Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. Chicago Party Aunt has a Netflix deal — and the voice behind the Twitter account is finally public. Until now, your Playbook host has kept Chris Witaske’s name secret.
Capitol Hill police officers described in horrific detail how rioters kicked them, beat them, sprayed them with chemicals, tried gouging out their eyes, and hurled racial epithets on Jan. 6. The officers’ voices shook as they gave riveting accounts of the mob of Donald Trump supporters who overpowered them.
“All of them were telling us, ‘Trump sent us,’” recalled Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell during tearful testimony before the House select committee investigating the attack.
The four uniformed officers’ testimony was a reality check after Republicans spent weeks spinning the hearings into a political circus.
Only Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, both outspoken Republican critics of Trump, stepped up to be part of the Democratic-led panel.
Kinzinger choked back emotion in delivering his statement: Watch it here on C-SPAN.
“Some have concocted a counter-narrative to discredit this process on the grounds we didn’t launch a similar investigation into the urban riots and looting last summer,” he said.
“Mr. Chairman, I was called on to serve during the summer riots as an Air National Guardsman. I condemned those riots and the destruction of property that resulted. But not once did I ever feel that the future of self-government was threatened like I did on Jan. 6. There is a difference between breaking the law and rejecting the rule of law, between a crime — even grave crimes — and a coup,” Kinzinger said.
The Illinois Republican from the 16th Congressional District also criticized his party for fueling “overheated rhetoric” and making the investigation a political issue.
“We still don’t know exactly what happened,” he said from prepared remarks. “Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It’s toxic, and it’s a disservice to the officers’ families.”
Kinzinger’s comments flew in the face of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who didn’t allow members of his conference to attend the hearing. Some Republicans are urging McCarthy to punish Kinzinger and Cheney for participating on the committee, according to CNN.
Closer to home, ABC/7’s Craig Wall says Kinzinger’s participation on the committee could hurt his re-election plans, too.
— Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, recounted the racial slurs hurled at him and how Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis consoled him after seeing him later in the Capitol rotunda. “Rep. Rodney Davis was there offering support to officers. And when he and I saw each other, he came over and he gave me a big hug,” Dunn said. Davis did not attend the hearing. Instead, he joined McCarthy to denounce it.
— Tribune reporter Rick Pearson has more on Kinzinger’s testimony.
— Cheney and Kinzinger call out GOP leaders at first Capitol riot hearing, by POLITICO’s Meave Sheehey.
Opinion: “I’m on the Jan. 6 Committee. Here Are the Questions I Want Answered,” Kinzinger writes in The New York Times.
The Michigan cannabis company that sued to challenge the state’s process for awarding dispensaries licenses has dropped its lawsuit, according to the Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
The decision allows the state to move ahead with today’s lottery, the first of three in the coming weeks after being delayed for more than a year due to problems with scoring applications.
The lottery will match 55 licenses to applicants who scored 85 percent or better on their applications for recreational cannabis stores.
Sozo Illinois Inc. voluntarily dismissed the suit after Black and Latino applicants held a news conference Tuesday pleading to end the litigation, reports the Tribune.
Sozo had wanted to challenge what it said was a “flawed and unconstitutional process” that changed the rules after the applications were scored. “But after hearing from other social equity applicants, and out of concern over further licensing delays, company officials made the ‘difficult’ decision to withdraw.”
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At Southside Occupational Academy High School at 9 a.m. to sign legislation that increases opportunities for students with special needs. Then at Metropolitan Family Services Learning and Wellness Center at 10:30 a.m. to sign legislation addressing the early childhood workforce. And at noon he’ll be at the Discover Customer Care Center to tour the Cradles to Crayons program.
On 9400 South Ashland Ave at 9 a.m. for the grand reopening of a Jewel-Osco in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
At Wampum Lake Forest Preserve at 9 a.m. for the Forest Preserve Experience graduation ceremony.
