Happy Thursday, Illinois. With five days left before Election Day — and memories of 2016 not forgotten — polling is the topic du jour.
There’s a lot of talk about what might happen if Joe Biden wins the presidency: a science-focused plan to fight the pandemic, and a stimulus package that includes aid to local and state governments, restaurants and small businesses. It’s all music to the ears of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and municipalities across the state.
But what is Illinois’ fate if Trump wins? Just as in 2016, this deeply blue state will show few hints of purple to keep Trump interested. The president has shown little interest in working with officials and communities he doesn’t think will vote for him. (Look at the denial of FEMA aid to California earlier this month to manage a record wildfire season — much of it on federal land there — only to reverse it after Republicans there pleaded with the administration.) What does that look like when he’s unencumbered with reelection? So given the enmity Trump has for Pritzker and Lightfoot, who have criticized his handling of coronavirus, a second term could leave Illinois and other blue states in further isolation except for the occasional punching bag.
We talked to a few political consultants who have been around the block about what retaliation might look like.
“We could be an island unto ourselves,” Delmarie Cobb, a longtime political operative who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 White House run, told Playbook. “He doesn’t understand that you’re president for everyone — whether it’s red state or blue state.”
Campaign adviser and fundraiser Hanah Jubeh expects a Trump win would mean “a continuation of politics over people. That’s the way he operates.”
But a Joe Biden win may not be wine and roses for Illinois, either, depending on whether the Senate flips after next week’s election.
Surely, Lightfoot isn’t shy about calling out, well, anyone but she and Pritzker will have a harder time pointing fingers at the White House for falling down on a stimulus package. And Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have vocally pummeled Trump, too, and will likely turn their ire increasingly toward Mitch McConnell, whether he controls the Senate or not.
“I expect the governor and mayor to have a totally different public posture towards the federal government but the pressure to deliver federal assistance will be very intense,” Eric Sedler, managing partner of Kivvit public affairs firm, told Playbook. “While the public posture will be very polite, there will be a lot of intense lobbying behind the scenes.”
There also could be another noticeable change in Chicago should Biden beat Trump, says Democratic strategist Pete Giangreco: “A Trump loss probably means those garish five letters come off that shiny building on the river.”
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker met behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss their differences about managing the coronavirus pandemic.
The two blunt-talking politicos hashed it out for an hour and in separate, unrelated news conferences, described their coronavirus convo as “frank.”
Details weren’t divulged, so we’re left to wonder how blunt they got. Did Lightfoot tell Pritzker it wasn’t cool to announce that Chicago restaurants and bars had to stop serving indoors before talking to her first? And did Pritzker say he’s got enough to worry about from Republicans and mitigation opponents without battling Lightfoot, too?
“We explored a lot of issues and we came out of that discussion really committed to making sure that we work hard together,” Lightfoot told reporters later. She also said she has no plans to follow in the footsteps of Republicans who have filed suit over Covid restrictions.
Lightfoot and Pritzker’s differences are focused on dealing with restaurants and bars, which are harbingers for spreading the virus. Lightfoot says the city’s data shows that people getting together in private homes is a bigger culprit.
Mitigation efforts are “nuanced,” she said. And maybe with that in mind she acquiesced to support Pritzker’s move to shut down indoor dining. She also encouraged restaurants and bars to take advantage of the state’s $220 million business interruption grants.
Republicans held back-to-back news conferences challenging Pritzker’s mitigation efforts. Capitol News has the breakdown.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady criticized Pritzker for “an absolute lack of transparency” in executing Covid-19 restrictions. Brady called for state lawmakers to hold a hearing that would allow the governor to “present his findings, and exactly why they believe that the closure of restaurants is necessary.”
As the Tribune reports: “Pritzker has shown a willingness to adjust his plans in the past. … But one roadblock to negotiations may be the reluctance of critics to accept the evidence cited by Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health to support their assertion that restaurants and bars are a significant source of coronavirus transmission.”
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No official public events.
At L May Creations in Chicago at 10 a.m. to announce an update on the impact of the second round of the Business Interruption Grants program. At the Thompson Center at 2:30 p.m. for the daily Covid briefing.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 51 deaths Wednesday and 6,110 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. That’s a total of 9,619 deaths and 389,095 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Oct. 21 through 27 is 6.7 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 7.9 percent.
— Pritzker to suspend indoor dining in Lake and McHenry counties amid Covid-19 surge: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration is adding restrictions to Lake and McHenry counties, effectively shutting down all indoor dining and drinking in Chicago and the surrounding collar counties by week’s end in an attempt to slow the spiking numbers of Covid-19,” by WBEZ’s Tony Arnold and Becky Vevea.
— IHSA proceeding with basketball season despite state health guidelines: “The Illinois High School Association’s Board of Trustees made the decision to proceed during a special meeting Wednesday, one day after the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) elevated the sport to the high-risk category…Pritzker said the IHSA’s decision could result in possible court action. ‘The IHSA may have their views on it, but school districts know what the rules are, and I think that it’s unfortunate, but they would be probably taking on legal liability,’” by NPR Illinois’ Joe Deacon.
