MADIGAN MATTERS — NEW CENSURE for KINZINGER — SCATHING REPORT on POLICE — GRIFFIN GRILLED

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MADIGAN MATTERS — NEW CENSURE for KINZINGER — SCATHING REPORT on POLICE — GRIFFIN GRILLED

TGIF, Illinois. It’s finally time to dig out my car, folks. Wish me luck and happy weekend!

Michael Madigan resigned from the House seat he’s held for 50 years on Thursday, saying in a lengthy announcement he’s “at peace” with his decision “and proud of the many contributions” he’s made over political career.

The former House speaker also acknowledged the “vicious attacks by people who sought to diminish” his efforts to lift up “the working people of Illinois." It was a subtle reminder that Madigan doesn’t forget his enemies.

And he still wields power. Madigan remains head of the state Democratic Party, controls millions of dollars in various campaign funds, and is the top committeeman of the 13th Ward, which oversees his District 22 House seat.

A few hours after news of his resignation, Playbook received an email announcing that the 13th Ward Organization will meet Sunday morning to choose Madigan’s replacement.

“Potential candidates interested in presenting at the meeting should email a cover letter and resume to [email protected],” the email stated. The meeting is open to the public, but there will be no candidate forums via Zoom or otherwise.

The open House seat offers an opportunity for a Latino candidate to step up, given the Madigan’s 22nd District is heavily Hispanic. Of the five members on the panel, the former speaker has 56 percent of the weighted vote.

But so far, only one name has emerged. NBC/5 reporter Mary Ann Ahern tweeted that Moeen Zahdan wants the job.

If his name sounds familiar, you’re right. Zahdan is credited with leading the effort to intimidate supporters of aldermanic candidate David Krupa when he ran against Madigan ally Ald. Marty Quinn in 2019. The Tribune detailed that saga. Zahdan is also a 13th Ward superintendent and longtime political lieutenant of Madigan’s.

The committee will hear from Zahdan and any other candidates before making its decision Sunday.

Rep. Marie Newman, whose district includes much of the 22nd House District, criticized the appointment process for allowing an individual “to handpick his own successor.” It keeps residents out of the process and “discredits any sense of transparency,” she said in a statement.

RELATED

‘Who hasn’t heard of Mike Madigan?’: residents chime in on his resignation, by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson

Madigan allies pay respects to his career, by WCIA’s Mark Maxwell

Competing narratives about what Madigan’s true legacy really is, reports WBEZ’s Dave McKinney

It’s Act Two in Mike Madigan’s farewell drama, writes Sun-Times’ Mark Brown

Will County Republicans voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to censure Rep. Adam Kinzinger for his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

The 111 to 5 vote (and one abstention) for censure “is meant to remind the representative who he represents: the people who elected him, not his self-interests,” said Will County Republican Chairman George Pearson, adding that Kinzinger’s decision to start a PAC that “goes against other Republicans was a betrayal.” Pearson said his next task is to find a challenger for Kinzinger’s seat.

The rebuke comes a few days after the Iroquois County GOP in central Illinois voted to censure. LaSalle County’s Republican Central Committee voted to censure earlier this month. All three counties are among the 14 counties that make up Kinzinger’s 16th Congressional District.

Kinzinger issued a statement criticizing GOP leaders in Will County for not doing more to elect Republicans and calling the county GOP “inept.”

"Maybe if the Will County GOP spent the same amount of time and energy helping local Republicans as they do with petty censure votes to go after those that vote their conscience, they might actually win a few races,” Kinzinger said.

He said Will County has gone from a “staunchly conservative county where Republicans controlled the board and held countywide offices” to one that’s seen Democrats take control of county board seats. "The leaders of the Will County GOP have proven they are unable to assist Republican candidates in winning these especially important elections. As the last federal Republican official representing Will County, I have been saddened by this ineptitude.”

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

At Gage Park vaccination site at 9:45 a.m. for an update on Chicago’s Covid-19 vaccination distribution.

No official public events.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 72 additional deaths and 1,966 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 10,129 fatalities and 1,168,683 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Feb. 11 through 17 is 2.7 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.5 percent.

