Good Monday morning, Illinois. Today we remember the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, and maybe we should think of the daily Covid-19 deaths that way too, writes Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg.
Todd Ricketts isn’t ruling out a run for governor, according to a source close to the Cubs co-owner.
The revelation follows Tim Schneider’s announcement over the weekend that he is stepping down as state party chairman, prompting chatter that Ricketts, who is also chairman of the Republican National Committee’s finance committee, may be a possible — though unlikely — replacement.
“Todd thinks Tim did a great job as state chair. As Todd is continuing as RNC Finance chairman, he will not be a candidate for state chair,” the source said, which leaves Ricketts’ options open for a statewide run.
Schneider’s exit has prompted a flurry of interest — and name-dropping — about who might replace him, including: retiring Congressman John Shimkus, state Central Committeewomen Jan Weber or Barbara Viviano; Will County GOP Chairman George Pearson, a Black man with military, business and political experience; and Lake County Republican Party Chairman Mark Shaw, who also serves as state-party co-chairman.
Schneider announced his exit during a virtual meeting of the Republican State Central Committee on Saturday. It caught some folks by surprise. But conservatives in the group pounced, wanting to name Shaw chairman.
He wasn’t able to get enough votes and party leaders instead decided to make it an open search. Shaw is still expected to apply, though some in the Republican Party are concerned about his track record in Lake County.
Democrats ousted GOP incumbents for state’s attorney and coroner last month, and they retained circuit court clerk and recorder seats. Democrats on the County Board also upped their majority from 12-9 to 15-6. The Tribune’s Rick Pearson describes Shaw as “a controversial figure” in GOP politics, for his shoot-from-the-hip tweets.
Statewide, meanwhile, Republicans saw two big wins Nov. 3 with the defeat of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax plan and stopping Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, a Democrat, from being retained.
Now the party looks to capitalize on those victories and ramp up fundraising. It’s treating the hunt for a new chairman the way a company would conduct a CEO search. “We’ve pulled ourselves out of a dip and want to go into growth mode,” said one GOP source.
The challenge the next chairman has isn’t any different than what Schneider has faced: managing the views of downstate Republicans vs. those in the northern part of the state.
House Speaker Michael Madigan committed to passing the Black Agenda, advocating for Black participation in the upcoming remap, and giving leadership positions to four Black representatives instead of three, according to Black Caucus members who attended a virtual forum Saturday for speaker candidates.
The caucus hasn’t yet taken a vote but so far is expected to stay unified — save for Rep. Maurice West — in supporting Madigan. State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit also spoke at Black Caucus forum.
Madigan is still at least six votes behind the 60 he needs to hold onto his gavel. So far, it’s not clear who might step up to challenge him besides Kifowit, who’s nowhere near the 60 votes either.
“My desire, my request, is to get the endorsement of the Black Caucus and then, from that, move on to build toward 60, but it’s a persuasion process,” Madigan said, according to the Sun-Times, which obtained a recording of the forum.
“My pledge to the caucus, on state finances and also on redistricting, is to provide the same type of strong leadership that I provided to our caucus when we were fighting against Gov. [Bruce] Rauner,” Madigan said while making his case before the House Black Caucus.
“Most of us who were there for the Rauner years know how bad it was, how difficult it was,” Madigan said. “The strong leadership I provided against the Rauner program is the same leadership that I pledge to provide to the caucus on state finances and on redistricting.”
Former Madigan foe Scott Drury is now a spectator, by the News-Gazette’s Jim Dey
Willis explains why she’s voting no, by Rich Miller in the Herald & Review
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
No official public events.
At the Thompson Center for the 2:30 p.m. Covid-19 update. Watch live
At the Cook County Building at 12:30 p.m. to announce an extension of the County’s Covid-19 Resident Cash Assistance Program. Watch live
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 76 additional deaths and 7,598 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 13,255 fatalities and 787,573 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Nov. 29 through Dec. 5 is 10.1 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 13.2 percent.
— Rudy Giuliani tests positive for Covid, Trump says: “The diagnosis will almost certainly sideline the president’s lawyer amid last-ditch election challenges, shortly before the Electoral College votes,” by POLITICO’s Allie Bice.
