Posts Tagged ‘chicago riots’

Lori Lightfoot

 By John Ruberry

A poll with surprising findings was released on Thursday by Fox Chicago about Chicago’s mayoral election on Friday. Yeah, yeah, I know, many political polls about the recently concluded congressional elections were wrong, and there were serious polling errors in 2016 and 2018 as well. But stick with me here.

The mayoral poll, conducted by M3 Strategies, shows that US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is favored by 28 percent of respondents, followed by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas at 19 percent, incumbent Lori Lightfoot at 15 percent, and Willie Wilson, a businessman and philanthropist, at 13 percent. 

There are eleven candidates for mayor of America’s third-largest–for now–city, although petition challenges might winnow the field. The first round of voting, along with races for alderpersons in each of Chicago’s 50 wards, as well as for city clerk and treasurer, will be held on February 28, if no candidates achieve a majority in their races, the top two candidates are matched in an April runoff. 

So, if the poll is correct, that means that Lori Lightfoot, who in my opinion is America’s worst big city mayor, she won’t make it to the second round. Lightfoot’s term in mayor has been disastrous on many levels–too many to list here.

On the latest episode Fox Chicago Flannery Fired Up show, host Mike Flannery said about crime, “nearly three-fourths of Chicago voters now say is their number one issue.” Lightfoot, as a candidate said that the crime levels of 2019 were “unacceptable.” Flannery then fact checked Lightfoot’s recent statement that “we are down 15 percent in homicides, 20 percent in shootings.” But those are numbers looking back to last year. Flannery did the right thing, scolding Lightfoot.

“When she took office in 2019,” Flannery said, “she inherited a dramatically declining rate of bloody street violence, but the medical examiner reports that homicides this year are 41 percent higher than in 2019.”

It’s easy to understand why Lightfoot is polling so terribly. M3 Strategy’s Matt Podgorski was a guest on that Flannery Fired Up installment, of the incumbent he said, “You’re looking at a situation where [there is] a negative view of 74 percent of likely voters and about 70 percent of them think she does not deserve another term. Only two percent of Chicago voters haven’t formed an opinion of Mayor Lightfoot.”

“Those are unprecedently bad numbers,” Podgorski concluded.

I can’t see a way out for Lightfoot. Apparently, Chicago voters, up to a point, aren’t completely stupid. 

Besides her inability to stem Chicago’s rise in violence–which her apologists point out is part of a national increase in mayhem while failing to mention that Los Angeles and New York, which are more populous, have lower murder totals–Lightfoot’s petulant and overbearing COVID-19 lockdown policy produced a tragic irony. After she spotted a large group of males congregating on a beach, the next day she ordered Chicago police officers to enforce the closure of that beach. Later that day, cops did next to nothing as rioters tore up and looted Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue shopping district. 

Lightfoot has acted bizarrely, once allegedly told an Italian-American group who supports the return of Chicago’s Christopher Columbus statues to public view, “I have the biggest d*ck in Chicago.” She once went full-Jack Nicholson in The Shining in a repetitive email rant. 

Chicago voters, as I alluded earlier, still have much room for improvement. Chuy Garcia, then a Cook County commissioner, surprisingly forced incumbent Rahm Emanuel into a runoff in the 2015 mayoral race, running to the left of Emanuel. In 2016 Garcia endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Last year the leftist magazine In These Times, in a collaboration with the Chicago Reader, gushingly wrote of Garcia’s working with the Squad in Washington, “It’s not surprising that García has taken up with Congress’ left rebels.” 

Garcia enjoys a sizeable lead in the Fox Chicago poll. Garcia collected $2,900 from indicted FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Worse, the Protect our Futures PAC spent over $150,000 on glossy mailers to introduce Garcia to new voters in his redrawn congressional district, even though Chuy was running unopposed in the November election.

Buying something, SBF?

What about the other two top contenders to replace Lightfoot? Willie Wilson, a gadfly candidate who somehow has convinced some Chicago conservatives he is one of them, can arguably–because of his regular grocery and gasoline giveaways--be called a vote buyer. Paul Vallas, another perennial candidate, is the only mayoral candidate talking real sense about crime. Unless I missed something, he’s the only mayoral candidate who is explicitly critical of Cook County’s catch-and-release prosecutor, Kim Foxx. 

