Watch Berkowitz & Martin's update on the IL GOP Governor's primary: Mayor Irvin enters stage right? Will a Gov Candidate target the source of the violent crime problem? Has mega billionaire Hedge Fund manager and investor wizard Ken Griffin committed to finance Irvin? Cable starts Mon & on the Web 24/7 now.

January 28, 2022:

Berkowitz and Martin update viewers on the IL GOP Governor’s primary. You can watch 24/7 Wednesday’s program here. Also discussed is the Illinois violent crime problem (with particular attention to Chicago and Cook County– which may be good prototypes for what goes wrong in various other counties and cities in the State, as well).


You can watch Berkowitz & Martin in Chicago on Cable Ch 21 (CAN TV):

-This Monday night, at 8:30 pm and midnight.

-This Tuesday night, at 9 pm.

and in Aurora on Cable ch 10 (ACTV-10)

-This coming Monday, Wed and Saturday, 6 pm.


Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s entry into the Governor’s race last week expanded the GOP GOV primary field to include five full fledged campaigns. Team Irvin Bourne posted on their site a longish, but polished and well done, three minute video sales pitch.

Berkowitz and Martin discuss a ninety second, or so, clip of that sales pitch, aired during our show. That clip emphasizes what the public is hungering for, at a minimum as a first step and what Irvin Bourne deliver: A promise to do something about Illinois’ and especially Chicago’s and Cook County’s out of control crime. Here is the Irvin Bourne 30 second ad on crime, which is also hard hitting, focused, polished and effective.

Pritzker and The IL Democratic Party don’t even make the promise, apparently because they don’t want to admit there is a crisis of crime- of monumental proportions in Chicago, Cook County and many other parts of Illinois.

So it is as if the IL Dem pols and operatives are saying, “Nothing to worry about, so long as you hide in your residence- continue to shelter in place while we tweak some of our slightly misguided criminal justice reforms. We’ll let you know when you can come out.” Of course, meanwhile, adults and kids get shot at- even in their residences, through their windows.

The No. 1 issue in the Country and Illinois is violent crime. Again, President Biden and Governor Pritzker don’t even try to address it, except for ceremonial speeches about the more publicized deaths of police officers and some victims.

Pritzker does allocate some money in his budget for “violence interruption.” But there is no evidence that such programs have or will even come close to addressing the violent crime epidemic in Illinois. If anything, they might have some long run impact, perhaps in three or four years.

But as to the car jackings, murders, rapes, break and grab, gang bangers running wild now, the Dems have no answer for today, tomorrow, next six months, next year, other than “It’s not so bad and we’re working on it.”

Now the question is whether Irvin Bourne can deliver a complete, comprehensive proposal as to how to get control of violent crime in Illinois, the all important step 2. To begin to solve this problem, a Governor must use his office as a bully pulpit to exercise leadership on this issue over the Legislature, cities and counties, who ultimately can control violent crime, where the rubber hits the road, so to speak.

Let’s see what kind of proposal Irvin Bourne can develop and sell the public on over the next five months. And, then if they win the Primary, how do they develop the plan more in the General Election campaign, and sell it to the broader electorate, at large.

Of course, the same questions must be asked of the other GOP Gov candidates: The young venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan (Watch Sully interviewed September, 2021 by Berkowitz, Part 1) self-made multi-millionaire businessman Gary Rabine (Watch Rabine interviewed January, 2021 by Berkowitz, Part 1) , Senator and farmer Darren Bailey (Watch Bailey Interviewed February, 2021 by Berkowitz, Part 1) and Lt. Col. (Ret.) in the U. S. Marine Corps and former Senator Paul Schimpf (Watch Schimpf interviewed March, 2021) by Berkowitz, Part 1) , and of course Governor Pritzker.

Indeed, shouldn’t the current Governor have such a public plan, from which he is working now? If he’s got one, he’s doing a good job of keeping it a secret and never taking questions from the press on it.

Berkowitz and Martin also air and assess a 30 second Jesse Sullivan ad on crime, aired on Jan 25, which is focused, clear and to the point. But, again, as with the others, he needs a comprehensive plan to sell to the electorate.

Berkowitz opines that in Chicago and Cook County the violent crime problem can be traced to terrible, soft on crime policies in the offices of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Circuit Court Chief Judge Tim Evans and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Indeed, some of their stronger critics would characterize the trio as the Axis of Evil, for their greater emphasis on protecting career criminal rights than hard working, law abiding citizen rights.

