TGIF, Illinois. That time Savannah Guthrie told the president of the United States: “You’re not someone’s crazy uncle who can retweet whatever.”
Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan outraised and outspent Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in their IL-13 rematch. And Willie Wilson outraised everyone by self-funding his U.S. Senate campaign to the tune of $3 million in the third quarter — though incumbent Sen. Dick Durbin maintains a large cash-on-hand advantage.
Those are a few of the juicier nuggets from the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Londrigan raised $1.5 million, spent $2.4 million, and has $1.4 million cash on hand. Davis raised $1.2 million, spent $1.4 million, and has banked $1.7 million.
Durbin raised $1.1 million, spent $2.3 million, and has $4.5 million on hand. Wilson, a third-party candidate (who told Playbook Thursday that he’s recovering well from the coronavirus) spent $845,000 and has $2.2 million cash. Records for Mark Curran, the Republican in the Senate race, were not yet available on the FEC website.
In IL-14, Rep. Lauren Underwood nearly doubled the fundraising of Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis.
Underwood, raised $1.8 million, spent $2.7 million, and has banked $2.3 million. Oberweis raised $986,000, spent $485,000, and has $876,000 cash on hand.
In IL-06, Republican Jeanne Ives matched Democratic Rep. Sean Casten in fundraising, but lags in cash on hand for the crucial final days of the campaign.
Casten raised $1.1 million, spent $2.2 million, and has banked $2.0 million. Ives raised $1.1 million, spent $1.1 million, and has $494,000 cash on hand.
In IL-17, Rep. Cheri Bustos raised $741,700, spent $1.6 million and has $2.5 million on hand. Republican Esther Joy King raised $611,000, spent $815,000, and has $83,500 cash on hand.
In IL-15, Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly raised $285,000 and has $1.1 million cash on hand. She faces Republican Theresa Raborn, whose filings weren’t immediately available.
Former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is accused of “shockingly violent” sexual assaults against the officer who was with him the night he was found drunk at Ceres Café, the incident that led to his ouster.
Officer Cynthia Donald filed a lawsuit Wednesday and held a press conference explaining that she was raped and abused for three years.
The Tribune has a four-byline report: “The stunning allegations further complicate a case that has already brought significant embarrassment to the city, including the unceremonious firing of Johnson, who was supposed to take up the charge of reforming the beleaguered department when he was appointed four years ago. Instead he was dismissed after being found asleep at the wheel on a city street, allegedly after a night of drinking, and then lying about it to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.”
The lawsuit says Johnson demanded sexual favors from female officers in exchange for promotions. At the press conference, Donald said: “My hope in coming forward publicly … is that other women who are also survivors of abuse and harassment by Superintendent Johnson and other male Chicago Police Department officers will have courage.”
In a statement issued to the Sun-Times, Johnson rejected the allegations, saying Donald’s claims “are not only patently false, they are egregiously dehumanizing towards true victims who have truly suffered sexual assault and harassment in the workplace… The claims are an affront to everything I believe in and stand for… I pray for Ms. Donald’s well-being and look forward to the opportunity where the facts can be presented.”
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In Elgin at 1 p.m. to announce funding for welcoming centers to help support Illinois’ immigrant community. Watch live
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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 53 new deaths and 4,015 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 9,127 deaths and 331,620 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Oct. 9 through 15 is 4.9 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.8 percent.
— Hospitals search for enough beds and nurses as virus rebounds: “The coronavirus is engulfing big city hospitals in states including Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana that are running low on nurses and beds and are being forced to set up overflow facilities. With new daily U.S. cases surpassing 62,000 on Thursday, the prospect of swamped intensive care units is prompting some governors who previously resisted public health orders to weigh new restrictions to ease pressure on their health care systems,” by POLITICO’s Dan Goldberg.
— Illinois records 4,015 new coronavirus cases, a single-day record; 53 deaths is most in a day since late June: “The 4,015 new cases announced Thursday topped the previous high of 4,014 cases on May 12. The state reported 5,368 new cases on Sept. 4, but that was due to a backlog in processing test results,” reports Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
— Two more Illinois politicos contract coronavirus: Rep. David Allen Welter, a Morris Republican, announced on Twitter: “I want to let my constituents know that I tested positive for Covid-19 last night. I’m experiencing mild symptoms and visited Morris Hospital to be checked out. I’ve already begun following up with people I have been in contact with in recent days to notify them of my results.”
… And Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe announced on WSOY AM radio that she had contracted the virus. "We are in quarantine in our house and hopefully we haven’t been spreading it," Moore Wolfe said, adding a second family member also tested positive. "I cannot urge enough for people to take this seriously," she said. "I do. I wear a mask. I try to stay socially distant. I may not be as good as I was in the very very beginning of this, but it’s all around us."
— The ‘nerdy virologists’ steering the U.S. vaccine race: “The political backdrop could make the first coronavirus gathering of the advisory committee one of the most-watched in FDA history,” by POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle.
— Pelosi and Mnuchin keep Covid talks alive even as deal remains elusive: “Earlier Thursday, Trump criticized his Treasury secretary, saying ‘he hasn’t come home with the bacon,’” by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris and Quint Forgey.