— 5 things to know about Fauci’s virtual Chicago talk: “With Covid-19 cases rising rapidly in Illinois, Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed this latest surge, the president’s name-calling and a vaccine timeline during a virtual Chicago talk Wednesday evening,” by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker
— SCOOP: ‘Helping the president’: HHS official sought to rebrand coronavirus campaign”: “The Trump appointee who steered a $300 million taxpayer-funded ad campaign to ‘defeat despair’ about the coronavirus privately pitched a different theme last month: ‘Helping the President will Help the Country,’” by POLITICO’s Dan Diamond.
— DEADLINE TODAY for your application for a mail-in ballot, reminds Tribune’s Dan Petrella. “Don’t expect to get yours in on time? Don’t fret. You still have options.”
— Trump confronts his 50 percent problem: “The president’s inability to capture a majority of support sheds light on his extraordinary efforts to suppress the vote,” by POLITICO’s David Siders and Zach Montellaro.
— VOTING BATTLES: More than 300 lawsuits that have been filed across the country related to voting rights—eight of them are out of Illinois. At the heart of most of these cases: Democrats want to make it easier to vote and Republicans want to make it more difficult. The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project has the full list here.
When will we know if Illinois’ proposed tax amendment passes? “Thanks to a potential flood of uncounted mail-in ballots and Illinois’ latest-in-the-nation deadline to count them, one of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top political strategists said it likely will be well past Election Day before it’s clear whether the ballot question is a winner or loser…’probably a week to two weeks’,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold
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.
— Getting the band back together: “Former President Barack Obama is set to join Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the campaign trail in their first joint appearance during the final weekend of the election season,” via CNN.
— Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty won’t run for re-election: “Evanston Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty on Wednesday swore in Erika Storlie as the north suburban city’s ninth city manager, while also announcing that he himself will not be running for reelection,” by CBS/2.
— Jennifer Hudson sings in Biden’s latest TV ad, a compilation of music and a recent Biden speech in which he quotes Civil Rights activist Ella Baker and recalls the events of Charlottesville.
— Foxx gets help from Harris in tight race: “In a robocall recorded Tuesday, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris urges voters to cast their ballots for ‘my friend, Kim Foxx,’” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Lightfoot, Beale bury the hatchet — for now — at Amazon ribbon-cutting in Pullman: “Did her attendance signal a political detente with one of her most vocal City Council critics? “I’m going anywhere where we’re creating jobs and opportunity for the residents of our city,” the mayor responded,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Dangerous lakefront waves, flooding expected through Friday: “A lakeshore flood advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday in Cook and Lake counties, according to the National Weather Service,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— Firefighter who tore down Black Lives Matter banner slapped with ‘lengthy’ suspension: “But a suspension wasn’t good enough for Ald. Sophia King (4th), who represents the ward where the Aug. 1 incident occurred. King wants retiring Commissioner Richard Ford II to reassign those involved,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Is Boeing’s Chicago headquarters headed for the chopping block? “Executives promise a thorough review of all real estate, meaning its 2001 decision to move to the West Loop could be revisited,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— McCormick Place loses trade show to Indianapolis: “The Sweets & Snacks Expo’s move due to Covid-19 is an ominous sign for Chicago’s upcoming convention calendar,” by Crain’s Danny Ecker.
— ‘It’s our moral obligation to do everything we can’: Chicago school board defends reopening plan: “But board members pushed back forcefully, arguing during their regular monthly meeting that the district had considered safety and would not recklessly endanger students and staff. Vice chair Sendhil Revuluri argued that while the science of Covid-19 transmission is emerging and constantly shifting, there are decades of research showing the long-term harm to students from being away from their classrooms,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Mila Koumpilova.
— A virtual surprise: Some Chicago special ed students say remote learning is working well: “Chicago Public Schools wants some students with special needs to return for in-person learning. Some parents and students are pushing back,” by WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad.
— The Kobe 5: Behind the biggest sneaker tribute in basketball: “I always wore high-tops and mids, honestly. Then maybe two years ago, I was trying different shoes, put the Kobes on, and I just felt like I was faster,” Chicago native and Lakers star Anthony Davis told The Undefeated in January, five days before the 41-year-old Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California. “I jumped higher. I shot better. I just felt like Kobe. So I stuck with them.”
— Cook County launches $4 million relief program for jobseekers and employers: “The money will be distributed by the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and will provide training, placement, and layoff aversion for those impacted by Covid-19,” by Sun-Times’ Adam Mahoney.
— Wilmette parents invited to virtual discussion on physical impact of digital technologies on kids: “Long before the Covid-19 pandemic reared its ugly head, Wilmette School District 39 administrator Tony DeMonte planned to bring together parents and a team of medical experts to discuss the impact of digital technologies on students’ physical health and well-being,” by Pioneer Press’ Karen Ann Cullotta.
