Chicago’s broken, revolving door criminal justice system has led to trouble in paradise between Chicago’s new mayor Lori Lightfoot and her mayoral campaign opponent, County Board Chairwoman Toni Preckwinkle. Meanwhile, as the two powerful women bicker among one another, the bodies continue to pile higher in the Windy City.
John Kass, the well-known Chicago columnist, wrote about the political schism in The Chicago Tribune now that the bickering has become very public.
Here’s the piece from the Tribune:
One big reason Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle are feuding: The broken bond system.
Why can’t Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle just get along and end their feud?
It’s a question being asked by those who are, unfortunately, so tied to their political theory that they drive blind on The Intersectionality Highway.
Both women are Democrats and liberal and African American. And I’m asked as I was on Friday by a nice liberal fellow: Shouldn’t they be able to walk into some sunny meadow, sit on the grass and just settle their differences?
No. Reality doesn’t work that way. Reality has a habit of grabbing political theory by the throat.
And there’s nothing more real for Mayor Lightfoot than dead bodies on the streets of Chicago, mothers and children screaming and residents fleeing her city. That’s what Lightfoot is dealing with.
What is Preckwinkle dealing with? Her politics gone wrong.
The conflict between them is rooted in Preckwinkle’s good intentions paving a road to hell: low bonds for alleged offenders, including some charged with gun crimes, and a broken home electronic monitoring system.
The low bonds and EM programs pushed by Preckwinkle and her protege, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, and, to some extent, by Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans, have reduced the population of Cook County Jail, saving an estimated $160 million a year.
And Kass tackles the key aspect of the failed policy for Lightfoot.
Though such policy buys support from social justice warriors of the left, it offers no comfort to the victims of crime and their families, or to potential witnesses intimidated by the release of violent men.
In simpler terms, Lightfoot’s now faces more blowback and criticism from dead victims’ families than she does from the social justice warriors. To say nothing of national embarrassment at political functions and the media.
And Cook County Board head Preckwinkle? Thus far, she has faced almost no political heat for prodding the Cook County Sheriff to empty his jails. After all, fewer inmates in custody means more money for Preckwinkle and her political allies’ other pet programs. Each inmate in the Cook County Jail costs her roughly $85 per person per day.
Put another way, getting that inmate out of jail, for whatever reason, saves $31,000 annually. Multiplied by a thousand inmates, that’s a cool $31 million for the cash-strapped county.
That’s a lot of extra money for Preckwinkle and her friends to spend elsewhere. But at the same time, that’s about 5000 more criminals out on the city’s streets doing exactly what criminals do.
Kass continues with the obvious:
But eventually, a shooting by someone on home monitoring for another gun charge will involve multiple victims. It will again focus national attention on Chicago’s river of violence.
And Preckwinkle and Foxx, each weakened and seeking reelection, will be asked: Is this your Willie Horton moment?
I’m going to steal that “river of violence” line.
Meanwhile, Murder City USA got its moniker the old-fashioned way: It earned it. In this case it earned it’s shockingly high number of murders through the soft-on-crime liberal criminal justice policies that fail, time and time again, when they’re implemented.