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Fall-Out From National Guard Plan Continues

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 27, 2010 6:20PM

There's still plenty to talk about in regards to the call from State Reps. John Fritchey (11th) and LaShawn Ford (8th) to mobilize the National Guard in the city to quell violence. So far, both Gov. Quinn and Mayor Daley have not taken to the idea. While acknowledging something must be done to bring the homicide rate down, Quinn was against the idea, saying, "The notion of trying to step in, in any way step on the toes of people who are on the front line every day fighting crime in tough neighborhoods, I think is really not the way to go." Daley is also using the discussion to further his gun law crusade: "This is all about guns, and that's why the crusade is on. We hope to get their cooperation in Springfield." Of course, there's the matter of that Supreme Court case...

Others are making their opinions known, too. While Rev. Jesse Jackson backs the idea, two other local leaders side with Quinn and Daley. CPD Union head Mark Donahue said, "Members of the Chicago Police Department can handle the situation with the proper resources. Right now, the proper resources needed are more police officers." And the Sun-Times talked to Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Illinois, who pointed out that violent crime in the city has been on an overall decline and that there are better ways to go about fighting violence.

"It's a good scare tactic. But the brothers would unify to fight the system. You would have a throwback to the Black Panthers...Chicago has come a long way in regard to getting homicides down if you look at the tale of the tape. Right now, what is lacking in the city is that people involved in violence prevention need to collaborate better."

CBS 2 took a different route and dug up a Fritchey comment from 2008 when Blagojevich made a similar suggestion in 2006 and uses it to claim Fritchey has reversed course on the idea. But that's not exactly true. CBS 2 quotes Fritchey as saying: "Hey, let's deploy the National Guard in Chicago! Oh, I never discussed it with anybody first? Oops!" Well, given the context that CBS 2 presents, it seems to be neither for or against the idea so much as a criticism of Blago's decision to make a call for something without discussing it with anyone first, something Blago did on multiple occasions (such as with the Free CTA Rides For Seniors plan). When CBS 2 approached Fritchey about it, he backed up this line of thought: "I didn't comment. I don't think that's a real shot, but I would say, in 2008, I don't know if then governor Blagojevich had much credibility on any issue."