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Peter V. Bella Posts

ChicagoNow mortus est

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Thirteen years ago, the Chicago Tribune launched a branded blogging platform, ChicagoNow. ChicagoNow contributors published over 100,000 posts. It hosted 300 active bloggers, and drew 25 million page views per month, according to the original community manager, Jimmy Greenfield. Eventually, Greenfield was rotated to other reporting duties and a new community manager took over.

I had two blogs on ChicagoNow, Interesting Chicago, and the Cooking Cop. I eventually spun off the Cooking Cop to its own website. Interesting Chicago was about the fascinating things in this city and a showcase for my freelance photojournalism. After Mr. Greenfield left, things were not the same, and I eventually decided to leave.

There was a benefit to ChicagoNow. When I wrote and photographed events like the Chicago Auto show or the National Restaurant and Housewares show, I received offers to photograph events from event planners. I made a tidy sum from these various jobs. I also got invited to various events to write about them. They offered free food and drinks. I met all kinds of people in various fields. I received free tickets to plays and concerts too from PR agencies to photograph and write about their clients.

There was a strong community of writers at ChicagoNow. Writers blogged about just about every topic imaginable. There were a few gatherings a year that was part social and part professional. I met some great people there. One of whom I worked with later.

When Alden Capital, AKA The Vultures, took over, there was some uncertainty if they would keep ChicagoNow alive. Eventually, Greenfield’s replacement disappeared, which caused more consternation. Then, without warning, the Chicago Tribune pulled the plug on the website. They gave content creators no notice, and they could not retrieve their content. No explanation was given. They just closed up shop and hid in the darkness like cockroaches.

Granted, the Tribune owned the blogging platform and could do what they want. News economics kept changing over the past few years. Add to that The Vultures, Alden, buying the paper, and you have a recipe for a declining once historic newspaper.

However, there are two ways to do things, the right and proper way and the lower than low life despicable way. The right and proper way would have been to give the bloggers notice so they could retrieve their material. They took the lower-than-low life despicable way, shuttering ChicagoNow with no notice.

Former ChicagoNow bloggers on social media are rightfully furious over the situation and are scrambling to find other venues to continue their writing. The problem is that their followers have no way to find them. They will be starting all over again from scratch. I know how hard that is. But, with social media and time, they can rebound.

As for the Chicago Tribune, I am torn about canceling my online subscription. It is no longer the great historic paper it used to be. But, there are still good people who work there and provide content I enjoy.

The gift that keeps on giving

“The things that need to change are the fact that the city of Chicago has become the O.K. Corral with shootouts and homicides every night because people don’t feel safe,” Bailey told a crowd of about 100 people, many of them farmers during the forum in rural McLean County. “It’s real. Especially on the South Side where they’re being ignored.” (Chicago Tribune)

I was not going to write about GOP gubernatorial candidate, Darren Bailey again. But, damn, I just cannot help myself. He is like syphilis, the gift that keeps on giving. He keeps ranting and raving like a lunatic about things he knows nothing about.

I am a lifelong Chicagoan. I spent almost 30 years as a Chicago Police Officer. When I bash City Hall and other local politicians, I do so from a position of knowledge and know-how, as in knowing HOW THINGS WORK or should work in this city. Bailey knows nothing.

Governor J.B. Pritzker and Darren Bailey, gave what the Chicago Tribune described as “back to back” speeches at the Agriculture Legislative Roundtable in Lexington, Illinois. Bailey, a millionaire multi-generational farmer, should have shone like a star. He knows agriculture and the agriculture business. Instead, he had to wallow and roll in the manure talking about Chicago crime, something he knows nothing about. I do not believe downstate farmers care one wit about criminality in Chicago. It was a farming conference, not a crime or urban issues conference.

Instead of sticking to his knitting and discussing his area of expertise, he went off on another rant about Chicago. He bashed Chicago and Governor Pritzker’s supposed failure to curb criminality in our city. Bailey’s lack of knowledge and potential abuse of the governor’s powers make him unfit to hold the office of governor or any other public office.

