Watch Berkowitz & Martin's update on IL GOP Governor's primary: Mayor Irvin enters IL Gov race stage right. Will a Gov Candidate target the source of the violent crime problem? Has mega billionaire Hedge Fund manager Ken Griffin committed to finance Irvin? Cable in Chicago tonight and tomorrow night; Aurora, M, W & Sat; and on the Web 24/7.

Berkowitz and Martin update viewers on the IL GOP Governor’s primary. You can watch 24/7 the program by clicking 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).

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You can watch the Berkowitz & Martin update by clicking here or 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.

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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.

The  Irvin-Bourne 30 second ad is also hard hitting, focused, polished and effective. (Watch Irvin-Bourne ad here)

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.  

Biden and Pritzker don’t even try to address the country’s and state’s out of control crime , except for ceremonial speeches about the more publicized deaths of police officers and the most egregous and heinous homicides.

Pritzker does allocate some money in his budget for “violence interruption.” … If anything, that might have a small long- run impact, but mostly those programs are about as effective as vigils, purchases of old guns & prayer. In short, they’re nothing.

But as to the car jackings, murders, rapes, break the glass and grab the valuables, 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 comprehensive, pragmatic and implementable proposal as to how to get control of violent crime in Illinois, the all important step 2. To begin to solve this problem, a Gov 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.  

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

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 the long-held soft on crime philosophy of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle which she has implemented, in large part through (1) Circuit Court Chief Judge Tim Evans, who seems Hell bent on getting as many dangerous career criminals out of our jails and prisons as soon as possible and (2) Preckwinkle’s mentee State’s Attorney Kim Foxx who seems to think she holds the office of Public Defender as opposed to the chief prosecutor of crime in Cook County.  

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.

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 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.

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 of allies) 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 and Gov Candidate Gary Rabine opined to Berkowitz a few hours before this week’s show 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 of Mayor Irvine being able to do so is clearly lacking.  

Does Rabine think that if he, or another Gov 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, county and national political operatives an Irvin run since at least then, and perhaps longer. (Berkowitz broke this story on October 7, 2021 on a show airing on the Illinois Channel youtube channel, Comcast cable and on various cable outlets. (Click here to watch the Oct 7 show)

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So it seems Ken Griffin will soon join with Mayor Irvin and/or other GOP Gov and other 2022 candidates to go into battle, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder to fight for what many might call “Truth, Justice and the American Way” as they try to take the IL Governorship away from JB Pritzker.  

By Jeff Berkowitz,

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