TGIF, Illinois. Believe it or not, there once was a day that journalists called “a slow news day."
BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Judge says 2020 census must continue for another month, by the AP
While Democrats remain shocked that President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose in November, Illinois Republicans chose to gently disagree.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, responded with a tweet that didn’t even mention Trump’s name: “Jefferson defeats Adams in 1800, setting up first peaceful power transition in America. This is fundamental, and will be preserved. I’ve taken the oath for military and Congress. I will uphold that oath.”
The Illinois Republican was alluding to, of course, Trump’s cryptic response to a reporter who asked the president whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. "Well, we’re going to have to see what happens," Trump said. "You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster."
Cook County Republican Chairman and County Commissioner Sean Morrison criticized what he called “conflation from both sides” of the aisle. He pointed to Hillary Clinton, for example, warning Joe Biden “not to concede under any circumstances.”
Morrision told Playbook: “Republicans always have and will support the results of our nation’s elections. We have never questioned that.”
That echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Thursday, "There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792."
White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany eventually said Trump "will accept the result of a free and fair election,” wrapping yet another controversy that consumed the news cycle for two days. In 2016 Trump similarly declined to say he would concede the election if he lost.
His comments are a headache for the Republican Party, which is trying to capture support in swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan. In Illinois, however, Republicans basically shrug. They’ve heard it before.
“It’s not pleasant having to deal with those kinds of things,” said Travis Akin, a Republican political operative, referring to Trump’s out-of-the-blue comments and tweets. “But as long as he’s delivering on issues, he’ll be just fine with the base.”
— Trump’s team plots his departure, even if he won’t, by POLITICO’s Nancy Cook
— ‘Everyone sees the train wreck coming’: Trump reveals his November endgame, by POLITICO’s David Siders and Holly Otterbein
The Pritzker administration’s attempt to do right by some of the losing pot shop applicants — allowing them to revise their applications and challenge their scores — is now being challenged by some of the winners.
Six Black-owned companies that succeeded in moving forward in the process to get a marijuana dispensary license worry that they’ll be nudged out of the lottery because the rules are being tweaked for others.
They’ve hired Chicago attorneys Michael Del Galdo and Angela Lockett, who have sent a letter to Pritzker calling his solution “unfair” and a violation of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Their letter was sent a day after 70 unsuccessful applicants dropped their federal lawsuit against the governor after he agreed to make changes to the lottery system that shut them out of the process.
In their letter, which was obtained by Playbook, the winning minority social-equity owners say that before allowing losing candidates to correct their applications, the state should investigate whether some of the winning firms are being honest about the diversity makeup of their ownership.
The goal of the lottery is to make sure minority businesses benefit by having a stake in the burgeoning cannabis industry that’s so far been dominated by white men.
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh assured that the winning candidates will stay in the lottery and that “Nothing changes for their scores.”
But that doesn’t satisfy the winning social equity candidates. They say Pritzker’s plan will further expand the pool of candidates, which ultimately makes it harder to get a license.
Abudayyeh said there are safeguards to prevent that: “If someone skirts the law and misrepresents themselves, the licenses are conditional and can always be pulled.”
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No official public events.
At Howard Brown Health on 63rd Street at 11 a.m. to announce federal funding to support healthcare partners across Illinois. Watch live
In Mount Prospect at 9:30 a.m. with Mayor Arlene Juracek and other politicos for a groundbreaking of an affordable housing senior development.
— The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 30 additional deaths to the coronavirus and 2,257 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 8,538 deaths and 281,371 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Sept. 17 through 23 is 3.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.6 percent.
— How Trump is undermining his own vaccine race: “Operation Warp Speed is the administration’s best attempt at fighting coronavirus, experts say, but White House meddling has caused public confidence to plummet,” by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn.
— DEEP DIVE: How Covid-19 decimated Illinois nursing homes, exposed government flaws and left families in frustrating limbo: “Six months into the pandemic, the new virus has infected more than 28,000 Illinois long-term care residents and killed more than 4,000. It’s also fueled debate over the Illinois Department of Public Health’s oversight of a mostly for-profit industry. That includes how the agency cut back inspections, at times breaking state law, as the virus raced through facilities,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr and Robert McCoppin.
