Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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

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 .


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

Talkin' Tech: Election technology; Pitfalls and triumphs explained 2020-10-27
- It is election season 2020 and a lot of false information is circling the recent news (and fake news) regarding your vote. The 2016 elections showed a lot of technology pitfalls when it came to foreign ...


Gay News

Live election night tracking to watch for 310 Victory Fund endorsed candidates 2020-10-27
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund shared eight LGBTQ Election Night stories to watch and announced it will live track results for its 310 LGBTQ endorsed candidates on Election Night. Victory Fund will provide live ...


Gay News

Justice Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to U.S. Supreme Court, groups respond 2020-10-26
--From press releases - NCLR Statement on Rushed Confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to U.S. Supreme Court: SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the United States Senate voted along party lines to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime appointment ...


Gay News

U.S. Senate confirms Coney Barrett to Supreme Court 2020-10-26
- The U.S. Senate voted Oct. 26 to confirm the nomination of right-wing federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote was 52 to 48, with only one Republican voting against confirmation. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage support, GLSEN, LGBTQ voting campaigns 2020-10-26
- Seventy percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to the 11th annual American Values Survey—the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll, NBC News reported. The results found just 28 percent of respondents oppose the ...


Gay News

Undocumented LGBTQ+ activists speak on importance of voting 2020-10-23
--From a press release - Los Angeles, CA. - Queer and undocumented filmmaker Armando Ibañez is releasing the videos of 9 undocumented LGTQ+ activists speaking on the importance of the 2020 elections to undocumented communities as part of the #VotaJota digital ...


Gay News

LGBTQAs plan "Get Out The Vote" event for Michigan candidate 2020-10-22
--From a press release - Chicago, IL — Members of Chicagoland's LGBTQ+ Allies community have organized a COVID-19 responsible day of "Get Out The Vote" (GOTV) canvassing in Southwest Michigan's Berrien County on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020 to turn out ...


Gay News

Virtual Town Hall on Cook County budget Oct. 23 2020-10-21
--From a press release - SCHAUMBURG, Ill. —October 21, 2020— Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison will host a live Virtual Town Hall discussing the Cook County 2021 Budget on Friday at 1:30 p.m. He will be joined by Cook County ...


Gay News

Lightfoot releases 2021 budget proposal 2020-10-21
- On Oct. 21, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented to City Council the 2021 budget recommendations—described in a press release as "a fiscally responsible spending plan that leads the City along the road to recovery from the ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois town hall focuses on 2020 vote 2020-10-19
- Equality Illinois held an Oct. 19 town hall discussion to discuss the current state of the voting process. A relatively-energized electorate is expected to show up to the polls by Nov. 3—which has been referred to ...


Gay News

Diversity report: More than 1,000 LGBTQs running for office 2020-10-19
- LGBTQ Victory Fund— the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office—released its inaugural "Out on the Trail" report, which details the diversity of LGBTQ candidates who ran for office in 2020. At ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY: QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' slogan has long anti-LGBT history 2020-10-17
by Christiana Lilly - Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen recently shared devastating news with her social media followers: she and her husband, singer John Legend, had lost their child halfway through her pregnancy. She shared heartbreaking black-and-white photos of ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner releases inspirational song, art-inclusive video 2020-10-17
- Local singer-songwriter Jeannie Tanner has released her new single and video, "I Wanna Be the Change." According to a press release, the song was inspired by many of the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ...


Gay News

Major advocacy organizations mailing to highlight candidate Morrison's record 2020-10-16
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD - As the race to represent HD 54 heats up in the final weeks, with wealthy right-wing interests writing big checks to try and shield Tom Morrison from the backlash to his toxic record, members ...


Gay News

Linda Ronstadt, Danny Glover, Beto O' Rourke in 'All Souls to the Polls' 2020-10-14
- More than 50 artists, social justice and grassroots activists from across the country have created two nights of concerts to spur national voter turnout, with "All Souls to the Polls" on Oct. 17-18 at 7 p.m. ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

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.