SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Radio silence

Monday, Dec 10, 2012

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

One of the most fascinating things about the media frenzy surrounding state Sen. Donne Trotter’s arrest last week was that not one of his Democratic opponents in the 2nd Congressional District immediately jumped in front of the cameras to comment about it.

They stayed quiet even when Trotter (D-Chicago) announced the next day, after bonding out of jail on a gun charge, that he wouldn’t drop out of the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

And still nothing was said after media reports revealed that the gun was not registered and that Trotter had not reported an outside security job on his financial disclosure reports.

Trotter was arrested Wednesday morning for allegedly attempting to bring an unloaded pistol and an ammo clip through a security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport. Reporters swarmed the courthouse after Trotter posted bond Thursday and then, when he refused comment, some descended on his home on the South Side.

His arrest was one of the biggest news stories in the city, mainly because of his congressional bid, yet none of the dozen or so other prospective Democratic candidates in the 2nd District special election issued a statement or responded on the record to questions about his arrest or his unknown second job.

One campaign insider said late last week that his operation was maintaining a “no comment” stance regarding Trotter but marveled how it was “really amazing” that everybody had shown such restraint in a race that appears to be hotly contested.

Well, Trotter is armed, I cracked.

All kidding aside, the political dynamics in black-majority political districts can be a lot different than in white districts. So many blacks have been arrested in this country that a candidate who piles on somebody right after they’re busted probably wouldn’t be received well by black voters — who make up most of the electorate in the 2nd District.

Plus, there’s an old political saw about how one should “never commit homicide when an opponent is committing suicide.”

Ironically, Trotter was arrested for allegedly violating a law that he voted for twice. Once a decade ago, when he voted to increase the penalties for his alleged violation from a misdemeanor to a felony.

And then again a few years ago when he moved that statutory language to another part of state law: “It is unlawful for any person to board or attempt to board any commercial or charter aircraft, knowingly having in his or her possession any firearm, explosive of any type or other lethal or dangerous weapon.”

Notice the word “knowingly” in the text. Trotter told police that he forgot he had the small, .25-caliber pistol and a separate ammo clip in his travel bag.

Trotter’s story is that he didn’t knowingly bring the gun through security, which seems logical because trying to do so at O’Hare would be a spectacularly stupid thing to do. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office, however, decided to charge him with a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.

A former state’s attorney in another county who once was a legislator said Trotter’s “I forgot” defense will be a “tough slog.”

“The case law on this provision (knowledge) is clear and well established,” the ex-prosecutor said in an email message. “About the only way I could see a possible defense under this provision would be if Donne picked up someone else’s luggage that looked just like his luggage and carried it to security without ‘knowing’ that it contained a gun — or that someone planted a gun in his luggage.”

He said he always liked Trotter, but the Chicago senator is “in a world of hurt with the law.” But he added it’s “ridiculous” that every unlawful use of a weapon charge is a felony.

“There is no misdemeanor provision of UUW available for first-time offenders,” he grumbled.

And word from inside is that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez may take a hard look at Trotter’s revelation about his special gun-carrying permit via a job with a Chicago security company.

Things could get very ugly or end very quickly. And his opponents may have jumped on Trotter by the time you read this.

* And as it turns out, what I was hearing from inside the state’s attorney’s office was correct

The pistol-packing misadventure at O’Hare Airport that landed state Sen. Donne Trotter in a lockup facing felony gun charges has spawned a separate investigation into the politically connected security company Trotter said employs him as an armed guard, DNAinfo.com Chicago has learned.

Law enforcement sources say the investigation will likely look into whether Trotter, who makes nearly $90,000 a year as senator, really does moonlight as a security guard for Allpoints Security and Detective Inc., 2110 1/2 E. 71st St.

And a separate state probe has been launched to determine if the Southeast Side security firm has acted as a “front” to procure firearm control cards for people who are not employed as armed guards, according a source close to the investigation.

Apparently, the state’s attorney likes to leak info about ongoing investigations. Not good at all.

* In other news, Dick Durbin demanded no special treatment for Trotter

“We’re very serious, and we have to remain serious at airports. When people want to bring firearms on airplanes, they’ve got to know they face felony charges, which is what is looming over Sen. Trotter at the moment,” Durbin said.

“What happens as a result of this case, I can’t say. But we can’t make exceptions because someone’s an elected official,” Durbin said. “This applies to everybody across the board. Don’t tempt us. Don’t try to test the system because we’re serious about safety on our airplanes.”

I would add that there shouldn’t be any special leaking about this case, either.

