Curran and Durbin dispute the suburbs, wildfires and who's on the ballot
Mayors should get out of the business of policing, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran suggested at a joint editorial board meeting Friday, as his rival in the Nov. 3 election, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, took aim at President Donald Trump.
The meeting included representatives from the Daily Herald, Shaw Media and the Southern Illinois Local Media Group.
Republican Curran, who is seeking to unseat the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, was asked about Trump's warning that former Vice President Joe Biden would "abolish the suburbs" and increase crime because of his stance on housing.
The problem, Curran said, is a "big city mayor picks a police chief or superintendent and then they've got them under their thumb. When they tell the chief, 'I want three dozen police officers,' who should be on the South Side, in front of my home,' you have three dozen police officers in front of the mayor's home.
"So we need to get the mayors, we need to get the city councils, we need to get the village boards out of policing and give it to a third-party entity that is able to regulate them."
The dispute centers on Biden's support for a fair housing program that ties grants to integrating communities.
Durbin said, "three of out four Americans when asked today -- say that America is going in the wrong direction. So the president needs to change the subject.
"What he's trying to do is get people scared, fearful, hateful. When the president talks about the abolition of the suburbs, the end of the suburbs, he usually adds in low-income housing. We all know what that means. It means diversity, racial diversity. It means different people moving into the suburbs. Now, that can be accommodated in a peaceful way, or in a confrontational way. And it depends on the leadership in the community and at the top."
On the topic of wildfires in western states and the role of global warming, Curran said "there's evidence that groups, maybe antifa, are amongst them that are lighting some of these fires. Obviously, there's an attempt by a large number of people out there to take America down."
The FBI has said there is no evidence antifa or anti-fascist groups were involved. One wildfire in California was caused by fireworks at a party.
Curran noted there is scientific consensus global warming/climate change exists and action is needed. "I think we're doing that. Could we be doing more? Yes, but we don't want to go it alone. We want to do it in partnership with other countries of the world."
Durbin retorted, "God save us from these conspiracy theories. Now it's antifa behind the wildfires in the West? This is the basic campaign message for President Trump's reelection campaign 'Be afraid. Be very afraid.'
"The American people know better, they're not buying this baloney. It's extreme conditions that have been created, unfortunately by some of our conduct, on earth."
Durbin also faulted Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump isn't on the ballot for Senate, Curran responded. "I'm running against you, Sen. Durbin."