FROM BGA’s DAVID JACKSON: Illinois poorly prepared for flood of unemployment claims: “A neglected Department of Employment Security was suffering severe staffing shortages even before more than two million jobless claims swamped the agency during the Covid-19 lockdowns,” reports Jackson in his first investigation for the Better Government Association. “[A]gency staffing was at an ‘all-time low,’ according to its then-acting director. Veteran employees were retiring in droves to be replaced by rookies. And when key jobs were filled it was sometimes with political aides who had little or no agency experience.”
— Trump gets grilled as Biden coasts: Takeaways from the dueling townhalls: “It came off less like a split screen than a breach in the political universe – ‘Die Hard’ versus ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” by POLITICO’s David Siders and Anita Kumar.
… Trump refuses to denounce QAnon and other key moments, by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi and Nick Niedzwiadek
— PRITZKER RELEASES TAXES and what he would pay under ‘fair tax’: Gov. J.B. Pritzker released his personal income tax summary Thursday, saying he would have paid $3.7 million more if the graduated income tax plan were in effect. “The records show the Pritzker and his wife, M.K., had $2.4 million in state taxable income in 2019, down from nearly $4.4 million in 2018 and nearly $55 million in 2017. The Pritzkers personally owed $118,255 in state taxes and $419,853 to the federal government in 2018, according to their returns,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
— Democratic effort to flip Rodney Davis’ seat the most hotly contested of Downstate congressional races: “The district, which sprawls from Champaign to the Missouri border north of St. Louis and includes parts of Springfield and Bloomington, went for President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by 5.5 percentage points in 2016,” by Tribune’s Jamie Munks.
— 45th District state House race heating up. Republican Seth Lewis, a Bartlett insurance agent, just plugged $100,000 into his campaign — breaking the caps and allowing big donations to come in. That comes a day after incumbent Democratic Rep. Diane Pappas saw three different unions pump a combined $145,000 into her campaign.
— Call it a proxy war: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be a special guest at a virtual fundraising reception Tuesday for Judge Michael Toomin, who’s up for retention. The Cook County Democratic Party voted not to endorse Toomin for retention, claiming he’s old-school when it comes to dealing with juvenile offenders (he works in the Juvenile Justice Division). But everyone knows, it’s a power play by Cook County Democratic Party leader Toni Preckwinkle, who believes Toomin has crossed party leaders too many times. Lightfoot and Preckwinkle, of course, battled in last year’s mayoral race.
— Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride has been endorsed by Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, which has 34 affiliates in the Third Judicial District. The group’s endorsement points to Kilbride’s history as a union member.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Congressman Brad Schneider released a new ad, “Team,” which has him riding a bike with friends and talking (while he’s riding!) about improving health care, protecting pre-existing conditions, and delivering Covid relief for small business.
— You don’t need a sleeping bag to survive early voting lines, but a campstool — and a scarf — might come in handy: “If you’re going to vote in person in 2020, you’re going to need to bring your patience, your mask, some comfortable shoes and probably your mobile phone to keep you entertained. And, oh yes, appropriate outerwear,” by Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown.
ELECTIONLAND: POLITICO is partnering with Electionland, a ProPublica project that works with newsrooms to track voting issues around the country. The Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. We’re part of a coalition of newsrooms around the country that are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more. Tell us here if you’re having trouble voting.
— Republican Pat O’Brien outraising Democrat Kim Foxx in state’s attorney money battle: “Campaign reports on file Thursday showed the Democratic incumbent had roughly $216,590.45 to spend, while O’Brien had at least $427,326.62. But with contribution limits blown by the Republican’s self-financing, donors are now free to give as much as they want to either candidate,” by POLITICO’s Rachel Hinton.
— State Rep. Monica Bristow just received $250,000 from the Democratic Majority (just in time for those TV ad buys in her 111th District).
— Most CPS students won’t return to classrooms for start of 2nd quarter, sources say: “Remote learning will continue for the vast majority of CPS’ 300,000 students when the second quarter begins next month, sources said,” by Sun-TImes’ Nader Issa and Lauren FitzPatrick.
— Police make plans for election night on the city’s streets: “Chicago police and other city departments said Thursday they have been devising plans over the past few months to ‘respond to any situation’ on the city’s streets for the upcoming presidential election, including civil unrest. The contest between President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, promises to elicit strong emotions from both sides of the political arena,” writes Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— How to #cancelWallStreet: “The City of Chicago is facing a $1.2 billion hole for its 2021 budget due to tax revenue declines in the wake of Covid-19. Saqib Bhatti knows exactly where Chicago can find $1.1 billion to nearly fill it in — that’s how much the city coughs up annually in interest payments on its municipal bonds,” writes Oscar Perry Abello in Next City urban magazine.
— Pullman’s successful turnaround might be a guide to helping other areas, study says: “The University of Chicago report says the effort led by U.S. Bank offers lessons for other communities,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Bringing sea lessons and a remarkable life to the Chicago Maritime Museum Festival: “Capt. Bill Pinkney, first African-American to sail the world solo, will bring his lessons from the sea to life as the keynote at the Chicago Maritime Museum Festival,” by Sun-Times’ Dale Bowman.
