SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rahm adding substance to debate

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Back when Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor, hizzoner would hold a big, splashy press conference every year with cops and prosecutors and crime victims to unveil his new state gun control legislation.

The Chicago media poobahs would shout their huzzahs, the NRA would fume and raise tons of money from angry members and then Daley would quietly go back to his job as mayor and nothing much would ever happen in Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel is not Rich Daley.

Mayor Emanuel’s Statehouse lobbyists are engaged in serious talks with the NRA and even the more strident Illinois State Rifle Association (something that Daley would never do, and vice versa) to try and work out a compromise on legislation to force convicted gun possession violators to remain in prison for a lot longer than they already are. Emanuel himself is said to be actively involved by phone.

It still remains to be seen whether Emanuel can succeed where Daley routinely failed. Some legislators said last week they believed the sides were closing in on a deal, but the NRA still had some objections.

The basic disagreement is over first-time offenders. Emanuel initially wanted some first-time gun possession offenders to do guaranteed prison time. The harsh reality is that too many people are getting light sentences for gun offenses, and then they’re coming out of prison to commit more gun crimes. The NRA, however, worries that otherwise innocent, law-abiding citizens who make a harmless mistake could wind up doing hard time.

One of the compromises currently on the table would force state’s attorneys to initially charge some first-time offenders with a misdemeanor but allow prosecutors to go through a detailed “felony review” process which could result in much more severe criminal charges.

But the NRA frets that hardline anti-gun Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez would abuse the process to lock too many of the wrong people behind bars.

Indeed, word from inside the talks is that the NRA brought up an example of a man with an out of state gun permit who has been fighting off a Cook County felony weapons possession charge for two years. The charges were reportedly dropped when the state’s attorney was put on the spot during negotiations.

The NRA understandably worries that Alvarez, who once said “I don’t believe that people should own guns,” and “I would favor a law that no one could ever buy a gun,” will continue playing hardball with gun owners who don’t have criminal records.

The NRA also finds itself in the somewhat unusual position of being allied with several African-American lawmakers who oppose additional mandatory minimum bills after seeing thousands of their constituents disproportionately locked up under current mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

But all of this is the way things work on just about everything else. It’s how things eventually get done. People on all sides with strong positions sit down and find a way to compromise. But up until last spring’s concealed carry negotiations, which were forced on Springfield by a federal judge, that hadn’t really happened on gun-related issues.

If they do come to some agreement, the next hurdle will be Gov. Pat Quinn. The governor has historically been loathe to offend African-American voters, so he has maintained an unusually low profile on Emanuel’s mandatory minimum proposals, not wanting to get caught in the middle.

Quinn told the Illinois Radio Network that he wanted a ban on high capacity gun magazines included in the sentencing bill discussions. Such a provision would be a deal-killer for the NRA and Quinn surely knows this.

The danger here is if Quinn tries to use a carefully crafted bill to grandstand on gun control, as he did this past summer with his splashy veto of the concealed carry bill after refusing to participate in the negotiations. If Gov. Quinn uses his amendatory veto powers to insert the magazine ban, he could quite probably tube the whole thing.

Then again, if somebody is murdered by a repeat gun offender after Quinn vetoes the bill, the heat on the governor would be enormous, and a vindictive Emanuel would undoubtedly fan the flames. Quinn needs to tread carefully here.

* The Tribune had a different take

State lawmakers routinely paid little notice to former Mayor Richard Daley’s annual requests for tougher firearms laws, especially by the end of his tenure. While Emanuel’s rhetoric may be even louder, his effort is obstructed by a variety of factors: incarceration costs, geography, race, conflicting academic studies and the unknown effects of a new Illinois law allowing qualified gun owners to carry firearms in public. […]

No matter how negotiations turn out, the politically mindful Emanuel is in a position to gain at least a short-term victory. If lawmakers fail to act, Emanuel can blame the General Assembly for the city’s struggles in dealing with violent gun crimes. Should lawmakers reach a deal, the mayor can claim an important crime-fighting tool, though its actual effectiveness won’t be known for years.

