Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
Isn’t it amazing!
State Senator Donne Trotter tries to pack a piece onto an airplane and, presto, those intrepid reporters at the Chicago Sun Times suddently discover all sorts of interesting things about Donne’s Night Doings.
The ink’s hardly dry on his bail paperwork and already those Times’ journalistic sleuths Natasha Korecki and Chris Fusco have discovered that “The security company employing state Sen. Donne Trotter has been paid more than $350,000 as a subcontractor on a City of Chicago security deal and is represented by a politically powerful lobbying firm run by a onetime top aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley.”
What a shocker!
And there are more sudden revelations: “Records show that AllPoints Security and Detective Inc. is represented by Chico & Nunes, a lobbying firm headed by Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico. Chico & Nunes is a registered lobbyist with the city and its specialty is certifying businesses to become women- and minority-owned companies. That distinction gives them a leg up to win city business.”
Is the ubiquitous interlinking of Chicago’s political-interests incestuous, or what?
Donne chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee and he does…something…maybe…for a company represented by Gery Chico’s lobby-law firm; he heads the Illinois State Board of Education.
What’s next: Jack Lavin on the AllPoints Board of Directors?
Oh, and did we mention that the Executive Director for Business Development and Marketing at AllPoints used to work in the Office of the Mayor of Chicago, in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, at Cook County Stroger Hospital, and at the Chicago Urban league – all in Public Relations or Communications functions.
But hey, so what? Everyone not working in their first job has to have worked somewhere else, and the city, county, and state employ a lot of people. A whole lot.
Donne apparently has trouble living on his $90 grand from the Illinois State Treasury so he moonlights as a .25 cal pistol-packing security guard? (Is it okay to laugh out loud at this point?)
In the meantime, Illinois ranks 5th place among states with the highest debt-per-capita, at $21,607 per person And the guy who heads the Senate Appropriations Committee is night security guard? Stop it – you’re killin’ me.
You just can’t make this stuff up – assuming it’s true and Donne’s job responsibilities are not turning off the men’s toilet lights on even-numbered Thursdays, in months with an “r”, during alternate Leap Years.
So all of a sudden, the Times discovers Donne’s side job. Plus, the dogged reporters find that “The company [AllPoints] has made $49,000 in campaign contributions to local and state politicians since 2002, including to Daley, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and $500 to Trotter.”
They don’t call it “pay-to-play” cause it’s bingo.
Donne has been a favorite to take over J.J. Jr.’s job as a member of The United States House of Representatives and the Times just now learns that he moonlights for a security company represented by Gery Chico’s lobbying law firm, and that the company had made contributions to Donne’s campaigns?
Wow! It’s as though the reporters at the Sun Times have awaken from a Totter coma.
Or, was all this stuff common newsroom knowledge and recent circumstances provided a convenient opportunity to use it – before the Trib did?
Thomas Barton, Political Commentator
ABC 7 News dissed distinguished Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter by announcing his arrest at O’Hare Airport for having tried to take an “unloaded .25-caliber pistol and an ammunition clip containing five bullets in a carry-on bag onto an airplane”.
What’s the big deal?
Chicagoans all know, or should, that Trotter is “anti-gun”. For example,
“In 1995, Trotter voted ‘no’ on narrowly-defeated legislation to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is the only state in the nation where citizens have no concealed carry rights. Two years later, he voted ‘present’ on a measure that ultimately passed both the Senate and the House that would have reduced the penalty for getting caught with a concealed firearm. That bill died through amendatory veto by then Gov. Jim Edgar.
There’s more. While police sources said that Trotter did have a valid firearms owner’s identification card, (FOID), it listed his Springfield office as his address, in apparent violation of state law requiring the card carrier’s residence be provided. It will be interesting to see if that pistol was registered in Chicago, as required by city ordinance.”
Picky, picky, picky.
According to ABC 7 News, “The senator has a FOID card and was licensed to carry the weapon on his job. However, [Asst. State’s Attorney] Scaduto told the court the gun was not registered in the City of Chicago. “ So? What’s the problem? Register it now.
Look, all we need is a standard retroactive administrative adjustment (SRAA) to square-up Donne with the law. How hard can that be in the Chicago judicial system? What - two phone calls hard?
He needs to “carry the weapon on his job” down in Springfield, we’re told. Of course he does. It’s a lawless place down there. Shootouts regularly break out in the Capital Building on the floor of the Senate. Gang bangers abound.
So what if Donne wants his piece on an airplane? He’s not a terrorist – except maybe when it comes to Illinois finances. We won’t talk about that, though. Sorry I mentioned it.
Recall that, once-upon-a-time, Chicago’s early and leading advocate of a strict ban on handguns was none other than First Ward Alderman Fred Roti, who, thanks to the testimony of former mob lawyer turned informant Robert “Bob” Cooley, was revealed to be a member of the Chicago mob. The Outfit doesn’t want average citizens packing either - just its wise guys.
But nobody is accusing Donne of being mobbed-up just because he’s against citizens carrying a weapon, although he does. He’s special. He’s an important Illinois State Senator, for heaven sakes. Come on - he needs self-protection.
Donne wants Jesse Jackson Junior’s old congressional job. Don’t forget, J. J. Jr. is a self-described martial arts expert, making his hands lethal weapons. They let him fly without handcuffing him.
(Although they might have flown him in handcuffs had he not resigned, but that’s another story – only lightly covered by the Chicago media, by the way.)
So let’s give Donne a break. Stop dissing him!
Haven’t we all had occasion to recall, at the last minute, that we’re packing a piece as we’re about to climb aboard?