TGIF, Illinois. I’ll be on Clubhouse at 4 p.m. today to discuss redistricting, the 2021 legislative session, and what’s on the political horizon in 2022. DM if you need an invite.
Illinois House Democrats censured state Rep. Chris Miller Thursday night for attending former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally ahead of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, and creating a potentially threatening environment for the General Assembly and its staff.
Democratic state Rep. Bob Morgan’s resolution condemns the downstate Republican for using words and actions that violate his oath of office. “Can’t we agree in a bipartisan way,” said Morgan, that Miller’s behavior “crossed the line?”
Miller defended himself, saying he “had no part in the violent events” that day. In fact, he said he and his wife, Rep. Mary Miller, were holed up in her congressional office. “I condemn any and all violence,” Miller said.
Lawmakers adopted the measure on a 57 to 36 party line vote that rebukes Miller but doesn’t have weight beyond that. The resolution and vote does put a spotlight on Minority Leader Jim Durkin and his Republican caucus. Five members voted present, and 19 members, including some Democrats, did not vote at all.
Durkin forcefully condemned the Jan. 6 events, but he said the resolution goes too far in making assumptions “without an investigation.” He criticized how the resolution would “set a standard” for how lawmakers would be judged in the chamber. GOP Rep. Mark Batinick called the Capitol attack “deplorable.”
Political gamesmanship: The resolution had to make a choice between sanctioning one of their own and risk alienating Trump’s base, or feeding Democratic talking points about how Republicans embrace the conspiracy theories behind the insurrection. Most Republicans voted the latter, which could help save them in the 2022 primaries.
Miller has been a controversial figure in the House, having posted on social media about a “great cultural war” between free-market capitalism and “dangerous Democratic terrorists that are trying to destroy our country.”
On Jan. 6, Miller’s truck was photographed at the D.C. rally with a decal of the Three Percenters, an antigovernment militia movement, in its rear window.
Miller has said the decal seemed an innocent attempt at showing his patriotism, though he has since removed it.
State Rep. Carol Ammons, speaking in support of the resolution, said Miller knew exactly what he was doing when he was at the rally, “he just got caught.”
House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch was a cosponsor of the measure.
This is the second controversy for the Millers stemming from the Jan. 6 rally. Recall Mary Miller, a first-term congresswoman, invoked Adolf Hitler when she spoke during part of the Trump rally. She later issued an apology, saying she regretted using the Hitler reference though she also blamed others for “intentionally trying to twist my words.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who doesn’t generally do press conferences about his personal life, is going public with his Covid-19 vaccination on Saturday at Advocate Health Care’s Vaccine Clinic at Imani Village on the far South Side.
He picked the site “to send a message of confidence” to Black Chicagoans and others “who might be hesitant to get the shot,” he told Playbook.
Raoul, who is a cancer survivor and in the 1B Plus rollout phase to get the vaccine, has been studying why so many in the Black community have avoided taking the shot and he’s become more sensitive to the concerns.
“It’s not about shaming people” but acknowledging the “historical and current reasons” that scare people, said Raoul, who’s learned his talking points from Illinois Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike and Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, Pfizer’s chief patent officer. Both are African American.
Regarding concerns that the vaccines were rushed, Raoul says the massive funding to accelerate the rollout did not endanger safety. For questions about long-term effect, the AG with an interest in health care said it’s short-term effects “that customarily present themselves.” That’s why recipients must wait for 15 minutes before walking out the door. And for older African Americans who remember the Tuskegee Experiment, Raoul reminds that in that case, Black men were denied medicine.
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Delivering a 5 p.m. public address from City Hall that will be livestreamed on the mayor’s social media channels.
At Carbondale Civic Center at 10 a.m. discussing vaccine equity. Then at the Southwestern Illinois College Varsity Gymnasium at 1 p.m. to discuss the landmark education reform law with members of the Legislative Black Caucus
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 34 new deaths and 2,325 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,022 fatalities and 1,216,090 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 11-17 is 2.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.9 percent.
— Pritzker opens Illinois a bit more on path to normal: Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday laid out “a more gradual resumption of business activity and clearing the way for all residents 16 and older outside Chicago to get a Covid-19 vaccination beginning April 12. The new date puts Illinois ahead of President Joe Biden’s May 1 deadline for states to expand eligibility and comes as the state is receiving increasing shipments of vaccine from the federal government,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella, Gregory Pratt, Jenny Whidden and Alice Yin.
…Read Pritzker’s metrics-based reopening plan: ‘A Bridge to Phase 5’
— With more vaccines on the way, a ‘vaccine brigade’ volunteers to put shots in arms: “Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and the National Guard have all been deployed to do this work. But there is still a need,” by WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.
