Happy December, Illinois. The governor says we’re all under Tier 3 restrictions for the next few weeks, so I’m trying to make the most of it and hope you are, too.
SCOOP: Watch former Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias make a run for the Illinois Secretary of State position that will open up with Jesse White’s retirement in 2022.
“Secretary White is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. His shoes will be near impossible to fill, but if I run, I would work very hard to try and continue his legacy of caring and principled leadership,” Giannoulias, a Democrat, said in a statement to Playbook. “If this  election has shown us anything, it’s that democracy is under siege and Secretaries of State across the country are on the front lines, ensuring that everyone can participate freely and fairly in elections.”
Giannoulias hasn’t formally announced but he’s laying the groundwork by gathering support. A source close to him said he met with White recently to seek his endorsement. Giannoulias also has a head start in fundraising with $750,000 in his Citizens for Giannoulias account, and he’s lining up Democratic donors to commit to what could be an $8 million to $10 million campaign.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (2nd), who was Giannoulias’ chief of staff in the Treasurer’s office, is already endorsing him. “I’m encouraged that he is thinking about running for statewide office,” she said in a statement. “I witnessed his leadership and commitment to public office firsthand. He is progressive, ethical and reform minded.”
Ariel Investments Co-CEO John Rogers Jr. and Tom Balanoff, the president of Service Employees International Union Illinois Council, also are backing Giannoulias, who was seen as a protege of Barack Obama.
Giannoulias, who was 30 when he was elected treasurer, served in the office from 2007 to 2011. During that time, he pushed through an initiative that made $1 billion in interest-earning deposits available to Illinois banks and credit unions, implemented low-risk lending to generate additional income for the state, and spearheaded a state law that cracks down on predatory credit card marketing practices on college campuses.
He also drew headlines for helping save 600 jobs at the Hartmarx clothing plant by threatening to pull state business from Wells Fargo if it pursued liquidation.
Campaign themes likely would address his interest in bringing innovation to the office and social justice issues, particularly facial recognition technology that’s been criticized for being racially discriminatory.
This would be Giannoulias’ third run for statewide office. Along with his successful bid to head the Treasurer’s Office, he won a hard-fought primary for the U.S. Senate in 2010 only to lose in the general election to Republican Mark Kirk. A day after the election, which was notable for its nastiness, Giannoulias and Kirk famously sat down for a beer.
Giannoulias left public office to work as a senior director at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in Chicago. It was a nice landing spot given his family history. His late father founded Broadway Bank, a community bank that closed in 2010 in wake of the financial crisis.
Though Giannoulias has been out of public office for a few years, he never left public life. He served as chairman of the Illinois Community Colleges for four years and continues to serve on the boards of the Chicago Public Library, and the nonprofit Cara Program and One Million Degrees, which both work with underserved communities. Giannoulias has also served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.
Ald. Andre Vasquez, a member of the City Council’s Socialist Caucus, is facing blowback for his vote last week to support Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2021 budget. The Chicago Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has created a committee to consider expelling Vasquez — in addition to censuring him and calling for him to resign. The CDSA also voted to create a committee to organize members in his 40th Ward, a move that could lead to a challenge in his re-election bid in 2022.
Vasquez said he reluctantly voted in favor of the budget, which includes a $93.9 million property tax, because the Covid crisis has “decimated” traditional revenue streams. “We wanted more but we have to make sure we win things now for people that need them now,” he told Playbook.
The DSA opposed the budget because it didn’t reduce the police budget at the levels the group wanted.
“We found that [Vasquez’s] reasoning was insufficient,” DSA Co-Chair Robin Peterson told Playbook. “We’ve been working since early this summer on making this budget a fight and a priority because we wanted to see power and money taken away from the Chicago Police Department and put toward things that make us safe like housing, health care and mental health services.”
Vasquez and progressive Aldermen Maria Hadden (49th) and Michael Rodriguez (22nd) helped push the budget over the finish line for Lightfoot, in part because of funding for a pilot program to team social workers up with police. That wasn’t enough for the CDSA.
