Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. We realize that impeaching President Donald Trump today a second time — and with Republican support to boot — is yuge but for the chattering classes in Illinois, we know all eyes are on Springfield. For those easing into a chair to watch history unfold on a splitscreen, POLITICO has your guide to the vote in Congress (the U.S. House convenes at 9 a.m. ET).

Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch is expected to clinch the 60 votes needed to win the race for House speaker this morning when Democratic lawmakers conduct their third round of balloting. The implications are big.

Welch would become the first Black House speaker in a transfer of power that will reshape Illinois politics after nearly 40 years of Speaker Michael Madigan, who effectively bowed out of the race this week amid a monthslong rebellion inside his caucus.

After Democrats agree on a speaker (because they control the House), they will cast their ballots with the full House as part of today’s inauguration ceremonies kicking off the start of the 102nd General Assembly.

We got here after a long night. Lawmakers worked on legislation until 4:15 this morning. They’ll return at 8 a.m. for the caucus vote and then return to legislating in the final few hours before the lame duck session ends.

Welch threw his hat in the ring Monday after the first ballot for speaker signaled that Madigan wouldn’t have the support to reach 60. Welch quickly secured the Black and Latinx caucuses going into Tuesday’s second round of balloting as well as women legislators, who came on board when Rep. Ann Williams dropped out of the race. Welch emerged with 50 votes to Rep. Jay Hoffman’s 15. Hoffman’s expected to get behind Welch today for the historic vote. Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, who mounted the first challenge to Madigan a few months ago, also dropped out.

Drama ensued midway through Tuesday’s balloting when the Tribune posted a story about allegations of Welch mistreating women from 2010 and earlier. The story spread like wildfire across cell phones, and observers outside of the General Assembly wondered if it would sink Welch’s standing with female lawmakers. It didn’t.

Welch accused Republicans of fueling the fire and he issued a statement that questioned their motives. “At no other occasion have these events been brought up and I firmly believe my Republican colleagues are threatened by the potential growth of my profile,” he wrote.

This will set the stage for bitter battles between Welch and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

Welch also addressed the allegations with female lawmakers before emerging from the balloting with much of their support.

“I don’t take these allegations lightly,” Rep. Anna Moeller said after the vote, “but I was satisfied with Chris’ explanation of the events…We work very hard here to pass legislation that protects women. And Chris has a great track record on women’s issues. And I believe he is sincere on supporting women’s issues.”

Williams issued a statement saying she’s “proud of what we accomplished,” a reference to women for the first time being in the running for speaker. “We made history.”

As the House plans to take the first step to remove President Donald Trump from office with impeachment today, a Chicago alderman is working to remove Trump’s name from his famous Chicago hotel.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) says he’ll introduce an ordinance Jan. 27 to remove the 2,891-square-foot sign that blares from the Trump International Hotel on Wabash Avenue.

Villegas’ move comes as companies nationwide sever ties with Trump and his Republican supporters who attempted to block the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory even after last week’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.

The ordinance would also bar anyone convicted of treason, sedition or subversive actions from doing business with the city — and that includes having a sign permit.

“As a Marine, I took an oath to defend this country against enemies foreign and domestic. That oath has no expiration date. I’m gonna be damned if I allow that to happen in Chicago,” Villegas is quoted in the Sun-Times. “There should be no symbols or signs attributed to any person who leads an insurrection against the U.S. government. We just can’t stand for that.”

Villegas’ proposal would end a long, bitter relationship between Chicago and Trump’s sign.

Many left-leaning Chicagoans have for years seen the sign as an eyesore. Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel created a rule to prevent businesses along the riverfront from putting up large signs but it couldn’t retroactively reduce Trump’s sign — to the owner’s delight.

“It’s the Hollywood sign of Chicago. People love it,” Trump said at the time. “If they want to change the law from this day forward, that’s up to the mayor. But you can’t go back.”

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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 117 additional deaths and 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 17,743 fatalities and 1,040,168 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Jan. 5 through 11 is 7.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 10.3 percent.

Schneider tests positive for Covid, condemns maskless Republicans in Capitol siege: “Illinois U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider announced Tuesday that he has tested positive for Covid-19 after being confined with members of Congress who refused to wear masks during the violent pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. In a video news conference, Schneider referenced footage from the new Washington-based outlet Punchbowl News that showed six Republican members of Congress refusing requests to wear a mask as Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., went around the room handing them out,” by Tribune’s Bill Ruthhart.

Chicago expands vaccination sites for health care workers: “Chicago’s Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady announced the city would be opening two more mass vaccination sites at city college campuses this week. She did not say which ones and a spokesperson with the department did not immediately respond,” writes WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.

Illinois looks toward 2nd vaxes, though still weeks away for many: “Data released on Tuesday shows that roughly 1 in 45 Illinoisans has gotten at least the first shot of a vaccine, with wide variations across the state,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley and Joe Mahr.

