Happy Monday, Illinois. President Donald Trump was seen wearing a mask, which has all of us wondering if MAGA folks will follow.

Knocking on doors, handshakes and kissing babies have become luxury items almost no can afford in 2020. In this cycle, such go-to election season habits are now replaced with virtual town halls and drive-thru outreach programs.


It’s a format particularly difficult for candidates without name recognition, but the virtual campaign just might work in the 6th Congressional District, where Democratic Rep. Sean Casten and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives are both notable political names.

“When you knock on doors, you get people who don’t like to answer. If you make phone calls, you get people who won’t answer their phones. And not everyone is savvy enough for texting,” Casten told Playbook. “So you have to overcompensate with the modes of contact that you have and do your best.”

Casten’s campaign held a phone-banking session by Zoom on Saturday that pulled together 112 volunteers. The candidate acknowledged “getting a lump in my throat” seeing so many volunteers.

They each muted themselves while phone-banking and checked in on the chat for encouragement and information.

In St. Charles, Ives’ team was scheduled to join other candidates for an outreach program to distribute care packages of protective masks, food and food coupons. Ives told the Daily Herald the event allows the campaign to “do its part to help others.” But it also gives candidates some facetime during a period of isolation and social-distancing.

Ives and Casten are also comfortable duking it out on social media, and they’re expected to debate in an event organized by the League of Women Voters, too. We’ll be zooming in when that’s scheduled.

The Democratic National Convention was originally supposed to kick off in Milwaukee today before it was moved to a nearly all-virtual event Aug. 17-20 — but Illinois Democrats are busy, nonetheless.

On Wednesday, they’ll meet to elect the 20 members who will represent Illinois in the Electoral College meeting in December, this is the ceremonial vote that formally decides who wins the presidency. Republicans also pull together a list, but it’s the party that wins the popular vote in November that gets to send its electors.

Also on Wednesday, Democrats will decide which 10 delegates will be named to attend Democratic National Committee meetings for a term that starts after August’s convention and goes through the 2024 convention.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, who will be among the 10 members on that list, holds all the cards as to who will be named, though the Democratic State Central Committee members make the final vote. Along with Madigan, we know that Jayne Mazzotti, a French teacher who serves as co-chair of the state party, will be on the list. Mazzotti was also a convention delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The 10 current DNC members along with some members of the Illinois congressional delegation, are delegates to the convention, and dozens of Illinois Democrats who have committed to the presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, are delegates too.

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In Garfield Park Golden Dome for a Census update.

No official public events.

At the Cook County Building for a press conference observing the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Heat Wave and the release of the Cook County Clean Energy Plan.

— Illinois positivity rate up: The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday announced 20 new additional deaths and 954 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. That’s a total of 7,187 deaths and 153,916 cases in all 102 Illinois counties. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from July 5 to July 11 is 3.0 percent, which is up from 2.6 percent a week ago.

Experts ask whether Illinois’ rise in Covid-19 cases should bring back restrictions: “The recent uptick in cases has again thrown the state into the thorny debate over how to contain the virus without sacrificing the economy,” by WBEZ’s Hunter Clauss, Vivian McCall.

Florida reports 15,000 new Covid cases, smashing national record: “The alarming figure puts the spotlight on a state that has become one of the biggest hot spots in the world,” by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon and Arek Sarkissian.

Not dangerous: DeVos defends schools reopening according to CDC guidelines: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday called federal guidelines for reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic “common sense.” But she “DeVos also emphasized that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations were merely guidance, as she insisted that children needed to return to school this fall, despite surging coronavirus infections throughout swaths of the country that have contributed to new nationwide daily infection records. And she said that returning children to school would not endanger them," by POLITICO’s Caitlin Oprysko.

Amid Covid-19 concerns, clinics step up testing for migrant farmworkers: “There’s a lack of data regarding Covid-19 among the estimated two million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the U.S. The National Center for Farmworker Health has compiled reports from media outlets and partner organizations documenting more than 3,000 cases of Covid-19 among farmworkers across 15 states,” by Illinois Newsroom’s Christine Herman.

Covid-19 mobile testing site in Lake Zurich this week following spike in youth cases, by Tribune’s Darcel Rockett.

Duckworth bursts into VP contention: A contingent of Duckworth-for-VP backers, including high-dollar donors and a politically active veterans group, has intensified efforts on her behalf in recent weeks, pushing her as the best choice as Biden’s running mate, writes POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Willie Wilson Jr. has donated $5 million to his Senate campaign, prompting veteran Sen. Dick Durbin to email supporters, saying, “We have to double our efforts in response to this influx of campaign cash.”

— Column: LaHood credits Trump for great times: Rep. Darin LaHood’s campaign literature paints a rosy picture of the state even amid a pandemic. “An email message from the candidate himself features a picture of Peoria Republican LaHood alongside President Donald Trump, with LaHood giving a thumbs-up. ‘The greatest economic comeback ever,’ the email, sent Thursday, is titled,” by State Journal-Register’s Bernard Schoenburg.

