DEM PARTY CHIEF INTRIGUE — TRUMP v. KINZINGER — ENDING ‘PRISON GERRYMANDERING’

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DEM PARTY CHIEF INTRIGUE — TRUMP v. KINZINGER — ENDING ‘PRISON GERRYMANDERING’

Wow, it’s March already, Illinois. Kids stole the show at the Covid Golden Globes. Speeches shined, too: Sacha Baron Cohen’s hat tip to Rudy Giuliani, Jane Fonda addressing diversity, and Taylor Simone Ledward, the widow of Chadwick Boseman, on who he would thank.

Members of the Illinois Democratic Central Committee will meet virtually Wednesday to elect their new chairman.

The contest has narrowed to two candidates after state Sen. Cristina Castro dropped out of the race over the weekend. She and Congressman Chuy Garcia endorsed Rep. Robin Kelly for the position.

Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris, who’s backed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, remains the frontrunner based on the committee members who have gone public with who they plan to endorse. Political consultant Frank Calabrese pulled together a list of who’s backing whom.

The irony isn’t lost on political watchers that outgoing party leader Michael Madigan and Pritzker are both backing Harris. Madigan may like Harris because she represents an old-school ward. The late John Stroger, who headed the Cook County Board, was also the 8th Ward committeeman. Pritzker, on the other hand, is said to like Harris because she’s a nose-to-the-grindstone worker who wins elections.

Kelly is backed by Sen. Dick Durbin and his longtime downstate aide, Bill Houlihan, who is expected to work behind the scenes for Kelly should she win the position.

As of this morning, Harris has the edge with 44 percent of the vote to Kelly’s 23 percent. The winner must secure more than 50 percent. They would hold the position until after the 2022 primary when an election occurs for a full-term position.

There are 13 elected committee members (out of 36) who still haven’t announced how they’ll vote, leaving the race up in the air. A big question mark is how Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi votes. He has the largest weighted vote of those who haven’t committed.

The Democratic Party has until the end of the month to make a decision, but all of the jockeying to support a candidate has created an appearance of disunity. So party leaders are moving quickly knowing that they’ll all be on the same page with whoever wins the spot.

Interim party Chairman Karen Yarbrough called Wednesday’s virtual meeting. She also set the agenda, which includes honoring Madigan for his years of service. Committee members will then hear from candidates before taking a vote. The meeting will be live-streamed via the Illinois Democratic Party website.

Donald Trump name-checked Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla. It was the former president’s first public appearance since exiting the White House in January.

Trump slammed Kinzinger and the other Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him as “grandstanders” and RINOS, declaring, “Get rid of them all.”

Kinzinger wasn’t impressed. In a virtual press conference after Trump’s speech, the Republican from Illinois’ 16th Congressional District said the former president offered a “recycled” campaign speech that could have been given in October. There were “no new ideas” and what he did discuss was “peppered with dishonesty.”

As for being a RINO — a Republican in name only — Kinzinger said it’s Trump who fits that bill. “He just became a Republican in the last few years, and there’s a lot he said I don’t think is anything reflective of Republicanism.”

Kinzinger used Trump’s speech as a jumping off point to discuss his “Country First” political action committee and movement formed to steer the Republican Party away from Trump and toward more traditional conservative principles.

“Fear is rising,” Kinzinger said on the PAC’s new video. “Fear of others, fear of ideas, fear of the economy, fear of our differences. …Yet rather than dispel the fear, most of our leaders stoke it. They have amplified fear for their own selfish gain.”

Kinzinger also addressed politics at home, saying he wasn’t losing sleep over Catalina Lauf or others looking to challenge him in a primary. “They have no interest in representing the people they live with. They’re more interested in representing the interests of a man.”

Earlier in the day, Kinzinger appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” hammering on the same theme, adding there needs to be more “truth-telling” in the country.

RELATED

Trump presses false claim of a ‘rigged’ election and hints he could run in 2024, reports POLITICO’s David Siders

Sen. Bill Cassidy warns it’s dangerous for GOP to ‘idolize’ Trump, by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey

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

At Hawthorne Scholastic Academy at 8:45 a.m. for CPS’ return to in-person learning.

At the Department of Juvenile Justice Barber College and Cosmetology virtual graduation at 10:10 a.m.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 22 new deaths and 1,249 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 20,516 fatalities and 1,186,696 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Feb. 21 through 27 is 2.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.0 percent.

Single-dose Covid vaccine recommended by CDC advisory panel: “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the first single-dose shot authorized in the U.S.,” by POLITICO’s Brianna Ehley.

