Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. I once watched a pig mud-wrestling match and can say now it was cleaner than last night’s presidential debate.
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden got their first head-to-head confrontation Tuesday night. And it was a mess. The terms “trainwreck” and “dumpster fire” flashed across my social media feeds in a sign that 2020 has exhausted our imagination for describing terrible things.
The president constantly interrupted Biden and moderator Chris Wallace, who struggled to control the situation. Biden lashed back calling Trump a “clown.” POLITICO’s John Harris described the night as “an epic spectacle, a new low in presidential politics, a new high watermark in national shame.”
In all of the cross talk, Trump twice referenced Chicago. It came, of course, during a segment of the debate about protests and “law and order” (mind you, a segment labeled “race and violence in our cities” would suggest there wasn’t a way to discuss one without the other). “The Democrats that run these cities don’t want to talk — like you — about law and order,” Trump told Biden. Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted back “[email protected], keep ‘Chicago’ out of your lying mouth.” Also on the matter of race, Trump mostly emphasized how much support he has from law enforcement unions and other groups, which either misses the point or sharpens his indifference to policing reform.
The "most jarring moment" was when Trump refused to condemn white supremacy. Here’s the VIDEO. And we gulped when Trump seized on Biden’s sons, especially when president reengaged his attacks on Hunter as Biden was making a point about his deceased son Beau.
Trump’s bullying style drew praise from his inner circle and rallied his base, “but it could not have helped him with undecided voters, moderate Republicans or anyone hoping for a less chaotic future than what 2020 has provided us,” political veteran Kurt Summers, a former city treasurer, told Playbook.
The former VP seemed caught off guard by Trump’s aggressiveness, added Lenny Gail, a Chicago attorney and former debater we enlisted to offer thoughts on the debate. “Biden kept trying to debate as if the rules mattered,” he said.
Though astonishing to watch, many of us had an “I can relate” moment. "Chris Wallace now feels the pain of women in meetings," FiveThirtyEight senior political writer Clare Malone tweeted.
More takeaways from the team at POLITICO:
Questions are being raised about whether Biden should skip the next two planned debates, according to POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Alex Isenstadt.
The most contentious moments were over Obamacare, the Supreme Court battle, Covid-19 and each others’ intelligence. At one point: “Biden explicitly called Trump ‘racist’ during an exchange about the president’s recent move to end racial sensitivity training among federal agencies.” Trump said the racial sensitivity trainings were… racist.
The biggest falsehoods and exaggerations in the first Trump-Biden showdown: Quint Forgey and Matthew Choi “took stock of the most questionable statements during the chaotic prime-time event.”
Trump denounces mail-in voting: ‘Fraud like you have never seen,’ he says, by POLITICO’s Lara Seligman
Chris Wallace faces criticism for letting candidates run wild, by POLITICO’s Jacqueline Feldscher
The first post-debate polls say Biden won, by Vox’s Andrew Prokop
Biden to Trump: “You’re the worst president America has ever had,” VIDEO
Trump to Biden: “Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” VIDEO
NEW DETAILS in ComEd scandal, via WBEZ: “Under Republican grilling, lawyers representing Commonwealth Edison told a legislative panel Tuesday how the power company repeatedly engaged in bribery to influence House Speaker Michael Madigan, dealing a messy blow that the speaker’s Democratic allies struggled to clean up.
“The bi-partisan committee weighing potential misconduct charges against the speaker and state Democratic Party chairman heard the most public airing so far about the lengths ComEd went to curry favor with Madigan — including revelations that the scheme was wider than previously disclosed. The company has admitted to showering no-work contracts on members of Madigan’s political army and even putting one ally on the company’s board to illegally bolster its standing with the speaker,” by Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.
Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton notes: David Glockner, Commonwealth Edison executive vice president for compliance and audit “is the first — and possibly only — witness to appear before the special investigation committee."
Though bipartisan, the legislative panel continues to “squabble” about how to move proceedings forward, writes the Tribune’s Dan Petrella in his take of Tuesday’s hearing.
And Sun-Times’ columnist Mark Brown notes: “The jury is in on Madigan — even if the Democrats refuse to see it.”
Meanwhile, the bribery case continued in the courts, as a former ComEd executive pleaded guilty in Springfield: “Fidel Marquez Jr. — ComEd’s former senior vice president for governmental and external affairs — admitted his role in the power company’s long-running, illicit effort to influence Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party boss Michael Madigan of Chicago,” writes WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
The plea agreement was unsealed Tuesday and makes clear that ComEd expected something in return from Madigan: “As Marquez understood, these payments were made to influence and reward Public Official A concerning legislation affecting ComEd.”
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Schedule not provided.
Giving a virtual Covid-19 update at noon.
Schedule not provided.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 23 new deaths to the coronavirus and 1,362 new confirmed cases in Illinois. That’s a total of 8,637 deaths and 291,001 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Sept. 22 through 28 is 3.6 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.2 percent.
— Pritzker self-isolating for 14 days after staffer tests positive: “A staffer who recently traveled with Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the governor and others to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, his office announced Tuesday,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— Illinois Department of Labor launches free Covid-safety consulting program for small businesses: “The program, called Back to Business Illinois, will “help local small businesses audit their physical operation, identify best practices and find ways to implement them efficiently,” according to the Department of Labor,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.
