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Serve and Protect and Ticket

Like 99.9999 percent of the people I have met, I have never run a police department or been a police officer. My guess is it is a job that has components us civilians can’t understand. One component that comes to mind is with  Chicago on track to at least equal the 3,000-shootings that occurred in 2016, and CPD clearance rates of homicides still below the 30 percent mark; why are police officers writing tickets in residential areas at night.

EighthWard Alderman Michelle Harris

The city’s Eighth Ward is home to two exceptionally popular night spots – The Family Den and the Dating Game Lounge. The side-by-side locations in the 8900 block of Stony Island attract millennials, octogenarians and just about everyone in between.

Parking on Stony Island fills up early and stays that way for much of the night. Club latecomers are relegated to spots a few blocks unless they want to risk a parking ticket. That’s right even at 11 p.m. CPD SUVs pull up on the street immediately west of Stony and start writing tickets.

This has to be one of the most extreme revenue hustles in Chicago. Isn’t there a better use of CPD personnel than writing tickets at night? Yes, these men and women enjoying the clubs are parked illegally, but wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to give overtime to some of those same people we see walking the street during the day issuing tickets? It simply seems that with crime at its current level, Alderman Michelle Harris would push Chief Eddie Johnson to have officers fan out into the parts of the ward where the real crime is going on. The move obviously is not a deterrent as on any given night every available parking spot on that street-Harper-are taken for at least a couple of blocks from the clubs.

Nothing is safe from the watchful eye of CPD ticket enforcers 

CPD police officers go through extensive training to become part of the department. They bring a special skill set not found in the general public. It’s insulting to put that training on the back burner so the city can get a few more bucks. Is the ticket writing part of why the city has been shelling out more than $100,000 in overtime pay the last few years?

Sure, the city is making money on the tickets. One has to wonder though, wouldn’t they make even more if those lower on the pay scale were doing the work? Check the math Superintendent Johnson.

Tio Hardiman is at it again

I now have to wonder if Tio Hardiman understands what a governor does. Hardiman, who is far better known for his anti-violence work than anything related to government or politics, is hinting at another run for the state’s top office. It seems if he understood what the job entails and his lack of any level of governmental experience, he would run the other way.

If he follows through, this campaign would be more bizarre than his previous attempt in 2014. According to his latest Facebook post, Hardiman mistakenly believes the 125,000 votes he garnered back then was an endorsement of his candidacy.

Former Gov., Pat Quinn

The reality is a significant number of those voters were voting against former Gov. Pat Quinn-not so much for Hardiman. No doubt a sizeable number of Mr. Hardiman’s tally came from people like him, who don’t really understand the role of a governor.

Just like in his earlier bid, Mr. Hardiman looks like he will rely heavily on social media. It is a strategy that makes sense when one is without the ability to raise the kind of money it takes to run a viable campaign.

Personally, Mr. Hardiman has a point when he derides the fact that the wealthy – Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker are gobbling up the vast majority of media attention for the race. However, Mr. Hardiman showed a practically never seen level of naivete when he suggested that one of them back him financially.

Chris Kennedy

JB Pritzker

Normally, when such deals are struck they aren’t conducted in the public’s eye and the person needing or requesting that kind of backing is believed to have a chance of winning.  Mr. Haridman has not demonstrated any fiscal management experience. That is going to be key for whoever the next governor is as he or she attempts to sort out the damage done by the incumbent to the state’s budget and scores of agencies that rely on state funding.

Although both men are propped up in everything they do by virtue of their last names, both Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Pritzker can lay claim to being at the helm of large national enterprises. Mr.  Kennedy also has the advantage of the last name that has been favorably associated with  African Americans and Democrats for more than a half of a century.

To date, both men appear to be scandal free. However, it is early as neither has been a declared candidate for two months yet.

The real race for the governor’s job is far more likely to see Mr. Hardiman a distant fourth once Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers quits fawning with voters and gets in the race.

Kurt Summers, Chicago politics,

City Treasurer Kurt Summers

By his own admission, the trial balloon, or email in this case Mr. Summers sent was overwhelmingly well received. He was exploring how an array of voters would view his candidacy. A second email all but said his run is a go. Summers, to date, is the only candidate with a wealth of public sector management experience. The fact that experience is in finance is another plus for him. The learning curve for Mr. Summers would be relatively flat given he has worked at both the county and municipal levels.