“All of us are fully aware of that. That is what we all talk about,” state Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, said of the political realities behind Emanuel’s gun-sentencing effort. The legislature’s black caucus is opposed to the mayor’s proposal as offered, however.

“We are 100 percent against the violent criminals who plague our communities,” Dunkin said. “We don’t want to see these urban terrorists. We detest them like a cancer … and we want them out of our community quick, fast and in a hurry. Locked up and in jail. But a mandatory minimum sentence across the board would have too many unintended consequences for nonviolent people.”

For Dunkin and other black lawmakers, the issue of gun violence is outweighed by a deep-seated mistrust of prosecutors using their discretion to pursue cases requiring automatic prison sentences rather than allowing judges to have some ultimate leeway. The city’s African-American community has seen high incarceration rates as well as a return of released offenders from prison unable to find employment, so black lawmakers traditionally support tougher regulations and restrictions on the availability of firearms. That approach has been gutted by the state’s new concealed carry law that prohibits larger cities including Chicago from enacting their own gun laws.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


17 Comments
  1. - c - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    i’m sure quinn will stick his nose in and kill the entire thing off.


  2. - x ace - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 9:59 am:

    Perhaps if the Cook County ” anti- gun” State’s Attorney’s Office would just enforce the current laws properly and effectively then all this talk and compromise on “new laws” would be unnecessary.
    Downstate prosecutor’s seem to do a pretty good job of separating the minor stuff from major crime within the framework of the existing laws. And on the major stuff they seem to get tough sentences compared to Chicago .

    So why doesn’t the Cook County State’s Attorney just look at the State statistics and get off their duffs and start seeking tough sentences ?


  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Nothing is easy in this state when it comes to guns. There’s about as much trust between the parties as there is between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. There’s about as much chance of solving the differences between the parties involved in the gun debate as that too.


  4. - RonOglesby - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    As they say, politics makes for strange bedfellows!


  5. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    “I don’t believe that people should own guns,” and “I would favor a law that no one could ever buy a gun”

    Setting aside those damning quotes, can anyone point to any events or occasions that mandatory minimum proponents could point to as evidence of the trustworthiness of Cook County State’s Attorney?

    Even one?

    – MrJM


  6. - John Boch - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    Nice piece, Rich. Well stated.


  7. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    MrJM: Any system that results in something like the following merits review…

    http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/23470922/edward-hambrick-freed-from-jail-after-gun-law-ruled-unconstitutional


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    === Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez would abuse the process ===

    This is why we can’t have nice things.


  9. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    Anita has lost the trust of many leaders in both parties.

    It is bad when any elected official loses public trust or skews the system to benefit friends. It is worse when that official is sworn to uphold and enforce the law.

    Skew the system? Lose trust.

    Lose trust? The system bogs down and progress stalls.

    Anita needs to go.


  10. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    It’s a great question, isn’t it, MrJM? Forget the other 101 counties (most of which don’t seem to want or need this law in order to prosecute illegal guns) - if the single states attorney ASKING for this law can’t be trusted to administer it, what’s the point of further “discussion” among legislators, the NRA, or anyone else?


  11. - Rollo Tomasi - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    Rahm does not to be mayor of Chicago. It’s is only a weigh station on his road to the White House. If Hillary would announce today and pick him as the VP he’d be gone in a heartbeat. So he needs a issue he can champion. Remember never let a crisis go to waste. Even if it means taking health care away from 95 year olds. Meanwhile his brother Ari is cleaning up in Chicago while Rahm is Mayor.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    –Meanwhile his brother Ari is cleaning up in Chicago while Rahm is Mayor.–

    Huh?


  13. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    WS,

    Ari Emanuel is the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns Lollapalooza.

    You can read about Lollapalooza’s “most favored festival” status (which preceded Rahm’s election) here: http://capitolfax.com/2012/01/31/is-lollapalooza-stiffing-the-state/

    and here: http://chicagoist.com/2012/03/15/city_extends_lollapalooza_until_202.php

    – MrJM


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    Thanks, Mr.JM


  15. - walkinfool - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Rahm pulls all available levers.

