Good Monday morning, Illinois. There was frost in the forecast for this morning but the weather is supposed to perk up later in the week.
While we haven’t yet dragged ourselves out from under the 2020 election, a few Republicans are already eyeing 2022 to challenge Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Most political watchers are waiting to see what Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Cubs co-owner and Republican National Committee finance Chairman Todd Ricketts, and Chicago attorney and Illinois Republican committeeman Richard Porter will do.
State Rep. Darren Bailey of Xenia (in Clay County), and state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo (near St. Louis), have talked to people about running.
Bailey, who makes a living as a farmer, has made headlines for a lawsuit against Pritzker, claiming his civil rights have been violated by the governor’s stay-at-home orders. Bailey is the state rep who was kicked out of the spring legislative session for a day for not wearing a mask. He’s also a freshman Rep who’s running for state senator. Talk about ambition.
Schimpf, who’s not seeking re-election this year, saw his plans for a federal judgeship derailed. So he’s looking for something new after next month’s election. The attorney and retired Marine Corps officer has been a familiar face on the campaign circuit for other Republican candidates. He also has been speaking out against the graduated income tax ballot measure, which is backed by Pritzker.
Gary Rabine, owner of a Rabine Group, a paving and concrete company based in Schaumburg, has hosted Trump events around Illinois, allowing him to get his name out with top-tier Republican supporters. Rabine, who headlines a podcast called Ditch Digger CEO, also has the ear of Charlie Kirk of Turning Point.
Kinzinger, meanwhile, may be looking for a new challenge after nearly 10 years in the House — 12 if he wins re-election next month. He’s one of the few Republicans in Congress who hasn’t been afraid to call out President Donald Trump when he thinks the president’s tweets go too far. GOP sources say Kinzinger’s campaign team would like to see him run for governor, but he so far isn’t indicating whether he’s ready to make the leap.
Other wildcards are Ricketts, whose family is on the Forbes billionaire list and is seen as someone who could match Pritzker’s ability to self-fund, and Porter, who’s become a notable name in GOP circles.
No one’s ready to talk yet about 2022. But that will change next month after the 2020 election winds down.
President Donald Trump made a surprise drive-by around Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday to cheering supporters without telling reporters. He also taped a video saying “I get it,” regarding Covid-19.
He looked better than we might have guessed, given the confusing information emanating from his medical team throughout the weekend. POLITICO breaks down what we know and what we don’t know about the president’s vitals.
The Wall Street Journal reports Trump initially tried to keep his first positive Covid-19 test quiet. “As the virus spread among the people closest to him, Mr. Trump also asked one adviser not to disclose results of their own positive test. ‘Don’t tell anyone,’ Mr. Trump said, according to a person familiar with the conversation.”
Meanwhile, numerous members of Trump’s inner circle have tested positive — including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who prepped Trump for last week’s debate. Christie had a seat on the set of the ABC News presidential show, so that prompted former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, another commentator on the show, to get tested. Emanuel told Playbook he had two Covid-19 tests Saturday and both came back negative.
It’s going to be difficult to top last week’s chain of events, from the New York Times’ story about Trump’s taxes, to the chaotic first presidential debate, and then Trump’s Covid diagnosis and prognosis.
But the coming week could be equally dramatic as Americans await news about Trump’s health and Vice President Mike Pence’s plans to stay on the campaign trail. Pence is the GOP’s “one line of defense between a hospitalized commander-in-chief and a President Nancy Pelosi,” according to POLITICO’s Gabby Orr and Anita Kumar. Also, let’s not forget about Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate.
Controlling the spread of coronavirus in Washington is also of concern. Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, is again pushing Pelosi to institute testing for lawmakers. Here’s the latest letter from Davis to Pelosi.
“My job is to make sure the House operates in an effective and safe manner. In May, I sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi… to put together a testing regimen not just for members of Congress but essential workers who protect and clean the complex every day. And it was rebuffed. It was ignored,” Davis told Playbook. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected similar proposals for members of his chamber.
There’s also the matter of the Supreme Court hearings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still plans to forge ahead with getting Amy Coney Barrett confirmed before the election. The challenge: six senators are clamped down because of the virus, including three who are in isolation because they tested positive.
And with 29 day left until Election Day, questions are swirling about if and how Trump can return to the campaign trail.