— Why Chicago Walgreens stores don’t always give vaccines to people with health conditions: “[G]which, at times, and understandably, can complicate the scheduling process,” according to a spokeswoman. Tribune’s Lisa Schencker reports.
— TRIBUNE ANALYSIS: Dozens of Illinois homes have seen lead levels as extreme as those in Flint: “Between 2015 and 2020, tap water in dozens of Illinois homes had hundreds and even thousands of parts per billion of lead … East Moline found one home with 3,000 ppb of lead in tap water, records show. The Rockford suburb of Loves Park detected 2,700 ppb of lead in a home. Southwest of Joliet, the water system in Coal City found 1,260 ppb of lead in one of its samples,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— VIDEO: Sen. Sims describes how a gunman pulled up next to him: “On Monday, Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) said he was in his car, which has legislative plates, when a man in another car started honking and pulled up next to him. ‘The guy pulls a gun out. He pulls a gun out and says ‘let’s go.’ He starts pointing a gun at me. So I pull off and drive away. After January 6, there was heightened concern for these attacks on elected officials,” via CBS/2.
— Exelon’s CEO was paid as if the ComEd scandal never happened: “With 2020 comp of more than $15 million, Chris Crane paid no financial price for ComEd’s admissions of bribery and the $200 million fine Exelon shareholders paid for the subsidiary’s corruption,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
… New coalition wants lawmakers to ride herd on ComEd: “The groups are seeking an end to utility donations to political campaigns and ratepayer-financed charitable contributions, among other things,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— First-of-its-kind study shows Lake Michigan is warming: “Water hundreds of feet below the surface of Lake Michigan is warming, especially in winter, according to a report published this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The warming could change the seasonal patterns of the lake — and alter a way of life for ecosystems and industry alike,” by Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Vote-by-mail, curbside voting expansion passes House: “House Bill 1871, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Katie Stuart, of Edwardsville, passed 70-41, and takes effect immediately. Under the bill, Illinois can use federal funds distributed to states for election administration through the 2002 Help America Vote Act to create and maintain secure collection sites for mail ballots,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— Health-care reform, the 4th pillar of Black Caucus agenda, passes House: “House Bill 158, a 227-page bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Camille Lilly of Chicago, contains dozens of provisions meant to eliminate race-based and other inequities in the Illinois health care system and expand the medical services available to low-income residents and residents of color. A last-minute amendment added Thursday also enhanced dementia training requirements for the Illinois Department on Aging,” by Capitol News’ Raymon Troncoso.
— POT-POURRI: Pot smokers won’t get vaccine priority: “Officials on Thursday confirmed that even though cigarette smokers can now get shots, weed tokers aren’t eligible despite potentially facing a higher risk of falling seriously ill,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— SUN-TIMES SCOOP: Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson voted to OK development of a property he’d sold months earlier: “Bridgeport alderman — also under investigation for possible tax fraud — didn’t disclose stake in Pensacola Place apartments or second Uptown property till after a year in office,” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak.
— In Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pandemic year, ‘Every decision was hard’: “I want to make sure that when we talk about recovery, we’re also talking about recovery for our children and our young people. Recovery has to be looked at through a frame of not just dollars and cents in the economy, but how we recover as a people,” the mayor tells WBEZ’s Claudia Morell.
…VIDEO: Classic Lightfoot ‘regret’: “I regret that we didn’t get more guidance and partnership and collaboration from the Trump administration,” she tells WTTW. By Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone.
— Lightfoot cuts off Loretto Hospital after vaccinations for ineligible ‘well-connected’ people: “Loretto admitted Thursday it made a mistake — its second admission in a week — after WBEZ reported that 13 Cook County Circuit Court judges were given the opportunity to get coronavirus vaccines at the hospital in the Austin neighborhood on March 8,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
— How the hotel industry has been brought to its knees: “Chicago’s economy is slowly starting to thaw, with businesses reopening and people returning to bars, restaurants and more. But the city’s hotels remain in a world of hurt,” report WGN/9’s Lourdes Duarte and Andrew Schroedter.
… Navy Pier still shut, but hotel now open, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Second City in-person shows scheduled to resume in May: “Comedy hub plans new productions at its Piper’s Alley venue, with audiences subject to Covid-19 restrictions,” by Sun-Times’ Miriam Di Nunzio.
— New docu-series on John Wayne Gacy: More than 40 years later, John Wayne Gacy, dubbed the Killer Clown, “remains a figure of repulsion and fascination, with the upcoming Peacock series just the latest and perhaps most extensive look at the story,” by Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper.
— HIGHER-ED: Wheaton College plaque referring to ‘savages’ removed: ‘Language changes’: “Concerns about the wording on the plaque have come from about a dozen students and staff since the start of the school year, college spokesman Joseph Moore said. Before it was taken down Tuesday, the plaque hung in the foyer of the college’s main chapel, where students traditionally gathered three times a week,” by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.
