Elgin, Illinois Mayor, Councilmen Insist on Ineffective Nanny Legislation Despite Repeated Attempts to Educate Them

By Editor
In Breed-Specific Legislation
Feb 23rd, 2010
11 Comments
2334 Views

The following comes to us from our eyes and ears on the ground in Elgin, Illinois concerning yesterday’s Animal Control ordinance proposal:

It’s a little bit peculiar that not even a month after Elgin, Illinois Councilman John Prigge took his councilman spot in April 2009 that he was pushing breed-specific legislation (BSL) in an attempt to ban “pit bulls.”  Yesterday, Prigge’s push came to fruition when the city of Elgin announced their new Animal Control ordinance [Clicking the preceding link will lead to the PDF file of the Meeting of the Whole Agenda which contains the ordinance proposal in its entirety beginning on page 64.] which labels “pit bulls” as “per se dangerous.”  Dangerous per se means that “pit bulls” (which can refer to many different breeds) are supposedly intrinsically or inherently dangerous, yet where is the evidence?  I’ll give you a hint.  It doesn’t exist!  Bite statistics which supposedly show “pit bulls” as responsible for almost a third of dog bites nationwide are intrinsically flawed because they do not parse out actual breeds from the slang term “pit bull,” which can describe any medium- or even large-breed dog!  Still, as you’ll see from the ordinance, this very flawed bite data as well as a 20-year-old court case, a widely debunked “study” from Merritt Clifton, and other things like AKC and UKC breed standards to supposedly determine breed (which is a copyright infringement by the way), have been cited in the explanation preceding the ordinance proposal.  It’s as if Elgin is begging to be sued! (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

What good fortune that Councilman Prigge was afforded an opportunity to beat his BSL drum so soon after his election thanks to a supposed attack in Elgin by two dogs that escaped their restraints. Notice I didn’t call the dogs “pit bulls” because again this term is slang and can refer to many different breeds of dog.  What breed the dogs actually were varies depending on the account.  Still, how lucky for Prigge who, while campaigning on a platform of Animal Control ordinance changes, did not see fit to tell those voting for him that he would crusade for a “pit bull” ban in Elgin, despite there being more opposition to a ban rather than support for it.

Gosh, it almost makes you wonder if Prigge wasn’t a plant by some animal rights organization (and yes, animal rights organizations like PETA and the HSUS have pushed BSL) or perhaps some other organization here in Illinois in order to push and pass BSL.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find that Elgin would be a perfect test city in which to set a precedent for BSL under ‘home rule’ status.  Why would home rule be used to pass BSL in Illinois you might be wondering?  Because under state law, breed-specific legislation is forbidden.  The only supposed loophole is that home rule cities can pass BSL in defiance of the state law, or so we’re told.  In truth, it is illegal across the board to pass BSL in Illinois, home rule or not.  Home rule only allows cities/counties to defy state law for things like taxation purposes and public safety, and while those who push so vehemently for BSL do so under the guise of supposed safety, there is no evidence that BSL actually keeps citizens safer.  So what if, just if, someone were to pass what they knew was a lousy ordinance under false and/or misleading pretenses in a home rule city for the very purposes of being sued in order to set a precedent for BSL in home rule cities?  I know, sounds conspiratorial doesn’t it?  That would mean that whoever or whatever was behind such treachery would be corrupt wouldn’t it?  Yeah, and corruption in Illinois, as we all know, is unheard of, right?!

But, I leave corruption on that sort of level for God to sort out.  It would probably take a God-level light bulb in the sky to shine a light on those kinds of cockroaches, but you can bet that when He does, those cockroaches will skitter.  

The truth is, like the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), some pretty high-up people want to be able to track every living thing.  NAIS proposed to track all livestock (including horses), and like those who maintain BSL is for safety, those pushing NAIS maintained that there had to be traceability for food safety’s sake, though there was traceability even without NAIS.  And like NAIS, BSL in that regard is a crock.  BSL, as anyone with an internet connection can tell you, is not only unconstitutional, but ineffective and a waste of good folks’ tax dollars.

In Elgin, the real problems are and always have been gangs and the drugs they push. So you have to question the motives of some in city council who not only turn a blind eye to the real problems, but play a shell game by deflecting citizens’ attention to a problem created as a diversionary tactic. 

So, if indeed someone or some organization financed Prigge’s campaign for this very purpose — that is, so he could push a “pit bull” ban — then you can bet he won’t stop until Elgin voters vote him out of office.  Perhaps he knows he won’t be elected to another term.  Judging from the furor from Elgin citizens who overwhelmingly do not want BSL, it’s quite likely that Prigge will not be re-elected.  So, maybe he’s running for the next higher office he plans to campaign for using Elgin citizens’ dogs to do it. (Or maybe if he gets some form of BSL passed in Elgin, perhaps he’s been promised backing for a state senate or representative gig.  Wouldn’t be the first time we’d seen that.  Isn’t that what they call pay-to-play politics?)  Hmm, if that were the case, perhaps Elgin citizens have been duped and should consider a recall of Prigge.  From the city council meetings I’ve watched online wherein Prigge has shown himself to be arrogant, obnoxious, and not at all cooperative with his fellow councilmen or the citizens of Elgin, a recall of Prigge in Elgin might find sweeping support.   One thing’s for sure.  From what I’ve been hearing from Elgin citizens about the Elgin BSL proposal, anyone on the council who votes for BSL will lose votes in their next elections.  Count on it.

