TGIF, Illinois. We’re back to an indoor mask mandate today in Chicago, and that means my poker club is playing outside. Wish me luck!
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Republicans unveiled a strategy Thursday focused getting their candidates on ballots and continuing to hone their attacks on Democratic policies — whether it’s Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s efforts to manage the Covid-19 pandemic or President Joe Biden’s handling of the exit from Afghanistan. It’s all been crafted with the hope of securing some victories in the state Capitol and Congress for a party otherwise significantly outnumbered in this blue state.
“The pendulum is starting to swing our way,” GOP Chair Don Tracy told the crowd gathered for Republicans Day at the Fair. “People are saying they’ve had enough. No more tax hikes. No more attacking law enforcement. No more leftist radical agendas…and no more King Pritzker,” he said.
Tracy and other speakers throughout the day acknowledged there are challenges, including a population shift that might weaken Republicans in their traditional strongholds, dwindling finances, and divisions within the party.
“On a clear day, 70 percent of the Illinois population can see Willis Tower. That should tell you something about where most of the votes are in Illinois. And lately we’ve been losing the suburbs,” Tracy said.
But that takes money, a challenge that requires a good Republican heart and an open wallet (hello, Ken Griffin).
Mark Shaw, chairman of the Lake County Republican Central Committee, said Republicans are facing “a do-or-die election” that requires candidates “up and down the ballot for everything from governor to dogcatcher.”
What Republicans didn’t talk about Thursday was Donald Trump — though Trumpism reared its head time and again throughout the day.
When GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey said he supported the GOP platform, Playbook asked if that meant he believes Biden was elected president. Bailey hedged, saying, “Joe Biden is the president,” but he refused reporters’ repeated questions about whether Biden won the presidency.
Gary Rabine, another gubernatorial candidate, repeated misinformation about vaccines, including that they’ve killed “thousands of people.”
And when it came time to hear speeches, Sangamon County Court Clerk Paul Palazzolo felt comfortable making jokes about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden’s age, Pritzker’s weight, sexual harassment and an allusion to Hitler. h/t to NPR reporter Hannah Meisel, who transcribed it all.
Palazzolo defended his monologue as Bob Hope-esque, even though it was really more like Don Rickles. (Look him up, kids). h/t to Center Square’s Greg Bishop, who interviewed Palazzolo about it.
Democrats criticized Palazzolo’s comments, but a GOP spokesman said, “A few off-color jokes from an emcee is not the story of the day.”
The vulgar humor, the disdain for vaccines, and the refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory all fall under Trump’s umbrella and show a divide within the party that candidates will face in trying to get through a primary.
Former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, who’s also running for governor, spoke out against the misinformation and negativity.
“I’ve been very critical of Gov. Pritzker,” he’s quoted in the Tribune. “I think he’s been a catastrophic failure as governor, but I never make it personal. … He’s trying to do what he thinks is best for the state. I disagree with him vehemently about that, but you’re never going to see me attack him personally and call him names.”
The elected Republicans — Reps. Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood and Mary Miller — focused their attention on policy and winning races. Miller, who’s been known to veer off sometimes, was thoughtful in her remarks, telling the story of a Tennessee woman who challenged a school board and won. It’s proof of “the power of a regular person,” she said. It was a nice fit for the fair crowd.
— The three declared Republican gubernatorial candidates made their pitches to county leaders, WTAX’s Dave Dahl reports
— Republicans take aim at Pritzker’s mask mandate, by ABC/7’s Craig Wall
— Fire Pritzker,’ Pelosi are rallying cries at State Fair Republican Day, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock
Redistricting also loomed over Republican Day at the fair.
Rep. Rodney Davis expressed frustration and hope that the GOP would be able to pull out victories even after boundaries are redrawn with Democrats’ in mind.
He reminded that his current district was designed for a Democrat, and look how that turned out. Davis more than once needled Sen. Dick Durbin, who lives in Davis’ 13th District and has three times tried to run Democrats against Davis to no avail.
