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The way forward

Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

* Politico

When former state GOP leader Pat Brady said President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about women and minorities “hurts” Republicans, some guests at Monday’s City Club event booed. “Whether you like it or not,” Brady told the City Club crowd at Maggiano’s Banquets, “We have to come up with an Illinois strategy that bifurcates us away from the president’s message or we won’t be able to recruit people.”

Monday’s contentious scene is just another indication of how divided the Republican Party is after that blue-ish wave swept Illinois. The event was titled “Illinois GOP: Now What?”

At one point Brady also called out Dan Proft, who runs a right-wing PAC, for funneling $1.2 million to a primary candidate challenging Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin—who ultimately won. That kind of financial support could have benefited Erika Harold, Brady said of the GOP attorney general candidate who fell short. Brady wants financial support to carry candidates through the general election. But Proft, also a panelist, disagreed, saying, “Competition produces better goods and services. Primaries are for improving the quality of the caucus and generals are for growing the caucus.”

There was a glimmer of unity. Proft agreed with Brady on the need to do a better job recruiting young people, women and minorities. So now what?

* Daily Line

Proft, who backed 22 far-right legislative candidates with money from his Liberty Principles PAC, only won a handful of those districts, where most of the candidates were also incumbents and relied more upon the party’s infrastructure than Proft money. Proft said Monday that he nearly stepped away from the election cycle back in August when he first saw polling evidence of a Blue Wave.

“I’ll tell you something i haven’t said publicly: I looked at these races…that my little group supported pre-Labor Day,” Proft said. “And the numbers I saw coming from suburban races — I had a conversation internally with our group: “should we sit this election out?” Because they were that bad.”

Proft didn’t end up pulling his support, but acknowledged he did not do particularly well on Election Day. However, Proft said he wasn’t about to change his methods. […]

“If these two sides can constantly focus on what the real opposition is, and that should be the Democrats — look at what they’ve done to the state, you don’t need me to go through all the numbers,” McQueary said. “That should be the focus of every conversation that these two gentlemen have and party should have going forward.”


State Republicans took a shellacking in the midterms. Former state chairman Pat Brady told the City Club it’s in part because they were out-organized by the Democrats on the fundamentals, like getting out the early vote.

“Listen, I’m not using this as an excuse at all, but they had $171 million to play with. They had gold-plated everything. It was something none of us has ever seen, but the reality is it’s what we have to face in 2020. That’s what we’re up against.”

The state GOP does have a billionaire – Governor Bruce Rauner – but whether he going to be willing to spend even more millions on organization after his loss remains to be seen.

I just don’t think that much of anything is going to change between now and 2020, when President Trump is likely to be on the ballot for reelection. The suburbs are gonna be brutal yet again for Republicans.

They should focus mostly on Downstate (where the President will help), while doing the best they can to defend suburban incumbents and make an effort at picking off some of the fluke Democratic winners. Start early, work hard and smart and hold Gov. Pritzker to his promise to veto a redistricting map that isn’t fairly drawn and then help make sure his veto isn’t overridden by Democratic super-majorities.

Also, find a way to get Dick Uihlein back on the same page. With Rauner and his checkbook making an exit, these primaries will only drain the resources necessary for the general election.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

Yes, something can be done

Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

* An April 26, 2018 Sun-Times editorial

This week, Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson reported that Chicago police routinely fail to notify the Illinois State Police when they recover a firearm from someone who is a “clear and present danger” to themselves or the public. State law requires such notification within 24 hours.

With that information, the state police could then revoke that person’s FOID — Firearm Owner’s Identification — card because of mental unfitness.

Yet in 37 cases that Ferguson sampled in the last 3 ½ years, that notification never happened.

It’s scary to think that after officers transported someone who had a gun to a mental health facility, as happened in those 37 instances, they failed to take every step possible — and as required by law — to make sure that person’s gun was confiscated and not returned. It’s even scarier to contemplate, given how routinely the police encounter unstable individuals, the hundreds of other times when officers, knowingly or not, have no doubt ignored the law.

To their credit, the Chicago Police Department has responded quickly to Ferguson’s findings, updating orders to clarify when and what officers must do to enforce the mandate. But CPD has not been the only broken link. State police also have fallen short.

We reported back in 2015 that state police were largely ignoring a law requiring that they track guns owned by thousands of people whose FOID cards had been revoked for mental health reasons. A Chicago Tribune report in February 2017 found things hadn’t changed much: State police revoked more than 11,000 FOID cards the previous year, but rarely took guns away as a result.

Fixing this problem needs to be a top priority of the incoming Pritzker administration. And whomever is nominated to run the Illinois State Police needs to be pressed hard on this issue during the Senate confirmation process.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Monday’s heroes

Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

* Tribune

A Chicago police officer and two other people were killed in an attack at a South Side hospital Monday afternoon that sent medical personnel and police scrambling through halls, stairwells and even the nursery in search of victims and the shooter before he was found dead.

Officer Samuel Jimenez, on the force less than two years, was gunned down as he went to the aid of other officers who had been called to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center around 3:20 p.m. about an assault. Jimenez, 28, was married with three small children. He’s the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty this year, the most since 2010 when five officers were fatally shot. The first was Near North District Cmdr. Paul Bauer, killed Feb. 13 outside the Thompson Center.

“Those officers that responded today saved a lot of lives,” said Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “They were heroes because we just don’t know how much damage (the shooter) was prepared to do.”

Police had been called to the hospital after Juan Lopez, 32, confronted emergency room doctor Tamara O’Neal, apparently over a “broken engagement,” sources said. By the time Jimenez and his partner arrived on the scene, Lopez had shot O’Neal repeatedly, standing over her as he fired the last shots, according to police sources and witnesses.

“When they pulled up, they heard the gunshots, and they did what heroic officers always do — they ran toward that gunfire,” Johnson said. “So they weren’t assigned to that particular call, but they went because that’s what we do.”

That’s very true.

* There were some other heroes as well. If you have time today, listen to how the police dispatchers handled this horrible incident. They were calm professionals under pressure who helped focus and organize the police response

[Hat tip: Eric Tendian]

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      

* The way forward
* Yes, something can be done
* Monday's heroes
* Yesterday's stories

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