Thousands of Chicagoans receive vaccine at UIC arena as dentistry, nursing and medical students pitch in: “In 22 minutes, everything was full,” said Paul Gorski, senior director of clinical services, integration and operations at the University of Illinois Hospital. “We didn’t advertise it. It was all word-of-mouth. And we just watched the numbers climb in real time. ” Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney reports.

… Still, thousands of Chicago vaccination appointments were postponed after ‘really disruptive’ week of snow, by Tribune’s Alice Yin

— “REINCE PRIEBUS has been calling key GOP officials and operatives in Wisconsin the past week and signaling he’s seriously exploring a bid for governor of his home state in 2022,” according to a scoop in POLITICO’s national Playbook.

— PRITZKER BACKS BISS for mayor of Evanston. In a tweet, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said: “I’m proud to endorse @DanielBiss for Mayor of Evanston! Daniel has a bold progressive agenda for the city of Evanston, and I look forward to working alongside him to get big things done for Evanstonians.” Pritzker and Biss competed against each other for the Democratic gubernatorial primary back in 2018. Biss endorsed Pritzker in the General Election that year. Biss faces Lori Keenan in the Evanston mayor’s race. Keenan is a PR and marketing strategist and 22-year resident of Evanston. Election Day is Feb. 23 in Evanston and other suburban towns across the state.

SCATHING REPORT report says police showed ‘confusion and lack of coordination’ that endangered protesters last May: “Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s lengthy findings listed a litany of shortcomings and inconsistencies at the Chicago Police Department’s command level that manifested themselves in chaos on the street,” report Tribune’s Dan Hinkel, Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner.

Aldermen call for superintendent’s firing, hearings after inspector general blasts CPD response to riots: “Ald. Ray Lopez (19th) said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown is ‘of no value’ and should go. Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) wants hearings to get ‘straight answers’ from the mayor and police about failures identified in Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s new report,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main, Fran Spielman, and Sam Charles.

2 groups come together to criticize Lightfoot on police accountability: “The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, or CPAC, and the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, or GAPA, have been pushing their own, distinct versions of an oversight committee to be run by civilians, which is considered a key part of policing reform,” by Tribune’s Annie Sweenie and John Byrne.

Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson got secret deal from Bridgeport bank shut down for ‘massive fraud’: “He bought a summer home in Michigan with an unrecorded loan from Washington Federal Bank for Savings and now is under investigation for claiming deductions on his tax returns for interest authorities found he never paid,” sources tell the Sun-Times’ Tim Novak.

Man dies after snow-covered awning collapses in Pullman, in first Chicago roof cave-in fatality, by Tribune’s Jessica Villagomez

Ex-Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios pays $100k to settle ethics case: “[T]he six-figure settlement represents a discount for Berrios from the $168,000 in fines that the county’s Board of Ethics leveled against him three years ago for violations of rules intended to encourage honest government in the notoriously corrupt county,” reports WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

… In a separate statement, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, who defeated Berrios in 2018, said the settlement closes “an odious chapter of corruption” in Cook County politics. “It was the height of hubris for Berrios to use taxpayer funds to not only defend his political ends, but to also sue the county’s own Board of Ethics,” Kaegi said.

New House Speaker Chris Welch’s wife wants to become a Cook County judge: “ShawnTe Raines-Welch is among 246 lawyers going after 10 vacancies for associate judges, who are chosen by the circuit judges and get annual salaries of nearly $200,000, according to records obtained by WBEZ. Last month, other state representatives picked Chris Welch to replace longtime Speaker Michael Madigan,” writes WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

— GREG HARRIS, the state House majority leader, tweeted Thursday that he filed 77 appropriation bills that make up Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget, “and 25 more for the judicial and legislative branches and other constitutional officers. Next up: public hearings on each one to analyze all the details and begin to recommend changes.”

New proposed school requirement includes a reading list of anti-racism books: “The books range from fiction, non-fiction, to even children’s books. Those we spoke with say this could help foster more conversations outside of the classroom to better understand race… House Bill 0080 proposes that a list of books about racism be incorporated into curriculums in every public school,” reports WTVO’s Alexis Carpello.