— Waukegan releases 6 videos of Marcellis Stinnette chase, shooting: “However, the officer who fired the shots — which also wounded Stinnette’s girlfriend, 20-year-old Tafara Williams — did not activate his bodyworn camera before opening fire,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Charles.
— Column: South suburbs urge gaming board to award license for new casino: “The sooner the Illinois Gaming Board awards a license for a new south suburban casino, the sooner dozens of towns can benefit from a fresh source of tax revenue,” by Daily Southtown’s Ted Slowik.
— Shomari Legghette gets life in prison for murder of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer: “Bauer’s family released a statement Wednesday expressing relief that Legghette will ‘never be able to cause this pain to another family,’” by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson.
!!! — Sisters stabbed guard 27 times after being told to wear masks at Chicago store, prosecutors allege: “It’s the complete randomness of this. It’s terrifying,” a Cook County judge said while denying the sisters bail. Sun-Times’ David Struett and Manny Ramos report.
— Downstate judge orders Illinois not to rescore marijuana license applications while controversial issue plays out in court: “The order by Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Adam Giganti came in response to a lawsuit filed against Pritzker and his administration by three license applicants that already qualified for a lottery to win the licenses: SB IL LLC, Vertical Management LLC, and GRI Holdings LLC,” reports Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Pot shops are now rolling in bud, so why does an eighth of weed still cost $80?: “Even as the state’s supply shortage appears to be over, a cannabis consultant claimed the “obscene” prices being charged at dispensaries across Illinois are “artificially created” by the state’s few growers,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— SCOOP: Nicor dumped tons of carcinogenic wastewater into farm fields: Documents show Nicor dumped nearly 75,000 gallons of wastewater contaminated with “alarming levels of benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer,” into soil above the aquifer recharge zone near Spring Creek, a tributary of the Illinois river, report WCIA’s Lyndsay Jones and Mark Maxwell.
— Illinois Supreme Court expands volunteer program to cut backlog of appeals in criminal cases: “In January, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis found some people convicted of crimes in Cook County wait years for the courts to decide their appeals,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Frerichs pushes for corporate diversity: Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is leading a coalition of institutional investors who oversee more than $3 trillion in assets and are calling for U.S. public companies to disclose the racial makeup of their boards in a bid to increase the diversity of corporate directors. “The Diversity Disclosure Initiative, headed by Frerichs and Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, is pressing companies in the Russell 3000 Index to voluntarily reveal the racial and ethnic composition of their boards. Many of the members of the new group already have or are considering policies to vote against the members of nominating committees that don’t report board racial or ethnic makeup in their annual proxy statements,” via Bloomberg.
Mental health among Black Chicagoans a concern as suicide numbers rise: “Mental health experts are concerned that the stress and isolation created by the Covid-19 pandemic is adding mental health challenges. On Monday, the Illinois Senate Human Services and Public Health committees held a joint hearing on behavioral health and disparities in care for both addiction and mental health disorders. Recommendations included supporting telehealth, which improves accessibility, having more providers of color and having better community access to mental health services,” by Tribune’s Alison Bowen.
Northwestern and Loyola plan to allow more students on campus this winter despite Covid-19 surge: “The announcements from the schools, which have predominantly residential campuses, come as the state reported 6,110 newly confirmed cases of the virus ― the second-highest daily tally since the pandemic began,” by Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.
— Trump stokes suburban fears after Philadelphia shooting, by POLITICO’s Holly Otterbein
— Supreme Court spurns Republicans in North Carolina, punts on Pennsylvania ballot case, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro and Josh Gerstein
— Former DHS official Miles Taylor reveals himself as Anonymous, who wrote critically of Trump, by POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek
— The Supreme Court Is Begging For a Legitimacy Crisis, by POLITICO’s John F. Harris
— Today at 4:15 p.m.: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will appear on #TeamJoeTalks on Twitter with Erin Wilson, the national political director for the Biden campaign. Details here
— Today at 5 p.m.: Sen. Dick Durbin headlines a discussion focusing on “Women and the Black Community.” The event is sponsored by Flourish PAC and will feature Flourish founder Mae Whiteside and Democrats Erika Weaver, a 15th District Congressional candidate, and Chemberly Cummings, a state rep candidate in the 105th District. Details here
— Today at 6:30 p.m.: A virtual discussion about the presidential election features former state Sen. Daniel Biss, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, state Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider, former congressional candidate Robert Emmons Jr., Republican strategist Doug Heye and more. Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet and Laura Washington. Details here
WEDNESDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to Chicago-Kent law student Jaylin McClinton for correctly guessing that Chicago has hosted a combined 26 conventions of the Democratic, Republican and Green parties — more than any other city.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Who is the first and only African American to-date to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals? Email your answer to [email protected].
Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore, Chicago Heights Clerk and Bloom Township Democratic Committeeman Lori Wilcox, and WBEZ reporter Sarah Karp.
October 29, 2020 at 07:47AM