Morrison: 'Shame on Paddock Publications for giving in to JB Pritzker’s temper tantrum'

Dear Editor,

Shame on Paddock Publications for giving in to JB Pritzker’s temper tantrum. 

Here’s how they should’ve responded to his pathetic withdrawal from a candidate forum over a little legitimate public criticism: “Grow up.” 

Does Paddock Publications really believe in First Amendment press and speech rights?  Do they really want an informed electorate and robust debate?

Up until recent distribution of LGIS papers, many Illinois residents were completely unaware of the implementation of and sweeping implications for Illinois’ controversial criminal justice law—the Safe-T Act.

It goes into effect January 1—conveniently for incumbents who supported it, after this fall’s elections.

JB’s mouthpiece says the papers are guilty of slander. 

How so? What in them is false? 

In fact, the Governor himself is guilty of disinformation about the Safe-T Act.  

Last week he told reporters the Safe-T Act was, “addressing the problem of a single mother who shoplifted diapers for her baby, who is put in jail and kept there for six months because she doesn't have a couple of hundred dollars to pay for bail.”

That is an obvious canard. That sort of scenario isn’t happening anywhere in Illinois nor could it.

State law already provides, “a person subject to bail on a Category B offense shall have $30 deducted from his or her 10% cash bond amount every day the person is incarcerated.”

Immediately after Pritzker made the false statement, his staff ended the press conference. Neither he, his staff, nor reporters subsequently have corrected the record.

For almost 2 years, police, elected State’s Attorneys from both parties, and others concerned about growing risks to public safety have been sounding alarms about the full ramifications of the new law. 

The urgency and uproar is regarding the new policies for violent criminals—not desperate single moms and diapers.  

It’s about unnecessarily handcuffing and complicating the already difficult and dangerous jobs of our police and prosecutors. It’s going to unnecessarily make more victims in neighborhoods and counties across the state.

The general public is finally waking up, and that has supporters of the bill, including Governor Pritzker, worried.

Paddock’s management claims it is “extracting itself” from a business relationship as a printing vendor to LGIS.  But it’s an arrangement that became controversial only after Pritzker and his staff contrived it to be one.  

JB and his team are upset because embarrassing information and hard evidence of poor governance is getting them unwanted public attention and criticism.

Take note: Paddock Publications just willingly bowed to our billionaire governor to help silence dissent. 

Tom Morrison

State Representative (IL-54)

Palatine, IL