KINZINGER’s GOP DILEMMA — TEACHER STRIKE LOOMS — CALLING IN KAMALA

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Happy February, Illinois. Hope you were able to dig out of the latest snowtorm. I’m mostly waiting for it to melt.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger unveiled a national campaign over the weekend to steer the Republican Party away from Donald Trump while he faces calls from pro-Trump Republicans for him to be censured for voting to impeach the former president.

“The Republican Party has lost its moral authority in a lot of areas,” Kinzinger said Sunday announcing his Country 1st political action committee. “How many people think that conservative principles are things like ‘build the wall,’ and you know, ‘charge the Capitol’ and ‘have an insurrection’? That’s what Country1st … is all about — is just going back and saying, ‘Here’s what conservative principles are.’"

Kinzinger was among 10 GOP representatives who joined Democrats last month in voting to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A Senate trial is expected to begin Feb. 9.

He’s since worn a path from one media outlet to another talking about why he voted to impeach and that, in hindsight, he should have voted to impeach the first time, too. Kinzinger says he’s faced threats and that even members of his own family are turning on him, saying he’s “possessed by the devil.”

Kinzinger’s anti-Trump message is especially grating to the more conservative wing of his 16th Congressional District. The tension is emblematic of what’s happening across the country as the national GOP struggles to define itself.

On Saturday, 150 pro-Trump supporters gathered in Ottawa — at the site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate — to criticize Kinzinger. They called him “a traitor” and denounced him for not embracing the (false) narrative that Trump won the 2020 election and for congratulating President Joe Biden for his victory. Worse, they said, was Kinzinger’s vote to impeach.

“Enough is enough,” Larry Smith, chairman of the LaSalle County Republican Central Committee, told Playbook after the rally. “He hasn’t talked to us for six years.”

Smith said his Republican committee will vote Tuesday on whether to censure Kinzinger, and Smith suggested other GOP county committees could follow.

So far, the state GOP has no plans to censure. But the party is in upheaval as Chairman Tim Schneider is stepping down and a new chairman is to be named Saturday.

Up for the job are Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder, Lake County Republican Chairman Mark Shaw, and former Illinois Gaming Board exec and former lieutenant governor candidate Don Tracy of Springfield.

Shaw favors full censure of Kinzinger. While Tracy and Gryder, who oppose Kinzinger’s impeachment vote, nonetheless reject censure.

Centrist Republicans worry that censuring Kinzinger will only harm the Illinois GOP as it tries to broaden its reach in a blue state. “When state parties get too extreme, they become irrelevant. Just look at what’s happening in Arizona,” said former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady.

Arizona Republicans recently voted to censure Gov. Doug Ducey for not supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn election results. Ducey, who’s a popular governor, dismissed the censure, saying, “The state party chairman should focus on winning races. That should be a top priority.”

SO CLOSE, BUT SO FAR: Negotiations fell apart between the city of Chicago and its public school teachers who spent the weekend haggling over how and when to return to in-person classes and setting the stage for a possible teacher strike.

It means some 70,000 Chicago pupils who had planned to return to the classroom today, will instead continue to stay home for remote learning.

Unless they have special permission to work from home, teachers are otherwise required to report to their schools today to prepare for in-person learning with students on Tuesday, Lightfoot said during a late-afternoon press conference Sunday.

The negotiations spiraled with finger-pointing from both sides, write Sun-Times’ Nader Issa and Tom Schuba.

At issue is the safety of teachers and children who would be returning to school amid a pandemic. The city says it has made the necessary safety accommodations.

"These are the same rigorous public health standards we have applied in every aspect of our city’s response during this terrible pandemic. And we have moved mountains to make that happen in classrooms," Lightfoot said.

But CTU wants more protective measures. In a tweet, CTU said CPS data shows “more than 100 positive Covid-19 cases in school buildings between Jan. 9 and Jan. 23. We can survive remote learning, but we can’t survive remote learning if we don’t survive Covid-19.”

The CPS ultimatum: If teachers don’t return to school, they’ll be locked out of their online accounts, reports Chalkbeat’s Yana Kunichoff. That’s what could set off a strike.