As for CDSA trying to squeeze him out, Vasquez said: “Any organization can make a decision to express its disapproval of an action or vote. I don’t think, however, that an organization can define what it means to be a socialist.”
Vasquez is one of six members of the City Council’s Socialist Caucus. The aldermen in that caucus, though disappointed in his vote, are not taking action against Vasquez.
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At the Thompson Center for the 2:30 p.m. Covid-19 update. Watch live
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 85 additional deaths and 6,190 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 12,278 fatalities and 726,304 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Nov. 23 through 29 12.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 11.6 percent.
— FAUCI TALKS TO PRITZKER: Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will continue under Tier 3 restrictions that require face masks, stop indoor service at bars and restaurants, and restrict capacity in public places for at least the next few weeks. Pritzker said he’s taking his cues from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who talked to the governor Monday about Illinois’ post-Thanksgiving Covid situation. “He said the massive number of indoor gatherings by people visiting family and friends across the nation will very likely bring a post-Thanksgiving surge, and he believes this is no time to pull back on mitigations,” Pritzker said of his discussion with Fauci as part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s governors briefing. “The hope now is that we can fend off the surge in the next few weeks to get to a healthier holiday time in the latter half of December. We’ll be watching the data closely to monitor for a Thanksgiving-related surge in our case count, our positivity rate, our hospitalizations, and ICU admissions.”
… Illinois sees small decline in Covid-19 hospitalization numbers, but Thanksgiving impact still to come, report Tribune’s Joe Mahr, Dan Petrella and Lisa Schencker
— Scott Atlas resigns as Trump’s coronavirus adviser: “The radiologist with no previous infectious disease experience clashed with the administration’s public health experts,” by POLITICO’s Dan Diamond.
— Biden’s chief of staff has battled pandemics before. Here’s how he plans to beat this one: “The lessons Ron Klain learned during the Ebola outbreak have already shaped Biden’s approach to Covid-19,” by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein.
— City shuts down 300-person party in Wicker Park, other businesses for ‘egregiously’ violating Covid-19 restrictions: “More than 300 businesses — including Wildberry Pancake and the Chicago Sports Complex — that have been cited one month into citywide orders against indoor gatherings and dining,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— Chicago shifts focus to positivity rate of tests, rather than people: “The change was made to resolve a conflict between the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health that started at the beginning of the pandemic and became more pronounced amid a second wave of coronavirus cases that triggered new restrictions imposed in October that will last until at least December, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Legislators are calling for more public input on Covid-19 policies: State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) says the state’s plan “to give vaccines to first responders first” makes sense, but questions whether it is going to ensure that the hardest hit communities are going to be reached. “Data shows where the greatest need is – and we have to make sure that the vaccine is distributed to these communities,” he says. The state’s vaccination planning guide says that “vaccine providers will be allocated vaccine, as it becomes available, based on the overall jurisdiction’s population size and disease burden, while ensuring equity.” Dan Baron reports for Center for Illinois Politics.
— Utility watchdog decries ComEd’s ‘profit machine,’ a 2011 law it says increased bills for consumers: “The so-called smart-grid law that ComEd persuaded state lawmakers to enact is now a part of an ongoing federal bribery probe into the utility’s statehouse lobbying efforts that were directed heavily at Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan… ’The narrative they’ve pushed for years that this law was great for consumers, and they continue to push even though it’s tied up in this bribery scheme has to be questioned, and that’s what we are trying to do with this report,’ said Abe Scarr, Illinois PIRG’s director,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney.
… How it all started: “ComEd’s efforts to woo Madigan began when then-Senate President Emil Jones, a longtime ally of the utility decided to retire in 2008, the report says. Before that, then-CEO John Rowe viewed Madigan as a foe of the company, and the utility had reached a compromise on 2007 electric power legislation only because Jones fought to prevent Madigan from calling all the shots, the report said. Jones’ departure put ComEd in a politically precarious position, the report said. So the utility ‘set in motion a campaign to build political power and win over Speaker Madigan,’ a move that contributed to the passage of the 2011 smart grid legislation, the report said,” by the Tribune’s Ray Long and Jamie Munks.