— Chicago’s homeless add Covid-19 to their winter worries: The Chicago Department of Public Health says mass testing and isolation housing have helped to contain Covid-19 rates, which topped at more than 50 percent in some large shelters in April and has has dropped to less than 2 percent positivity for the past three months, reports WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.
— With the pandemic, parents and educators embrace outdoor preschools. Many hope the move will be permanent, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene
— Here’s how the pandemic finally ends: “A vaccine by early 2021, a steady decline in cases by next fall and back to normal in a few years — 11 top experts look into the future,” by Politico’s Elizabeth Ralph.
Two City Hall stalwarts have found love in the craziest of years. Samantha Fields, the mayor’s senior adviser for intergovernmental affairs, and Ald. Jim. Gardiner of the 45th Ward, are engaged. The two have been dating for months, well before Covid-19 closed down City Hall. “Everyone’s excited and a lot of people will be surprised because they’ve tried to keep it quiet,” a City Hall source tells Playbook. Their couplehood means Fields will move to a senior adviser role more focused on policy and Manuel “Manny” Perez, who’s been her deputy, will move to the top intergovernmental affairs position… Fields and Gardiner are planning an October wedding. No details yet. Given Gardiner is a lifelong North Sider — he grew up in his 45th Ward — and Fields is from Beverly, they may want to meet in the middle. Like City Hall? Queue the music
— Stratton warns of 20 percent across-the-board income tax hike if voters reject graduated-rate ballot measure: “To adequately address the budget crisis under our current tax system, lawmakers will be forced to consider raising income taxes on all Illinois residents by at least 20% regardless of their level of income,” Stratton said during a virtual rally on behalf of the pro-amendment Vote Yes for Fairness group. Her remarks drew a rebuke from opponents: “If you need more proof Springfield has too much power and can’t be trusted, look no further than telling voters to support a tax hike amendment or politicians will continue to raise them for you,” said Lissa Druss, spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax hike. The Tribune’s Rick Pearson has the full story.
— Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s campaign is out with another TV ad titled “Real.” It addresses the Supreme Court seat opening and the Affordable Care Act.
— Dems say Biden-Harris signs are being stolen in Springfield: “Democrats say Joe Biden-Kamala Harris signs are getting swiped from Springfield yards in large numbers, particularly near Washington Park… Doris Turner, chairwoman of the Sangamon County Democratic Party, called the thefts ‘criminal acts,’” by Illinois Times’ Bruce Rushton.
— Eric Rinehart, the Democratic candidate for Lake County State’s Attorney, is out with a new endorsement and a 30-second TV ad titled “Everyday People” that will appear on cable channels. Earlier this week Rinehart also was endorsed by state Sen. Robert Peters.
— A political action committee has been formed to help retain Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin. The committee is headed by Chicago attorney Bill Murphy, a friend of Toomin’s for years. Treasurer is political consultant Hanah Jubeh, who was chief strategist and fundraiser for Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, who won a competitive primary in March.
— Fred Eychaner, founder and chairman of Newsweb Corp. and a key donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has donated $400,000 to House Speaker Michael Madigan’s campaign account. That’s the kind of donation one makes after receiving a personal phone call, folks.
— Immigrants rush to submit citizenship applications days before fee is set to soar, by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón
— Police union president says Dem pols spread ‘false’ Breonna Taylor narrative to boost Biden’s Black support: “They’re trying to incite anger and get people riled up to make sure they show up to the polls. Police are the boogie man,” FOP President John Catanzara said. “They’re really willing to sell their souls for an election because they hate the President that much.” Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports.
— Alderman claims mayor stalling on new community policing program in Roseland: “A Community Oriented Policing House, a proposal for developing a residential home in Roseland to double as a base for officers and residents, has failed to get off the ground for over a year now despite the private funding,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— When and how will Chicago decide about reopening school buildings? Parents press for answers: “At Wednesday’s meeting, Jianan Shi, head of the parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education, urged district leaders to include families in their decision making, noting seven weeks remain until the end of the current quarter. He said that remote learning is an imperfect scenario for many students and their parents but urged the district to proceed cautiously as it weighs shifting course,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Mila Koumpilova.
