Attorney Adams: ‘I’m not anti-Foxx, but pro-More’
By Chinta Strausberg
Saying today begins a “journey to heal our fractured community,” Democratic State’s Attorney hopeful Donna More Wednesday said she is the only truly independent candidate in this race and one who pledges to fight for justice, restore integrity and transparency to that scandal-ridden office.
Vowing to rehabilitate the State’s Attorney’s office, More vowed to “create a culture of justice that rewards righteous prosecutions, not conviction rates. We’ll institute charging, bonding and sentencing policies that make room in our jails for the most dangerous among us.
“We’ll install programs that deal specifically and expertly with police-involved shootings…senior felony prosecutors dedicated to police incidents, evidence in real time, prompt action and transparent reporting, and an end to municipal control of evidence,” she stated. More will open dedicated County Gun Courts and vowed to put “justice first” like stop “filling our jails with the wrong people and worse creating repeat offenders.” Instead, More vowed to “make room for the really bad guys.”
More officially kicked off her campaign during a press conference held at the Intercontinental Hotel, 505 North Michigan Ave., where she told a room full of supporters, “Today, we renounce corruption, cover-ups and passing the buck. We vow to never…ever let politics, race, uniforms or money triumph over justice.
“Today, we offer voters a choice they rarely get to tell power brokers we are fed up with politics as usual and that we want to replace it with professionalism and integrity”
More said she is not afraid “to do what’s right” and that she is experienced to do a good job having been a former federal prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer “who isn’t a politician, who believes evidence, not influence, is the bedrock of our system, and who will be tough on crime no matter who commits it.”
Saying she has a vision for prosecution “that won’t settle for anything short of justice,” More said this election is “all about trust and who has the competence…and courage…to restore it. I have a plan that rests on three pillars: reforming the office, reducing gun violence and rooting out corruption.”
Among those who spoke in support of her candidacy was famed attorney Sam Adams, Jr. who after being questioned by reporters seeking his opinion of Kim Foxx who is running against More, made his choice clear. “I am not anti-Kim Foxx. I am pro-Donna More because she has more experience and more independence.”
“Donna has not only what it takes but she has ideas that she is going to institute…. She understands the use of grand jury. She understands how we as a community have to come together. This is not about black, brown, green or purple. We’re in this together and Donna gets that,” said Adams. “If we’re really going to have change in this county, we have to do it together and Donna has those qualities…she has that understanding…. She will prosecute fairly and justly and make sure the most violent go to jail and those who need a second chance will have the opportunity to get it.”
Asked about the decision not to support the African American candidate and to support Donna More, Adams said, “I am a bi-racial man, raising two black daughters, a black son with a black wife. If you think I don’t understand that folks are going to come out and say, ‘Sam’s supporting a non-black candidate and he’s come kind of Uncle Tom.’
“That’s the problem that we’re at,” Adams said. “We don’t need to start looking at this thing as black and white. That’s the problem that we have. We got to understand that we’re in this together and if a white person is going to come out and do what’s right and make sure that the community is safe, that is what we need. If a black person comes out and make sure this community is safe, then that is what we need.”
Adams said when he looks at Alvarez and her record for the past six-years, “my kids ain’t safer…. When I sit down and look and say who is going to make sure this is done the right way, that my son can walk down the street and not worried about someone tattered up and tattoo shooting him because he’s a gang banger or somebody who is wearing a blue uniform and a badge, arrest him and shoot him.
“I don’t care what color Donna More is,” he said. “I care that Donna More has ideas…she is strong and independent. What we need is a person to look at each case and say this deserves that and this one doesn’t and that is Donna More. I am with Donna More because we are going to effect change, and she is going to be the person to get things done,” said Adams.
Asked again why is he endorsing More over Foxx, Adams said More is going to do what she did as a federal prosecutor…use the grand jury. “Secondly, we have to have someone independent, and I am not confident….”
The reporter asked, “You don’t think Foxx is independent”? Adams responded, “I am telling you I know Donna More is…. You are not going to get me to dog Kim. I’m never going to do it. Donna is independent. Donna is not somebody’s chief-of-staff. Donna is not someone with political pressure behind her. I am very fond of Kim Foxx, but I want Donna,” Adams said.
Vowing to cleanse the tainted State’s Attorney’s office, More said, “This community has been rocked to its social and moral core by chants of ‘400 days’ and ’16 shots.’ If the incumbent had the courage to act promptly on the video evidence of Laquan McDonald’s death, we’d be at trial today, not in the streets.
“We could have prevented $5.0 million cover-up decisions, and we wouldn’t need federal investigations. Vote for me, and it will be a different story from now on,” she said received a round of applause.
Saying there were 2,553 shootings and 442 murders in Chicago last year, More vowed to use her office to reduce gun violence she said has cost the lives of loved ones and $2.5 billion in commerce, healthcare and future investments. “Of the guns used in these crimes, 90 percent were obtained illegally from traffickers or through illegal transfers.”
Given that scenario, More said, “I’m going after the sources. We’ll deploy grand juries to work our way up the food chain and disrupt the market for illegal guns. We’ll work with the County Circuit to open a dedicated gun court where prosecutors, judges and law enforcement can convene to make sure we’re putting the right people behind bars.”
Saying she will use the Highland Park style legislation to limit semi-automatic weapons, More vowed to work with the community to establish a countywide safety alliance to involve each neighborhood, parish and business to reduce “this deadly plague on our County.”
And, More vowed to “get serious about public corruption” saying “it is the elephant in every room when we talk about politics in Cook County. It is our finely tuned system of winks and nods, contracts with kickbacks, jobs here for political favors there.
“We talk about trust. How about having a State’s Attorney that will hold people accountable? That will make government play by the same rules and live up to the same standards as everyone else.”
“Does anyone else think it is unusual to have so few reported investigations of public corruption in a County that spends over $5.0 billion each year or a city with expenses of nearly $8.0 billion a year. We need to double down on our efforts in this area and use our subpoena powers to make sure taxpayers are getting what they pay for,” she stated.
“Anita Alvarez has run an appallingly lackluster office for years with delayed prosecutions, wrongful convictions and policies that favor influencers and the well-connected while justice takes a back seat to politics, and victims and their families pay the price.”
More said she is ending business as usual in that office and that she can do that because she is the only independent candidate in this race and is not beholden to any elected official.
Incumbent State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said, “It’s pretty disheartening and scary” for More to claim she can “wrap up a case in a couple of weeks.” Alvarez had said she took 400 days to indict officer Jason Van Dyke who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 15 seconds to make sure she did it right. Her delay has resulted in numerous street protests and calls for her resignation as well as the mayor’s.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.