Happy Tuesday, Illinois. It’s a somber day across the country as we mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
There’s real talk now that the 2022 primary could be delayed.
Without detailed census data, Democratic leaders recognize they could face added legal challenges in drawing congressional maps. There’s already the likelihood of court fights as the legislative maps are being drawn with census estimates, instead of hard numbers still months away. Drawing congressional maps without census data would give critics even more legal hooks.
There’s also some pressure from the national Democratic Party to delay the primary to avoid legal battles.
The U.S. Census Bureau has already released the first set of reapportionment data that determines how many congressional seats each state gets: Illinois drops from 18 to 17 seats. Now states are waiting for the granular data that shows where people live down to the street but that may not show up until September 30.
Waiting for data throws a curve ball in the election process as candidates start gathering petition signatures at the beginning of September.
It’s a dilemma other states have too. Democrats across the country are particularly concerned about their slim 10-seat majority in the U.S. House, knowing that midterm elections usually don’t go well for the president’s political party.
Still, there are some positives in delaying the Illinois primary. Illinois has one of the earliest elections anywhere, so delaying it will make campaigning for the general election less grueling. Even better, candidates will be able to campaign in spring instead of winter — and in-person voting could be in warm(er) weather, too.
Former Senate candidate Willie Wilson drew a crowd Monday as he announced forming a new company designed to help church pastors whose congregations are struggling in wake of the pandemic.
More than a thousand pastors and church leaders gathered at House of Hope, where former state Sen. James Meeks is a pastor, to invite them to join Ramo Global Commerce LLC (It’s Omar, spelled backwards, a hat tip to Wilson’s other company, Omar Medical Supplies).
Ramo will serve as a retail company that will distribute profits to participating churches to help them emerge from the pandemic. For now, the company will sell masks, gloves, garbage containers and items similar to what Wilson’s Omar sells. Additional products will be added to the mix, a spokesman told Playbook.
Wilson has committed $500,000 to get the business off the ground and has already donated $200,000 to the company, with a plan to give $100,000 each month for the next three months.
Though Wilson (so far) isn’t jumping into the 2022 race, he did invite candidates who are. At least a dozen showed up to introduce themselves to the pastors. Among them: Gubernatorial candidates Darren Bailey and Gary Rabine, and secretary of state candidates Pat Dowell, Alexi Giannoulias, and David Moore.
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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 10 additional deaths and 933 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,633 fatalities and 1,376,411 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 17 through 23 is 2.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.0 percent.
New Covid-19 cases haven’t been this low in the U.S. since last June: “As cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropped this week, pre-pandemic life in America has largely resumed … However, health experts also cautioned that not enough Americans have been vaccinated to completely extinguish the virus, leaving the potential for new variants that could extend the pandemic,” by The Associated Press.
— How do we measure a movement? How do we measure progress? POLITICO’s Teresa Wiltz opens our six-story Floyd package with an essay that begins with the words “Emmett Till was lynched.”
— Where Prince lived and George Floyd died — hope, history and heartache, by POLITICO’s Renuka Rayasam
— Police are still killing people at the same rate as before, by POLITICO’s Nolan D. McCaskill
— SEIU’s political arm backs Giannoulias in secretary of state race as ‘undisputed choice for Illinois’ working families’: “The Service Employees International Union Illinois State Council functions as the labor organization’s political arm and represents the union’s 150,000 workers scattered across its various branches — 2,600 of them working at secretary of state facilities,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— BILL HOULIHAN TO RETIRE FROM SENATE JOB: Sen. Dick Durbin got choked up on the Senate Floor on Monday as he paid tribute to Bill Houlihan, his state director and friend. Durbin said Houlihan is retiring from his position with the Senate — but he’s staying on as chairman of the Sangamon County Democratic Party. Houlihan’s exit “will take a toll on my office, my politics and my life,” Durbin said. The full tribute is on C-SPAN.
— Medicaid companies rake in record profits from pandemic: A windfall of “hundreds of thousands of dollars…was the result of a payment system based on annual, per-patient estimates. While the number of patients in the state’s Medicaid program swelled as people lost their jobs, many deferred elective medical procedures during the pandemic,” reports Better Government Association’s David Jackson.
