We already knew Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doesn’t like her own rules.
She was one of the first elected officials to fall victim to lockdown hypocrisy after getting her hair done shortly after she recorded a PSA urging Chicagoans to follow Illinois’ restrictions on nonessential businesses, including not getting their hair done.
Just days before her city issued an advisory that banned outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people, she spoke at an outdoor demonstration celebrating Democrat Joe Biden being declared the victor of the presidential election.
It turns out it’s not just lockdown rules she thinks are worth breaking, either. According to a Monday report in the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot’s security detail got a pass on multiple traffic violations, with city officials dismissing them.
Lightfoot became mayor of Chicago in May 2019. Since then, her security detail has been issued 13 citations. Ten of those tickets, all involving speed and red-light camera infractions, were dismissed by city officials.
Not all of these were while she was on official city business, either. The city declined to provide an explanation as to where she was when the ticket was given or what she was doing. However, the Tribune looked at her calendar and found some of the tickets came while she was on personal business or going to a “non-city breakfast.”
“Four were issued at a time when her official calendar doesn’t note her scheduled whereabouts or indicates ‘rest,’ and another says she was supposed to be attending a virtual gala,” the Tribune reported.
News of the dismissals comes as Chicago’s aldermen approved Lightfoot’s 2021 budget, which increases the fines from the city’s much-derided red-light and speed cameras to make up for lost revenue. The city has also lowered the threshold for ticketing to 6 miles per hour over the speed limit; the previous threshold was 10 miles per hour.
So despised are Chicago’s traffic cameras that a certain mayoral candidate promised to reform the system, calling it unfair and saying it disproportionately hurt minorities: Lori Lightfoot.
“The red-light camera program was sold to Chicagoans as a public safety solution, but it’s really been about revenue — and those fines fall disproportionately on people of color,” Lightfoot said during the campaign.
So now she is using the system to generate revenue for the city even as low-income residents are disproportionately affected by the economic hardships we’ve seen during the lockdowns.
The mayor said the move was necessitated because there had been “exponentially” more “speed-related accidents and deaths” in 2020.
However, the Tribune found that a “review of publicly available city crash data found a more complicated picture of the safety situation than Lightfoot presented, with total crashes actually down from the first nine months of 2019, when there were 88,757, compared with the same period in 2020, when there were 69,480, records show.”
A city spokeswoman defended the dismissal of the tickets because Lori Lightfoot has never done anything hypocritical, and shut your goshdarn mouth if you think for a second that she has.
“The Chicago Police Department’s mayoral security detail is responsible for protecting the Mayor and her family at all times of the day. When traveling, this security detail is a two-car team — a lead car and a tail car — that is trained to stay together at all times for the safety and protection of the mayor,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
“Any and all red-light violations or speeding tickets dismissed by the City were done so when the tail car following the lead car became separated or in conjunction with City’s policies and practices when it comes to law enforcement vehicles.”
However, when former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had the same problem, he paid the tickets, saying that “no one is above the law.”
That’s how bad this is: Rahm Emanuel’s conduct looks good in comparison.
This should hardly be a surprise when it comes to Lightfoot-related hypocrisies. Take this spring, when she implored Chicago residents to stay inside during the first wave of intensive lockdowns.
“Debbie, getting your roots done is not essential,” she said in one of a number of too-cutesy PSAs she recorded. “Your dog doesn’t need to see its friends. You can work on your jump shot inside.”
I don’t know whether her dog, a goldendoodle named Hank Lightfoot (no, seriously) needed to see its friends or whether she worked on her jump shot outside. The mayor did, however, need to get her roots done — or whatever tonsorial procedures she has done at the salon — because photos emerged of her getting a haircut.
Mayor Lightfoot decided it was essential for her to get a haircut, but no one else can go out and get one. This doesn’t look like social distancing to us, why the hypocrisy @chicagosmayor? pic.twitter.com/iEi7zIqnwO
— Chicago GOP (@ChicagoGOP) April 6, 2020
But it’s OK, because she has a public role and takes pride in her appearance, unlike the rest of you schlubs who just have to go on Zoom looking all the worse for wear.
“I’m the public face of this city,” Lightfoot said at a news briefing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m on national media. And I’m out in the public eye. I take my personal hygiene very seriously. I felt like I needed to have a haircut. I’m not able to do that myself. So, I got a haircut. Want to talk more about that?”
The mayor added that reporters ought to focus more on saving lives, saying that she was “practicing what I’m preaching” because the hair stylist was wearing a mask and gloves. (Just not in those photos.)
Then came her address to an outdoor Biden celebration just before the city banned crowds of more than 10 from congregating outside.
— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) November 8, 2020
Her excuse for that? Biden supporters needed to come together and blow off steam.
“I will tell you in that big crowd a week ago, everybody was wearing masks,” Lightfoot told MSNBC, according to the Tribune.
“Yes, there are times when we actually do need to have … relief and come together, and I felt like that was one of those times. That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not, but this has been a super hard year on everyone. Everyone feels traumatized.”
And now, having been relieved, Biden supporters, you can go back to spending your time indoors, avoiding large gatherings, letting your hair grow out and paying off those speed camera fines.
Just don’t expect Lightfoot to be doing any of those things with you.
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