Illinois sees bigger than expected drop in K-12 student enrollment this year: “The state said Thursday during a monthly board meeting that an estimated 35,822 students, or 1.9%, left public schools this year, exceeding a projected drop of about 20,000 students, or about 1.1%. Between 2015 and 2020, Illinois schools have seen enrollment drop an average of 1% per year, the board said. Many states have reported enrollment losses during the pandemic, even those that typically see a boost every year,” by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie.

Mary Flowers, deputy leader of the House, follows in footsteps of firsts: “During the past three and half decades, Rep. Mary Flowers — who in January became the longest-serving African American lawmaker in the Illinois General Assembly’s history — has fought to pass health care reform and advocate for groups marginalized by systemic racism. It’s a fighting spirit the 69-year-old lawmaker inherited from her mother, who worked in a factory and other odd jobs to provide for her seven children, and one that she honed while following in the footsteps of Black legislative leaders in Illinois who preceded her,” by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic and Sarah Mansur.

— ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL is featured in a digital ad presented by the Democratic Attorneys General Association to honor Black History Month. The mini-profile has Raoul talking about racial injustice. "During my campaign for AG, I was advised not to be as passionate as the other candidates… for fear to be perceived as an angry Black man,” he says in the video. "The reality is: there’s a reason to be angry." Powerful stuff.

Rep. Maurice West appointed to Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission: “A major priority of the General Assembly is to restore the trust between Illinois residents and their State government. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move in that direction,” he said via WIFR.

New Altamont superintendent — a former wrestler — released from contract: “Altamont Unit 10 will continue its search for a superintendent after ‘rather excessive’ community backlash to the hiring of a former professional wrestler and Jerry Springer guest caused him to withdraw. David Martin plans to remain in his current position as superintendent at the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville, Tenn. ‘I just felt it was important for the community not to be a distraction and do what’s right for them. That’s why I asked them to be released from the contract,’” he told Charles Mills of the Effingham Daily News.

GRIFFIN GRILLED: Members of Congress peppered Chicago billionaire and Citadel Securities CEO Ken Griffin with questions during Thursday’s GameStop hearing.

Griffin defended how brokerages make money but also allowed that his firm would follow any new regulations that called for companies to change how they operate.

Lawmakers, who also pressed Robinhood and Reddit executives about the GameStop trading controversy, expressed frustration about inequities built into the structure of the stock market, POLITICO’s Victoria Guida and Kellie Mejdrich report.

The hearing before the House Financial Services Committee had lawmakers each question the financial execs about GameStop’s share price rising astronomically after a short squeeze last month. Illinois Reps. Bill Foster, Chuy Garcia, and Sean Casten all spoke.

Casten used his time to address the death of a 20-year-old investor who thought he had lost $700,000 investing in Robinhood.

Throughout the hours-long hearing, lawmakers pressed for “yes” and “no” answers to their questions, but Griffin and the other executives said their answers required more nuance.

At one point, a frustrated Rep. Brad Sherman of California told Griffin, "You are doing a great job of wasting my time. If you’re going to filibuster you should run for the Senate."

REP. BOBBY RUSH calls on Chicago USPS postmaster to step down: “Rush’s demand comes at the conclusion of a months-long audit from the office of inspector general that focused on the four worst-performing post offices in the Congressman’s district; Auburn Park, Henry McGee, Ashburn and James E Worsham — all on the South Side,” reports WGN’s Jenna Barnes.

Rule change gives Duckworth more clout: Sen. Tammy Duckworth is now chairwoman of the Airland subcommittee, taking over for Sen. Angus King (I-Maine). The appointment came after a rule was made to ensure that more powerful Democrats on prime committees don’t also head a subcommittee until more junior members are allowed the chance. Duckworth is a former Army helicopter pilot who was wounded in Iraq, via the Hill.