Voters who are close personal friends of Mr. Hardiman are likely to justify a rationale for overlooking his missing expertise in finance,

Tio Hardiman-governor is not the job for him

and not even tangential connection to government, and still vote for him. Sadly, if he continues this trail, it will be a wasted vote.



Next issue: Why J.B. Pritzker is wasting everyone’s time trying to be governor.

Willie Wilson please stay out of the race

Set aside the singing, television show, mayoral and presidential runs; and Willie Wilson bears the distinction of being Chicago’s most prominent African-American philanthropist. Most recently he was in the news for bailing out hundreds of Cook County residents who weren’t able to pay their back property tax due to an accelerate collection plan.

Taxes., Willie Wilson, Cook County

Former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson (second left) has re-entered the media spotlight by saving the homes of hundreds of Cook County residents







It was only a month or so ago that Mr. Wilson was dominating the news cycles again thanks to his generosity. That time he was putting up tens of thousands of dollars to gain the release of Cook County jail inmates who were unable to post bail-sometimes as little as $500.

The medical supply magnate’s gestures are certainly without equal. His actions are being much better received than his attempts to be mayor of Chicago or President of the United States.

Men and women who were being held in the Cook County jail were able to go home due to Willie Wilson and his bail money campaign

Both moves were rooted far more in ego, than pragmatism. Although he brought a war chest that made him a potential contender for mayor, his wholesale lack of political and governmental experience doomed each bid before either really got started. Mr. Wilson’s malaprops and overall lack of eloquence was the source of much ridicule, especially among African Americans.

A common description used to describe watching one of Mr. Wilson’s speeches was “painful.” African-American voters were looking for a politically knowledge, thoughtful, and articulate opponent to take on Rahm Emanuel. Mr, Wilson disappointed on all fronts. The 50,000 votes he received in that election fueled Mr. Wilson’s delusion he was destined for public office and he ran for POTUS. That can be summed up kindly as Disaster II.

Mr. Wilson, who has a compelling rags-to-riches backdrop to his life, seems to forget two key things about the top job in any level of government. The first is it cannot be run like a business; he introduced Gov. Bruce Rauner as a friend in 2014 before a predominantly African-American audience at Chicago State University. It’s no secret how Rauner the businessman is faring as Rauner the Governor of Illinois.

Continue Reading…

Are we ready for a Black mayor or governor?

Kurt Summers, Chicago politics,


EDITOR’S NOTE: Not too long ago an informal discussion occurred among a handful of Black men re: the political future of Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers and what was the outlook for him as a candidate for governor or mayor of Chicago. As a result of that discussion lifelong Chicagoan, Antwan Dobson was invited to pen his opinions on the general topic of a Black mayor for Chicago. His observations are below, immediately followed by my thoughts on a Black mayor, and that running for governor might be Mr. Summers’ best bet.

Continue Reading…

Hillary Clinton will be a president in the making for more than 40 years

Bill Clinton may be the first Clinton president
Seeking Democratic nomination for president

Presidential run goes back to the Clinton dating days

For those who read the seemingly interminable Autobiography of

Bill Clinton

Former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton is instrumental in bringing his wife to the victory line for President of the United States

President Bill Clinton – “Between Hope and History” – you might remember a small passage buried in those 1,100 pages. It is a passage about Yale Law School dining room conversation where the yet-to-be married Clintons committed to eventually both being President of the United States.

We have to suspect there are and have been thousands of politically astute couples over the decades who have made similar commitments.  The most intriguing part is from all appearances it looks as though this couple might pull it off. If Mrs. Clinton does become the 45th POTUS it will be a job more than 40 years in the making. Continue Reading…

Presidential candidates shun Black voters.

Some remember the monumental Black National Political Convention held in Gary, In in March 1972. It was convened by former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher and author/activist Amari Baraka and Michigan Congressman Charlie Diggs, both of the latter are now deceased. It was the first time a collective of African Americans exclusively set out to forge an agenda in America focus solely on Black people. This weekend June 10 and 11, the same mission, with another group of African Americans from all walks of life is set to take up the mantle from 1972.