“We have tremendous opportunity with redistricting to stand for our Republicans principles and win back the House,” Davis told reporters.
He and Republican Rep. Darin LaHood acknowledged they’re waiting to decide on announcing another run for Congress based on redistricting. They both are eyeing the governor’s race if it doesn’t work out for Congress.
LaHood had also considered a run for the state Supreme Court, but the remap for those seats came out against him. The open seat isn’t in his district.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger did not attend Republican Day festivities. But there was buzz among Republicans that they expect Democrats will carve his seat up to benefit Democrats, leaving him with the option of running for statewide office and facing a difficult primary with a voter base that still supports Donald Trump, for whom Kinzinger has repeatedly criticized.
Why it matters: “Illinois is absolutely pivotal in the race for House control,” writes WBEZ’s Dave McKinney.
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At the Thompson Center at 9:30 a.m. to sign legislation that helps domestic violence survivors. At 1:30 p.m. he’ll be at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 office signing legislation that protects CTA workers’ benefits and healthcare.
No official public events.
On vacation and back in the office Aug. 23.
— Cupich instructs Chicago Archdiocese priests not to give parishioners vaccine exemptions: “In this time, the best response is to be vaccinated, as a sign of charity, as a true expression of how we live out that great commandment, not only to love God but to love our neighbor,” said Bishop Robert Casey, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago. ABC/7 reports.
… Clergy members and staff must be vaccinated, too, the letter states.
— Nurse whose unvaccinated grandmother died of Covid-19: “People have turned a medical issue into too much politics,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley and Joe Mahr.
— 41 Illinois school districts now under probation for violating state mask mandate, by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie
— In rural Illinois, getting some people to take the vaccine first takes trust, writes Kaiser Health News’ Cara Anthony
Gov. J.B. Pritzker was trending last night on Twitter.
A Rhode Island woman with the handle @louAnonAnon, asked, “Does anyone actually like their governor?”
The question prompted a Twitter thread about governors from across the country, including Pritzker.
Educator Randy Hardwick replied: “I like JB Pritzker. He’s’ up front, had a plan and been consistent. When I compare that to other states I’m grateful to be in Illinois.”
@Logan5, added: “I had my doubts about him. I don’t normally have a high opinion of billionaires but he has surprised me. He seems to have a genuine want to make Illinois a better state.”
And another said, “Not a fan, but he could be worse that’s for sure.”
There were negative takes, too, and GIFS of spit takes, laughter and eye-rolling.
— Home solar demand plunges as Illinoisans can’t tap incentives amid standoff on energy bill: “Unless legislators can send a fix to Gov. J.B. Pritzker this month, solar installations in Illinois will likely drop even more as companies lay off workers,” by Inside Climate News’ Dan Gearino and Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— New law seeks to inform, protect immigrant, refugee communities — and provide lawyers in Cook County: “The bills will create a public information campaign to help educate immigrants of their rights under the U.S. Constitution and Illinois law, and allow Cook County public defenders to represent non-citizens during any removal proceedings,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Top execs net millions with the Trump tax law: “CEOs — including chiefs of WeatherTech and Uline — appear to benefit from slashing salaries and increasing profits, an examination of a loophole in the 2017 law shows,” by ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi and Justin Elliott.
— Sounding the alarm: The Illinois State Ambulance Association says the clock is ticking on a bill that would prevent staffing shortages in ambulance companies. HB684 shifts reimbursement from the state’s Managed Care Organizations, which may deny or delay payments to ambulance companies transporting patients, to Medicaid fee-for-service reimbursement. Delayed payments create staffing issues and longer response times, the ambulance association says. Pritzker has until Aug. 28 to sign it. The General Assembly passed the bill with overwhelming majorities.
— Thousands attend funeral to honor police Officer Ella French: ‘A woman with empathy for the sufferings of others:’ “She chased stray dogs down the street while on duty so she could take them to the animal shelter. She brought banana bread and cinnamon rolls to work for her colleagues. She listened to people — even those who were angry and disrespectful — so she could better understand them,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner, Madeline Buckley and Stacy St. Clair.
