Good Thursday morning, Illinois. Virtual Lollapalooza starts today with a greeting by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lolla creator Perry Farrell. The schedule is up.
President Donald Trump made a play for suburban voters Wednesday by using racism and fear mongering to try to capture support.
To celebrate the Trump administration’s rescission of an Obama-era fair housing regulation, the president addressed "people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream" that they would "no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood," and went further to equate that housing with crime. Regardless of what you think of repealing the rule or what Trump ultimately replaced it with, the tweets read like something out of a redlining guidebook from the 1950s and 1960s. But it’s a campaign tactic that may not register in Illinois despite its own checkered past with integration.
“We’ve seen so much urban migration to the suburbs, it’s making those areas naturally more Democratic. Just look at DuPage County,” said Ken Snyder, a Chicago-based national political strategist who worked on Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s campaign and most recently juggled primary races in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
DuPage was a Republican bastion that shifted left in recent years. In 2012, state Sen. Tom Cullerton became the first Democrat in two decades to hold a state Senate seat in DuPage after defeating Republican Sen. Carole Pankau, who held the position for eight years.
But Trump “has to go somewhere” to target votes, Snyder said, given how the president has written off cities as hopelessly blue and rural areas don’t offer the mass bloc of voters he needs. “So the only place he can go is to the suburbs.”
DuPage isn’t the only Illinois burb that’s veered left. In 2018, state Sens. Laura Ellman and Ann Gillespie defeated established Republican state senators in their respective suburban districts. Ellman’s 21st District represents parts of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and West Chicago. And Gillespie’s 27th District covers areas in Arlington Heights, Barrington, South Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Inverness, Palatine and Prospect Heights.
We’ll have to see how these sort of tactics work out for freshmen Democratic Reps. Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood. Two years ago, both defeated veteran Republicans in Congress and neither assumes they’ve got a lock on the seats. After all, Underwood represents a district that backed Republican Bruce Rauner over Democrat J.B. Pritzker in 2018.
There’s no question that Trump targeting the burbs is forcing Underwood and Casten to work harder to hold on to their seats. But in a year that Illinois Democrats are expected to turn out in force, Casten and Underwood are expected to have an edge over their Republican counterparts.
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch has sent a letter to the head of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services in Springfield requesting data showing which health care companies contract with the state.
This is the third request Welch has made to agency director Theresa Eagleson and it’s part of a larger agenda he and the Black Caucus are pursuing to shift Illinois institutions to become more inclusive.
“If the department and the state claim to be committed to fairness in contracting for Black-owned businesses, then surely it would want its partners in delivering healthcare to be similarly committed with the data to demonstrate that commitment,” Welch stated in the letter obtained by Playbook.
Welch wrote a similar letter to Morton Schapiro, the president of Northwestern University — Welch’s alma mater.
Welch and House Black Caucus members are pulling together a list of bills to present during November’s veto session. Among them: Legislation requiring people of color sit on bank boards; social equity in the cannabis industry, which is regulated by the state; social equity in higher education, managed care and in cultural organizations such as zoos and museums, which also get state funding.
The Black Caucus may come up with more after members meet next month for their socially distant retreat.
“We are in the midst of a unique historical moment with the eyes of the nation turned toward our society’s urgent need for racial justice for African Americans,” Welch wrote in his letter to Eagleson. “But we can’t achieve racial justice without ensuring economic justice and opportunity for Black-owned businesses.”
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At City Hall at 1 p.m. to launch the City’s “Your Home is Someone’s Workplace” campaign to support domestic workers.
At the Peoria County Health Department at 11 a.m. to talk about Peoria’s Covid-19 response. Then in Ottawa to talk at 2 p.m. about LaSalle County’s Covid-19 response. Watch live
Presiding over a virtual meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners at 10 a.m. Watch here
— STAGGERING: 150,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, via CNN
— The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 18 new deaths to coronavirus on Wednesday and 1,393 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 7,462 deaths and 175,124 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 22 to 28 is 3.8 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is 5.9 percent, up from 5.6 percent the previous day.
— Pritzker warns of a possible ‘reversal’ as Covid-19 numbers rise in Illinois: ‘Things are not headed in the right direction.’ “It was the governor’s latest and perhaps strongest caution that if trends across Illinois continue or worsen, the state could clamp back down on businesses and gatherings and possibly even bring back a stay-at-home order for regions where metrics such as the positivity rate exceeds a certain threshold,” report Tribune’s Jamie Munks and Rick Pearson.
— Uptick in Covid-19 cases makes it difficult to bring back jobs: “Some people may be put out of the job market for a long time,” reports Tribune’s Alexia Elejalde-ruiz.
