Good Thursday morning, Illinois. We just received a copy of “Boss Cermak of Chicago,” and I think that’s the nicest gift a political gal can get. It joins Mike Royko’s “Boss” and Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor’s “American Pharaoh” as trivia go-to sources.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger unloaded on House GOP leaders Wednesday as Republicans in Illinois’ LaSalle County announced they’d voted “overwhelmingly” to censure him for his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
The Illinois congressman has become a symbol of the schism within the GOP both in Illinois and in Congress as Republicans try to grapple with Trump’s influence on the party. Kinzinger says he’s worried the GOP is headed down a dangerous path and he’s flooded the airwaves saying so.
During a tense House GOP conference meeting that ran more than four hours, Kinzinger “unleashed hell” on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for spending more time defending pro-Trumper Marjorie Taylor Greene than Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, calling it “embarrassing,” according to a source familiar with the day’s action.
Ultimately, McCarthy offered “a full-throated defense” of Cheney, and the caucus voted to let her keep her leadership position on a 2-1 margin, according to POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona and Olivia Beavers. And POLITICO’s national Playbook reports Greene walked back some of her over-the-top claims of bowing to QAnon.
The meeting wrapped up with Republicans taking the view that Cheney had a right to vote her conscience when she (and Kinzinger) sided with Democrats to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Meanwhile, the full House will vote today on a measure to remove Greene from her committee assignments.
Closer to home, members of the LaSalle County Republican Central Committee voted 88 percent in favor of censuring Kinzinger, Chairman Larry Smith said in a statement Wednesday night. Two reasons were cited for censure: Kinzinger has not met with the La Salle Republican in over six years and that he was one of 10 Republican representatives to call for impeachment. The censure disavows Kinzinger “for acting contrary to the values” of La Salle County Republicans, Smith said. A similar resolution for censure is being presented to the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee, reports the Rockford Register Star.
In a statement to Playbook, Kinzinger spokeswoman Maura Gillespie responded: “While Capitol Police Officer [Brian] Sicknick was being honored in state for his ultimate sacrifice — defending our democracy — the LaSalle County GOP was condemning Congressman Kinzinger for trying to hold the president accountable for the actions that led to his death.”
Rabbis from Chicago’s Orthodox Jewish community have sent Gov. J.B. Pritzker a letter spelling out their concerns about the upcoming redistricting process that will occur after census numbers are released.
“Our community may be at risk of being divided to the point of political irrelevance,” more than 60 rabbis wrote in their letter obtained by Playbook.
In an interview, Rabbi Shlomo Soroka said the rabbis hope lawmakers weigh the Orthodox Jewish community the same way they would other communities of interest, such as Black people or Latinos. “We look different. We have a different way of life. And we have unique needs. We want to bring awareness and have a conversation,” he said.
The rabbis worry that redistricting could split their community into different legislative districts. The community rests in the 16th House District represented by Rep. Denyse Wang Stoneback — who defeated former Rep. Yehiel “Mark” Kalish, a rabbi, last year in a contentious Democratic primary — and the 8th District Senate seat represented by Sen. Ram Villivalam.
The concentrated Jewish population is located primarily in the West Rogers Park (or West Ridge) and Peterson Park neighborhoods of Chicago as well as in neighboring Skokie.
“In any new map, we would like to see our community consolidated as much as possible,” the rabbis’ letter states.
The group is less concerned about who represents them than about the community remaining a cohesive bloc. Neither Villivalam nor Stoneback are Jewish, for example, but they are both members of the Legislative Jewish Caucus because they represent that community.
Soroka estimates the broader Jewish community makes up between 30 and 40 percent of the district — Kalish, for example, took 32 percent of the vote to Stoneback’s 43 percent and a third candidate rounded it out.
“If the community was split up into four or five districts, where we account for 5 percent in each district, our voice would be negligible,” Soroka said. “The community would be politically irrelevant.”
The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago says it’s watching the redistricting process closely with the hope that whoever is elected is attentive to the needs of the community.
Orthodox Jews are concentrated in the North Side Chicago neighborhood because synagogues, kosher grocery stores and Jewish schools are all nearby. Providing for all those resources could be difficult if the district is split up, say the rabbis.
This morning at 8 a.m.: Rep. Lauren Underwood takes part in a POLITICO Live panel discussion on public trust in the Covid vaccine, particularly in communities of color. Also on the panel, Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City Health Commissioner; Ali S. Khan, MD, a retired U.S. assistant surgeon general; and Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer, Louisiana Department of Health. POLITICO’s Joanne Kenen is moderating.
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
Joining a virtual celebration at 11 a.m. for the new JP Morgan Chase branch in the South Shore neighborhood.
No official public events.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 69 additional deaths and 3,314 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 19,375 fatalities and 1,134,231 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 is 3.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.4 percent.
— Biden plunges fully into Covid relief talks: “The president knows his presidency rides on swift action on the $1.9 trillion package. On Wednesday, he showed it,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Tyler Pager.
