Happy Tuesday, Illinois. I’m on my way to Springfield and the Illinois State Fair, where I’ll bask in the glory of the butter cow.
Senate President Don Harmon announced Monday that he has contracted a breakthrough case of Covid-19 after being vaccinated a few months ago.
“I’m even more grateful to be vaccinated, given how mild my symptoms have been,” Harmon said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and also to not let their guard down as we try to get back to normal.”
The news complicates this week’s political festivities in Springfield and serves as a reminder that the coronavirus is hardly behind us.
Harmon told Playbook he would not be attending Wednesday’s annual Democratic County Chairs’ Association brunch. Even before his announcement, the brunch, which normally draws hundreds of politicos from across the state, was moved out of its usual hotel ballroom to an outdoor tent because of concerns about Covid transmission.
A month ago, when Covid seemed (sorta) behind us, lawmakers were giddy with plans to attend the political events that coincide with the State Fair in Springfield.
They missed out last year on the Tuesday night schmoozing leading up to Wednesday’s annual Democratic brunch and Thursday’s Republican gathering.
Tonight’s fundraising events being held all across downtown Springfield are still on track, but some are moving outdoors and many attendees will stay masked. So much for the recovery summer.
— Booster shots for most everyone after 8 months: “The announcement, which is expected as soon as this week, comes as administration health officials have coalesced around a plan to start distributing the shots as early as mid- to late September,” by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and Sarah Owermohle.
— New daily Covid cases in Chicago top 400, a metric cited a year ago when CPS decided not to reopen schools: “The 400-case bench mark is another indicator of the latest coronavirus surge, this one largely driven by the contagious delta variant and mostly sickening those who aren’t vaccinated. It’s a metric that Chicago’s top doctor also has referred to as ‘a line in the sand for us,’” by Tribune’s Diana Wallace and Dan Petrella.
A text poll conducted this week floated Kari Steele, president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and state Rep. Lisa Hernandez as potential candidates for the Cook County Assessor’s Office now headed by Fritz Kaegi.
Steele and Hernandez told Playbook they didn’t conduct the poll, nor are they eyeing the job.
“Right now I’m president at MWRD and that’s my main priority,” Steele said. “I’m flattered that my name is coming up and that people are considering me for options. I’ve been asked before, but my priority is MWRD. I haven’t thought about [the assessor’s job].”
Hernandez texted was pretty straightforward: “Never thought about it and have no interest.”
Text of the poll, which was forwarded to Playbook, mentions both women but it clearly focuses on Steele, even referring to her husband, radio personality Maze Jackson.
The poll asked: “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, very unfavorable, no opinion or never heard of: Maze Jackson, Alexi Giannoulias, Pat Dowell, Maria Pappas, Anna Valencia, David Moore, Tom Dart, Kari Steele, Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, Fritz Kaegi, Karen Yarborough.”
The poll also asked respondents who they would vote for in the assessor’s race, listing Hernandez, Kaegi and Steele.
In a bio section of the survey, Steele is described as MWRD’s “first Black female president” who “manages a budget of $1 billion per year and last year increased services without raising any taxes. Steele says Fritz Kaegi is a Wall Street banker who has let homeowners down and let their taxes go up.” Talk about a push poll!
Then respondents were asked if the race was between Kaegi and Steele, “who would you vote for?”
It’s not surprising that Kaegi could see competition as he seeks re-election. He was an outsider who took on the machine when he defeated former Assessor Joe Berrios and exposed a system that benefited property tax lawyers and gave tax breaks to the politically connected.
Still, Kaegi’s first term hasn’t been smooth. An investigation by the Sun-Times showed his office erred in how it calculated tax breaks for low-income seniors. Kaegi attributed the problem to “previous administrations” and said the mistakes were fixed.
