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Kennedy calls out Democrats for lack of action on gun violence

Friday, Dec 22, 2017

* ABC 7

Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy stood outside Stroger Hospital Friday to call for change to deal with the violence that has once again pushed Chicago’s homicides over 600 for 2017.

“It’s not just the wounded who come here to Stroger Hospital, but it’s the brother and sisters, the family members, entire communities that suffer from urban post traumatic stress disorder,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy blamed state and local leaders for failing people.

“Here in Illinos in 2017, we should already have bump stock legislation signed into law. Here in Illinois in 2017 we should already have a gun dealer licensing bill signed into law,” said Ra Joy, Kennedy’s running mate.

* The Trace

A top contender for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois said that state elected officials, including members of his own party, haven’t done nearly enough to combat gun violence.

In an interview with The Trace in his campaign office in downtown Chicago, Chris Kennedy, a son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, questioned the commitment of lawmakers after measures intended to fight gun crime failed earlier this year in the state Legislature. One of the bills would have banned bump stocks, the gun accessories that mimic machine-gun fire which were used by the killer in the Las Vegas massacre in October. It was defeated in the House after lawmakers, including Democrats, criticized it for being too broad.

“I don’t know how you could have that many Democrats in the House and Senate and not get something done,” Kennedy said. “I think the party has lost its way.”

Kennedy also called for a reform of the state’s property tax system, which he said shortchanges public schools, underfunds police, and has led to drastic cuts in social services — all of which he said have contributed to persistent gun violence.

That bump stock bill was intentionally drafted by the House Democrats to lose. They could’ve easily passed a clean bump stock ban, but the HDems wanted a political issue.

* Meanwhile

The population at the Cook County Jail has fallen below 6,000 inmates, its lowest point in decades, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.

Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart, said the number has been declining for some time in part because of a drop in arrests, but the biggest change came some three months ago when criminal court judges were ordered to set bail only in amounts that defendants could afford to pay.

Since the order took effect Sept. 18, the jail population has dropped to 5,909 inmates as of Thursday, down by more than 1,500, Smith said.

Authorities credited the recent drop in the jail’s population largely to an order by Chief Judge Timothy Evans requiring judges to set affordable bail amounts for defendants charged with nonviolent felonies. […]

Of the approximately 2,000 felony defendants released in the two months after the order took effect, about 93 percent had not committed a new offense by Nov. 30, Milhizer said. Nine out of 10 had appeared for all their scheduled court dates, he said, though he noted that the numbers involve a short time frame.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    House Dems wanted a political issue

    Pretty much sums up their record the past almost 3 years and probably longer

    Forget about working in a bipartisan manner to solve Illinois problems when political votes will insure there are misleading ads to run during campaign season


  2. - Not It - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    It isn’t just the Rauner Republicans who suck at governing. Political games has always been more important than solving problems to the House Democrats.


  3. - Keyrock - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    “93% had not been caught (allegedly) committing a new offense. About 140 people who were released have already been charged with new offenses.”

    There. Fixed that for you


  4. - Circular Firing Squad - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Did I miss something, or wasn’t Chris Kennedy endorsed by Senator Raoul, the Senate Democrats’ point-person on gun control legislation?

    Rotering sent something out earlier this week accusing Raoul of selling out to the NRA, which seems farfetched but gun control is her issue, so I get it.

    What I don’t understand is why Kennedy is piling on.


  5. - IMissBentohs - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    I realize that I am not 100% on point with the message here but I find this an interesting observation …

    To me one of the best achievements of Rauners is the work he is doing with prison populations. However, he cannot mention this achievement until the general election as this is not a positive in the GOP primary.


  6. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:07 pm:

    More State regulations on top of the current state and federal rules won’t change anything.

    If Kennedy is serious, how about calling for better prosecution? That seems to be where the system breaks down.


  7. - Logic not emotion - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    That is helpful in determining who im NOT going to vote for.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===Did I miss something, or wasn’t Chris Kennedy endorsed by Senator Raoul===

    That didn’t happen.


  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Such an important issue he holds a press conference the Friday before Christmas


  10. - Conn Smythe - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    Moylans bill may have been political but there have been plenty that were substantive (lost & stolen, gun dealer licensing) and last I checked CK wasn’t in a committee room testifying in support. Passing a gun bill is ridiculously hard when all 47 Rs and downstate dems are no’s. It’s a lame attack to suggest the dem caucuses aren’t engaged.


  11. - Telly - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    The inmate population at Cook County Juvenile Dentention has drop even more dramatically than the Jail’s adult population over the last few years.

    Meanwhile, shootings and other violent crimes have gone up —especially vehicular hijackings. Not saying correlation equals causation here, but it is curious. Would definitely like to see someone do a deep dive on this.

    It’s a good thing if they’re releasing drug offenders who were just killing time because they didn’t have bail money…I just hope the inmates with violent and gun crime histories aren’t being led through a revolving door.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    This is a strong Kennedy-Joy issue that also allows them to build momentum for a campaign.

    Kennedy campaigns are built on vision and social justice. This is a Kennedy wheelhouse, and I’m sure we’ll see more and more of this after the new year.


  13. - Texas Red - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    Kennedy’s proposals will be embraced by progressive voters, but do little to stop gun violence in Chicago. According to university of Chicago study 90% of Gun violence suspects continue to be people with extensive prior criminal records. These folks are not buying guns at gun shops so the “gun dealer licensing bill” would only punish law abiding citizens.

    http://urbanlabs.uchicago.edu/projects/gun-violence-in-chicago-2016


  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    ===“gun dealer licensing bill” would only punish law abiding citizens===

    You need to dig a little deeper.


  15. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    the House Dems have been using this issue as a tool for years and years. Kennedy is right. they control both houses, do more.


  16. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    It’s just like the minimum wage - Madigan could have sent Pat Quinn a minimum wage increase in 2014, but he wanted to have a non-binding referendum to boost turnout. It’s appalling.


  17. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    == the House Dems have been using this issue as a tool for years and years. Kennedy is right. they control both houses, do more. ==

    This more a upstate / urban versus downstate / rural issue than a D versus R split.


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