Happy Wednesday, Illinois. Must-see-TV today: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris delivering remarks in Wilmington, Del., at 8 a.m. Illinois time.

“This is exactly the right pick,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night about Joe Biden naming Kamala Harris as his running mate.

“She’s tough, she’s fearless and more importantly she’s going to bring into the conversation lots of people who are looking to her as a leader and will see themselves in her and will be proud that she is on the stage at a national level,” said Lightfoot, who counts Harris as a friend and colleague. They are both former prosecutors.

Lightfoot is part of a chorus of Illinois Democrats praising the newly fleshed-out ticket. In Chicago, where Black voters’ play a huge role in every election, Biden’s VP pick was especially important.

Rep. Bobby Rush, who endorsed Harris in the primary before going to Michael Bloomberg when the California senator dropped out of the race, reflected on his granddaughter starting high school and the possibility that a Black woman is on the ticket. “Her future has just been expanded. Her future has just been enlarged. And the ambitions of her and other young Black girls have all become closer to being realized,” Rush said in a statement, referring to his granddaughter, Sanii.

Rep. Lauren Underwood, who represents the conservative 14th Congressional District and has generally stayed out of the discussion of presidential politics, sent a statement saying she’s “proud to endorse” Biden’s candidacy. Underwood, who’s worked with Harris on measures related to Black maternal health, called her a “trailblazer.”

City Clerk Anna Valencia, an early Harris supporter, told Playbook she was struck by Harris’ warmth and intelligence. The two got to know each other in Iowa, when Valencia traveled there on the campaign. Even after Harris pulled out of the presidential race, she had made a point to call Valencia to check in. “I hope America gets to see what I’ve been able to see over the last year — an authentic warm, smart, capable person who will be a huge boost to the ticket on day one.”

Lisa Madigan, the former state attorney general, said in a statement to Playbook that she was “excited” to see Harris on the Democratic ticket with Biden. The two met when they were Aspen Institute Rodel fellows together. Harris was the district attorney for San Francisco at the time. “Then we went on to work together as state AGs. She is smart, tough, and principled,” said Madigan, who also hosted fundraisers for Harris.

And Valerie Alexander, the former chief of staff to Sen. Dick Durbin, said she was drawn to Harris’ policy positions and signed on early to her Illinois campaign, rising to be the state campaign director. “I thought she was tough and ready and was thrilled to be working for her,” Alexander told Playbook. She says her phone has been ringing nonstop since Biden’s announcement. “They’re all supporters from the campaign. They want to know how to help.”

Key hire: Sheila Nix, a Chicagoan who advised Biden on the 2012 campaign trail, will take on a similar role for Harris. Nix, the Illinois chair of Biden’s campaign, was his chief of staff during Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She went on to be chief of staff to Jill Biden. “I am looking forward to using those experiences to emulate the great working relationship” that Obama and Biden had, Nix told Playbook in an email.

Midwestern sensibilities: Porter McNeil, an Illinois Democratic comms consultant, said a Biden-Harris ticket will play well in the Midwest, where there’s concern about the economy. “In downstate Illinois, President Trump promised a lot to farmers and rural voters in 2016 — but he hasn’t delivered.”

Duckworth’s surge: “Sen. Tammy Duckworth had a late surge of support, including from some donors in California, the home state of both Harris and California Rep. Karen Bass. The vetting team at one point flagged a potential issue with Duckworth: she was born in Bangkok. Her father, a U.S. citizen and then a Defense Department employee, was stationed in Thailand. They worried that Republicans would try to use that to stoke doubts about the legitimacy of the VP pick. Ultimately, though, Duckworth was in it until the end, holding a one-on-one interview with Biden over the weekend. Biden personally called her hours before announcing Harris was his choice,” via POLITICO.

How Harris outflanked skeptics: "Harris’ strategy — a low-profile, leak-free effort that contrasted sharply with her undisciplined presidential campaign — and [a] late push by her supporters paid off when Biden made her the nation’s first black woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki, Christopher Cadelago and Marc Caputo.

Running mates don’t matter. Kamala Harris might: “Vice presidential contenders do not have a rich history of altering the course of an election. But Republican and Democratic political professionals alike believe Harris’ selection may carry more weight this year. That is because Biden, despite decades of government work, remains less sharply defined to voters than previous presidential nominees. And the rush to test the theory that Harris might matter is opening a critical new stage in the campaign,” by POLITICO’s David Siders.

Column: What Kamala Harris reveals about Joe Biden, by Tribune’s Steve Chapman

Trump team already out with ‘Phony Kamala’ nickname, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar

Harris’ key initiatives, policies, by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and Carla Marinucci.

Interesting Illinois fact: Harris flew to Springfield to be there on that freezing day when Barack Obama announced his run for the presidency.