Pritzker is not just some “entitled heir to a fortune,” as Bailey called him. Before he became governor, he was a business executive. A simple search showed the extent of his business holdings employing over 10,000 people.

Like Pritzker, Bailey inherited his wealth, a large farming operation. He is not and never was a member of the middle class or blue-collar communities. One could say he was born with a golden corn cob in his mouth. He also owns a freight company and construction business. He is the pot calling the kettle black while throwing stones inside glass houses. Pritzker released his income taxes. Bailey refuses to. What is Bailey hiding? Or is it his love of freedumb? If he is not required to do it, he won’t. Is Bailey a tempestuous two-year-old?

Chicago is the economic engine of Illinois. Illinois is a major national agribusiness state, from small farmers to farmers like Bailey, who own thousands of acres of land. Agriculture is a big business in Illinois. Bailey should have talked about how he would be a benefit to farmers and agribusiness- at a farmers’ conference– if by a slim to no chance voters elect him governor.

Bailey just cannot get Chicago off his mind. He is like a madman when it comes to our city. What next? Will he run naked through the streets of Chicago screaming like some mad, drunk Russian poet? It appears Bailey is a one-issue candidate, Chicago crime. Few, if any, people in Chicago will vote for him. He is fighting a losing campaign by ranting and raving about Chicago, especially downstate, which is not affected by Chicago crime.

Bailey is running one of the dumbest campaigns for high office in Illinois history. There is no other way to describe it. His whole campaign is based on gross ignorance. When he loses, Bailey probably will claim the election was stolen and make accusations of massive voter fraud. He may even claim the cemeteries in Chicago emptied out to cast votes for his opponent.

How low can Bailey go

“I don’t think there’s any dispute that I’m African American,” Lightfoot said Tuesday. “I’m Black and I’m very proud of that, so why do you need to blacken what I look like to send this ad out to suburban communities?

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot accuses a PAC supporting Bailey of running a “racist” ad. The PAC is accused of darkening the skin of Mayor Lori Lightfoot from a news clip. There are also video clips of looters with an ominous voiceover warning Chicago crime is coming to the suburbs.

It appears the Bailey campaign went from the manure pile to the sewer. There has been no word from the Bailey campaign about the racial nature of the ad. The only response was from a Bailey spokesperson:

Bailey spokesman Joe DeBose said Pritzker and Lightfoot have control over crime afflicting Chicago “and they should be more concerned with the people being killed and set on fire in the city.” (Chicago Tribune)

People, plural, are not being set on fire. Only one person was, the Walking Man. DeBose knows as little about Illinois government as his boss, Darren Bailey. The governor of Illinois has no control over crime and public safety in Chicago. They know nothing, or they are lying to scare people and garner votes.

Darren Bailey, his campaign, and those supporting his campaign, including PACs and donors, know nothing about urban affairs or issues. Chicago is not some idyllic postage stamp-sized village in the middle of nowhere. Chicago is a major city. Major cities have major issues, including crime. Mayors control cities, not governors.

Political fairy tales start with, “If elected, I promise…” The Bailey campaign is a political fairy tale, a fantasy. Bailey has not said what exactly he would do as governor to curb the rampant crime in Chicago. He offered no solutions or policies. He has none. As they say in Texas, Darren Bailey is all hat and no cattle.

Darren Bailey is the worst Illinois gubernatorial candidate from either party in my voting lifetime (Over 50 years). If you are running for high public office against an incumbent, you should demonstrate why you deserve to oust them. You should have clear-cut policy issues with believable and deliverable solutions. You should be able to articulate them. All Bailey does is blow smoke.

Governor Pritzker angered many in the law enforcement and prosecutorial communities by signing the SAFE-T act, which is anything but. Some claim he should have vetoed or used a line-item veto on certain portions of the legislation. What good would that do? The legislature has a veto-proof majority and could or would have overridden him. It is called reality. The bill does not go into effect until next year. Pritzker and some Democratic legislators promised to take a second look at the legislation and fix issues of concern.

