Good Thursday morning, Illinois. Winter is coming, according to the Farmers Almanac, and it’s going to be “crazy.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Illinois Playbook won’t publish Aug. 31 through Sept. 7. We’ll be back in your inbox Tuesday, Sept. 8. In the meantime, please check in with politico.com for the latest on the presidential race.
The presidential election took a sharp turn to Kenosha on Wednesday in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the subsequent chaos and a rampage by a 17-year-old alleged vigilante from Illinois (see The Buzz, below).
“Let me be clear, the violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha,” Vice President Mike Pence said during nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, sprinkling with law-and-order sentiments throughout. "We will have law and order on the streets of America for every American of every race, and creed and color.”
The shooting of Blake, which was videotaped, stunned the country and has reignited protests that started in June after the killing of George Floyd. But Pence chastised Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for suggesting law enforcement in America has an implicit bias against minorities.
The former vice president spoke with Blake’s family Wednesday and then called for an “immediate and transparent” investigation into the shooting.
Biden also condemned the subsequent violence: "Protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary but burning down communities is not protest.”
He was referring, at least in part, to alleged vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two protesters in wake of the police shooting that, according to his family, has paralyzed Blake.
And the destruction “is no doubt,” playing into Trump’s hands, former Madison, Wis., Mayor Paul Soglin told POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki.
Blake’s shooting (several times in the back, and in front of three of his children) has also set off a firestorm of criticism outside of the political arena. NBA superstar LeBron James said it shows why Black people are “terrified” of the police. The Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers are boycotting the rest of the season in wake of the Blake shooting, a move that followed the Milwaukee Bucks canceling Game 5 for the same reason.
The Undefeated’s William Rhoden writes: “Turns out that it will not be the coronavirus that possibly burst the NBA bubble, but the virulent, persistent virus of racism.”
— Pence goes full MAGA: VP shows he’s finally all in on Trump: “Pence, who as vice president can go long stretches without ever being heard from, was … front and center last night making the argument that Trump the caricature and Trump the president are two different people,” by POLITICO’s Ryan Lizza.
— Dems fear swing-state damage from Kenosha unrest: “Some Wisconsin Democrats worry that the images of violence and destruction will turn suburban voters against the party,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki.
— Rep. Mike Bost and congressional candidate Jeanne Ives call Trump a hero, by WGEM’s Mike Miletich
— GOP deploys ‘heroes’ to soften Trump’s hard edges: “After two days of dueling and at-time contradictory messages about Trump, the GOP convention’s third night tried a third way to appeal to potential voters,” by POLITICO’s Gabby Orr.
— Conway defends Trump’s record with women, touts his empathy, in swan song at GOP convention: “A senior counselor to the president who will soon leave her post, she noted her remarks fell on the centenary of the 19th Amendment’s adoption,” by POLITICO’s Caitlin Oprysko.
— Chicago Represents: John Catanzara Jr., president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, will attend tonight’s speech by President Trump after receiving a special invitation. He’s hoping to talk to the president while he’s there. “I’d like to thank him for his constantly keeping Chicago on the radar of the national news," Catanzara told ABC/7’s Craig Wall.
— Alleged Kenosha Shooter Fervently Supported “Blue Lives,” Joined “Local Militia”: “Teenage defendant in double-murder was police youth cadet in Chicago suburbs, said he went to Wisconsin to assist police,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
… MORE from the Tribune: What we know so far about 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair, Christy Gutowski, Roberg McCoppin and Angie Leventis Lourgos.
— Trump deploys federal agents to Kenosha: “Unrest erupted in the city this week after a police officer shot a Black man multiple times in the back in front of his young children,” by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi.
— ‘We knew this day was coming’: Kenosha residents reflect on violence and destruction in wake of a police shooting, by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith and Manuel Martinez.
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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 37 new deaths and 2,157 new cases of the coronavirus in Illinois. That’s a total of 7,954 deaths and 225,627 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Aug. 19 through Aug. 25 is 4.0 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.3 percent.
— Big news and some revisionist history: Pence pledges coronavirus vaccine by year’s end, and hails the administration’s pandemic response: “Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday called the United States a ‘nation of miracles’ and said Americans would see the development of a successful coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year,” by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey.
— DOJ may investigate blue states over Covid deaths at nursing homes: “The Justice Department on Wednesday said it’s weighing whether to investigate if four Democratic-led states violated nursing home residents’ civil rights by admitting Covid-19 patients to the facilities — a policy critics say resulted in thousands of deaths,” by POLITICO’s Shannon Young.
— Pastors and health care providers partner to offer free Covid-19 tests and other care for Chicago area parishioners: “Seven doctors from federally qualified health centers partnered with nine churches. The Illinois Department of Public Health and Walgreens also participated in the effort,” by Tribune’s Alison Bowen.
— SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO KEEP POLICE in schools despite student protests: “Chicago Police officers will remain in 55 Chicago Public Schools despite fierce protests from students and activists,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Citing family reasons, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail chief resigns: “[Jim] Smith’s resignation also comes weeks after Southwest Side Ald. Matt O’Shea, 19th, privately complained to Lightfoot chief of staff Maurice Classen that he believed Smith had given a heads-up to Beverly bar Cork and Kerry about a forthcoming inspection, sources told the Tribune,” by Gregory Pratt.
— CPS proposes holding classes on Veterans Day instead of Election Day: “The proposed change is prompted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker signing legislation in June that made Election Day a state holiday and prohibiting K-12 schools from opening other than as polling locations,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— CPS reverses course, cuts cost of tuition-based prekindergarten during remote learning, “Chicago Public Schools announced Wednesday that it will discount the cost of its tuition-based prekindergarten programs by 50% during remote learning — though that may not be enough to save some of the classes,” by Tribune’s Hannah Leone.
— Feds threaten to cut Medicare funding to Holy Cross Hospital over patient safety issues: “The Southwest Side community hospital could be forced to turn away some elderly patients if patient safety issues aren’t resolved,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
— 65 years after Emmett Till murder, his family urges landmark status for Woodlawn home: “The home has many building code violations, has changed hands several times in recent years and now is believed to be vacant,” by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.
— The perplexing Trump Tower Chicago loan deal that’s in N.Y. attorney general’s sights: “New York’s attorney general is trying to answer one of the most perplexing questions surrounding the troubled financing of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago: whether President Donald Trump failed to pay taxes on a $100 million loan deal related to the project. According to a court filing, Trump’s lender on a high-interest $150 million loan on the Chicago property, Fortress Credit Corp., made a 2012 deal to accept a $48 million payoff — in essence, forgiving more than $102 million in debt,” by Tribune’s Dave Heinzman.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: A community survey shows more people in Chicago trust the Chicago Police Department than distrust it, and that whites trust the cops more than Blacks do. But a big asterisk should be attached to the report. It was conducted November 2019 through February 2020 — before the recent racial unrest caused by the George Floyd killing, subsequent protests and looting incidents, and the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. The survey was initiated by the independent monitoring team charged with making sure CPD follows the advice set out by the federal consent decree.
… Top question: How good of a job do you think CPD is doing in your neighborhood? Among all Chicagoans, 52 percent said they thought CPD was doing a good or very good job, and 16 percent rated CPD poor or very poor. The rest had no opinion. Whites: 55 percent approve; 9 percent disapprove. Blacks: 37 percent approve; 31 percent disapprove. Latino: 52 percent approve; 13 percent disapprove.
— Medical examiner’s ‘absolutely unprecedented’ caseload: Deaths exceed 10,000 — and it’s not just Covid-19: “More than half of the cases are tied to COVID-19, but Dr. Ponni Arunkumar, the chief medical examiner, said her office is also seeing increases in other type of deaths such as opioid overdoses,” by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón.