— Illinois will follow CDC guidance on when to wear masks: “Illinois will follow federal recommendations that even fully vaccinated people should once again wear masks indoors in areas where the coronavirus is surging — which currently does not include most of the Chicago area, state public health officials said Tuesday,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
— Attending Lollapalooza? You’ll need a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test to get in, by Sun-Times’ Mary Chappell
— Does making masks only optional in schools court lawsuits? “Some worry more than others,” reports the Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke
— Biden’s talk of vaccine mandates sends labor into disarray, by POLITICO’s Rebecca Rainey and Natasha Korecki
Welch hits D.C. for fundraising, networking, delegation meetings: The Illinois House speaker flew to Washington on Monday and will remain through Saturday morning for a trip heavy on fundraising and prospecting with potential donors. Tuesday, he met with members of the Illinois congressional delegation. And in a fanboy moment, he even got House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sign a book he brought along, reports Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is throwing her hat in the ring to run for Illinois Supreme Court in the recently redrawn 2nd District, according to a filing with the State Board of Elections.
The 2nd District boundaries include DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.
Rotering will face Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Kane County Circuit Court Judge Rene Cruz in a primary next year. Lake County Judge Daniel B. Shanes, a Republican, is also in the race.
Rotering is the first woman to be elected mayor of Highland Park. She’s held the position since 2011 and before that was a council member. Rotering also ran unsuccessfully for Illinois attorney general in the crowded 2018 primary and for Congress in 2016.
The Supreme Court seat is open due to the retirement of former Justice Robert Thomas, a former placekicker with the Chicago Bears who now works for a private law firm.
The Supreme Court justices appointed Appellate Justice Michael Burke (who is not related to Chief Justice Anne Burke). He will serve until Dec. 5, 2022.
— Downstate lawyer who sued Pritzker and sought photos of him flouting Covid-19 rules now running for judge seat: “Thomas DeVore, a Sorento resident, filed paperwork for a campaign fund to support his run as a Republican for a seat on the state’s 5th Appellate District Court, which is located in Mount Vernon, the Jefferson County seat in southern Illinois,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— QUESTION FOR CANDIDATES: Have you been vaccinated? Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey declined to tell WCIA reporter Max Maxwell. Maxwell posed the question during a campaign event for Bailey, who has famously challenged Illinois’ mitigation and mask efforts, even refusing to cover his face on the floor in the state Capitol. Bailey responded: “Why should I answer that? If I’m vaccinated, is that good and, if not, bad? No, that’s not right, Mark. It’s wrong,” he says at the 2:05 time stamp.
“Asking if a candidate for Illinois’ highest public office is vaccinated is hardly off-limits,” tweeted WBEZ’s Dave McKinney. “The public is entitled to know about a candidate’s health. Former Gov. Jim Edgar underwent heart surgery during his 1994 re-election. Questions about Edgar’s health weren’t off-limits.”
Besides, reporters want to know how close to stand during an interview.
“While Bailey was hemming and hawing about vaccines and questioning data that shows how effective they are at preventing death and hospitalization, prayer groups, churches, and pastors from the area were circulating urgent messages on Facebook asking for prayers for Bailey’s brother-in-law [who] was placed on a ventilator and was transferred out of state under a medically induced coma due to Covid-19,” reports Maxwell.
— Refinancing to cover half the $600 million cost of new police contract, city says: “Civic Federation President Laurence Msall has concerns about the plan to pay for the new police contract, because ‘at a certain point, they’re gonna have to pull the rabbit out of that hat and show that, in fact, the savings is real and it’s not going to have an increased cost to the taxpayers,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Aldermen debate halts to no-knock search warrants and police gang database: “The City Council Public Safety Committee held a hearing on the proposed ordinance to outlaw no-knock search warrants, prohibit police serving warrants from pointing guns at kids and set other standards on officer behavior,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.
— Little Village residents protest opening of Target warehouse: “The neighborhood is already inundated with diesel truck traffic, community members and organizers said Tuesday. They are concerned not just about diesel particle pollutants — the fine particles can cause or exacerbate an array of health problems, such as asthma — but also about excessive traffic, noise pollution and streets that are dangerous for pedestrians and bikers,” by Tribune’s y Talia Soglin.
— No joke: Cards Against Humanity is exploring a possible sale, via Bloomberg
— Chicago firefighter charged with sexual assault is allowed to return to work duties: “The firefighter was arrested July 15, and charged with felony criminal sexual assault and misdemeanor domestic battery, according to court records. Officials said he was allowed back on the job because the matter was deemed domestic,” by Tribune’s John Byrne, Megan Crepeau and Jeremy Gorner.
