Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday defended his assist for sweeping legal justice reforms he signed into regulation final yr and dismissed GOP candidate Richard Irvin’s accusation that it performed a task in regulation enforcement officer deaths as unfounded political exaggeration.
“Richard Irvin is exaggerating as a result of he doesn’t actually perceive the regulation. It looks like in case you’re operating for governor, you ought to grasp the regulation. The regulation that he’s referring to is one which largely doesn’t go into impact till subsequent yr,” Pritzker mentioned of Irvin, the mayor of Aurora and one among 5 Republicans operating for governor.
“He additionally misunderstands what that regulation is about. It could hold individuals in jail who might in any other case afford to get out of jail. These might be very violent criminals. And it permits people who find themselves nonviolent criminals who could also be in jail for a petty offense, and simply don’t have $100, to get themselves out of jail,” the first-term governor mentioned.
Pritzker’s feedback, made at an unrelated Chicago information convention, got here a day after Irvin used his first sequence of media interviews since saying his candidacy Jan. 17 to contend the legal justice regulation Pritzker signed a yr in the past had led to elevated outbreaks of violent crime and had a task within the deaths of eight regulation enforcement officers.
“Eight cops have been killed within the line of obligation since that invoice has been signed,” Irvin mentioned. “In fact signing that invoice impacts crime on this state.”
Lots of the regulation’s provisions, together with one Irvin cited that does away with money bail, take impact subsequent yr. However Irvin mentioned the regulation was emboldening criminals although it has largely not gone into impact.
“The criminals realize it’s coming,” Irvin mentioned.
Pritzker mentioned on Friday that “The truth of the matter is that we’re defending individuals by enacting this regulation.”
“There are lots of extra issues that we have to do to combat crime,” he mentioned. “We’ve acquired to verify we’re investing within the issues that police want. We’re investing within the issues that communities have to elevate themselves up.”
Republicans have sought to make use of outbreaks of violent crime, together with the signing of the legal justice reform regulation, to painting Democrats as delicate on crime. The GOP is especially pushing the message within the suburbs, which had historically been Republican strongholds however have not too long ago favored Democrats.
Pritzker mentioned he supported robust sentences in opposition to individuals who assault or kill a police officer and bristled at Irvin’s criticism.
“I attend the funerals of cops. I speak to relations within the wake of the deaths of their beloved one who was a primary responder,” Pritzker mentioned. “So, nobody wants to inform me in regards to the seriousness of the assault that has taken place on a police officer as a result of I really feel it, I speak to these individuals, sadly, too often. But it surely’s additionally one of many necessary duties of being governor.”
Pritzker made his feedback as one other of his potential Republican opponents, businessman Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg, named Kathleen Murphy as his operating mate. Sullivan wanted to call a lieutenant governor candidate to flow into candidacy petitions for the June 28 major poll as a result of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor should run as a workforce.
Murphy is a longtime aide and media companion of former state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, working in Ives’ unsuccessful campaigns for Congress final yr and for the GOP nomination for governor in 2018.
In April final yr, Murphy acknowledged plagiarizing a Chicago Tribune story about mail-in voting in an Ives’ congressional fundraising e mail, calling it an “oversight.”
Extra not too long ago, Murphy and Ives have been companions in a political outreach group known as “Breakthrough Concepts” that has currently centered on organizing protests at suburban faculty boards over state masking necessities.
The group additionally has featured Murphy and Ives on conservative politically oriented podcasts. In a podcast hosted by Murphy, she related the famed Chicago political phrase “We don’t need no one that no one despatched” to “Albert Mikva.” The phrase grew to become a part of the town’s lexicon because of the late congressman, federal choose and White Home counsel Abner Mikva, who heard it from a ward heeler when he sought an early political job.
With Murphy’s addition, all 5 GOP contenders have operating mates. Irvin’s is state Rep. Avery Bourne of Morrisonville; Bull Valley businessman Gary Rabine has Palatine Township Republican Committeeman Aaron Del Mar; state Sen. Darren Bailey of Xenia has former suburban right-wing radio speak present host Stephanie Trussell; and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo has McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield of Crystal Lake.