P.S. And how hypocritical is it for the Mayor of Elgin, Ed Schock, to tell the Daily Herald that “It [the ordinance proposal] puts additional restrictions on [“pit bulls”] on our belief that they are potentially more dangerous than the average dog” when he himself is believed to own German Shepherd dogs, which is an oft-banned breed of dog as well.  Too bad the “pit bull” doesn’t have friends in such high places!

11 Responses to “Elgin, Illinois Mayor, Councilmen Insist on Ineffective Nanny Legislation Despite Repeated Attempts to Educate Them”

  1. Sondra Arrache says:

    I say the people of Elgin should fight this. I live in Eugene, Oregon and I am willing to help organize and help network to raise funds to hire an attorney. I actually came to this site b/c I was looking for help for some of my online friends from Elgin. Please email me if you are from Elgin or if you want to help. stpfoster@live.com
    Let’s sue the bastards!!!

  2. Hey Sondra, thanks for your comment. I wonder if anyone in Elgin has considered a recall of Councilman Prigge. From what I’ve heard and read from and about him, he is belligerent, pig headed, and does not at all represent his constituents, choosing instead to do what he wants, when he wants. Sounds like grounds for a recall to me!

    How he got the mayor and other councilmen to go along with him I do not know, but I hope nobody who voted to pass this on for a council vote had ambitions for re-election because this has infuriated people in Elgin and I’ve seen many comments indicating that anyone who voted and continues to vote for BSL in Elgin will be out in the next election. Americans have had enough of “representatives” who are bought off by lobbying special interests at the expense of the Constitution and the American people. Seems well past time to get these people out, and with a recall you don’t even have to wait til the next election! Prigge must go!!!

  3. Michelle says:

    Subsequent Herald article:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=361843

    (222 comments to date!)

    How do we go about recalling Prigge??

  4. NPBB says:

    Michelle-

    Thanks for asking. The following link gives a general explanation on how to recall a city council member:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2096901_recall-city-council-member.html

    However, it is not as simple in Illinois. The following comes from the Illinois Municipal League which is ironic since they advocate for BSL:

    Can citizens recall elected public officials?

    ANSWER: Probably not. No established form of Illinois municipal
    government contains a recall provision. Such a provision was found to be unconstitutional as a part of the commission form of government. It is possible that the citizens of a municipality could, by referendum, add a recall provision to the structure of the government of that specific municipality. The same answer would probably apply to referendum-based term limits. (http://www.ancelglink.com/qanda/2001IML.html).

    Funny how when it covers their butts, they declare something unconstitutional, but when our tyrannical governments unconstitutionally adversely affect our property rights, it’s legitimate in their eyes. Anyway, if you’re serious about this, I would look into a referendum, and maybe try to hold a special referendum for just this purpose. Barring that, collecting hundreds or thousands of signatures stating that Elgin citizens want Prigge removed would make a clear statement as well. And hey, why stop at Prigge? Gilliam has been pushing BSL for years, has been absent from many meetings, and like so many of his fellow councilmen, doesn’t return constituents’ phone calls or e-mails. I understand he’s been battling cancer, but when you fall asleep in a council meeting and then additionally don’t bother to respond to constituents’ concerns, maybe you’re just being selfish by holding a position in government you have no business holding.

  5. Michelle says:

    Some good folks have drafted a petition:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/noban63/petition.html

  6. NPBB says:

    Thanks for the petition link Michelle. There is also one for Elgin here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/5/stop-unfair-dog-law-in-Elgin

  7. Rick Pryor says:

    Buffalo Grove is in the middle of trying to recall a council member. We should monitor it and see how it goes.

  8. jessica says:

    I am just sick of the pushing of dumb laws. I’m sure they picked Elgin because they can’t control the real problems they have there. They need to police the residents rather than the dogs. That is where the problem is and since they can’t control it they need to place the blame somewhere. The dogs are way less dangerous than the gangs and some of the people that are causing the problems!!

  9. Sondra Arrache says:

    I just went to Prigge’s website where he has a “question and anwer” page and found this:

    Q. How will this get pitbulls off the streets of Elgin?

    A. Bad owners will not comply with any of the requirements of law. They do not now on many things. Therefore, it is vital that pitbulls seen in violation of this law must be reported to 911 right away. Is it “ratting out” your neighbor to report an unlicensed pitbull? If reporting a crime is “ratting out” to you, then yes, I guess it is.

    Back to my comments. Is it just me, or does it seem like an abuse of 911 to call and report a pitbull? Anybody know how to copy this page? My word processor won’t let me. I think this is something that would be very useful to a possible future lawsuit. Maybe.

  10. Sondra Arrache says:

    Found the following on a question and answer page on Prigge’s site and am completely in awe of his plan to make people call 911. I believe that this is fodder for the potential lawsuit coming down the pike:

    Q. How will this get pitbulls off the streets of Elgin?

    A. Bad owners will not comply with any of the requirements of law. They do not now on many things. Therefore, it is vital that pitbulls seen in violation of this law must be reported to 911 right away. Is it “ratting out” your neighbor to report an unlicensed pitbull? If reporting a crime is “ratting out” to you, then yes, I guess it is.

  11. Sondra Arrache says:

    Elgin just voted DOWN the BSL!!!! Yippeeeeee!!! Somebody still needs to run against Prigge. I have the perfect campaign poster. Picture of Prigge wearing a muzzle with the slogan “muzzle Prigge, vote (fill in with name of opponent)”

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