Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Jesse Sullivan said he would “absolutely” use the National Guard to hunt down violent criminals, calls pandemic mandates “unAmerican”
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Jesse Sullivan said he would “absolutely” use the National Guard to hunt down violent criminals, calls pandemic mandates “unAmerican”

Thursday, Jan 27, 2022

* WGN Radio’s John Williams interviewed Republican gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan

John Williams: You, on your website, use the National Guard a lot. You would call them out even to hunt down violent criminals. Is that right?

Jesse Sullivan: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. As someone who, you know, you began with the commercial being on the civilian intelligence side over in Afghanistan, you see the power of our military and their abilities. And you look at the corrupt war zone that we have, a thousand murders in Cook County? That is a crisis that is 750, was the most lives we lost of our soldiers over in Afghanistan was the worst year of the war over there. We have to do something and have urgency. There are real people’s lives behind these stats. And it needs to be an all hands on deck situation, whereas the current governor wants to look the other way and make it a political football and all that. No, you use the resources at your disposal to save people’s lives.

We do have some military police in the Illinois National Guard. I briefly embedded with some in Iraq. But one thing I learned from that experience was that many if not most are also civilian police. So, calling out the National Guard means diminishing police forces in the members’ own communities. And, obviously, guard members who are not from an area would have limited abilities as crime detectives. Not even sure they have any training for that sort of mission.

Also, comparing soldier combat deaths to civilian murder deaths is not even apples to oranges.

* On to mandates

Williams: Do you support the mask mandates and the vaccine mandates?

Sullivan: Absolutely not. On day one, I would end those. I think they’re unAmerican. They’re hurting our children. Firing people who are not willing to get the vaccine, those frontline workers who have been taking on the burden of this crisis, and then you’re going to fire them? And then also the kids in schools and keeping them out of school, they put all the focus and energy on COVID. And these top-down mandates from Governor Pritzker who thinks he knows best. Well, he doesn’t, I would end those on day one.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Roadrager - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    Red meat mouth, Beyond Burger brain.

  2. - New Day - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    Oh my. Speak much Jesse? This is such awful word salad. Dude, you should have spent some of that early money on message and media training. This is awful.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:15 am:

    Given his extensive military background, I am shocked that he doesn’t even have a basic understanding of what the Guard does and what they are trained to do, and is instead opting for mindless rhetoric. Same can be said for his extensive experience in public health and mental health. /s

  4. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    We don’t have a vaccine mandate in Illinois so there’s nothing there for him to end. The only vaccine mandate still in effect anywhere that was initiated by the government is the mandate for healthcare workers and that mandate was upheld by the Supreme Court. So, Sullivan has no control over that.

    As for the mask mandates, just add him to the long list of Republicans who are pro-COVID.

    To the issue of calling out the National Guard to help fight crime - I’ll take a hard pass on that one. Not the job of the guard to be our daily police force.

  5. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    Correction - We do have mandates for certain state workers in congregate care settings. So I guess he could get rid of those. That just adds to his pro-COVID views though.

    I don’t want anyone near any levers of power who refuses to protect their citizens during a pandemic.

  6. - Tobor - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    The new,”normal”.

  7. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:20 am:

    Also why is it that the GOP seems real excited to have armed troops showing up at people’s doors, so long as it is not in their neighborhood?

  8. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:20 am:

    When it takes 200 words to say something you could say in 20 words, you really have a communication problem. I think I’d prefer he just yada, yada, yada me and tell me he likes the lobster bisque.

  9. - fs - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:23 am:

    Kinda awkward that his LG running mate hasn’t commented yet

  10. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    ===I think they’re unAmerican.===

    What if my local school district actually cares about the health of the kids, their teachers, and their families (such as grandparents) and decided to require masks locally?

  11. - Trolling Troll - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    Wasn’t one Carhartt Billionaire enough for Illinois?

  12. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    ===You would call them out even to hunt down violent criminals. Is that right?===

    History has shown that doesn’t work. It didn’t for the Br!t!$h in the 20th century at various locations.

  13. - Red Ketcher - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    1969 Ft. Hood Texas -
    Units being ” trained ” to respond to riots in the Cities.
    Mocked up buildings and opposing forces.
    Don’t Fire Back until given command.
    Over a 3 month +/- period Fire Control never worked.
    Upon being shot at there was always someone back from Overseas who immediately opened up.
    Ultimately , those Units were not used.
    Conclusion: Be Careful

  14. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    =decided to require masks locally?=

    He is against it and would likely go Missouri on us.

    ====I think they’re unAmerican.====

    For a pretend soldier he doesn’t know his history very well.

  15. - wowie - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    Jesse Sullivan campaign slogan: “Hey, guys look at me - I’m still here”

  16. - Google Is Your Friend - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:40 am:


  17. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    The downside to being a woefully unprepared and woefully unqualified candidate for Governor of Illinois is that it doesn’t take very long for the fascism to come out, but that is at least good for the voting public to learn about.

