One of the most important duties of the Fraternal Order of Police is also one of the least glorious: dealing with the state legislature.
Monitoring hostile legislation, fighting it, keeping lawmakers informed of the FOP’s stance, and most of all, submitting our own bills is a daunting task.
But Blue Voice presidential candidate Kevin Graham has a plan to resurrect the FOP’s voice in the legislature after it has been so badly diminished during the Dean Angelo administration.
Blue Voice Presidential Candidate Kevin Graham
It’s part of Graham’s plan to assemble a slate of knowledge, experienced representatives, along with new members who have established their own reputation of fighting for FOP members.
“In order to get the FOP back on track, I made sure the right people were on our slate, people who will be working where they belong. Fortunately, we have that with members like Mark Donahue,” Graham said.
Consider how badly the FOP has dealt with the legislature under Angelo. For the first time in the history of the Lodge, the FOP never submitted one bill to the legislature. Not one.
And, just as Angelo has never written a letter to the editor of a newspaper, nor written a guest column, just as Angelo has been the whipping post of the media, the wrongful conviction lawyers, and the politicians, Angelo turned the Lodge into a whipping post for hostile legislation.
What is the greatest sign of just how low the FOP has sunk in the political world of the state legislators?
The Investigative Stop Reports (ISR). A two-page monstrosity that virtually opens the door to the malevolence of the ACLU and their armies of lawsuit-wielding attorneys.
The ISRs emerged without even a tepid fight from Angelo and his private lobbyist.
Would the ISRs have come to be if Graham had put his people in charge? It’s impossible to predict. But one thing is for sure: The ISR reports would not have come to be without a powerful fight.
Angelo’s dismal failure with the state legislature is one of many weak points in his administration. It’s a subject he dances around with the lame deflection that his rivals in the election are lying.
In the face of his failure with legislature, Angelo is clinging to another hopeful life raft this week. Angelo announced with great fanfare that a bill to create a casino in Chicago passed the senate. A casino bill becoming law would be a godsend for Angelo, because he traded $173 million in pension contributions last year in exchange for revenue from such a casino. Up until last week, that casino legislation had never gone anywhere.
But the casino bill has only passed the senate. That’s a long way from getting through the full legislature.
And there is something Angelo neglected to tell the membership when he blasted an email to the FOP members taking credit for it passing the senate: The bill was proposed by the city, not by Angelo.
Talk about desperate. Angelo is now taking credit for bills he didn’t even propose.
In any case, the casino legislation is now crucial, directly tied to our pension funding.
Getting it passed is best left to experienced, proven FOP reps who have the members’ best interests in mind, leaders like Kevin Graham, not an incompetent amateur all too willing to roll the dice on our pension security.