Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. The Justice Department is investigating a potential bribery and lobbying scheme connected to a presidential pardon, and those of us in Illinois who follow this sort of thing just yawn.
SCOOP: If a reality TV star can be president, then there’s nothing stopping radio shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller from running for governor of Illinois.
The former morning radio host on WLS 890-AM is “exploring” the idea of running as a Republican or Independent in 2022. “I would not be a party-first candidate but a people-first candidate,” Mancow told Playbook in a phone interview.
He says the idea of running for office grew during the pandemic when a restaurant he owns, Marchesa, began struggling. “It’s been impossible to do business. Illinois has become an unhealthy, inhospitable place. Common sense is dead in our state, and I’d like to bring it back,” Mancow said. He questions Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s handling of the pandemic, saying, “Covid numbers are greatly exaggerated and killing Chicago businesses.”
Mancow left WLS last month and has long been interested in politics. Along with talking to politicians, he’s been known to carry their banner, too. Last year, he hosted a fundraising dinner to benefit Roger Stone, the friend and former adviser to Donald Trump who was convicted of seven felonies before the president commuted his sentence this summer.
As governor, Mancow says he would enforce a flat tax, push for school choice, bring back school prayer, and reduce property taxes. “I want to cut programs that don’t work,” he added, saying he didn’t have a list of those programs handy.
Mancow wants to see more funding for children in need and for mental health programs, especially people experiencing homelessness. But he would also bring back vagrancy laws. “You wouldn’t get to live in someone’s doorway or poop there either.”
He’s sick of unions that “radicalize” teachers, and he supports “bringing back civility and respect for cops.”
Mandow adds: “I would allow law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves without so much paperwork.”
Though he hasn’t formed an official exploratory committee, Mancow says he’s spoken to Republicans and to independent politico Willie Wilson, who could help finance such a campaign.
Mancow wants political “wonk” Paul Vallas as his lieutenant governor. Vallas told Playbook that he enjoys talking to Mancow but he’s not interested in running on his ticket. Mancow says he’s working to change Vallas’ mind.
The floodgates have opened! Chicago Ald. Walter Burnett and Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough say they’re weighing a run for Illinois secretary of state, too.
The two Democrats would join former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in a 2022 primary for the job Jesse White has held since 1998.
It’s no surprise Burnett would be interested. White is his political mentor. Burnett was appointed committeeman of the 27th Ward Organization by White, who previously held the position. Burnett told Playbook he wants to get the thumbs-up from White before making a decision.
Yarbrough told the Sun-Times that she’s giving “great consideration” to running for the seat.
And watch for state Sen. Michael Hastings to possibly enter the race as well. In 2018, when White initially said he was going to retire, Hastings lined up the maximum number of signatures to run for the seat. White later named Hastings honorary co-chair of his campaign committee.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s name also has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Like Giannoulias, she has experience running for statewide office. Even Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton’s name has popped up.
“Everybody wants to be secretary of state,” Yarbrough said. And for good reason. It’s “full of easy publicity, thousands of jobs and the potential to serve as a stepping stone to the governor’s mansion,” writes the Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
And we haven’t even gotten to Republicans, yet, who will see this as an opportunity to gain a top seat in Springfield.
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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 Tuesday reported 125 deaths and 12,542 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 12,403 fatalities and 738,846 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Nov. 24 through 30 is 10.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 11.5 percent.
— Rural hospitals in Illinois face staffing, transfer problems as Covid-19 surges: “Pat Schou, executive director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network – an association of more than 50 rural hospitals, said as larger hospitals fill up, transfers are getting more difficult. ‘It takes calling two, three, four or five places before you can find an open bed,’ Schou said. ‘And it worries the family members, it worries staff,’” reports NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.
— Chicago health-care workers could get vaccines this month: “The plan is contingent on federal approval of the first set of vaccines later this month, and residents likely will still be under some form of activity restriction well into next year, Chicago public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin, Gregory Pratt and Jamie Munks.
… 8 states including Ohio added to ‘red’ category in Chicago’s travel quarantine order, by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Need to get tested for Covid-19 during the post-Thanksgiving rush? Here’s how to find the most convenient and affordable options: “So how can you navigate an already stressed system — and get the most convenient, affordable and reliable COVID test possible? If you have a primary care doctor, start there, [Heather] Keirnan said,” reports Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg.
