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“Don’t expect an immediate detente”

Friday, Sep 6, 2019

* Sun-Times last week

In the latest round of the seemingly never ending prize fight between the two most powerful women in Chicago, Lightfoot ripped into Preckwinkle for rebuffing her efforts to work together, saying “a lot of that is up to her.”

But Preckwinkle fired back that she has sought to meet with Lightfoot and her top cop to discuss solutions to Chicago’s street violence, but to no avail. […]

“Let me be clear, I have said ‘Madame president, chief judge, sheriff, state’s attorney, let’s get together, let’s put our data out for the public to be able to see it and let’s work together towards solutions’ and what I got back was not a ‘yeah, that’s a great idea.’ I got back another nasty-gram from her,” Lightfoot said.

* Sun-Times editorial a few days ago

There’s been plenty of finger-pointing between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle when it comes to gun violence in Chicago.

We’re getting pretty sick of it. And we’d imagine you are, too.

As the two remained at odds, at least 43 people were shot — eight of them fatally — across Chicago over Labor Day weekend. That’s about double the number of people shot in the city compared to the same holiday weekend last year.

* Tribune editorial

Will Lightfoot, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx make serious progress on these problems? Can they set aside differences and tackle issues together, as our counterpart the Sun-Times urged? https://bit.ly/2lG5t3m We’ll continue to demand attention and answers.

* Yesterday

After Mayor Lori Lightfoot brought up her fraught relationship with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in multiple editorial board meetings last week, and both got a Sun-Times rebuke, Preckwinkle says she’s trying again.

“I personally called Mayor Lightfoot this morning and left a voicemail. As everyone knows, there’s no single remedy to the complex challenges of ending violence,” she said at a Thursday press conference, referring to weeks of disagreements over the county’s bail practices and whether they contribute to Chicago’s violence. “I requested in my message that we have a private face-to-face meeting to start the process of discussing strategies to combat gun violence, which plagues so many of our communities… this is about governance, not politics.”

* Sun-Times

“We all know that there’s no single remedy to stopping the violence, but there’s also no denying that Cook County and Chicago are stronger if we work together to address these issues. And I’ve said it all along, and I look forward to hearing back.”

As for the mayor, a spokeswoman for Lightfoot would only say “voicemail received and acknowledged.”

* Tribune

Don’t expect an immediate detente.

…Adding… Good point in comments

(T)he oldest trick in the book is to leave a message at a time and place that isn’t readily returnable and then leak it to the press that you reached out only to have your hand slapped. Maybe the Mayor is being petty, or maybe the Prez is being disingenuous. Either way, it’d be nice of there was a place, say a government building, that both the City and the County could locate in, to facilitate communication and coordination. Some place that an official could just walk to (without even getting wet) to go see an important frenemy. I’d love nothing better than to see one of them pull off the West Wing moment where President Jed Bartlett walks down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol only to have the Speaker and his cadre make him wait. Wanna win this war of who cares more? Make that walk…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments »
  1. - lakeside - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    “voicemail received and acknowledged.”

    Stop it. You won. Govern.

    (btw - I voted for Lightfoot because I thought Preckwinkle ran a despicable campaign. But that was the election; this is being in charge. This nonsense is petty and needs to stop.)


  2. - Colin O'Scopy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    What is Preckwinkle playing at? Why is she leaving voicemails and with whom, the janitor? And why run to the press the same day and say that you are waiting on her to get back to you?

    I can’t wait for the day she is no longer in office.


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    As everyone knows, there’s no single remedy to the complex challenges of ending violence,”

    Madame President, you might want to start with keeping repeated convicted gun offenders locked up instead of free on bail.

    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/08/07/repeat-gun-offenders/


  4. - Montrose - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    Really, Lightfoot? “Voicemail received and acknowledged”? This is going to be a long four years if grudges rule the day on whom the Mayor will work with.


  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    If they could only be as innovative in how they treat local government as they are in their pettiness towards each other, all our problems would be solved.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Stop the petty fighting and get to work on saving lives and reducing violence.


  7. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    ==I personally called Mayor Lightfoot this morning and left a voicemail==

    Believe it or not, Lori isn’t at home
    Please leave a message at the beep
    I must be out, or I’d pick up the phone
    Where could I be?
    Believe it or not, I’m not home


  8. - Steve - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Think positive. Toni and Lori agree on way more issues than they disagree.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Lightfoot has a serious problem understanding… she needs folks to work with to get things done.

    Mayor Lightfoot,

    You won. Govern.

    If you work with Preckwinkle, odds are she won’t run against you or support someone later to do it.

    It’s the same with the Governor, the legislature, the 4 Tops… Lightfoot goes out of her way to choose to be unhelpful.

    I’m not saying Preckwinkle is the model partner for any mayor. If anything, Preckwinkle likes her own image as much as any pol out there, even when things go south like with the soda tax. It’s not all Lightfoot.