— State lawmakers added to list of electeds who can get the vaccine: “After initially saying state elected officials should hold off, Gov. J.B. Pritzker reversed course on Wednesday, making all 177 members of the General Assembly now eligible for the vaccine. ‘At the request of members of the General Assembly, any of the 177 state legislators who wish to be inoculated will be allowed to receive their vaccine in phase 1b,’ Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said. ‘The state of Illinois has urgent and vital business that must be addressed, and we hope that the General Assembly will engage in a robust and productive schedule in coming weeks and months,’” by Tribune’s Alice Yin, Jamie Munks and Dan Petrella.
— Chicago Public Library workers wonder why they’re not higher up to get the vaccine: “Chicago library branches have been open to the public since June. Librarians say they deal directly with the public every single day, which puts them at high risk for contracting Covid-19,” reports CBS/2’s Dana Kozlov.
— Chicago on Walgreens’ vax list: Walgreens disclosed earlier this week “that it had been selected by the federal government to provide a limited number of Covid-19 vaccinations ‘across 15 states and jurisdictions as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program,’ the company said. Walgreens didn’t say how many Covid-19 vaccine doses were being made available. Walgreens said the states and jurisdictions include: Chicago, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia,” by Forbes’ Bruce Japsen.
The Obama Presidential Center was given the green light Wednesday to move ahead with groundbreaking in historic Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. Work can now begin as early as August.
In their final review of the project, federal agencies determined that construction of the center would not create “significant impact” on the environment in and around the park famed for hosting the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
“Getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the folks in the community who have been a part of this process along the way,” former President Barack Obama said in a video message.
“Major milestone,” is how Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described it, adding the center will bring jobs, roads and neighborhood improvements. “The Obama Presidential Center and nearby capital improvement projects will undoubtedly distinguish our city’s historic South Side as a world-class economic and cultural hub,” she said.
The vision for the center “is rooted in a deep connection to the place that inspired President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama early in their lives,” Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to Obama for all eight years and now interim president of his foundation, told Playbook. “We are excited to move forward with the center and look forward to unlocking the community’s full potential.”
John Rogers Jr., an Obama Foundation board member and friend of the former president, told Playbook the news was “very exciting. It’s going to transform the South Side of Chicago. The jobs and worldwide thought leaders coming to Chicago can only make our city stronger.”
It took four years for the federal review of the project, and it’s expected to take another four to finish. The $500 million campus will include a museum, a public library, an athletic center, outdoor recreation space and offices for the Obama Foundation.
— TEACHER TALKS: CPS agrees to extensive testing plan, more vaccines for staff as day ends with no deal: “In-person learning was canceled again Thursday as talks continued into the night between CPS and CTU over a school reopening plan,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
… Missing from the reopening debate: high schools. ‘We are a forgotten group’: “Chicago has made improving its high school experience a central goal, but for now, it has no high school reopening plan or target date. Officials have not broadly sought input from high school students and parents on how to make the most of what remains of this school year — and some families feel left out of the loop amid a contentious debate over reopening the district’s elementary schools,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Mila Koumpilova.
— DEEP DIVE INTO THE ‘HOUSING CLIFF’: How do you shelter in place when your home is unsafe or your landlord locks you out? City Bureau spoke with dozens of renters who lost jobs because of the pandemic and have been forced to endure unsafe living conditions or pushed out of their homes by illegal lockouts and threats of violence. With the vaccine on the horizon, eviction bans (which had reduced evictions by 77 percent last year) will most likely be lifted this year and an already-dire situation is about to get worse.
… First-hand accounts of people who’ve felt the brunt of the pandemic’s economic impact; how undocumented immigrants are coping without access to federal funds; proposed solutions for the housing crisis; resources for renters; and an explainer of the eviction bans, and when they do and don’t apply to you.
— Harris faces uphill battle as Lightfoot’s new City Council floor leader: “It’s my job to keep everybody in the room talking to each other. That’s as much as I’m gonna be able to do. To move the conversations forward on both sides,” Ald. Michelle Harris told the Sun-Times Wednesday. By Fran Spielman.
— Pharmacies in Latino areas hit hard by Covid should give vaccines to locals over those driving in from suburbs, Ald. Maldonado says: “The Puerto Rican Agenda on Wednesday put forward a four-point vaccination and education model it hopes the city will follow to improve the vaccination rollout in Latino communities,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos and Mari Devereaux.
— Wind chill of minus 30 possible this weekend in worst cold snap in 2 years: “The deepest freeze is expected to hit Saturday night,” by the Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’ wins Golden Globe nominations: Aaron Sorkin’s film on the countercultural clash and subsequent trial following the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago earned five nominations, by the AP.
… ‘Ma Rainey’ receives nominations for NAACP Image Awards: The film delves into the story of blues singer Ma Rainey, who joins her band during a turbulent recording session at a Chicago music studio in 1927. The late Chadwick Boseman stars.
— 15-year-old is 5th to die after Chicago-to-Evanston shooting spree, reports Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
— Underwood files motion to dismiss Oberweis’ contest of Nov. 3 election results: “Mr. Oberweis’ notice of contest is replete with baseless allegations, suffers from a basic failure of arithmetic, fundamentally misunderstands Illinois Elections Law and demonstrates a dangerous disregard for the will of the voters,” Underwood’s spokesman said in a release Kane County Chronicle’s Brenda Schory reports.
— Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts reups as RNC finance chair; led Trump reelection fundraising drive: “The move suggests that Ricketts, a Wilmette resident, is not seriously considering a run for Illinois governor in 2022,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Madigan invisible, but his cash stash an eye-catcher: The former House speaker controls $13.4 million in his personal fund and millions more in the Democratic Party. “Altogether, that’s nearly $18 million. Anyone who controls that much money can be a big player in Illinois,” writes the News-Gazette’s Jim Dey.
ANNE CAPRARA, chief of staff to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, stars on the latest “Staffer” podcast, which features congressional staffers past and present sharing their stories of working on the Hill. She shares her opinion on Washington and how government functions. She also talks about growing up Republican and then becoming a Democrat while in college.
— Some Illinois school districts are pressing ahead with reopening despite slow vaccine rollout: “In Chicago, where a reopening debate has captured national interest, the union has argued that schools shouldn’t reopen until vaccinations are widespread. But vaccinations haven’t appeared to be a wedge issue in other Illinois districts trying to reopen schools. Some are too worried about the slow rollout or supply issues complicating their timeline,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.
— Newly formed Illinois Senate committee prioritizes mental health amid pandemic: “Although it’s always been important, because mental health and physical health are one in the same in my opinion, now because of COVID it’s become even more essential that we really address these problems head on,” said Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview. Capitol News’ Grace Barbic reports.
— Sangamon County reserved Covid vaccine slots for 85 and older, others got appointments anyway: “The Sangamon County Department of Public Health announced last week it would prioritize new appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations at its drive-thru clinic to those 85 and older, and their 65-or-older caregivers. But some of the more than 6,000 people who scheduled for slots Feb. 1 through March 15 did not actually meet that criteria, the health department noted in a document provided Tuesday,” writes NPR Illinois’ Mary Hansen.
— Republican state lawmakers call for citizen-led referendums and recalls: “Republican state lawmakers — who are in the super-minority in the state legislature —introduced a package of election-focused bills aimed at making it easier for citizens to be involved in revising the state’s constitution, repealing legislation, and removing public officials from office,” by NPR Illinois’ Derek Cantú.
FORMER STATE SEN. SAM McCANN INDICTED for putting campaign money to personal use: “The indictment alleges McCann even purchased a recreational trailer and mobile home with campaign money — and then used an online account to rent it to himself,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Andrew Sullender.
— Could pot head downtown? One Chicago alderman is pushing for it: “[Brendan] Reilly introduced the ordinance to the License Committee last week. But his request is technically a zoning matter, as the portion of the municipal code he is attempting to amend is the zoning code. Zoning Chair Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, told WBEZ that his staff alerted Reilly to the mistake and said it’s likely the ordinance will have to be referred to his committee. This could delay any action on the ordinance by at least a month,” writes WBEZ’s Claudia Morell.
— More on Durbin taking gavel of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, by Tribune’s Rick Pearson
— Rep. Darin LaHood (IL-18) will serve on the House Ways and Means Subcommittees on Trade and Select Revenue Measures for the 117th Congress. This will be his second full term serving on the House Ways and Means Committee.
— Hawley, the only senator to oppose every one of Biden’s Cabinet nominees so far, paves 2024 path, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputto and Burgess Everett
— In Biden’s White House, surprise visits with staff replace late-night tweets, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— Sangamon County Republican Central Committee chair dies from Covid-19: “Sangamon County Republican Central Committee Chairman (SCRCC) Rosemarie Long has died. SCRCC officials told Newschannel 20 and FOX Illinois that Long passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 3, from COVID-19,” via WICS/WRSP.
— Rennie Davis, ‘Chicago Seven’ activist, is dead at 80: “A longtime peace activist, Davis was national director of the community organizing program for the anti-war Students for a Democratic Society and was a protest coordinator for the Chicago convention,” by AP’s James Anderson.
One Illinois has folded. The non-profit online news outlet founded with the goal of focusing on issues related to race, class and geography was founded by former Ald. Ameya Pawar and written and edited primarily by Ted Cox. “There’s a place in the media for an outlet that tells the engaging stories of Illinoisans to their fellow Illinoisans across the state. But it’s not here and now,” they wrote in a note to readers. “You don’t need to tell us the 21st century is a tough environment in which to grow this sort of news operation; then the pandemic came along, which made it harder still if not near impossible. . . . Maybe one day this website will revive, but for now it’s time to sign off.”
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Aaron Lowe, a legislative aide on the House speaker’s staff, for correctly answering that James Zagel was the federal judge who at different times was director of the Department of Revenue and Illinois State Police and played a Chicago judge in the 1989 movie, “Music Box,” and a physician the 1991 movie, “Homicide.”
TODAY’s QUESTION: What U.S. Senator from Illinois was also elected to serve the U.S. Senate in two other states? Email to [email protected].
Oak Park Library Board President Matt Fruth, Corporate Cleaning window-washing company CEO Neal Zucker, and Adelstein Liston Media’s Ann Liston.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
February 4, 2021 at 07:32AM