— District 215 votes to retire T.F. South’s Rebel nickname, citing its tie to the Confederacy: “With everything happening in our country at the present time, it definitely seemed to me the time was right to consider this question,” board member Richard Dust said in a statement released after the vote. “If not now, when?” by Daily Southtown’s Zak Koeske.
— Trump’s post-RNC plan: Airports and diners, but no handshakes: “Trump will spend the next nine weeks campaigning at several small events a day, finally giving up on the possibility of major rallies,” by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar.
— Casten v. Ives! Democratic Rep. Sean Casten faces Republican Jeanne Ives in a League of Women Voters forum Sept. 21. This will be the first chance for voters in the 6th Congressional District to see the two discuss (debate?) issues face to face (in a socially distanced way). This is a free, virtual event. Details here
— JUICE: Democratic state representative candidate Michelle Darbro has received more than $115,000 from the Illinois Democratic Party. Reps. Greg Harris and Natalie Manley each donated $57,800 to Darbro’s campaign in the 20th District.
— Former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich serving prison term for bribery appeals new sentence: “Former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich is appealing his resentencing hearing and is asking to do so without paying the associated fees because he is unemployed and in debt,” by Post-Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka.
— Appellate court: Pritzker has authority to set inmate transfer protocols: “A state appellate court has overturned a Logan County court order that required state prisons to accept inmates from county jails,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— So you need to renew your driver’s license: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois Secretary of State offices in Chicago saw long lines as people sought Real ID licenses ahead of a fall deadline. That deadline has been pushed back — anyone planning to board a plane now has until October 2021 to get the new ID card (though a passport will do the trick, too),” by WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky.
— The state Senate Transportation Committee is holding a Zoom hearing today on transparency in selecting infrastructure projects. “We need to have an open and honest dialogue on transparency and equity as it relates to the process in which projects are prioritized and selected to receive funding,” said state Sen. Ram Villivalam, the Chicago Democrat who chairs the committee, in a release. “It’s important to have a project selection process that is transparent and facilitates productive communication between IDOT and those they contract with.” This is the second committee hearing of the General Assembly to be held virtually. The meeting starts at 10 a.m.
— CEJA pushed to back burner by Covid: “The Senate sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and a leading environmentalist joined Wednesday in insisting that climate change and Covid-19 are similar issues — especially in social equity — even as the pandemic has pushed climate to a back burner. ‘The climate crisis is longer-term,’ said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, ‘but if we can’t handle this…,’” by One Illinois Ted Cox.
— How Trump mastered the art of telling history his way, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse
— Hurricane Laura crashes Trump’s convention, by POLITICO’s Steven Shepard
— Turmoil consumes Chamber of Commerce as it backs Democrats, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt
— AP-NORC poll: Many in U.S. shoring up finances amid downturn, by The Associated Press’ Josh Boak and Emily Swanson
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Sarah Sinovic has been named director of external affairs for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Sinovic is a D.C. veteran who most recently worked as comms director for New York Rep. Yvette Clarke. Sinovic began her career in Chicago, working for Sen. Dick Durbin and also had a stint leading government relations at the Shedd Aquarium. Sinovic holds a master’s in public policy and administration from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.
— Dan Beiser will continue to serve on the Illinois Racing Board and has been re-designated to serve as chair. Beiser represented the 111th legislative district in the state House of Representatives from 2004 to 2017. He previously served as an alderman and city treasurer in Alton.
A memorial service has been planned to honor Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman, who died March 2 at the age of 86. Freeman was the first African American to serve on the Court. The service will be Sept. 16. Details here
Former state Sen. Daniel Biss, lobbyist John R. Daley, FDD’s Rich Goldberg (a former Illinois political insider), and POLITICO Associate Editor for States (and your Illinois Playbook editor) Darius Dixon.
August 27, 2020 at 08:08AM