Dr. Emily Landon on vaccine distribution, Covid-19 spread: “She says her hospital system is distributing the vaccine like a “well-oiled machine,” thanks to their large workforce and existing vaccination infrastructure — but that’s not the case everywhere,” by WTTW’s Quinn Myers.

Kinzinger will vote to impeach: “Of the five House Illinois Republicans, only Kinzinger is headed to a yes vote on impeachment. GOP Reps. Mary Miller and Mike Bost voted to oppose the Electoral College vote locking up the presidency for Joe Biden. GOP Reps. Darin LaHood, Rodney Davis, Bost and Miller are expected no votes. Said Miller in a statement, ‘I will oppose any articles set forth to impeach our President and pray for the immediate peace we need,’” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

The Cheney-McCarthy rift busts open: “The decision by [Liz] Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, to split with the minority leader and embrace Trump’s impeachment marks the most dramatic rift in the upper rungs of GOP leadership since Trump took office. It caps a years-long tussle between the party leaders over how closely the GOP should align itself with Trump and where the party should go after he leaves office,” reports POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers and Melanie Zanona.

Bustos opens up about the siege on the Capitol: “When there is nothing separating you from an armed mob except a door and a few brave cops, you are no longer a politician. You are simply a mom, a wife, a daughter and a citizen. Legislation is the furthest thing from your mind; all you want in that moment is to live,” writes Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)

Chicago activist outs local insurgents who traveled to Capitol: “Josephine Yanasak-Leszczynski watched from Chicago in horror as insurgents stormed the nation’s Capitol last Wednesday in an effort to stop the certification of the election for Democrat Joe Biden. She said she couldn’t sleep that night after watching violent white rioters who falsely believe Republican President Donald Trump won November’s election,” reports WBEZ’s María Inés Zamudio.

Pritzker’s plan to address gaping budget hole falls short in initial House vote: “A major initiative by Gov. J.B. Pritzker aimed at preventing the loss of up to $1 billion in revenue was put in jeopardy early Wednesday after falling 10 votes short in the Democratic-controlled state House. Pritzker wanted to block a change to the federal tax code passed by Congress as part of the coronavirus relief plan from applying to state tax bills. He unveiled the proposal late last week, as the legislative lame duck session was getting underway,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

Bills limiting payday loan rates, expanding voting by mail advance in veto session: “The measures advanced Monday and Tuesday were part of the Black Caucus’ agenda,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton and Andrew Sullender.

Lawmakers OK measure allowing services like Grubhub to deliver alcohol: “The bill was passed earlier by the state Senate, and now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for a signature. The measure would not allow craft breweries and distilleries to deliver their products. The bill is a follow-up to a law passed last spring that allows restaurants to deliver alcohol,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks.

Black Caucus calls for nearly 3-year halt to hospital closures: “The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is behind the proposed legislation calling for a hospital closure moratorium until Dec. 31, 2023. The majority of Mercy’s patients are Black, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, Black and Latino Chicagoans have been disproportionately hit the hardest by the virus,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.

Sports betting could allow wagers on state collegiate events: State Rep. Mike Zalewski’s legislation would authorize sports wagering on state collegiate events. “If passed, HB 5876 would come into force immediately and would amend the Sports Wagering Act. The outgoing 101st General Assembly must pass the bill by Wednesday, before the 102nd General Assembly’s swearing-in, or Zalewski will have to refile the legislation. It was forwarded to the Rules Committee on Saturday after its first reading. However, the bill will have to be read in both the House and Senate chambers over three different days before being able to pass, by Gambling News’ Mathilde Adam.

— Welcome back, Darren: Republican Rep. Darren Bailey was back in Bank of Springfield Center with fellow legislators Tuesday after he collapsed Sunday on the House floor. He was hospitalized overnight and rested before returning Tuesday. He addressed lawmakers, invoking Abraham Lincoln. “He said ‘A nation divided against itself cannot stand.’ …We face some challenging times here in Illinois, but I truly believe that, as the Heartland state, if we can get our act together sometime soon we can bring this nation together because we’ve got the ingredients right here in this room to do that and I felt that on Sunday and I thank you very, very much, God bless you all.”

Illinois National Guard deployed to D.C., ahead of inauguration: “The Illinois contingent will consist primarily of military police and security forces, a reflection of a recent FBI warning about the possibility of armed protests surrounding the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20. The state also will be sending soldiers and airmen to help with logistics and communications, as well as an Air National Guard chaplain,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Dan Petrella.

Leading Black Illinois lawmakers call for nearly 3-year halt to hospital closures: “The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is behind the proposed legislation calling for a hospital closure moratorium until Dec. 31, 2023. The majority of Mercy’s patients are Black, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, Black and Latino Chicagoans have been disproportionately hit the hardest by the virus,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.