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At the State Fairgrounds at 9:30 a.m. to kick off Agriculture Day at the fair. In Peoria at 11:30 a.m. with Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin to celebrate the C-130 Aircraft Fleet and the Illinois National Guard. At U. of I. Springfield at 2 p.m. to sign legislation recognizing the importance of agricultural science in education. At 4 p.m. he’ll attend the Illinois AFL-CIO Labor Appreciation Reception in Springfield. And at 5 p.m. he’ll be back at the State Fairgrounds to attend the “Sale of Champions” on Agriculture Day.
No official public events.
On vacation. Back to the office on Aug. 23.
— GOP contends census results invalidate Illinois legislative maps; Democrats say they’re open to adjustments: “Democrats did not directly dispute the GOP’s analysis of census data that showed discrepancies between population estimates the party used to draw the maps and the census data that was released Thursday. The party said it is reviewing the latest numbers and will make changes to the maps if necessary. Any changes would require another vote by the Democratic-controlled legislature, unless they are the result of a court order,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— Nifty map: Census 2020: Did the place where you live gain or lose residents? Search Chicago-area counties by city or village, by Tribune’s Kori Rumore.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign snagged endorsements from six unions whose leaders who sit on the powerful AFL-CIO board and two high-profile suburban committeemen — Dean Maragos of the New Trier Township Democrats and Michael Cudzik of the Schaumburg Township Democrats. Both are part of the Cook County Democratic Party organization.
The union support comes from Illinois Postal Workers Union and its Northwest Illinois Area Local 7140; United Steelworkers District 7, which includes 60 locals with more than 15,000 members in Illinois; SMART-Transportation Division (formerly United Transportation Union), which represents 10,000 active and retired Illinois members; Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 265; and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union No. 1, which includes 3,500 statewide members.
— SCOOP: Top Illinois House Republican moves toward statewide run: “Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer is weighing a run for Illinois Secretary of State or Treasurer,” reports Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— THE JUICE: State Sen. Darren Bailey, who’s running for the GOP nomination for governor, reports raising more than $420,000 in the past week, including $200,000 from businessman Melvin Alex, according to the State Board of Elections.
— City Council committee led by indicted Ald. Carrie Austin spends more, does less than nearly all others: “More than 45 days after Austin was indicted on charges of bribery and lying to federal officials, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who picked Austin to lead the Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity, has yet to call for Austin to relinquish her position,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Chicago Park District suspends two managers in lifeguard sex abuse scandal: “In a hastily called news conference at a beach on the South Side, [Park District CEO Michael] Kelly also sought to vehemently rebut statements from the whistleblower and other female former lifeguards who told WBEZ he had not handled the allegations properly,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
… Dozens of Chicago Park District workers disciplined after probe of sexual misconduct by lifeguards, reports Tribune’s Jade Yan and Diana Wallace.
— Obama Presidential Center costs detailed as groundbreaking takes place at Jackson Park: “An athletic field on the Obama Center Jackson Park site was torn up Monday, while motorists near the park were warned to expect traffic delays due to construction,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Neil Bluhm fends off threats and chases opportunities in a changing industry: Billionaire Neil Bluhm’s Rush Street Gaming “is widely considered by industry insiders to be the leading contender” to build Chicago’s planned casino “but Bluhm says he hasn’t decided whether to submit a bid,” reports Crain’s A.D. Quig.
— Trump Hotel’s mask “mandate”: While Donald Trump has been quiet about mask mandates, his hotels across the country have adopted a variety of different masking policies. The Trump International hotel in Miami, for instance, requires masks to be worn in all public places, according to its Covid-19 guidance and confirmed by a hotel representative. The Trump Hotel in Chicago has a Covid-19 policy that similarly suggests employees are required to wear masks. “While you will still see our associates in face masks, please note that we no longer require face masks for vaccinated guests,” it reads. POLITICO’s Sam Stein and Meridith McGraw report.
— Proud Boys flock to pro-Columbus statue rally in Little Italy as far right ups profile: “The statue continues to bring hate and divisiveness to this community,” one resident said after the event last month marking the one-year anniversary of its removal. Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba and Manny Ramos reported over the weekend.
