Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Political maneuvering, not real policy

Why is Chicago supposedly the “Windy City?”

When Tom Dart speaks ...
It’s because of all the hot air that our political people bloviate every time they open their mouths and spew forth any types of rhetoric.

ANYBODY WHO THINKS that viewpoint is an exaggeration is missing the point, because I’d say that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart gave us the latest example of a political person feeling compelled to speak for no real reason.

Dart recently made a point of saying that he’s coming up with a “concealed carry” ordinance that would dictate under what conditions people living in Illinois’ most-populous (by far) county could actually carry a pistol on their person for their protection.

Of course, if the Illinois General Assembly actually succeeds in coming up with something by month’s end (as a federal Court of Appeals has ordered them to), then anything that Dart or the Cook County Board chose to do would be a moot point.

But there are times when Dart is exactly the kind of political person who likes to hear himself talk. And I’m sure that in his own way, the former member of the Illinois Legislature was also interested in trying to influence the thoughts of those people in the General Assembly who are working on this issue.

AS ENVISIONED BY Dart, people interested in having a permit to carry a pistol on them legally would have to pay a $300 fee. But they also would have to provide justification for why they NEED to have a firearm.

The sheriff also pointed out that someone like a business owner who thinks they may be robbed doesn’t necessarily need a firearm – they could hire a security firm and have guards who are trained in firearm use, rather than having to hold the pistol themselves.

Perhaps that is something along the lines of what Dart would like to see the Legislature pass into law. Which means we ought to take Dart’s talk about “concealed carry” as more of an endorsement of a policy – rather than any kind of legitimate attempt at creating county government policy.

... does anyone in Legislature listen?
And I’m also sure that there are those elements of the Legislature who will hear what Dart has to say, then instantly do the exact opposite.

HECK, HE DOESN’T even have strong support within the metropolitan area.

Because the newspaper accounts about Dart’s pronouncement made a point of stating that a county policy would apply to Chicago, since the city would not have a specific policy concerning the “concealed carry” issue.

That is unique, since city officials usually go out of their way to state that county government is JUST the suburban parts of Cook County with no authority over Chicago proper.

Which is why Chicago police had their PR types tell reporter-type people that city officials will enact their own “concealed carry” policy if the state Legislature fails to act. The city doesn’t want the county to think any precedent is being set for who governs what!

WHICH MEANS EVEN city officials aren’t fully behind Tom Dart getting involved with this issue.

In fact, there’s only one reason that we ought to take anything Dart says the least bit seriously. It’s the fact that he’s absolutely correct when he says the General Assembly isn’t all that reliable when it comes to meeting deadlines.

So June 9 being the absolute limit for the Legislature to act on “concealed carry?” As Dart put it, “Deadlines sometimes don’t mean anything. We have to be prepared in the event something does not get done.”

How many years in a row have we had “absolute” deadlines for pension funding reform? How many decades have we seen a Legislature contemplate casinos or new airports? Doing nothing is something our state’s Legislature is good at.


No comments: