MICHELLE PACKS A PUNCH — MOSELEY BRAUN TO DELIVER STATE VOTES — ‘FAILURES’ IN SMOLLETT CASE

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MICHELLE PACKS A PUNCH — MOSELEY BRAUN TO DELIVER STATE VOTES — ‘FAILURES’ IN SMOLLETT CASE

Happy Tuesday, Illinois. There’s a different kind of exhaustion from zooming in to the convention.

Michelle Obama made her case for Joe Biden in a powerful speech that touched on the presumptive Democratic nominee’s experience and empathy while excoriating the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustices, and the president’s own lack of basic decency.

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“Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy,” Obama said in her keynote address during the first day of the unconventional Democratic National Convention. CNN has a transcript. And you can find video of the 18-minute speech here.

Wearing a necklace spelling "V-O-T-E,” the former first lady from Chicago’s South Side urged Americans to cast a ballot, via mail or in person — "pack a brown bag dinner" if you expect a long line — for Biden “like our lives depend on it.”

Throughout the two-hour convention night, Covid-19 loomed large. The pageantry, cheers, and confetti that buoyed keynoters in conventions past were replaced with controlled speeches from home, one even from the kitchen.

Actress Eva Longoria moderated all the speeches, discussions and music videos that sometimes moved awkwardly from somber and sentimental, to entertaining and uplifting. It included a "in memoriam" tribute with the faces of people who died of the coronavirus and a woman who spoke of her late father saying "his only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump." Then, not too much later, as a string of former presidential contenders made their case for Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar mentioned how Trump once got upset that his cameo in "Home Alone 2" got cut from the Canadian release of the film. "Who does that?!" she said. We’re not saying she wasn’t funny but this event tried to cover a lot of bases.

What are the odds that next week’s Republican convention will put any emphasis the pandemic, a global crisis the president keeps hoping will "go away"?

Delegates and other political players watching from afar expressed some frustration that they couldn’t experience the convention in person.

Anna Caprara, the chief of staff to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, tweeted: “I set up a buffet in my living room with bad appetizers, am sitting in my most uncomfortable chair and told my neighbors when they went out to walk the dog that we can’t accommodate anyone else in the suite just to get the real feel of the convention.”

POLITICO’s Ryan Lizza describes the first hour and forty-five minutes leading up to Obama “like the dry text of a Surgeon General’s warning.” Then she appeared with “a riveting speech the equivalent of scaring you straight with one of those grisly pictures of cancerous lungs decimated by tar and smoke.”

Chicago represents: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Joe Biden in a pre-taped Q&A. They and four other elected pols and civic leaders talked about how to tackle systemic racism. Lightfoot pressed for the need for economic opportunity in struggling communities, a platform she’s pushed in Chicago. “If people are lifted out of poverty and they are given an opportunity to feel a stake in their own future, that goes a long way,” the mayor said. Earlier Monday, Lightfoot participated in a roundtable discussion, where she took President Donald Trump to task, saying: “Every day the importance of this fall’s election grows and grows, and every day, unfortunately, we see increasing evidence that this administration is mounting a full-out assault on every pillar of our democracy, including the integrity of our elections…This is real, folks. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s not a conspiracy theory.” Tribune has more on that event.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN, the nation’s first Black female senator, will deliver Illinois’ votes in roll call: “Moseley Braun, who was also the first female senator to be elected from Illinois, will cast the Illinois votes during the Tuesday roll call in a pre-recorded segment at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

POLITICO’s recap of Day 1 at the Democratic Convention

Yoga pants, Trump wine and Zoom talent shows: “What does a virtual convention look like? We asked delegates to show us,” by POLITICO’s Catherine Kim

Watch POLITICO Live coverage today:

  • At 9 a.m. ET Playbook co-authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman host “Plug in with Playbook,” which includes interviews with DNC Chairman Tom Perez and Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic Convention. Senior Politics Editor Charlie Mahtesian and Chief Political Correspondent Tim Alberta will provide deep-dive analysis into Michigan. And Senior Campaign and Elections Editor Steven Shepard and National Political Reporter Elena Schneider interview top Dem pollster John Anzalone.
  • At 1:30 p.m. ET Jake and Anna interview House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • At 8:30 p.m. ET "Four Square" show host and video journalist Eugene Daniels pre-games the DNC speeches and breaks down the day’s developments with Chief Political Correspondent Tim Alberta, Chief Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza and National Political Reporter Laura Barrón-López.