The Pritzker family started in Chicago. Governor Pritzker lives in Chicago. He made Chicago his hometown. Pritzker is a Chicagoan. Some of the violent crimes occur near his Chicago home. If Pritzker had the power to curb the rampant crime in this city, he would have wielded it long ago. Pritzker knows the limitations of his powers. Darren Bailey and his backers do not know anything.

Darren Bailey is in a no lose situation. He gets his mug plastered all over the state. He went from being a nobody nobody knew to a known high-profile commodity. When he loses the general election, he will still have his part-time job as a legislator. He can go back to fighting the fairy tale demons that he has apocalyptic visions of who are destroying Illinois.

Darren Bailey insults Chicago again

IMAGE: PV Bella

“Our legislators are going soft on criminals to the point that they’ve made Chicago a hellhole, friends,” Bailey, who is challenging first-term Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, told an audience of several hundred people at the director’s lawn at the state fairgrounds…

“Chicago, that once great city, well it didn’t become a hellhole just because of (Mayor) Lori Lightfoot and (Cook County State’s Attorney) Kim Foxx. Starting with J.B. Pritzker, our leaders are all in cahoots. They’re knee-deep in corruption. And they don’t care about the working people like you and I. They’ve proven that,” Bailey said. (Chicago Tribune)

Darren Bailey keeps besmirching Chicago, even when he does not know what he is talking about. He does not live here. He knows nothing about Chicago or urban issues. Bailey knows nothing about the criminal justice system. He knows nothing about governance or even “Civics for Dummies.” Illinois governors do not have the power Bailey claims he will wield to tackle Chicago’s issues.

What does Bailey know about urban working people? I know for a fact we are not like him, a millionaire farmer and businessman,

Cahoots? Corruption? Is he accusing Governor Pritzker and Lori Lightfoot of crimes or being part of a political criminal enterprise? Bailey is knee-deep in livestock droppings. He is a legend in his own mind, a hero of a kingdom that does not exist. Governor Pritzker has never been accused of being corrupt or in “cahoots” with anyone. Well, there was that embarrassing toilet scandal, but Pritzker did the right thing and paid the taxes owed. It was not criminal.

Bailey believes he can change Chicago by waving his hands with his staff in one hand and a Bible in the other. He does not realize the Great Comedian took off on vacation on the seventh day and has not come back. He left us to fend for ourselves.

“Asked by reporters later Thursday if he thought Chicago residents believed they lived in a hellhole, Bailey said, “I believe they do because it’s unsafe. But it’s going to change. Chicagoans deserve better. I call it out, friends, and you know that.” (Chicago Tribune)

I do not know any Chicagoans who “believe” they live in a hellhole. How is Bailey going to change what does not exist? Bailey’s ego is so big that the only reason he does not walk on water is he doesn’t want to get his s**t kickers wet.

Chicago is still a great city. Yes, it has some intractable issues that were over a century in the making. So do other great cities. But how does a candidate who knows nothing about urban problems going to solve anything? Chicago faced crises in the past, and we will overcome the current public safety crisis. We live here. Bailey does not. He lives in a postage stamp-sized medieval village.

Darren Bailey is the worst gubernatorial candidate from either party in my voting lifetime. I do not remember a candidate that was so ignorant and unlearned. Bailey makes stuff up as he goes along. His horse manure might fertilize the minds of downstate voters, but intelligent people know the difference between s**t and Shinola.

Darren Bailey is an extremist theocrat, a White Christian Nationalist. He made an anti-Semitic comment comparing abortion to the Holocaust. He claimed rabbis verified his claim, though he did not name them or their congregations.

After the 4th of July mass shooting and murders in Highland Park, Bailey gayly said people should just set it aside and celebrate the nation’s founding. Bailey’s freedumb loving patriotism has no compassion, sympathy, or empathy. The man is devoid of human feelings. Hell, he may not even be human. He should provide a DNA test to prove it.

Darren Bailey refuses to release his income taxes. He is a supposed millionaire farmer and a businessman. What is Bailey hiding? What is he afraid of? Who is he in cahoots with? Bailey is a freedumb lover, so he will do nothing he is not required to because, you know, freedumb.

