Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Vallas dodges ties to Awake Illinois, Johnson changes subject when pressed on “defund the police” rhetoric
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Vallas dodges ties to Awake Illinois, Johnson changes subject when pressed on “defund the police” rhetoric

Thursday, Mar 9, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From last night’s mayoral debate

Moderator: But first, let’s get to Mr. Vallas. Last year, you did participate in an event held by Awake Illinois. It is a far right group and it uses rhetoric that you later admitted was hateful. Also in 2009, you said in an interview, you thought of yourself as more of a Republican. [..] What do you say to Chicago voters who question your party affiliation?

Paul Vallas: Let me point out that I’m a lifelong Democrat. I worked for Dawn Clark Netsch and Phil Rock in the Senate. I actually ran for office as a Democrat in the Democratic primary against Rod Blagojevich. And of course, Pat Quinn’s running mate in 2014, which was five years after that interview. And of course, when I ran for mayor, I’ve always declared, and I’ve always registered in the Democratic primary. So my history has always been that of a Democrat.

Moderator: Mr. Johnson, you attended an event in 2020. It was called ‘We Don’t Call Police.’ And that same year, you said it was a political goal to defund the police. […] So, Mr. Johnson, what do you say to Chicagoans who do want more officers in their neighborhoods?

Brandon Johnson: Well, my public safety plan does just that. It’s why my public safety plan, we’re going to promote, train and hire 200 more detectives so that we can actually solve crime in the city of Chicago. You know, it’s going to cost me roughly $50 million to make sure that we are actually administering the consent decree. Right now, we’re not administering the consent decree and we’re not solving violence in the city of Chicago. By promoting and hiring 200 more detectives, we actually can solve crime because it

Moderator: What happens to those officers who are promoted? What happens to refilling those?

Johnson: Look, the way you recruit officers, you’ve got to make sure, people are working on the front line, you can’t ask police officers to do their job and someone’s else. The fact of the matter is, almost 40 percent of the 911 calls are coming through are mental health crises. I know what it’s like to wake up and serve the frontline, right, as a public school teacher, and you don’t ask people to do their job and someone else’s. We have to make sure that we’re providing the support on the front line so that we can alleviate the pressure from police officers so that they can deal with the more violent, serious crimes.

In 2009, Vallas geared up to run for county board president as a Republican, then backed away. And his former running mate Pat Quinn endorsed Chuy Garcia in the first round.

* Later

Vallas: Brandon was in part responsible for the shutting down of one of the poorest school systems in the country, with devastating consequences, for 15 consecutive months, and three times threatening to strike to force the mayor to keep schools closed. And if you look at the crime statistics, and you look at the violence and you look at the dislocation and declining test scores, you can see the results.

Johnson: A 100-year pandemic was responsible for everything being shut down. But when you’re supported by someone like Ken Griffin, who loves DeSantis, right-wing extremists who deny the fact that we actually had a pandemic, that’s a problem that we have when you are part of the Republican Party, and that’s why the city of Chicago cannot afford Republicans like Paul Vallas.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

…Adding… Politico says today that US Rep. James Clyburn is endorsing Brandon Johnson. But Johnson once accused Clyborn of “making excuses” for “White supremacy.” Here’s a December of 2020 Johnson comment on Clyburn from an opposition research file

I am deeply concerned about just the presentation that the former President of the United States made around the movement to defund the police and I talked about it last week for those of you who got up with me every single morning last week as I filled in for Santita Jackson. Thank you so much, that was quite the lift there. But you know what President Obama said, what James Clyburn said, Congressman from South Carolina who played an intricate part in delivering the state of South Carolina for the current president-elect, Joe Biden. You also had even here, right here in Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, that took a shot. You know, really, really low blow at the movement. And so former President Barack Obama believes that the effort to essentially end and eradicate racism from a system that was designed to ultimately capture and to torture Black people, and that system, of course, has been protected over the years. That our work, to move away from this carceral racist system that continues to brutalize and terrorize unarmed Black men especially, but it certainly has had its role in killing Brown folks and women. And we’ve seen case after case after case, that he seemed to have a stronger critique of the movement. And it’s, you know, so-called hashtag, which is a conversation in and of itself, than the folks who are actually causing the harm. But he’s not alone, James Clyburn made this very clear too, that he thought that that was the reason why Democrats were losing. Lori Lightfoot, who the mayor of Chicago who retreated hard to this very conservative approach towards more policing, and calling for more arrests and more incarceration, even though we’ve seen over the course of 40 years that that is just not the right pathway. President Obama caught it, I think he called ‘catchy.’ I think the mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, again, very dismissive of this work. I am interested in your thoughts around just the effort of just organizing to get people to understand how evil the system is, as well as your response to the critique, particularly that’s coming from Black elected leadership, which I’m not opposed to criticizing, and it’s not like racism doesn’t exist. But you can see how White supremacy moves its way into the, to the, essentially to the veins, into the blood, into the pulse of Black electeds, where they’re making excuses quite frankly, for White supremacy

Please pardon all transcription errors.