Curing the violent crime issues across the State will require a Governor who identifies (1) culprit local politicians and (2) misguided soft on crime state laws that were passed as so-called “reforms,” but they often codified bad, unauthorized practices by judges, such as “No Cash Bail,” or massive expansion of electronic monitoring of violent criminals who can’t be or just aren’t monitored, (3) judicial and prosecutorial practices in IL’s other counties and cities, as well. It will also require State House and State Senate Leaders who understand the problem and propose real, not superficial, legislative violent crime solutions.

Berkowitz criticizes Speaker Welch for speaking as if he doesn’t understand the crime problems caused by the practices of Preckwinkle, Evans and Foxx. Or, more likely the Speaker just doesn’t know how to fix that situation or he is unwilling to take on powerful, fellow Democratic Party politicians.

Republican House Leader Jim Durkin proposes to repeal the so called criminal justice reform legislation passed last year, which largely compounds the violent crime problems. But Durkin has not articulated a strategic plan to repeal that legislation or otherwise deal with the violent crime problem in a legislature where Democrats have super majorities and virtually no Democrats support addressing the problem as Republican Leader and former prosecutor Durkin would like.

Also discussed in the show is the replacement of 83 year old Supreme Court Justice Breyer, who it transpired Wednesday would be giving up his Court seat (one of nine on the 6-3 or 5-4 conservative leaning Court), most likely at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term in late June.

Also discussed briefly in the show is the IL 17th CD race being run by GOP Candidate Esther Joy King (“EJK). This is probably the most likely GOP U S House pick-up in the country. In short, EJK only had to flip 7,000 votes and she would have beaten then eight year Dem incumbent Cheri Bustos- who is not running for re-election.

The 17th CD Dem Primary may have a fractured field of 9, or so, candidates. EJK, on the other hand, is likely to face no significant primary opposition and already has and will likely have a much greater financial advantage for the general election, in a District that continues daily, to trend more and more Republican. For more on the EJK run and the issues in her race, watch Berkowitz interview Esther Joy King here or read the post directly preceding this blog post.

Finally, Berkowitz and Martin discuss the role of Ken Griffin, 53, in the gubernatorial race. Griffin, a truly self made guy who didn’t start on third base but hit many, many triples and home-runs, having started a wealth management business while a Harvard undergrad and never looked back, has a net worth of twenty-one billion dollars, more than six times that of Governor Pritzker, and he already took on and beat (with massive help from tens of thousands) last year Pritzker on his signature proposal: a constitutional amendment on the ballot to permit so-called “progressive income taxes” in Illinois.

It has been speculated that Griffin will finance the primary and general election campaigns of Team Irvin Bourne– and their slate for the other state-wide offices, some candidates in the key IL State Supreme Court races, and perhaps a number of state legislative candidates. Griffin publicly has said he will do and spend what’s necessary to make sure Pritzker is not re-elected. However, his spokesperson denies that Griffin has yet committed to a specific Gov candidate to take on Pritzker.

Businessman Gary Rabine opined to Berkowitz that a good businessman like Griffin would not commit to spending tens of million dollars on a GOP Primary Gov candidate until he has considerable evidence that such a candidate can perform well in that race, and Rabine thinks such evidence is clearly lacking.

Does Rabine think that if he, or another candidate out performs Irvin in the near future, Griffin would finance that candidate during the rest of the primary? Maybe, but this reporter didn’t hear Rabine quite say that– just yet.

And reliable sources have been telling this reporter since last September that Griffin’s aide on these matters has been planning, vetting and discussing with a small but influential and key group of GOP state and national political operatives an Irvin run since at least then, and perhaps longer. (Watch Berkowitz break this story October 7).

Finally, yet another Pritzker-Griffin competition: while the Northwestern University Law School now bears Pritzker’s name, the University of Chicago Department of Economics, aka “The Chicago School of Economics,” or the last bastion of capitalism and free market economics in academia, now bears Griffin’s name.

And importantly, the University of Chicago Department of economics and Booth School of Business’ sort of economics division, which have essentially been joined at the hip for much of the last century, have way more Economics and Finance Nobel Prize winners associated with them than any other University economics department has, worldwide, including the so called “Ivy League elites.”

So yet another Advantage Griffin, as he joins with Irvin and/or perhaps other GOP Gov and other 2022 candidates to go into battle, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder to fight for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” 🙂

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