Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. The president is coming to town, so let’s mind our p’s and q’s!

SCOOP: Republican state Rep. Dan Brady hasn’t entered the race to lead the Secretary of State’s Office — he’s still considering it — but a poll he initiated shows him just five points behind Alexi Giannoulias, a frontrunner in the Democratic race.

The Ogden & Fry poll asked respondents: If the election for Secretary of State were held today, for whom would you vote, Giannoulias or Brady? Results showed 43.8 percent of respondents would vote for Giannoulias, the former state Treasurer, compared to 38.7 percent who said Brady. Nearly 18 percent were undecided.

The poll numbers are interesting given Giannoulias has been testing the waters since last year and launched his campaign in April. Now in a four-way primary race, he’s built a statewide campaign and secured numerous endorsements from labor and top Democrats — most notably Rep. Chuy Garcia. Brady has been talking to folks for about two months.

Ogden & Fry conducted its seven-question poll June 26 with 554 respondents, “who were selected by random sampling of likely voters.” Margin of error is +/- 4.25 percent. The poll doesn’t say how it was conducted (whether by a live phone, for example, or online polling).

The poll also shows a curiously large number of conservative respondents who still identify as Democrats.

Ogden & Fry is a familiar name in Illinois as a pollster for former Gov. Bruce Rauner and other Republicans.

Other insight from the poll: Though Brady edges Giannoulias downstate — 21 percent to 14 percent — both politicians would have some heavy lifting to do in the southern part of Illinois. Poll numbers show two-thirds of downstate respondents had never heard of Giannoulias or Brady.

The poll also has numbers on Gov. J.B. Pritzker. It shows 72 percent of respondents in Cook County view him favorably, and 52 percent of those in the collars feel the same. Unsurprising, 38 percent of downstate respondents view the governor favorable — and 51 percent of those respondents see him in an unfavorable light. Pritzker has not yet announced that he’ll seek a second term.

The governor, like Brady, has been given a cushion of sorts since the Illinois primary has been delayed. It’s moved from March 15 to June 28, 2022.


Duckworth backs Valencia for SOS, calling city clerk ‘next-generation leader’: “Duckworth, who is seeking a second term herself, is the first statewide elected official to weigh in on the heated four-way Democratic primary race for secretary of state,” reports Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: With the pandemic more under control, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is refocusing her attention to building Chicago’s stature in the tech community, a position that her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, helped secure.

Lightfoot, World Business Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht and a group of Chicago tech entrepreneurs are traveling to San Francisco today to meet with senior tech leaders, venture capitalists and alumni from Chicago-area universities. Some of the companies she plans to connect with already have a footprint in Chicago, according to a source close to the mayor’s office. That could mean any number of tech firms. Uber, comes to mind.

The outing means Lightfoot will only meet briefly on the O’Hare tarmac with President Joe Biden when he lands in Chicago to talk about infrastructure and other proposals within the American Families Plan during a visit to McHenry County College.

The mayor will then depart for the Bay Area. It’s all part of the mayor’s economic recovery efforts with the goal of luring more businesses, and the jobs that come with them.

Lightfoot’s pitch will include numbers: 35 businesses relocated their headquarters within the city limits during the past year in areas of life sciences, manufacturing, and TDL (transportation, distribution and logistics). So far in 2021, eight Chicago startups have hit unicorn status, meaning they achieved billion-dollar valuations. In 2020, amid the worst of the pandemic, only two companies hit that mark. Chicago has the highest concentration of women-owned startups in the world, according to the city. And Chicago’s tech workforce is 34 percent Black and 26 percent Latinx.

Lightfoot’s team is keeping tight-lipped about her schedule, but a spokesperson says the mayor will give an update Thursday via Zoom before she returns to Chicago Friday.

Also part of the entourage: Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar, who oversees business, economic, and neighborhood development; Garry Cooper, CEO of Rheaply software company, which counts Microsoft as an investor; Chris Gladwin, CEO and founder of Ocient and Cleversafe, which was acquired by IBM in 2015 for $1.3 billion; Brian Barnes, CEO of M1 Finance; and Suzanne Muchin, CEO of Bonfire and a veteran of Chicago’s tech scene.

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

Joining President Biden at 2 p.m. for his first official visit to Illinois.

At O’Hare at 11:35 a.m. to greet President Biden ahead of his visit to discuss the Build Back Better agenda.

Online at 6 p.m. to preside over a virtual public hearing on Cook County’s preliminary budget forecast.

Biden’s Covid vaccine push crashes into reality: “After falling short of its July 4th goal, the White House is now turning to a hyper-local strategy. But progress is slow,” by POLITIO’s Natasha Korecki.