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Fox Chicago: After the forum, both candidates took jabs at one another. Johnson slammed Vallas for his 2021 comments against teaching Critical Race Theory. Vallas has since said he advocates for teaching African American history year-round. “This book was highlighting and lifting up the fact that Blackness in the city of Chicago has value, Paul Vallas banned that book,” Johnson said. Vallas was asked why he didn’t give a response to Johnson when he was accused of being associated with right-wing extremists. “I didn’t want to turn it into a free for all, and this is what Johnson is going to do. He doesn’t want to run on his record, or lack of record,” Vallas said.

    * CBS Chicago: Johnson repeatedly attacked Vallas on the grounds that his “budgetary scheme” in previous roles in the 1990s was at least partially to blame for the city’s current financial trouble. He said Vallas worked with the Republican Party in the 1990s to take the dollars that were supposed to go toward pensions – and decades later, the city was left on the hook for $2.5 billion in property taxes that had to be raised to make up the money. Vallas rebutted that as city budget director under Mayor Richard M. Daley, he passed balanced budgets without raising property taxes once. He added that under his watch chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, property tax hikes averaged only 1.5 percent.

    * WBEZ: Vallas dismissed the financial broadside as “nonsense” and a fictionalized account of his six-year tenure as CEO at CPS. “When I took over the Chicago Public Schools, the pensions were 80% funded. When I left, they were over 100% funded. That’s a fact,” Vallas said. “It was not until the pension holiday that was enacted in 2009 or 2010 when they basically stopped making contributions … that the pensions went south. … Actuarially based funding mandates was a very good idea because it allowed us to use money for like teacher pay raises, after-school and extended day programs.”

    * WGN: “We’re in this predicament because of the bad accounting measures of Mr. Vallas,” Johnson said. “The truth of the matter is he has not put forth a budget plan because when he put forth a budget plan four years ago, he came in ninth place.”

    * ABC Chicago: Vallas and Johnson both agreed public safety is the city’s top problem, impacting neighborhoods, public transportation and downtown business viability, but they offered different solutions. “You make the type of leadership changes and changes in scheduling and changes in management and personnel that do not cause 1,000 police officers to leave every year,” Vallas sad.”We’re gonna promote, train and hire 200 more detectives so we can actually solve crime in the city of Chicago,” said Johnson.

    * Sun-Times: Both candidates accused each other of trying to, as Vallas put it, “make race the issue” in the campaign between Black and white candidates where the African-American vote is likely to be decisive. Johnson appeared to fan those flames when he accused Vallas of “hanging out with right-wing extremists who have attacked women” on the issue of abortion and of opposing the teaching of Black history in Chicago Public Schools.

    * The Hill: “Paul Vallas, on the other hand, doesn’t believe that children of the city of Chicago should learn Black history. So if we eliminate the type of history that Paul Vallas is trying to promote, they wouldn’t know that the first Black mayor of the city of Chicago was Harold Washington,” Johnson said. […] “Just nonsense again,” Vallas responded at one point. “I actually integrated Black history and all the curriculum in it, and then moved beyond just Black history month in February. I also incorporated African studies into the world history curriculum.”

    * Politico: The Chicago Teachers Union is raising members’ dues $8 per month to go toward its political action committee paying for Johnson’s mayoral campaign. CTU’s executive board announced the hike here.

    * Tribune: During the debate, Johnson also attempted to tamp down concerns that he is too close with the powerful Chicago Teachers Union, which endorsed and has funded him, but he declined to name an issue on which he disagreed with the organization. “I have a fiduciary responsibility to the people of the city of Chicago, and once I’m mayor of the city of Chicago, I will no longer be a member of the Chicago Teachers Union,” Johnson said.