Some GOP state lawmakers help spread Covid-19 misinformation: “In some cases, the misstatements have faced swift backlash, even getting censored online. That’s raised tough questions about how aggressively to combat potentially dangerous misinformation from elected officials or during legislative hearings while protecting free speech and people’s access to government,” via the AP.

With the shot troops: Inside an unusual National Guard deployment:Roughly a month into the mission, more than 1,000 service members are helping inoculate Illinoisans against Covid-19, with authorization to call up another thousand,” reports Crain’s A.D. Quig.

A small town in denial comes face to face with the virus: “Du Quoin’s experience with Covid-19 this past fall was typical of hundreds of small towns across the United States. Alarm when the pandemic began gave way to a mixture of complacency, denial and resistance to public health measures as the disease seemed for so long to be passing rural America by.But when it became real, spreading across the Midwest, filling hospitals to capacity, many nursing homes found that good infection control on paper was no match for an insidiously contagious virus,” by the Washington Post’s Will Englund.

A piece of the criminal justice reform legislation that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last week ensures that people in prison are counted as residents of their home addresses and not where they’re incarcerated. It’s a move that will likely trigger a significant shift in how legislative districts are drawn in the state.

“It’s been such an injustice. A prison is not a home,” said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, who introduced the legislation three different times over the years before it became law. Illinois is the 10th state to end so-called prison gerrymandering.

The Census Bureau has for years counted incarcerated people in Illinois and most other states as residents of the prisons where they are housed. Doing so can mean that areas where prisons are located — often rural counties — can count prison occupants toward their population figures and receive the proportionate federal funding. But Illinois’ new law applies only to redistricting and won’t affect federal or state funding distributions.

Still, activists who support the measure say it falls short for delaying implementation until 2030, instead of the 2020 census figures.

“The state’s delay means another decade of using redistricting data that counts incarcerated people in the wrong place,” Aleks Kajstura, legal director for the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative, said in a statement. While Illinois waits another six months for census redistricting data, “it could be using that time to count people at home.”

The residency issue came to the surface in Illinois during the height of the pandemic, Ford told Playbook. When inmates were hospitalized for Covid-19, some communities complained that they were “taking hospital beds for tax-paying residents.”

The irony, Ford said, is that those same communities have been happy to count inmates as residents in order to benefit from the federal funding that comes with it.

RELATED

Census data snafu upends 2022 elections: “The six-month delay will have a downstream effect that will likely hold up candidate filing deadlines and primaries around the country. Illinois, Texas and North Carolina, which are likely to have March primaries and late 2021 candidate-filing deadlines, are in the biggest squeeze,” by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro and Ally Mutnick.

— BACK TO SCHOOL! CPS opens its schools today to the most students since last March. Is it ready? “Some principals say schools lack staff to resume in-person classes safely,” reports Tribune’s Hannah Leone.

For the foreseeable future, school still looks nearly unrecognizable: “The vast majority of the 421 elementary and middle schools welcoming students back over the next week — more than 92 percent — will be less than half full, and 42 percent will be less than a quarter full,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.

White House confirms Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch to stay for now: “In very limited exceptions, including the Northern District of Illinois, the administration has opted not to seek new candidates for U.S. Attorney positions at this time,” a White House spokesman said in a statement Sunday when the Tribune asked about the future of U.S. Attorney John Lausch. Jason Meisner reports.

Aldermen approve Lightfoot’s plan for Covid relief: “Aldermen voted 37-10 on Friday to approve Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to spend federal Covid-19 relief funds, after a 48-hour delay prompted by fierce criticism of her decision to use $281.5 million in Covid-19 federal relief funds to cover the cost of salaries and benefits for Chicago Police Department officers,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

Homeless ‘L’ riders get Night Ministry care: “Chicago’s last defense for the destitute runs two outreach centers in CTA ‘L’ terminals,” by Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg.

Rising crime and social upheaval prompt more Black Chicagoans to seek firearms for protection:A gun industry survey taken in 2020 — a record year for sales — noted that Black customers accounted for the largest increase of any racial group. A Northwestern University study found that while white people bought more firearms overall last year, African Americans made up a disproportionate number of first-time gun buyers,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.

St. Sabina withholding $100K in monthly assessments until archdiocese closes Pfleger abuse probe: “Father Michael Pfleger was removed from the church as the Archdiocese of Chicago investigates claims he sexually abused two brothers over four decades ago,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.

Church officials OK’d moving another priest accused of abuse to Hyde Park friary, records show: “A 2018 case involving St. John Stone Friary — which is near a Catholic school — caused a stir. But it wasn’t the first time a priest facing child sex-abuse allegations was moved there, once-secret records show,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.