    But, gracious winners win at governing more often.

    The Lightfoot Crew needs to set up quiet meetings with folks for their boss and then debrief each other to the good discussed and how to take goodwill and make good policy.

    Lightfoot is failing at learning to not fail;

    Do the doable. Make it a coalition building exercise. Share credit, while being the point person, and recognize there are no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.

    This has been a PR trainwreck with real political blowback for Lightfoot, and there’s no sign it’s stopping.

    ===As for the mayor, a spokeswoman for Lightfoot would only say “voicemail received and acknowledged.”===

    Pathetic.
    Petty.
    Not helping.
    Losers in governing use these tactics.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    In six months.. at this rate…

    Lightfoot Finds No Allies, Sees Only Foes

    That’s the narrative she’s pushing, she just doesn’t realize it yet.


  11. - So_Ill - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    I’m already not impressed by Lightfoot. Politicians who constantly want to fight never end up being very successful.

    Dan Walker and Bruce Rauner immediately come to mind.


  12. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Since 2/3 of all gun deaths are suicides, five of those gun deaths over the weekend might be suicides. Why not work towards increasing mental health care in areas where the shootings are? Also Cook County hospital can take a leading role in psychiatric help. It’s time for these ladies to work together.


  13. - Leatherneck - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    - So_Ill - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    I’m already not impressed by Lightfoot. Politicians who constantly want to fight never end up being very successful.

    Dan Walker and Bruce Rauner immediately come to mind.
    ———–

    Don’t forget Blago.


  14. - Jolly1 - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Mayor Lightfoot, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx you expect these 4 to fix Chicago’s problems,good luck with that. They are the problem.


  15. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    ==They are the problem.==
    I understand Superman isn’t available, seeing he was an illegal alien.


  16. - Chris Widger - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Until Preckwinkle apologizes for insinuating that Lightfoot voters have blood on their hands when a police officer wrongly kills someone, I wouldn’t work with her either.


  17. - Chris Widger - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    ==Superintendent Eddie Johnson==

    Very strange to add him to this list. Unlike the others, he’s appointed by Lightfoot and can be fired at any time.


  18. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    == We all know that there’s no single remedy to stopping the violence … ==

    Prosecuting and incarcerating the known shooters has a direct effect by removing them from the street for a period of time.

    Preventing the next bunch of shooters is a sociological and economic problem that will take generations to solve … if it can be solved.


  19. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Also, Superman was from downstate Metropolis. Would he help Chicago?


  20. - Telly - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    A pox on both their houses.

    Lightfoot seems to enjoy the fight, and Preckwinkle seems to think communicating through the press is productive.

    Would love to see a neutral third party emerge to quietly mediate this and at least get their respective staffs working together, but not sure who…the Guv? Tom Dart? Not a lot to gain politically from getting between the two of them right now.


  21. - depressed in politics - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Colin O’Scopy has a point, the oldest trick in the book is to leave a message at a time and place that isn’t readily returnable and then leak it to the press that you reached out only to have your hand slapped. Maybe the Mayor is being petty, or maybe the Prez is being disingenuous. Either way, it’d be nice of there was a place, say a government building, that both the City and the County could locate in, to facilitate communication and coordination. Some place that an official could just walk to (without even getting wet) to go see an important frenemy. I’d love nothing better than to see one of them pull off the West Wing moment where President Jed Bartlett walks down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol only to have the Speaker and his cadre make him wait. Wanna win this war of who cares more? Make that walk…


  22. - Colin O'Scopy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    =odds are she won’t run against you or support someone later to do it=

    Meh. Toni lost every ward, including her own. Not much of a threat there if you ask me.

    But I agree with you that internecine battles are not helpful. Toni is the aggressor here, not Lori. Lori however should be the better person and start playing at politics a little more.

    Lastly, City Zen, your Seinfeld nugget is priceless.


  23. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    You would think these two pros would recognize that political wars never work out well for either faction. (And they certainly don’t work for the people they claim they care so much about.)


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Meh. Toni lost every ward, including her own. Not much of a threat there if you ask me.===

    That’s the “thing”… what possible good is there trying to make Preckwinkle an enemy?

    “Meh. Toni lost every ward, including her own. Not much of a threat there if you ask me.”

    In 4 years, alienating every possible ally and not having much to show, “Lori Lightfoot Failed” is the great heading into her own re-elect.

    ===Toni is the aggressor here, not Lori.===

    That may be, and I’m not denying that, but piling on the reoccurring narrative that others seemingly say that Lightfoot is seemingly impossible to work with… that won’t help Lightfoot as more folks have unfavorable interactions.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    ===these two pros===

    Lightfoot is a novice to being the elected official.

    It’s different when it’s *your* name on the door and the ballot.

    With respect.