Cook County’s proposed 2021 budget eases pandemic pain: No new taxes: “Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled a $6.9 billion proposed budget that relies on some small fee increases, tapping reserves, but no new taxes to offset losses from the pandemic,” reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch and Dave McKinney.
Pandemic threatens bribery trial for Manafort associate: “A federal judge has agreed to delay the trial for Stephen Calk, a Chicago bank founder accused of soliciting a bribe from the former Trump campaign chairman,” by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein.
— What a graduated income tax would mean for Illinois’ financial state: “If voters sign off on the change, a law would automatically take effect to raise income taxes on millionaires, while offering modest relief to most other taxpayers. It would add roughly $3.1 billion to the state treasury in the first full year it takes effect,” reports NPR Illinois’ Daniel C. Vock.
— PODCAST: Did the Gidwitzes benefit from PPP? “The Heist,” an investigative podcast, examines how the Paycheck Protection Program may have benefited some wealthy and well-connected companies, including the family business of the Gidwitz family. Republican power broker Ron Gidwitz has been serving as ambassador to Belgium for the past few years, but his family still runs Continental Materials in Illinois. Transcript here
— How the pharmaceutical lobby sways state capitols: “Well over one-quarter of all state lawmakers nationwide have accepted money from the pharmaceutical industry since the beginning of 2019,” STAT’s Lev Facher reports. “In several states, taking drug industry cash was more the norm than the exception: In Illinois, more than 79 percent of the state’s 177 elected lawmakers have cashed such a check. In California, over 85 percent of lawmakers have taken pharma money. The data reveals the drug industry has poured over $5 million into state legislators’ campaigns in the past two years alone.”
— If Downstate Illinois seceded: “This Saturday, a group of Downstate Illinoisians plans to gather outside the Hancock County Courthouse in Carthage to declare their independence — from Chicago,” writes Edward McClelland for Chicago magazine.
McLean county health officials worry about possible 2nd Covid spike at Illinois State: “That’s why representatives of the county health department want to meet with ISU and Town of Normal officials to develop a plan to mitigate Covid spread after students return to Normal following winter and spring breaks,” by Tribune’s Paul Swiech.
— After state challenges lawsuit, winning pot applicants say license do-over process moving too fast: “Applicants who won a chance to receive a license to sell recreational marijuana in Illinois said Wednesday the state is trying to rush an illegal do-over of the cannabis licensing process before they can be heard in court,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Cook County commissioner is part owner of and worked for a cannabis license applicant, which critics say she should have disclosed sooner: “After previously declining to answer questions about the matter, Bridget Degnen confirmed that she has ownership in and wrote applications for AmeriCanna Dream LLC, which was named a finalist for 36 of 75 available licenses after getting perfect scores in regions across the state, though businesses are limited to 10 licenses,” reports Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Panel urges extension for downtown Aurora marijuana dispensary: “Members of the Building, Zoning and Economic Development Committee voted 4-1 to recommend the extension for Bloom Holdings Corp., which intends to put a recreational marijuana dispensary at 35 N. Broadway in downtown Aurora,” writes Aurora Beacon-News’ Steve Lord.
— Senate Republicans wave away SCOTUS threat to Obamacare, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Alice Miranda Ollstein.
— The GOP starts forging a new alliance with QAnon, by POLITICO’s Tina Nguyen.
— The inside story of how Ice Cube joined forces with Donald Trump, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is part of a new “law and politics” mentoring program launched by the University of Chicago. Among Illinois mentors: former Congressman Bob Dold, Chicago Ald. Leslie Hairston, and former state Sen. Chris Nybo. The program is designed to help undergraduate students planning to attend law school and careers in politics. The program recently kicked off with a presentation by former Obama Senior Adviser and U. of C. Law School Senior Fellow Valerie Jarrett.
Julie Andreeff Jensen is joining the Washington Football Team as SVP of external engagement and comms. She previously was chief corporate affairs and comms officer at Citadel.
James Loewenberg, developer of Aqua and Vista, dies at 86: “Trained as an architect, Loewenberg went on to become one of Chicago’s biggest residential high-rise developers, teaming up with longtime partner Joel Carlins to build the Lakeshore East project downtown,” by Crain’s Alby Gallun.
THURSDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to political consultant Jake Mikva for correctly answering that the Cards Against Humanity theater is home to the studio lights that were used in the Kennedy/Nixon debates.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Since 1964, how many Cook County judges have been recalled by judicial retention votes? Email your answer to [email protected].
ROMANCE AMID COVID: Jordan Troy, interim press secretary in the mayor’s office, got engaged earlier this week. Phil Oertli, a CPA at Deloitte, surprised her by popping the question on Chicago’s riverwalk. The couple celebrated, socially distanced and with masks, with their parents at LondonHouse.
Today: Anel Ruiz, the mayor’s press secretary, and Josina Morita, a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
Saturday: Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. Mike Quigley, Metropolitan Family Services CEO Ric Estrada, and attorney Angela Peters Murphy.
Sunday: Playbooker Steve Whitmer.
October 16, 2020 at 07:32AM