    What Mr. Sullivan is describing is treating the City of Chicago a foreign country to be occupied by military forces under the direct control of his administration.

    He should take pause to consider how many civilians the United States killed in Afghanistan and now many civilians were detained, imprisoned, and even tortured without due process by the United States during our occupation of Afghanistan.

    Mr. Sullivans words are those of a person who fundamentally does not understand democratic governments and basic civil rights. He has outlined the actions of a dictator.

    He has gone from being a joke to a dangerous joke. I wonder if his campaign has reached out to Arthur Jones yet about being his running mate.

  18. - Long Time Independent - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    Jesse should start running campaign commercials for a running mate and not worry about the Governors race yet

  19. - Retired and Still in Illinois - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    The idea of using the NG in this manner is ludicrous. I spent 30 years in civilian law enforcement and 8 years in a military police guard unit in Illinois. My guard unit was about half civilian police officers and the other half was largely college students using the guard to afford college (aged 18-21). Throwing the guard at addressing violent crime is a recipe for disaster (recall Kent State). Even sending civilian law enforcement officers to an area they don’t normally work is not ideal and is awful for an officers home life. Ask an ISP officer from downstate in a couple of months how they like being rotated in and out of Chicago.

  20. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:49 am:

    I gotta admit I find this guy interesting, but until he can actually put his petitions on the street, I feel like I should ignore him.

    And I mean- with his money, he still absolutely has plenty of time to get the signatures…for now. It’s only early until it’s late.

  21. - vern - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    At this point he’s gonna need the National Guard to get his petitions done.

  22. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    Wouldn’t the first step be a fundamental shift in the Guard’s focus and training? When I think of the Guard I think of disaster response not vigilantism.

  23. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    ====I think they’re unAmerican.====

    “For a pretend soldier he doesn’t know his history very well.”

    Vaccines have been required for schools, the military, and some employers for a long time.

    When I was a child several decades ago, I had to get vaccinated to attend school. When I joined the military decades ago, I was required to get a regimen of vaccines, more when deploying overseas. Many years ago, I worked for an employer in a congregate setting that required certain vaccines as a condition of employment.

  24. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Wow– fake soldier AND fake doctor.

  25. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    If Sullivan wants to play soldier so bad why doesn’t he just join the military and spare us the theatrics?

  26. - muon - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    I think the Sullivan campaign is trying to find a lane. Last night I got a robo-poll that I would presume was commissioned by the Sullivan campaign. It included two potentially positive statements about an unknown candidate to test their appeal, then revealed that they were both about Jesse Sullivan. No other GOP candidates were mentioned.

  27. - Paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    Getting some Jack! Ryan vibes from this guy. Nice Irish ballot name, good hair and a nice jawline. Everything else? Meh.

  28. - Correcting - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    Jesse Sullivan just needs to serve apple pie and make his campaign theme song “I am a real American” by Rick Derringer. Who is his running mate?

  29. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    The comments by Retired and Still in Illinois reinforces my thought that using the NG in chasing down violent offenders is not a very good idea.
    I do think there was a role for the NG and the State Police during the looting and riots that Chicago residents were facing. Perhaps some joint training with CPD would help the CPD deal with these kinds of situations in the future.

  30. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Governor Sullivan riding the CTA after he ends the mask mandate.

  31. - sal-says - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    Seems to be a LOT of wrong-headed thinking in politics these days. I find it scary.

  32. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:26 pm:

    My phrase of the day describes Sullivan to a “T.” “Not ready for prime time.”

  33. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    Sullivan is throwing down a strong marker for other GOP candidates. Is Irvin also this strongly opposed to pandemic mandates? Are they going to try to out right wing each other because they have to—these former Democratic voters/supporters—to win today’s GOP base? Grabbing popcorn, this might be fun to watch (hey, I didn’t cause it).

  34. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    The National Guard is so omnipotent to these far right and far right wannabes for power politicians. They can do anything, including tracking down violent criminals better than the police who are trained.

    Great agenda, have the guard do something they’re not trained to do and let Americans die during a pandemic.

  35. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    As a previous poster mentioned in his comment it’s red meat for the GOP base. Sullivan is woefully unqualified to be Governor.

  36. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    Can Jesse Sullivan buy a set of talented advisors who could direct his message? So far, I am not impressed one bit. A short list of Lt. Gov candidates will appear soon or has everyone said, “Thanks for asking but no.”

  37. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:09 pm:

    And then a candidate takes a hard right on the way to the Republican primary. Elsewhere in the news …

  38. - Huh? - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    “I feel like I should ignore him.”


  39. - lenoard - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    I have an idea take all the republican candidates fo r Governor put them in a sack shake it up really good. Open the bag the first one out would be the candidate would save a lot of money not to mention popcorn.

  40. - LakeCo - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    =They’re hurting our children.=
    Follow up question: How are vaccines hurting our children, Mr. Sullivan?
    =And then also the kids in schools and keeping them out of school=
    What? Just…what?