Whoever is Chicago’s next mayor, the, ahem, winner faces a monumental series of challenges. Besides crime, the mayor will have to cope with a declining tax base, as businesses are fleeing. And Chicago’s pension bomb looms–eventually it will explode. Chicago is the most corrupt city in America. And what about the lead in Chicago’s water pipes?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Now that New York’s Bill De Blasio has been term-limited out of office, America’s worst mayor is Lori Lightfoot of Chicago.

This week Lightfoot will announce she is running for a second term, from an unusual location, Chicago’s West Side, a largely overlooked part of the city, except in regard to violent crime. At her side, according to Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, will be three West Side aldermen, each of them black. 

Chicago’s candidates for mayor will face off in a late February election. If none of them receives 50 percent of the vote, the two candidates who tallied the most votes face off in an April runoff.

In his most recent Chicago Way podcast, John Kass, as he interviewed former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, spoke of racial politics, which has plagued Americas’ third-largest city for decades. “Lori Lightfoot has gone from presenting herself as an agent of change,” the former Chicago Tribune columnist remarked, “to an able practitioner and player of the race card.”

A year ago, to mark the two-year anniversary of her inauguration, her office sent invitations to reporters for one-on-one interviews with a restriction–only reporters of “color” were requested.

But Lightfoot has another joker card up her long sleeve, the gender card. Last week, in what you would think should been an opportunity to offer a message of healing and unity–kicking off Pride Month–Lightfoot is a lesbian by the way, she and Governor JB Pritzker dedicated Chicago’s AIDS Garden. It was at that event where she dismissed criticism of her turbulent three years as mayor by her opponents.

“Another day, another man who thinks he can do his job better than me,” Lightfoot said.

As America’s worst mayor, there are plenty of men–and women–residing in Chicago who can do better. 

Crime has skyrocketed since Lightfoot moved into the fifth floor of City Hall. In 2019, according to Hey Jackass, there were 603 carjackings reported in Chicago. Last year there were 1,848. In 2021, AP reported, there were 797 homicides, 299 more than in 2019. 

Apologists for Lightfoot will blame the COVID-19 epidemic, but Chicago’s lockdowns were among the nation’s most severe. Infamously, in August of 2020, on the same day Lightfoot cracked down after a large group violated her ridiculous ban on entering the expansive Lincoln Park on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront by dispatching a heavy police presence there, looters that night mowed through the city’s Loop and Magnificent Mile shopping areas downtown. Those areas were still recovering from the late May riots after the murder of George Floyd. This led to a continuing exodus from that area that includes the Gap, Disney, and Macy’s. It will take decades for Chicago to recover from what another blogger, whose name escapes me, called “the Night Chicago Died,” referencing the 1970s pop hit by Paper Lace

The Loop, the Magnificent Mile, and the immediate surrounding area is the driver of Chicago’s economy. The rest of the city is simply along for the ride. 

The retail departure hasn’t escaped Paul Vallas’ attention. “I used to say a number of years ago,” he said in that Kass podcast, “when I ran [for mayor] last time, that Chicago was Detroit with a thriving downtown–now I can’t even say that.”

Back to the lockdowns. Lightfoot all but sanctioned the large outdoor celebrations in Chicago after Joe Biden was declared by the media the winner of the 2020 presidential election, which occurred a few days before she issued new lockdown orders in time for Thanksgiving–on top of the others that were already in place.

I wonder if knowledge that two years later gasoline would double in price would have muted those flash mob gatherings?

To be fair, Chicago and its Cook County suburbs are burdened with a Soros-funded politician, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who is more of a woke social worker than a prosecutor. Lightfoot on occasion has spoken out against Foxx, but her criticism has been guarded. Foxx, a Democrat like Lightfoot, is of course best known for the special treatment she gave since-convicted race-hoaxster Jussie Smollett. Foxx deserves some blame for the fall of Chicago too, as does another wokester, Timothy C. Evans, Cook County’s chief judge.

Will Chicagoans reelect America’s worst mayor?

UPDATE June 7:

In a video that was released today, Lightfoot officially announced her reelection effort.