The time her father publicly reprimanded her and 54 other facts about Harris, via POLITICO Magazine.

FYI, Nate Silver just updated his forecast model, After simulating the election 40,000 times to see who wins most often, Trump wins 28 in 100 outcomes while Biden wins 71 in 100, via FiveThirtyEight. (One is an Electoral College dead heat.)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and President Donald Trump have found a comfortable dance. He pivots the discussion away from the coronavirus pandemic. And she gets in a lunge about his treatment of regular folks.

Tuesday was a good example. The mayor acknowledged to reporters that she was “shocked” that Trump hadn’t weighed in on the recent late-night looting of the city’s business district.

A few hours later, Trump opened a White House press briefing saying: “Before providing today’s update on the China virus, I want to address the violence, looting, and rioting taking place in the Democrat-controlled cities of New York, Portland, Chicago, and Seattle.”

Trump said mayors and governors of blue cities and states “have an absolute duty to use all resources necessary to end the violence and all of the injury and death.”

Lightfoot, of course, has already accepted federal assistance in prosecuting gun cases — a talking point that that doesn’t fit Trump’s dance card.

Later in the evening, Lightfoot was on MSNBC discussing Kamala Harris joining the Democratic ticket. The conversation veered toward Trump and how he might treat Harris on the campaign trail.

“We know that Donald Trump is hostile to women. He’s a misogynist. He’s attacked women all summer long,” Lightfoot said, ticking off herself, Seattle Mayor Jen Durkan, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as examples of leaders who have taken hits from Trump. “Every single time he does he underestimates how tough we are, how resilient we are, and how we are ready and able to lead. He’s going to make the same mistake with Kamala Harris and he will be pushed back on his heels.”

Sounds like he’ll have another dance partner.

Feel like venting? Or have a news tip? Email [email protected]

No official public events.

At the Thompson Center at 2:30 p.m. for a Covid-19 update. Live coverage

On vacation and back to work Aug. 24.

Worldwide virus cases top 20 million, doubling in six weeks, by the AP. "The U.S., with about 4% of the world’s population, accounts for about 25% of the known coronavirus infections and 22% of the deaths."

— The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 20 deaths to coronavirus Tuesday and 1,549 new confirmed cases in Illinois. That’s a total of 7,657 deaths and 196,948 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Aug. 4 to 10 is 4.1 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is 5.0 percent.

Illinois Supreme Court consolidates lawsuits challenging Pritzker’s coronavirus orders: “The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday moved to transfer a downstate legal challenge to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus-related orders by Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey to Sangamon County and consolidate it with other cases challenging Pritzker’s authority…. [T]he state’s highest court also declined the governor’s request that it weigh in on whether he has the power to issue continued emergency orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving that to the lower court to decide,” by Tribune’s Jamie Munks.

State panel approves Pritzker’s new fines for businesses that don’t enforce mask mandate: “The measure was opposed by the GOP and some leading business groups but favored by several influential public health organizations, including the Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.

School reopening tracker: More districts decide to delay opening school buildings: “St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 plans for a phased reopening of school buildings. All high school students will start the school year with remote learning only until at least September 8,” reports Chalkbeat Sneha Dey and Samantha Smylie.

Teachers ‘scared’ or feel ‘in danger’ as they ponder return to classroom: “School personnel wonder if doing their jobs during an unchecked pandemic is ‘really worth the risk,” writes Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg.

NOW LIVE — THE FIFTY: Governors have never mattered more to the future of the nation. They are making decisions that shape our everyday lives. The Fifty is a new series from POLITICO that examines the roles mayors and governors are playing amid pandemic, economic crisis and a national reckoning on race. See the page here.

Today’s centerpiece: Can the movement behind AOC conquer New York? By POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg

Lightfoot: It was ‘highly problematic’ that officers who shot man in Englewood did not have body cameras: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it ‘would have been better’ had the officers who shot a 20-year-old man they said had a gun Sunday afternoon in Englewood had body-worn cameras to record the incident that touched off a wave of looting that swept the city,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

Man charged with attempted murder of a police officer was shot in the back by CPD, defense attorney says: “Assistant Public Defender Scott Finger, who is representing [Latrell] Allen, said his client was shot five times by police, once in the cheek and four times in the back. Prosecutors said Allen was shot in the cheek and abdomen,” reports WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.

Brown’s time in Dallas included defusing a tense city after a police shooting, something he did not repeat Sunday: “Chicago police Superintendent David Brown has explained how alleged misinformation about an officer-involved shooting in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood on Sunday may have sparked a chain of events that led to widespread looting, vandalism and violence in the downtown area. But as the former leader of another big-city police department, it was not a scenario Brown was completely unfamiliar with,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.