— Illinois’ largest teachers unions willing to strike over reopening plans: “Together, the Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers represent 238,000 employees in public and private schools, colleges, and universities throughout the state,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.
— No fall football and soccer at Illinois high schools to stem spread of Covid-19: “These three high-contact sports will be moved to the spring under a schedule that calls for shortened seasons for all sports during the school year,” writes WBEZ’s Tony Arnold.
— Southeastern Illinois seeing ‘concerning’ spike in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations: “On July 1, Saline County had reported a total of nine cases since the start of the pandemic. By Wednesday, it had reported 87 cases,” reports Southern Illinoisan’s Molly Parker.
— Catholic school students face a tough choice: a full return to in-person instruction or remote learning, possibly by an outside vendor, by Tribune’s Sophie Sherry
— ONLY IN ILLINOIS: ComEd bribery scheme hearing is run by daughter-in-law of alleged key player in the case: “Here’s an opening sentence one might only get to write in an Illinois newspaper: Nearly two weeks after admitting to a bombshell bribery charge, ComEd executives outlined their ethics reform plan to a panel of state regulators led by the relative of an alleged player in the criminal plot,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair.
…ComEd CEO: ‘I wanted to apologize on behalf of the entire company.’ WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos reports
— Second Dem state rep asks for Madigan’s immediate resignation: “Glen Ellyn state Rep. Terra Costa Howard said she hopes Madigan “will do the honorable thing and step down” in the wake of an alleged bribery scheme involving ComEd that implicated the speaker,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout
— Who’s going to pay for beefed-up policing of ComEd? You will: “Ratepayers of Exelon’s utilities, including its disgraced subsidiary ComEd, will shoulder the cost of a new exec and his staff who are meant to reassure the public that payoffs to the politically connected will end,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— Democracy ‘under siege from multiple directions,’ Lightfoot warns: “To those who think I’m referring to President Trump and his brazen corruption and attack on our institutions, I’ll save the suspense. I am,” the mayor said Wednesday. “But the siege I’m speaking about is about more than just one man.” Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports on a speech that sounds very convention-esqe. Full speech here, via NBC/5
— ‘The jury is still out’: Police Superintendent David Brown marks 100 days amid multiple crises, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone and Matt Masterson.
— Mercy Hospital, a historic near South Side medical center, to close after merger plan fails: “The struggling hospital was one of four that had hoped to merge, but failed in its attempt to get money from the state to do so,” reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
— City offers more details on how qualifying families can sign up for free internet plan: “Chicago Public Schools released more details Wednesday about its plan to connect 100,000 low-income families to free internet, saying it will lean on more than 30 community organizations to assist with outreach,” writes Chalkbeat Chicago’s Cassie Walker Burke.
— Park District workers call for more communication and safety protocols when parks are closed: “As the pandemic barrels ahead with no end in sight, and some parks have closed due to coronavirus cases, workers are calling for greater transparency and protection from the Chicago Park District while they helm the parks’ front lines….At least 40 Park District workers have had to quarantine after possible exposure, according to the union, and one Park District worker at Columbus Park recently died from complications of the virus,” by Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Postal Service shrugs off Chicago mail delivery complaints: “Ald. O’Shea wants City Council hearings on poor mail delivery so the postmaster general’s office can hear directly from angry Chicagoans,” by Patch’s Mark Konkol.
— OPERATION LEGEND: The feds have issued another indictment in Operation Legend, the Trump administration’s effort to target crime in Chicago, according to a court filing obtained by Playbook. What’s unusual is the case was sent directly to the Department of Justice. It bypassed the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which has said it will review all gun cases brought by the Chicago Police Department before sending it to the feds. In this case, police found Timothy Richardson asleep in his car Tuesday with a handgun. He has two prior convictions — one for robbery and another for unlawful possession of a gun — pretty minor compared to an indictment announced Wednesday. As ABC/7’s Craig Wall reports, in that case, the feds took a Black Disciple gang member nicknamed “Murder” off the street along with 22 cohorts.
— Courthouse confusion continues: Court clerk claims it’s ‘racist’ to ask ‘why?’ After WGN reported about late notices and confusion about court appearances, Court Clerk Dorothy Brown claimed “unconscious racism” was at the root of the questions and negative stories written about her during her nearly two decades in office, by WGN/9’s Ben Bradley.
— ‘It’s time’ for southwest IL county leaders to impose Covid restrictions, Pritzker says: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday it’s up to metro-east county elected officials to halt the spread of the coronavirus by reimposing restrictions on businesses and activities so that regional closures and other constraints are not necessary,” reports Belleville News-Democrat’s Kelsey Landis.