Yesterday, Lightfoot bizarrely attacked Kim Foxx, who she endorsed for reelection in 2020 in what should have been a tough Democratic primary for the radical prosecutor. “Given the exacting standards that the state’s attorney has for charging a case, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt – when those charges are brought, these people are guilty,” the mayor said, but quickly adding, “and of course they’re entitled to a presumption of innocence.” Some more back story: Foxx is the former chief of staff for Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle was Lightfoot’s runoff opponent in the 2019 mayoral election–she’s a leftist too.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

Blogger in front of an abandoned Chicago building

By John Ruberry

On Wednesday Joe Biden is expected to visit Chicago, a city where he won over eighty-percent of the vote and he prevailed in all of the city’s 50 wards.

Which makes today a good time to ask, “How are things going in Chicago?”

Not well. 

Chicago is on pace to suffer from more murders than any year since 1996, when 796 people were slain. Last year 774 people were murdered–but just 509 in 2019.

Rioting (excuse me liberals, I meant to say “civil unrest”) and looting hit Chicago in two waves in 2020. North Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a significant cash cow for the city, was hit especially hard. The new year got off to a bad start when the flagship store of the ritzy Water Tower mall on the Mag Mile, Macy’s, announced it was leaving. The Gap pulled out in late 2020. This summer Disney announced it was leaving North Michigan Avenue as well as shuttering its other Illinois stores

Last week in her budget address the city’s embattled mayor, Lori Lightfoot, proposed aggressive spending fueled by a one-time injection of federal COVID-19 funds. Gimmick spending is a recent and unfortunate Chicago tradition. In 2008 Mayor Richard M. Daley, who inherited none of the financial smarts of his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, sold the rights for all of the city parking meters for 75-years for $1.15 billion. Nearly all of the cash from that deal was spent in just two years. Thirteen years earlier the younger Daley sold the rights to the Chicago Skyway for $1.7 billion–that money was similarly squandered. Ten years later the Skyway rights were re-sold for $2.8 billion–and taxpayers collected none of that windfall.

Also part of the Lightfoot’s budget proposal is the monumentally stupid idea to send $500 to 5,000 random families, likely a starter plan for Chicago guaranteeing a universal income. Who would be paying for that? Since the cash comes from COVID-19 relief funds it will be American taxpayers. Don’t blame me because I voted for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile Chicago’s public worker pension plans remain the worst funded in America. Because of that alone Chicago is bankrupt-in-name-only. 

Redistricting of Chicago’s 50 wards is coming soon and that will ignite a firestorm. African-American leaders expect to keep their majority in 18 of those wards even though the black population decreased by nearly 10 percent between 2010 and 2020 according to the US Census. The white population increased slightly and the Hispanic and Asian populations went up by a bit more. Surprising everyone is that overall Chicago’s population increased by almost two percent between the most recent Census counts.

Meanwhile Chicago’s streets are in terrible shape and drivers have to struggle with seemingly omnipresent red-light cameras. Lightfoot has added a new twist to Chicago motorists’ misery. Drivers captured by cameras going just six miles over the speed limit are being fined. Of course that’s not as horrible as being carjacked. In 2019, according to Hey Jackass, there were 603 carjackings in the city, last year that number soared to 1,396. So far in 2021 there have been 1,070 carjackings in Chicago. As with shootings, the arrest rate for Chicago carjackings is abysmally low.

Don’t expect the largely compliant mainstream media, even if Biden takes questions during his Chicago visit, to query the president on Chicago’s myriad of problems. 

UPDATE September 28: Yesterday former alderman Ricardo Muñoz of the 22nd Ward pleaded guilty to corruption charges. According to the Chicago Sun-Times he admitted to “wire fraud and money laundering, admitting he took nearly $38,000 from the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus to pay for personal expenses like skydiving and a relative’s college tuition.”

Since 1973 over thirty current or former Chicago aldermen have served time in federal prison. Don’t forget there are just 50 members of the Chicago City Council. Three current members, Ed Burke, Carrie Austin, and Patrick Daley Thompson are under indictment. That last one is a nephew of Richard M. Daley.

2nd UPDATE: He’s not coming to Chicago after all. Biden will stay in DC to peddle his infrastructure boondoggle.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is one of Chicago monuments “under review.”

