TALKS FIZZLE ON ENERGY BILL — OBAMA STILL GETS PARK PUSHBACK — LESLIE BLUHM’s WHITE HOUSE NOD

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TALKS FIZZLE ON ENERGY BILL — OBAMA STILL GETS PARK PUSHBACK — LESLIE BLUHM’s WHITE HOUSE NOD

Happy Tuesday, Illinois. While former Gov. Rod Blagojevich holds a presser about getting his reputation back, former Gov. Jim Edgar was sharing insight in his executive leadership training program. You can learn a lot from both.

Negotiations around the clean energy bill that stalled in the General Assembly earlier this year have completely broken down, prompting criticism from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and a vow by lawmakers to step in to try to hammer out their own compromise.

“I have negotiated in good faith as pro-coal forces have shifted the goalposts throughout this process,” Pritzker wrote to labor leaders who announced Monday they had hit an impasse in talks with environmentalists. “I stand ready and willing to sign the bill that reflected discussions in legislative working groups and included agreed upon policies that you received on June 10. If you are willing to remove the barriers to moving forward, the impasse you find yourselves at can be resolved.”

State Sen. Bill Cunningham, who’s been working behind the scenes on the legislation, said the stalled talks were “disappointing, but we certainly don’t think this is the end of things.”

In an interview with Playbook, he said: “We’ll work to put together a comprehensive energy bill and are confident that we can have legislation that environmentalists and organized labor will be pleased with. Neither side will be 100 percent pleased but rarely is any party 100 percent pleased with any legislation.”

Labor unions and environmentalists acknowledged the impasse in separate letters that came just days after Exelon said it would make good on its threat to close two nuclear power plants if it didn’t get state funding that was supposed to be written into the legislation.

The energy company says that funding will help keep the units running while the state ramps up its clean-energy efforts.

The two sides have been huddling since June to come up with a compromise after they failed to reach a deal during the spring legislative session.

At the crux of the issue is the state’s timeline for decarbonization. Pritzker has proposed — and environmentalists have embraced — a schedule that would have coal and natural gas power plants wind down at the rate of about 20 percent of their carbon emissions every five years.

Labor is concerned at how fast utilities must move on hitting the caps in carbon emissions and that gas plants could close earlier than desired.

Unions say two municipally owned coal-fired power plants — one in Springfield and the and another in Metro East — could be in danger of closing as a result of the accelerated schedule. And construction on Three Rivers Energy Center in Grundy County, a natural gas plant, could be stopped. “The parent company has threatened to pull the plug on the project based on Pritzker and the environmental groups’ proposal,” reports NPR Illinois’ Hannah Meisel.

Behind their carefully worded statements about an impasse, labor claims it has delivered on its end while environmentalists, like Pritzker, say the unions keep changing their minds on what they’ll agree to.

“There will be a decarbonization goal one way or another,” Cunningham said. “The question is how aggressive will that goal be.”

Another wrinkle: The federal bipartisan infrastructure bill has a provision that will bail out unprofitable nuclear plants — promising! — “but it won’t save two nukes Exelon has said it plans to close this fall,” reports Crain’s Steve Daniels.

LETTER FROM CHICAGO: ’It’s been hard opposing Barack Obama’: His presidential center still faces resistance, your host wrote for POLITICO magazine: Much of the Jackson Park community has embraced the plans for the Obama Presidential Center after some initial skepticism, and construction crews are prepared to start preliminary work as soon as August 15, when the foundation takes possession of a portion of the park from the city. But it’s not clear that the timeline will unfold as planned. Last week, local activists took another step forward in their years-long fight against the project, hoping to stop construction and force a change in location.

Activists say they have broader support but residents are fearful of speaking out against the Obamas. “Many environmental organizations having to do with open lands and friends of the park and so forth — they are studiously quiet. They will not take a position on litigation. They won’t write an amicus brief. They won’t publish any letters,” says Richard Epstein, the lead attorney for Protect Our Parks.

Obama Foundation President Valerie Jarrett says it’s not a matter of residents fearing the Obamas — it’s that support for the lawsuit just isn’t there. “People aren’t afraid… Early in the process we held constructive sessions with residents. We listened and made improvements. That is why there is overwhelming support for the project now.”

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

No official public events.

No official public events.

No official public events.

The White House has nominated Chicago nonprofit leader Leslie Bluhm to the board of directors of AmeriCorps. It’s a good fit for Bluhm, who co-founded the Chicago Cares volunteer service organization — it connects volunteers to nonprofits in communities in need.