SMOLLETT FALLOUT: ‘Substantial abuses of discretion’ but no evidence to support criminal charges: “Special Prosecutor Dan Webb Special Prosecutor Dan Webb laid out a series of ‘operational failures’ — and several false statements by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx — as he announced on Monday the end of his investigation into the handling of hate crime claims by actor Jussie Smollett… But Webb also said he did not find evidence that the case was improperly influenced by third parties such as Tina Tchen, the onetime chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, nor did he find evidence that would support criminal charges,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Dan Webb’s report ensures Kim Foxx has re-election running mate — Jussie Smollett, writes Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton

Thank you for subscribing to Illinois Playbook. Your opinions matter. Email [email protected]

No official public events.

No official public events.

On vacation and back to work Aug. 24.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12 additional deaths to the coronavirus on Monday and 1,773 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 7,756 deaths and 207,854 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Aug. 10 through Aug. 16 is 4.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is 5.0 percent.

— Illinois did it right. To get people to wear masks, try comparing them to seatbelts and helmets: “A new survey looks at what the government can do to influence mask-wearing. Only one message had any positive effect,” writes Bloomberg.

50 lives in 4 ZIP codes: “WBEZ spoke with the relatives of 50 Chicago Covid-19 victims to understand the systemic conditions behind the pandemic’s disproportionate impact,” by WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Natalie Moore and María Inés Zamudio.

Chicago closes 5 more restaurants and bars for Covid-19 guideline violations: “Barba Yianni (4761 N. Lincoln Ave.) was closed and issued two citations for having more than 80 people inside, operating after midnight, and violating social distancing and face covering guidelines,” reports Tribune’s Grace Wong.

Catholic schools open in the Chicago area amid teacher concerns about Covid-19: “The Archdiocese of Chicago has a lot of incentive to open up their schools. For years, many Catholic schools have closed due to enrollment declines. The Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating the financial challenges,” writes WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

Postal Service warns last-minute Illinois ballot requests may not be turned around fast enough to be counted: “Election authorities said the timing issue is not new and that voters who want a mail-in ballot have always been urged not to wait until the final days before an election to make their request,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

House to vote on $25B infusion for Postal Service amid Trump attacks, “Democrats are mounting a strong defense of the USPS,” by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle, Sarah Ferris and Marianne Levine.

After attacks on mail-in voting, Trump says he’s pushing to ‘speed up’ Postal Service:Congressional Democrats have reached new levels of outrage over the president’s treatment of the cash-strapped federal agency,” by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey.

Voters sue Postal Service and Trump over changes ahead of election: “The four voters claim the agency’s actions undermine the democratic process,” by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi and Daniel Lippman.

— High-profile protest: Sen. Dick Durbin and Reps. Chuy García (IL-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Sean Casten (IL-06), Danny Davis (IL-07), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Bill Foster (IL-11), are scheduled to visit to the U.S. Postal Service’ Chicago headquarters in the Loop this morning to protest President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the agency. Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) is set to hold a similar press conference later in Front of the Aurora Post Office along with Casten and Foster. During a Zoom gathering Monday, Durbin and Garcia joined labor officials to celebrate front-line workers — including those at the U.S. Postal Service. “America’s message to Donald Trump is very simple: Keep your hands out of our mailboxes,” Durbin said. “We believe the Postal Service does a great job and needs our support. They don’t need to be sabotaged in the name of political victory for Donald Trump.”

Chicago cops are retiring at ‘unheard of’ rates: “Michael Lappe, vice president of the police pension fund, says 59 officers are retiring in August and 51 next month — ‘double the average number of retirees each month,’” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main and Fran Spielman.

Police accused of using controversial tactic called ‘kettling:’ “The tactic usually involves lines of police officers corralling a group of people, who are either contained in a small area or are allowed to leave through an exit controlled by police. Some call it “trap and detain.” Others say it is dangerous and unconstitutional and should be outlawed,” by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas.

Dangerous swimming conditions expected today at Lake Michigan beaches: “Waves along the lakefront could reach heights of up to six feet, the National Weather Service said. Strong currents could also make swimming in the lake a dangerous prospect,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.

Bears announce they currently are not planning to have fans at games at Soldier Field this season: "After discussing a plan with Chicago health officials, the Bears and the city agreed that health data showed it is not safe to host fans at games as of now. The Bears will put a plan in place ‘once it is deemed safe and appropriate,’ according to the statement,” reports Tribune’s Colleen Kane.