The teacher battle has even gone national: CPS chief Janice Jackson spoke on Face the Nation, saying “Black and brown students are ‘especially hard hit,” by not being able to return to the classrooms. “Our goal is to really give every parent an option. Those families who want to remain remote will have that option through the remainder of the school year.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten got involved, too, calling on Lightfoot to get a deal done, report the Tribune’s Alice Yin and Paige Fry.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: skapos@politico.com

No official public events.

No official public events.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 40 additional deaths and 2,428 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 19,243 fatalities and 1,126,301 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Jan. 24 through 30 is 3.9 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 6.0 percent.

CALL IN KAMALA: Biden turns to the veep to sell Covid vax to communities of color: “The VP struggled to reach Black voters in the primary. But aides say it will be different now as she tries to convince them to put a shot in their arm,” by POLITICO’s Eugene Daniels.

Your friendly neighborhood dry cleaner may be another casualty of the pandemic: "A familiar urban staple, these mom-and-pop operations have suffered acutely as office workers transitioned to sweats and yoga pants at home, and industry watchers worry that the shift may become permanent. Here in Illinois, Korean Americans, who own most of the state’s cleaning facilities, are bearing the brunt of the downturn," by WBEZ’s Odette Yousef.

Illinois ramps up vaccinations: “Though Illinois lags many other states, 2nd doses underway…This week, in fact, the state hit a record for most vaccinations for three straight days, culminating with 58,357 doses administered on Friday,” writes Daniel C. Vock in Center for Illinois Politics.

— GOOD READ: As Covid rages, Loretto Hospital employee scraps his own dreams to help the West Side: “Without a comprehensive national strategy for battling the pandemic, safety net hospitals such as Loretto — medical centers that accept all patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay — have been forced to punch above their weight for nearly a year. And few at Loretto have stepped into ring with more enthusiasm than Johnathan Daniels, a 25-year-old accounting department worker whose efforts have helped the hospital administer more than 22,000 COVID-19 tests in the past 10 months,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair.

Chicago returns to Phase 4 of ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, but stricter limits on indoor dining remain: “Anywhere you go you’ll still need a mask and generally be required to stay six feet apart, but under Phase Four you’ll be able to go out to dinner and a movie. However, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said stricter capacity limits will remain in place for bars and restaurants for now,” reports WGN/9’s Mike Lowe.

Jesse Jackson hospitalized, recovering after surgery: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson was hospitalized last week and has undergone what family is describing as minor surgery. He is recovering at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned,” by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.

The Citadel link: What Ken Griffin has to do with GameStop: “All roads in last week’s [stock market] saga seemed to go through Citadel. The market maker, Citadel Securities, is one of the biggest sources of Robinhood’s revenue, as it pays the no-fee trading app for handling its orders and fills more of them than any other firm,” via Bloomberg.

Catholic schools on South and West sides hit hard by pandemic get $1.8M donation: “An emergency donation of $1.8 million to the Archdiocese of Chicago earlier this month from the nonprofit Big Shoulders Fund is helping to keep the doors open at West and South side Catholic schools with budgets hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said Friday. In addition, a separate group of donors has raised nearly $1.4 million to fund $250 teacher bonuses to reward and retain Catholic school educators who have been teaching students in person since the fall,” by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta.

Chicago area gun dealers say record sales since Jan. 6 driven by ‘fear, plain and simple’: “Local gun dealers say January has seen the hottest gun market ever. And their top salesman is fear. Fear of everything from Democrats poised to take away their guns to civil unrest in the streets to a state shut down by a virus to a [former] president claiming an election was stolen from him,” by Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.

1871 helps Black entrepreneurs deliver on ideas: “The Chicago tech incubator promotes diversity while adjusting its own business model to the pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

Doing right by hotel workers — and the hotels that laid them off — during the pandemic: “Legislation pending in the Chicago City Council would require hotels to offer laid-off workers their old jobs back before hiring a replacement,” by Sun-Times’ Laura Washington.

Residents across the Chicago area are looking to launch food co-ops: Residents around the region — from Rogers Park to Lombard to Woodstock — are in different stages of trying to launch three other food co-ops that mimic Dill Pickle in Logan Square, reports Tribune’s Jessica Villagomez.