By John Ruberry 

Last week in my DTG post I wrote about the Chicago Monuments Project, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s response to last summer’s riot surrounding the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park south of downtown.

The committee for the project earlier this month identified 41 monuments, mostly statues but also plaques, reliefs, and one painting. Five of the monuments are statues of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that guy, the one who led the Union during the Civil War, which led to ending slavery in America. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, that slogan has been emblazoned on every Illinois license plate for decades. His face is on all standard Illinois license plates. On every Illinois driver’s license and state ID card is Lincoln’s countenance–and automobile titles too.

Other monuments “under review” by the project include statues of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Leif Erikson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, several pieces honoring Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, and works featuring anonymous Native Americans. 

But don’t worry! Really! In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published last week–on Washington’s birthday–three of the project’s members assured us:

Various accounts, especially on social media, have inaccurately described this project as an effort to tear it all down. This could not be further from the truth. It is a discussion.

I don’t believe them. The “discussion,” in my opinion, is a first step to, yes, “tear it all down.” Liberals work by way of incrementalism. Many left-wing politicians, probably most, want to ban private ownership of guns. They can’t express that sentiment because of the predictable outrage–and it could mean that they’ll be voted out of office. So they start with the easier targets, such as bans on semi-automatic rifles. If they succeed they’ll move on to other firearms, ending with the banning the type of handgun Mrs. Marathon Pundit purchased this year.

So the Chicago Monuments Project is beginning with “a discussion.” Without pushback that discussion very well may devolve into moving statues in the wee hours, which is what happened to two Christopher Columbus statues, including the one at the center of the riot, into storage. Both of those statues of the Italian Navigator are on the project’s “under review” status. 

It’s not just social media users and conservative news sources that have objected to the Chicago Monuments Project. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, Lincoln biographers Sidney Blumenthal and Harold Holzer wrote, “The Orwellian idea of removing Lincoln from Chicago would be as vain as an attempt to erase the history of Chicago itself.”

The editoral board of the Chicago Tribune–paid subscription required–favors keeping the Lincoln stautes.

Lori Lightfoot even weighed in, “But let’s be clear, we’re in the Land of Lincoln, and that’s not going to change.”

But I’d like to explain to you that the other monuments are also worth keeping. Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves but he freed them and he later became an abolititionist. Ulysses S. Grant, when he was under tremendous financial hardship, freed the only slave he owned. Grant of course was the commander of all Union armies in the Civil War. George Washington’s slaves were freed after the death of Martha Washington. Yes, Washington is the Father of our Nation.

Other than being white, I can’t astertain why Marquette and Jolliet, or Leif Erikson, are “under review” in Chicago.

The source of the rage against Lincoln likely comes from his approving the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors in 1862. But Abe commuted 264 Dakota War executions. There were atrocities in that conflict committed by both sides. Here’s what a Norwegian immigrant described in a letter at that time, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society:

The Indians have begun attacking the farmers. They have already killed a great many people, and many are mutilated in the cruelest manner. Tomahawks and knives have already claimed many victims. Children, less able to defend themselves, are usually burned alive or hanged in the trees, and destruction moves from house to house.

If the Chicago Monuments Project is about education, then it probably means that Lightfoot sorely needs one. “In time, our team will determine there are no monuments to African Americans in this city,” Lightfoot said last summer while announcing what has become the Chicago Monuments Project. “There are no monuments to women. There are no monuments that reflect the contributions of people in the city of Chicago who contributed to the greatness of this city.”

But in her namesake park on the South Side stands a Gwendolyn Brooks statue. Brooks was the first African-American to serve as Illinois’ Poet Laureate. A couple miles north of that statue is the beautiful Victory Monument, which honors a World War I African American regiment, and a bit north of that one is the Monument to the Great Northern Migration. I believe each of these are on city of Chicago or Chicago Park District property.

Does Chicago need more monuments featuring women and minorities? Absolutely. It can also benefit with a Ronald Reagan statue. The Gipper is the only president who was born in Illinois and the first to live in Chicago, although the apartment where he lived as a child was razed by the University of Chicago in 2013.

Click here to view the monuments in question. To express your comments about the Chicago Monuments Project please click here. Please be courteous. And if you Tweet this blog post–please do!–use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Make your voice heard. They’ve begun to listen.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.