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.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Mendoza transition team responds to the Sun-Times' Madigan conspiracy theory
* *** UPDATED x1 - Durkin responds *** Back to the future: Madigan demands "memorandums of understanding"
* Question of the day
* Shimkus loses out on plum post
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Moody's says Rauner veto is just one of many problems facing CPS
* *** UPDATED x4 - Mendoza responds - Munger calls suit "cowardly" *** Lawsuit filed over legislator pay
* The "green energy" side of the Exelon bill
* Caption contest!
* How is this "breaking our agreement"?
* Positioning, practicalities and politics weigh heavily against a House override
* Report: A decade to reach solvency, if leaders cooperate on tough plan
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Rauner goes into the lion's den
* 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

  
* How AMOLED technology works
* Google is opening up Santa’s Village until December 24th
* Apple VP of Special Projects Paul Deneve Removed From Leadership Webpage [Update: Still at Apple]
* Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Video Review: More than just Tango?
* You can now play Oprah Winfrey’s mobile game on your Android device
* Copy and paste trick could unlock iOS 10 devices in Lost Mode
* Apple Store App for iOS Updated With Rich Notifications, One-Tap Apple Watch Purchases

* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Lawrie, Garcia settle with White Sox for 2017
* Garcia, Lawrie settle with White Sox for 2017
* Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal
* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Garcia among White Sox non-tender options
* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings

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


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

Archives
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
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


* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* Rauner: Money for Chicago schools still part of.....
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....
* Rauner Names Members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....
* Madigan responds to governor's request for addi.....
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial C.....


* State high court to hear wind power appeal
* Southwestern Indiana plane crash kills lone person aboard
* Rauner names members of Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* EXCHANGE: Rockford firefighters help veteran battling cancer
* EXCHANGE: For student veterans, tattoos tell quite a story
* Illinois sees warmest fall on record since 1931
* Illinois sees warmest fall on record since 1931
* Police advise against unsupervised searches of missing boy
* Police advise against unsupervised searches of missing boy
* Chicago-area judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's

* Lawmakers sue comptroller for not paying them
* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze
* AFSCME files suit over labor contract

* Why Planned Parenthood donors are thanking Mike Pence
* Behind Rauner's sudden war with state's other top Dem
* McDonald's in China is a tall order
* John Wilson, founder of art expo that began Navy Pier's revival, dies at 82
* The backstory behind that CPS veto


* Fire chief: 9 killed in Oakland, California, warehouse fire
* Sunday Sitdown: Michael LaPidus looks to expand Q-BBQ nationwide
* Still a tough road for diabetics, despite advances
* At 24, Cicero mom known internationally for her ‘Fight for $15’
* Fire causes $150K in damage to Elgin dollar store
* THE WATCHDOGS: Taxpayers paying for UNO schools — again
* WATCHDOGS: Chicago’s deadliest neighborhoods get greenest cops
* Blackhawks searching for a backup with Corey Crawford ill
* Cook County to outsource most tests in death cases
* Woman grazed in South Shore shooting


* China hopes Trump call with Taiwan's president won't lead to 'damaged' ties
* 9 dead, more missing after fire races through Oakland warehouse during concert
* Corey Crawford out Saturday because of illness, Blackhawks review backup options
* 1 dead, 13 wounded in city shootings
* How and why Boko Haram targets teachers and schools in Nigeria
* 3 Elgin stores damaged by fire
* Jacob Keller shrugs off taunts, leads Fenwick over OPRF in overtime
* Logic says Wisconsin, but look for Penn State to roll to Big Ten title
* Pressure building to take down Utah's 'Zion Curtain' liquor law — which shields patrons from seeing booze
* Bears vs. 49ers? Who cares? Well, outcome matters to each in NFL draft


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Guest Column: Where is the bailout for human services?
* Charles Krauthammer: After a mere 25 years, the triumph of the West is over
* Lawmakers sue comptroller for not paying them
* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Our View: This Week’s Thumbs up/Thumbs Down
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty


* Coffee with the Plant Experts 12-03-16
* Daily Digest 12/3/16
* Mission sets meal for Christmas Eve
* PODCAST: Bill Craig of ReMax Realty Associates 12-3-16
* PODCAST: Holder Wealth Management 12-3-16
* Rantoul police looking for missing boys
* Weekend planner: Time for a little shopping
* Roanoke board OKs raises for ambulance personnel
* Hamilton Walker's planning to open mid-month
* Champaign business is lone bidder for Kickapoo cafe, river trips


* Emergency officials: We won't let pipeline protesters freeze
* Campus attack could be latest terror case in heartland state
* Elgin dollar store badly damaged in fire
* Monroe County officer's name to be carved on memorial wall
* Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Sen. Dick Durbin Unveils Protection Effort......

* SEIU leaders say planned Monday strike by ......

* Rep. Ives spells out opposition to Exelon bailout bill
* Illinois Review readers most "liked" stories for first week in December 2016
* Chicago Chamber, Retail Merchants' report calls for Exelon bailout to save nuclear plants
* IR Readers take to Twitter
* Like a Stradivarius.
* Keeping retirement weird. How not to fight back in the Trump era.
* Will Rauner be eaten by Chicago “bear” now sleeping in Illinois “woods?”
* Morning Minute: U.S. economy showed strong growth in last quarter; consumer confidence climbs
* REALTOR® Jim Kinney named to state’s Bicentennial Commission
* EXTRA: Madigan spouse, Burke, Sox & Cubs chairs (but no Bears) on state Bicentennial celebration commission


* Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Brings Lowest Fatality Rate In Six Years
* Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* Stateville Correctional Center’s F House Officially Closed
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays - Encourages holiday shoppers to give preparedness gifts this year




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