— Why Covid contact tracing isn’t working in Chicago: “Touted as key to helping slow the spread of Covid-19, the efforts in Chicago to reach and interview people who might have been exposed are falling far short of expectations,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Illinois to distribute first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine to 50 counties with highest death rates, possibly by mid-December: “First, though, the Pfizer vaccine needs emergency use authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration, which could come as soon as Thursday. If that happens, Illinois expects to receive its first shipment sometime during the week of Dec. 13. While the possibility of the first doses of an effective vaccine being administered within weeks is among the most promising news of the year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday attempted to temper expectations about how quickly the immunization, which for the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses given three weeks apart, will be widely available,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks.
… Illinois teachers will not be among the first to receive Covid-19 vaccines, by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie
— What’s the difference between phases and tiers? Pritzker’s Covid-19 response plan explained, by Lake County Journal’s Kelli Duncane
— Ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval, snared in political corruption investigation, dies of coronavirus: attorney: “Sandoval became a key player in the feds’ ongoing public corruption investigations. He pleaded guilty to bribery in a red-light camera case earlier this year but agreed to cooperate….[L]egal experts say Sandoval’s death has the potential to complicate the feds’ aggressive probe of Illinois politics,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel, Mark Brown, and Mitchell Armentrout.
— Maria Lopez, wife of beloved 911 dispatcher Lupe Lopez, also dies of Covid-related issues: “It’s a sad ending to a beautiful love story,” Erica Lopez said Saturday afternoon from her parents’ home. “I accepted it. I love God. I am not angry with him. I am angry at the selfish person who did not wear a mask and infected my father.” Tribune’s Deanese Williams-Harris reports.
— Peter DiFronzo, brother of Chicago Outfit boss, dies from coronavirus: “DiFronzo was among the people the feds considered a threat to the safety of Outfit hitman turned star federal witness Nick Calabrese,” by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson and Tom Schuba.
— Striking workers reach agreement to return to work at 11 Illinois nursing homes: “Nearly 700 members of SEIU Illinois agreed on a new three-year contract with Infinity Healthcare Management, union President Greg Kelly said. Pending expected ratification Sunday, they will go back to work [today] for what leaders described as a ‘family reunion’ with the residents for whom they care,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Geographic polarization growing in Illinois: “Across Illinois, two shifts in voting for the two major parties have occurred in recent years that mirror national trends, as our county-by-county review of presidential election results since 2012 shows. First, Chicago’s suburban ‘collar counties’ are growing more Democratic. Second, downstate is getting redder,” writes Jeremy Gantz for Center for Illinois Politics.
— Napoleon Harris questions whether minorities are getting fair share of investment business: “A legislative committee began four days of hearings on Thursday to examine whether public investment funds in Illinois are complying with state requirements for diversity goals in the hiring of investment managers. That has been a key element of the effort by many lawmakers over several years to achieve racial and gender equity in state contracting. Sen. Napoleon Harris III, D-Harvey, a co-chair of the Special Committee on Pension Investments, noted that the asset management industry globally controls about $100 trillion worth of investments, but minority- and women-owned firms handle 1 percent or less of all the investment management business,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— There are more than 221,000 PPP stories in Illinois. Some small businesses got millions. One got $73: “Near the bottom of the PPP list for Illinois is Queen Forever Hair Salon in south suburban Tinley Park. The small Black-owned beauty shop was hoping to get a $24,000 forgivable loan to support five employees through months of closure and disruption. Instead, the salon was approved for $73. ‘They said that’s all I was qualified for,’ said owner Lillian Carter Hendrix. ‘I said how is that so — what can I do with $73?’,” by Tribune’s Robert Channick, Abdel Jimenez and Ryan Ori.
Column: Supreme Court opinion a win for criminal justice reform movement: “A Macon County man entered a 2015 guilty plea for possessing illegal drugs and a gun, but sought post-conviction relief following a sworn statement from someone else who was in the home at the time of the arrest and admitted to being the responsible party….In its opinion, the court wrote it ‘refuses to turn a blind eye to the manifest injustice and failure of our criminal justice system that would result from the continued incarceration of a demonstrably innocent person,’” by My Suburban Life’s Scott T. Holland.
— Illinois driver services facilities to stay closed through Jan. 4: “As the health and safety of employees and the public are paramount, we decided to extend the closure of Driver Services facilities until Jan 4, 2021, due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic,” Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said in a statement. “Unfortunately, face-to-face transactions potentially increase the further spread of the virus, and protecting the health and safety of our residents is my top priority.” via CBS/2.
— Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza is out with a December countdown — a list of 10 accomplishments since her Dec. 5, 2016, swearing in after a special election for comptroller. Starting with No. 10, she says she’s proud to have cut 10 percent from her office budget. “Being fiscally responsible means walking the walk,” she said in a statement. She previously explained her views on budgeting at a City Club meeting.
— Chicago officials call for racial healing heading into 2021: “Chicago’s “Together We Heal” initiative, launched today, will culminate in a virtual healing summit at the end of January. ‘2020, I think, has produced a moment unlike really any other that we’ve experienced as a city,’ said Candace Moore, the city’s Chief Equity Officer. ‘I think the case for healing is deeply apparent to everyone,’” by WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.
— Slaying of ex-firefighter prompts range of tips to tamp down Chicago crime: “As the reward for information about the fatal shooting of former Chicago firefighter Duane Williams jumped to $34,000, a parade of activists, officials and attorneys responded Sunday to the latest flashpoint in a gruesome year of violence by offering a range of responses to the city’s endemic crime problem,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Chicago family will soon be homeless due to limited resources for crime victims: “A pregnant mother and witness to a homicide, who was relocated after her Humboldt Park apartment was burned down, will soon be homeless because Cook County lacks sufficient funding for services to protect witnesses and victims of crime. The 43-year-old woman said her apartment was set on fire in retaliation after her son was shot to death and she identified the killer. The Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had been paying for two hotel rooms where she’s been living with her six children since the fire. But the mother said she was told the funding has dried up,” by WBEZ’s María Inés Zamudio.
— New sculptures in Wicker Park and Bucktown encourage neighborhood exploration: “The public works from local and national artists were installed last month as part of the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit, which brings works of art to different neighborhoods on a rotating basis with the goal of making art free and accessible to everyone. They will be on display until summer 2021,” by WTTW’s Ariel Parrella-Aureli.
— ‘Miracle House’ on West Side on path to preservation: “The house was built in 1954 by renowned Chicago architect Edo Belli,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.
— Inexcusable: Mitch Trubisky fumbles, Bears blow lead in 6th straight loss: “If this was the end, Sunday’s 34-30 loss to the Lions felt appropriate — if not, in some sick way, poetic,” writes Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley.
— CABELLO seeks recount after loss: “State Rep. John Cabello is seeking a recount after the Republican’s narrow defeat to local attorney Dave Vella in the Nov. 3 election. Final election results in the race for the 68th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives put Democratic challenger Vella 239 votes ahead after 53,301 were cast in Rockford and Winnebago County combined. Cabello on Friday filed paperwork with the Rockford Board of Elections asking for a recount in 10 Rockford precincts located inside six different wards,” by Rockford Register Star’s Jeff Kolkey.
— Loeffler doesn’t acknowledge Trump’s defeat in only Georgia runoff debate: “The appointed GOP senator repeatedly called her Democratic opponent, Rafael Warnock, a ‘radical liberal,’” by POLITICO’s James Arkin.
— Fact check: Yes, conservatives did share false post about Pritzker’s daughter: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Republican elected officials, propaganda sites and radio hosts were sharing a story that falsely claimed a picture showed his teenage daughter violating Covid rules. The governor is correct,” by Better Government Association’s Kiannah Sepeda-Miller.
— Iris Martinez leads effort to fill her state Senate seat: Martinez resigned her seat after winning election to become Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. She and 10 others will decide who will fill the seat she has held for 17 years, reports Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Mother charged in 2003 murder of newborn twins, bodies dumped in trash bin near Stickney: “Inspired by news in 2018 of the arrest of the Golden State killer 32 years after his crime spree based on a DNA search for familial connections, Cook County sheriff’s Detective Ginny Georgantas asked for permission from Deputy Chief of Investigations Sean Gleason to pursue a similar kind of analysis on newborn twin boys who had been left dead in a trash bin in 2003. On Saturday, sheriff’s police announced that the lengthy cold case investigation had led to two counts of first-degree murder against Antoinette Briley, 41, now of Holland, Michigan,” by Daily Herald’s James Kane.
— Former manager sues Chance the Rapper: “Pat Corcoran claims he was fired and made a scapegoat for the lackluster performance of Chance’s 2019 studio album, ‘The Big Day.’ Corcoran is seeking millions in unpaid commissions and other expenses,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Kelly.