— Lawmakers seek additional hearings into LaSalle Veterans’ Home outbreak: “Reps. Randy Frese, R-Paloma, David Welter, R-Morris, and Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, held a virtual news conference Monday morning during which they demanded House members be included in a future hearing about the LaSalle Veterans’ Home outbreak. The Illinois House Republicans’ news conference comes about a week after the state Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing into the outbreak that began on Nov. 1, and resulted in the deaths of at least 28 residents. There are 100 residents currently at the home,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— Park District to approve smaller budget for 2021 amid $100M loss in revenue during the pandemic: “The Chicago Park District will vote Wednesday on its 2021 budget, as it attempts to keep its head above water after a $100 million loss in revenue during the pandemic and an ongoing pension crisis. The proposed $481.8 million budget is a drop from last year’s $487 million budget, which included a modest tax increase for homeowners and followed a new labor agreement for the district’s workers,” reports Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Winter overnight parking ban begins Tuesday. Here’s how to avoid getting ticketed or towed: “The city’s winter overnight parking ban begins Tuesday, Dec. 1, prohibiting parking on 107 miles of main streets from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. — regardless of snow — until April 1, 2021. Another 500 miles of streets prohibit parking after two inches of snow or more falls, no matter the time of day or the date,” By Tribune’s Kori Rumore.
— BGA Scores Victory in Navy Pier Case: “State appellate court rules that Navy Pier documents are subject to open records laws even though nonprofit that runs the pier is not a public body,” by the Better Government Association.
— Infinity nursing home strike enters second week with talks resuming Tuesday: “Nearly 700 nursing home workers at Infinity locations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs left the job Nov. 23 demanding improved working conditions, base salaries between $15 and $15.50 an hour [up from $11.50 to $13.50, depending on location] and hazard pay for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— A new vision for vacant land on the city’s South and West sides: “We typically think of parks and plazas as public space and the model for The Available City is that different community organizations would be able to utilize the land in ways that promote their mission. Potentially, there can be other other types of spaces between gardens and housing until you could have small small types of businesses and potentially through supportive organizations that are interested in fostering economic development. It’s not to say that those would be permanent spaces for a business, but it may be that it’s a startup space for a business,” UIC architecture professor David Brown tells WBEZ’s Natalie Moore.
— Metropolitan Brewing threatened with eviction: “The taproom will defend itself, the co-owner says: ‘We are left with no choice but to fight, so we will,’” by Crain’s Ally Marotti.
— Someone stole the ‘Black’ from a Black Lives Matter sign outside an Evanston church — neighbors weren’t having it: “A vandal cut the word from the sign with a razor. Hours later, neighbors appeared with more signs,” reports Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek.
— Elgin City Council candidate lottery to be held Wednesday: “A pair of lottery drawings will determine the candidate names to be listed on the first four and last two positions on the ballot….Not enough candidates filed petitions for Elgin City Council seats to trigger a Feb. 23 primary,” via theDaily Herald.
— DuPage Co. deals setback for Willow Creek Wheaton to build megachurch: “In a 9-to-8 vote Nov. 24, the DuPage County Board denied the church’s request to build its own private well and septic system known as a ‘membrane bioreactor.’ A 2011 county code requires that places of assembly operate using public water and sewer connections,” by Daily Herald’s Scott C. Morgan.
— 2 more Cook County judges test positive for coronavirus: “Since the start of the pandemic, 180 employees have tested positive,” reports the Sun-Times.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s skewering of President Donald Trump on Twitter may get him uninvited to holiday parties, according to POLITICO’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer. “There has been discussion in the White House of excluding the following Hill Republicans from the W.H. Christmas party this year: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.). We’re told this has been reversed — that they may get an invite — but this has dominated West Wing chatter in the last few days.” WaPo’s Josh Dawsey on the extensive plans for W.H. Christmas parties
— Judge orders Cook County state’s attorney’s office to pay family’s legal fees in suit over handling of cab driver’s slaying: “The family of Anis Tungekar sued the office last year, accusing prosecutors of refusing to charge the suspect in his murder despite video evidence and police requests for felony charges. The suspect ultimately fled to China,” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau.