    * Streetsblog: Johnson’s response mostly focused on strategies to make transit operate more efficiently and keep CTA staffing at full strength so as to avoid service gaps. “Right now our public transit system is unreliable and it’s unsafe,” he said. “This is why I’m committed to making sure we’re making critical investments, particularly for working people who overwhelmingly rely on public transportation. So we’re going to increase the number of bus-only lanes… We’re going to make sure that there are traffic signals that give preference to [buses.]” […] In contrast, Vallas’s answer focused on addressing crime through more policing. “The CTA is on the verge of financial crisis,” he accurately noted. Vallas cited a stat (apparently solely reported by the conservative website Wirepoints, in an article that called for cutting CTA service) that CTA farebox revenue is only currently accounting for 18 percent of the operating budget when, under state law, it’s normally supposed to account for 50 percent.

    * Bloomberg: Griffin, 54, said in an interview this week in Palm Beach, Florida, that he was done with Chicago politics but wants a Vallas victory. “I’ve had enough of Illinois,” Griffin said. “I will tell you, I really admire my colleagues who have supported Paul Vallas publicly with their voice and with their money. I hope that Paul Vallas becomes the mayor of Chicago.”

    * Crain’s: Johnson also repeatedly brought up Chicago’s former wealthiest citizen Ken Griffin’s endorsement of Vallas, using Griffin’s monumental financial support of Republicans and current backing for controversial Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to tie Vallas to the GOP. Vallas, who has received six-figure sums from execs at Griffin’s Citadel, didn’t directly address Griffin’s endorsement, but said the wealthy donors lining up behind his campaign are attracted to him “because they know the city is in crisis and they need someone who can manage the city” and “pull together a leadership team that can run every department.”

    * NBC Sports: “I don’t support billion-dollar subsidies for sports teams and I certainly don’t support putting billions of dollars into renovations at Soldier Field,” Vallas said. Johnson drew on his emotional connection to the franchise, invoking memories of growing up with the Super Bowl Shuffle before iterating his desire to negotiate with the franchise while brushing off the idea of subsidizing any potential project.


  1. - JoanP - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:35 am:

    I am reminded of the old song:

    Yes, the candidate’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger
    Yes, the candidate’s a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger too.
    He’ll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote
    But look out, boys, he’s a-dodgin’ for your note.

  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:37 am:

    The Vallas comment about Johnson being partially responsible for shutting down the schools shows exactly the crackpot conservative mentality of Vallas and his AWAKE buddies. they blame everyone but a pandemic for keeping kids out of school, they support vaccine deniers, and yet they function as if they hate public schools, and support private methods of schooling. That part of the debate was infuriating. Anyone who does not understand that the pandemic meant we needed methods to distance is public health stupid. Anyone progressive in Chicago needs to understand exactly what you are getting with Vallas and it’s not good.

  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    “we’re going to promote, train and hire 200 more detectives”

    “Defund the police” is a loser, a big giveaway to opponents. Can’t feel too sorry for any candidate adopting this position and losing because of it. Good on Johnson for not taking this position.

  4. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    So…my choice is a shape-shifting shyster or a guy with basically no articulated plan? (200 detectives and mental health services?)

    For the first time in my life, I’m actually considering not voting.

  5. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:49 am:

    Chicago public school students were some of the last in the country to resume in person instruction because CTU did not follow the science and resisted the guidelines of public health officials who said kids should be back in school

    “We’ve gone above and beyond the requirements from CDC and CDPH in order to ensure that our students and staff are safe,” Jackson said. “We are reopening our schools because we believe it is safe to do so. We know that parents do have questions and concerns. We encourage you to reach out directly to your schools. You’re going to get the best information from the principals and the teachers at your local schools.”

    Chicago’s poorest students were hurt the most by the failures of remote learning CTU demanded for far too long

  6. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:54 am:

    Both played this very well, always a good idea to deflect potentially negative questions. The takeaway actually helps Vallas as the general public and the even smaller number of folks that will turn out in runoff may not know “Awake ILL” but everyone has an opinion about “defunding the police”.

  7. - The Truth - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:55 am:

    Johnson *must* continue attacking, because it’s clear Vallas is just going to lie and lie and lie. And right now I sense that Vallas is ahead.

  8. - Gravitas - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 9:57 am:

    Sorry, but no.

    The pandemic alone was not responsible for the declining enrollment at Chicago Public Schools. Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was taking political flak for shuttering schools that had very few students and trying to move students to other campuses.

    The pandemic created a whole new set of problems, but school closings were on the table long before COVID-19 hit.