— County’s new public defender ‘progressive,’ pragmatist, ‘administrator of justice’ and ‘good guy’: “Mitchell described how he found his calling as a public defender: ‘One of the first days on the job, I went to lockup and came across this kid I went to grade school with. He couldn’t get past how someone who came from where we came from was on the other side of the bars in a suit and tie, instead of a tan jumpsuit,’” by Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.
— Illinois National Guard to assist vaccination efforts in McHenry, Lake counties: Nearly 1,400 National Guard members are currently assisting with COVID-19 response in the state, reports NBC/5.
Trial judges do not need to state repercussions of guilty plea in all cases, state high court finds: “In a 17-page opinion, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled against allowing Chaleah Burge, a certified nursing assistant who pleaded guilty in 2017 to stealing $280 from her home health client, from withdrawing her guilty plea. Burge argued she should be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea because the trial court judge didn’t inform her that her plea and criminal conviction could result in her losing her job,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
Pricey Supreme Court seat: “The seven candidates for the [Charles] Freeman vacancy on the Illinois Supreme Court spent a total of more than $5.4 million on their campaigns. Shelly Harris was by far the biggest spender at $2.1 million — most of that on broadcast media advertising—establishing a new record for spending by a Supreme Court candidate in Cook County. (Harris also holds the record for Appellate Court campaign spending, at an inflation-adjusted $1.1 million for his successful 2014 campaign.) Every candidate, though, spent at least $290,000 and six of the seven spent $480,000 or more,” writes researcher Albert J. Klumpp regarding his “biennial slog” through the hundreds of campaign finance reports filed by judicial candidates in Cook County. His report appears in the For What It’s Worth Blog.
Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady has responded to a video ad featuring Rod Blagojevich endorsing challenger Scott Kaspar, saying it’s “bizarre.” In a statement to Playbook, O’Grady said: “For a guy who claims to support honest government, Kaspar sure has a funny way of showing it.” O’Grady called Blagojevich “a corrupt, despicable con man,” citing his impeachment and conviction for attempting to sell a Senate seat, lying to the FBI, and trying to shake down a children’s hospital. O’Grady said accepting a Blagojevich endorsement should be “disqualifying” to run for elected office. The consolidated election is April 6.
— ‘God no’: GOP immigration allies disappear as crisis mounts, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Biden administration lacks a system for tracking Covid at the southern border, by POLITICO’s Erin Banco and Sabrina Rodriguez
— Ron DeSantis survived Covid and Trump, making him very unique, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse
— Mary Trump joining board of LPAC, which helped elect Lightfoot and other LGBQT candidates, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw
Veteran newsman Bill Campbell, He served as director of editorials and community services over a 32-year career at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and was best known for his long run as host and producer of the weekly public affairs show “Chicagoing,” writes media writer Robert Feder.
— Today at 5 p.m. through Monday: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Josina Morita hosts a Million Gallon Challenge leading up to World Water Day on Monday. The goal is for MWRD to reduce the region’s water footprint by 1 million gallons during that time. Residents are encouraged to find creative ways to cut back. Teams and prizes are involved for participants who can save the most water.
— Saturday at 1 p.m.: Virtual vigil to honor victims of the spa shootings in Atlanta. Co-Hosted by the Asian American Caucus, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, HANA Center, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Japanese American Citizens League, South Asian American Policy and Research Institute, Pui Tak Center, Apna Ghar, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, and Indo American Democratic Organization.
— Sunday at 10 a.m.: “The Restore Maine Township” Democratic Slate hosts a virtual coffee hour with candidates. On the docket: supervisor candidate Karen Dimond, Clerk Peter Gialamas, Assessor Susan Moylan-Krey and Highway Commissioner candidate Ed Beauvais.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Holland & Knight Partner Trisha Rich and ‘SmithBucklin exec Tilden Katz for correctly answering that Doug Scofield was on the other end of the line when Rod Blagojevich said “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—in’ golden.”
TODAY’s QUESTION: What 1990 primary was the most expensive in the nation? Email to [email protected].
Today: Niles Township Supervisor Bonnie Kahn Ognisanti, former Ald. Joe Moreno, attorney and former 7th Congressional District candidate Kristine Schanbacher, United Way chief partnerships officer Jose Rico, and Block Club co-founder and managing editor Stephanie Lulay.
Saturday: State Rep. Tim Butler, Lincolnshire Mayor Elizabeth Brandt, former state Sen. Terry Link, and ChicagoNEXT Director at World Business Chicago Abin Kuriakose.
Sunday: Government relations consultant and former MWRD President Terry O’Brien, and MDTech project manager Mirela Krawczyk.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
March 19, 2021 at 07:18AM