— Lawmakers question LGBTQ+ training, tracking at DCFS audit hearing: “Lawmakers got the chance to question the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Monday about a scathing audit report regarding the care of LGBTQ+ youth. The report, released in February, claims DCFS isn’t following its own procedures for protecting LGBTQ+ children in its care,” by WICS’s Jordan Elder.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: A new poll shows support in Illinois for allowing gig drivers to keep their independence while also getting access to a portable benefits fund. The issue has rankled lawmakers across the country as unions have pushed for drivers to choose collective bargaining over flexibility to drive when they want. A union contract, for example, provides stable earnings, benefits and hours. The poll says a majority of independent or freelance drivers who work for ride-hailing companies like Uber or Lyft prefer the ability to pick up work when they want. The ALG Research poll commissioned by the Illinois Coalition for Independent Work shows support for a “third way” solution that allows drivers to retain flexibility and independence while getting access to a portable benefits fund. The poll of 1,017 voters, including 200 drivers, shows 70 percent of current union members surveyed and 71 percent of Black voters support coverage that offers flexibility and benefits.
— ANOTHER SOMBER REMEMBRANCE: Forty-two years ago today — May 25, 1979 — American Airlines Flight 191 crashed in Elk Grove Township just after taking off from O’Hare airport, killing 258 passengers, 13 crew members and two people on the ground.
— Why Democrats might redraw Illinois Supreme Court district maps: “If they don’t change [the 3rd] district, Republicans win, and the balance of power would go to Republicans,” House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said at a virtual news conference. “That’s why there is going to be, I imagine, within the next few weeks, some type of map — and it could be this week — that is going to redraw that 3rd Supreme Court District to make it more appealing to Democrat voters.” Capitol News Sarah Mansur reports
— Turner’s district realigned in redrawn maps: “State Sen. Doris Turner, a Springfield Democrat, likely would have an easier path to retain her seat in 2022 under the Illinois General Assembly redistricting map proposed by super-majority Democrats,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski and Dean Olsen.
— Republicans call on Pritzker to veto Dems’ legislative maps, dubbing them ‘worse than what we witnessed under Madigan’: “What seemed clear was that the new maps charted a tough course for the GOP, forcing some Republican legislators, including one candidate for governor, to compete with one another for the same political turf,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— What to watch in the final days of the legislature: Along with the redistricting debate, there are energy bills to wade through, the budget and measures about an elected school board in Chicago, reports WBEZ’s Tony Arnold.
— A looming threat to Illinois’ data center boom: “A bill in Springfield would require ‘labor peace’ deals for new and proposed facilities, risking a key Pritzker incentive program,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Lesser-known ComEd law cost customers $600M last 7 years, says new analysis: “That law is relevant today because its provisions are among those on the table as Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, lawmakers, ComEd, environmental groups and others negotiate over a new state energy policy ahead of Monday’s scheduled adjournment,” by Tribune’s Ray Long.
— Senate Republicans call for Prisoner Review Board appointees to testify: “In a news conference in Springfield, Republican Sen. Steve McClure, of Springfield, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who initially appointed the members in 2019, is using ‘shady practices’ in allowing the appointees to serve unconfirmed, keeping the Senate from fulfilling ‘one of its essential obligations,’” by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic.
— Lightfoot unveils long-awaited civilian police oversight plan, retains power for hiring and firing superintendents: “That sets up a showdown in the City Council between Lightfoot’s proposal and one that would potentially give an elected board much more power over police personnel, policy and budget,” by Tribune’s John Byrne and Annie Sweeney.
— Acrimony grounds the push to create a database of complaints against police officers: “A joint session of the City Council’s Public Safety and Finance committees declined to advance the Lightfoot-backed measure blasted by Ferguson and other transparency advocates as nothing more than “smoke and mirrors” even as mayoral allies tried to assuage the concerns that the database would only capture less than 5 percent of all complaints lodged against officers,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— After deadliest weekend of 2021, CPD prepares for anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, Memorial Day weekend: “In addition to 12-hour shifts, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the department is canceling officers’ days off over the holiday weekend,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.
— Shifts in the mayor’s office: “Departing chief of staff Maurice Classen is being replaced by Sybil Madison, deputy mayor for education and human services. The job of recently-departed chief operating officer Anne Sheahan will be filled by Paul Goodrich,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Pfleger to return to St. Sabina after investigation into allegations of sex abuse: “In a letter Monday to St. Sabina’s congregation, Cardinal Blase Cupich said the archdiocese’s review board ‘concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations,’” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek Staff and Tom Schuba.
— CPS proposes giving Aramark, Sodexo another 3 months, $74M for facilities management: “The extension will be proposed to the Board of Education for approval at its monthly meeting Wednesday,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Muddy Waters home may become city’s next Black landmark: “An effort launches in early June to get the two-flat on South Lake Park Avenue, which has been in the hands of the musician’s family for 67 years, declared a city landmark,” by Crain’s Dennis Rodkin.