* Related…

* Washington: Donne Trotter’s gun is worse than his stupidity

* Slating: Becoming chosen one doesn’t carry weight it once did

* Race to Replace Jackson Lacks Star Power

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - one of the 35 - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    “But we can’t make exceptions because someone’s an elected official,” Durbin said. Come on Senator. You elected officials make exceptions for yourselves all the time! Are you going to be covered by the same health care plan as the rest of the country? Or did you carve out an exception for congress?


  2. - Julian - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    I wonder how Senator Durbin feels about the “special treatment” Chicago aldermen get when it comes to carrying handguns?

    I agree with one of the 35, “The laws are for thee, and not for me”


  3. - The Captain - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    Only an out of state moron could come up with the headline “Race to Replace Jackson Lacks Star Power”. Are you kidding? You’ve got two former nominees for statewide office, a former congresswoman, a former congressman, a former football star, a high ranking budget leader in Senate leadership and the woman who ranked highest on the most recent poll is a state senator who is able to compete against these resumes. GO AWAY OUT OF STATE MORON JOURNALISTS.


  4. - ilskeptic - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    Re: ‘one of the 35′
    Actually, it was pretty well established back when the Affordable Care Act was passed that Congress has access ONLY to the same health plans offered as part of the ACA. Here’s one recent link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2012/07/03/what-is-the-truth-about-health-care-reform/


  5. - Skeeter - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    With a big field, there is absolutely no upside of taking the lead in opposing Trotter. Let it play out. Let somebody else go negative. Stay out of the mud


  6. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    The thundering silence may come from a concern relating to other ‘perks’ that elected officials in Illinois seem to have.

    Will the code of silence break and disarm hordes of politicians? Stay tune to the continuing soap opera - As Illinois Squirms


  7. - Hammer - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    When your opponent is drowning throw that [guy] an anvil. This is a perfect time, not to jump on the gun stuff but to release anything else your research has found and drag out the negative press through Christmas either a) stunting his fundraising or b) running him out. Who’s running these campaigns?


  8. - Rod - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    All of the worse case scenarios for Senator Trotter seem to be playing out. Now that the Allpoints investigation according to Rich’s story is going full blast there will likely be only more trouble ahead. I just hope the Senator keeps his retirement benefits when this is all done, regardless of the tiny gun affair he did normally act as a responsible legislator. Our State is like a Greek tragedy that never ends.


  9. - langhorne - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    i like trotter, but he stepped in it big time. i think it will only get messier as time goes on. he should cut his losses, apologize, and withdraw from the congressional race. then do the best w the charges. he can remain in the senate. what troubles me most is that he was so comfortable with having a gun in his garment bag that he could forget about it. that suggests he carries it that way frequently (granted, not illegal, except for trying to go thru security and not registering with the city)


  10. - Esteban - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    If I were to carry a weapon for protection, it certainly wouldn’t be a .25 caliber handgun.


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    I think the column has it just about right. I’d add that I don’t think anyone can build themselves up by piling on Trotter.


  12. - Loop Lady - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    There’s plenty of mud to go around in a policial contest. Wouldn’t be great if this special election stayed out of the gutter? Not gonna happen, but I can dream…Trotter needed to keep his rep on the up and up and he just stepped in a very messy pile…


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    === Apparently, the state’s attorney likes to leak info about ongoing investigations ===

    Another strike against Alvarez. She just keeps digging that hole deeper.

    Thanks for a well-written column, Rich. The code really should allow for something lesser than a felony charge in certain circumstances.


  14. - OneMan - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Someone may want to tell the security outfit to reduce the amount of flash on their site and fix some of the grammar issues…

    http://www.allpointssecurityinc.com/AllpointsSecurityinc.html

    http://www.allpointssecurityinc.com/08-a-Employment/application_for_employment.htm


  15. - Todd - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    I am at a loss for words on the screed Ms. Washington wrote.

    Her self induced fear of both firearms and the possibility that someone might carry one explains why it is so difficult to have a conversation with many in the media about the topic.

    That said an article in the Atlantic did a balanced job I thought of looking at the whole thing.


  16. - casey - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    …and as for the race lacking “star power”, I believe that “star power” is what is wrong with politics today anyway. The generally uninformed electorate will fall for the flashy instead of the dull but qualified every time.
    Give me a reasonable, intelligent person like a Kurt Summers - Preckwinkle’s former Chief of Staff, over these superficial career politicians anyday.

    I also hear that at the WVON Senior Citizen Breakfast this past Saturday, Rep. Monique Davis threw her hat into the ring for the office. Oy vey……what is in the water out there ?


