TGIF, Illinois. Feeling nostalgic and looking forward to watching the Mr. Kelly’s doc.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Chicago progressives are sending a letter to ActBlue, the fundraising portal for Democrats across the country, asking that Ald. Jim Gardiner be removed from its platform, saying he’s become “Chicago’s very own Donald Trump… vulgar and misogynistic.”
This is familiar territory for ActBlue, which recently terminated former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over revelations of sexual harassment.
The Illinois progressives even reference Cuomo in asking ActBlue to take Gardiner off its portal, according to a draft copy of the letter shared with Playbook.
The letter addresses the recent trouble that’s put Gardiner in the hot seat, too, including using “vulgar and misogynistic language” to refer to “a fellow aldermen, women and the LGBT community,” and a reported FBI investigation into “multiple claims of misdeeds, including bribery, pay-to-play, and denying constituent services to those who have publicly disagreed with him.”
Gardiner did not respond to a request for comment.
“Alderman Gardiner has no place on a platform aimed at advancing Democratic and progressive causes,” the letter states, adding that the 45th Ward alderman “only pretends to be a Democrat when it is politically convenient.”
The letter says Gardiner “claimed to be an independent” while running for office in 2019 and “was supported by multiple prominent Chicago Republicans, including local GOP committeemen who circulated petitions on his behalf.”
Speaking of lapses in judgment… Rep. Mark Batinick says it’s not high-level positions like governor that he wants to single out in a grassroots recall campaign.
“It’s for all the local politicians behaving badly,” he told Playbook. “Look at Chicago. There are three aldermen who have been indicted and they’re voting to give themselves a raise.”
Batinick and state Sen. Jason Barickman talked briefly with Playbook yesterday after our report about the grassroots recall effort that they’re working on with the Illinois Opportunity Project, a conservative tax-exempt group that was co-founded by Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman (though the two organizations are no longer connected).
They’re not ready to talk specifics, though the campaign and legislative rollout will be next week. Batinick acknowledged he’s focused more on “local politicians,” even though it also would target state officials, too. This isn’t a new interest for Batinick. He proposed similar legislation in 2014 when he first ran for office. “It’s been seven years and I think it’s time a Republican get it across the finish line.”
Barickman said: “We want to empower voters and give them the tools necessary to hold public officials at all levels accountable.”
Batinick knows it would be next to impossible to unseat a governor in Illinois, which doesn’t have the same kind of recall rules they do in La La Land. Illinois requires 10 House Democrats, 10 House Republicans, and five members of each party from the Senate as well as about 915,000 signatures from regular folks (15 percent of the more than 6 million votes cast in 2020), and 100 signatures from each of Illinois’ 102 counties to get to a recall.
“It would be hard to meet that threshold for a governor,” said Batinick. “Probably only [Rod] Blagojevich could have been recalled.”
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At Kreative Kids Learning Center at 11:15 a.m. in Alton to discuss childcare investments that support families in the Metro East. At MidAmerica St. Louis Airport at 1 p.m. with Boeing officials to announce the company’s manufacturing investment. At the Touchette Regional Hospital at 2:30 p.m. to mark the passage of legislation expanding maternal and postpartum care across Illinois.
No official public events.
No official public events.
— Not a single ICU bed free, doctors and nurses bone tired — southern Illinois battles a virus and ‘a plethora of disinformation’: “We’ve been pounding away saying the disease is the enemy, not each other. But we’re running out of ways to say it,” said Rosslind Rice, communications director for Southern Illinois Healthcare, by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Access remains slim in rural Illinois: “What I think we are really facing right now is a mental health crisis among our children,” said Chi Chi Okwu, executive director of EverThrive Illinois, “and that is also statewide.” TWAX’s Dave Dahl reports
— Illinois Manufacturers’ Association encouraging vaccines and mask wearing, by WCIA’s Sarah Lehman
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm showered Illinois lawmakers with praise after passage of the clean-energy legislation that was three years in the making. She tweeted her congratulations to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and then talked to him on the phone.
He gave props to House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s team tweaked the Senate bill that allowed all the opposing forces to finally agree on a bill that dodged lawmakers.
Granholm then called Welch. “She said she thought the work we did was ‘wonderful’ and that we should take a bow,” Welch told Playbook. “She said she’d love to ‘give me a hug’ and that she was proud of the work we did to save nuclear plants and jobs. She just made my day.”
Granholm called Senate President Don Harmon, too. “We had talked a few weeks before we passed the bill and then I got a kind voicemail today thanking us for taking action,” Harmon told Playbook.
So did she ask for tips on how to get energy legislation passed in Congress? Big laugh from Welch. “No, it was a quick call.”
