Happy Monday, Illinois. That Food and Wine magazine would rank New Jersey’s pizza No. 1 is a complete abomination.
Rep. Cheri Bustos’ surprise announcement Friday that she won’t seek re-election in 2022 further endangers Democrats’ chances of holding on to the House, and it creates new intrigue into how Illinois lawmakers will redraw congressional maps.
Now in her fifth term in Congress, Bustos is a close friend and ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The two are known to talk almost every day. So that, coupled with news that Illinois will lose one of its 18 seats in the House, chips away at Illinois’ clout.
Bustos’ exit after 2022 is “terrible for Illinois because she was good at mending fences and speaking to both sides of the aisle,” political consultant Thom Serafin said.
Political insiders say lawmakers will likely redraw Bustos’ 17th District to include all of Rockford and more of Peoria, two cities that are split between Bustos and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (16th) in Rockford, and Bustos and Rep. Darin LaHood (18th) in Peoria. Here’s the current map for reference.
Rockford and Peoria are two urban areas that already lean blue, and pulling them into one district (except for the part of Peoria where LaHood lives) would solidify it as a Democratic district.
At least two Rockford Democrats have already fielded calls about possibly running. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara told Playbook his focus is “solely on the city of Rockford.” McNamara, who is being sworn in to his second term today, said, “We need someone like Cheri who stands up for cities and towns and the everyday people who live there, not just companies.”
And state Rep. Maurice West II said, “we’ll see.” He said, “It would be smart” to see Rockford represented by one person.
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth from the Peoria area and state Rep. Mike Halpin from the Quad Cities also are possible Democratic candidates.
While the Dems strategize, Republican Esther Joy King, who gave Bustos a run for her money in 2020, has already announced she’s running again.
Bustos’ exit will be felt beyond Democrats. GOP state Rep. Ryan Spain, who represents a part of Peoria represented by Bustos, said he enjoyed working with the veteran Democrat. “We disagreed on many national issues, but I appreciate her hard work and dedication as a local advocate,” he told Playbook. He said her announcement “shows the uphill battle facing Democrats in the 2022 midterm election.”
Those familiar with the remap process say lawmakers are looking to cut into Rep. Mary Miller’s conservative 15th District, which would have her facing either Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro (12th) or Rodney Davis (13th) of Taylorville, both Republicans. “It could put both Bost and Davis to the test of how far they are willing to go to support the far-right and pro-Trump ideologies Miller espouses,” writes Kelsey Landis of the Belleville News-Democrat.
“I don’t see Cheri Bustos’ decision affecting redistricting at all” in the 17th District, said Bill Houlihan, who’s with the Democratic State Central Committee. “There will be a goal to keep a Democrat in there” after next year’s election.
Hanging over the process is the history showing that the pendulum will swing back to Republicans taking the House in 2022 since it’s an off-year election. In Illinois, however, 2018 saw a 10 percent increase in voter turnout from 2014 (from 49 percent to 59 percent). “If we get a turnout over 55 percent, more than likely Democrats will do well in 2022,” Houlihan said.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: There’s been a shakeup in Tammy Duckworth’s office as she prepares to ramp up her re-election campaign. Three longtime staff members have exited to create a new political consulting firm, Magnify Strategies. The boutique firm’s top client will be Duckworth.
Kalina Bakalov Thompson, the senator’s deputy chief of staff, has moved up as chief of staff.
Starting the new firm are outgoing chief of staff Kaitlin Fahey, operations director Paul Kohnstamm, and chief fundraiser Leah Israel, who was also the 2020 Democratic National Convention’s chief development officer and is advising Biden’s Build Back Better effort.
The trio first met in 2011, when Duckworth ran for Congress (before she became a senator) and they’ve been with her ever since.
Along with Duckworth’s and other campaigns, Magnify Strategies will focus on national political coalitions and organizations, trade associations, and companies with Illinois ties, according to a statement.
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At Provident Hospital of Cook County at 11 a.m. to discuss healthcare equity legislation with members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on hand.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Building at 9:30 a.m. to kick off National Small Business Week in Cook County.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 27 additional deaths and 1,860 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,019 fatalities and 1,339,728 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 25 through May 1 is 3.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.6 percent.
— Following blistering report on deadly Covid-19 outbreak at LaSalle home, Pritzker says he fell short in hiring: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday acknowledged a failure of leadership in hiring a former legislator as director of the state’s Veterans’ Affairs Department following [a] blistering report that found widespread mismanagement of last fall’s Covid-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home where 36 veterans died. Pritzker said he believed Linda Chapa LaVia, a veteran and former state lawmaker from Aurora, was ‘an ideal person to root out the problems in our veterans homes’ following her role on legislative panels investigating outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy VA home where 14 veterans died,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella.
