Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy, and Amy, the widow of Commander Paul Bauer issued this letter of thanks to the city.
Jacobson: Yeah, it's really touching. I can't read all of it, you know for time constraints, but basically it starts with "I sit here writing a letter that I never thought I'd have to write. On February 13th, my husband and Grace's dad, Paul Bauer, was violently taken from us. Needless to say, our hearts are broken in a million pieces and our lives are forever changed. But that's not the reason I am writing. I'm writing to thank the people of the great city of Chicago for the outpouring of love and support at this horrendous time in our lives. Paul would have been terribly upset that inconvenienced so many of you with parking restrictions in our beloved Bridgeport. He would have winced at the thought the Dan Ryan closed down for the funeral procession. He never wanted to be in the spotlight. He never thought of himself, only others. I want to thank those of you that waited HOURS in the cold to attend his wake and funeral. You have no idea how much that meant to us. If I wasn't...If I wasn't out of tears, I would have cried the entire route to the cemetery. I want you to know that I saw each and every one of you who stopped on the side of the road to salute as the hearse went by. I saw the blue blanket draped on the fence along the Expressway, and the large banners with Paul's pictures. I saw people of every color taking time out of their day, not only to pay respects to Paul, but to the entire Chicago Police Department. They are the men and women who selflessly put their lives on the line each day to protect people they don't even know, they are my new family." And then in closing, she writes "One man almost stole my faith in humanity, but the city of Chicago and the rest of the nation restored it, and I want to thank you for that. Sincerely, Erin Bauer."
Proft: Very thoughtful, well-written letter, very nice, and she's right about being such a unifying event for the city, which is nice because those sorts of things rarely happen in this city. I mean, the last instance like that I can remember that was similar was Cardinal George's funeral. So anyway, I want to get to some issues, but since our next guest, prior to being a Chicago Alderman, Chicago firefighter, Chicago Police officer if I'm remembering correctly. He is Anthony Napolitano, who is the Alderman for the 41st Ward of Chicago. Anthony, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it.
Napolitano: Good morning, thank you very much for having me.
Proft: And just want to get, as a first responder yourself, and your previous career, just want to get your...give you an opportunity to reflect on Commander Bauer and what his wife had to say, as you just heard Amy read.
Napolitano: You know, it's absolutely incredible, I'd like to say God...you know, rest in peace to Commander Bauer. My brother worked for him, he had the great opportunity to work for him, great man. You will never hear a bad word about the commander. And I think she's right, I think that when the city feels like you lose hope, especially with all the crime issues. that there is faith, and there is...we can find humanity in our Police Department. They're not all bad apples, there's a lot of incredible apples in that department, and they're willing to jump in when everyone's jumping out. So you know, I can't say how proud of him I am as a man and as a Police officer because he wore that uniform with pride and he showed it.
Proft: Well, moving on to this issue that is generating less pridefulness in the city; municipal ID cards, that "Tiny Dancer" is launching for undocumented immigrants, and others..."will be a valid form of identification for people both registering to vote and voting in Chicago," according to a letter he sent out to you and your colleagues on the City Council last week. Now, you know, I try to keep up on these things, but...is voting in Chicago...is it still that you have to be a US Citizen and a registered voter to vote there? Or is that no longer the case, can people bring in proxy votes from Central America?
Napolitano: *laughing* No, you still have to be registered, you still have to be a US Citizen. And one thing that really irks me as well is you don't even...it is right now, as you now...you don't even have to show an ID, it's just done by signature, which is another issue that I think should be covered, besides how I believe this municipal ID is not a good idea. I think that going into a voting booth and saying "Yeah, I'm Tim Smith." and them saying "Okay, sign here. Now go vote." I think that's another guard we're putting down, we're taking our rights away from our citizens.
Proft: Well, yeah, and how is this is a valid identification to register to vote when it is by definition an ID for people who are ineligible to register to vote, at least in part?
Napolitano: That's what drives me crazy. Now I'm just gonna put this out there, I'm not anti-immigrant, I'm the first-generation son of an immigrant, so that anti-immigrant stuff is nonsense. Here...look at this concept alone. You're giving an ID for people to...and you're basically stating that you can take this and go in to vote. But guess what? After you register and get this working ID...we're gonna throw out all the information on you, so that no one can follow up with you. No one can find out what, you know...if you aren't a resident, if you are illegal, here illegally, no one could follow up with you, because we're getting rid of that information, which shows that this shouldn't be done anyways! We're giving a documented ID to people who are not documented. (Proft laughs in disbelief.) And in the statement, it's saying "Hey, guess what? The onus is on the Board of Elections to ask you and hope that you attest to being a resident or a citizen." So I mean...
Jacobson: So, what do you need to bring forward to get this ID? A bank account statement, a water bill, a gas bill, birth certificate...
Napolitano: Amy, that's the greatest part. If you look at it, it's based on a three-point system, and you have to get up to three points to get...to have the valid forms to get this ID. I think one of them is to have A NAME. It's so ridiculous, the setup to get to three points. It's...they have it all written down, I don't know it all verbatim but I can send that to you guys as well. But when you look at it, you're gonna get the three points just for having a power bill, for a bill to your house, and that's understandable but...for your kids being in school you can have one, that...but anybody can get that these days.