    Daleys believed they owned the only one.


  16. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:57 pm:

    That’s REALLY interesting info. about the Mayor’s Brother Ari’s connection to Lollapalooza…and the first time I ever heard, read, or speculated about the blatant NEGATIVITIES of such a connection–i.e. even if it’s not illegal, it SURE doesn’t look GOOD at all for Mr. “Reformer” Rahm!!!


  17. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 6:17 pm:

    MrJM’s link back to Rich’s former thread was very interesting, especially the comment by Yellow Dog Democrat about it being illegal to charge admission fees in public parks and citing the cases.

    I can attest that Conservation enforces that rule at folk music festivals I’ve attended in State parks; the fest organizers can only ask for contributions … they can’t charge an admissions fee.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Mess with the bull...
* Credit unions serve as not-for-profit cooperatives; Banks elect Subchapter S to avoid taxes
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* They got him on tape
* Question of the day
* Get well soon, Mika!
* Comprehensive heroin bill introduced
* Viewer mail
* Former "role model" running a "lost" state
* Today's number: $41,237
* Strong Chicago business growth powering Illinois economy
* Consequences of a trooper hiring freeze
* Rauner still on the warpath
* 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

          
        * Renders are a window into a fan’s dreams
        * The new NVIDIA SHIELD: hands-on with Android TV, gaming style
        * Power up to 5 devices with FlexiCharger
        * Save the earth from the aliens in Buzz Killem
        * Mortal Kombat coming to Android in April
        * The ultimate guide to how and where to use Apple Pay
        * Apple Watch Wins Renowned iF Design Award Before Release

        * Audi R8 LMS Unveiled At The Geneva Motor Show
        * Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Release Date
        * Nintendo will increase amiibo production
        * Make music while sculpting a face using Oculus Rift and Leap Motion
        * BenQ To Launch A New Short-Throw Projector
        * Nvidia unveils $199 4K-ready Android-powered gaming console
        * Nvidia Announces a $199 Smart TV That’s Also a Game-Streaming Console

        * Abreu mourns loss of friend, mentor in Minoso
        * Undaunted by injuries, Ynoa continues to pursue dream
        * White Sox agree to terms with 24
        * Samardzija finds comfort in intrasquad outing
        * Visitation, services for Minoso announced
        * White Sox interested in seeing if hype translates to success
        * A/V Room: Like his Cadillacs, Minnie Miñoso tributes rolling

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


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

        Archives
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        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


        * Chicago's Fiscal Free-Fall..
        * Your Top Plays for Today..
        * 3rd time the charm for sale of former Revel cas.....
        * As he seeks Wilson's runoff endorsement, Mayor .....
        * Proposed budget cuts should not cause panic..
        * State Sen. Chapin Rose introduces bills to chan.....
        * Bethalto Opposes Governor’s Plan..
        * Mayors Call On Rauner To Rethink Plan To Cut Lo.....
        * Former Congressional Staffer Replaces Brauer In.....


        * No Rose, no Butler, short-handed Bulls beat Wizards 97-92
        * Senate Democrats introduce bill to plug part of budget hole
        * DCFS bill would improve investigator training
        * 5 arrested in Chicago 'crash-and-grab' thefts
        * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for districts
        * Senate Democrats introduce plan to plug budget hole
        * Cubs' scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks
        * Quincy tavern gas leak sends 6 people to hospital
        * Officials: Grateful Dead fans can't camp during concerts
        * Illinois prisons head out, no replacement named

        * Committee approves plan to plug some budget holes
        * Local men plead guilty to stealing millions from Illinois EPA
        * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for school districts
        * Committee to consider plan for plugging budget holes
        * New state lawmaker Butler officially sworn in
        * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for districts
        * Illinois prisons head out, no permanent replacement named
        * Netanyahu visit highlights danger of Iran, lawmakers say
        * Illinois prisons head out, no replacement named
        * Lawmakers introduce heroin harm reduction bill