— Column: Foxx wins over powerful donors to sign her ‘pledge to fight for racial justice’: “Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx is asking her supporters to diversify their staff, operations, communications and spending in a pledge to bring “equity in all aspects” of politics,” writes columnist Laura Washington in the Sun-Times.

— Race for Cook County state’s attorney heats up. Republican Pat O’Brien, a former Cook County Circuit Court judge running against Kim Foxx for state’s attorney, has set up an online hotline for residents to report allegations of misconduct or failure to perform duties by Foxx or the state’s attorney’s office. O’Brien’s move follows Foxx recently creating an online complaint process to report allegations of criminal police misconduct. O’Brien says residents already have avenues to make such reports by contacting the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and Chicago’s 311 non-emergency call service. “As murders and gun violence soar in one of the bloodiest summers in Chicago, Ms. Foxx has set her sights on police officers, the men and women who provide our first line of defense from crime and violence,” said O’Brien.

— Column: If Gov. Pritzker wants his ‘fair tax,’ it’ll take more than an ad blast: “Yet, while it may seem odd to use the case of a governor who lost his job as an example, there are lessons to take from the Ogilvie experience,” by Better Government Association’s David Greising.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: A coalition of small businesses, large employers, family farmers and community advocates has organized to oppose the ballot measure calling for a Constitutional amendment to change how the state taxes income—from the current flat tax to a graduated tax. The Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment believes the proposal would hurt farmers and small businesses. “We are already suffering from the horrible impacts of Covid-19, and now the Legislature wants to impose another tax increase. If it passed, it would be the third income tax hike in the last decade,” Ann Deters, CEO of Vantage Outsourcing in Effingham, said in a release announcing the coalition. Supporters point out that state’s top 3 percentin wage-earners would pay more if a graduated income tax is approved, while middle-income folks would pay about the same, and lower-income earners would pay less in taxes.

Postage stampede? Chicago voters set new record for vote-by-mail applications: “In a statement, Lance Gough, the executive director of the city’s electoral authority, said “from here on it’s just a matter of seeing how soon Chicago voters double, triple and likely quintuple the records set in March 2020, and prior to that, November 1944,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

Teen daughter of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is trolling President Donald Trump’s business properties and his Chicago hotel has felt the heat.

Claudia Conway posted a video of herself on TikTok dancing under the words “would be shame if we all left one star reviews on all trumps restaurants, hotels and golf courses.”

The account is now private but New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz tweeted it June 29. That’s when the bad reviews started popping up at Trump properties all across the country, including in Chicago.

“This place sucks like it’s horrible it’s not as horrible as the person that owns it but don’t waste your money woof,” Evan S. of Monterey Park, Calif., wrote July 9, in a review of Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The trash-talking reviews are light on specifics. “Looks like a nice hotel on the outside. Lacks substance inside,” wrote Matt “Hoss” E. on July 4, the same day he wrote Satchell’s Beef & Pizza in Cicero (10 miles away) was “worth a stop.”

Trump Hotel Organization didn’t return repeated phone call requests for comment. But Yelp recently posted a comment for any searches of Trump Hotels, saying, “This business recently made waves in the news, which often means people come to this page to post their views on the news.”

Claudia Conway’s father (and Kellyanne’s husband) is George Conway III, a Republican and co-founder of the Lincoln Project. His organization has cut biting ads and tweets undermining Trump’s reelection — and Claudia is apparently testing out her own social media tactics.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Rep. Art Turner Jr. is making his next move. The outgoing state lawmaker has teamed up with political consultant and lobbyist Larry Luster to form GR Consulting, one of Illinois’ few Black-owned and operated lobbying and public affairs groups.

“We have diverse experiences in policy, public affairs and wide reach” of professional relationships, said Luster, who comes to the business having served on former Senate President John Cullerton’s management team. Turner, meanwhile, was on House Speaker Michael Madigan’s leadership team for six years.

The two politicos decided to go into business after recently striking up a conversation about the need for more diverse voices in the political consulting world. That’s become clearer in the wake of the social unrest that’s prompted leaders in government and politics to rethink how they do business, Luster told Playbook.

He and Turner have known each other for years — Turner was a young state rep when Luster was getting his start as a Senate staffer. They worked together on numerous projects in the General Assembly and while Luster was executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and, later, a lobbyist. “We’re pretty familiar with each other’s work styles,” Luster said.

Turner created an election frenzy last year when he announced he would not seek re-election. Seven candidates battled for his 9th District House seat, including his brother, Aaron Turner. The winner was union-backed Lakesia Collins. Now that Turner has stepped down, Democrats are deciding who will replace him through the end of the year.