— Church where Emmett Till’s open casket drew world’s attention makes list of endangered historic places: “Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Bronzeville has severe structural issues, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation,” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek and Maudlyne Iherijika.
— 3 ethics board exits later, Cook County commissioners unveil first draft of ethics code reforms: “[C]hanges include strengthening the language surrounding nepotism, adding a definition of sexual harassment to the ethics ordinance, and requiring the state’s attorney to nab the approval of the ethics board when settling its lawsuits.” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Early voting starts in collar counties, but Cook County voters will wait until October: In Chicago, early voting kicks off Oct. 1, by Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— DREADHEAD COWBOY asks for help after animal cruelty arrest: ‘Lori come help me. I can’t do it alone’: “The urban horseman enjoyed local celebrity as an activist and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s census ambassador before being charged with felony animal cruelty following his ride earlier this week. But on Thursday, he pleaded for help from the mayor’s office and Chicago’s pantheon of famous and socially conscious rappers to make the criminal case go away,” by Tribune’s William Lee.
— Glenview man sues Employment office, saying he’s owed thousands after system ‘glitch’: “John R. White filed the small claims complaint in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday. He accused IDES of withholding benefits after a system ‘glitch’ when he applied for unemployment online in May,” by CBS/2’s Samah Assad.
— Ex-detective had a relationship with the mother of a witness, according to filing: “The claim surfaced as Daniel Rodriguez, who spent 13 years behind bars in the case, is attempting to have his conviction thrown out. Lawyers for Rodriguez contend the same witness was under even more pressure to lie, since he was an uncharged co-conspirator in a different homicide, the filing alleges,” by Tribune’s Rosemary Sobol.
ComEd execs kick off special hearing in Springfield bribery scandal: “A special Illinois House committee’s hearings next week on the Springfield bribery scandal should begin with testimony from executives of Commonwealth Edison, the company at the center of the federal corruption probe, WBEZ has learned… House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said he or his lawyer, the former federal prosecutor Ron Safer, ‘will be questioning’ the ComEd executives at the special panel’s meeting on Tuesday,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos, Tony Arnold.
… Democrats mum on how to handle the ComEd hearing, writes Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.
Senate Republicans outline proposed ethics package: “Republicans are backing bills to: Allow the state attorney general to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate, indict and prosecute bribery and misconduct by members of the General Assembly; Provide state’s attorneys with wiretap authority; and Grant the legislative inspector general the ability to investigate members of the General Assembly without first receiving approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission, while changing the composition of the commission to make its members part of the general public, rather than legislators,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— More than 5,000 workers at U. of I, both nurses and nonmedical staff, reach contract agreements after striking: “The nurses, who work at the University of Illinois Hospital and clinics, ended a weeklong strike Saturday. Their union, the Illinois Nurses Association, announced Thursday that they had reached a new four-year agreement with the health system,” reports Tribune’s Lisa Schencker.
— Voting begins in Illinois, mail-in ballots being sent: “Precautions against spread Covid-19 at polling sites include plexiglass barriers, markers to space out those waiting in line and masked election judges and poll workers,” reports NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.
— They’re not otters, but endangered mussels in Illinois play a crucial role as environmental sentinels. “A Shedd research biologist who has studied mussels for years, is trying to figure out what kind of mussels are in the Chicago area, where they are, how they’re doing and ways they might be protected. One reason for their obscurity…is a lack of charisma, especially compared with some other aquatic creatures: ‘A lot of people overlook mussels,’” by Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Igniting change: Buff Carmichael, who’s been a force behind downstate LGBTQ issues for decades, “has cancer that he’s decided not to aggressively treat. He prefers to experience the end stages of life with his eyes wide open. He’s free from hospital confines, which can be especially isolating given visitor restrictions during the pandemic. He’s living at home where he can regularly visit with friends in the lawn or the breezeway. And he’s planning for the future,” writes Rachel Otwell.