New law sets end dates for fossil-fuel power plants, but Illinois coal mining still contributes to pollution: “Illinois remains a major coal supplier, even as the state and the nation as a whole shift away from burning the fossil fuel to generate electricity,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— Nominee for state watchdog job steps down after social media posts surface bashing Trump: “In one Facebook post from last July, Dennis Rendleman writes in part ‘ever wonder if Covid might be God’s punishment for 45’s election and reign?’ referring to the former president. A scan of Rendleman’s page shows the former inspector general nominee posted negative opinion stories and political cartoons about Trump,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— An Illinois school mandate that isn’t controversial: 30 minutes of recess: “Parents and advocates are cheering a new requirement that K-5 students get a half-hour of unstructured play time every day,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— During pandemic, Illinois Lottery said it set a sales record: “According to the officials, the Lottery’s final net Income figure for fiscal year 2021, which ended on June 30, is estimated to be $779 million, which is still to be audited and confirmed. They said the Lottery experienced record-setting sales this fiscal year, growing by 21%, with players buying $2.2 billion worth of scratch tickets and more than $1.2 billion in draw-based games,” by St. Louis Business Journal’s Ben Miller.
— Senate confirms Carrigan’s appointment to Illinois Commerce Commission: “Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker appointed Carrigan, a former Decatur city council member and mayor, to a five-year term on Jan. 31, 2020. Before joining the ICC, Carrigan served as an Illinois American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations officer for more than 19 years,” via Herald & Review’s Donnette Beckett.
— New Southwest Side aviation maintenance training facility ready for takeoff in less than two weeks, by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Big and burly, with a supersized orange bill, the once rare American white pelican is migrating through Illinois: “The best time to see them is now, during their semiannual migration through Illinois, when hundreds rest and refuel near the Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, 50 miles southwest of Chicago, and thousands descend on preserves such as the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge in Lewistown,” by Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg.
— Fish, birds and flooded basements stand to benefit from marsh restoration at Powderhorn Lake, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Feds: Chicago-area company bribed Amtrak official with Bruno Mars tickets, trips, steaks and cigars in $100M Philly project: It started small, then for two years, “MARK 1 executives participated in a scheme to bribe the Amtrak official overseeing their $58 million contract with far more lavish gifts, including trips to India and the Galapagos Islands, meals at an expensive steakhouse, lavish parties at Atlantic City casinos, tickets to see Bruno Mars, and even a German shepherd puppy that the company later paid to have trained, according to federal court records unsealed in Chicago,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
— Mother of teen who drowned at Rogers Park pier files wrongful-death lawsuit against Park District: “Lawsuit alleges that as Miguel Cisneros was drowning at Pratt Pier in Rogers Park, bystanders searched for flotation devices to no avail,” by Tribune’s Talia Soglin.
— Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson used same accounting firm that cleared Bridgeport bank before it failed: “Defense attorneys in the alderman’s criminal case point to mistakes by the bank, the Bansley & Kiener accounting firm and even Thompson himself, writing that, ‘Mr. Thompson’s lack of organization and lack of attention to the details of his personal financial affairs are central to his defense,’” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak and Jon Seidel.
— The FTC can get money back for duped consumers after all, Chicago federal judge rules: “The agency is still trying to recover $5.2 million for apartment-hunters who say they were duped into paying unwanted credit-monitoring fees to Credit Bureau Center,” by Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann.
— Chicago teams are betting on a Daley to win City Hall OK for ‘sports book’ wagering at arenas: “Cook County Commissioner John Daley’s son is lobbying the Chicago City Council to approve sports betting at or near Sox park, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and the United Center,” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak and Robert Herguth.
— Cook County prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the lifeguard sex abuse scandal: “We are in the process of evaluating the validity of the complaints,” Foxx said. “The office is committed to conducting careful and thorough evaluations of such complaints.” WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos reports.
— Lightfoot doubles down on plan to go after gangs’ profits amid pushback: The mayor is “rejecting intense criticism that the plan would target Black and Latino Chicagoans and do nothing to stop shootings. The City Council’s Committee on Rules is set to meet at 1 p.m. Friday to send the proposal Lightfoot dubbed the “Victims’ Justice Ordinance” to the Public Safety Committee for a substantive hearing and vote, potentially setting up a final vote next month,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Chicago police record-keeping still a chaotic, risky mess: report: “The city could potentially lose criminal cases and face financial penalties because police just won’t reform, inspector general says.
— More on council’s salary hikes: No joke, five in City Council reject salary boost: “The five taking a pass on the raise are a mix of North, Northwest and Southwest Side Council members. all in their first or second term — Raymond Lopez (15th), Silvana Tabares (23rd), Felix Cardona (31st), Gilbert Villegas (36th) and Matt Martin (47th),” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
… George Cardenas blames ‘mix-up’ for his inclusion on the no-raise list, by Tribune’s John Byrne.
— With Mexican Independence in mind, ‘Chicago Tonight’ showcases Little Village: “The vibrant Little Village community has been bustling with Mexican Pride as celebrations are in full force for Mexican Independence Day. Nearly 84% of Little Village’s population is Latino or Hispanic,” by WTTW’s Acacia Hernandez and Joanna Hernandez.