— Former Ald. Edward ‘Fast Eddie’ Vrdolyak gets 18 months in federal prison in tax case related to tobacco settlement: “‘There are no rules in this town,’ Vrdolyak told the Tribune in 1973. ‘The people who run the city make the rules, and they change them as they go along.’ On Friday, a lifetime of playing the game by his own rules once again caught up with Vrdolyak, as a federal judge sentenced him to a year and a half in prison for skirting a tax levy related to millions of dollars in payments he and a friend received in the state’s massive settlement with tobacco companies,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
Spring surge of college students will challenge Covid defenses: “Frequent testing is the way to keep coronavirus from spreading on campus, but many colleges don’t have the resources to handle the coming flood of coeds,” by POLITICO’s Juan Perez Jr. and Bianca Quilantan.
— EPA union floats name of Midwest chief: AFGE Local 704, the union representing almost a thousand workers in EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, is urging Joe Biden to name Micah Ragland as the Midwest regional administrator, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. Ragland worked as head of public engagement at EPA for the Obama administration’s final three years, and has since held corporate communications jobs with Walmart and DTE Energy, according to POLITICO’s Morning Energy newsletter
— To rebuild CDC, Biden picks Rochelle Walensky: “The chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital will take a top role in helping the new administration curtail the coronavirus pandemic,” by POLITICO’s Tyler Pager.
— DURBIN on hell week in Congress: “We have a lot of work to do. And just a few days to do it,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday morning. “It really is a superhuman effort on our part to get this together in time to help the American people as quickly as possible.” POLITICO’s Burgess Everett reports.
— KINZINGER unwilling to back off Trump ‘We’ve lost our moral authority’: “With most of the Republican Party still paralyzed by Trump’s brazen attempts to overturn the election, Kinzinger is staking his ground in the post-Trump GOP,” writes POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona.
— BUSTOS, LIPINSKI vote no on weed legislation: The U.S. House passed landmark legislation Friday that would decriminalize marijuana, but Illinois Democratic Reps. Dan Lipinski and Cheri Bustos voted no on the MORE Act, which passed 228 to 164 with several Republicans voting to support it. The irony is that Illinois has legalized cannabis in a rollout that’s proven successful so far. Lipinski is a social conservative who lost his 3rd District election in the primary to Democrat Marie Newman. Bustos narrowly won her 17th District race. Her team didn’t respond to a question about why Bustos voted no. But it’s no surprise given her moderate leaning in a conservative district. It’s also worth noting that Bustos’ husband is Rock Island County Sheriff Gerald Bustos. More on the MORE vote by POLITICO’s Natalie Fertig
— ‘It’s an unusual setup’: Kerry’s climate job scrambles Biden’s org chart, by POLITICO’s Natasha Bertrand and Nahal Toosi
— Meet Biden’s ambassador to the GOP, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— California exits give Newsom rare chance to pick 3 high-profile leaders, by POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White and Carla Marinucci
Lake Forest grad Sydney Barber is first Black woman named brigade commander at U.S. Naval Academy: “I am going to lead with my heart first. We are in trying times and things are uncertain and there is a lot we didn’t expect in 2020 in terms of how we execute our mission as a Naval Academy, and I can only imagine that 2021 is going to present a new set of challenges,” she told Pioneer Press’ Daniel I. Dorfman.
— Charles Carroll Smith, a former Illinois Deputy Secretary of State who also served in the Army during Vietnam, has died. Smith also served as the legislative director and Senior National Security Advisor to U.S. Sens. Alan Dixon and Senator Wendell Ford (D-KY), advising both Senators on national security and foreign relation, according to an obituary about Smith.
— House music producer dies of Covid a month before expected birth of son he always wanted: “Matthew ‘Turk’ Agostini, 50, of Logan Square, and his partner Jessica Tapper already had the name picked out for their son-to-be: Matteo. He’ll have his father’s nose,” by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.
FRIDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to Tom Kotarac, VP of Transportation & Infrastructure at the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, for correctly answering that Edgewater is among Chicago’s 77 community areas that was most recently established.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Which religious and ethnic celebration is a regular stop for many elected officials in August in Bridgeport? Email your answer to [email protected].
State Senate Minority Leader-elect Dan McConchie (26th), Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), and Joe Silich, executive director Morgan Stanley wealth advisor and USO of Illinois board member.
And belated happy birthday to United Airlines Senior VP Robert S. Rivkin (a former deputy mayor), and Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief of The Air Current, who celebrated Sunday; and Rep. Nick Smith (34th), and Isabel Dobbel, a legislative affairs administrator for Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who celebrated Saturday.
December 7, 2020 at 07:45AM