Once Again, the Chicago Tribune Stirs Up Trouble as It is Wont to Do

By Editor
In Breed-Specific Legislation
Apr 14th, 2010
4 Comments
7949 Views

The Chicago Tribune seems to have waited until today, which also happens to be the day the Elgin City Council convenes, to publish the article, Elgin’s new animal law won’t cover 2 recent dog bites.  The article is about just that: two recent incidents involving dogs in Elgin.  Funny, because the Courier News reported on these incidents almost 10 days ago in their Police Blotter.  So why now Tribune?

Also of note is that while the Courier News reported that one of the dogs in question in one of the attacks was a “loose dog of unknown breed,” the Tribune reported that the dog was a “pit bull mix.” Even more curious is that Kristie Hilton, who identified herself as an employee of the Elgin Police Department, posted on Facebook saying the dog in question was a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer mix (two breeds commonly and erroneously called “pit bulls”).

But the final cherry on this lying, smearing crap of a sundae is that Councilman John Prigge will almost certainly use this fabrication to start pounding the “pit bull” ban drum yet again.  He promised as much after expressing hope that there would be another incident:

We need to have another occurrence to happen…and then there’s no turning back.

We predicted there would be some fabricated “pit bull” attack, the pretense of which would be used to push a breed-specific amendment to Elgin’s existing animal control ordinance. (And the other incident supposedly involved a Rottweiler, so will Prigge add even more breeds to his breed-specific hit list?)  The Lord knows how much we wanted to be wrong, but since we’ve seen this modus operandi time and time again, we knew it would happen just this way. 

There is no doubt now that Elgin is a target city for breed-specific legislation (BSL).  So, does that mean Prigge has been promised something (like say a generous campaign contribution for the next political office for which he intends to campaign) by the cockroach powers that be if he can get BSL passed?  This is, after all, Illinois, home of Al Capone, pay-to-play politics, and corrupt government.  Would any of us be surprised?   It also wouldn’t be the first time the Tribune has engaged in a smear campaign against “pit bulls” to aid in the passage of some onerous legislation like a breed ban.    

4 Responses to “Once Again, the Chicago Tribune Stirs Up Trouble as It is Wont to Do”

  1. madmaninelgin says:

    The SWAN neighborhood is another group to watch out for. Mike Curtin VP of the group spoke at City Council tonight and is is asking for all dogs to licensed and that the data be made available in a database so that they can self police their neighborhood. Wow roll out the brown shirts. Mike also mention there will be amendments to the animal control act. Is Priggie still beating a dead horse?

    This all this started last year when Charlene Sligting, president of SWAN, got a group to cry an plead in front of city council for a breed ban.

    Sligting may have run for city council but she is not our elected offical. She needs to stop campaigning on the backs of good people’s dogs.

  2. NPBB says:

    Well, I guess we were wrong. Instead of Prigge jumping on the ban wagon I guess he’s just going to get SWAN to do it for him. Yes, we’ve all heard about SWAN. I just love it when people in normal everyday life feel impotent and so they start some Nazi neighborhood association to make themselves feel less small. And yes, not so surprisingly, their rules and regulations start to resemble those of the Nazi ghettos. Even the smallest bit of power given to a small person can unleash a terrible oppression on the people.

    Putting every Elgin dog owner in a publicly searchable database would betray their privacy rights and liken them to sexual predators, though they’ve done nothing wrong! And it’s certainly not the first time we’ve seen this. This has been a brain child of radical animal rightists for years. So what? You’re suspect just for owning a dog now? Give me a break! Why are these radicals given such clout on our city councils???

    You are also quite right to note that people like Charlene Sligting and Mike Robins should not have as much pull as they do with your city council. After all, the voters made themselves quite clear about both of them in the last election and so they should just stop injecting themselves into every little hot-button political issue that they think can garner them press for the next time they run. God willing, the Robins, Sligtings, and Prigges of the world will find themselves on a bread line in the next election and any other after it. It is the will of the people that matters, not the opinions of those with a political agenda who would use good people’s constitutional rights as a political fulcrum like so much toilet paper.

  3. Kristie Hilton says:

    I would like to be very clear that I do not share the perspective offered in the original post; my comment is not addressing or acknowledging the comments above mine. I, in fact, wholly support the positive steps the Elgin City Council took during the BSL debate. They actively listened to their constituents and based their BSL decision on that interaction. All seven members should be commended, not condemned, and that would include Councilman Prigge. His ideas were his perception of what would make Elgin safer. Agree or disagree, the democratic process ran its course and right now, we should be focusing on other dog issues that are in front of us. (After all, to my knowledge, Council member Prigge did not write the article for the Chicago Tribune.) Enough of the divisive dialogue, let’s work towards education and prevention. If Elgin residents that do own dogs take the steps that are required of them, this will be a future non-issue. Educate yourself, your neighbors and friends on what it means to be a responsible dog owner. Support your Council’s efforts until you have a reason not to. Right now, you do not.

    It is rather unfortunate that an innocuous clarification offered between friends on FB has placed me on this site without any recourse or ability to contact the person(s) who maintains the site or wrote the post. I support the Elgin City Council’s efforts to make the city I live in safer and do NOT support rogue postings that name drop and perpetuate personal attacks. If you’re going to include people’s name on a blog, have the courage to include your own, as well.

