With help from Maria Carrasco.
Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. A year ago it was Super Tuesday and we were talking about Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg in a whole different light.
A law firm that represents the Democratic National Committee and political candidates across the country, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, issued a memo Monday casting doubt on Rep. Robin Kelly’s ability to chair the Illinois Democratic Party while also serving in Congress.
Perkins Coie partner Brian Svoboda says Kelly “would need to resign from federal office” or curtail her duties as a party chair so she “does not establish, finance, maintain or control” of party funds “for purposes of federal campaign finance law,” according to a memo he sent to acting party Chair Karen Yarbrough.
Kelly is in a tight race with Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris for the seat that’s been vacated by longtime party leader Michael Madigan.
Rep. Chuy Garcia called the attorney’s memo an attempt “to delegitimize” Kelly. In a statement released Monday night, he call on party leaders to focus on “modernizing its finance operation, developing an army of small-dollar donors, and engaging and activating a rapidly changing electorate.”
Kelly offered her own legal opinion from Illinois election attorney Michael Dorf. “There is no legal obstacle” to Kelly serving as party chair, Dorf wrote, while acknowledging that the Federal Election Commission may have to clarify some duties about raising or spending “soft” money if she became party chair.
Dorf points to Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams as an example. She “served as chair of the Georgia Democratic Party as a federal candidate and continues to serve now as a federal elected official.”
So far, Harris has 44 percent of the vote from 15 committee members; and Kelly has 29 percent with 10 supporters. Because 36 votes are weighted according to each congressional district, some votes count more than others. So the 11 remaining committee members could sway the election either way.
State Rep. Al Riley and Sheila Stocks Smith, a recently appointed member of the Democratic State Central Committee from the 18th Congressional District, said Monday evening that they will back Kelly.
It’s unusual that Illinois Democrats are haggling like this. In many states and even for the national Democratic Party, the person at the top of the ticket gets to choose who leads the party operations. President Joe Biden, for example, gave the nod for Jaime Harrison to lead the Democratic National Committee.
With that in mind, Pritzker would be calling the shots on party leadership ahead of the 2022 election where he and Sen. Tammy Duckworth will be the Democrats’ marquee candidates. Duckworth also backs Harris.
Some Democrats, however, have a nagging concern about Pritzker’s control over the party’s checkbook. The billionaire governor’s deep pockets would allow him to dictate which races get more attention than others.
Yes, but isn’t that the case already?
Madigan leaves, Lausch stays and the battle is on for party boss, by Derrick Blakley for Center for Illinois Politics
Illinois House Democrats, including Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, signed onto a resolution Monday that condemns Republican state Rep. Chris Miller’s attendance at a Jan. 6 rally, saying he helped incite the insurrection by showcasing an anti-government decal on the pick-up truck he drove to the rally.
Miller has made national headlines over the incident, in part because his wife is Congresswoman Mary Miller.
State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, called Miller’s actions “garbage and disqualifying” for a member of the Illinois House, reports the Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.
Miller, in turn, says the attention to him is a “fake story,” echoing former President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the media.
In a statement, the cattle farmer from Oakland in southern Illinois, said he knew little of the group advertised on the decal. “My son received the sticker that was on my truck from a family friend who said that it represented patriotism and love of country… I have since removed the sticker.”
Still, Kristina Zahorik, a Democratic Central Committee member and head of the county chairs, submitted a request to the state Office of the Legislative Inspector General calling for an investigation into Miller’s actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
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No official public events.
At Cathedral of Grace in Aurora at 8:15 a.m. to tour a community vaccination site.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 20 additional deaths and 1,143 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 20,536 fatalities and 1,187,839 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Feb. 22 through 28 is 2.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.9 percent.
— SALIVA SUCCESS: U. of I. wins FDA approval for saliva test: Gov. J.B. Pritzker hailed the test as ‘groundbreaking work” and said he is “wasting no time in deploying this technology throughout the state.” Tribune’s Alyssa Cherney reports.
— Johnson & Johnson shot to boost Illinois and Chicago vaccine supply by about 50%: “We anticipate that it will be here, if not today, tomorrow,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday. “It gives us obviously another tool to use to get people vaccinated.” Of the 105,400 doses coming to Illinois from Johnson & Johnson, 22,300 doses will go directly to Chicago, reports WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.
