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.


* A very good point
* Rauner outspent 2-1 on Chicago TV last month
* So far, it's still stuntish
* Politico report: Enyart slipping fast, Callis dumped
* *** UPDATED x1 - Another poll shows single digits *** Poll: Durbin with a single digit lead and slightly below 50
* A big swing and an even bigger miss
* Schneider up with first TV ad
* This year's best test of party strength
* A boldfaced lie
* Rate Gov. Quinn's new TV ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Samsung Level Headphone Series Review: Galaxy Owners Only Need Apply
        * Backflip Studios try to bring D&D gameplay to mobile
        * Why Apple’s mobile-payments system might actually work
        * Working 4.7-inch iPhone 6 leaked in photos and video, sort of
        * ASUS confirms low ZenWatch price – but is it as low as we’ve heard rumored?
        * Moduul gives your LG G Watch a pretty charging dock
        * Gear We Love: Twelve South HiRise holds your display, hides your gear

        * Thoma Bravo to Take Compuware Private in $2.5 Billion Deal
        * Sony Xperia Z3 Specifications Leaked
        * The Best and Worst Banks, Based on Checking Account Fees
        * Hackers May Have Stolen Credit Data From Home Depot
        * Office For iPad Monthly Subscriptions Announced
        * 'Never Be Bullied Into Silence': Robin Williams' Daughter Zelda Is Back on Twitter
        * Netflix Private Recommendations On Facebook Go Live

        * White Sox unburden themselves for September
        * 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


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

        Archives
        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


        * State accepting patient applications for medica.....
        * Chicago Schools Boost Route Security..
        * Illinois Amends the Human Rights Act to Provide.....
        * Illinois Governor: No Speed Increase on Interst.....
        * Different States Have Implemented DACA Very Dif.....
        * Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett Ring In .....
        * Two polls show Dick Durbin is in trouble. Don’t.....
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge..
        * School starts in Chicago with more guards linin.....
        * HSR: Illinois to invest $102 million in upgrade.....


        * School starts in Chicago with more safety guards
        * Climatologist says August warmed up in Illinois
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons dealing with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Illinois woman rescued after day stuck in mud
        * Fargo is site for national ag research center
        * Coroner: 1 person dies in Illinois house explosion
        * More storms roll through Midwest with hail, winds
        * Cubs honor Jackie Robinson West little leaguers

        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * 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

        * Hinshaw merger sets up law firm for more growth
        * Thoma Bravo to buy Compuware
        * Thoma Bravo makes its biggest deal yet
        * Medical marijuana applications start rolling in for Illinois
        * ADM selling chocolate business to Cargill


        * New school year brings changes to Gresham
        * Moms, dads get kids ready for school
        * Chicago school year begins with more safety guards
        * Ex-cop convicted of protecting crooks is back on public payroll
        * Ald. Pope rehired city worker who quit after sex harassment allegations
        * Ald. Pope rehired worker who quit after harassment allegations
        * 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


        * Man sentenced to 30 years for dumping baby's body in trash
        * Ice bucket challenge heats up ALS donations
        * Not guilty pleas in red light camera bribery scheme
        * Fukudome lists Streeterville condo for $1.5 million
        * Trial to begin in killing of Indian Head Park teen
        * The Divvy blues: Bike-sharing program facing growing pains
        * Today is first day to apply for medical pot
        * CPS students -- and politicians -- head back to school
        * Fast food workers plan civil disobedience in minimum wage fight
        * Woman, 82, killed in Streator home explosion


        * Big Predators In Illinois Inspire New Law
        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Casey's Expansion; Parsons In Court; Farmland Prices Fall
        * Opposition Research Key Part Of Political Dark Arts
        * 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


        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Couple’s wedding gifts help the community
        * Angela Bertoni: How to raise awareness of domestic violence in October
        * 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


        * Judge sentences man to five years after probation violation
        * 09-02-14 Greta Henry and Rick Santorum on Living Alternatives
        * Champaign Central High School tour
        * 09-02-14 Penny for Your Thoughts
        * Lindenwood, McKendree and SIUE see enrollment growth; SWIC drops
        * Enrollment up at local universities; down at SWIC
        * Flash Index dips in August
        * West Frankfort police warn of water bill phone scam
        * Education Matters: Edwardsville High students design new logo for township
        * Edwardsville High students design new logo for township


        * Vets get flights on WW II aircraft at Chicago Executive Airport
        * Cops: 2 more possible victims in teacher sex abuse case come forward
        * Family: Joan Rivers on life support
        * New video scoreboard, some seating for next season
        * New video allegedly shows beheading of U.S. reporter

        * Schock travels to India to promote humanit...
        * Congressman leads humanitarian trip to Ind...
        * Share Narendra Modi's resolve to fight pov...
        * Share Modi's resolve to fight poverty: US ...
        * Rep. Aaron Schock on humanitarian trip to ...
        * Aaron Schock finds a new reason to show of...
        * Lawmakers React to Iraq Journalist Death -...
        * Congressman Schock to stop by LaGrange Loc...
        * Ground Broken On Tenth Street Rail Corrido...
        * Chicago Housing Authority changes supervou...

        * Two polls show Dick Durbin is in trouble. ......
        * Two polls show Dick Durbin is in trouble. ......
        * Who Leaked Nude Photos Of Jennifer Lawrenc......
        * Who Leaked Nude Photos Of Jennifer Lawrenc......
        * Who Leaked Nude Photos Of Jennifer Lawrenc......

        * Ex-HP chief to speak at Downers Grove orga......
        * When Will Women Get Equal Pay for Equal Work?...
        * Rubio, Colleagues Call For Latin American ......

        * William Greider. Happy Labor Day, Mom.
        * Mark Anderson. Minimum wage gimmicks.
        * New book tells of lesbian affair between AP statehouse bureau chief and senator
        * Transparency group opens the books on Illinois school district spending
        * 175 Illegals Released to Sponsors in Cook, Lake, DuPage Counties
        * Thorner & O'Neil: Part 2 - Christian Persecution Alive and Thriving in America
        * Quinn's new ad: Old-time lawn mower and an old populist message [video]
        * Brad Schneider launches new ad [video]
        * Quinn's new ad: Old-time lawn mower and old message [video]
        * Fioretti: Signs Point To Impending Chicago Property Tax Hike


        * Like All Illinoisans, Veterans Are Hurting Under Pat Quinn
        * Governor Quinn Kicks-Off 2014-2015 School Year - Governor Visits Students on their First Day; Announces State is Moving Ahead with ‘Seal of Biliteracy’ Program
        * 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




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