Legal move delays ComEd’s first installment of $200M corruption fine: “The delay came after a Chicago lawyer argued ComEd — which is supposed to pay the fine to the U.S. treasury — should instead pay back electricity-delivery customers who were victims of the power company’s long-running Springfield bribery scheme,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

SCOOP: Charges have been dropped against state Rep. Curtis Tarver II in an incident last year in which he was charged for having a handgun without a valid concealed carry license. Officers had pulled the South Side Democrat over for a broken headlight and then alleged Tarver didn’t have the proper license on hand. At the time, Tarver said a clerical error had occurred when he renewed his Firearms Owner Identification card. “I am grateful the correct decision was made to dismiss all charges against me,” Tarver told Playbook on Monday. “l look forward to making the full story of my treatment by the Chicago Police Department public.”

Ex-DuPage sheriff’s deputy wants job back after firing for punching restrained inmate: “Luis Elizarraraz admitted he struck the inmate last summer, but the former deputy maintained it was in self-defense, according to public documents obtained through an open records request,” by Tribune’s Kristy Gutowski.

Judge tosses another Carter Page suit against DNC over dossier: “The dismissal comes despite a watchdog’s finding that law enforcement officials did not follow correct procedure in surveilling the former Trump campaign volunteer,” by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein.

New Covid-19 health restrictions for the Metro East: “The positivity rate for Region 4 has been rising for more than a week and passed a threshold of 8-percent over a three day span, while the statewide rate is around 4-percent. That triggered Illinois officials to act,” by NPR Illinois’ Sean Crawford.

Low census response across Southern Illinois puts millions of federal dollars at risk: “As of Monday, only about 46 percent of Carbondale households had responded to the 2020 Census survey. The city estimates it loses about $1,600 for every person, per year that fails to respond — or $16,000 over a decade,” reports Southern Illinoisan’s Molly Parker.

Schools begin a new year, many with remote learning and a different feel due to impact of coronavirus: “It’s a little awkward to try to get to know your classmates, so freshman year it’s going to be a lot more difficult than if we were in person… People just aren’t very comfortable talking on camera,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin, Kelli Smith and Karen Ann Cullotta.

Covid-19 testing at UIS begins in prep for fall classes: “Last week, 155 people were tested on the first day the saliva screen was available, according to a university spokesman,” by NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.

No parties, roommate contracts and zoom study groups: U. of I. freshmen navigate new Covid-19 challenges: “College freshmen already had a rough end to high school. Many are nervous and uncertain how their first semester of college will unfold,” reports WBEZ’s Kate McGee.

SIU students who don’t follow Covid-19 rules could face discipline under newly updated student conduct code: “The updates include requirements that students follow state and local mask mandates, social distancing requirements and any directive from a local health department to isolate or quarantine should they contract Covid-19 or be exposed to someone who has,” writes Southern Illinoisan’s Molly Parker and Brian Munoz.

Blagojevich to stump for GOP state Senate hopeful — and, yes, Republican leaders call it ‘a bad idea’: “The self-declared ‘Trumpocrat’ will headline an Aug. 27 fundraiser in St. Charles, six months after he was freed with a commutation from his former reality television boss,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.

— Common Defense, a veterans group that opposes President Donald Trump, has endorsed Dani Brzozowski for Congress in the 16th District. Brzozowski, the daughter of a Gulf War veteran, is running to unseat Rep. Adam Kinzinger. In a statement, Brzozowski says she’s signed the Common Defense pledge “to end the forever wars” and to bring troops home from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

— More than a thousand women have come together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — and to show their support for the referendum that would allow a graduated income tax in Illinois. The list includes: Planned Parenthood Illinois President and CEO Jennifer Welch, League of Women Voters-Illinois President Allyson Haut, Women Employed President and CEO Cherita Ellens, Illinois NOW President Laura Welch, Women’s March Chicago President Jaquie Algee, and Mujeres Latinas en Accion President and CEO Linda Xochitl Tortolero.

How the Supreme Court dropped the ball on the right to protest, by Kia Rahnama for POLITICO Magazine

Biden says he thought about suicide after 1972 death of his wife, daughter: “The revelation comes in an upcoming CNN documentary on the former vice president’s struggles with familial loss,” by POLITICO’s Max Cohen.

The Bill Clinton comeback is coming soon, by POLITICO’s John F. Harris

Trump may hold funeral for brother at the White House, by POLITICO’s Caitlin Oprysko

Roderick Hawkins has been named associate dean of external affairs at Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Hawkins also will serve as chief of staff to E. Patrick Johnson, dean of the school. Hawkins has a long career in Chicago’s civic scene. He most recently was comms director for Advance Illinois, an education nonprofit. Before that he was deputy chief of staff for Public Engagement in former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. And prior to that he was VP of external affairs at the Chicago Urban League.

Green energy consultant Scott Cisek, and University of Chicago prof Austan Goolsbee.

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via POLITICO

August 18, 2020 at 07:39AM

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