… House Republicans called for a criminal investigation into the state’s handling of the LaSalle outbreak, reports WBEZ’s Tony Arnold
— How much do mass vaccine clinics cost to run? Up to $400,000 a day: “While smaller sites can cost less to run, it can be exceedingly expensive, on a per-shot basis, to vaccinate those in more rural or underserved areas of the country,” reports Kyra Senese for the Brown Institute for Media Innovation’s Documenting Covid-19 project.
— Feds rethink vax strategy as slowing demand reveals stark divide, by POLITICO’s Dan Goldberg and Adam Cancryn
— What should I do with my Covid-19 vaccination card? WTTW’s Kristen Thometz reports
— NEW COUNCIL CAUCUS: Five Chicago aldermen have formed the Democratic Socialist Caucus of the Chicago City Council. Alds. Daniel La Spata (1st), Jeanette B. Taylor (20th), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd), and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) said in a statement that they’re forming the caucus “to center working class Chicagoans and their movements for justice in our legislative efforts.” Caucus members have informally met for the past two years and say they represent 21 of Chicago’s 77 communities. Ald. Ramirez-Rosa will serve as inaugural chair. Missing from the group is Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th), who was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America when he first ran for office. Two other council members also not in the caucus but who often align themselves with their Democratic Socialist colleagues are Ald. Matt Martin (47th) and Ald. Maria Hadden (49th). Caucus members are scheduled to appear on the Ben Joravsky Show on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. to discuss it.
— What seeking an alternative to ComEd could really mean for Chicago: “In a rare, once-in-a-generation move, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration issued a ‘Request for Information’ from companies interested in operating and distributing the city’s electricity… the city may not necessarily be looking to drop ComEd. Seeking out competitors could be a power move aimed at getting a better deal out of the current negotiations with ComEd,” by WBEZ’s Becky Vevea and Mariah Woelfel.
— Religious groups rally against racism facing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities: “[S]peakers warned of a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans in some big cities and memorialized the eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — killed at Atlanta-area spas in March by a gunman who allegedly claimed to have a ‘sex addiction’ that authorities described as potentially driving him to lash out. The group also remembered the eight people — four of them from the Sikh community — killed last month by a gunman at an Indianapolis FedEx facility,” by Tribune’s Dan Hinkel.
… Motorist angered by ‘yuppies with dogs’ jumped curb, rammed woman at picnic after allegedly yelling anti-Asian comments, by Tribune’s Charles J. Johnson and Paige Fry
— CPS issues selective enrollment admission letters, says more diverse learners accepted: “About 17 percent of the students who applied to selective enrollment schools received an offer at their first choice of 11 high schools, according to newly released district data, a slight increase over last year,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— A jewel-toned beetle fond of ash trees is killing Chicago’s canopy: “In Chicago — where the tree canopy has actually decreased 3 percent — people who care about trees are fighting to save them, plant them and care for them. Because, when trying to solve big problems feels impossible, one place to start is with what’s outside the window,” by Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— THADDEUS JONES sworn in as Calumet City mayor, appoints new police chief: “Thaddeus Jones was sworn in as the first African American mayor in the city’s 128-year history and Monet Wilson as its first African American female alderman… In the first vote with his new administration, he made a laundry list of new appointments including Kevin Koloch as interim police chief (replacing Christopher Fletcher) and Andre Black as assistant police chief,” by Daily Southtown’s Jeff Vorva.
— Ravinia Festival has a new leader and a bold plan to bring you back this summer: “The festival will open, slightly later than normal, on July 1, but the first week will offer free tickets only to first responders, healthcare workers and the other heroes of the pandemic. The first paid public concert will be July 5…. CSO will have a residency, although the typical 100 or musicians on the stage will be reduced to about 50 for any given concert [musicians will rotate] and, although there will be vocal soloists, there will be no choral singing. The Joffrey Ballet will be present. There will be blues and jazz. Chamber music will have a banner year, for obvious reasons. And there will be rock and pop headliners, although fewer than in a typical year,” by Tribune’s Chris Jones.
— HEAD-TURNER: Harmon looks at gradual move to an elected school board in Chicago: “The head of the Illinois State Senate wants to call a bill this spring that would eventually create a fully elected board for Chicago. But he envisions a gradual process, starting with a hybrid board in which the mayor would continue to appoint some members,” by WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.
— Illinois could incentivize employers to give living organ donors 30 days paid time off: “[T]he Illinois Senate voted unanimously to approve a measure that would provide up to $1,000 in tax breaks to businesses who provide up to 30 days of paid time off for organ donors. Advocates hope the incentive could encourage more living donors to sign up,” reports WCIA’s Mark Maxwell.
