* That escalated fast…
Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor of Chicago’s Saint Sabina church, slammed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois on Monday, saying in a statement that “perhaps” the governor “should be charged with a hate crime.”
“While I remain against the death penalty for anyone, this announcement enforces the racist mentality that some lives are more valuable than others,” Pfleger said.
“If he had wanted it for everyone, I would have disagreed with the principle,” he continued, adding, “but when he puts police lives more valuable than the black and brown children dying everyday then perhaps Gov. Rauner should be charged with a hate crime!”
Rauner proposed the return of the death penalty for certain cases, specifically “for mass murderers and for those who kill law enforcement officers,” he said at a news conference Monday morning.
Rauner has very real problems with his GOP base. A good chunk of the governor’s hard-right base despises people like Fr. Pfleger and also loves cops and the death penalty. Rauner should therefore send the outspoken priest a thank you card for this political gift.
The governor also has a general election to win. I can’t find any recent polling here, but the death penalty remains popular across the country despite an overall drop in support.
* Gov. Quinn did essentially the same thing in reverse with the concealed carry bill…
Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday made sweeping changes to a bill that would allow concealed guns to be carried in public, writing in tougher regulations he deemed “common sense” amid staunch criticism from lawmakers who say they are poised to overturn his efforts when they return to Springfield next week.
Flanked by gun control advocates during a veto ceremony, Quinn argued the legislation lawmakers sent him would harm public safety by letting people carry as many guns as they wanted in places they shouldn’t be allowed.
* Whatever the case, Gov. Rauner’s AV and its underlying proposals aren’t going anywhere in this particularly format and everybody knows it. Essentially what happened here is that Rauner killed a popular assault weapons bill, staked out his political position at an Illinois State Police facility, gave himself cover for future gun-related vetoes and now moves on to the fall campaign.