Bailey and Pritzker agreed to two televised debates. Pritzker is going to eat Bailey alive and wipe the floor with him. Bailey will have to polish his stand-up comic skills because he is a grim joke. A cheap hustler, a charlatan, and a fraud. He will prove it during the debates.

Bailey’s chances of winning the election are slim to none, and Slim left Illinois, joining the Great Comedian on an island beach somewhere. Even if Slim returned, Bailey is still going headfirst into a buzz saw. When he loses, Bailey can go back home and pretend to be some heroic freedumb fighting, rootin, tootin, shooting, som of a gum patriotic hero wrapped in Old Glory, the Stars and Bars, or maybe both.

Make-believe is a beautiful thing.

Velveeta Martini?

IMAGE: Velveeta

Ah, it is almost that time of year. That overblown coffee shop, Starbucks, will roll out that disgusting pumpkin spice coffee to all the precious fools who can’t get enough of it. They will wait in long lines to get it like addicts at a dope house.

Another disgusting treat will follow, Candy Corn. For Easter, there are Peeps. When my daughter was young, it was a fad to assassinate Peeps by microwaving them. Even young kids would not eat them.

In Chicago there is Malort, a horrible tasting liquor that some people cannot get enough of and brag about drinking that swill. But wait, there’s more. There is cookie dough whiskey. There is also Alaskan salmon-infused vodka.

It is bad enough that people in Chicago still insist on putting ketchup on hotdogs, a thoroughly disgusting practice.

If all the above is not disgusting enough, along comes the Velvetini. A Velveeta-inspired vodka martini. When I first read about this concoction, I had to double-check check I was not reading the Onion or some other comedy site. Velveeta teamed up with the BLT Restaurant Group to sell the $15.00 concoction while supplies last.

The Velvetini is described as “unapologetic, outrageously cheesy.” The Velvetini is made with Velveeta infused vodka. It is garnished with Velveeta stuffed olives, Velveeta mac and cheese shells, and the glass is dripped with melted Velveeta cheese. They also have a DIY kit with all the ingredients except the vodka, along with the recipe. (It is sold out. Yeah, and they let these consumers vote too).

Just what America needs. What will they dream up next? Maybe a pizzatini, an Italian beeftini, a corndogtini, a PB&Jtini or a hamburgertini? Geeze, it is not bad enough that high-end Bloody Mary’s are a meal in a glass.

This is a terrific marketing ploy for Velveeta, and the publicity gives their brand cachet. Just the thought of drinking one makes me want to blow chow.

Hell, maybe Starbucks will come up with a pumpkin spice coffeetini in their stores that sell alcohol. That will give the oh so precious people with no palate something to wait in line forever for.

Show us David Brown’s contract now

IMAGE: PV BELLA

Political logic- All liars are not politicians. All politicians are liars. Politicians give liars an excellent reputation.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot ran a campaign promising to end the Chicago Way. She promised transparency and accountability. She provided neither. Lightfoot is just as secretive and unaccountable as her predecessors. She lied.

She conducted the negotiations with NASCAR in private. It appears much of the 10-year negotiations with the Lollapalooza contract were done in a proverbial smoked filled backroom too. Who knows what else she does behind closed doors?

There is one other thing we know nothing about. Superintendent of Police David Brown’s contract is a secret. The city never made it public. She did not make the negotiations to bring him here from Dallas public.

This is important because she refuses to fire him over his total incompetence. One could speculate there is a termination clause in the employment contract with a huge payout if they fired him before the contract expires.

It is time Brown’s employment contract is made public. He is not technically an employee. He is an appointee. The city deserves full transparency over Brown’s hiring. The city deserves full accountability too.

We could ask why the news media is not questioning City Hall over Brown’s contract or serving a FOIA on the city for an unredacted copy. It would be a waste of time, as they are the mayor’s public relations firms and are enamored of Brown like super charged hormonal teenagers. They do not criticize him over his proven continuous failures or lies.

No past mayor would tolerate Brown’s long list of failures. No mayor would allow the total devastation of morale and esprit de corps in the police rank and file that Brown created. Every day we see violent crimes all over Chicago. On any day, any of us could be an innocent victim of a violent crime. The streets are not safe. Public transit is not safe. There is no safe in Chicago.