— Interesting nugget from this “Meet Chris Welch” profile: House Speaker Michael Madigan had called Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch to tell him he was suspending his campaign for a 19th term as speaker. Then Madigan asked a question: “Chris, do you want to be speaker?” In an interview, “Welch said he initially did not know how to respond to Madigan’s inquiry and thought it may be a trick question,” writes Brendan Moore in The Pentagraph. "’I said, ‘Mr. Speaker, if there’s an opening, I don’t know who wouldn’t want an opportunity to make history,’ Welch said.

Thapedi to resign his House seat: “Thapedi, who has served as representative for the 32nd District since 2009, said he wants to take an active role in searching for a replacement for his seat. The 32nd District stretches westward from Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood to south suburban Hickory Hills,” by NPR’s Hannah Meisel.

State Sen. Sally Turner lays out priorities: The Pandemic “is going to be at the forefront, right smack-dab in our faces," Turner said. "How it affects our businesses, tourism (and) hospitality — all of those things, I think all stem from Covid." by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth.

State universities, community colleges expect more budget cuts: “As Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his administration work to present a budget proposal in February, higher education is preparing to feel the pinch. Illinois is $3.9 billion in the hole, and state universities and community colleges are facing cuts of up to 6.5 percent. The change would likely mean downsizing staff and programming,” by WSIL’s Joe Rehana.

Northwestern cheerleaders ‘presented as sex objects,’ forced to ‘mingle’ with drunk fans: lawsuit: “A former cheerleader is suing the Evanston school, saying teammates had to endure sexual harassment ‘to titillate the men that funded the majority of Northwestern’s athletics programs.’” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.

Aldi worker charged with shattering window at different grocery store after being told to wear a face mask: “[A] store employee asked her to put on a mask, and then gave her one to wear. [Edith] Chaparro-Hernandez was allowed to use the bathroom, and when she came out, she continued to walk around the store without a mask. She was then told she’d have to leave the store because she wasn’t complying with store policy to wear a mask, said Officer Steve Rusanov, a Chicago police spokesman,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr.

Schumer quietly nails down the left amid AOC primary chatter, by POLITICO’s Holly Otterbein

‘She is weighing us down’: Georgia GOP cringes at Marjorie Taylor Greene spectacle, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo

Trump stocks new PAC with tens of millions as he bids to retain control of GOP, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro and Elena Schneider

“Survey Says: Never Tweet”: New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith weighs in on a top-of-mind worry for many newsroom managers: reporters who tweet. “[T]he deeper questions are about what it means for journalists to be, and seem, fair. There’s an argument raging about whether news organizations, and their reporters, ought to keep their opinions to themselves to avoid being seen as biased. Many top editors still seem to believe that the less said on social media, the better. The other side, as Wesley Lowery of CBS recently argued, is that readers should be asked to trust in ‘an objective process’ of journalism that separates both reporters’ views and readers’ biases from judgment about their published work.”

Raul Montes Sr., longtime Little Village activist who also worked for Chuy Garcia, dies: “Raul created a block club in our neighborhood that worked to improve and beautify homes, backyards, and streets. They installed lamps in their front lawns, planted sod in parkways, and established block watches and activities for children and teens,” Garcia said in a statement. “He was the most effective and loved captain in the 22nd Ward, who knew how to persuade people to exercise their right to vote. His hard work helped me, and many others, win elected office early in my career.” By Tribune’s Jessica Villagomez.

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Janet Mathis, executive director of the Edgar Fellows Program, for correctly answering that it cost $4 a day to rent the first Illinois Capitol building in Kaskaskia back in the day.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the former legislator who gave a young Jim Edgar key advice to focus on fixing problems rather than thinking about political gain? Email to skapos@politico.com.

Hannah Beer, a McLean County board member; William S. Singer, of counsel for Kirkland & Ellis; Miguel Ayala, comms director for Congresswoman Jan. Schakowsky; Aaron Stein, legislative liaison at Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Meaghan Burdick, founding partner of 14th Street Strategies; and political analyst Charles Lipson.

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via POLITICO https://ift.tt/2i74uEb

February 1, 2021 at 07:21AM

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