— 9 ‘corporate loopholes’ Pritzker wants to eliminate from the budget to a tune of $932M: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking lawmakers to eliminate nine tax breaks to balance the fiscal year 2022 budget by the end of May. Lawmakers and business groups argue the tax breaks are good for the economy, especially as the state recovers from the pandemic. When Pritzker delivered his annual budget address from the State Fairgrounds in February, he proposed eliminating $932 million of tax breaks that he called ‘corporate loopholes.’ He also proposed keeping spending flat after the pandemic reduced revenue,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski.
— Raoul sets up hotline on computer breach as ‘ransomware’ group posts files claimed stolen from attorney general’s office: “Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office said it ‘has not yet determined what personal information on its network is impacted,’ but it could include ‘names, addresses, email addresses, Social Security numbers, health insurance and medical information, tax information, and driver’s license numbers,’” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Vaccine passports not arriving — or required — in Illinois, Pritzker says: “Instead of a passport, the governor said residents across the state will be provided with something more akin to a doctor’s note — and only if they ask for it,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Is reform enough to fight corruption: “A slew of ex-state lawmakers face criminal charges, but critics question whether proposed reforms are enough for Illinois’ “very vibrant culture of corruption,” report Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jenny Whidden.
— Illinois State Fair planning underway: “Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is planning as it’s going to happen,” by WICS’ Tessa Bentulan.
— Opinion: Bill Houlihan calls proposed township merger is a power grab by Republicans, in a column in the State Journal-Register
— Biden calls for more cash, new routes for Amtrak, on its 50th birthday: Imagine “a two-and-a-half hour trip between Chicago and Detroit,” said President Joe Biden.
— Public transit hopes to win back riders after crushing year: “In Washington D.C., where many federal employees now telework due to Covid-19 restrictions, transit officials are mulling lowering fares. New York City has deployed several hundred additional police officers in recent months after a series of subway attacks. The Chicago area is looking at rejiggering train schedules to accommodate more passengers traveling throughout the day, part of a pandemic shift from traditional 9-to-5 work days. Houston is pledging improvements to 17 of its higher-frequency bus routes, including adding brightly lit sheltered stops with digital arrival information,” by The Associated Press.
— Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash: “They’ve used complex schemes to disguise millions in drug proceeds, making them seem to be legitimate transactions, according to law enforcement sources and court files,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main and Jon Seidel.
— State’s top court asked to decide if it’s time to shoot down Firearm Owner Identification cards: “The Illinois attorney general’s appeal of a downstate judge’s ruling sets up a battle over whether the state can require residents to hold an ID card in order to own a firearm. First enacted in 1968, the state’s Firearm Owner Identification Act does just that. But a southern Illinois judge said that makes residents’ Second Amendment rights a ‘façade,’” by Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.
The cannabis industry’s next war: How strong should its weed be? “Some of the 18 states that have embraced legal weed are debating whether to cap THC potency. So far, most of those efforts have failed,” by POLITICO’s Paul Demko and Natalie Fertig.
— Biden is talking to Republicans, but for only so long, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— Giuliani’s legal trouble is Trump’s too, writes legal affairs columnist Renato Mariotti
— What the ‘infrastructure’ fight is really about, by Joshua Zeitz for POLITICO magazine
— Few moderates in sight as GOP plots Cuomo takedown, by POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold
— Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake suspended after his gun was stolen, by The Associated Press
Nancy Lipman, mentor to other LGBTQ Chicago cops, devoted animal rescuer, dead at 61: “She was one of the first “white shirts” to ride on the Chicago Police Department float in the Pride Parade — “a huge thing,” says the head of the Lesbian Gay Police Association-Gay Officers Action League of Chicago,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Candidates for the Illinois Secretary of State Office will appear in “zoom conversation” sponsored by Ald. Gil Villegas and the 36th Ward Democrats. Appearing: Ald. Pat Dowell, former Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, state Sen. Michael Hastings, and Chicago Clerk Anna Valencia.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mary Beth Hoerner, assistant in the Cook County Commission, entrepreneur Ashvin Lad, and political consultant Bill Velazquez for correctly answering that the 1933 World’s Fair avoided the strict requirements of the Chicago Building Code because it took place on man-made land subject to the jurisdiction of the state fire marshal and not the City of Chicago
TODAY’s QUESTION: What state other than Illinois features Abraham Lincoln on their license plate? Email to [email protected]
Jordan Abudayyeh, the spokeswoman to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, 47th Ward Committeeman Paul Rosenfeld, former House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, former state Rep. Yoni Pizer, Mercy Home’s CEO Rev. Scott Donahue, Illinois Policy Institute board member Ed Bachrach, Acacia Consulting Group’s Tom Elliott, philanthropist Whitney Reis Lasky, musician and activist Ted Sirota, CNN Political Unit researcher/producer Liz Stark, political commentator and journalist Charles Thomas, PR pro Orly Telisman, and Health Outreach coordinator for Sen. Tammy Duckworth Jessica Sewell.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
May 3, 2021 at 07:22AM