Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Simon Balto and Ken Davis.

I was really looking forward to Friday’s Hitting Left.

Ken Davis, long-time host of CAN-TV’s Chicago Newsroom has had Mike and me on his weekly public access show and we were honored to return the favor.

He’s as smart an observer of Chicago politics as you can find.

Unlike many, “what do YOU think,” is at the core of his conversations.

I hadn’t met Professor Simon Balto before, but it didn’t take long to recognize a thoughtful person and an insightful historian.

His latest book, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Politics, is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the arc of our city’s race politics.

And our city’s politics are almost always rooted in race.


Our weekly hour is always too short. In spite of that we managed to cover a major part of the week’s political landscape.

I asked both Simon and Ken about the week’s report that under State’s Attorney Kim Foxx incarceration levels are at historic lows at the county and state level (which mostly reflect those from the city), and that the CPD report major reduction in crimes of all types, including murders, shootings and property theft.

The gangsters at the Fraternal Order of Police and CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson have been going after Foxx for her policy of reducing the numbers of people being sent to jail, particularly for non-violent offenses, and for Foxx’s pushing bail reform.

They predicted a rise in crime numbers.

I asked Simon, Ken and Mike if they thought there was a solid line connecting reduced incarceration and reduced crime numbers.

“They’re separate buckets,” Ken said.

But all agreed that the reduction in incarcerations has no impact on increasing crime as critics of Foxx had predicted.

You can hear the podcast here.

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