Illinois reports no new Covid-19 deaths for first time since March 2020: ‘Thank god for the vaccines’: That’s a span of 476 days, reports Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.

— TRAVEL PLANS: Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is headed to D.C. later this month. It’s his first big trip since he was elected earlier this year as House speaker, a position that was held for decades by fellow Democrat Michael Madigan. On July 26, he’ll be feted at a meet-and-greet in the Lincoln Room just off the House floor. Rep. Robyn Kelly, Illinois Democratic Party chair, will host. A July 27 fundraiser will be held on the rooftop of 800 Main Avenue, SW, overlooking The Wharf. Welch will also meet one-on-one with members of the Illinois congressional delegation and international union representatives, including folks at Emily’s List. Welch, a big fan of the Cubs, has timed his trip with their contest against the Nats on July 30.

GOP megadonor Richard Uihlein is bankrolling Missouri super PAC: The Illinois billionaire “is donating $2.5 million to a newly formed, pro-Greitens super PAC. The cash infusion will give Greitens a financial lift as many of the party’s contributors shun the former governor, who resigned from office in 2018 amid allegations that he sexually assaulted his hairstylist,” by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt.

— Chicago Ald. George Cardenas is throwing his hat in the ring for a seat on the Cook County Board of Review, which rules on property-tax appeals.

The Board of Review election comes up in 2022, which will allow Cardenas to still run for re-election as alderman should he not win the runoff. Cardenas is challenging incumbent First District Democratic Commissioner Tammy Wendt, who was elected last year.

Cardenas says the remap signed by the governor gives Latinos a greater voice in the Board of Review district and he wants to capitalize on that. “It’s an opportunity to represent folks in a broader way, especially home owners,” he told Playbook. “It comes at a time when people are clamoring for property tax reform.”

Crain’s A.D. Quig reports: “The currently all-Democrat Board of Review traditionally is the second stop for property tax payers who aren’t happy with valuations from the Cook County assessor.”

Few programs steer child carjackers away from trouble, report Better Government Association’s Sidnee King and David Jackson. Some take-aways: In 2020 there were 1,430 carjacking incidents throughout Chicago, a record high that experts say was made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown. Only about 15 percent resulted in an arrest. The BGA’s review found children as young as 13 were involved and most often they are from some of Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods.

Brown again takes swipe at court system as he addresses weekend violence, but chief judge defends bail reform: “Brown said too many criminal defendants are out on bail and electronic monitoring for serious offenses, even murders.” But Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans countered, saying, “speculation based on isolated cases is not the same as reality based on a complete picture, and research has shown that bail reform has not led to an increase in crime.” Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Gregory Pratt Report.

Ald. Anthony Beale urges deployment of National Guard “immediately to get a handle on this city.” Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek, Andy Grimm, Madeline Kenney, and Cheyanne M. Daniels report.

Anti-violence workers say more resources needed, by WTTW’s Paul Caine

Teachers union wants a fall deal with student vaccination targets, housing help: “In the proposal made public Tuesday, the district would work with city health officials to vaccinate 80% of eligible students before Oct. 1 through a mix of school-based clinics and coordination of home-based vaccination visits,” by Chalkbeat’s Cassie Walker Burke and Mila Koumpilova.

Chinatown excited but cautious about reopening after year of misinformation, hate crimes, street crime: “While Chinatowns in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco have experienced drops in their Chinese populations due to relocation brought on by gentrifying real estate markets, Chicago’s Chinatown has remained a vital urban hub, as well as a working-class neighborhood. Chicago’s metro area is home to the fifth-largest Asian American population in the nation, according to the American Community Survey,” by Tribune’s William Lee.

Community unites with homeless people to fight their displacement from Avondale encampment: While city urges tents to be removed for scheduled cleanings along parkways and public spaces. But activists, including Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), say the cleanings upend the lives of those living on the streets. “They tell people to remove and discard their items, and then they [the homeless men] set an encampment somewhere else, but their life is once again destabilized [and] their ability to get back on their feet is diminished once again.” Tribune’s Laura Rodriguez Presa reports.

New age-progression photos of Bradley sisters released to mark 20 years since they vanished, by Sun-Times’ Mary Chappell

Market debates whether Illinois can capitalize on rating momentum: Moody’s upgraded Illinois’ credit rating for the first time in 20 years last week as Illinois started the 2021 Fiscal Year with a backlog of bills under $3 billion, according to Comptroller Susana Mendoza. “The market already had baked an upgrade into Illinois’ trading spreads, but it should still bolster a battered fiscal image and tamp down exposure to volatility with the benefits felt in the state’s next bond sale,” reports Bond Buyers’ Yvette Shields.