  9. - low level - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    I really dont think Jesse White, Rod Sawyer and Willie Wilson would be endorsing Vallas if he was, in fact, a Republican. Johnson keeps repeating it and it is simply ridiculous.

  10. - Tom - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    The cake is baked on Johnson and defunds the police comments. In campaigns, you give people what they already believe, Vallas and his team have served up a nice helping of ads talking about how he is the guy for you if crime is your issue. He is about to serve up a plate of Johnson talking about defunding. It’s an easy thing to see and believe. I have yet to see a poll that shows the majority of Chicagoans are concerned about Paul Vallas being a Republican. It’s just not important or believable. Just my opinion and 2 cents. Your opinions may differ and I respect them. I just don’t agree.

  11. - Gravitas - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:13 am:

    It does not help that the Chicago Teachers Union is raising dues to replenish its political action committee fund. Johnson does not have a broad spectrum of contributors and is heavily dependent upon the teachers union.

  12. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:20 am:

    The is never a candidate that is 100% representative of a voter’s views. The question is which of these two is better equipped to run the city. I’m very concerned about crime in this city. We need more police to control it, and more money to pay for it. Mental health is a problem, but I don’t understand how Johnson is going to have a 911 operator determine that, and determine that no violence will occur when responding to a call designated as a mental health issue. How much will setting up these mental health, non-police responders cost? Where will the money come from? If both the police and the mental health professionals show up to a call, won’t that greatly increase response costs per call? Additionally, we need to send a signal to the police that they are supported. They’re leaving much faster than we can bring new hires onto the job, and the city is suffering for it. I don’t believe Johnson can do that. Bolstering the police now, is critical. The CTU, of which Johnson is an outspoken organizer, would have an obvious conflict of interest in dealing with them in an arms-length negotiation. He would have that same conflict in reverse with any dealings with the police department, after saying he wants to turn Defund the Police into political action. CPS and CPD are a huge part of the tax burden for Chicago citizens. Johnson will only make the situation worse for Chicagoans with respect to their safety, and finances. For those reasons, I’ll be voting for Vallas on April 4th election, and it’s not a close call.

  13. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:21 am:

    Johnson’s biggest concern right now is having the amount of money necessary to get out his message and defend himself from attack. CTU reportedly raised their members dues by $8 a month to fund their PAC so this is not a good sign for Johnson.

  14. - low level - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    ==about Paul Vallas being a Republican. It’s just not important or believable.==.

    Exactly correct, especially for voters over 40 or so along the lakefront and downtown who remember how he and Chico improved CPS in the ‘90s. This demographic also happens to vote in very high percentages.

    I really am not seeing any other outcome other than Vallas becoming mayor, which I still cant believe is happening. Vallas was disrespected by Daley and other elected officals when he basically was shown the door in 2001.

  15. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    So, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Vallas spent $90 million dollars to privatize (some of it going to for-profit) public schools with no measurable academic gains.

  16. - Hot Taeks - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:27 am:

    Agree. Johnson is getting absolutely washed in the money race right now and I don’t see individual ActBlue donors being able to make up the difference between his side and Vallas.

    It’s getting late early.

  17. - Jocko - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:28 am:

    Johnson needs to tie AWAKE and Catanzara to Vallas if he has a chance. Crime is a problem and Johnson is on the wrong side of it.

  18. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:33 am:

    agree with Jocko. also Johnson needs radio to talk to the Black community and tie Burge to Catanzara and Vallas. and Vallas would vote Rudy over Obama.

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:37 am:

    ===and Willie Wilson would be endorsing Vallas if he was, in fact, a Republican===

    Agree on the first two, totally disagree on Wilson.

  20. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:38 am:

    It seems like every article about Vallas includes verbs like dodged, avoided, ignored, refused, etc. He’s sticking to the script of addressing what he deems to be the “issues.” But when you are running on your record of supposed accomplishments, these are the issues. Also, character matters.

  21. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    ==I really dont think Jesse White, Rod Sawyer and Willie Wilson would be endorsing Vallas if he was, in fact, a Republican==

    Willie Wilson boasted about voting for Trump.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:47 am:

    I didn’t pay too-too close attention, I got some of the links added here ably done by Isabel (great work)

    It was exactly what I thought it would be.

    Two really polar opposite candidates to important issues trying to stave off that they are “extreme” and walk back without retreating on past words or history.

    Did the succeed?