Like her father, billionaire Neil Bluhm, Leslie Bluhm is a major donor to Democratic political campaigns and causes. Most recently, she served as a bundler for Joe Biden’s presidential bid. In 2018, she donated $100,000 to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign, and in 2019, she gave another $100,000 to Lori Lightfoot. The Bluhms have also given mega bucks to issues such as marriage equality, abortion rights organizations, and environmental causes.

Along with serving on the board of Chicago Cares, Bluhm, sits on the boards of The Chicago Community Trust, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, OneGoal, Whitney Museum of American Art, Shining Hope for Communities, and Rush Street Interactive Inc., which is headed by her dad.

She talked to Chicago magazine about her volunteer efforts in 2011, when she was named a Chicagoan of the Year.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are among the big political names lined up to take part in the Aug. 14 Bud Billiken Day Parade, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The South Side parade was started 92 years ago to celebrate the start of the school year. That’s still the theme, but over the years, the parade has become an important stop on any political campaign.

This year is no different. Honorary Dignitaries will be the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Congressman Danny Davis. Also joining the procession: Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Lt. Gov. Julian Stratton, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez, Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyers-Ervin, and candidates for Illinois secretary of state.

Candace Parker, the two-time WNBA MVP and Chicago Sky forward, will serve as the grand marshal.

There’s still time to sign up at [email protected].

Blagojevich fights for right to run for state, local office — but insists, ‘I don’t have any particular plan to do it’: “With a camera crew following him around, the former governor told the reporters he’d invited to the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, ‘I don’t like this place,’” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Pritzker signs bill aimed at fixing flaws in gun laws blamed for Aurora warehouse shooting: “What has kept me up at night since that horrific day is that the shooter used a gun he never should have had,” said Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman, who will retire Friday. “He used that gun to steal these precious lives.” Tribune’s Dan Petrella reports

Pritzker signs law banning local jails from detaining people facing deportation: “Three county jails have contracts with ICE to hold people facing deportation,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

New York, California, and Illinois lose Boomer population, while Texas gains millennials: “New York, California, and Illinois experienced the most outflow of adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2019, while Florida, Texas, and Arizona gained the most AGI. The IRS included a breakdown of this migration by age group,” Truth in Accounting reports.

McDonald’s requires masks again for customers and employees in areas with high Covid transmission: “The fast-food giant is the largest national chain to add the requirement back for both employees and customers following updated masking guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” via USA Today.

From playing music to training for a marathon: How teachers have been soaking up summer after a stressful school year: “We are able to get dirty, we are able to talk a lot more, we are able to play with each other,” Nadia Corvera said of the 22 [summer school] students she’s working with in person. “It gives them an opportunity to get that fun part and social aspect of school that they missed out on this year.” WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad reports.

Among strong competition for worst governor, his chances aren’t Small: “As chaotic, corrupt and bumbling as Illinois state government has been for the last 25 years or so, nothing can match the era of two-term Gov. Len Small, who 100 years ago this week was playing hide-and-seek with the Sangamon County sheriff who was attempting to arrest him…. For almost three weeks from the day that Small, his lieutenant governor and Kankakee County banker Vernon Curtis were indicted by a Sangamon County grand jury, the governor stayed out of Springfield,” by the News-Gazette’s Tom Kacich.

Springfield’s Daughters of the American Revolution chapter celebrates 126th anniversary, by Illinois Times’ Cinda Ackerman Klickna

Chicago Police Department opts for go-slow approach to redeploy cops: “Police told aldermen high-crime districts would get help as rookies graduate from the academy, but it’ll take years to get South and West Side districts to proper levels. A University of Chicago Crime Lab model called for a faster, more widespread approach using veteran cops, too,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and Frank Main.

— INVESTIGATION: A reckoning at Covenant Fellowship Church: “Sources said the UIUC campus church’s culture, structure and charismatic leader were among the reasons why so many stories of sexual abuse remained hidden for so long,” by WBEZ’s By Esther Yoon-Ji Kang and Susie An.

Related Midwest to fire unvaccinated employees by Aug. 31: “The firm behind the 78 megadevelopment will terminate workers without religious or medical exemptions who refuse to get vaccinated,” reports Crain’s New York Business (the company is based there).