What’s at stake — for all of us — if looting flares up again: “Pervasive fear of crime is a sure-fire prescription for economic collapse,” writes Crain’s columnist Joe Cahill.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Chicago Progressive Caucus is calling for the city to renew its commitment to implementing the federal consent decree “quickly and aggressively,” the group says in a statement to Playbook. The city is drawing criticism for missing 89 mandated reform deadlines (it met 35) as part of the agreement with the state Attorney General’s Office to reform the Chicago Police Department. The Progressive Caucus says it’s “deeply discouraging” that the deadlines have been missed and the caucus hopes to see “detailed information” about how the city will improve its track record.

Aldermen on the Committee on Public Safety also voiced dissatisfaction, by Tribune’s Dan Hinkel.

Electric scooters are back in Chicago: “Electric scooters from Lime, Spin and Bird are being deployed Wednesday in Chicago, kicking off the city’s second pilot program for the scooters, running from mid-August to mid-December. This year’s pilot, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, allows each company to distribute 3,333 scooters each in Chicago, four times as many scooters as in last year’s program,” by Tribune’s Sydney Czyzon.

Mather High School — attended by slain activist Caleb Reed — votes to remove police officers from school: “Reed, a junior at Mather, was a student leader at Voices Of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) and a prominent voice in the push to remove officers from Chicago Public Schools,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.

Where schools stand so far. They have a Friday deadline to decide whether to keep or remove police on campuses, reports Chalkbeat’s Sneha Dey.

Tens of thousands still without power after Monday storms spawn a Rogers Park tornado: “It was like a dinosaur was running at us,” by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Javonte Anderson and Madeline Buckley.

Hundreds sign petition for Elk Grove Village-based Savage Bros. Co. to change logo: “The company has, and continues to use the stereotypical head of an American Indian to convey ‘savage’ in its company logo despite complaints about the racism of connecting American Indians with ‘savage,’” wrote Dr. John Low. Story by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.

— FREE DAY AT THE MUSEUM: Starting today, Wednesdays are free to all guests at Illinois Holocaust Museum thanks to the support of donor Rodi Glass. Guests wanting to visit must reserve a ticket online to enter the museum.

Census begins door knocking statewide, as advocates worry about shortened response time: “Workers with the U.S. Census Bureau start canvassing door-to-door on Tuesday in most of the state, after in-person follow-up started in parts of Chicago, Cook County, Peoria and Dekalb last month,” by NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.

USA Today takes a state-by-state look at Alzheimer’s: In Illinois, the Alzheimer’s Association shared that the number of older adults with the disease is projected to increase from 230,000 in 2020 to 260,000 in 2025. The 13 percent increase is lower than in all but 10 other states, due in part to the relatively low share of older adults in the state. Roughly one in five Illinois residents who retired moved out of state, according to a National Movers Study. Just 14.8 percent of the state’s population is 65 or older, the 12th lowest share in the nation.

College towns fear super-spreader semester as students descend: “Local officials are bracing for a virus explosion triggered by young people living in tight quarters who disregard social distancing rules,” By POLITICO’s Bianca Quilantan.

New Weed Street pot shop looted in 2nd burglary in 2 weeks; Highland Park dispensary also hit: “But since Windy City Cannabis opened in Goose Island in late June, burglars have targeted the store twice — including during the looting wave early Monday that tore through downtown and the Near North Side,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.

November advisory referendum to give Wilmette voters a chance to weigh in on cannabis sales: “The advisory, non-binding referendum to be put before voters in the 2020 General Election on Nov. 3 was approved last month, after the Wilmette Village Board voted 6-1 in support of the measure, with Trustee Kathy Dodd casting the sole opposing vote,” writes Pioneer Press’ Karen Ann Cullotta.

‘It means nothing’: Trump’s pledge to aid tenants won’t halt evictions, by POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell

Let the next California parlor game begin: Who would replace Harris?, by POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci

Kennedy allies sweat as Massachusetts Senate race tightens, by POLITICO’s Stephanie Murray

Diverse business leaders wanted for a Biden Cabinet: Ariel Investments’ John Rogers Jr. and Mellody Hobson are listed as candidates to consider, by Barrons.

— Commentary: GOP donor to the Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters. “The marriage penalty is economically devastating, especially for the states hit hardest by Covid-19,” by Chicago businessman William Kunkler III.

— Opinion: Covid-19 and Trump’s silence: An obituary for America’s warriors, by Stephen J. Lyons

Marty Castro, the CEO of Castro Synergies CEO and former U.S. Civil Rights Commission chair; state Sen. Bill Cunningham (18th), Cook County Circuit Court Judge Joanne Rosado, and Ald. Samantha Nugent’s chief of staff Erika Wozniak.




August 12, 2020 at 07:11AM

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