This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Chicago's struggling Democrat mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is finally talking tough on the problem of homeless people sleeping and forming "encampments" all over O'Hare Airport after some embarrassing media coverage hit the national media.
Lightfoot is in a difficult race for re-election, and the sudden press coverage, beginning with the New York Post and then moving on to Fox News, of homeless people proliferating at the nation's fourth-busiest airport was not helping her campaign.
"We absolutely fundamentally cannot have people sleeping in our airports who are homeless. That is unacceptable. We are going to continue, within the bounds of the law, to do what is necessary to provide those folks with support but elsewhere. They can't be in our airports," she said during a press conference Thursday, according to BizPacReview.
Lightfoot is reeling from a Tucker Carlson report on O'Hare's escalating homelessness crisis (Carlson calls her "America's worst mayor"). And though she tried to put the focus on Carlson and Fox News (the left's favorite target for ridicule), his report relied on an interview with a Democrat city alderman, Raymond Lopez, to bring the troubling reality of Chicago's decline home to the rest of the country:
Lopez said, "They're not just urinating in the hallways. They're taking baths in the toilets there. They're making a mockery of what Chicago is here. We understand that homelessness is a problem we must address,"
"But making O'Hare Airport a homeless shelter for hundreds of people on a daily basis when we're trying to welcome people here, when we're trying to encourage tourism, bring back the business clientele, bring back families to our city, and to only have them greeted by hundreds of homeless who have mental health issues, maybe armed, maybe not even be clothed, that's not something that institutes a lot of confidence in our mayor, in our city," he added.
Conservatives aren't buying the new tough-on-crime, Lightfoot.
"It's part of the ongoing disintegration of Chicago," conservative Republican activist and radio host Dan Proft told the New York Post Wednesday. "[Lightfoot] holds the primary responsibility."
"She pounds her fists at a podium and says 'We're gonna do this and we're gonna do that' for public safety – and it doesn't get done," said Proft, one-time Republican candidate for governor of Illinois and a host of the morning show "AM 560 The Answer."
"The situation at O'Hare is unprecedented. ... It's as bad as [Chicagoans] can remember in terms of quality of life issues," Proft told the Post.
The Washington Examiner reports that a new poll has Lightfoot in fourth place for the upcoming mayoral election on April 4 (early voting begins Feb. 28).
Twitter users also took to the social media platform to share their stories about the descent of O'Hare.
After Chuck Callesto tweeted on Feb. 17 that Lightfoot "says PICTURES OF HOMELESS people sleeping in Chicago O'Hare Airport are OLD and NOT Real. Blames FOX NEWS. If you live in CHICAGO and are traveling to the airport PLEASE drop images and video in the comment section," Wayne Lehtinen took up the challenge and responded:
"I was just there Feb 4th to see my newly minted sailor off to A school. Imagine my shock when no force security was present to protect our sailors with vagrants sleeping all over the place with one vagrant flailing about and screaming CIA operations."
Back in October, Proft went on Carlson's show on Fox News to discuss how Illinois' Democrat governor, J.B. Pritzker, and Lightfoot colluded with Chicago's NBC affiliate to remove an ad highlighting the escalating crime problem in the city. More importantly, Proft briefly discussed a proposed law – the so-called SAFE-T Act, now in effect – which critics have dubbed the "Purge Law." The "criminal justice reform" legislation passed in Democrat-dominated Illinois "completely eliminate[s] cash bail for the majority of defendants charged with criminal acts," according to conservative Chicago resident Gianno Caldwell, whose younger brother, Christian, was shot dead in Chicago last June.