Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. Is Trump’s power waning? POLITICO’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer think so.

President Donald Trump brought out his favorite punching bag Monday: Chicago and its violence problem.


“It’s a scourge,” Trump said of recent shootings in Chicago, adding, “We’re not going to let it go on.” He gave no details in the veiled threat to send in the feds.

“You’re supposed to wait for them to call, but they don’t call,” Trump said at a roundtable discussion at the White House with a group of Americans affected by gun violence.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot isn’t going to call anytime soon. In a statement to Playbook, her office accused Trump of trying “to score cheap political points” by focusing on violence — and doing it badly, reporting the statistics incorrectly.

“Gun violence is a national public health crisis and given the president’s track record with those, he doesn’t know the first thing about keeping this nation’s cities safe,” Lightfoot’s office said.

As he’s done in the past, Trump also compared Chicago to Afghanistan and put Rudy Giuliani on a pedestal.

The president likes to go after Chicago, and did so a few weeks ago. And he’s done it in speeches and on Twitter going back to 2017, always mangling the statistics, too.

It’s easy to critique these days as shootings have seen a surge. While they are especially high in Chicago and present their own level of tragedy, the city is hardly alone. New York City, Atlanta, Philly, and Dallas have all witnessed spikes in violence over the past few weeks too. (The president did mention Philly and Minneapolis, but only in passing.) Trump remains fixated because it’s easier than acknowledging that “135,000 Americans are dead on his watch,” said Strategy Group Senior VP Avivia Bowen, referring to the Covid-19 death toll. She and a cadre of left- and right-leaning politicos talked to Playbook about Trump’s latest comments.

“He wants to undermine jurisdictions that have managed Covid-19 more effectively so far by [instead] pointing to other legitimate problems,” Eric Sedler, managing partner of Kivvit public affairs firm, told Playbook.

Former GOP Chairman Pat Brady calls it “no-risk politics” for Trump to beat up on a state he lost by a million votes. “The reality is those comments aren’t helpful and do a lot of damage to good Republican candidates who are trying to win. Making outlandish statements doesn’t help Republicans, especially when he only comes to Illinois to raise money.”


After another weekend of children shot in Chicago, top cop asks for more time for his ‘community policing on steroids,’ by Tribune’s Claire Hao and Paige Fry

Chance the Rapper tweeted Monday that he’d support Kanye West’s presidential bid, opening a daylong debate on social media about politics, racism and the two-party system.

It started when Chance showed some love to his fellow rhymester for a new release that features Donda West, his late mom. Kanye dropped the song on her birthday.

Chance liked it, adding: “And yall out here tryna convince me to vote for Biden. Smfh.”

The political pushback was fierce, prompting Chance to respond: “Can someone explain why Joe Biden would be better??”

Chance’s tweets got thousands of likes, and defended his position in dozens of replies — while not agreeing, say, with West’s opposition to vaccines — but it doesn’t mean Democrats have to worry about significant numbers of Black voters somehow backing West, who only recently parted ways with Trump, instead of Biden. West must meet a flurry of deadlines in key states to get on those ballots. That requires paperwork — and, in Illinois, lots of signatures. The bigger question is this: Who is the typical "Kanye voter"?

Chance’s views are indicative of a younger group of Millennials full of disrupters who want to change the system but don’t know how. It kind of resembles the hope of shocking the political system Trump’s supporters sought to do in 2016.

We saw this in the mayor’s race when Chance backed activist Amara Enyia and then stopped giving her money. (West gave to that campaign, too). Chance then joined Toni Preckwinkle’s campaign because activists were behind it. And we know how that turned out.

John Legend encouraged Chance to “keep fighting” but guided him to see the importance of putting “together a majority coalition.” It’s the kind of advice Chance’s dad, Ken Bennett, might give, having worked in the mayor’s office under Rahm Emanuel and in Barack Obama’s administration.

By day’s end, Chance had to dial it down: “Ok this is me slowly trying to get down from this hill without falling and dying: Whoever you vote for I hope they abolish the prison system as we know it, honor black reparations and all treaties with Indigenous folk and lastly end homelessness. Whomever that may be God bless em.”

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At Harold Washington College to announce the “Fresh Start” debt forgiveness program.

At the National Able Network in Chicago to announce expansion of an apprenticeship program.

At the Cook County Health Professional Building at 10:30 discuss the spike in opioid overdose fatalities amid the pandemic.

Mondays tend to see low numbers because reporting isn’t as frequent on the weekends, and yesterday’s were especially so. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported six additional deaths due to coronavirus and 883 new confirmed cases in Illinois. That’s a total of 7,193 deaths and 154,799 cases in the state. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 6 to July 12 is 3.0 percent.