The irony in all this is that Biden is the one on the campaign trail while an ailing Trump is holed up in a hospital after making fun of the former vice president for being too cautious about wearing a mask. Still, POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and David Lim point out Biden still at risk after debating Trump at “peak of contagion.”
Republicans gripped by dread as multiple crises swirl, by POLITICO’s Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman
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No official public events.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 17 new deaths and 1,453 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 8,791 deaths and 301,541 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tesst from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3 is 3.3 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.3 percent.
— Trump official pressured CDC to change report on Covid and kids: “Amid Trump’s push to reopen schools, Michael Caputo’s science adviser asked that the health agency alter its warning about a study of pediatric coronavirus,” by POLITICO’s Dan Diamond.
— How are Illinois politicos keeping safe from Covid-19 — and what happens if they get sick? By WBEZ’s Tony Arnold
— Covid-19 victims, family members and heroes reflect on their new normal: “Some of them fought the new coronavirus from hospital beds, others at makeshift testing sites. Some mourned their closest loved ones; others came to the aid of strangers. And some saw the pandemic upend their lives and dreams….Six months into the greatest public health crisis in a century, how are they now faring?” By Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair, Christy Gutowski, Karen Ann Cullotta and Susan Berger
1st grade CPS teacher dies after three-week battle with Covid-19: “Olga Quiroga was in her 30th year working at Chicago Public Schools, most recently as a bilingual teacher at Funston Elementary,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— VP NOMINEE KAMALA HARRIS appears in Sen. Dick Durbin’s new campaign ad. The 60-second ad is narrated by Harris, and focuses on Durbin’s work around criminal justice reform. The ad will air in Chicago starting today.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Biden campaign is trying to get an accurate count of where it’s at with the Electoral College. It’s asked Illinois’ 20 Electoral College electors to pledge their support via this form. Full list of Illinois electors.
— BILLIONAIRES’ DEEP POCKETS: Insurance magnate Pat Ryan, and his wife, Shirley, have each donated $5,800 to support Pat O’Brien’s run for Cook County state’s attorney. Ryan, who heads Ryan Specialty Group, was the leader of the Chicago Olympic bid a decade ago and sits on Forbes’ billionaire list along with Chicago businessman Ken Griffin and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Griffin has donated an additional $26.7 million to oppose the graduated income tax ballot measure that is backed by the governor. That puts Griffin’s total donation to oppose the ballot measure to $46.7 million. Pritzker, meanwhile, has dropped $56.5 million into the “Vote Yes for Fairness” committee supporting the ballot initiative.
— Today: Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be featured in today’s “Mayor Mondays,” a weekly series of virtual phone banks every at 6 p.m. CT on behalf of the Biden campaign “and Democrats up and down the ballot.” Details here
— Banned contractor, embraced by Rosemont, has given Mayor Bradley Stephens nearly $170K: “The Palumbo family’s companies were banned from state- or federally-funded work over a 1990s fraud case but allowed to get municipally fund projects,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.
— Debate fallout: Sen. Brady: Trump ‘Completely Mishandled’ White Supremacist Remarks: “I thought he mishandled it completely, no question,” Brady said on WGLT’s Sound Ideas. “The president completely missed an opportunity to share the fact that Republicans do not stand for white supremacy and that we stand for equality.”
— Fact-Check: Will large and small businesses pay more under a graduated tax plan? “The wealthiest small business owners in Illinois will pay more taxes if voters approve the proposal. But they won’t see any more of an increase than their counterparts in other professions,” by Better Government Association’s Kiannah Sepeda-Miller.
— Chicagoans want funds reallocated from police budget, city-sponsored survey shows: “Of more than the 19,000 comments we received on the survey, more than 18,000 mentioned the police,” the city’s budget director said. Block Club’s Erin Hegarty reports.
— CPS teachers could look inside students’ homes — without their knowledge — before fix: “The situation, which was corrected only after the first few weeks of school, highlights the privacy concerns that come with e-learning,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Everything goes wrong for Bears in humbling 19-11 loss to Colts: “The Bears lost their first game of the season after a shaky 3-0 start, and putting Nick Foles in as their starting quarterback didn’t change a thing,” by Sun-Times’ Jason Lieser.