— North Shore butcher who made $3.7M from illegal gambling business gets one year in prison: “The size of his operation and the amount of cash he obtained was greater than that for which he was charged,” a federal prosecutor recently wrote of Domenic Poeta. Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel reports.
— Steep pot prices will get even higher in some Illinois communities come Jan. 1: “At least 10 cities and two counties around the state voted to add local taxes to the cost of weed, including Arlington Heights and Carbondale,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Emanuel for Transportation chief isn’t just buzz; he’s in the running: “Biden’s selection of his nominee to lead the Transportation Department is not believed to be imminent, and Emanuel is among multiple candidates in the running for the Cabinet position, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private deliberations,” by AP’s Aamer Madhani and Zeke Miller.
— Obama Foundation President Wally Adeyemo picked to be deputy Treasury secretary. And Mala Adiga, a graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and the University of Chicago Law School, was named Jill Biden’s policy director, reports Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
Duckworth calls for ‘compassionate resolution’ for vets facing GI Bill problems: “Responding to a Sun-Times investigation, the Illinois Democrat says ‘bureaucratic error and complex calculations are preventing well-meaning veterans from transferring benefits they’ve earned,’” by Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann.
— How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Melanie Zanona
— Bernie world seethes over Tanden as OMB nominee, by POLITICO’s Holly Otterbein
— Inside the unlikely return of Jen Psaki, by POLITICO’s Tyler Pager and Ryan Lizza
— Wednesday: David Axelrod and Shriver Center President and CEO Audra Wilson discuss the implications of the 2020 election on shaping policy and making systemic change. Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and now director of University of Chicago Institute on Politics, is a past recipient of the Sargent Shriver Equal Justice Award.
— Thursday: Sen. Dick Durbin joins Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.) for the “Reigniting the Economic Engine: Immigration Solutions 2021” summit organized by the American Business Immigration Coalition. Illinois notables on the host committee: Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson, Ingredion Incorporated Retired CEO Sam Scott, Exelon Chairman Emeritus John Rowe, Henry Crown and Co. Chairman Lester Crown, CC Industries Executive VP Bill Kunkler, former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, former Congressman Luis Gutierrez, MedGlobal CEO Zaher Sahloul, Democracy Partners’ Josh Hoyt, Crate and Barrel co-founder Carole Segal, and TRP CEO Raul Raymundo. The virtual event is free and open to the public.
— Zachary Plantz, adviser to Congressman Dan Lipinski, killed in Florida crash on Thanksgiving: “The 27-year-old Notre Dame grad was in Naples for a marathon to raise money for charity… ‘The world has lost an incredible young man whose life was tragically cut too short,’ Lipinski said in a statement,” via ABC/7.
— Chicago 911 dispatcher gets a final salute: “Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Lopez died Nov. 16 of complications from the coronavirus,” by Sun-TImes’ Stefano Esposito.
MONDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to Fred Klonsky, a retired public school teacher and blogger at FredKlonsky.com, for correctly guessing that former Secretary of State Paul Powell stashed $800,000 in his office and apartment. It was discovered after his death and determined to have been acquired through cash bribes. His now notable quote: "There’s only one thing worse than a defeated politician, and that’s a broke one."
TODAY’S QUESTION: What is the name of the historic building where the late Mayor Harold Washington told the Vrdolyak 29, “I am not Monty Hall and this is not Let’s Make a Deal”? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second Ward Democratic Committeeman Tim Egan, businesswoman and auctioneer Leslie Hindman, political fundraiser and connector Sugar Rautbord, Kirkland & Ellis Associate Daniel Egel-Weiss, and attorney and Sports Facilities Authority Chairman Manny Sanchez.
via POLITICO https://ift.tt/2i74uEb
December 1, 2020 at 07:13AM