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. This week’s feature examines education in wake of the pandemic. Titled “8 lessons from the toughest school year ever,” it’s worth a read.
State Rep. Kathleen Willis became the 19th House Democrat to announce she won’t back Michael Madigan in his bid to hold on to the speaker’s gavel.
It’s a shocker given Willis is on Madigan’s leadership team, serving as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
The buzz quickly shifted to whether Gov. J.B. Pritzker had anything to do with her decision given Willis’ husband, Tom Willis, was appointed by the governor to serve on the state’s Labor Relations Board. He did not, said Willis in a text to Playbook: “Governor was never informed or consulted regarding my decision.”
In a statement, Willis wrote: “This decision was not made lightly. I feel strongly that our caucus has a lot of hard work to accomplish in the upcoming legislative session and we need to put the distraction that has been created by Representative Madigan behind us and move forward in mending the State of Illinois.”
The Sun-Times said Willis’ use of the phrase “Representative Madigan,” as opposed to “Speaker,” was glaring.
Madigan needs 60 votes to be re-elected speaker and the math doesn’t seem to be working in his favor. The House is expected to have 73 Democrats and 45 Republicans in place Jan. 13, when they are scheduled to convene for the election.
The Tribune notes: “In spite of his weakened position, there remains a group of House Democrats who are committed to Madigan, including some members of the Black Caucus. His traditional allies in organized labor and the trial bar also have been working the phones on the speaker’s behalf. While Madigan may yet find a way to remain in charge, those who’ve come out against him publicly likely would pay a steep political price if they changed their minds.”
— From roaches to medical emergencies, Illinois inmates say ‘There’s nobody that we can really go to for help’: “Prisoners rely on grievances to report dangerous conditions, from poor medical care to abuse. In Illinois, the system is sputtering,” by WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan.
— AIDS activism sharpened state and local response to coronavirus pandemic, Lightfoot says: “Chicago’s first openly gay mayor said there was a ‘straight line’ between the two pandemics during a ‘virtual conversation’ with other mayors to commemorate World AIDS Day 2020,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— OPINION: 8 steps Illinois budgeteers should take now: “These few moves really can cut spending and raise revenue with minimum pain for most government employees and taxpayers,” writes Andy Shaw, a former political reporter involved in good government reform efforts.
SCOOP: Lightfoot — not the top cop — is calling the shots at CPD, police union charges: “The mayor ‘should stay the hell out of running the police department and let Supt. Brown run it,’ said John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. The mayor’s office called the comments ‘racist,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman, Frank Main, and Sam Charles.
— CPS reopening plan so far: When and how Chicago schools will welcome students back, by Tribune’s Hannah Leone
— Pilsen landmark designation is dead amidst opposition from residents: “For months, Pilsen residents have been organizing against the designation. They’ve organized protests in the community to inform other residents and outside the homes of the aldermen that are part of the zoning committee. And [Alderman Byron] Sigcho-Lopez said about 500 property owners in Pilsen submitted written opposition to the plan,” reports WBEZ’s María Inés Zamudio.
— Amid a pandemic, a reckoning for a Chicago charter turning away from ‘no excuses’: “This year, amid the twin upheavals of the pandemic and a national protest movement against police violence, Noble has accelerated its efforts to better serve the Black and brown students they teach by reconsidering school policies and procedures that might have contributed to positive academic outcomes but were punishing to students,” writes Chalkbeat Chicago’s Yana Kunichoff.
— Amazon’s latest battle: Winning over ‘environmental justice’ advocates: “The e-commerce giant is bringing jobs to Chicago neighborhoods as it builds out its “last-mile” distribution network. But it’s meeting resistance in some quarters,” by Crain’s Alby Gallun.
— General Iron’s parent company acquiring another North Side metal recycler: “While awaiting the city’s verdict on its permit application to start up a metal shredding and recycling operation on the Southeast Side, Reserve Management Group, or RMG, is in the process of acquiring another metal recycling business in Humboldt Park,” by WTTW’s Patty Wetli.
