Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Don’t get fooled again; vote for Vallas

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By Ray Hanania

As much as he tries, Brandon Johnson can’t get away from comments that he made about the most important issues facing Chicagoans, his support to “defund” the Chicago police and comments he made defending looters, criminals who destroyed and robbed hundreds of stores after the George Floyd protests.

At the time, Johnson, who was a Cook County commissioner of little note, pandered to the anger and animosity that was whipped against the Chicago Police and law-abiding citizens who believe that criminals should be punished, not coddled.

Vallas has also said some controversial things and, as an education leader, implemented policy some in the community didn’t like. But implementing education policies are far less significant than empowering criminals by defunding the police and defending looters.

In the end, Johnson symbolizes a weak response to fighting crime but more importantly, protecting law-abiding citizens–whether they are white, black, Hispanic, Asian or any other ethnic or racial group.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

The irony is that criminal violence is greater in the African American community than in many other communities, and someone needs to stand up and provide more protection to blacks to ensure they are safe.

Johnson, who is African American, was elected to the Cook County Board–unseating hardworking centrist incumbent Richard Boykin, who also is African American. Johnson was backed by the radical group “Our Revolution,” which openly advocated for the rights of accused criminals and advocated the Defund the Police campaign.

Johnson is trying to backtrack on his past remarks as he sees many African American and Hispanic voters gravitate away from his radicalism.

He frequently advocated at rallies and speeches to “defund” the Chicago Police as a means of punishing all police, stereotyping all police–black, white, Hispanic, Asian and Arab, as needing to be punished. Johnson exploited the rallying cry for political points.

Johnson often said that looters needed to be understood because they were merely trying to right an unfair system, rather than seeing them as the criminals that they really are. Today, he tries to backtrack by saying all he meant was we “need to understand the pain of people.”

That played well when Johnson was a member of the Cook County Board who did little but embrace slogans and partisan political rhetoric, never introducing a single piece of legislation that would help constituents and taxpayers or businesses.

Even if you don’t like Vallas because of his strong positions on improving education, you don’t want to ignore the danger of a candidate like Johnson, who deep down advocates for defunding the police and defending looters, poses to Chicagoans.

Worse is how Johnson tries to excuse his past comments, recognizing that they hurt him politically. In other words, he is only saying what he is saying because he thinks he needs to help his candidacy. He doesn’t care about the safety of Chicago citizens, families, seniors, voters or taxpayers who have all been victims of crime regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.

In contrast, Vallas has spoken out forcefully about confronting crime and making Chicago safe.

I have not driven to Chicago in nearly two years because of the dangerous environment of crime created by the pro-crime policies of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and incompetent outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

What Chicago needs is a mayor who is not afraid to be tough on the criminals, who will hold criminals accountable, and impose tougher punishments to prevent them from skipping through Foxx’s broken criminal justice system so they can go back on the street and commit worse crimes.

How many criminals got reduced punishments from Foxx and then went out and committed more crimes including murder? There are many examples of criminals who used guns in commission of crime who were given leniency by Foxx who then went out and killed people months later.

On March 1, gangbanger Steven Montano, according to police, shot and killed Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso.

Montano had been arrested on June 28, 2022 in a gun-related shooting of a victim. His two accomplices included a young teen who Montano was teaching how to shoot rival gangs.

Instead of sending Montano to prison, Foxx gave him “an alternative to prosecution” because he was 18 years old, dropping the tougher felony charges. Montano served 25 hours of “community service.”

On March 1, police said Montano opened fire on Officer Vasquez-Lasso near the Sawyer School playground, killing him.

That death is on Foxx.

Don’t let history repeat itself by voting for Brandon Johnson. If you care about safety and fighting crime, vote for Paul Vallas for mayor and take a stand against criminals.

(Ray Hanania is a former Chicago City Hall reporter and award-winning columnist. Visit hanania.com.)

5 Comments

  1. KT True on March 26, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    I give no credence to the opinion of someone who has been afraid to even go into the city in two years about who should run the city. Worry about who runs the city you actually live in.



    • Bob on March 27, 2023 at 4:38 pm

      It’s a shame people are afraid to visit city, this city has turned into a cesspool, I blame our current mayor and Kim Foxx for not being tough on crime and pandering to criminals.



  2. Marine on March 27, 2023 at 1:36 am

    Sweetie im afraid to go into the city too and live in the south burbs like
    Many of us! I appreciate his article and time! Thank God someone is intelligent enough to speak up about a man who
    Lives on the west side and can’t clean it up!



  3. AVA on March 27, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    I so agree with you all. But I am afraid, because the climate of the world right now is supporting the wrong doing people and praising them for their wrongs. Folks who can see clearly and who think logically and morally are becoming extinct. Johnson is clearly out of his element but unfortunately Chicago is his element. Even if Vallas wins, he will have so much push back from the “community” his job will be all uphill. The West side of Chicago is not just a “community” it is a way of living that has had generations to grow and fester. God help us all.



  4. Yoh Mama on March 28, 2023 at 12:46 am

    I’m not afraid to go to the city. I have my conceal and carry and I keep my hand in my jacket pocket at all times. I don’t know what I’ll do when it gets warmer though.



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