As Delta rises, more Chicago restaurants require proof of vax: “Chicago isn’t issuing a mask mandate, but the city is urging diners to use facial coverings indoors,” by Eater’s Ashok Selvam.

The Loop is 58% back to normal: New data from Chicago Loop Alliance says “the increase in pedestrian activity at the end of June was the highest week-to-week increase since the start of the pandemic,” reports Loop North News’ Steven Dahlman.

River North chocolate factory has world reach: “Barry Callebaut’s various cocoa products are found in one out of four chocolate products around the world. That includes everything from Oreos and Kit Kats to Vosges chocolate, and local/regional chocolateries get their cocoa products from Barry Callebaut,” by Elisa Shoenberger for Loop North News.

Chicago residents fed up with noisy caravans of motorcycles: “I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and I’ve never heard the noise level to this extent before.” WTTW Paris Schutz reports. With video

19 people arrested at Lollapalooza this year, most for trying to sneak in, officials say, by Tribune’s Zach Harris

Fearing ‘tsunami of evictions,’ county touts free programs to help landlords, tenants: “The Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt program offers mediation so landlords and tenants can avoid eviction proceedings now that federal and state eviction moratoriums have expired,” by Sun-Times’ Nichole Shaw.

Chicago-area mechanics on strike, affecting 50+ dealerships: “There’s stipulations in the contract we’re not happy with as a whole, as a union, that’s why we’re out here, just looking to get things right,” said one striking worker outside of a Forest Park dealership, who did not want to give his name, via Fox/32.

Smollett’s new legal team addresses media for the first time, promises court fight: “The six defense attorneys at Monday’s news conference, hired by Smollett earlier this year, are all Black. That was a deliberate decision on the actor’s part, attorney Tamara Walker said. ‘His parents were civil-rights activists, and he continued their cause,’ she said. ‘It was important that his team was reflective … of what the society looks like in Chicago,’” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau.

CTA begins moving historic Lakeview house 30 feet west as part of Brown Line flyover project: “The Vautravers Building, which has been in the CTA’s path for over a century, is being moved 30 feet to the west in the direction of North Clark Street. The property’s original owners, who built the house in the 1890s, wouldn’t sell when work to construct the Red Line began, resulting in the construction of ‘L’ tracks that looped around the building,” by Tribune’s Jade Yan.

Democrats scramble for cash to cover Biden’s $3.5T plan, by POLITICO’s Jennifer Scholtes and Brian Faler

Schumer weaponizes August recess to advance Biden agenda, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett

Trump raised millions but spent none of it on audits and GOP candidates, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw

Biden’s big attempt at equity in agriculture hits dead end, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Ximena Bustillo

Four officers who responded to January 6 attack have died by suicide, via CNN

Today: State Rep. Natalie Manley is holding a baseball fundraiser at the White Sox v. Royals game. Cost is $1,500 per ticket. Contact: [email protected].

Today: State Sen. Patrick Joyce is holding a golf outing fundraiser at the Illini Country Club. Cost is $1,000 per golfer. Contact: Tony Freveletti 312 -451-2405 or Joe Handley at 217-855-0382.

Gone but hardly forgotten: Encounters with comic Jackie Mason in Chicago: “Mason frequently visited Chicago stages…he was a regular at Mister Kelly’s and then, in what is surely one of the most remarkable comebacks in entertainment history, sold out such venues as Poplar Creek, the Briar Street Theatre, Schubert Theatre, Zanies and other places. He liked Chicago. ‘I think Chicago is an orderly version of New York. Chicago has maybe a few less restaurants,’” the Tribune’s Rick Kogan recalls Mason saying.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to U. of I. professor of state politics Christopher Mooney for correctly answering that Menard Correctional Center was built by inmates and also had an on-site quarry.

h/t to former legislator-turned-lobbyist John Fritchey for noting the Joliet prison was also built in part by inmates and had a quarry, but it’s been closed for nearly a decade.

TODAY’s QUESTION: One of Al Capone’s early bases of operations was the Four Deuces “nightclub.” Why was it called the Four Deuces? Email to [email protected]

State Rep. Tom Demmer, Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner Debra Shore, former Sen. Roland Burris, Accion CEO and former Durbin aide Brad McConnell, Conagra chief comms officer Jon Harris, Obama Foundation chief international officer Bernadette Meehan, Tribune reporter Greg Pratt, and Illinois native, podcaster and former Slate CEO Jacob Weisberg.

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Feeds,News,Politics

via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq

August 3, 2021 at 07:31AM

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