Advocates continue to push for equitable energy bill: “[N]egotiations are still ongoing, mostly in private working groups, even after a second failed attempt to pass an energy bill during a special two-day session in June,” by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic.

New law aims to improve Medicaid, slash costs for some families: “The new law puts into place an array of measures aimed at improving access to health care and affordability for those on Medicaid, which is a state and federally funded health insurance program for low-income people. More than 3 million people in Illinois were on Medicaid as of fiscal year 2020,” by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker.

Stratton praises initiatives aimed at food insecurity, inequity in agriculture: The lieutenant governor points to a state program “From Food Insecurity to Food Equity: A Roadmap to End Hunger” in the works that will offer an “easier paths to free discounted nutrition programs, fresh affordable produce, and more partnerships,” reports HOI ABC’s Darnysha Mitchell.

Steep hikes in penalties under new state law could prompt employers to reevaluate policies, perks: “In May, the Democrat-dominated Illinois General Assembly approved new legislation that would more than double the interest employers would need to pay under lawsuits brought through the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. The law is still awaiting a signature from Gov. J.B. Pritzker,” by Cook County Record’s Jonathan Bilyk.

— Column: Bobby Rush wants to rename I-57 for Obama, but road is already named after Tuskegee airmen, writes Daily Southtown’s Ted Slowik

Renovated Arcada Theatre set to reopen this weekend with two concerts: “CEO Ron Onesti said visitors to the 900-seat theater will be impressed by the improvements made during a $3 million renovation project that began last year before the pandemic. Arcada owners Frontier Development LLC, operated by local developers Curt and Conrad Hurst, modernized the facility and added new attractions while maintaining the location’s charm and grandeur,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

Illinois rakes in $369.7M in cannabis taxes: “The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reports total sales for May 2021 were nearly $116.4 million. That’s nearly $1.5 million more than was sold in April,” by Center Square’s Greg Bishop.

NPR Illinois to lose university funding: “The $7 million deficit sustained by University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) during the Covid-19 pandemic has required budget adjustments at the university, including the elimination of the institution’s $417,000 in direct cash support per fiscal year for NPR Illinois. The public radio station is headquartered on the Springfield campus,” by Illinois Times’ David Blanchette.

THE FIFTY: Illinois isn’t mentioned, but we can relate to this story by POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan: States faced financial ruin. Now they’re swimming in cash.

Former Madison County employee settles sexual harassment suit for $850K: “According to the settlement agreement obtained pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, Kristen Poshard received $100,000 for back wages and $402,894.44 for other losses. Poshard’s attorneys with Silverstein & Wolf LLC received $347,105.56 for fees and court costs. Despite the settlement, the agreement states that defendants Kurt Prenzler, Doug Hulme, Phil Chapman and Madison County deny all allegations of wrongdoing,” by Madison-St. Clair Record’s Heather Isringhausen Gvillo.

Trump’s Supreme Court shrinks from controversy, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein

Sober inquiry or slash-and-burn? McCarthy at a Jan. 6 crossroads, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers

Adams wins Democratic primary for mayor of New York City, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg

Political strategist Justin Nudo joins Republican Gary Rabine’s gubernatorial campaign as director of finance. In 2019, Nudo held a similar role for Garry McCarthy’s mayoral campaign.

Greenspoon Marder law firm is expanding its cannabis practice with the addition of five new attorneys in its Chicago office. Irina Dashevsky, Ryan Holz, Doug Sargent, and David Standa are joining as partners, and Robert Johnson joins the firm as of counsel. This move also coincides with partner Nick Richards being appointed as chair of the Cannabis Law practice group.

Bill Barnhart, longtime Chicago Trib biz journalist, has died, by Talking Biz News’ Chris Roush. “He dressed like a statesman and was intensely professional in his reporting. He possessed incredibly deep background on all he covered and could detect irony and facts others missed.”

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to legal eagle Mara Georges and journalist and author Edward McClelland for correctly answering David Orr was the Chicago mayor (he served briefly) who graduated from Glenbard East High School.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What infamous character in Chicago history is characterized as follows: “The only thing about him that suggested mental unsoundness was his desire to be Corporation Counsel”? Email to [email protected]

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Chicago Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel Steven McKenzie, former Ald. Rey Colon, former Cook County Judge Travis Richardson, and lobbyist and former Rep. Jerry Weller.



via Illinois Playbook

July 7, 2021 at 07:25AM

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