— Judge rules former top Foxx deputy can be questioned about why prosecution stepped away from double-murder case: “A federal judge has again denied an attempt by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to block questioning of her former top deputy, as attorneys for the city of Chicago and a group of Chicago police officers seek to dig deeper into Foxx’s office’s decision to not seek a new trial for two men who had at one time confessed to helping murder a Chicago couple to help a woman kidnap their children,” by Cook County Record’s Jonathan Bilyk.
— Wheeler-dealer once tied to Outfit is on the lam after violating parole in $10M fraud case: “Lee Anglin failed to report to federal prison June 29 to serve six months for failing to tell his parole agent about several new business ventures — a parole violation. The Sun-Times has learned his wife is involved in another deal, a sports and dining facility that reopened last month in Orland Park. That new venture isn’t mentioned in the court records involving the parole violation,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Illinois repeals law criminalizing HIV and expands coverage for infertility treatment to LGBTQ couples and single would-be parents: “The changes were part of a package of legislation Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law that also included measures to make it easier for couples to receive marriage certificates with gender-neutral language, and to get new certificates if one or both legally change their names subsequent to the initial document being issued,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
— Bills expanding access to mental health care are among several signed into law: “Starting Jan. 1, most insurance companies doing business in Illinois will be required to provide their beneficiaries with timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous or substance abuse disorders,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
THE FIFTY: “Homicides and shootings are up and the number of cops is down in cities from Atlanta to Seattle. Crime, as a result, is dominating the discourse in mayoral races — driving candidates to talk about beefing up police patrols and bolstering depleted departments’ ranks,” reports POLITICO’s Lisa Kashinsky.
After decades of invisibility, asexuals are speaking up and gaining ground: “In the past five years asexuals, who often refer to themselves as aces, have seen hard-won progress, with both experts and ordinary people pointing to signs of increased visibility. The first International Asexuality Day was held in April, the popular TV shows “BoJack Horseman” and “Sex Education” have featured affirming storylines, publishers have offered young adult books with asexual characters, and social media has become more inclusive, with the arrival of voices such as TikTok’s Ace Dad, a married playwright in his 40s who offers hope and reassurance to teens,” by Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg.
— SCOOP by Brakkton Booker, author of POLITICO’s Recast: “There’s a new push to get the federal government to shine a light on the opaque industry that conducts the nation’s housing appraisals, which many say perpetuates racial inequities and contributes to the nation’s racial wealth gap,” according to a memo sent by Rep. Bobby Rush to the Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office
Rush, who is a co-sponsor of a bill dubbed the Real Estate Valuation Fairness and Improvement Act, is calling for a study of “the disparate home appraisal values for white-owned and African American-owned homes across the United States.” Rush wants GAO to look into why the disparities exist within home appraisals and provide a framework on how to fix the problem.
“As homeownership remains one of the central ways that American families can build wealth, it is vital to ensure that minority homeowners do not continue to receive discriminatory treatment that systematically devalues their homes,” Rush writes.
— ‘America is not racist’ becomes a GOP 2024 mantra, by POLITICO’s David Siders
— Can Rob Portman seal the big bipartisan deal? By POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine
— Trump’s favored aide has a troubled past, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse
— Jesse Jackson among 39 arrested at sit-in at Sinema’s office, by The Associated Press
Patti Vasquez, the radio personality, comedian and former candidate for state rep, is now a Monday-through-Friday host on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT 820-AM, via media reporter Robert Feder.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to political consultant Kevin Conlon and development consultant Nancy Kohn for correctly answering that the late Dawn Clark Netsch, a former state comptroller and Democratic candidate for governor, was known to fill out a detailed scorecard at White Sox games.
And h/t to Paul Colgan with the Home Builders Association who attended a few White Sox games with Netsch and remembers having to keep her scorecard up-to-date while she visited the washroom.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the name of the Heisman Trophy winner who also was a candidate for the Cook County Board of Commissioners? Email to [email protected]
State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, Gov. J.B. Pritzker chief of staff Anne Caprara, former state Senate Majority Leader Jeff Schoenberg, former state Rep. Darlene Senger, tech entrepreneur and former mayoral candidate Neal Sales-Griffin, political and media consultant Delmarie Cobb, education advocate and comms expert Peter Cunningham, and TV personality Walter Jacobson.
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July 28, 2021 at 07:27AM