— Biden’s team muddling the message about vaccine availability: “The mixed messages risk sowing confusion across the country as the nation enters the second year of the pandemic, testing the administration’s ability to overcome still-significant pockets of vaccine skepticism and make good on its pledge of large-scale immunization within Biden’s first 100 days in office,” by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn.
— Workers at firm owned by Trump donors, the Uihleins, exposed to higher Covid rates: “Employees at Uline, owned by billionaires Dick and Liz Uihlein, have filed numerous safety complaints,” according to a Guardian investigation.
— Excitement, tears and masks as CPS students head back to school for 1st time during pandemic: “Tens of thousands of students in kindergarten through fifth grade returned to CPS classrooms Monday,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito and Nader Issa.… Data: How many students are returning to your Chicago school?: “Chalkbeat Chicago analysis of the latest enrollment data from the January and March reopening waves shows that children at majority Black and majority Latino campuses tended to select in-person learning at rates around the 29 percent district average. Students at majority white campuses were much more likely, at 63 percent, to say they planned to return,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee and Cassie Walker Burke.
… Chicago expects 55,000 more students in its biggest reopening test yet: “Almost 61,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade as well as some high school special education students are expected in school buildings by the end of next week, when the district will bring back the middle grades,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Mila Koumpilova and Yana Kunichoff.
— Every CPS student to get $450 for food through federal program that will benefit 1 million Illinois children: “Every Chicago Public Schools student is eligible and will automatically receive the benefits in the mail. Hundreds of thousands of students in other districts will qualify as well,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Two big annual trade shows canceled — again — at McCormick Place: “Combined, the two events were estimated to attract 126,000 exhibitors and attendees, and generate a regional economic impact of almost $210 million, said Cynthia McCafferty, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the agency that owns McCormick Place and Navy Pier,” via Tribune.
— Chicago mail delays creating ‘unbearable’ burden for residents: “It’s been really unbearable,” said Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward). “It’s been, even pre-Covid, days and even weeks of just not getting mail. And then getting a day with a huge pile of all the mail. Sometimes people are waiting for months.” WTTW’s Brandis Friedman and Paul Caine report.
— Veteran police officer found shot to death in apparent suicide at North Side police station: “Officer James Daly had been a Chicago cop since October 1999 and was assigned to the Town Hall patrol district, covering communities including Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Uptown. Sources said Daly, who worked the overnight shift, had been expected to retire this week,” report Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Gregory Pratt.
— Restaurants say delivery has been both a blessing and a curse during the pandemic. What happens as eateries reopen? Tribune’s Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz reports
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Chicago Beyond, an impact investor founded by former Chicago Public Schools principal Liz Dozier, is launching Justice Initiatives. The program raises awareness about how children are affected by their parents’ incarceration and addresses preventative and early intervention efforts. The organization has hired Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia as its managing director. Jones Tapia is the former warden of Cook County Jail and a clinical psychologist. She’s been working in a residency program with Chicago Beyond since 2018 and previously led a partnership with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to reduce the stigma and trauma that surrounds young people whose parents are incarcerated.
— Duchossois, 99, has fond memories, hope for what’s next at Arlington Park: “The man synonymous with Arlington Park poured millions into the track he bought in 1983, and millions more into a glorious rebuild after a devastating fire in 1985, before merging his creation with Churchill Downs in 2000. But he has no regrets that the 326 acres, including the 94-year-old track, are for sale and destined to be developed into something else,” by Daily Herald’s Burt Constable.
…What Arlington trustee candidates think should replace Arlington Park, via Daily Herald
— ‘Soul of a Nation’ program highlights Evanston’s racial reparations plan: “ABC News’ Byron Pitts visited the city in late January to interview Black family members; Evanston Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, who led the effort for the reparations commitment; and Morris “Dino” Robinson Jr., the Shorefront Legacy Center founder who researched Evanston’s history of discrimination and segregation….Actor Sterling K. Brown guest hosts tonight’s hourlong episode,” by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.
— House Transportation panel advances bills on IDOT transparency, funding for pedestrian safety: “The first bill would make spending by the Illinois Department of Transportation more transparent and accessible to the public….The second bill considered and passed by the committee, House Bill 270, would remove the burden of funding bike lanes and sidewalks tied to IDOT projects from municipalities and place them solely on the state,” by Capitol News’ Raymon Troncoso.