Yet, the mayor stands by her man. Brown is still employed and continuing to fail the citizens of this city. It is intolerable that failure is his only plan, tactic, deployment, or strategy. Time and time again.

We deserve answers. Why is failure the plan and strategy? Why is Brown still the Superintendent of Police? Why is Mayor Lightfoot protecting Brown? Why the secrecy over his contract?

Brown’s unredacted contract with the city should be made public immediately. We deserve answers. Lightfoot keeps supporting a failure. We need to know why. Lightfoot failed us. She shirked her most important duty, public safety. She is more concerned with bread and circuses, public appearances at weekend events, and her image as a good-time party hearty mayor than keeping the city safe.

The Chicago news media is failing us. They are cowards. They just nod and smile at all the lies coming from the notorious Fifth Floor of City Hall and Brown’s daily dishonest media availabilities. The big lie is alive and well in Chicago. The Chicago Way continues.

Mayor Lightfoot does not deserve another term in office. She failed the city. Lightfoot proves daily she is not fit to be mayor of Chicago.

David Brown brought discredit and shame to the Chicago Police Department. He does not deserve to wear the uniform he disgraced. He is inept and out of his league. He knows nothing about Chicago and refuses to learn. In effect, he is not only incompetent. He is ignorant.

Make his unredacted contract public. Let us see the truth.

Pete Rose is a disgrace to baseball

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I love baseball. If soccer is deemed “The Beautiful Game,” baseball should be called “The Elegant Game.” I won tickets to Friday’s Cub’s game against the Marlins. The tickets were on a patio in the far corner of right field. All the food and drink were free. It was too hot and humid to drink beer or eat. Every now and then, you could see the humidity hanging in the air on the field. The Jumbotron showed the pitcher. His arms were glistening with sweat.

I still enjoyed the game. Wrigley Field was filled almost to capacity. Aside from the heat and humidity, it was a great afternoon. There is nothing better than being in a ballpark watching a baseball game.

Along comes Pete Rose, again making the news for all the wrong reasons, embarrassing himself, and tarnishing the game of baseball. What should have been a celebration of a past World Series turned into a nightmare for the Philadelphia Phillies and Major League Baseball.

After attending an on-field celebration of the 1980 Phillies, Rose refused to answer questions about allegations from a 2017 lawsuit. “It was 55 years ago, babe… Asked later by another reporter, he said: “I’m going to tell you one more time. I’m here for the Philly fans. I’m here for my teammates. I’m here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago? You weren’t even born. So you shouldn’t be talking about it, because you weren’t born.” (NYT)

No one ever told Pete Rose that “no comment” is the appropriate response in situations like this. He had to put his big ego and bigger mouth on display for the world to see. It guarantees he will never get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For several years, there have been attempts by fans, some supposed sports journalists, and others to get Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His astounding playing record makes him eligible. Rose’s past conduct does not. Pete Rose was investigated and admitted to gambling on baseball and placing bets on the team he managed, the Cincinnati Reds. There were allegations he associated with members of organized crime because of his gambling.

Major League Baseball punished him with a lifetime ban from the league, making him ineligible for nomination into the hall of fame. So, let’s stop all the nonsense about nominating him. He will never be nominated unless MLB lifts the ban. MLB should never lift the ban, not even posthumously. Rose is a disgrace to the game and the league.

In 2017 there were allegations Rose had sex with minors in the 1970s. One, Jane Doe, came forward claiming he had sex with her when she was 14. Rose said he thought she was sixteen, the age of consent in Ohio. Rose was never investigated or charged as the Statute of Limitations lapsed long before the allegations came forward.

His responses, quoted above, are another reason Rose should never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose showed he has no class. He is crass and crude. He later apologized to the female reporter who asked the question, but the damage was done.

One could argue the question was inappropriate for that time and place. But “no comment” would have been an appropriate response. Calling the reporter “Babe” was totally inappropriate and sexist. Rose does not understand or care that people still care about what happened over fifty years ago when it comes to allegations of sex with minors by sports “heroes.”