    Depending on how far you think each got a centering. That’s my measure. They both tried to find the sweet spot, Johnson seemed more “worried” to his past, Vallas seemed to think there was more room to be “misunderstood” to allow a clarity.

    Johnson is losing *hours* now, not days. Vallas is cementing his “Daley Days” cred and each day the question to “we want the good old days” is overshadowing “we need a new day”?

  23. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:50 am:

    If simply calling Vallas a Republican was enough he wouldn’t have made it out of the primary. If anything he’s an old school Democrat and his endorsements reflect that. The AWAKE association might work if Johnson had the luxury of time and money to do something with it. But that’s not where things stand. Defund the police has been a major burden to the progressive movement and it will likely be so for Johnson.

  24. - low level - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 10:51 am:

    ==Willie Wilson boasted about voting for Trump.==.
    ==Agree on the first two, totally disagree on Wilson.==

    Big Dipper and Rich, you are exactly correct. Thank you for setting me straight.

  25. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:00 am:

    === If simply calling Vallas a Republican was enough he wouldn’t have made it out of the primary. ===

    Wrong. Republicans make up roughly 16-20 percent of the Chicago electorate. If those Republicans went for Vallas, it makes it pretty easy for him to have survived the runoff. Lori in third place couldn’t even get to 17%.

  26. - Roman - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    There’s a core of Chicago parents who are far, far from being Awake Illinois ideologues who were upset by CPS’s extended remote learning status. They watched students safely return to Catholic schools and suburban public school districts long before their kids went back. I’m not sure that their still motivated by that in a way that would alter the mayoral race, but I don’t think the should be dismissed as Covid-denying crack pots.

  27. - Anon 9:42 - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    =We need more police to control it, and more money to pay for it.=

    I fear that this “solution” is not reflective of the real problem, and that is the impact of the Safe-T act and that we have a state’s attorney who is unwilling to prosecute some felonies and misdemeanors. The police feel hamstrung and unsupported by their own partners in the criminal justice system, up to and and including judges.

    But in the end, Paul Vallas has to pose a simple question to voters: “do you feel safer today than you did four years ago and do you trust a near-Democrat-Socialist, who never ran anything, who publicly stated he wants to defund, underfund and understaff the police to keep you safe?”

  28. - Gravitas - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:11 am:

    Chicago no longer has partisan municipal primaries. If one mayoral candidate had polled 50% plus one vote, there would not be a citywide election on April 4, 2023.

  29. - Nuke The Whales - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:15 am:

    “I don’t miss meat Illinois politics at all, I just like to drive by meat Illinois politics’ house late at night. Does meat Illinois politics ever talk about me?” -Jim Gaffigan Ken Griffin

  30. - Early voter - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    “Miss me yet?”-Lori Lightfoot

  31. - tominator - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:34 am:

    Johnson didn’t just talk about defunding the police as a “political goal.” He introduced a resolution at the County to do so and the sheriff’s budget was reduced by 1.4% after several years of increases.

  32. - Minnie Pearl Jam - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:41 am:

    Brandon Johnson is learning the lesson that Maze Jackson, Joe Walsh and others learned: a radio show can be your friend or an opposition researcher’s friend.

  33. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:45 am:

    @Roman, there are lots of public school families in the SW and NW sides of the city, where many police live. police in Chicago are at a 50% request for no vaccine level, with religion as a citation. yes, they are out there.

  34. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    More Vallas/Keith Thornton interaction.

  35. - BigLou - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    I watched the debate and something is bugging me. Johnson kept saying he wants to raise revenues via taxes, fees, etc. to invest in people. But he also said he’s willing to work with the Bears to come up with a deal which to me means would take a lot of city money. So how much is going to go to invest in people and invest in the stadium? Did anyone else catch that?

  36. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:01 pm:

    It’s not like there isn’t a paper trail. As county commissioner, Johnson drafted a resolution to defund county police. It specifically states “redirect funds from policing.”

  37. - Mark - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    Whether or not Vallas is a Republican is a question of semantics more than substance, because regardless of how he labels himself, his beliefs, associations, and policy preferences are all pretty firmly center-right. It’s more important that Johnson continue hammering Vallas on his failed policy choices than a battle over labels.

  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    Here’s an interview Johnson gave right after the looting in Chicago where he refused to condemn the looting.