— Riot Fest 2021: A ‘grateful’ Patti Smith performs, and more Day 1 highlights: “Riot Fest returned to Douglass Park on Thursday with music, a carnival, wedding chapel and more,” reports Jeff Elbel in the Sun-Times. Riot Fest runs through Sunday.
— Billy Dec to open new Sunda in Fulton Market District: “The Chicago restaurant operator is leasing space from Sterling Bay on his quest toward nationwide expansion,” by Crain’s Ally Marotti.
— Sherman Thomas, the Chicago TikTok star who showcases Chicago history, was featured on the Today show. “A lot of times you think of a historian and he doesn’t have dreads or tattoos… But I’ve spent a lot of time studying Chicago history,” he said on the Today Show.
— ‘Sad to see that close’: Sears soon will end its 50-year run at Woodfield: "Officials from Sears’s Hoffman Estates-based parent company Transformco announced Thursday it will close the Woodfield store, its last remaining location in Illinois, on Nov. 14, as part of a corporate plan to ‘redevelop and reinvigorate the property,’” by Daily Herald’s Charles Keeshan and Eric Peterson.
— Meet the couple rescuing a Frank Lloyd Wright in Hinsdale: “Five years into rehabbing another home that Wright designed in Cincinnati, the couple are now also taking on a house that some feared was headed for demolition this summer,” by Crain’s Dennis Rodkin.
— ‘Additional information’ surfaces about recently reinstated priest accused of sexually abusing minors, by Tribune’s Rosemary Sobol
We asked: What’s your go-to song for karaoke? John Lopez, contributor to the McHenry County Blog, said he belts out "Come Fly with Me" by Frank Sinatra and "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer. Lopez said he was inspired to sing the Sinatra tune after watching it performed on the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode titled "His Way.”
Question: In light of Sears upcoming exit from Illinois, what’s a memory of visiting a Sears store? [email protected].
Editor’s note: Seeing DS9 in Playbook made my day. Amazing show.
In the search for minority hires, firms turn to colleges: “Corporate recruiters are romancing presidents, deans, career-office administrators and students at schools with large numbers of Black and Latino students,” by Judith Crown for Crain’s.
— Pritzker’s campaign mandates Covid-19 vaccinations for workers on his reelection bid: The move is “aimed at drawing attention to the differences between his handling of the pandemic and his Republican challengers, who oppose coronavirus mitigation mandates,” reports Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— Jeff Deppe announces candidacy for 72nd District state Rep: “Current state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is running for 36th District state Senate. Deppe’s roots run deep in Rock Island County, and he already wears many hats in the Democratic Party: He is vice president of the Rock Island County Democratic Party and is a Rock Island County board member, representing District 9,” by Quad-City Times’ Sarah Hayden.
SUBSCRIBE TO WOMEN RULE: I worked on the Women Rule newsletter that comes out later this morning. The subject: How pregnancy discrimination in the workplace still exists. Subscribe to the Women Rule newsletter today.
— Trump endorsements stoke dissension in GOP ranks, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo and Meridith McGraw
— How Joe Biden’s green agenda threatens the Alaska wilderness, by Adam Federman for POLITICO
— Democrats struggle to unearth Afghanistan failures without hitting the White House, by POLITICO’s Adam Desiderio
— Colin Bowes-Carlson is now general counsel at the Illinois Department of Revenue. He most recently was an associate at Baker McKenzie.
— Jared E. Hedman is now counsel at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale’s Chicago law office. He previously was founder of an eponymous private practice after working as a litigator at national law firms.
— Sept. 23: Sen. Tammy Duckworth headlines a virtual panel discussion titled “My disability. My choice,” on the intersection of disability and access to reproductive health care. The event is organized by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. Also on the panel: Access Living’s Amber Schmok, National Network of Abortion Funds’ Keidra Chaney, and Michelle N. Johnson, author of “Fighting Fiercely: Unveiling the Unknown about Endometriosis.”
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to John Straus, a retired business development manager who previously headed the Illinois Commission on Science & Technology, for correctly answering that the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi tribes make up the Council of Three Fires (Niswi-mishkodewinan), whose ancestral — and current — home is in Illinois.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What is the last remaining site of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858? Email to [email protected]
Today: state Rep. Mike Halpin (72nd), Edelman GM of financial comms Katie Spring, and Grace Vargas, a comms staffer for state Rep. Delia Ramirez.
Saturday: former Bulls Coach Phil Jackson, and GrowthPlay co-founder and women’s advocate Amy Dordek.
Sunday: state Rep. Karina Villa (49th), former state and U.S. Rep. Tom Ewing, ProPublica reporter Jodi Cohen, and former Better Government Association exec Marie Dillon.
September 17, 2021 at 07:46AM