— ‘Everyone is lying’: Trump undercuts public health officials in fresh attacks: “Sharing tweets from a former game show host, the president prolonged his feud with Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC,” by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey.

Trump’s demand that schools fully reopen spurned by big districts: “President Donald Trump has spent the past two weeks demanding — often in all caps on Twitter — that American schools reopen this fall. But America’s biggest school systems are rejecting the president across the country, with one city and county after another opting for virtual education or just a few days a week in school. And the president has little power to do anything about it,” by POLITICO’s Nicole Gaudiano and Bianca Quilantan.

One of Illinois’ largest school districts announces plans for reopening, by NBC/5.

As cases tick up in central Illinois, local experts urge masks, hand-washing, social distancing: “On Monday, the Sangamon County Department of Public Health reported 24 new cases, for a total of 555. Meanwhile, the nine-county area around Springfield saw its highest three-day average of new cases since May last week, according to numbers compiled by the Southern Illinois School of Medicine,” writes NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.

Chicago closes West Loop bar for violating Chicago’s coronavirus crowding rules: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration closed a West Loop bar and cited a handful of other venues over the weekend for flouting COVID-19 capacity or social distancing rules, part of her promised crackdown on violators aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus cases throughout the city,” by Tribune’s John Byrne and Louisa Chu.

Lawsuit aims to lift IHSA’s pandemic-related restrictions on high school sports: “A southern Illinois lawyer who has tangled with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration over pandemic-related shutdown measures is suing the Illinois High School Association, claiming the group exceeded its authority by placing new limits on sports participation,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.

Lightfoot calls on Dreadhead Cowboy to boost Census response: “With just over half of Chicagoans filling out the census, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday gave the city a “C” grade when it comes to responding to the decennial count…. Lightfoot said the city is even enlisting the famous dreadhead cowboy, Adam Hollingsworth, to visit communities in the city with low response rates and help get the word out about the count,” by WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.

Ald. Carrie Austin reveals she tested positive for the coronavirus: “The City Council’s second-most-senior member is the highest ranking city of Chicago official known to have tested positive for Covid-19,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Local School Councils are weighing whether to keep cops in schools. Here are the meetings this week: “Recent months have seen a growing youth-led movement in Chicago calling for an end to school police programs, buoyed by similar decisions in other cities spurred by nationwide protests against police violence against Black people,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Yana Kunichoff and Block Club Chicago’s Pascal Sabino.

Chicago police impounded 250,000 vehicles since 2010. Here’s why City Hall’s rethinking that: “Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in a program that enforces city policy but often cripples drivers with debt,” by WBEZ’s Elliott Ramos.

— A must read: Returning South: A family revisits a double lynching that forced them to flee to Chicago 100 years ago: “In Paris, Texas, the Arthur brothers’ legacy still looms large. This town, like many in America, has never come to terms with its racist past. It was easier to bury this defining moment in history than reconcile it by bringing it into the open. Recently, a small group of people with ties to Paris decided it was time to acknowledge the travesty, apologize to the Arthur family and begin moving the town forward,” a must-read by Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton.

— ‘Blinded by fandom’: An argument for changing Blackhawks’ name: “When nonnative people absorb Native mascotry one of the things that it does is that it makes it easier to ignore the actual real problems facing Indian country. Whether you’re talking about things like the incarceration rates, rates of police brutality, infant mortality, nutrition, food deserts, I mean, the list is very long in terms of the problems on the various [reservations] in the United States. And mascotry, it allows us to turn a blind eye,” Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, told Justin Kaufmann on WBEZ’s Reset.

On 25th anniversary of Chicago heat wave, Preckwinkle vows 100% renewable energy in county facilities by 2030: “The clean energy plan will require all county facilities to run on 100 percent renewable electricity and achieve a 45 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 as well as be carbon neutral by 2050, Preckwinkle said at a news conference. The goals stem from a Cook County Board resolution passed in 2019 amid mounting fears about global warming,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.

From the New York Times: 17 states — including Illinois — sue to block student visa rules: “A Trump administration effort to force foreign college students to take in-person classes in the fall or lose their visas has prompted a high-stakes legal battle between the White House and some of America’s top universities, with 17 states and the District of Columbia joining the fray on Monday in a lawsuit that calls the policy ‘senseless and cruel.’ The visa guidelines, issued a week ago, would upend months of careful planning by colleges and universities and could force many students to return to their home countries during the pandemic, where their ability to study would be severely compromised.”