— Sheriffs’ Association says Pritzker prisoner transfer order ineffective: “Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, said Wednesday that the new order’s stipulation that transfers are allowed ‘within the sole discretion of the Director of IDOC’ effectively renders the latest executive order inconsequential,” writes Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— Attorney says he’ll stop filing pandemic lawsuits of Legislature will just meet: “The downstate attorney challenging aspects of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Covid-19 response said Wednesday he would halt the progress of his “dozen or so” lawsuits if legislators return to Springfield,” by Capitol News’ Rebecca Anzel.
— Dodd draws fire — and praise — as Biden VP vetter: “Critics have swarmed the 76-year-old former senator, saying he shouldn’t have such a prominent role picking a female VP. But Biden trusts his instincts,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Christopher Cadelago.
— Could Madigan’s presence kill the ‘Fair Tax’?: “The speaker helped saddle his party with a flat income tax at the 1970 constitutional convention. Now, the stench of scandal coming off him could dash Democrats’ hopes of reversing it,” by Edward McClelland for Chicago magazine.
— While Willie Wilson battles a signature challenge to get on the ballot as a U.S. Senate candidate, he’s still campaigning. We’re starting to see signage. (h/t Kathy Posner) Pix
Rep. Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) legislation to protect the Affordable Care Act will get a vote in the House today. The amendment, which is part of the appropriations process, would prevent the Department of Justice from spending federal funds on litigation that undermines the health care law.
Adult-use cannabis dispensary plans approved by Schaumburg board: “Enlightened in Schaumburg will be Revolution’s first adult-use dispensary in the state, with more Enlightened dispensaries planned for spots across Illinois, the news release said,” Patch’s Rebecca Bream reports.
— Lonnie Bunch III: What John Lewis taught me. “Spending time with him was akin to walking through history. It was also a powerful reminder to keep up the fight,” writes the secretary of the Smithsonian and a former Chicagoan in POLITICO.
— The greatest of the Great Lakes has a Twitter account with a superiority complex, by WTTW’s Patty Wetli.
— Why Trump might quit: There is logic behind saying to hell with reelection, writes POLITICO’s John F. Harris
— Trump’s dream of a V-shape rebound slowly slips away, by POLITICO’s Ben White
— Intelligence disputes fuel rare public acrimony among Gang of Eight, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio and Natasha Bertrand
— Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus, by POLITICO’s Jake Sherman. A Gohmert aide later emailed POLITICO a "thank you" and added this: "When you write your story, can you include the fact that Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that ‘we could be an example to America on how to open up safely,’" the aide added. "When probing the office, you might want to ask how often were people berated for wearing masks."
— Barack Obama headlines Michelle’s first podcast: “Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama reflected on the insights gained while attending elite colleges and how they leveraged that experience into a strong tool to empower their communities on the first episode of "The Michelle Obama Podcast." During the 49-minute episode released Wednesday, the Obamas discussed “social justice advocacy in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the importance of the younger generation being politically engaged, and family. The Obamas, who both received their law degrees from Harvard University, also stressed that the perspective they gained from their experiences influenced their passion for political advocacy in their communities,” via CNN.
— Ditka doubles down on criticism of kneeling athletes, support for Trump: “In an interview with Donald Trump Jr., the former Bears coach made no apologies for his controversial comments about protesters earlier in the week,” by Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed.
— CBS 2 reporter Vince Gerasole joins Archdiocese to ‘help fill spiritual void,’ reports media reporter Robert Feder.
— Turning Point USA co-founder dies of coronavirus-related complications: “Bill Montgomery started the pro-Trump student group along with Charlie Kirk, its current leader,” by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman and Tina Nguyen.
— Famed Loyola sex therapist Domeena Renshaw, wrote ‘Seven Weeks to Better Sex,’ dead at 90: “One couple the psychiatrist counseled had an unconsummated marriage for 28 years. ‘Ignorance,’ she said, ‘is not bliss when it comes to sexuality,’” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
Today: Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz will headline the Chicago Central Area Committee/Alliance for Regional Development webinar at 1 p.m. Register here
LBH Chicago Project Director Lauren Cvengros, McCormick Foundation Early Education Director Cornelia Grumman, Advance Illinois Comms Director Roderick Hawkins, World Business Chicago Marketing Director Andrew Hayes, former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Durbin alum and American Petroleum Institute comms director Ben Marter, former Ald. Deb Mell, former Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner Cynthia Santos, WBEZ reporter Kristen Schorsch, Chicago Department of Housing Director Don Terry, and former state Rep. Mike Tryon.
July 30, 2020 at 07:36AM