Proft: *stammering* I mean...I mean...my...my...oh my head...you and a couple of your colleagues have pointed out the obvious. Nick Sposato who is a 38th Ward Alderman, "I'm not sure the validity of this, they may not have citizenship, voter fraud would be my biggest concern." Oh, do you think? Gilbert Villegas, though, the Latino Caucus Chairman on the City Council said this, "It's not changing the state law, and there's nothing stopping someone from getting a fake ID now and going to try to vote." Well, that's a really interesting argument that Viegas makes. So nothing stops someone from trying to commit voter fraud right now...so let's INSTITUTIONALIZE voter fraud to make it easier!
Napolitano: Yeah, you know...and I'm a big fan of Gil, we get along great. I think on that topic, the weak comeback for a lot of other people is, "Well, we're hoping this...this is not going to be an issue." Well, we're giving the opportunity for it to BE an issue. And I just...I can't...I don't sleep well at night thinking about that. That's...that's just not right, we're supposed to be defending citizens' rights, and we're saying "Hey, we don't THINK this is going to be an issue! But if it is, we'll deal with it when happens." And that's wrong, and here's the best thing: how convenient that this is happening right before an election cycle? I mean...
Proft: *laughs loudly* Well, I mean...yeah...just...*hands in air*...it's INSANE.
Jacobson: So, is there any way to stop this?
Napolitano: I don't...you know what...I don't...here's what I know and it doesn't let me sleep well at night, is when we sat in these meetings talking about this ID, I and a couple of other colleagues say "Well, is this gonna be used for voting?" And it was LAUGHED UPON, it was like "No, this is gonna give people that don't have IDs the ability to cash their checks, or to get a Library card." It was actually LAUGHED at, "Oh, you're crazy to think that this could be used for VOTING." And then, in their general...in their ordinance, it says "Hey, you can use this to vote!" I mean, is it gonna be stopped? I don't know, it matters on how many people we can get together to say "You're writing what you can do with this, and that's VOTE."
Proft: Well this side...this...this is unconstitutional (Napolitano: Absolutely!), and it has to be litigated. And the...I...do they understand, umm, you have the possibility, the DISTINCT possibility I would say, of disenfranchising someone from their vote. If somebody votes illegally, that is taking away the vote of a police officer, a firefighter, a first responder, an ALDERMAN for that matter. It is...it is...this is LUNACY! This is the absence of the rule of law.
Napolitano: This is the absolute fear that a handful of us had going into these meetings, that this was going to happen. And just a short couple of months later, it's exactly what the iD is being used for. And it...it's...it is SO unconstitutional and it's so...we're taking away American rights of voting, the right to be a citizen that you have the right to vote in elections. We're taking that away! And I don't think anybody's really batting an eye at it! It scares me! It's not right.
Proft: And then do you think it has something to do with...and you mentioned that, you know...oh, not coincidentally, this is in cycle, and you have a certain Mayor who is basically a persona non grata in the black community, he's gonna need the Latino community to get re-elected. And does that perhaps have anything to do with it?
Jacobson: *sarcastically* NOOOOOOO......
Napolitano: I think it's...I mean, when you look at when this is coming out, it's right before an election cycle. And it states in the ordinance, "Hey, you can vote like this!" I mean, it's telling people "You can go vote". And then on top of it, in the ordinance it's written "We will destroy all of your information after you come and get your ID.", which means nobody can follow up with you after you got your ID. So, what are we doing? We're...we're working in reverse.
Jacobson: I'm reading this point system that you turned me onto, I mean it's unbelievable. You can have a Driver's License from a FOREIGN country, that's worth two points. (Napolitano: Yes!) I mean, it's crazy! Even if you have an EXPIRED foreign passport, you can bring that in, THAT is worth two points.
Napolitano: Yeah, and I mean, correct if I'm wrong, but it was that you just had to get to three points, correct?
Jacobson: Exactly. So I can just bring in an expired passport from ten years ago and that's worth two points, and I just have to show something else. I mean...
Napolitano: I'll tell you one thing...sitting at election booths in the last couple elections, one of the things I noticed people are very VERY angry about, and they actually disclaim it in the voting booths is "Why don't you WANT to see my ID?" And that makes people angry.
Jacobson: I say that EVERY TIME.
Jacobson: Alderman, I say that every time. I go "Don't you want to see it?" They go "No no, we know who you are." I go "No no! But do you REALLY know who I am? Here's my ID!"
Napolitano: Yeah, and it's based off a signature. You know how many people we had since I've been in this position, now, the number of calls to the office that..."Hey, I went in the booth to vote, and I was told I'd already voted." I mean, that's...all you have to do is look at the voting sheets and say "Hey, this guy votes this way for the last 30 years, but he hasn't voted in five years." Somebody can look at those sheets and go "Hey, he ain't gonna be there, I'm gonna go in and vote on his behalf."
Jacobson: Yeah, I have a friend who has two homes...yeah, she has two homes and she votes twice. EVERY ELECTION, votes twice. And I tell her every time "You're gonna get arrested for voter fraud! I hope you do."
Proft: Well, the voter fraud is just a fictional thing, according to so many on the Left, who...that we talk to, and talk about...that doesn't exist. Well, Chicago's trying to remedy that, if it doesn't exist, to make SURE that it exists! Unbelievable. 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano, Anthony thanks so much for joining us and talking about this issue, appreciate it.
Napolitano: My pleasure, thanks for having me!