Where states get their money will shape pandemic’s fiscal fallout: “Latest data on revenue sources offers hints at challenges ahead for budgets,” according to PEW report.

Loyola University Chicago rolls back plans for in-person classes this fall: "After initially announcing plans for both in-person and remote classes, Loyola leaders now say most classes will be online,” reports WBEZ’s Kate McGee.

Applications for student aid in Illinois fell during the pandemic: “Since the start of the pandemic, however, numbers from the state Department of Education indicate students have found it more difficult to submit FAFSA applications. From mid-March to the end of June, the state saw about 4,000 fewer applications from high school seniors,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Sneha Dey.

High Times Cannabis Cup coming to Illinois for the first time with public judging to see what pot products are the best: “The High Times Cannabis Cup is coming to Illinois for the first time. Rather than the traditional celebrity/industry insider judging, it will be judged by the public,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.

Pot shop steps from Rush Street would be out of character with neighborhood, alderman, bar owners argue: “‘Why would PharmaCann want to come here when the residents don’t like them?’ said John Colletti, managing partner of Gibsons Restaurant Group,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.

Wistful in Milwaukee: “Without the pandemic, we’d be in the throes of covering the pomp and circumstance in the days leading to Joe Biden’s formal nomination,” writes POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki in The Nightly newsletter. “Some 50,0000 people would be pouring into Milwaukee, and they’d be taking in the city’s restaurants and brewpubs, art museum, and gorgeous lake view. Instead, as I found when my son and I drove to our home in Illinois from central Wisconsin this weekend, Milwaukee feels right now like someone who was stood up by a date.”

— Robert Emmons Jr., a former congressional candidate and now co-founder and executive director of the Our Everyday Political Action Committee, has joined Dani Brzozowski’s campaign for Congress in the 16th District. Emmons is the political and comms consultant.

— Chris Kennedy, the Chicago businessman and former candidate for governor, is back on the campaign trail — this time for his nephew, Joe Kennedy III, who’s running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Chris Kennedy is calling on his friends and supporters to take part in a phone bank. A virtual training session is Tuesday. Connecting dots: Joseph Kennedy’s father, Joseph Kennedy II, and Chris Kennedy are brothers. Their father was U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

POOL REPORT: Valerie Jarrett, the former aide to President Barack Obama, co-hosted a virtual fundraiser for Joe Biden on Monday. When a host asked Biden to share his vice presidential pick, he said, "I’ll tell you… Valerie Jarrett.” That drew a quick response from Jarrett, who said: "There’s press on this call. Please don’t do that!" Biden added: "Only kidding. Only kidding."

Congressional Dems seek to add food stamps to farmers’ markets: “U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson joined House colleagues Bobby Rush and Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia of Chicago in introducing a bill called the Expanding SNAP Options Act… to ease the use of food stamps. It’s companion legislation to a bill introduced in the Senate earlier this month by Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin,” writes One Illinois’ Ted Cox.

‘Here’s your check’: Trump’s massive payouts to farmers will be hard to pull back, by POLITICO’s Ryan McCrimmon

IRS canceling uncashed stimulus checks sent to the dead, by POLITICO’s Brian Faler

U.S. plans to restrict Mexico, Canada border crossings until late August, by POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodríguez and Daniel Lippman

Ebony mag removes CEO from board amid investigation: “[T]he board is investigating transactions made by Jackson that did not have approval from the board, per company protocol. As a result, the board will appoint an interim CEO and operating committee.,” by Black Enterprise’s Selina Hill.

— Evelyn Sanguinetti, the former lieutenant governor of Illinois, was recently named executive director of Wheaton-based HOPE Fair Housing Center.

— Nicole Varner has been named health policy adviser and general counsel to Rep. Robin Kelly and staff liaison for the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust and Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.

Today: Chicago Aldermen Scott Waguespack and Matt Martin take part in a virtual town hall hosted by former Cook County Clerk and Ald. David Orr. The subject: Chicago’s financial future in the age of Covid. Details here

Tomorrow: Mayor Lori Lightfoot headlines a virtual lunch fundraiser for Sen. Dick Durbin. Details here

Greentarget Director of Content & Editorial Strategy Brandon Copple, Crown Family Philanthropies Senior Program Analyst Rachel Giattino, Cook County Chief Deputy Recorder James Gleffe Codeverse co-founder Katy Lynch, Tribune reporter Phil Rosenthal, Sun-Times political reporter Tina Sfondeles, and Guardian reporter and Illinois native Daniel Strauss, a POLITICO alum.




July 14, 2020 at 07:57AM

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