Pete Rose ruined what should have been a celebration. He turned it about himself and not the team he played with. His responses were cringe-worthy and beneath the dignity of Major League Baseball. Pete Rose will be remembered for his baseball record and his disreputable behavior. His conduct across the board disqualifies him from the Hall of Fame forever.

Chicago is not safe

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“Incidents like these, whether on the CTA or in our neighborhoods have no place in this city,” Brown said. “It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. No resident should think twice about their safety on any part of the CTA or in our neighborhoods… Incidents like these, whether on the CTA or in our neighborhoods have no place in this city,” Brown said. “It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. No resident should think twice about their safety on any part of the CTA or in our neighborhoods.” (CPD Superintendent David Brown/Chicago Tribune)

I am a citizen of Chicago. I do not think twice about my safety. I think three, four, or five times about it. I am concerned about my safety and the safety of my fellow citizens. Contrary to the hyperbole coming from City Hall and Superintendent David “Tex” Brown, Chicago is not a safe city. Brown is enamored with himself and his love of pornographic data and data analysis. He is a true legend in his own mind.

Superintendent David Brown is not fit to wear the uniform of the Chicago Police Department. Every day he discredits the department and the police officers who work on the streets of this city. Morale is low and esprit de corps is nonexistent.

Former Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, once said the Chicago Police Department was going “fetal.” The Chicago Police Department is now in a state of paralysis. There is a crisis of leadership, and it starts at the top, with the inept Superintendent David “Tex” Brown.

Brown knows nothing about Chicago, its neighborhoods, the Chicago Police Department, or anything else. Brown is a know-nothing. He could not be bothered to learn anything except the numbers game. Correction, the manipulated numbers game. And I say that from experience.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot did a great disservice to the city when she appointed Brown. She is doing a greater disservice by not firing him and replacing him with a knowledgeable competent leader. Someone who knows how things work.

The Chicago news media is also doing a great disservice to the city by not demanding Brown be fired. They just believe all the livestock droppings he spews at his media availabilities. Not one supposed reporter ever questions his veracity. Neither do their editorial boards. It is a pity. Chicago was once a historic center of fearless and courageous journalism. Now, it is nothing more than a PR firm hyping a false perception of City Hall and the Police Department.

The mayor and Brown believe that perception is reality. Since the city is now wide open, they are trying to convince the citizens and tourists with their dollars that the city is safe when the opposite is true. At any hour of any day anyone can be the innocent victim(s) of violent crime on the streets, on public transportation, in people’s homes, or any place in Chicago. That is the reality.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Superintendent of Police David Brown are the main divers of the large-scale violence plaguing Chicago. They created the perfect storm for the devastation of public safety in Chicago.

Darren Bailey get off my lawn

Image: PV Bella

Chicago is where I was born and raised. I worked for the city for almost thirty years. I know this city and the real issues we face. Some are severe. Some are of crisis proportions.

I really detest anyone who runs for public office, criticizing my city when they know nothing about Chicago or urban issues. Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey falls into the know-nothing category. Bailey has no workable solutions to any of the serious issues Chicago faces. If you go on his website, you will find nothing of substance. Just livestock droppings.

Bailey espouses whatever he thinks certain fringe groups like to hear. When he talks about Chicago, he sounds like a less-on. (Lower than a moron) Where is Will Smith when we need him?

Bailey wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune. He put his total ignorance about urban affairs, crime, business, education, policing and Chicago on display for all the world to see. Bailey’s ignorance shone brightly. He is a true Know-nothing.

Bailey claims that rising crime drove Boeing, Caterpillar, and Ken Griffin out of Chicago. Caterpillar’s corporate headquarters was NOT in Chicago. It was in Deerfield. Maybe Bailey should study geography.

Boeing is moving its headquarters to Virginia for a specific reason. They are going out of the commercial airline manufacturing business. They are going to concentrate on building military aircraft. It makes sense to have their headquarters near Washington, D.C. They are keeping a corporate presence in the city. So, they did not leave.

Ken Griffin leaving Chicago is no significant loss . He is also keeping a presence here. The only ones who may lose out are the non-profits Griffin donates to. There will be no economic dent in the city’s economy.  

