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Editorial: Before slating, Dems need answers on Trotter

Illinois Sen. Donne Trotter D-Chicago. |  AP file photo

Illinois Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago. | AP file photo

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Updated: January 10, 2013 6:29AM



No question about it. Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District has had a bad streak.

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. recently resigned while under federal investigation. Before that, Rep. Mel Reynolds quit after being convicted of sexual misconduct and other charges. Then there was Rep. Gus Savage. A House ethics panel found he made improper sexual advances to a Peace Corps volunteer.

The district has had more than its share of controversy. It doesn’t need more. Before the Democrats meet on Dec. 15 to slate a replacement for Jackson, they should have answers to every question raised by state Sen. Donne Trotter’s arrest this week for trying to bring a gun onto a plane at O’Hare Airport.

Trotter, 62, is said to be one of the leading candidates for slating, and he has said he will continue campaigning for the job, even though he is out on $25,000 bond and facing a felony charge that could bring a sentence of up to three years.

Here’s what the Democrats and the 2nd District need to know:

† TSA agents found a .25-caliber Beretta handgun and a loaded clip in a garment bag Trotter brought with him on his way to Washington. Trotter said they were for his job as a security guard, and that he forgot they were in the bag. But a .25-caliber gun is not considered a typical weapon for an armed security guard. Why did he have
one?

† Trotter is authorized to carry the gun to and from work. But forgetting he had it along suggests he’s used to carrying it more frequently than that. Did he?

† Trotter had state gun IDs, but the gun wasn’t registered in Chicago as required by law. Why not?

† Some people in his own office were unaware of his connection with AllPoints Security and Detective Agency. What’s the big secret?

Trotter, a vocal advocate of gun-control laws, should know he has an extra responsibility to abide by the rules. How can he argue for gun legislation while acting as Exhibit A for people who argue the law is already too onorous for otherwise law-abiding people?

At the very least, Trotter has been careless about his responsibilities. The Democrats who do the slating can’t afford to be the same.



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