— 4 states added to Chicago quarantine order for travelers, while none removed: “The city of Chicago added Kentucky, Wyoming, Texas and Nevada to its quarantine list and made no removals, officials announced Tuesday. The additions will be effective Friday, when the list will cover 23 states and territories, according to a Chicago Department of Public Health news release,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Suburban parents sue IHSA, hoping to force return of high school football and other sports: “The parents of four DuPage County high school athletes have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force the return of football and other sports that have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the Illinois High School Association violated its bylaws when it agreed to follow the state’s safety guidelines,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Lightfoot on reopening CPS: We’re ‘following very closely’ the experience of Catholic schools: “The mayor, who oversees public schools in Chicago and appoints the schools chief and board, is expected to make the final call about reopening campuses along with city health officials. Chicago started the school year virtually three weeks ago after initially planning to begin the year with a hybrid schedule,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Cassie Walker Burke.
— Police moving district patrol officers downtown, limiting time on street for neighborhood tactical cops, memos say: “The move reduces the number of officers available in at least some of the city’s 22 patrol districts to respond to 911 calls during every shift. As of Tuesday morning, districts will now have to send officers to the downtown area, a move opposed by some aldermen,” by Tribune’s Peter Nickeas, Jeremy Gorner and Gregory Pratt.
— Police have a new anti-violence effort. How did the last one spend 4 million hours of overtime? “Officers did seize some guns and make some arrests, but were mostly busy writing tickets. CPD says its latest anti-violence program will be different,” by WBEZ’s Elliott Ramos.
— Victims of gun violence in Chicago offer an alternative to traditional policing: “One organization believes that those with personal experiences with violence might actually be better than the police at keeping their community safe,” by NBC’s Antonia Hylton and Carol Eggers.
— Chicago census workers feel pressured to rush the count as the deadline battle continues: “The news was announced in a tweet and on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau Monday afternoon. Documents from the court case that prompted the court order show that the commerce department decided to conclude field operations on Oct. 5 to allow for the census bureau to deliver the final census tally to President Trump by Dec. 31,” writes WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.
— Artist Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation and Dorchester Industries will open “Retreat,” a program for creative folks in food, music and artistic worlds to develop their work. Retreat will be part of the Currency Exchange Cafe, which reopens Oct. 9 and provides space and community for artists to collaborate, create, work and…retreat.
— WHITE SOX BEAT THE A’s. Giolito dazzles, Abreu slugs White Sox past A’s in opener, via ESPN. And today, both the Sox and Cubs are on the field.
‘This is the future of our sport’: Athletes Unlimited, a venture that treats pro sports like a fantasy league, ends first softball season in Rosemont with plans to return: “The six-week [softball] league was launched by Athletes Unlimited, a fledgling outfit that treats professional sports like a fantasy league. Players receive points not just for winning games but for performing well individually,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Cook County judge asked to reconsider $15M fee award, including $1M to a fellow judge, in long-running investor suit: “In late July, Cook County Associate Judge Neil Cohen ruled that attorneys with the firm of Edward T. Joyce & Associates should receive a 20% cut of the so-called “common funds” created by Judge Cohen as part of his judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the decades-old court fight. However, the defendants in the case say the judges fee award is ‘unreasonable,’” by Cook County Court Record’s Jonathan Bilyk.
— Texas company to close all of its Illinois coal-fired power plants, another sign the global transition to clean energy is accelerating: “Vistra Energy absorbed nine of the state’s coal plants during a corporate merger just two years ago. Like its predecessors, the company found it increasingly difficult to profit from burning coal amid competition from cheaper, cleaner natural gas and renewable energy….[It’s a] move that promises cleaner air in Chicago and other cities as far away as New York and Boston,” writes Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— Complaint filed over Lake County couple’s alleged campaign violations, which spent 3 years unnoticed: “The complaint centers around Lake County Board member Mike Rummel and his wife, Lake Forest Alderman Melanie Rummel, who have been sharing a political action committee since 2017, using it in roughly the same manner as candidate committees. However, the distinction has allowed them to take in more political contributions than they should be allowed. The Rummels say they were just following advice directly from the Board of Elections,” reports NPR Illinois’ Hannah Meisel.
THE FIFTY: Governors and mayors have never mattered more to the future of the nation, and The Fifty, a new series from POLITICO, takes you inside the role they’re playing in the pandemic and more. Today’s feature: The 6 key races you haven’t heard of that may help decide how we secure our elections, by POLITICO’s Eric Geller.
— Big biz group urges ‘no’ on graduated income tax: “The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club says a graduated tax may be needed, but only as part of "comprehensive" financial reform,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— She went too far: Bristow joked about dead teacher at 2017 ‘celebrity’ roast: The Democratic House rep told a joke about a retired teacher “whose remains were found inside a vehicle in the Mississippi River in 2005, three years after her disappearance,” by Madison-St. Clair Record’s David Beasley.
— New ad in IL-13: The NRCC criticizes Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for being a lobbyist and a fundraiser, while attacking her husband as a former aide to disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich
— Intel chief releases Russian disinfo on Hillary Clinton that was rejected by bipartisan Senate panel, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio and Daniel Lippman
— Republicans plot out Barrett confirmation blitz, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett, Gabby Orr and John Bresnahan
TUESDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to Bryan Zarou, director of Public Policy & Advocacy at Forefront, for correctly answering that the late Warner Saunders was the Chicago news anchor who declared the fictional Jed Bartlett the presidential winner of the Illinois primary in the show the “West Wing.” It aired in season two, episode two. Pic (h/t Nick Daggers)
TODAY’S QUESTION: What Illinois village was the center of a landmark First Amendment decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the mid-1970’s and currently used as a "classic free speech case" in Constitutional law classes? The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next Playbook. Send your best guess to [email protected].
Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Kindle Communications VP of comms strategy Kelly Drinkwine, Rep. Robin Kelly’s comms director James Lewis, JPMorgan Chase’s head of regional philanthropy for North America Whitney Smith, and Bradley Akubuiro, senior director for media relations at Boeing (h/t Gordon Johndroe).
September 30, 2020 at 07:34AM