  41. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    - commercial being on the civilian intelligence side over in Afghanistan, you see the power of our military and their abilities. -

    Umm, Jesse, I hate to be the one to tell you but we lost in Afghanistan.

    As to unAmerican, chomping at the bit to use military force against American citizens is unAmerican. Try reading a little about history, maybe google Kent State massacre.


  42. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    Since Jesse spent time in Afghanistan, he should have no problem riding the Red Line from 95th Street to Rogers Park to meet and greet the voters.

    A great wat to connect with the constituents and experience the CTA. Be sure to wear a mask on public transportation. It’s mandatory.

  43. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    Why do interviews with Republican candidates sound like 1980s exchanges between Gene Okerlund and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura?

  44. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    “The downside to being a woefully unprepared and woefully unqualified candidate- - -“.
    We all heard the same kinds of comments about Trump, Rauner and Pritzker and they all turned out- - opps- - never mind.
    I did listen to the ten minute interview Mr. Sullivan did with WGN. I thought he came across much worse than the comments in the blog indicates.
    Might be time to concentrate on getting a running mate.

  45. - Politix - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    Always fun to hear overprivileged white men from downstate rattle on about violence prevention. So clueless, it’s offensive.

  46. - Manchester - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    If anyone doubted it, it’s obvious Mr. Sullivan has drunk the far right’s Kool-Aid. It’s astonishing to me that the Republican Party as a whole really is not concerned about people’s health and that they might be killing people with their anti-vax, anit-mask stance.

  47. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    The GOP pool of candidates will make this easy for JB. Griffin should just buy another penthouse…

  48. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    Jesse Sullivan declares American cities “War Zones” requiring National Guard soldiers to “hunt down” criminals.

    This dude is dangerous to democracy.

  49. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    Come on down to Sullivan’s. I’ll say anything to get yer vote. No money down, no payments until next year. I’ll match any offer, do whatever it takes to get yer vote.

  50. - walker - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    This guy might have some talents. He should find a career where they can be put to use.

  51. - Brr Cold - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    “This dude is dangerous to democracy”

    LOL. But the States Attorneys and District Attorneys across the nation/state who won’t prosecute and let criminals walk aren’t??

  52. - vole - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    “unAmerican” is getting to need some definition.

    Is it the every man for himself, arms-a-gettin’, vigilante, frontier strain?

    Is it the all-arms-on-deck, save the ship, community health/resilience strain?

    Seems like we need an honest debate on which side of “American” best suits our group survival. And which side best fits the need for human sacrifice.

  53. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==But the States Attorneys and District Attorneys across the nation/state who won’t prosecute and let criminals walk aren’t?==

    Well, prosecutor’s discretion is an age-old tradition, and frankly quite a bit of the Bill of Rights is aimed at limiting the state’s ability to jail its citizens, so despite the “LOL” and double question marks, I’d suggest that the answer to your question isn’t quite as clear cut as you think.

  54. - girl in the woods - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 4:06 pm:

    This is a crazy word salad- sounds like Trump’s speeches. Sad to see the crazies are out in force- again, still..

  55. - Gdubya - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    “Williams: Do you support the mask mandates and the vaccine mandates?

    Sullivan: Absolutely not. On day one, I would end those. I think they’re unAmerican.”
    What he actually means: “I think they are unRepublican.”

  56. - Huh? - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 4:48 pm:

    To seal the stolen valor/pro military bonafides, we need some icing on the cake, Sullivan riding in an M1 Abrams tank, ala Michael Dukakis, October 1988.

  57. - Frank talks - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 5:02 pm:

    Jesse should stop talking and get a running mate. Or maybe he’s doing the rounds so he can drop a quick poll to show potential LT’s he has a chance and some name ID?

  58. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 6:13 pm:

    NG units are trained for specific tasks. There once was a MP battalion in Chicago (right behind Watertower. There is now a company based in SPI. Traditionally many are local and state cops in their day jobs so Sullie’s deployment takes real cops off their street to do his manhunt.
    At least Sullie is talkin’ as opposed to Team ‘Riffie & RichieRich.

  59. - Mama - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 6:28 pm:

    What has happened to our country?

  60. - Zoomer - Thursday, Jan 27, 22 @ 9:35 pm:

    Yet another beacon of optimism and open-mindedness shining his wisdom as a light upon us all. /s

  61. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 8:42 am:

    If police who are trained have trouble finding the criminals how are people in the National Guard supposed to do that?

  62. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 8:45 am:

    ===how are people in the National Guard supposed to do that? ===

    That would be a good question for a serious candidate.

  63. - Micky Finn - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 9:13 am:

    I used to think Rezin was a moderate. Somebody who was rational. If she ties herself to this fascism, I was incredibly wrong. Military police state is just fine but a three inch piece of cloth to keep people alive s UnAmerican? Got it. Thanks for telling us who you are Jesse.

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