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The [Wednesday] Papers

A second set of five mayoral candidates took part in a Chicago Tonight forum Tuesday night, following a similar debate with five others on Monday night.

"The mayoral hopefuls took stabs at ideas for working around an often dicey relationship between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police to reform a Chicago Police Department that is grudgingly moving toward correcting years of civil rights abuse accusations," the Sun-Times reports.

In a post-Laquan McDonald world, with the city under a federal consent decree, police reform is arguably the campaign's most important issue. And Tuesday night's forum featured two players central to the McDonald case: former police chief Garry McCarthy and police reform task force chair Lori Lightfoot, who has spent a fair chunk of her career in police accountability roles.

"McCarthy said [CPD's] disciplinary process needs to be simplified and taken out of the Police Board's hands.

"The police superintendent is not in charge of the discipline of the CPD, yet he or she is accountable for all that behavior."

My recollection is that discipline was taken out of the police chief's hands many years ago ostensibly to remove favoritism and politics from the process.

"Lori Lightfoot, the former head of the Police Board, said a proper disciplinary system has to include access to officers' full complaint records, which the current police union contract does not allow."

She's not wrong.

"Lightfoot said Mayor Rahm Emanuel has failed to 'stand up to the FOP' and has allowed the union too much leeway in police decisions.

"This mayor has stood silent through outrageous conduct by the FOP," Lightfoot said, claiming Emanuel has given up on negotiations for a new contract.

I'm happy to report that McCarthy's campaign appears to be in the tank, while Lightfoot's campaign appears to have some momentum.

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"FOP leadership had wanted a seat at the table in the consent decree discussions, but a federal judge - and later an appellate court - denied its attempts to intervene," the Sun-Times reports.

That's not really right. The FOP rejected a seat at the table during consent decree discussions as part of its opposition to federal oversight. Only later, once the decree was being finalized, did the FOP try to jump into the process.

As the Sun-Times itself reported last August:

In a 25-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said the FOP waited too long to try to intervene in the federal lawsuit brought by Attorney General Lisa Madigan against the city of Chicago, "despite its clear recognition" through public comments that the case could significantly affect policing in Chicago.

The judge said the state offered to let the FOP enter into a memorandum of agreement - along with a coalition of community groups - giving it the right to raise objections and give input toward the consent decree. But citing state attorneys, the judge said the FOP refused the offer - a decision the FOP doesn't deny.

An appellate court upheld that ruling last month.

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Also:

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"Four of the candidates also criticized police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, saying he should be fired or forced to apply for the job," the Tribune reports.

"Lightfoot criticized the idea of firing Johnson as 'pandering' and said it would be wrong for the next mayor, who will take office in May, to destabilize the department leading into the summer months when violence escalates in Chicago.

"I would keep him through the fall and then I'd have a conversation" about retaining him, Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot, who led the search committee for McCarthy's replacement only to have Rahm Emanuel reject their three finalists in favor of Johnson, who hadn't applied for the position, has talked before about how hard it is to find quality, qualified candidates who want the job, though I wonder how many folks just didn't want to work for Rahm.

At any rate, she also said she didn't want to make the police chief a lame duck on day one.

*

"The candidates also disagreed on their ethics proposals for city government. [LaShawn] Ford and [Gery] Chico agreed that a full ban on outside employment is needed for city aldermen, while [Amara] Enyia, McCarthy and Lightfoot said outside work is OK if it's documented and doesn't present an ethical conflict."

Maybe, but I'd make the waiver process awfully stringent.

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"Marin asked the candidates the two most important questions of the heated race for mayor: Do you put ketchup [on] your hot dogs, and do you drink Malort?"

Can we put an end to these kind of questions? Especially with the ketchup on hot dogs. Enough.

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Monday night:

So, Tuesday night:

This is not an endorsement, but Lori Lightfoot is really hitting her stride.

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Also from the forum:

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More . . .

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Elsewhere on the trail . . .

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

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The Largest Gathering Of Chicago's Nature Lovers
It's the Wild Things Conference, this weekend.

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The Gospel according to Wild Indigo
A beguiling feast of language.

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ChicagoReddit

Fill in the blanks: I'd never vote _________ for mayor because ___________ from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Pathetic Road Rage

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BeachBook

Trump Tax Cut Not Enough; Hugely Profitable Companies Now Seeking Tax Refunds.

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Charter Schools Exploit Lucrative Loophole That Would Be Easy To Close.

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TweetWood
A non-campaign sampling.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Saucy.



Permalink

Posted on February 20, 2019


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