Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS 2020 COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY Bill Conway on money, LGBT issues, gun crimes
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-03-08

This article shared 2109 times since Sun Mar 8, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Bill Conway is in one of the most closely watched races locally: the electoral contest for Cook County state's attorney.

Current attorney Kim Foxx has single-handedly put the office in the national spotlight—most notably for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case. However, the telegenic Conway has inundated local airwaves with ads, and has been the subject of claims that he is buying the election.

Windy City Times: This is your first time running for office. What's been the most surprising thing so far?

Bill Conway: I actually have enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. I like meeting people and hearing the problems and issues people have [as well as] what they want to see in the state's attorney's office and the criminal justice system. Surprisingly, I've also come to like parades, but I do like the consistent talks about policy more than I thought I would.

WCT: And I have to ask: Who came up with the URL for your website, NewDayConway.com?

BC: [Laughs] I hired a friend who is involved in marketing for Kraft/Heinz. I mentioned to him that I wanted to find something that's catchy, and I wanted to turn the page on the current administration. You can't say "RightWayConway" in the Democratic primary, and there were other ones that didn't sound right. Then I woke up one morning and I got a text from him in three in the morning that said, "You know, I was drinking scotch and you'll never believe what I came up with: NewDayConway." I said, "Yeah—that's it."

I think it encapsulates what we're trying to do—bring a fresh perspective. I like its symbiosis with Lori Lightfoot's "bringing in the light."

WCT: Speaking of Lori Lightfoot, she is backing one of your opponents [Kim Foxx]. Does that surprise you?

BC: I don't really have a problem with it. Incumbent Democrats tend to support incumbent Democrats. I don't think it's going to come down to endorsements; I think it's going to come down to what people want out of the state's attorney's office. What I want people to know if that we're going to try to balance our criminal-reform efforts, we're going to get after our gun-crime epidemic by trying to get after the supply chain that brings them here, and get the politics out of the office. Our message seems to be resonating.

WCT: You mentioned guns. What's wrong with Kim Foxx's Gun Crime Strategies Unit?

BC: Well, there are a few things. First off, I believe that if someone commits a crime with a gun, that person should go to jail, and there are mechanisms within the Bail Reform Act that allow for that—if someone is a habitual criminal, or possession of a machine gun or possession of a gun by a felon. The state's attorney can petition for that person to be held with no bail, and that office today doesn't do that.

However, if we're really going to go after the gun-crime epidemic, we have to work our way up the supply chain and get the people who traffic in guns by the hundreds. I like the idea of the Gun Crime Strategies Unit in theory, but if you're letting people bond out early and you're not working your way up the supply chain, then it's like cutting the finger off a monster repeatedly instead of going after the head.

WCT: I saw on your website where you stated that the Cook County jail system is "one of the nation's largest drug rehabilitation facilities and mental health care providers." Could you talk about that some more?

BC: Cook County Jail is—and I'm taking this from what [Sheriff] Tom Dart said—is the largest mental health clinic in Illinois and maybe the nation. I don't put this at Ms. Foxx's or Sheriff Dart's feet, but maybe there's something wrong in our society if that's the case. The city [should] find a way to open the mental-health clinics and work with city leaders to get [the mentally ill] the help they need.

WCT: One of the knocks against you is that you're trying to buy the election through your father [a billionaire who donated $7.5 million to the campaign] and through The Carlyle Group [a D.C.-based hedge fund his father, William Conway, co-founded]. How do you respond to that?

BC: I haven't been shy about the fact that my family have used significant resources to get our message out there. And the fact of the matter is that I'm running against an entrenched [political] machine. The machine puts someone in power, and that person feels like he owes the machine; when I'm elected, I'm not going to owe anyone. I can promise there will be a public-corruption reckoning in Cook County—and, with this administration, I don't know of any public-corruption prosecution that's happened. I can't name one case.

WCT: So you like how the Jussie Smollett case is going now? [Note: On Feb. 11, Smollett was indicted by a special Cook County grand jury on six counts of disorderly conduct against him for allegedly arranging a racist, homophobic attack on himself—nearly a year after the state's attorney's office dropped all charges.]

BC: Well, at the point you have [Special Prosecutor] Dan Webb cleaning up Ms. Foxx's mess. I think she still doesn't quite understand why people are upset about it. The first thing is the brazen, unequal justice he got. Dan Webb said the state's attorney's office could not provide one case in which someone was treated the same—and that includes my client Candace Clark.

But the second thing is—and there's no way of sugarcoating this—Ms. Foxx repeatedly lied to the public [about] this. She lied not only when she said she recused herself but also when she said repeatedly this office handles this kind of case, which we know is false.

WCT: Could you talk about your experience with LGBTQ-related issues?

BC: I grew up right near the Boystown area—and, in fact, my mom still lives there. I lived all over that area after college. As for cases, I mentioned my client Candace Clark, who had a case similar to Jussie's but she got different justice; she's a member of the LGBTQ community.

Additionally, I did prosecute a gentleman who was a Catholic school [employee] and member of the community who used the school credit card for personal expenses. We couldn't thrown the book at him, but I discovered he was a mentor to students who had been wrestling with LGBTQ issues; we allowed him to plead down to a misdemeanor and got court supervision, and was later allowed to have the case expunged. Today, he works at a local college. It's a case I'm very proud of.