Businesses come and go. If some leave, others replace them. That is the economic nature of big cities. Bailey knows nothing about urban economics. Boeing left, Google is expanding its footprint in Chicago. They bought the Thompson Center and will move into it after the building is refurbished.

Bailey thinks he can solve Chicago’s crime problems. He should read Civics for Dummies. The governor does not control the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Court system, or the State’s Attorney’s office. He railed against the passage of ending cash bail. Bailey is a legislator. Not once has he produced a bill to repeal the act. As governor, he will run into a super-majority Democratic legislature. How is he going to repeal or enact anything? More, how is he going to get anything done? Bailey is delusional.

Bailey wrote a whopper of a lie in his op-ed piece. He claimed Mayor Lori Lightfoot defunded the police. She increased the budget of the Chicago Police Department.

Bailey tossed out some data about education in Chicago. There was no context. There are other factors outside the education system that are failing too many CPS students. Poverty, lack of parental participation, food, and housing insecurity, and lack of early education, just to name a few. As I wrote, Bailey has no grasp of urban affairs.

Baily offers no substantive solutions because one, he has none, and two, he does not know what he is talking about.

Bailey should stick to what he knows. Farming, construction, postage stamp village life, and the Bible. By the way, no one elected the Great Comedian or appointed him to public office. Baily’s Christian Nationalism is a fish-flapping non-starter. Bailey does not realize he will run headlong into a woodchipper on Election Day.

Worse, the Chicago Tribune ran that pile of Bailey’s livestock droppings with no fact-checking.

Best Wishes James Murphy

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“I know it’s tough times right now, but I love this town,” he said. “This is where I was born and raised. I love the good, the bad, I love it all.” (Former Cook County prosecutor James Murphy/Chicago Tribune)

If you want to know who a real Chicagoan is, look no further than James Murphy.

James Murphy is a true son of Chicago. He has a sense of place. He loves Chicago. Murphy resigned from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office last week after 25 years of service. He sent what the media described as a “blistering” criticism of Kim Foxx’s management of the prosecutor’s office.

“If this administration was truly concerned with effectively fighting violent crime, then they would fully staff those courtrooms and units. Not create more useless policy positions on the executive staff at the expense of hiring more (assistant state’s attorneys) who can work in the trenches.” (Chicago Tribune)

When a respected veteran prosecutor implies that enough is enough, you know there are serious issues. According to the Chicago Tribune, the turnover rate at the State’s Attorney’s office is high and morale is at “rock bottom.” Only morale in the Chicago Police Department is lower.

“However, I can no longer work for this administration. I have zero confidence in their leadership.” He later added: “This administration is more concerned with political narratives and agendas than with victims and prosecuting violent crime. That is why I can’t stay any longer.” (Chicago Tribune/Emphasis mine)

As a police officer, I witnessed how hard prosecutors worked to get justice for the victims of crimes or their families. They fought battles every day in the courts. They spent long hours day after day building cases to take to trial.  

Under Kim Foxx, and Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago no longer has a criminal justice system. It was turned into a criminal system. There is little justice for the victims. No one speaks for them. Not Kim Foxx, not Superintendent David Brown, not mayor Lori Lightfoot, not Chief Judge Tim Evans.

The system’s policies are not working. People are suffering, grieving, and mourning. People all over this city live in fear. Neighborhoods are not safe. Public transit is not safe. There is no safe in Chicago.

There is only the narrative, driven by politicians, the police superintendent, and their water carrier, the Chicago news media. It appears public criticism of failing policies is taboo in this city.

Elections have consequences. Chicago is suffering the consequences of elections and the people politicians appoint. Even if Chicago had a competent Superintendent of Police, and morale was high, it would make no difference.

No matter how hard they work or how many people they arrest, if cases are not prosecuted and violent criminals are released on low or no bail, public safety is futile. Cops are now fly fishermen. Criminals are caught and released so other cops can have the joy to catch and release them.

I served in the Chicago Police Department for almost thirty years. I never witnessed this level of incompetence and failure in the criminal justice system. Incompetence and failure are the public safety policy in Chicago.