— Controversy surrounds ‘ghost kitchen’ and the traffic it’s causing on Chicago’s North Side, reports Fox32’s Sally Schulze
— Former Lake Forest students file lawsuit claiming coverup of teacher sexual abuse: “Seven former Lake Forest High School students are accusing Lake Forest School District 115 and the high school of permitting two former teachers to sexually abuse them and covering up the alleged abuse. In one purported case, six male former students claim former music director David Miller sexually abused students for more than 30 years when he worked at the high school. Lake Forest High School is the lone school in the district,” by Pioneer Press’ Daniel Dorfman.
— Newly paroled Chicago child killer Ray Larsen, 76, is now a fugitive, records show: “He’d been paroled May 13 in the killing of 16-year-old Frank Casolari in Chicago in 1972. Now, he’s missing. And he’s not the only paroled killer the state of Illinois can’t find,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— 15-year-old rapper was among 12 killed, 54 people shot in most deadly weekend so far this year: Dajon Gater “was very lyrical. He was good with words. He’d say profound things.” Sun-times David Struett reports
Descendants of Blacks enslaved by indigenous people push back against renaming Columbus Day at county hearing: “Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore said Monday that before a vote can be taken on changing the holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, tribes should ‘acknowledge their role in the rich history of Black slaves,’” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito and Nina Molina.
Law school to remove John Marshall’s name over racist past: “University of Illinois trustees voted to remove the name of the longest-serving U.S. Supreme Court chief justice from the University of Illinois-Chicago law school after a task force said John Marshall’s history as a slave owner and trader ‘render him a highly inappropriate namesake for the law school,’” by The Associated Press.
— Rise in anti-Semitic incidents strains Democrats and GOP alike, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu and Andrew Desiderio
— ‘Time to move on’: Infrastructure talks near collapse, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine
— Death-certificate omissions stymie FEMA funeral assistance program, by POLITICO’s Erin Banco
Hedge fund Alden closes $633M Tribune Publishing acquisition: “Tribune Publishing CEO Terry Jimenez received $1.734 million in equity compensation, while three other non-Alden board members and the company’s interim CFO also received payouts as a result of the merger, according to the beneficial ownership forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” by Tribune’s Robert Channick.
Sean Tenner, the 46th Ward Committeeperson, is back in Chicago after leading an organization to Mauritania. Tenner cofounded the Abolition Institute, which works to end slavery in that country. He and others met with government leaders to discuss the issue. Along with Tenner, others on the trip: Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins, the town’s first Black mayor; Chicago Department of Planning and Development’s Anthony Simpkins and jazz artist Tammy McCann Simpkins; University of Chicago Associate Provost Aisha El-Amin; Chicago attorney and human rights expert Michael Kurtz; hip hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith; music producer Jon Jon Traxx; Masjid Al-Taqwa Imam Tariq El-Amin; educator Monique Regina Hoskins; business consultant Shiwali Varshney Tenner; photographer Heather Smith; and human rights lecturer Bakary Tandia.
— Kaitlin Fahey is joining The Win Company as a partner. She previously was chief of staff for Sen. Tammy Duckworth.
— Shannon Bartlett will be the first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the National Geographic Society. She is associate dean of inclusion and engagement at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
— Aviv Ezra, who has served for five years as the consul general of Israel to the Midwest (based in Chicago), is returning with his family to Israel in July.
— Today at 10 a.m.: Rep. Robin Kelly and Illinois Department of Public Health’s Dr. Ngozi Ezike headline a virtual discussion on “Fixing America’s Maternal Health Crisis,” a case study about Illinois, Covid-19, and maternal and infant mortality. POLITICO Nightly author Renu Rayasam moderates. Also speaking: University of Chicago OBGYN Section Chief Sarosh Rana and Alliance Chicago’s Lisa Masinter.
— Today at 12:30 p.m.: Rep. Adam Kinzinger sits down for a virtual discussion with national Playbook co-authors Rachael Bade and Eugene Daniels.
— FUNDRAISERS: House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is holding a fundraiser June 9. We’ve got the complete list
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to comms consultant Jim Bray for correctly answering that Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens (or the Lavender Prairie Collective) organized sit-ins and other aggressive protests in Springfield in 1982 to support the Equal Rights Amendment.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which statue on the Capitol grounds in Springfield, features a bronze oil can — and why? Email to [email protected]olitico.com
First lady of Illinois M.K. Pritzker, governor’s deputy chief of staff for comms Emily Bittner, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, attorney Joel M. Hurwitz, and Allstate Financial comms director Greg Burns.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
May 25, 2021 at 07:39AM