        * Senate Democrats introduce bill to plug part of budget hole
        * Reps. Hultgren, Roskam buck Boehner in DHS funding vote
        * McDonald's serves $3 million Happy Meal to ex-CEO
        * Harpo Studios to shutter, ending 200 jobs
        * United Airlines looks to give club chow an upgrade


          * Source: Willis Tower for sale, has likely buyer
          * District 113 parts ways with controversial superintendent
          * Urban Prep senior killed walking home on Monday
          * JR West whistleblower arrested outside neighbor's home
          * Two Englewood cops help save grandfather with CPR
          * Defendant went on 'stabbing rampage' at Naperville bar, attorney says
          * Cardinal George admitted to hospital for tests, and his blog relaunches
          * Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker supports ban on abortions after 20 weeks
          * Lawyers: Chicago police had no cause to stop car before fatal 2011 shooting
          * 3 shot on Far South Side, 3 shot on West Side


          * 2015 Budget - CapitolView
          * PARCC Standardized Test Causes Problems
          * New Administration Promises Change After Repeated Errors Found In Audit
          * Local Lady Digs For Family Roots On PBS Program
          * Rauner Tells Cabinet: I'll Take Your Arrows
          * Bat-Killing White-Nose Syndrome Spreads In Illinois
          * The Raw Milk Underground
          * Senator Starts Petition To Try To Stop Budget Cuts
          * Are All Those Cat Videos Making Us Stupid?
          * Butler Sworn In As 87th District Representative


          * Our Opinion: Conquering stress, burnout important for all
          * Michael Gerson: Getting Africa's health systems to be self-reliant
          * Quote of the Day: Wednesday, March 4, 2015
          * Committee approves plan to plug some budget holes
          * Local men plead guilty to stealing millions from Illinois EPA
          * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for school districts
          * New state lawmaker Butler officially sworn in
          * Illinois prisons head out, no permanent replacement named
          * Netanyahu visit highlights danger of Iran, lawmakers say
          * UIS hopes to pick new mascot by April


          * Vernon Melvin
          * Marilin Patterson
          * Robert 'Rip' Stokes
          * Kevin Walker
          * Fred Becker
          * Ruth 'Granny' Stone
          * Kevin Baker
          * Margaret King
          * Robert Rose
          * Susan Biggers


          * Nieto has 2 goals and assist as Sharks beat Canucks 6-2
          * Kopitar, Lewis lead Kings past Oilers 5-2 to stop skid
          * Official says China to boost military budget by 10 percent
          * Boys basketball scoreboard: Tuesday's results
          * Australia clamps down on illegal foreign housing investment

          * Naomi P. Delandro
          * Tim Butler takes over for resigned Rep. Br...
          * Butler Ready to Take Over 87th District
          * Brauer replacement to be sworn in Tuesday
          * House Bill Would Provide Non-CSA Hiring St...
          * RiverWorks Discovery Exhibit Open at STL U...
          * Why are Democrats suddenly cheering in Ohi...
          * Mark Kirk's prepping for a barnburner — an...
          * Tim Butler Sworn Into Illinois House
          * Mark Kirk's prepping for a barnburner — an...

          * NY Demonstrators Say #No2Netanyahu While D......
          * Bibi's Speech Is the Dems' Box Canyon...
          * Israeli PM: Iran Nuclear Talks Are 'Very B......
          * State Sen. Chapin Rose introduces bills to......

          * Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ......
          * Mixed reaction from local awmakers on Isra......
          * Excerpts from recent South Dakota editorials...

          * Mr Tease
          * Will Cubs become an Amway product?
          * And the End Came
          * Over 1,000 IL Schools Joined Federal Free Meals Program This Year
          * Aldermanic Challenger Meegan Files 33rd Ward Recount Lawsuit
          * Meegan Files Lawsuit For Recount In Chicago's 33rd Ward Race
          * Over 1,000 IL Schools Joined Federal Free Meal Program This Year
          * Schock Facing Additional Questions Over Travel Spending
          * Chicago Forward Lifts Funding Caps In Mayoral Runoff
          * Environmental, Maritime Industry Groups Sound Off On Federal Ballast Water Bill


          * IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather - Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
          * IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs - Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend




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