Banks snub aldermen on equitable mortgage lending: “Chicago city council members who wanted to question banks on their weak lending records in Chicago’s Black and Latino neighborhoods were disappointed Friday when banks skipped out on a hearing called by the Housing and Real Estate Committee. At least some aldermen suggested the city might need a “responsible lending ordinance” — or perhaps even its own public bank — to keep financial institutions in line,” reports WBEZ’s Linda Lutton.

Teens say they want their voices heard in back-to-school plans: “Teens tell WBEZ they want the district to prioritize safety, emotional support and the quality of instruction — whether students learn in-person or online,” by Adriana Cardona-Maguigad.

U. of C. Lab School parents demand return to in-person learning: “They’re concerned about children’s mental health, a reduction in education quality and lack of social development due to isolation. And the parents say they’re frustrated that the school has rolled out in-person and hybrid learning plans, only to backtrack without clear reasons,” reports Tribune’s Paige Fry.

New 6 mph speeding ticket rules start today, and they’re looking lucrative for city, writes Tribune City Hall Reporter John Byrne.

‘Culturally responsive teaching’ or ‘woke indoctrination’? “The idea of cultural competency has been embraced in education circles for years. But Illinois’ new rules — which cite potential teacher biases like racism, homophobia, unearned privilege and Eurocentrism — have become another flashpoint in an increasingly polarized debate over public education and the broader culture wars. Critics claim such movements suppress conservative or religious-based viewpoints,” by Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney, Karen Ann Cullotta and Robert McCoppin.

Survey: Teacher shortages worsening across Illinois: “The severity of shortages varied by region. In west central Illinois, for example, which includes Sangamon County, 89 percent of the districts responding to the survey reported having a teacher shortage problem, compared to only 55 percent of the districts in northeast Illinois,” reports Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.

— FROM SLATE: What’s fact and what’s fiction in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’: “How much of the movie about Fred Hampton and the FBI informant who betrayed him is true?” Matthew Dessem reports.

‘Ebony’ documentary: “Lisa Cortés, co-director of Amazon’s voter suppression documentary ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy,’ is set to direct ‘The Empire of Ebony,’ a documentary that explores the rise and impact of the first black media empire Ebony magazine and its sister publication, Jet,” reports Deadline.

Biden beats Trump on transparency. But he’s playing catch up to Obama, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar

Biden’s bubble risk: A reckoning in markets as the economy recovers, by POLITICO’s Ben White

Cuomo says he ‘teased’ staff, agrees to independent inquiry, by POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney

When the left attacked the Capitol: Fifty years ago, extremists bombed the seat of American democracy to end a war and start a revolution. It did neither, but it may have helped bring down a president. Rennie Davis, a protester in Chicago, “had promised to remain strictly nonviolent while organizing a ‘Spring Offensive’ and was reportedly distressed about the Capitol Hill bombings,” writes Lawrence Roberts for POLITICO.

Syd Terry has been named chief of staff and Kate Durkin has been tapped legislative director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Terry and Durkin serve on her Schakowsky’s team and are being promoted from their roles as legislative director and legislative counsel, respectively.

Biden considers elevating Mayor Pete’s spokesperson: Chris Meagher, a former spokesman for Toni Preckwinkle and then Pete Buttigieg, “is being considered to replace T.J. Ducklo on the White House press team,” reports POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman.

Longtime Metropolitan Water Rec District President Terrence O’Brien dead at 64:A Chicago native, O’Brien dedicated a third of his life to working on improving the region’s water environment, serving on the board of commissioners 24 years, including 16 as president…He also ran for Cook County Board president,” write Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek and Madeline Kenney.

Comedian, ‘Windy City Live’ contributor Erica Watson dies from Covid-19, family says, via ABC/7

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Kristopher Anderson, director of government affairs for the Chicago Association of Realtors, for correctly answering that Phyllis Schlafly’s last run for office was in 1970 against Democratic Rep. George E. Shipley, who received 91,158 votes (53.97 percent) to Schlafly’s 77,762 (46.04 percent). Schlafly never sought public office again.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who ran for mayor of Chicago as a Democrat and as a Republican? Email to [email protected].

Chicago Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs Manuel Perez, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, former Rep. Randy Hultgren, former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, Illinois Department of Agriculture chief of staff Jeremy Flynn, real-estate pro Meredith Meserow, University of Chicago Alumni Relations AVP Sarah Nolan, vPeer CEO and former state rep candidate Dilara Sayeed, public policy consultant Laura Tucker, chef Art Smith, and Hyde Park Herald publisher Randy Weissman.

-30-

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via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq

March 1, 2021 at 07:38AM

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