  17. - ILPoliticalJunkie - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    Unless Black Leaders/Politicians come out to show support, then I doubt Trotter will win this election. There are many alternative candidates for people to choose in this race.


  18. - Pale Rider - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned yet, but was the magazine loaded? If the magazine was loaded then under Illinois law the gun was loaded. There is some significance to carrying a loaded firearm and improper transportation of a firearm.


  19. - John - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    Special treatment? How about the fact that Chicago is just about the only jurisdiction that arrests people for mistakenly carrying a gun to security. Every other airport, 4-5 times a day, just tells the person to take the gun back to their car. Why is Chicago so special?


  20. - 332bill - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    Pale Rider
    A gun can be transported legally in a case with a loaded magazine (clip) as long as the magazine is not in the gun or a bullet in the chamber.


  21. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 3:34 pm:

    OneMan, I observed earlier that 1995 called Allpoints and wants the Webpage back. I failed to note the atrocious grammar at that time. My bad.
    Another concern about Allpoints and “typical” security contracts is that a “typical” contract (at least in my experience with several State agencies) will specify the weapon type and caliber to be carried by armed security guards provided under the contract. Historically, this provision was included to prevent a “Dirty Harry” scenario where a guard might try to pack a weapon too powerful for the assignment. The opposite was not contemplated, but it will be interesting to see what exactly the contract requires in this regard.


  22. - casey - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 3:54 pm:

    Don Rose has an interesting take on Trotter.
    Is it prohibited to link to other stories here?


  23. - Todd - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    Pale you are wrong

    The mag can be loaded so long as the gun is not uncased


  24. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 5:59 pm:

    Todd, for reporting purposes the TSA classified Trotter’s pop gun as “loaded” without a bullet in the chamber:

    http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/12/tsa-week-in-review-41-firearms-40-stun.html?m=1


  25. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 8:55 pm:

    Horse meets barn door in passing:

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/545/article/p2p-73648760/


  26. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 9:06 pm:

    Here I am on the road again, there I am upon the stage, there I am playing star again, there I go, turn the page:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/illinois&id=8915441


  27. - Ben J. - Monday, Dec 10, 12 @ 9:48 pm:

    Everyone should follow the same rules. Politician or not. It all comes down to common sense.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
* Stark contrasts on taxes, minimum wage
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Sony’s QX1 Looks To Bring Interchangeable Pro Lenses To Your Smartphone
        * FlashTool now able to download latest Xperia firmware
        * Reddit Launches An Official App For AMAs
        * Meizu MX4 gets official with MT6595 Octa processor and Flyme 4.0
        * Motorola “Shamu” spotted once more in Zauba import data
        * What to do with your your old iPhone
        * Samsung to launch Galaxy S DUOS 3, gets KitKat upgrade

        * Swatch will release a touchscreen smartwatch next summer
        * Microsoft again defies US order to hand over data from overseas server
        * A just-granted Apple patent looks like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 radial menu
        * Sky’s Now TV Lands On Google Chromecast
        * Rated S for Sexism: To Fix Misogynistic Games, We Need a Better Filter
        * The Bridge Is Over: Sonos Adds Simpler Wi-Fi Setup to All Its Speakers
        * DashNotes Quickly Saves Text, Images, Links to Chrome's New Tab Page

        * White Sox Minor League Update: End of the regular season
        * Noesi looks to continue push toward season's end
        * Williams conveys important message to Little Leaguers
        * Podcast: Dunn Deal
        * Thoughts on the Adrian Nieto experiment
        * Breaks turn in Quintana's favor against Tigers
        * Molina outrighted; roster spot opens up for Rodon


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * School starts in Chicago with more safety guards..
        * School starts in Chicago with more safety guard.....
        * Salaita firing shows where Zionism meets neolib.....
        * School to begin in Chicago with more safety guards..
        * Why is Gov. Pat Quinn living off minimum wage f.....
        * Local students to see fewer familiar faces this.....
        * Chicago Schools Begin With More Guards..
        * Quinn, Rauner oppose gax tax increase..


