its looking more and more like Trotter was using the Security Guard angle as a backdoor by which to carry a gun.
    A trial, in open court, would be interesting. Any prosecutor worth his salt would be able to make a blistering cross-examination were he to take the stand.

    As my Southern grandpa would say, ” he has taken a dump and stepped backward in it”.

  9. - SangamoGOP - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    Illinois’ State Motto:

    “On advice of my attorney…”

  10. - Loop Lady - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    This has not been a good month for black legislators from IL…is it like deaths that come in threes?…Trotter has some explaining to do…

    I hope he can survive this, but for me, Sen. Toi Hutchinson is the best candidate to replace Jackson…she is young, smart, and and from what I hear, highly respected by her peers and constituents…

  11. - Moe - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:26 am:

    I hope this doesn’t turn into a “The rules are for thee, not for me” situation….

  12. - Fight for Politicians - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:31 am:


    Too late.

  13. - Pat Collins - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    A far bigger nightmare for the Democrats would be if other elected officals used AllPoints as a cover to carry concealed firearms.

    You mean the way being a Cook county Deputy Sheriff used to be? The hypocrisy meter is getting pegged a lot these days….

  14. - Fight for Politicians - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    The current body count:

    Derrick Smith - Checked
    LaShawn Ford - Checked
    Jesse Jackson Jr - Checked
    Donne Trotter - Checked

    Whatever happened to the federal investigation over the legislative scholarships and downstate workers comp in IDOC? We could have a banner year of sending up politicians in Illinois.

  15. - Todd - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    225 ILCS 447/50-25)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2014)
    Sec. 50-25. Home rule. Pursuant to paragraph (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, the power to regulate the private detective, private security, private alarm, fingerprint vending, or locksmith business or their employees shall be exercised exclusively by the State and may not be exercised by any unit of local government, including home rule units.
    (Source: P.A. 95-613, eff. 9-11-07.)

    They can not force anyone licensed under the Act to comply with ANY part of the Chicago ordinance for any firearm they use under the Act.

  16. - Loop Lady - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    …and what the status of the investigation of Sen. Ricky “Hollywood” Hendon? Didn’t he have someone crawling through his awarding of after school monies? What gives?

  17. - soccermom - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    The Sun-Times story is troubling, and I am guessing it is only the beginning.

  18. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    The list of “do as i say, not as I do because i am special” forgot this golden oldie from Sen. Meeks, who sought “professional courtesy” from a traffic violation and had the deplorable sight of then Chief Cline having to grovel before him at Salem Church, begging forgiveness.
    Our elected officials are a special, separate breed. I believe Orwell’s “Animal Farm” summed it up nicely: “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

  19. - shore - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:13 am:

    the sun-times has been on a tear of late in a good way. King Carl is right for the first time in history. Aside from being a distraction I can imagine these legal fees hurt his campaign finances.

    All around ick.

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    ===The sun-times story is a killer.===

    I’m really not sure how. No major revelations which haven’t already been posted or in comments here. I’ve read it three times now and don’t yet see the new news. Perhaps you can enlighten us, however.

  21. - Todd - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    “We find that the emphasized portion of the provision refers to firearms prohibited by state law. Had the legislature intended to allow municipalities to control the business and person of private detectives, a private detective could not own or possess a firearm while in any community in which his firearm was not registered. . . .

    Under the circumstances, we find that section 8-20-040(a) of the Code improperly interferes with the exclusive jurisdiction of the state in regulating private detectives. We therefore vacate the order and sentence entered against Haworth for violation of the firearms registration ordinance.”

    City of Chicago vs. Haworth 1999 1st Dist Court of Appeals

    The City spokesman really should learn what they are talking about. They have already paid NRA about $800K in legal fees so far.

  22. - Fight for the JRTC - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:30 am:

    Listen, Todd. The City of Chicago has spoken, it’s time for you to fall in line and listen.

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    Todd - are you saying that Trotter was working as a private detective at the time? Or does the court ruling also apply to security guards? If so, couldn’t that be used as a way to bypass local restrictions? What about FOID restrictions?

    Wouldn’t it be unusual for a security company to authorize a .25 caliber weapon for guard work? Was the weapon in question listed on the FAC card?

  24. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    The problem is for his candidacy is that this is a distraction the people of the 2nd Congressional district do not need. They need a full time, straight forward and ethical Congressman - something they have not had for the past several months. Unfortunately for Trotter, the people there need someone who is like Caesar’s wife - not pulled in several directions of the people’s business and his personal business. The State of Illinois citizens of his Senate district are already being shortchanged in that apparently the job of State Senate is not enough pay ($90,000) and time committment to keep him busy such that he has to augment his income working the third shift checking doors or patrolling a warehouse ?

  25. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    In a perverse kind of way, this whole mess could work to Trotter’s advantage. He is getting millions of dollars of name recognition which, if he beats the rap, will place him far and apart from the other relative no-names in the contest. In much he same way that Rahm Emmanuel’s residency case sapped all the debate about the Mayor’s Election from the media and after he prevailed in the court case, was a known commodity.
    Plus in Trotter’s district, this adds a little street cred to a dude who has a bit of a Chester Milquetoast look about him with the bow tie and all. Winning the court case (”sticking it to “THE MAN”), will help him immeasureably.

  26. - Lobo Y Olla - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    Todd is quite correct with regards to the Chicago gun registration requirement vs. private detectives. See also 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12647, wherein the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, concurs with Haworth.

