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.


* No, your eyes didn't deceive you
* Good morning!
* 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

          
        * Kindle Fire HDX 7″ bundled with Fire Phone, only from AT&T
        * College Messaging App DormChat Takes On Yik Yak With Backing From ff Venture Capital
        * Hitman GO update brings a bit of Hitman 2 to the table
        * Bugs & Fixes: Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster
        * Amazon Rewards Visa Cards Now Compatible With Apple Pay
        * Micro Battles lets you play games with your friends on one device
        * Sony SmartWatch 3 now ready for pre-order

        * Why NFC in the iPad Air 2 is a big deal for small businesses
        * Medical Equipment Could Get Hacked
        * The Ebola Crisis and Where Big Data Can Help
        * Streaming Music Service Deezer Buys Podcast Service Stitcher
        * Set a Spooky Mood and Make Your Own Set of Flickering Lights
        * Microsoft Lumia is the newest smartphone phone brand
        * Class Up Your Nightstand With These Wooden Bluetooth Alarm Clocks

        * Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton Gold Glove finalists, but maybe not f...
        * Longtime scout Provas passes away after battle with cancer
        * Eaton, Ramirez named AL Gold Glove finalists
        * Gold Glove Awards finalists revealed
        * White Sox AFL class features talented Anderson
        * Nori Aoki: The White Sox Killer of 2014
        * World Series Game 2: Notes and discussion


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

        Archives
        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


        * Here is the latest Illinois news from The Assoc.....
        * Illinois awards $3M grant for Rockford clinic..
        * CREATE partners celebrate Englewood Flyover's o.....
        * Beardstown gets $2.5 million for community pool..
        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor..
        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight..


        * Man, 2-year-old boy killed by truck in Bloomington
        * Off-duty Chicago police officer shot and wounded
        * Illinois employees rescue woman from house fire
        * Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings
        * Officials rethink vote-counting after AG decree
        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor
        * Complications arise just 12 days before Ill. vote
        * Vereen brothers square off when Bears visit Pats
        * Illinois GOP files lawsuit over poll practices
        * New bridge helping ease Chicago rail congestion

        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight

        * Few legal options for ex-Sun-Times reporter
        * Fast-growing Internet lender Enova going public next month
        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor
        * Sun-Times' colorful past in covering (and making) news
        * Chicago KPMG executive named Girl Scouts board president


        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response
        * Child who became ill on plane tests negative for Ebola
        * Tollway might permanently lower cost to open I-Pass account
        * Killer gets 27 years for throwing woman out 3rd-floor window
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state already has said 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Scandal or not, Bring on that  federal monitor


        * 1 killed, 10 shot in overnight violence
        * Craft brewery on tap for Oak Park?
        * Off-duty Chicago cop shot during robbery attempt 'alert and talking'
        * Skokie school reopens after closing 2 days because of Instagram threat
        * Police wound gunman involved in fatal robbery in Auburn Gresham
        * 400 lawsuits seek $11 million from tollway scofflaws
        * Police in Ferguson committed human rights abuses: Amnesty International
        * Ebola test negative for child who fell ill on flight from Liberia to O'Hare
        * Victim of serial killing suspect lived in fear: 'Too scared to do anything'


        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin
        * Real estate and religion: The tale of Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
        * Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment
        * Judge Orders Court Appointed Monitor For IDOT Hiring
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Attorneys Due In Court For Quinn Hiring Lawsuit


        * Our Opinion: Bell, Manar, Davidsmeyer endorsed in state legislative races
        * Craig Burns: Honesty, integrity in great supply at CWLP
        * E.J. Dionne: Ebola, pandering and courage
        * Esther Cepeda: Benefits of closing the word gap
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Local Rauner ad leaves out ‘everything Springfield isn’t’ line
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting


        * Pre-Halloween fun
        * PHOTOS: Durfee archaeologists
        * Oberweis shares concerns about country's future
        * Illini scrapbook: Bob Blackman comes to town
        * The Fit List
        * Police investigating possible Jacksonville homicide
        * Local Roundup
        * Football Previews
        * 4 injured in Muscatine County crash
        * Quinn announces state investment in campus lighting


        * Illinois coyotes key in capture of Iowa fugitive
        * Gary blight that hid victims also lures filmmakers
        * Doctor's license suspended for pain clinic chief
        * Man sentenced for pushing woman out Chicago window
        * Illinois names 2014 Senior Hall of Fame inductees

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...

        * U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to talk with Triton......
        * A Brief History of Michelle Obama Career-G......
        * Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk Warn John Kerry on ......

        * Oberweis campaign blasts Durbin SuperPAC donor ties
        * Illinois Watchdog Radio - Live on IR
        * Damn kids. Stop painting on my lawn.
        * CPS is not healthy for our children.
        * The Beer Thinker: An Oktoberfest For The Rest Of Us
        * Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow
        * Top U.S. Aid Recipient Is Set to Hang a Christian Woman for Blasphemy
        * Illinois Woman Buys Year Supply Of Pumpkin Spice Coffee So She Never Runs Out
        * U.S. Government says Ebola a ‘Direct Consequence of manmade climate change’
        * Illinois cow holds record as world's tallest


        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight
        * New Ad: Labor leader backs Rauner
        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * TV Breaking News: Ethics blow for Pat Quinn
        * Federal judge deals Quinn ethics blow on IDOT patronage hiring




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