Dick Uihlein gave millions to ‘Patriots’group that backed pro-Trump rally: “A billionaire businessman from the Chicago area has been the primary source of political funding for an ultra-conservative group that participated in the ‘March to Save America’ rally that preceded last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, documents show. Dick Uihlein — the Republican mega-donor who lives in north suburban Lake Forest and is CEO of the Uline business supplies company — has contributed nearly $4.3 million in the past five years to the political action committee of the Tea Party Patriots, including $800,000 in October, according to Federal Election Commission records,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

5 GOP county chairs to pick Bill Brady’s replacement in the Senate: “The 44th State Senate District will have a new senator by the end of the month, after Bill Brady’s resignation at the end of last year triggered an appointment process involving Republican chairs from the five counties that make up the district,” by WGLT’s Christine Hatfield.

Ald. Carrie Austin’s 34th Ward campaign committee slapped with $145,500 fine: “Records show Benchmark Constructions made three contributions, totaling $55,000, from November 2017 to November 2018,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and Lauren FitzPatrick.

Chicago helped 55,000 students get free internet. Much work remains: “From skepticism about the free offer to limits on wiring illegally converted basement dwellings, the program, now replicated in cities such as Philadelphia, still faces obstacles to signing up some residents who need it. Some families qualified after they were already locked into internet contracts and, at least until now, they have not been able to switch to Chicago Connected — though that will become an option going forward for those whose income has changed significantly,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Mila Koumpilova.

— GOOD READ: ‘NINE DAYS: The Race to Save MLK’s Life and Win the 1960 Election’: “The story begins in mid-October 1960 with Martin Luther King Jr.’s incarceration [his first] in a Georgia jail cell and ends three weeks later with John F. Kennedy’s narrow victory over Richard M. Nixon in the most competitive presidential election of the 20th century. Kennedy’s razor-thin triumph depended on several factors ranging from his youthful charm to Mayor Richard J. Daley’s ability to pad the Democratic vote in Chicago.[Another] crucial factor in Kennedy’s electoral success was the late surge of Black voters into the Democratic column. In all likelihood, this surge represented the difference between victory and defeat in at least five swing states, including Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey, ensuring Kennedy’s comfortable margin (303 to 219) in the Electoral College,” writes the New York Times. The book is by Paul Kendrick, who lives in Chicago, and his dad, Stephen Kendrick.

Harold Washington TV miniseries in the works by playwright Ike Holter: “A production company is lined up to develop the project about the influential Chicago politician’s hard-fought election and 1983-87 mayoral reign,” by Sun-Times’ Darel Jevens.

CPS makes good on promise to cut off pay and access to remote learning platform for teachers who’ve refused to show up for in-person classes: “CPS said it issued final notices last week to 210 employees who didn’t show in person last week. On Monday, 145 of them — who were again absent — faced the harshest consequences, [Linda] Perales among them. The district warned it would lock those employees out of their Google Classroom and email accounts, and withhold pay starting Tuesday,” reports Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas.

Chicago-area man charged with threatening violence at Biden inauguration:Louis Capriotti has recorded “disturbing, anonymous” voicemails for members of Congress multiple times since October 2019, according to a DOJ complaint,” by POLITICO’s Ben Leonard.

Evanston-Skokie District 65 school board member target of homophobic vandalism, police say: “Someone broke into the car of the Evanston-Skokie District 65 school board vice president over the weekend, ransacking it and leaving behind a homophobic slur, police confirmed Tuesday,” by Tribune’s Genevieve Bookwalter.

THE FIFTY: This week, POLITICO’s Joanne Kenen lays out how the flawed vaccine rollout will create political stars — and has-beens in governors offices around the country.

‘Clear and present danger to the republic’: House readies bipartisan impeachment of Trump, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney

Inside Joe Biden’s plan to avoid a midterm ‘shellacking,’ by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Christopher Cadelago

Biden, Democrats, plot ‘aggressive’ pandemic response — without the GOP, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein, Megan Cassella and Caitlin Emma

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Alyson Miller has been named chief of staff and policy for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. It’s a new role that combines overseeing the work of the nation’s second-largest prosecutors office while driving Foxx’s public policy agenda. Miller starts later this month, when Foxx’s current chief of staff, Jennifer Ballard Croft, leaves the office for a role in the private sector. Miller has been with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as deputy chief of staff since Foxx took office in 2017 and has acted as interim director of policy since August of last year.

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago-Kent law student Jaylin McClinton for correctly answering that House Speaker Michael Madigan is the most famous Illinois resident to come from Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. (Note to all who guessed actress Jennifer Beals: She is from Chatham.)

TODAY’s QUESTION: Olivet Baptist Church was home to which history-making Illinois lawmaker? Email your answer to [email protected].

Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, and businessman Ken Norgan.



via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/2DKMb2N

January 13, 2021 at 07:54AM

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