— Brigid Leahy of Planned Parenthood Illinois analyzes RBG’s legacy, interview with One Illinois’ Ted Cox.
— Trump walks abortion tightrope on SCOTUS pick, by POLITICO’s Meredith McGraw and Nancy Cook
— Trump is greeted by boos and ‘vote him out’ chants at RBG viewing, POLITICO video
— Judge’s faith becomes early flashpoint in Supreme Court fight, by POLITICO’s Ben Schreckinger and Josh Gerstein
— Barrett’s Notre Dame students, colleagues weigh in on her possible nomination, by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Congresswoman Lauren Underwood has been named chair of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation. The panel falls under the House Committee on Homeland Security. "With the upcoming election just days away, this committee’s work is more critical than ever before. I’m honored to step into this leadership role to secure our cyber and physical infrastructure in a way that reflects American values,” Underwood said in a statement obtained by Playbook. Underwood serves as vice chair of the full committee and is a member of the committees of Veterans Affairs and Education and Labor.
— LaHood introduces plan for federal loans to state, local governments but exempts Illinois from getting loan forgiveness: “The legislation has little chance of passage in a Democratic-controlled House and it comes amid continued dispute over federal assistance to state and local governments between the House and GOP-controlled Senate. But it did allow LaHood to continue teeing off on Illinois’ financial woes,” writes Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
Alicia Keys joined Chicago teenagers and their families for a virtual conversation about current racial and social justice events — as well as her life and music career (she has a new album out called “Alicia”). The event was hosted by After School Matters. Spotted on the Zoom: After School Matters Board Chair and business leader Mellody Hobson, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, first lady of Chicago and After School Matters board member Amy Eshleman, and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson.
— “City So Real” doc to air Oct. 29: National Geographic Documentary Films announced its five-part documentary series “City so Real” will air in a one-night, five-hour, commercial-free event Oct. 29 beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT. All five episodes will then be available on Hulu the next day. The documentary about Chicago and the events leading up to the 2019 mayor’s race is by twice Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (“America to Me,” “Hoop Dreams”) and his longtime producing partner Zak Piper (“Life Itself,” “The Interrupters”). The doc was an official Indie Episodic selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Trailer
— ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’: From an infamous event, Aaron Sorkin makes an instant classic: “A hot-tempered judge, an outspoken Panther and a couple of quippy yippies captivate in one of the year’s best films,” by Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper
MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., closed for good at the end of the spring semester and is now auctioning its collection of paintings by the late Nellie Knopf, a Chicago native and contemporary of Georgia O’Keefe. Knopf was a 1900 graduate of the School of the Art Institute who worked at MacMurray College as an art professor and later as director of its art program. She retired in 1943. Knopf navigated a male-dominated art world as a deaf woman and was exhibited regularly. She left a body of 750 works in oil and watercolor upon her death at age 86 in 1962. Hindman is handling the auction, which is Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Auction details
State Rep. Maurice West and his wife, insurance exec and Chicago Rockford International Airport Commissioner Leslie West, are proud parents of daughter Brein, who was born Wednesday. Pic!
THURSDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Jake Marx, a native of DeKalb, who correctly guessed that the Chicago Historical Society (and museum) is home to the original first patent ever issued in the United States (it looks at Eli Whitney’s cotton gin!).
TODAY’S QUESTION: Which vice presidential candidate attended Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois? The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next Playbook. Send your best guess to [email protected].
Today: Former congressman Jerry Costello; Rep. Lauren Underwood deputy chief Kirsten Hartman; former state Sen. Rick Winkel; Culloton Bauer Luce executive VP Natalie Bauer Luce; former ABC/7 reporter Paul Meincke; sports writer Ed Sherman; and broadcast journalist Jack Zahora.
Saturday: PR pro Debra Baum.
Sunday: Meredith Sweeney O’Connor, international director of JLL’s Headquarter Practice Group; and Lou Weisbach, businessman and former Clinton-Gore era Democratic fundraiser.
September 25, 2020 at 07:45AM