— Over some Dems’ objections, county board approves a property tax break for south suburban gun club: “A south suburban gun club stands to receive a Cook County property tax incentive under a resolution the Board of Commissioners recently approved, but divisions remain over whether — during an especially violent year — it’s appropriate to give a financial break to a business where patrons buy and shoot firearms,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Big rally in Evanston for Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, by Tribune’s Kaitlin Edquist.
— In December, Kim Foxx opposed cop-killer’s parole bid. In July, she no longer did. She won’t say why: “Ex-police Supt. Phil Cline’s furious about the Cook County state’s attorney’s new stance on Ronnie Carrasquillo, who shot Officer Terrence Loftus in the head in 1976 on the NW Side,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Former Cook County prosecutor fired for allegedly lying during Jackie Wilson trial; special prosecutor drops charges: “Charges have been dropped against a man who was freed after spending decades in prison for the shooting deaths of two Chicago police officers. Jackie Wilson spent over 36 years of his life in prison for the 1982 double murder, but now that ordeal is finally over. Special prosecutors dropped the charges Thursday after learning about misconduct by an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney,” by ABC/7’s Leah Hope.
— Speaker Madigan is starting to make his case: “House Speaker Michael Madigan and his allies have begun to offer a more substantive public response to the bombshell $1.3 million bribery case against ComEd that implicated him this summer,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.
— Berrios son-in-law indicted in bribery scheme involving ex-state Rep. Luis Arroyo: “The son-in-law of one-time Cook County Democratic boss Joseph Berrios has been indicted for his alleged role in a bribery scheme that brought down ex-state Rep. Luis Arroyo and exposed a shadowy lobbying effort to expand sweepstakes gaming machines. James Weiss, 41, was charged in an eight-count superseding indictment made public Friday with bribery, wire fraud, mail fraud and lying to the FBI. Weiss is married to Berrios’ daughter, former state Rep. Toni Berrios,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner. Here’s the indictment.
— Will ComEd’s parent cut the cord that ties its fate to its troubled subsidiary? “Wall Street is wondering why Exelon, unlike virtually every major electricity company, isn’t uncoupling its financially struggling power plants from its healthy utilities,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— KIFOWIT ON FUNDRAISING: State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, who announced last week that she’s challenging fellow Democrat Michael Madigan for the speakership he’s held for decades, spent the weekend offering help to candidates headed to the November election. She’s offered phone-banking help and volunteers to knock on doors. “I know everyone focuses on the importance of fundraising” for the speaker’s job, she told Playbook. “But I’d like to see representatives be more independent and develop their own fundraising mechanisms. Right now, it all goes to Michael Madigan and that’s how he controls things. I think going forward that needs to change as well. Representatives need to fundraise on their own.” She pointed to the state Senate, which relies on powerful fundraising at the top but also individuals doing their own fundraising. “It’s collaborative. In the House, it’s not.”
— Here’s how much the top Chicago lobbyists make: “Among top-paid lobbyists over that stretch: All-Circo’s John Kelly Jr. ($12.3 million), Michael Kasper ($10.3 million) and Cozen O’Connor’s John Dunn ($7.5 million). Companies shelling out millions to sway Chicago officials include outdoor advertiser JCDecaux and affiliates, the American Beverage Association and ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig.
— In final days of the census, outreach workers struggle with apathy, distrust: “Response rates remain low in many areas across the South and West sides, with some neighborhoods reporting rates around 30 percent. The same areas have poverty rates of 30 percent and 40 percent, according to data gathered by the University of Illinois at Chicago. ‘The reason people are hard to count is because they don’t trust the system,’ said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, who has been involved in census efforts on the West Side,” by Tribune’s Sophie Sherry and Jessica Villagomez.
— FIRST IN NATION PROGRAM: Older people will soon receive health coverage in Illinois regardless of immigration status: Hundreds of low-income immigrants age 65 and older of older will be eligible for Medicaid-like coverage in Illinois regardless of their immigration status. “Initially, between 400 and 2,000 people are expected to sign up for the program, which was part of the state budget passed this spring,” reports Tribune’s Laura Rodriguez Presa.
— Moody’s says other hikes are likely even if ‘fair tax’ passes: “The ratings agency takes close look at Illinois finances post-Covid, and the picture isn’t pretty,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— UPDATED SALARY DATABASE: The Better Government Association has updated its salary database. This data tool includes the salary information for more than 1,700 units of government constituting more than 500,000 employees, from state government, teachers and the city of Chicago to suburban park districts and downstate town governments. BGA rehabbed it more than a year ago and now has a new update. New feature: a breakout of OT and base pay spending for the last two years.