  4. NPBB says:

    We are sorry if this incident has caused you to receive flak. I have prayed for you since your first posting because I worry that you are being used as a political pawn to say what others haven’t the courage to say for themselves. You really did nothing wrong, as you yourself said initially, and so you shouldn’t have to do penance. You simply stated that the dog in question was not a “pit bull” but a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer mix. In turn we also did no wrong by posting that information, which was widely and publicly available. However, we had no idea it would bring you grief. We were simply trying to tell the truth. And had you posted the first time and asked us to remove your name, we would have done so, and still will do so if you would like. That would be the Christian thing to do, so if that is what you want, we will do so.

    Similarly, we do not set out to name-call or even be mean. But as Christians we are not shown the shadowy deeds of our governors (i.e. those who govern) so we can simply turn a blind eye to them. Ephesians 5:11 and 13 says,

    “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them…all things become visible when they are exposed by the light…”

    So what you (or perhaps your ghost writer) have called “divisive dialogue” is really us adhering to the prescripts of our faith. We can understand how those who come under scrutiny might feel differently, however.

    Surely you have heard of the word indignation. It means “righteous anger,” and it’s good that there’s a word for righteous anger because so many people don’t believe you can be blameless while being angry. Not true. Indignation is what we have for the deeds of some on the Elgin City Council (and indeed for some not on the Council who would like to be on the Council who are selfishly pushing unconstitutional pieces of legislation in order to do so).

    What Councilman Prigge proposed was unconstitutional and blatantly so. And worse, while he was dismissive of Elgin residents who showed him time and again that BSL was ineffective, we fear he was and may still be entertaining at least one radical animal rights group and possibly individuals who have wide renown as engaging in political malfeasance. Had the BSL passed, Elgin would have potentially had to deal with several lawsuits, which is a waste of taxpayers’ money for a senseless, useless, and impotent law that won’t even keep people safer. And while you say that the council actively listened, those who oppose BSL know they didn’t. Councilman Prigge refused to listen to reason from within or without Elgin. Worse, he was repeatedly rude, smug, and even combative with some of his constituents. Meanwhile, I’m told few if any of the rest of the Council returned e-mails or phone calls. You call that active listening?

    Even those in favor of BSL had to admit that the opposition greatly outnumbered them. And no, the Council did not listen to the public, they simply lost one of their ‘yes’ votes. Still, you say this is over? If it’s over, why is Councilman Prigge still pounding away for BSL? He promised he’d propose it again if/when there was another “pit bull” incident. Indeed, he appears to not only be looking for an excuse to push BSL again, he’s insinuated that he hopes there is another incident so he can push BSL again. And yet you say this is over? Elgin residents should work on unity not division? Well, we would submit to you and the Council that if they care so much about unity and that this BSL debacle has caused division in the community, then Mr. Prigge should be reined in. He caused the division in the first place, and he can work for unity now, but he seemingly refuses.

    And was it not Ms. Sligting and/or SWAN that initiated this unconstitutional BSL in the first place? Was it also not SWAN that last council meeting asked for licensure for all dogs and a publicly searchable database? Do you know how unconstitutional such a database is? It is a stark violation of 4th amendment privacy rights and would liken dog owners unto sexual predators! These folks are not Elgin’s elected officials and so they shouldn’t use Elgin residents’ constitutional rights to pad their resume so that they can say they’ve been proactive in the community as one or more of them gears up to campaign for the next election. And when I talked about Nazi neighborhood associations I was actually referring to my own experience with them. I once had a president of a neighborhood association who was a busybody and who would walk around the neighborhood and warn people that their grass was getting beyond “regulation height”! Like I said, give a little person a little bit of power and they can make people’s lives miserable. I’m quite certain Elgin residents did not take on the responsibility of owning dogs so that SWAN could turn them into would-be criminals in some database that violates their privacy rights. And yes, that’s what those kinds of laws do: they turn mere dog owners into a would-be criminal class.

    And why do you dismiss that we are part of the democratic process as well? We, as in Americans, are “the people” talked about in the Constitution. We aren’t campaigning for office. We have no political agenda. We only want the Constitution to be upheld because when it is negated in one place, it will be negated in others. What God-fearing American wouldn’t want the Constitution upheld? Actually, that’s a good question. What kind of American would push such blatantly unconstitutional pieces of legislation which serve only to burden the law-abiding?

    And yes, the BSL thing has been divisive, but it was not responsible dog owners who picked this fight. Responsible dog owners simply wanted to protect their constitutional rights to freely and responsibly own their dogs without having to worry about unreasonable and even impossible standards being unfairly and unconstitutionally applied to them. You can personally attack us, but our intentions were and are good. Indeed, our intentions were to serve God first, and so they were godly. And when even a city council has lost sight of the fact that it is God who truly governs, well, don’t be surprised if God reminds them.

    If you are under pressure to speak for those who won’t speak for themselves there should really be no need. You may have inadvertently foiled Councilman Prigge’s/SWAN’s plan to cite that incident as having involved a “pit bull” when in fact it was merely yet another free-roaming dog incident, but that should in no way make you beholden to him or anyone else. We will continue to pray for you and for Elgin, that it be a peaceful place with upright, moral, law-abiding, and God-fearing governance.

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