        * Fargo is site for national ag research center
        * Illinois woman rescued after day stuck in mud
        * Coroner: 1 person dies in Illinois house explosion
        * School to begin in Chicago with more safety guards
        * More storms roll through Midwest with hail, winds
        * Cubs honor Jackie Robinson West little leaguers
        * Man found dead in central Illinois was hit by car
        * US eating habits improve a bit _ except among poor
        * Study: Action-packed TV might make you snack more
        * Patients to start applying for medical marijuana

        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue
        * State of unions: Lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions
        * State of Illinois posts applications for medical marijuana businesses
        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules

        * If only it were this easy to lift share prices
        * 'Chicagoland' star returns to school
        * Amid re-election fight, Quinn pushes through a tax on business
        * Chicago's worst IPO in 2014: Ryerson
        * Why ComEd is worried about your smartphone


        * Ex-cop convicted of protecting crooks is back on public payroll
        * Ald. Pope rehired city worker who quit after sex harassment allegations
        * Moms, dads get kids ready for school
        * Ald. Pope rehired worker who quit after harassment allegations
        * Chicago school year begins with more safety guards
        * CPS can cheer, but challenges remain
        * EDITORIAL: CPS can cheer, but challenges remain
        * Police: Man throws baby from vehicle, beats girlfriend and boy in domestic fight
        * Man charged with battery; police say he threw baby from vehicle, beat girlfriend and boy
        * Three dead, at least 35 hurt in Labor Day weekend shootings


        * Woman, 82, killed in Streator home explosion
        * Police: Man threw baby out car window, then hit her as he drove off
        * Family speaks out about deaths of four in Elmhurst
        * 4 hurt in city shootings
        * Man charged in shooting after soccer match in Oak Forest
        * Police: Van driver tried to lure kids on Northwest Side
        * Police charge man, 55, in Northwest Side stabbing
        * Cops: Man on moped leads cops on North Side chase
        * Survivors of Elmhurst family laud parents 'unwavering' commitment
        * 1 dead, 13 hurt in shootings across city


        * Digging up political dirt? That's their job
        * State Starts Accepting Medical Marijuana Requests
        * Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums
        * How America's most plentiful bird disappeared


        * Catherine Rampell: Tech firms’ poor record of diversity
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Our Opinion: Driving into floodwater a deadly practice
        * Angie Muhs: A debate in Springfield would send the right message from candidates
        * Charles Krauthammer: Lower corporate tax rates. Now.
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillman, Watson looking at possible runs for alderman
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing


        * Rauner vow revives governor's mansion question
        * State Senator Mike Frerichs 9/2/2014
        * Lt. Governor Sheila Simon 9/2/2014
        * Coroner: 1 person dies in Streator house explosion
        * Off the beat: Overnight storms produce spectacular lightning display
        * Break from storms expected Tuesday
        * Area Calendar 9/02/14
        * Traditions at heart of Komen race
        * Area history, Sept. 2, 2014
        * Cypress Trees: Heron Pond and Cache River Wetlands


        * Carrie Underwood announces pregnancy
        * Dawn Patrol: Local reality show; medical pot permitting begins
        * Eat right, live well: Best oil for baking isn't the best for sauteing
        * An easy 2-step process to get more from veggies
        * Brad Paisley turns up the fun on latest album

        * US Rep. Lipinski accepting service academy...
        * Dem Explains Why He Voted 'Present' on DAC...
        * Immigration dominates Lipinski's town hall...
        * US Rep. Lipinski accepting service academy...
        * Dem Explains Why He Voted 'Present' on DAC...
        * Immigration dominates Lipinski's town hall...
        * Roskam Talks Taxes - Alton Daily News
        * Nadler introduces resolution condemning an...
        * Roskam gives business leaders vision for f...
        * Roskam: Making college more affordable for...

        * Who Leaked Naked Pictures Of Kate Upton & ......
        * Who Leaked Naked Pictures Of Kate Upton & ......
        * Bright Side: Peoria Labor Day parade sees ......
        * Bright Side: Peoria Labor Day parade sees ......
        * Bright Side: Peoria Labor Day parade sees ......

        * Rubio, Colleagues Call For Latin American ......
        * Putin Hopeful Russia Won’t Lose Right to H......

        * Frustrated? No. We are people with a vision of a city that works for its people.
        * Troy LaRaviere. Drop CPS’ reform strategy. Neighborhood school growth outpaces charters. (Sun-Times)
        * IDOT Announces Overnight Lane Closures Wednesday On I-90/94
        * Byrne joines Ryan, Ford as transport tributees -- will 'Looie" be next?
        * September has crept up on me again...
        * Division Street Bridge gets Old Bailey Runaround
        * Report: Minimum Wage Increase Would Help 1 In 5 Illinois Children
        * Southwest Side Chicagoans Question TIF Use In 23rd Ward (UPDATED)
        * Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?
        * OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day


        * Governor Quinn Invests $102 Million in High-Speed Rail Upgrades on Chicago-St. Louis Line - Funding Will Improve Capacity, Safety on Joliet-Dwight Segment
        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller