Paul Vallas is clear choice for mayor over Brandon Johnson
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 police 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. And defending law abiding citizens regardless as to whether they are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or any other ethnic or racial group.
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 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 understand 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 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, ignoring the danger that a candidate 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 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 thousands of 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 shot and killed Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso.
Montano had been arrested in 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 of he was 18 years old, dropping the tougher felony charges. Montano served 25 hours of “community service.”
On March 1, Montano opened fire on Officer Vasquez-Lasso at an elementary 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.
(This column appeared in the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper March 28, 2023.)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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