— Bill calls for rapid on-site visit policy after deadly outbreak at LaSalle Veterans’ Home: “Republican Sen. Sue Rezin, of Morris, said state officials with IDPH and IDVA were too slow to react at LaSalle because they did not conduct an on-site visit there until 12 days after the outbreak was reported on Nov. 1. By Nov. 7, test results showed 22 residents and seven staff were positive. By Nov. 8, 59 residents and 64 staff tested positive for Covid-19. The facility reported seven resident deaths on Nov. 11,” reports Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— Exelon strategy chief leaving company: “William Von Hoene, a 19-year Exelon veteran and architect of much of the company’s lobbying success in statehouses including Illinois, will depart at the end of the month. He’s battling health issues,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— Opinion: House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch faces a long list of needed reforms: “If he wants to make history of his own, in the sunlight, in several fewer decades, he can embrace a series of good government reforms Illinois desperately needs and Madigan stubbornly resisted,” writes former reporter Andy Shaw, who also led the Better Government Association.
CENSURING KINZINGER: The Chicago GOP — yes, there is an organization even in Democratic-run Chicago — passed a resolution to censure Rep. Adam Kinzinger for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump. None of the GOP committeepersons on the Zoom meeting supported Kinzinger’s position on Trump, according to a spokesman, though not everyone wanted to go so far as to censure. The vote was 6,103 weighted votes (12 wards) in favor of censure to 5,806 (8 wards) opposed. And 5.016 (14 wards) abstained or were absent. There are vacant seats in the 16 other wards.
Fred Floreth, who represented the 13th Congressional District on the Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee, has stepped down. The party is now taking applications to replace him.
— DURBIN, the new Judiciary chair, warns Republicans on blocking judges: “The No. 2 Senate Democrat discussed how he would push through President Biden’s judicial nominees, tackle immigration and address domestic terrorism,” via the New York Times.
— DUCKWORTH urges Biden admin to release intel on Russian bounties: “The senator pointed to public reports showing possible evidence that [Russian military intelligence service] bounty offers had been made,” by POLITICO’s Lara Seligman.
— The state of the Bernie-Biden relationship remains strong, by POLITICO’s Laura Barron-Lopez
— Senate set to take up $1.9T Covid aid bill as soon as Wednesday, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine
… Opinion: Don’t call it a ‘bailout.’ States urgently need federal relief, write Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo
— GOP may hold keys to Democrats’ long-sought minimum wage hike, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine
— Opinion: Cuomo sexual harassment allegations got ickier when he threw the word ‘mentor’ in the mix, writes Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens
— It’s official: Chris Meagher joins White House press office: The former spokesman for several prominent Democrats — including Toni Preckwinkle — has been hired to be deputy White House press secretary, reports the Washington Post.
— Douglas Quivey named acting U.S. attorney for Central District of Illinois: “Quivey, 55, has served as first assistant U.S. attorney for the district since January 2019… He replaces John Milhiser, who resigned Feb. 11,” via the State Journal-Register.
— Rachel Kingery will serve as comms director in Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s D.C. office. Kingery most recently served as digital director to Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin and has served as a Congressional staffer since 2016.
— Brad Goodman is now VP at Hawthorne Strategy Group. He previously did work for Cor Strategies and Goodman Political, LLC.
— Fox News ratings crash: Trailing CNN and MSNBC for the first time since 2000, reports Daily Wire
— Ebony magazine relaunched its online edition Monday. It’s now based in Atlanta.
Vietnam vet’s fight for disability benefits has lessons for others who serve: Tom Drilias, who started ChicagoFest and did Taste of Chicago, applied for VA disability for Crohn’s disease. He suffered symptoms of this illness while in Vietnam and was hospitalized there, but the VA said the disease had not continued after that. So the benefit was denied,” writes Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and Chicago Teachers Union organizer James Cavallero for correctly answering that Ben Adamowski ran for mayor of Chicago as a Democrat and as a Republican; and to Bill Houlihan, for noting that Lawrence “Lar” Daley also ran as a D and an R for mayor.
Note to the many of you who answered Ed Vrdolyak. Yes, he ran twice for mayor but it was under the “Solidarity Party” the first time and as a Republican the second.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who preceded Michael Madigan as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois? Email to [email protected].
Syd Terry, chief of staff to Rep. Jan Schakowsky; lobbyist and former County Commissioner John Fritchey, former DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, attorney and WVON afternoon co-host Kimberley Egonmwan, and Sidley Austin Multimedia Video Production Manager Jeff Hartvigsen.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
March 2, 2021 at 07:24AM