— Hobby Lobby loses fight to block transgender woman from bathroom: “The decision applies statewide to every transgender individual and every public bathroom, not just the Hobby Lobby store in East Aurora, Ill. ‘It is so broad, sweeping, when you read through it,’ said attorney Jacob Meister, who has represented Meggan Sommerville for more than nine years of her 11-year battle to use the ladies room at work, working alongside attorney Katie Christy.” Gov. J.B. Pritzker praised the ruling, tweeting, “I’m pleased to see the court recognize Hobby Lobby’s stance against its employee as what it is: discrimination based on gender-identity.” Forbes reports
— Court order bars city from releasing footage of fatal shooting of Officer Ella French: “French was shot on Aug. 7 as she and two other Chicago police officers conducted a traffic stop on an SUV carrying brothers Eric and Emonte Morgan in the West Englewood neighborhood,” by WTTW’s Matt Masterson.
— VIOLENCE IN THE CITY: 55 shot, 6 killed during weekend, including 70-year-old woman and 7-year-old girl, by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
— NEW PROPERTY TAX DATA: Businesses and minorities hit hardest by latest tax bills, county report says: “An analysis by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ staff finds the tax load shifting to commercial property, but higher levies and assessments are whacking some homeowners,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— New area code for south and west suburbs that use 708: “The Illinois Commerce Commission announced Monday that a new 464 area code will be added to suburban areas south and west of Chicago that use 708,” by Tribune’s Tatyana Turner.
Surge of International students from India prompts University of Illinois to launch office in New Delhi: “In fall 2020, there were 2,848 international students from India in the U. of I. system, including Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign, with the largest number, 1,801, in Urbana-Champaign, a U. of I. spokesman said. In total, there were 13,878 international students out of a total student population of 90,343, or 15.4 percent, enrolled throughout the U. of I. system last fall,” by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta.
Cook County judge says ‘it’s very possible’ pot shop licensing process will have to be ‘redone’: “Everybody then would be subject to just another application process or another lottery, who knows what,” said Judge Moshe Jacobius, who has already held up the formal issuance of the next round of lucrative dispensary permits. Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba reports.
— Can America still help Afghanistan? 8 former officials on what’s next, via POLITICO magazine
— Biden was barreling toward perilous political waters. Then Afghanistan happened, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki, Christopher Cadelago and Ally Mutnick
— Pence convenes GOP donors, luminaries at Jackson Hole retreat, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt
— Democrats stunned by prospect of losing 2 biggest governors within weeks, by POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek, Jeremy B. White and Carla Marinucci
— Sen. William Haine will be remembered for public service: He had a long political career before he even entered the state Senate, where he once said one of his greatest accomplishments “was legislation to create the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers threatened to decertify the region’s levees,” by the Telegraph’s Jill Moon.
— Juan Antonio ‘Tony’ Fernandez, Jr., founder of Tony’s Sports streetwear chain, dies at 54: “Fernandez died last week in Texas in an apparent drowning. Over the years, the chain drew major hip-hop stars, including Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, DMX and Common,” by Sun-Times’ Cheyanne M. Daniels.
— James Hormel, first openly gay U.S. ambassador, dies at 88: “He was a former dean of students at the University of Chicago law school, where he received a degree,” by the AP.
— Will Baldwin is now deputy chief of staff and comms director for Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. He was previously senior adviser and head of comms.
— Hugo Jacobo has joined Wildfire Mail’s client services division in Chicago. He will work with organizations and candidates at all ballot levels. Jacobo was campaign manager for state Rep. Margaret Croke and for Deputy Gov. Sol Flores’ congressional campaign. He most recently served as the Western States GOTV Director for the 2020 Biden for President campaign in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.
— Dennis A. O’Sullivan is political account manager for Effectv Chicago political advertising company. He previously was president of his own public affairs firm, DAO Public Affairs. O’Sullivan is a past recipient of Golden Trumpet and Platinum awards by the Publicity Club of Chicago.
