Happy Monday, Illinois. Some cool audio of the moment the guns fell silent ending World War I. (HT Sean Casten) Audio clip here
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley confirms the House Intelligence Committee will reopen the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections and individuals previously excluded from the probe will be subpoenaed — that includes outgoing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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“We need to focus on unfinished work, talking to people who were less than candid to us, following up on people who refused to answer questions,” Quigley, a member of the Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO. The Illinois Democrat is also in line to become what’s known as a ‘cardinal‘ in D.C. — he’s slated to become chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, one of the 12 subcommittees of the influential Appropriations Committee.
After Sessions previously refused to answer questions, Quigley wants him to answer whether the president tried to impair the investigation.
The former Chicago criminal defense attorney notes he’s part of “the most important investigation of our lifetime—and I lived through Watergate!” Recalling how Watergate escalated from “third-rate burglary” to conspiracy and obstruction of justice, Quigley says the “stakes are higher” in the Russia scandal. “Russia hacked the democratic process and there’s a heck of a lot of evidence that the president and his minions cooperated with them to do that.”
If Watergate is algebra, says Quigley, “this is calculus. It’s one thing to subpoena John Dean. It’s another thing to subpoena a Russian oligarch.”
Illinois Democrats’ takeover of every level of government has the Illinois Republican Party is taking stock on how to shift gears. The way Pat Brady sees it, the Illinois GOP needs an “autopsy” similar to what the national GOP underwent in 2012 when Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama. “We need to get back to the party of Reagan, a party that appeals to a broad spectrum,” he told POLITICO.
That would mean having to pull back from the politics of Dick Uihlein, the business magnate who supported conservatives across the country during this past election season, including Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore—who was accused of sexually assaulting teens when he was in his 30s. Uihlein lives in Wisconsin but has been an influence on GOP politics in Illinois, funneling $8.5 million to the Liberty Principles PAC and to conservative gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives (who lost to Bruce Rauner in the primary).
Brady and others say the Illinois GOP would do better to stop focusing on social issues like gay marriage, especially as more young people and women get involved in the voting process.
GOP state Rep. Dave McSweeney also points to the missteps of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. “ We have a massive tax hike, out of control spending, a big unpaid backlog of bills—and we have fewer Republican General Assembly members,” he told POLITICO. “We’re worse off than when he came in.”
McSweeney says Republicans need to follow Democrats’ political tactics: Run a grassroots GOTV campaign. “This wasn’t a policy victory,” he said, referring to J.B. Pritzker’s rout over Rauner. “Pritzker ran on a vague platform. What he and Democrats did was get out the vote.”
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— Congresswoman Cheri Bustos drops out of assistant leader race to run for DCCC chair, by Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson: Bustos, who co-chairs the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, has stressed the importance of increasing geographic diversity on the leadership team in the next Congress. (The only other Midwesterner in a leadership race right now is Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, who is vying for one of the three open DPCC co-chair positions.) Story here
— Taking his biggest political risk yet, Illinois Rep. Bill Foster, is among those leading the charge against Nancy Pelosi becoming the next Speaker of the House, by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet: Story here
— Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood, Democrats who flipped suburban districts to blue, talked to POLITICO about their wishlists, goals and their takes on the House speakership and impeachment.
Underwood’s committee wishlist: Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce. Her legislative goals: Lowering prescription drug prices, ensuring that “middle-class families can afford their health insurance.”
Casten’s committee wishlist: Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, Financial Services. His legislative goals: Work to create a national balance sheet with annual cash flow projections. Also wants to modernize the Clean Air Act to make standards more strict and introduce a fossil-energy reduction standard.
Both hedged on whether they’d vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker: “She’s the only person we know who’s running,” Underwood says. “I want to know everyone on the ballot before I make a decision,” says Casten.
Views on impeachment: “The entire world is unsafe with every day Donald Trump is in office. But I also think its premature to” seek impeachment, says Casten.
“We need to allow Mr. Mueller’s investigation to come to its natural conclusion,” adds Underwood.
— Meeting the press: Rep.-elect Lauren Underwood was featured on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” She said President Donald Trump “certainly” was a factor in her victory in the 14th District, but a lack of representation played a greater role. “We had a congressman who was not caring for our voice, voted to take away health care, voted to raise our taxes, refused to act in the face of escalating gun violence in our country,” she said of outgoing Rep. Randy Hultgren. “And so in our district it was very clearly about representation and did we have what we deserved.”
— How a blue wave rolled through historically Republican Naperville, leaving the GOP in its wake, by Naperville Sun’s Suzanne Baker: Story here
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel broughthis insights to “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” hosted by his pal from the Bill Clinton White House days. Sitting next to Emanuel was New Jersey’s former Gov. Chris Christie. “We agree, don’t we, Rahm?” Christie asked at one point.
“Don’t tell my mother,” said Emanuel.
On the issue of the midterms, Emanuel said, “There was a blue wave with a red undertow. And both parties have something to crow about. Both have things to be concerned about.”
On how the Dems might take advantage of their House majority, he said, “The Democrats should triangulate; they should find everything that (GOP Senate leader) Mitch McConnell and the president don’t agree on and go right at it, because that will force a division in the Republican Party and bring in whatever moderate wings of the Republicans that are left and bring them over to the Democratic side.” One of those issues: pre-existing conditions.
— In her book, Michelle Obama recalls her Chicago upbringing: ‘Am I good enough?’ by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet: Story here
— BGA and WBEZ unveil a joint project focusing on Dolton, once a thriving industrial suburb—now emblematic of a rising tide of suburban poverty. Story here
Oak Park High School marches against hate after anti-Semitic incidents, by Sun-Times’ Adam Thorp: Story here
— Pritzker win alters the focus of the veto session, by State Journal-Register’s Doug Finke: The annual veto session starts Tuesday, and state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) says the prospect of a Democratic governor being sworn in early next year changes this session’s atmosphere: “A lot of this stuff might get pushed off until (next year),” he said. “I do not see where we have any huge pressing issues that are going to be taken up in the veto session.” Story here
— Obama’s time in Illinois prepared him for the presidency, by the Peoria Journal Star’s Chris Kaergard: How his time spent as a senator in Springfield helped shape Barack Obama the president. Story here
— Global leaders snub Trump and his nationalistic vision, by POLITICO’s Nancy Cook: Story here
— Democrats vow to tighten the screws on Whitaker, by POLITICO’s Brent D. Griffiths: Story here
— Richard Ojeda to run for president, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki: Story here
— How the GOP gave up on porn, by POLITICO’s Tim Alberta: Story here
Evelyn Sanguinetti, lieutenant governor of Illinois, will mark the day with a romantic dinner with her husband. (No children for this one.)
Mark SooHoo, executive director of digital communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, also celebrates today.
At City Hall in the morning announcing a lawsuit against e-cigarette retailers caught selling to minors. In the afternoon he’ll be at Wilbur Wright College announcing modernization of CTE programs.
At the Union League Club to deliver remarks at Veterans Day program with Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Union League’s American Legion Post 758.
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November 12, 2018 at 06:54AM