  39. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:15 pm:

    The pain behind “defund the police” is real, institutional racism and police brutality. The whole world saw what happened to George Floyd, and that police encouraged Kyle Rittenhouse who was armed with an assault rifle and shot Jacob Blake who was allegedly armed with a knife. It’s not hard to understand the sentiment behind something like this idea, dumb and harmful as it may be politically and to society.

  40. - tominator - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:15 pm:

    Hre’s the interview where johnson refused to condemn the looting. Defends his position to “defund” the police. That he’s not worried about stores closing or moving out of state.

  41. - Roman - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:16 pm:

    @Amalia, I agree they’re out there, but there are plenty of liberal Chicagoans who were upset with CPS being among the last to return to classrooms.

    And I’d point out, a healthy portion of those cops on the NW and SW sides send their kids to Catholic schools.

  42. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    Vallas is like a pull toy doll with only one response. more police.

  43. - WestBurbs - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    Grandson of Man - what is the basis for you saying
    BJ is “not taking this [defund] position?” I see that BJ now includes “hire” in his 200 detectives stump speech but his actual policy on the web site still says only “train and promote” and he failed to answer the question of whether he’d fill the empty spots from the 200 he promoted.

    Regardless of whether you substantively agree with “defund” no reason at all to believe that BJ won’t try to implement a defund policy.

    So why are you giving him a pass?

  44. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    =Wrong. Republicans make up roughly 16-20 percent of the Chicago electorate.=

    Vallas received 1/3rd of the vote in a 9 person field. You’re assuming that Republican voters put him over the top. I’m not so sure about that. There’s a lot of old school Democrats (and Republicans) in Chicago that long for the Daley era, warts and all. And the progressive movement took a big hit when Mayor Lightfoot bore little resemblance to candidate Lightfoot.

  45. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 1:48 pm:

    === You’re assuming that Republican voters put him over the top. ===

    Not necessarily, but I am saying that Republican voters had very few options other than Vallas. Look where the Republican votes usually come from in the City and then look at Vallas’s totals in the City. Sure there were a lot of conservative Democratic voters that also voted for Vallas, but in a field that large, it gives Republican voters oversized influence to determine who makes a runoff.

  46. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===He introduced a resolution at the County to do so and the sheriff’s budget was reduced by 1.4% after several years of increases.===

    Given that Cook County Jail daily population numbers fell 11.7% from 2017 Q4 to 2021 Q3, and given the fact corrections is by far the biggest budgetary component of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, a 1.4% decrease could actually be seen as an increase.

  47. - New Day - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 1:58 pm:

    Vallas appeared on radio shows with Proft, Jacobsen and Ives. Repeatedly. He became John Kass’ best friend. You can say a lot about both awful candidates, but please don’t pretend that Vallas has not been sucking up to the right wing for fifteen years. Awake was the last straw. These are just vile people.

  48. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    == but please don’t pretend that Vallas has not been sucking up to the right wing for fifteen years==

    Dude is another Roland Burris who just wants to put mayor on his tombstone. He’ll say and do anything as long as it will get him power.

  49. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 2:24 pm:

    Gosh I am shocked that for all those years working on various projects with Vallas I just thought he was a Moderate Democrat. I guess you are either branded a Right-wing MAGA or a left-wing Socialist now regardless of past actions. No in-between.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===of past actions.===

    You don’t wanna go down “past actions” with Vallas, considering in the recent past the folks Vallas has been hanging out with…

    Just sayin’

  51. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    levivotedforjudy, Awake Illinois is not by any measure a moderate group. Also, that weird little NW Side GOP cabal ain’t exactly moderate either and they’re flocking to him, and he to them.

    I do not envy Chicago voters.

  52. - WestBurbs - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    Rich nailed it: “I do not envy Chicago voters”

  53. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    yep NW side GOP, which extends into the suburbs….Matt Podgorski losing to Maggie Trevor for County Board…is MAGA mad and Catanzara supporting and they are all about Vallas. it’s not just an anti Brandon Johnson thing. they are full on Vallas no matter who he ran against. It’s everything Vallas says behind closed doors and occasionally mistakes and says outside. Just read Kass. Those are all Vallas’ people.

  54. - Just a guy - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    Rich hit the nail on the head when he said “I do not envy Chicago voters.” We have 2.7 million people in this city, and these are our options. And people wonder why the voter turnout was so abysmal…

  55. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 9, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    ==a 1.4% decrease could actually be seen as an increase.==

    So Johnson is either not telling the truth or bad at his job. Maybe both.

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