— Glimmers of hope: Gold coin, gold bar dropped in Salvation Army kettles in season of rising need and dwindling donations, by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
— GOOD READ: Chicago mag ranks Chicago’s 50 biggest moments in the last 50 years: “A lot has happened since Chicago published its first issue 50 years ago this month. Mayors have toppled the status quo, championships have been won and lost [and won again], a blizzard paralyzed the city, protests rocked it, a pandemic galvanized it,” writes Robert Loerzel in Chicago magazine.
No. 1: Harold Washington is elected mayor.
No. 2: Michael Jordan signs with the Bulls.
No. 3: Gov. J.B. Pritzker issues a statewide stay-at-home order.
Despite easy win and flush campaign fund, LaHood keeps raising money: “Extra money in his campaign fund could help LaHood go in different directions in 2022. ‘Yes, it’s a safe seat, but you really don’t know what’s going to happen when the Democrats draw the map that will take effect in two years,’ said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield who has long studied campaign finance….LaHood could end up in the same district as U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who represents the current 13th. That could set up a primary fight between two incumbents. Campaign money raised for LaHood’s federal fund could also make its way to help LaHood in a potential race for state office, if he decides to go that direction, Redfield said,” by State Journal-Register’s Bernard Schoenburg.
Ken Griffin joins Citadel exec in giving another $1M to boost internet access in Catholic schools: The Big Shoulders Fund, a nonprofit that provides support to Catholic schools around Chicago and Northwest Indiana, is leading an expanded initiative to connect 3,000 students to internet service while they learn at-home, writes Crain’s A.D. Quig.
U.S. House could vote to lift nationwide pot prohibition this week — but McConnell could block effort even with weed-friendly Biden presidency looming: “In addition to imposing a 5% federal tax on non-medicinal cannabis products, the MORE Act also includes social and criminal justice provisions that are strikingly similar to those embedded in Illinois’ cannabis legalization law, like creating a system to expunge pot-related records and a grant program to benefit those adversely impacted by the drug war. A floor debate is slated for Thursday, with a planned vote the following day,” writes Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
PHOTOS: Balancing school and sisterhood during the Covid-19 pandemic: “This fall, we’ve been checking in with Julia Korzeniowski, a freshman at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as she navigates her first semester of college remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes WBEZ’s Libby Berry and Katherine Nagasawa.
— LaHOOD LIKES RAHM FOR TRANSPORTATION: “Former DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said he personally contacted Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain to recommend Emanuel for the job as soon as he heard he was under consideration. ‘Hands down, I think Rahm would be the best choice for secretary because of the way he transformed transportation in Chicago,’” LaHood told POLITICO reporter Tanya Snyder.
… Yes, he wants it: LaHood said he has spoken personally to Emanuel about his interest in being DOT secretary. When asked whether Emanuel would consider other positions in the administration, LaHood said “he’s interested in the DOT job … I think he feels that one of his big legacies in Chicago is transportation and how he transformed it.”
… Emanuel’s op-ed Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal was the latest indication that he’s making a pitch to showcase the kind of strategic thinking and bipartisan know-how he could bring to Biden’s administration.
— The left’s stupid second-guessing of Biden: It’s possible many people making the arguments against potential Biden appointees — including Rahm Emanuel — don’t know what they are arguing, writes POLITICO’s John F. Harris.
— Trump to FDA: Why is Europe beating us on vaccine? POLITICO’s Dan Diamond, Adam Cancryn and Sarah Owermohle report
— Barr and Giuliani clash over allegations of election fraud, by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi
— Trump to restart foreign deals, breaking a post-presidency norm, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— Anticipating Senate bottlenecks, Biden plans a nomination workaround, by POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi, Tyler Pager and Andrew Desiderio
Valeria Ojeda-Avitia joins Resolute Public Affairs as a senior account executive. Ojeda-Avitia previously managed qualitative research among hard-to-reach audiences for the 2020 Census Communications Campaign.
TUESDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to LTJG Jake Marx, from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia, for correctly saying that Quinn Memorial Chapel is where the late Mayor Harold Washington famously said, “I am not Monty Hall and this is not Let’s Make a Deal.”
TODAY’S QUESTION: What was former Sen. Mark Kirk’s officer specialization in the U.S. Navy Reserves and how did it create controversy? Email your answer to [email protected].
Champaign County Auditor George Danos, Republican strategist Chris Robling, and Alex Short, assistant events director at University of Chicago Law School and former POLITICO events planner.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
December 2, 2020 at 07:20AM