  27. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    “straight forward and ethical Congressman - something they have not had for the past several months”

    Months? Perhaps decades longer. Going back in history, the central core of the district has made some interesting choices for congressman. With the new redistricting, there are a lot of new constituents who may persuaded the old way is not optimal.

    I still think the TSA beef is bogus, but a major distraction to a strong candidate. What may be more important is Sen Trotter’s previously undisclosed relationship with the security firm. Many ways for this to break bad for the Senator

  28. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    Plus, all I have been hearing are accolades about this guy. but it seems like he somewhat of a back bencher. When you are know more for your clothes (Trotter) or deep baritone (Danny Davis), it says something about the service you are providing to your constituents.
    Can anyone reveal any substantive legislation he has taken the lead on (without having to go to Google) ?
    It seems like he is held in regard as some sort of fiscal/budget/appropriations guru. Considering the condition of the state’s finances, that does not seem like something to hang one’s hat on.

  29. - Church Lady - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    I’m sorry, Loop Lady, but Toi would not be the representative of the 2nd District. Let’s stick to Donne.

  30. - Todd - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    anon — I don’t know what capacity Trotter works for them. The Act covers all kinds from rent a cops to private detectives. what the company policy is on carry guns for their duties is up to them.

    I’m a 1911 guy, but thats me and I have different guns for different modes of dress. All I have tried to do is explain the law. And the intent is to keep local from carzy regulations. lets say the people’s republic of Oak Park didn’t want PIs from carrying their their little corner of utopia, that is the intent of the law. To stop things like that.

  31. - Casey - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    And if he makes it out of this, he will be all the poorer as a result. Former Prosecutors like the one he has hired to represent him come at about $500- $750 per hour. That a lot of scratch at $9.00 security guard salary.

  32. - Rod - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    I think violating the Chicago gun registration requirement in itself is only a misdemeanor in any case, it happens often in the city. But I think Rich asks why the Sun Times article hurt the Senator, which is a good question.

    AllPoints and other minority subcontractors have to do heavy political lifting to keep themselves in bussiness. If the Sun Times, BGA, and others keep looking they will come up with some dirt. To the degree the Senator is associated with the dirt if any is found you have trouble. Here is an example, the Senator supposedly was working for AllPoints the night before the flight. If records indicate that is not the case or if they indicate the Senator did not actually work but was paid you have even more trouble. If AllPoints billed for services not performed you have even more trouble.

    Let’s recall how the hired truck story evolved in Chicago. It eventually lead to many people being destroyed. These things can have a life of their own. Hopefully for the Senator’s sake it won’t go to that level, but it is possible.

    As we all know these little things have a way of exploding when looked at very closely.After how Governor Ryan got caught in the web really nothing should suprise us all.

  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===but it seems like he somewhat of a back bencher===

    Time for you to find a new blog, dude. Seriously. That was inane.

  34. - reformer - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    I like the Senator. I also think some explanation is needed about the nature of his security work and whether he should’ve reported it on his statement of economic interests.

  35. - Meanderthal - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    I seem to remember running into Trotter at Cook County Hospital once and was told he worked there. I guess that was under the old man Stroger and not the case anymore.

  36. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    I am thinking along the same lines as Rod here. The validity of the relationship and the role of the Senator to any actual security or detective work is germaine here. The fact that the company has alleged minority certification, and contract(s) with the City of Chicago would seem to open the door for the Chicago OIG, who is no shrinking violet when it comes to headline grabbing opportunities.

    Much like the license for bribes scandal, document creation or destruction after the fact could play as much of a role in the downfall as the initial day in the spotlight if one is not careful.

    I am hard pressed to believe that there could be the same level of harlequin romance and intrigue as there was in the SOS episode, but hey I’ve been surprised before and I am always amazed and amused at the creative efforts once the layers of the onion have been peeled back.

    If I were Trotter or more likely Durkin, I’d go to the status hearing next week and ask for an immediate bench trial, and place the onus on the SOA to prove “knowing” intent beyond a reasonable doubt right away.

    The longer this hangs out there the more potentially perilous it becomes. A quick dismissal would make the job of the Cook County Democratic Party slate makers a whole lot easier next Friday as well.

  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    Quinn T. Sential, don’t link to that guy again. Seriously.

    Plus, there isn’t a shred of documented evidence in that piece.

  38. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    Sorry Rich, does your concern contain to the guy, or solely to his unsubstantiated message?

    I actually included it because it was on topic, and yet so brazen and it looked as though it could be looked to as a source of potential income recovery for Senator Trotter.

    To be honest however there also has not been a lot of documented evidence in local mainstream media reports on a variety of issues pertaining to this incident. In fact, there have actually been conflicting reports in the same mainstream news publications just a few hours apart on certain aspects of this that have not been reconciled or corrected.

    In their haste to push out information it seems the ability or desire to fact-check and source check information often gets pushed to the sidelines.

  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    The guy. He has his thing, I have mine. I just let him have his thing and deal with mine.

  40. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    Okay; thanks for clarifying. I never heard of him before, but his article popped up in my news feed. Turned out to be hyperbolic opinion devoid of any real fact supported news.

  41. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    It’s worth a shot, (and not literally) that he join in the race, Derrick Smith won with legal issues, and by quite a bit.

  42. - ashamedofillinois - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:09 pm:

    It so figures that the legislature won’t approve concealed carry for Illinois citizens, but Sen. Trotter has it for himself. Shocking!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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