Bobby Seale and Jesse Jackson

Back Panther leader Bobby Seale confers with the Rev. Jesse Jackson during the 1972 National Black Political Convention

The main difference this year is that the top three presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, all were invited to address the convention and be part of a panel discussion. Guess what? Despite a Black captive audience, a near-guarantee of national media exposure, and the opportunity to rebut some of the criticism leveled against them by Black backers, all three refused the invitation. Their refusal speaks volumes about how little they regard connecting with Black voters. Continue Reading…

Lucas, Hobson, and Emanuel blew museum deal by ignoring the little people

George Lucas loses bid for lakefront museum
Mellody Hobson, Star Wars Museum

Mellody Hobson, Chicago native and wife of George Lucas

The fiasco that was to be a Star Wars-themed museum nestling Lake Michigan demonstrated a little discussed fact – the uber rich don’t think like the rest of us.

When George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and his Chicago-bred wife initially proposed the 300,0000 square foot edifice approximately two years ago they sought the blessings of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which turned out to be mistake number one.

Of course there was no doubt the mayor could put the proper spin on why the museum was the best thing to come to Chicago since Lake Shore Drive, and that he knew what numbers to toss regarding how many jobs would be created. He and his predecessor Mayor Richard M. Daley had gone through this drill countless times. Continue Reading…

Rahm should follow the leader

DeVonne Boggan

Instead of repeatedly throwing ideas against a wall to see if any stick Mayor Rahm Emanuel should follow the lead of the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond, CA.,http://_wp_link_placehol der

Gun violence

The mayor should admit he is clueless when it comes to reducing violence

where shootings have dropped precipitously. It has been reported countless times that Mr. Emanuel usually believes he is the smartest person in the room. When it comes to solving the violence issue he doesn’t get a C.

Understandably it is not the mayor’s job to make sure gun violence doesn’t get out of control; but it is his obligation as the city’s C.E.O. to make our streets as safe as possible. That is where he is failing miserably. Continue Reading…

Lack of progress calls for third political party

Tru,[. Sanders, Cruz,Clinton

By LeRoi Brashears

It is time African-Americans to form or join a new political party.  Our support for the Democratic Party has increased steadily over almost 60 years, yet, our political fortunes and standard of living have not truly improved.

1994 crime Bill, President Bill Clinton, crime bill controversy

President Bill Clinton is shown in 1994 signing the crime bill

American Blacks identifying as Democrats went from 58 per cent in 1960 to 76 per cent   in 2012.  In 1960 60 per cent of Black folks voted Democratic compared to 93 per cent in 2012.

Over that period of time, Black unemployment consistently remained twice that of whites—twelve percent for Blacks and six for whites in 1960 to 13.4% for Blacks and 6.7% for whites in 2013 with no favorable “blips” during the tenure of Democratic presidents.

How can such a loyal constituent base be punished so severely by the society the Democratic Party represents?

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Police superintendent can make a difference

Supt. Eddie Johnson
Superintendent Eddie Johnson

Superintendent Eddie Johnson has a tough road ahead convincing residents CPD will be different

It’s difficult to watch a news conference or interview with Chicago police superintendent-in-waiting Eddie Johnson and not think about music. For  Johnson it’s the Mission Impossible theme song that seems to be playing in the background. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrives to talk police, Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way” looms in the distance.  Mr. Johnson takes the helm of the Chicago Police Department when local law enforcement controversy is at an all time high.

Chicago is poised to pay another $4.9 million to the family whose son was subjected to repeated Tasing by CPD officers and drug handcuffed from a cell into a hallway. Click here to read Chicago Tribune story. It is the second such payment in less than six weeks. So Johnson, who took office in the last week of March, is charged with not only turning around what some see as a rogue culture w/in CPD; but getting folks on the South and West sides to see CPD in a less-harmful, less-threatening light. Animosity over the  murder of unarmed 16-year-old Laquan McDonald by former CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke simmers just below the surface in those community. That is Mr. Johnson’s Mission Impossible. Young McDonald’s family also is scheduled to receive a $5 million wrongful death payment. Continue Reading…