First, a diversion…Even though my bracket picks, Gonzaga and UCLA are still in it, I’m tearing up my pick sheet and rooting madly for the St. Peter’s Peacocks the rest of the way. Go Joizy City!
As Trump’s right-wing anti-mask/anti-vax movement mobilizes its base for the upcoming midterm elections, it’s finding its reflection here in Chicago in the form of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and a gaggle of its loyal aldermen.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has lifted most of the city’s mask mandates, but she has maintained a vaccine mandate for all city employees, including Chicago cops. The FOP’s neo-fascist leader, John Catanzara has taken her mandate as an opportunity to rally cops against the mayor and to launch his own campaign.
According to the Sun-Times:
A mayoral run gives him a mega-platform and a massive megaphone to burnish and grow his power. He can position himself as the chief spokesperson for a growing anti-Lightfoot contingent.
He has ordered cops to refuse the vaccine on “religious grounds” even though COVID remains the number-one cause of death for police officers nationwide. Catanzara himself caught the virus and his predecessor at FOP, Dean Angelo died from it.
But of March 8 of this year, 222 officers still hadn’t reported whether they've received a shot, as required with 2,777 reporting they had not received their shot. Together, they represent a quarter of the Chicago Police Department's workforce. The Mayor wants to be able to put the vax refusers on no-pay status.
Catanzara, who the Sun-Times refers to as “the kindred spirit of Donald J. Trump” has found support for his anti-vax politics among a group of Democratic Chicago aldermen, including indicted machine dregs like Ed Burke. Eleven of the alderman signed onto a resolution challenging the mandate.
The signers include Ray Lopez (15th) Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), Ald. Ed Burke (14th), Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th), Ald. Silvana Tabaraes (23rd), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th), Ald. Felix Cardona (31st), Ald. Samantha Nugent (39th), Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st), and Ald. James Gardiner (45th).
The aldermen are calling for reliance on the “natural immunity” of workers who have been infected with COVID-19 — which public health experts do not recommend as a substitute for vaccination.
But when the City Council met on Wednesday to discuss the resolution, the anti-Lightfoot group failed to even get a quorum. After more than half the council failed to show up for their special meeting on the vaccine mandate, the session was adjourned.
Things really got hot when Catanzara lit into some of his own anti-Lightfoot council allies. At a meeting last week, he got physical and threatened to move against the three council members, all former firefighters — Nick Sposato (38th), Anthony Napolitano (41st), and Jim Gardiner (45th) — if they didn’t pledge their support for Erin Jones, a Chicago Police Department detective and anti-fair housing activist who is challenging incumbent state Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago).
According to the Sun-Times:
Catanzara said his members want Martwick gone for having helped the Black Caucus push what Catanzara called a “ridiculously left-wing, radical Democrat” criminal justice reform bill through the General Assembly.
I can assure Catanzara and the FOP that none of the three aldermen are “left-wing” or “radical Democrats.” As best I can tell, this is just a predictable falling out among thieves.
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is there a single decent human being as viable candidate?