Tiffany Sostrin, director of government affairs for the Chicago Park District, and Timothy Sostrin, an attorney at Keogh Law, welcomed James on Aug. 5. He joins 3-year-old sister, Lani. Pic!
Today at 10 a.m.: “Understanding Our New World” webinar featuring Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz in a discussion with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Gong-Gershowitz will talk about how the TEAACH law came about.
Today, 3:30-5:30 p.m.: A reception supporting Sens. Scott Bennett, Rachelle Crowe, Meg Loughran Cappel, Patrick Joyce, Steve Landek, and Doris Turner, and Rep. Natalie Manley at the Illinois Broadband and Cable Association office in Springfield.
Tonight, 5-7 p.m.: Senate Democratic Caucus holds a fundraiser in conjunction with the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois at 100 W. Cook St. in Springfield.
Tonight, 5-7 p.m.: Reception supporting Anna Valencia for Secretary of State at J.P. Kelly’s Pub in Springfield.
Tonight, 5-6 p.m.: Reception supporting Comptroller Susana Mendoza at Anvil & Forge Brewing in Springfield.
Tonight, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Dem Day Reception with Rep. Jay Hoffman at Papa Frank’s in Springfield.
Tonight, 6-8 p.m.: Reception supporting Alexi Giannoulias for Secretary of State at Buzz Bomb Brewing in Springfield.
Tonight, 7-9 p.m.: Illinois Democratic Women Bash Before the Brunch at J.P. Kelly’s Pub in Springfield.
Tonight, 7-9 p.m.: Reception supporting Sens. Bill Cunningham, Linda Holmes, Dave Koehler, Laura Murphy and Omar Aquino at Sangamo Club in Springfield.
Tonight, 7-10 p.m.: Larry Walsh Jr Pre Dem Day Reception at the Alamo Springfield.
Tonight, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Governor’s Day Eve Celebration for Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Attorney General Kwame Raoul at D.H. Browns in Springfield.
Tonight, 9-11 p.m.: Last Bash Before the Brunch with party chairs from DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties at the Crowne Plaza Springfield.
Wednesday, 9-11 a.m.: Democratic County Chairs Brunch at the Crowne Plaza Springfield.
Wednesday, around noon: Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair on the Director’s Lawn.
Wednesday, 4-5:30 p.m.: Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin Happy Hour before the State Fair at J.P. Kelly’s in Springfield. Contact: [email protected] or 630-561-5814.
Thursday, 8 a.m.: GOP State Central Committee and Republican County Chairs Association meeting at the Wyndham Hotel in Springfield.
Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Illinois GOP Chairman Don Tracy, Reps. Darin LaHood, Rodney Davis, and Mary Miller; RNC Co-Chair Tommy Hicks; RNC Committeeman Richard Porter; and leaders Jim Durkin and Dan McConchie headline Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair on the Director’s Lawn.
Thursday, 2-4 p.m.: Sen. Jason Barickman State Fair Reception at Franny’s in Springfield. Contact: [email protected] or 815-596-9160.
Thursday, 3-5 p.m.: State Rep. Dan Brady State Fair Reception at Fulgenzi in Springfield. Contact Lori at 773-320-1938 or [email protected].
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congratulations to 17th Ward Chicago political observer Tim Thomas, comms consultant Jim Bray and political consultant Steve Sheffey for correctly answering that Sen. Dick Durbin’s floor speech about wooden baseball bats went viral, so to speak, back in 1989.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Along with visiting the Illinois State Fair 50 years ago, President Richard Nixon signed legislation making the Lincoln home a national historic site and part of the National Park Service. Where did he sign the bill? Email to [email protected]
State Rep. Michelle Mussman (56th), Cook County Circuit Court Judge Pat Stanton, Chicago Board of Elections public information director Max Bever, former state of Illinois spokesperson Mary Kendrigan, Chicago House CEO Michael Herman, former United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek, and Mike Lawrence, former director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
August 17, 2021 at 07:18AM