What I can say is that, when I'm state's attorney, our office will be involved in outreach and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community. We will have an outreach coordinator who's in touch with advocates. Additionally, we're going to make sure that our victims witness folks will be trained regarding LGBTQ issues. We're also going to give sex assault, domestic violence and human trafficking its own bureau; those are crimes where victims and survivors have unique needs and insight.

WCT: What do you think is the biggest problem for the LGBTQ community?

BC: The first thing I would say are the heightened rates of abuse and victimization. ( I refer you to the Tribune story that says that the LGBTQ community is the most targeted group when it comes to hate crimes. ) I promise you that we're going to be vigilant when it comes to prosecuting hate crimes.

The second thing is equal treatment. If there's any sort of discrimination when it comes to housing [or other areas], we will get after the [offenders] criminally and civilly.

WCT: What do you think is your biggest advantage and your biggest disadvantage in this race?

BC: [Pauses.] I think my biggest advantage is that I know exactly what I want to do as state's attorney. I've known that from the get-go, and I've able to say consistently that we're going to balance our criminal-justice reform efforts. We're going to go after the gun-crime epidemic and we're going to get politics out of office.

My biggest disadvantage is that I'm a first-time candidate. Because of that, when I ask questions I actually answer them. [Laughs] That may be a disadvantage, but I am learning.

Conway's website is NewDayConway.com .


This article shared 2109 times since Sun Mar 8, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Biden's relief plan grows assistance for 3M LGBT adults experiencing food insecurity 2021-01-24
- Today, President Biden signed executive orders to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The orders include plans to expand the federal nutrition assistance program, pause federal debt payments for veterans, establish a $15 an ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Bidens, NYC businesses, notable deaths, anti-Trump suit 2021-01-24
- President Joe Biden and his team recently named openly gay man Jeff Marootian as special assistant to the president on Climate and Science Agency Personnel, according to Instinct Magazine, citing The Washington Blade. Marootian is one ...


Gay News

WORLD Honduran Congress, deportation, Canadian support, athlete comes out 2021-01-24
- On Jan. 21, members of the Honduran Congress voted to amend the constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex marriage, as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities, Openly ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ Americans greet the Biden-Harris era with hope, hesitancy 2021-01-22
Kate Sosin, 19thnews.org - To many, the moment marks a new dawn, the end of deeply distressing four years. Others are simply exhausted. A lot of kids spend their teenage years worrying about dates and dances. Eli Bundy has spent ...


Gay News

Pritzker: Illinois moving into Phase 1B of COVID vaccination plan 2021-01-22
- Building on the state's progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state will move into the early stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan beginning Monday, Jan. 25. ...


Gay News

Equality Caucus applauds early pro-LGBTQ+ actions of Biden administration 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. — The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is pleased to see important steps already taken by the Biden Administration to promote fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ community and applauds the President and his team ...


Gay News

Governors, Lt. Governors encourage all to make a plan and get vaccinated 2021-01-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Governor Pritzker and governors and lieutenant governors from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin joined together to encourage everyone to make a plan for how they can get the safe and effective ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker praises President Biden's plan to combat COVID-19 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Gov. Pritzker Statement on the Announcement of President Biden's Plan to Combat COVID-19 CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following President Biden's announcement of the national plan to combat COVID-19. "One ye ...


Gay News

As Sen. Heather Steans resigns, Planned Parenthood of Illinois comments on her work 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Statement from Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action: "We will miss working with Senator Heather Steans, a fierce champion for reproductive rights in Illinois. As the lead Senate sponsor for HB40 and ...


Gay News

Alexi Giannoulias running for secretary of state in 2022 2021-01-21
- Alexi Giannoulias—a Democratic politician and financier who was Illinois state treasurer during 2007-11—has thrown his hat back into the political ring, as he plans to run for Illinois secretary of state in 2022. He would succeed ...


Gay News

Day 2 Executive Order prohibits discrimination against millions of LGBTQs 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Today, President Biden directed federal agencies to affirm that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under existing civil rights statutes. Biden is the first president to issue an Executive Order directly on LGBTQ rights on the ...


Gay News

AMA applauds Biden Day 1 actions on COVID-19, racial equity, climate, WHO 2021-01-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) today applauded the Biden Administration's first-day actions that tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, re-engage with the World Health Organization (WHO), and ...


Gay News

Day 1 executive orders impact millions of LGBTQ youth, adults of diverse communities 2021-01-20
--From a Williams Institute press release - Today, President Biden signed a sweeping executive order directing federal agencies to adopt a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including in federal employment, policies, programs, and services. This is the first day one executive ...


Gay News

Biden Orders Implementation of Ruling: LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination 2021-01-20
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today on his first day in office shortly after being sworn in, President Biden issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to implement the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County issued by ...


Gay News

NCLR hails President Biden's signing of Executive Order addressing LGBTQ workplace discrimination 2021-01-20
--From a NCLR press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States after campaigning on a platform that advocated for the strongest protections for LGBTQ individuals in the history of ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.