Bob Fioretti enters race to oust beleaguered States Attorney Kim Foxx

Bob Fioretti enters race to oust beleaguered States Attorney Kim Foxx
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Bob Fioretti enters race to oust beleaguered States Attorney Kim Foxx

Robert “Bob” Fioretti announced Monday his candidacy to challenge controversy-plagued Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for the office in the March 17, 2020 Democratic Primary election. Foxx is best known for bending to political favors to drop charges in the Jussie Smollett hoax, embarrassing the Chicago Police Department (worse than Police Chief Eddie Johnson has done). Foxx has also declined to prosecute individuals involved in retail theft of major businesses whose crimes are under $1,000.

By Ray Hanania

Attorney and former Chicago Alderman Robert “Bob” Fioretti announced Monday (Dec. 2, 2019) that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Cook County State;’s Attorney, challenging beleaguered and controversy-plagued incumbent Kim Foxx.

Fioretti filed his petitions and held a press conference announcing his candidacy in the March 17, 2020 Democratic Primary election. Fioretti joins two Democratic challengers to Foxx who include former prosecutors Bill Conway and attorney Donna More. Two Republicans also filed for the GOP nomination, former Cook County circuit judge Pat O’Brien and Christopher Pfannkuche, who previously ran against Foxx in 2016.

The political nature of Cook County however is that whomever wins the Democratic primary is certain to be elected to the office. Fioretti appears to be the strongest challenger to unseat Foxx whose office missteps have been an embarrassment to Cook County taxpayers. Her biggest blunder is the mishandling of the Jussie Smollett investigation. Smollett, a mediocre TV actor who hoped to bolster his career and public profile allegedly orchestrated a fake racist, anti-Black and anti-Gay “assault” in which he was portrayed as the victim. Chicago Police investigating the alleged crime concluded the assault was a stunt to give the sagging actor publicity. Foxx, who was lobbied by President Barack and Michelle Obama, declined to prosecute Smollett dropping all charges despite compelling evidence of the hoax.

Robert "Bob" Fioretti announces Dec. 2, 2019 his candidacy for Cook County State's Attorney.

Robert “Bob” Fioretti announces Dec. 2, 2019 his candidacy for Cook County State’s Attorney. Photo courtesy of Bob Fioretti

In announcing his candidacy, Fioretti asserted that Foxx “is in way over her head” in the county’s top prosecutorial office. He said he is the only candidate in the race with the experience-governmental, private sector and political to make the changes necessary.

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Fioretti touched on the Jussie Smollet scandal saying Foxx’s handling of the case “is reason enough to vote her out of office. She made Cook County the laughingstock of the world. But its only the tip of the iceberg.”

The long time civil rights attorney said the people of Cook County are less safe due to Foxx’s policies of “coddling of violent criminals, shoplifting felons, and campaign contributors show a jarring and unacceptable disrespect for victims, business owners, taxpayers and police officers who put their lives on the line to make us safer every single day.”

Fioretti noted that as Alderman he took a comprehensive approach to fighting crime in his ward. In addition to his strong support of law enforcement, Fioretti said he created more than 8,000 jobs and fought for good schools in every part of the city. He was also the loudest and most vocal critic against closing both the city’s mental health clinics and the more than 50 schools Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed at the same time.

Studies by former Alderman Dick Simpson and others have shown that Fioretti was the most independent Alderman during his time on the Council. Fioretti said he would conduct himself the same way as State’s Attorney “No phone call from anyone-no matter how important or powerful, and no campaign contribution will affect any decision I make.”

Fioretti said if elected he will restore “the dignity of the office” after Foxx’s mishandling of the Smollet case.

More than 28,000 petition signatures will be filed on behalf of Fioretti’s campaign today. The primary election is March 17th, 2020.

Here is Fioretti’s announcement speech.

I’m Bob Fioretti. I’m running for State’s Attorney. I say to those who share my embarrassment about the current officeholder, I need your help. Removing her and restoring the dignity of the office is your fight too. I will conduct myself as State’s Attorney the same way I did as Alderman. No campaign contribution, no call from anyone-no matter how important or powerful, and no corrupt political boss will influence a single decision I make.

Let’s be honest. Kim Foxx has been a disaster. Its time for her to go. She’s in way over head. The pathetic handling of the Jussie Smollet case is reason enough to vote her out of office. She made Cook County the laughingstock of the world. But its only the tip of the iceberg. Open warfare between her office and law enforcement must end. Her coddling of violent criminals, shoplifting felons, and campaign contributors show a jarring and unacceptable disrespect for victims, business owners, taxpayers and police officers who put their lives on the line to make us safer every single day.

All my adult life as a civil rights attorney, I’ve stood up for those ignored, bypassed or steamrolled by society. As Alderman I was a voice for the voiceless. For eight long years I stood up relentlessly against a corrupt machine, sometimes seemingly alone. Whether it was voting ‘No’ on a record property tax increase, ‘No’ on red light cameras, ‘No’  on six out of eight bloated and corrupt city budgets, or being the most vocal and loudest opponent of mass school closings, I fought tirelessly for the values we share. In the middle of all that, I survived the devastating effects of tonsil cancer, giving me a greater empathy for those who suffer from hopelessness and despair due to things beyond their control.

I served as an assistant Attorney General, assistant Chicago Corporation Counsel under the first woman AND the first African-American Mayor, and as Democratic Committeeman for eight years. I understand the best way to fight crime is to combine strong support of law enforcement with the resources necessary to build strong communities in every party of the county. That’s why I created more than 8,000 jobs in my ward, fought for great schools in every neighborhood, founded Operation Safe Passage, spoke loudly against closing the city’s mental health clinics, and advocated for hiring 1,000 more police officers.

I am the only candidate for State’s Attorney who has the necessary experience-government, private sector and political-to make the office of State’s Attorney a model for which every resident can be proud. I’m the only candidate who has proven experience fighting for our values in both the public and private sector.

I’ve won four elections and lost four. Recently, I’ve run for Mayor, Cook County Board President and State Senator, each time I ran against a corrupt and morally bankrupt machine. But the machine fights back. Every time they doubled or tripled down on resources and misinformation about me. Losing those races hurt, but that hurt pales in comparison to the pain and suffering of victims of violent crime and their families, taxpayers being gouged by bloated spending, business owners who see sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise walk out the door, and every person who knows the system DOES NOT speak for them.

Some ask, why run again? The answer is obvious. Change is badly needed. I believe I’m the best person to bring about that change. So I’m running.

In closing, as I travel around the county, people from all walks of life approach me to express support of my fight for them against the machine. They say “Please don’t stop fighting.” They know I was the first to talk about ending Aldermanic privilege, TIF reform, changing the way we redistrict, ending red light cameras and so much more. They know I fought for everyone-victims, taxpayers, law enforcement and the wrongly incarcerated regardless of skin color or zip code-with a vengeance like few others in public life.  And today I say to those who approached me-to all those who agree that change needs to come to the State’s Attorneys office-‘It’s your fight too’ and only together will we bring about that change. Thank you.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

Click here to listen to Ray's Political Podcast. 

Hanania's columns are archived on his personal website at RayHanania.com. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.
Ray Hanania

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