— Regulators grant emergency relief to preserve net metering, order audit of Ameren’s bid to end it: "The Illinois Commerce Commission on Thursday granted an emergency motion to solar advocacy organizations urging Ameren ‘to provide full net metering credits to residential solar customers until an audit is completed.’ The commission also directed its staff to perform the audit and determine if Ameren has reached the required threshold under state law for ending retail net metering in its service territory. Ameren says it may reach that threshold imminently,” by Utility Dive’s John Funk.
— Regal Theatres may close all locations, including 9 in Illinois: “The chain operates more than 540 theaters across the U.S.,” by Patch’s Shannon Antinori.
Illinois Wesleyan got major pushback for cutting religion, French and anthropology. But other colleges are dropping the humanities too: “The cuts are the result of a controversial curriculum review that began last year, pitting administrators trying to revamp offerings for career-oriented students and balance the budget against defenders of the humanities, including professors and alumni, who worry IWU will lose its identity as a bastion for liberal arts,” by Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney
Naperville’s first recreational marijuana store to open Thursday: “The city’s first recreational marijuana store, Rise Naperville, is scheduled to open Thursday, with profits from first-day sales going to a local anti-hunger agency. The former 3C Compassionate Care Center at 1700 Quincy Ave. has been rebranded as Rise Naperville by Green Thumb Industries Inc., a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of Rise and Essence retail stores,” by Naperville Sun’s Suzanne Baker.
— Trump team under fire for confusion about president’s condition, by POLITICO’s Nolan McCaskill
— What happens if Pence needs to become ‘acting president’? By Garrett Graff for POLITICO magazine
— Wisconsin is frazzled by surging virus cases and growing campaign frenzy, by New York Times’ Julie Bosman
— Adam Silver addresses NBA’s efforts toward diversity among coaches and social justice, by The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears
‘PRESERVING ISRAEL’S SAFETY AND SECURITY’: Rep. Brad Schneider last week introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the president to consult with the Israeli government and increase congressional oversight before any new arms sales in the Middle East occur, our colleague Jacqueline Feldscher reports. The proposal is a direct response to concerns that the Trump administration’s plans to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates could erode Israel’s military edge. The bill would also require the White House to report to Congress on how any potential sale would affect Israel’s advantage within 60 days of being formally notified of the arms deal.
Chicago Reporter on ‘hiatus’ following publisher’s removal, ex-staffers say: “The Chicago Reporter, an investigative news source that has probed issues of race and poverty for nearly five decades, halted publication last month, according to former staffers,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Ashvin Lad has joined the board of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the organization that supports the exhibits and programs of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Lad is the co-founder of Breakwater Chicago.
— District 186 school board president loses state job: “Springfield School Board President Scott McFarland has ended his run as executive director of the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service… ’It’s an at-will position, so the governor has the ability to decide who they want,’ McFarland said of the $95,000-a-year post, adding that he’s not upset. ‘I had a great time working with the commission, and I’m looking forward to what’s next,’” by State Journal-Register’s Bernard Schoenburg.
From Chicago’s South Side to a seat on the federal court: RIP to a trailblazing judge who played a sweet sax: “Blanche Manning died in late September without the public fanfare typically offered to trailblazers, which is why one of her fellow judges alerted me to her death the other day,” writes Tribune’s Mary Schmich. “She was a remarkable person who deserves a full obituary,” her former colleague emailed. “I think that, had she been a man, her death would have been noticed.”
Wednesday: Biden supporters have planned a night at the drive-in to watch the VP debate. Details here
FRIDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to Democratic political consultant Steve Sheffey for correctly answering that Miguel del Valle was the first Latino elected to the Illinois Senate.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Who is the only Illinois politician to have served in all three branches of the federal government (legislative, executive, and judicial) and to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom? I’ll take the first correct answer. Send to [email protected].
Illinois Secretary of State liaison Bob Juliano Jr., Protiviti’s Sloane Potter (previously with POLITICO), and Josh Hoyt, a co-chair of the American Business Immigration Coalition, who celebrated Sunday.
October 5, 2020 at 07:49AM