Tensions start to emerge in Biden’s dance with governors, by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn, Rachel Roubein and Christopher Cadelago

Biden privately tells Govs: Minimum wage hike likely isn’t happening, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Christopher Cadelago

NASA’s rover is on Mars. What happens next is up to Washington, by POLITICO’s Jacqueline Feldscher

MAGA crashes into moderates in train-wreck Senate race, by POLITICO’s Holly Otterbein

Top Texas Republicans on the ropes after tone-deaf storm response, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo

The Christian prophets who say Trump is coming again, by Julia Duin for POLITICO

— SYLVIA I. GARCIA has been named director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate. Garcia replaces Erin Guthrie, who is stepping down later this month for a top strategy role at Dell Technologies. Garcia was previously a principal consultant at WSP, USA where she led a national practice area and served as an adviser for community investments. Before that, she was COO and chief of staff at the Chicago Transit Authority. “Her professional background and knowledge across sectors will be a valuable asset to Illinois’ communities and working families as we build a strong economy that works for everyone,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in announcing Garcia’s appointment.

— Joel K. Johnson, a Chicago-based behavioral health care leader, has been named president and CEO of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, effective March 1. Johnson will be the first African American to lead the organization. He will succeed Pam Rodriguez, who is retiring after a nearly 40-year career with TASC, including serving as CEO since 2009. Johnson has served most recently as executive VP of Friend Health and president of the Chicago-based Human Resources Development Institute, a subsidiary of FH.

— Justin Heath has been named a Chicago Public Schools’ Local School Council relations specialist. He previously was policy director for Ald. Gilbert Villegas and was a senior adviser on the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development.

— Lara Sisselman is VP of comms at the C-Strategies strategic communications and public affairs after working two years as comms director for Think Big Illinois and the Vote Yes for Fairness Campaign. Sisselman previously was spokesperson for Friends of Sherrod Brown in Ohio, press secretary for the Virginia AG and deputy press secretary for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

Democratic lawyer-lobbyist Lacy M. Johnson and Indiana Republican lawyer John Hammond III have joined Taft Law to launch a Washington, D.C., public affairs unit in coordination with Taft’s Chicago office chairs — political insider Cezar “Cid” Froelich and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin. Johnson was most recently part of the Biden-Harris transition team and is a confidant of House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Hammond is a member of the Republican National Committee.

Florence Jones-Smith, known for her hats, fine baking and social media following, dead at 94: “She developed her online following in her 80s and 90s after her son, hairdresser Leigh Jones, started posting photos of her elegant Sunday church ensembles,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.

— Feb. 24: Sen. Dick Durbin headlines a virtual fundraising reception for newly appointed state Sen. Mike Simmons, along with state Senate President Don Harmon and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. Joining them will be Rep. Robin Kelly, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, House Majority Leader Greg Harris, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, attorney and high school pal Drew Beres and numerous other Democratic leaders.

— March 4: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses criminal justice reform during a virtual series of programs featuring U.S. Black mayors talking about major issues of the day. On March 10, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will discuss the wealth gap. And on March 16, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will talk about diversity and inclusion. The free series is presented by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and the Department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in conjunction with the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jimm Dispensa, a data analyst and founder of the Daily Line, and Mark Swartz, executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, for correctly answering that there are two portraits of Gov. Richard Oglesby in the state capitol.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Long before he became mayor, Anton Cermak was in a gang. What was its name? Email to [email protected].

Today: U.S. District Court Judge Gary Scott Feinerman, sportscaster and restaurateur Lou Canellis, and former Rep. Lauren Underwood adviser Alejandro Renteria, who’s now policy adviser for Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen.

Saturday: Erika Harold, lawyer and former GOP attorney general candidate, and WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling.

Sunday: state Rep. Theresa Mah, state Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr., Ald. David Moore, Highland Park Council Member Daniel Kaufman, former Congressman John Shimkus, former Congressman Phil Hare, former Ald. Bill Beavers, former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, former state Rep. Laurel Prussing (who also was mayor of Urbana), Tribune reporter Ray Long, and PR pro Lara Shipp Shiffman.

-30-

via POLITICO

February 19, 2021 at 07:39AM

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