  26. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    ==Until Preckwinkle apologizes for insinuating that Lightfoot voters have blood on their hands when a police officer wrongly kills someone, I wouldn’t work with her either.==

    Bobby Rush said that, not Preckwinkle. So it’s all good. Lightfoot can work with Preckwinkle now.


  27. - BR91 - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    Steve said it: they are more alike than they are not.

    But they’re both turning into their own worst enemies. And both couldn’t save Chicago from itself without acknowledging the elephant in the room: what is really causing this violence?

    It also doesn’t help matters that Preckwinkle’s son Todd is in the news again.


  28. - Birdseed - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    === - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Since 2/3 of all gun deaths are suicides, five of those gun deaths over the weekend might be suicides. ===

    Drive-by suicides? Mass shootings where 2 victims committed suicide? You can’t be serious…


  29. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    ==what is really causing this violence?==

    Domestic violence, gang violence, unintentional shootings (18% banned punctuation) and suicides. Suicides are increasing while homicides are decreasing. This would be a good place to start and it progress in this area might be easier than other areas.

    I’m not so worried about Lightfoot and Preckwinkle’s hurt feelings. We all have to work with coworkers we don’t like sometimes.


  30. - JackD - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    FWIW, Preckwinkle doesn’t control who gets bail; the courts do.


  31. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    You’ve been in office 100+ days. Who cares if you don’t like Preckwinkle or feel she was mean to you on the campaign trail.
    You know who made everything personal and was gone rather quickly? Bruce Rauner.
    I agree with OW Lightfoot is not a pro at this. This was her first campaign and she and her family probably felt hurt in a lot of respects. An old-pro takes that in stride as part of the process. They don’t ever forget but they move on until the next election then come back with a vengeance either against that person or against their friends.


  32. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    ==You can’t be serious…==

    All people who die from shootings don’t die in drive by or mass shootings. Some of them do. But the majority of people who die in shootings take their own life.

    It takes a while for police to determine if a shooting is suicide or not. It took two months to find out that Officer Gliniewicz committed suicide.

    The 2/3 number is from national statistics. Clearly addressing this problem will lower the number of shooting deaths.


  33. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    While those may be nationwide numbers relating to suicides, the problem in Chicago is not gun related suicides, it is gang and crime related shootings. The fact that CPD has a miserable clearance rate for homicides is not because they are spending time trying to figure out if the guy shot on his porch or hanging out in a crowd was a suicide. Addressing the issue of suicide is not going to do anything about addressing Chicago’s gun violence.


  34. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    As far as mass shootings go, 38% of the mass shooters die by their own hand during the shooting. 10% of mass shooter deaths are considered “suicide by cop”. So there is a strong suicide component in mass shootings as well. Reducing suicides would result in less mass shootings.


  35. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    ==the problem in Chicago is not gun related suicides.==

    How do you know that?

    Gang shooting are a problem too, and domestic shootings. Nobody says they aren’t. But I don’t believe Chicagoans are less depressed than the national average.


  36. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    ==Mayor Lightfoot, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx you expect these 4 to fix Chicago’s problems,good luck with that. They are the problem.==

    How subtle your point, that these politicians all have one thing in common (that Tom Dart doesn’t).


  37. - John Nash - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Actually, the oldest trick in the book is to not answer the phone when you see someone’s name pop up on your caller ID that you don’t want to talk to.

    Lightfoot v. Preckwinkle
    Lightfoot v. CTU
    Lightfoot v. Aldermen
    Lightfoot v. Pritzker
    Lightfoot v. Martwick
    Lightfoot v. School board reformers
    Lightfoot v. Police academy opponents
    Lightfoot v. Lincoln Yard opponents
    Lightfoot v. Police union
    Lightfoot v. Public meeting attendees
    Lightfoot v. her own staff

    I am sure I am forgetting some folks, but you get the point here.

    There is a common thread, and it isn’t Preckwinkle.


  38. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    this is not a small problem. and it is largely Preckwinkle. because her budget controls the SAO, the judges and the Sheriff. the police can arrest, but if the other parts let a case go, there ya go. It has always been this way with fingerpointing and data sharing questions and the Cook County control of much of the chain but there is a new difference….Preckwinkle is on the train to keep people out of jail. Lightfoot is on the train to prevent victims.


  39. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    According to Judge Tim Evans there has been a ten fold increase in no bail orders for violent criminals recently. He didn’t mention the timeline.
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/platform/amp/2019/8/5/20755318/police-unveil-website-tracking-gun-offender-bond-information


  40. - JackD - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    @Amelia; I’m sure you’re not suggesting the he judges take orders on bail decisions from Toni Preckwinkle. . . or are you?


  41. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    ==it is largely Preckwinkle. because her budget controls the SAO, the judges and the Sheriff.==

    The states attorney, the judges and the sheriff are all elected officials. Preckwinkle isn’t their boss, the people are.


  42. - James - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    OW at 10:08 AM:

    =But, gracious winners win at governing more often.=

    This.


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