To open CPS schools, teachers have demands, but does city have to meet them? “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said an announcement on schools would be coming “soon,” as CPS is working on various contingency plans. And Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Friday told reporters an announcement about schools would be coming [this] week,” by Tribune’s Hannah Leone.

Cashing in on Covid-19 billions despite Medicare fraud, millions in settlements: “Chicago-based hospital giant CommonSpirit Health got $1.9B in federal loans, $718M in grants. That was after paying $80M over a decade for federal violations,” by Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann.

Names for Montrose Harbor’s piping plover chicks inspired by environmental justice, Native Americans and hope: “[B]irding organizations held a naming contest for the plovers and received more than 300 submissions before deciding on Hazel, Esperanza and Nish,” writes Tribune’s Sophie Sherry.

Protest art has covered up boarded up businesses — will it be preserved? By WBEZ’s Mackenzie Crosson, Steven Jackson, Izii Carter

Pawar writing the book on why we need government-owned banks in the public interest: “Working with the George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, he thinks a public banking system handling depositors and public pension funds could fuel transformative change,” by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.

— Opinion: Black leaders of predominantly white institutions must seize this moment: “For my students at the Latin School, and particularly for my Black and Brown students, I know there is tremendous pain,” writes the Latin School’s Randall Dunn.

— Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas says 85,000 more residents have paid their taxes than last year at this time. That may be because of the special messages to “stay at home” and “pay online” that were included in the tax bills. Pappas says the messages are working. Some 60,000 homeowners paid online so far. “The bottom line, in a crisis, the first thing people take care of is their homes. They want a roof over their heads and a place to hide from the virus and the protesting and the looting.” Cook County property tax bills are due Aug. 3, though Pappas points out residents can pay up anytime until Oct. 1 without penalty.

Naperville Park Board spent $25K on lawsuit against Pritzker to reopen park facilities only to drop the case a month later, by Naperville Sun’s Erin Hegarty.

Jury trial for Alton mayor’s wife, charged with violating stay-at-home order: “Shannon Walker, the wife of Alton Mayor Brant Walker, requested on Friday in Alton city court a jury trial for a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct. She was granted a jury trial, the date pending, to be held at the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville,” by the Telegraph’s Jill Moon.

Feds break up North Side cocaine trafficking operation, arrest leader who allegedly said his cocaine was the ‘best s— in the city’: “Joshua ‘Big Moe’ Moore allegedly ran the operation out of a building near Devon and Western avenues in West Rogers Park,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.

First federal execution in 17 years back on track: “A convicted killer is to be executed Monday in Indiana,” by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein.

Questions loom for Illinois housing relief: “Illinois residents who lost jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are having trouble with payments for homes or apartments, are in for a nail-biting few weeks ahead, as public officials determine the details of government support programs that could help them,” by Daniel Vock for Center for Illinois Politics.

Fireworks over fireworks: Rep. Ford wants feds to intervene to stop neighboring states from selling illegal fireworks to Illinois residents, by WBBM’s Jim Gudas.

Illinois casinos benefit from tax break approved during pandemic: “The casinos were not supposed to see their tax rate cut until a newly approved casino finally opened in Chicago, ramping up competition for the existing facilities outside of the state’s biggest city. But the change made during this spring’s session of the Illinois General Assembly moved up the date when the lower tax structure at existing casinos would take effect — to July 1,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

Funeral homes try to return to somewhat normal state in Phase 4: “At this time, a funeral home can allow 50 people to gather for a visitation. During the beginning of the pandemic, space was limited to 10 people,” by Telegraph’s Dylan Suttles.

Universities are eager to reopen this fall, but is it safe?: “There are no guarantees, but it’s a risk higher ed officials seem willing to take,” by Crain’s Lynne Marek.

‘Adapt immediately or find a new job’: Senate GOP confronts fundraising emergency, by POLITICO’s Elena Schneider, James Arkin and Ally Mutnick

‘Historic corruption’: 2 GOP senators denounce Trump’s commutation of Stone, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio

Actually, the Supreme Court just gave Congress a big win, by Kimberly Wehle for POLITICO

Andy Shaw’s plans for a quiet retirement from journalism were turned upside down when Gov. J.B. Pritzker shut down Illinois in March. Shaw and his wife became invaluable child care providers to their grandchildren so their daughters and spouses could work. “I’d take them on nature walks or down to the beach while Mary kept the house running. We also handled some of the kids’ bedtimes, refereed many of their disagreements, prepared most of their meals — mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, quesadillas, fish sticks, chicken nuggets and other “haute cuisine” — and managed a lot of their indoor activities,” writes Shaw in the Tribune. “It has been noisy, chaotic, tiring … and eminently necessary.”

Samuel Pritzker, a son of one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s cousins, has purchased Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Samuel Novarro house in Los Angeles.

Former state Sen. Suzi Schmidt and Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia.




July 13, 2020 at 07:27AM

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