— Chicago TV and film production on track to hit an all-time high this year: “Productions currently filming in the city include AMC’s “61st Street,” Showtime’s “The Chi” and a new Apple TV show starring “Handmaid’s Tale” actress Elizabeth Moss,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig.
— He dropped out of high school after witnessing a murder, and 10 years later, he’s graduating: Now 28, Lorenzo Taylor will be “one of 46 men and women from the CRED program to celebrate earning their high school degree. These are people fighting to get out of a life of gun violence,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.
— Chief investigator says he was suspended to ‘obstruct’ Chicago lifeguard abuse probe: “The suspension and Kipp’s startling decision to speak out publicly came as parks chief Michael Kelly and other top district officials have faced increasing criticism for their handling of the explosive matter,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
— For the first time in decades, ‘do not eat’ advisory removed for Illinois River fish, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene
— Out at Wrigley celebrates the 20th anniversary of its trendsetting ‘gay day,’ by Tribune’s Mariah Rush
— Activists call on Chicago officials to dump ShotSpotter contract: They say “the technology is unreliable and often leads to police being sent into communities on ‘high alert’ for false alarms,’ reports WTTW’s Matt Masterson.
Illinois’ pot shop lotteries are finally over, but licenses remain in limbo: “A Cook County commissioner, a pair of NBA veterans and a host of existing players in the weed game all scored licenses during Thursday’s drawing,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
SUBSCRIBE TO WOMEN RULE: I worked on today’s Women Rule newsletter that comes out later this morning. We’re talking about what’s next under the new Taliban rule for women and girls in Afghanistan. Subscribe to the Women Rule newsletter today.
Rep. Lauren Underwood (14th) has been named an honorary co-chair of the National Democratic Training Committee, the largest training organization in Democratic politics. Also named were Reps. Katie Porter (CA-45) and Nikema Williams (GA-05). As honorary co-chairs they will introduce NDTC’s free training resources to Democrats across the country who hope to run for office, work on campaigns, or serve their local communities. Underwood is a natural for the position as she has started her own training ground for candidates in her district.
— Inside the Biden team’s five-day scramble as Afghanistan collapsed, by POLITICO’s Bryan Bender, Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, Andrew Desiderio and Alex Thompson
— U.S.-made weapons seized by Taliban could lead to regional arms bazaar, by POLITICO’s Paul McLeary and Lee Hudson
— Sierra Club culture tolerated ‘anger and aggression,’ report finds, by POLITICO’s Zack Colman
— Obama’s birthday party a reality check for the party scene amid Covid, by POLITICO Playbook
— Karriem Watson will be chief engagement officer for NIH’s All of Us Research Program. He previously was at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
— Kady McFadden has joined Conlon Public Strategies as a senior adviser. She previously was deputy director of Sierra Club Illinois.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congratulations to Chicago Building Commissioner Matthew Beaudet for correctly answering that John Hoellen, the late 47th Ward Chicago alderman, argued that the Picasso in Daley Plaza should be replaced with a statue of Ernie Banks.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the first U.S. treaty to take Indigenous land in Chicago and what part of Chicago did it take? Email to [email protected]
Today: Rep. Brad Schneider, who turns the big 6-0, gubernatorial deputy chief of staff for federal affairs Pat Collier IV, Rise Strategy Group CEO and partner Tarrah Cooper Wright, PSP Partners external affairs SVP Jim Hock, Bully Pulpit Interactive partner Ben LaBolt, Higher Glyphs Content Group founder Shannon Travis, and WTTW reporter Heather Cherone.
Saturday: 7th Circuit Court Judge Ilana Rovner; Chicago attorney Jonathan Leach, Mariano’s branding exec Amanda Puck, and Loyola cheerleader and Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, who turns 102.
Sunday: Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kent Delgado, political consultant and co-founder of New Chicago Consulting Tom Bowen, lobbyist Frank Bass, and National Institutes of Health legislative analyst Essence Motley.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
August 20, 2021 at 07:33AM