Happy October, Illinois. After a big game of chicken last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed the infrastructure vote to today.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s running for a fifth term, but this time he’s facing a formidable opponent — a veteran colleague.
“With the significant concern over public safety and violence in the Chicago region, now is not the time for those of us with crucial experience and a proven track record to walk away,” Dart told Playbook in a statement. He ticked off accomplishments, including “ensuring the jail is a safer place” for employees and those in custody, addressing mental illness, being responsible with taxpayer money, and “bridging the gap between the community and hardworking police officers.”
“The job is not done,” he said.
Dart’s statement comes as Carmen Navarro Gercone, once a top-level employee in his office, is expected to announce today that she’s running for his job.
Navarro Gercone spent more than two decades working her way up through the ranks of the sheriff’s office, starting as a deputy sheriff and eventually becoming the first-assistant executive director for Court Services, overseeing some 1,300 employees (1,100 sworn and 200 civilian) who handle orders of protection, evictions and security.
She left in December to work for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez as executive clerk for Court Operations and Administration, where she is responsible for managing a thousand of the office’s 1,300 employees.
Martinez, a former state senator, is one of the top Latino elected officials in the state and is backing Navarro Gercone’s run for sheriff.
Dart is a former prosecutor who was appointed to the state Senate in 1991 before he went on to serve a decade in the state House. He announced a run for attorney general for the 2002 election but shifted gears after House Speaker Michael Madigan wanted to open the lane for Lisa Madigan, his daughter.
Dart ran for state treasurer instead and lost to incumbent Republican Judy Baar Topinka in the general election.
A year later, then-Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan named Dart his chief of staff — they both came from the South Side’s 19th Ward Democratic Organization. And in 2006, when Sheahan made a surprise announcement that he’d retire, Dart jumped in the race. The move angered some Black politicians, including Rep. Bobby Rush, because so little time was allowed for anyone else to compete. Dart won that contest and every election since.
State Reps. Michael Zalewski and Kam Buckner have filed a resolution calling on lawmakers to reject any plan that would spend public money on a new stadium for the Chicago Bears.
“As Illinois edges closer and closer to financial solvency, we cannot afford to spend taxpayer funds on stadiums when funding for critical social services remains uncertain,” according to the resolution. It urges the General Assembly “to take all necessary steps to ensure that no state or local taxpayer money is used in the construction of new professional sport stadiums.”
In an interview, Zalewski, “a huge Bears fan,” said the resolution is designed “to get everyone to take a deep breath” before making any move on the Chicago Bears’ apparent plan to relocate to Arlington Heights.
“There are a lot of moving parts and hopefully we can find everyone on the same page and keep dialogue constructive,” he said, adding the resolution is to make it clear that lawmakers don’t want taxpayers on the hook for a new stadium.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and top legislative leaders avoided wading into the discussion about state support for the Bears. “That’s not something I would decide for a city. Cities will have to make their own decisions on what they’ll do,” the governor said at a press event Thursday. He reiterated his concern for maintaining fiscal responsibility, including “building up our infrastructure” and “balancing our budget.”
According to the Tribune, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch says state support for the Bears “has not been discussed.” And Senate President Don Harmon declined to comment.
Zalewski and Buckner’s resolution comes on the heels of state Sen. Robert Peters crafting a similar piece of legislation.
Buckner, who worked as an usher at Soldier Field when he was in high school, says: “I’m convinced that there are many ways to arrive at a solution for the Bears, but sticking Illinoisans with a bill on a dinner they didn’t even order or eat doesn’t need to be one of them.”
— With careful planning, an Arlington Heights Bears stadium could lure additional development, like restaurants and a soccer stadium, according to the Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat
— What about keeping racing at Arlington Park along with a football stadium? WTAX’s Dave Dahl reports
— Why the Bears are tempted by my village, by Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta
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There are no official public events.
At North Lawndale Employment Network at 1 p.m. with Microsoft officials and a coalition of public and private partners to launch “Accelerate Chicago.”
At the Cook County Building at 10:30 a.m. to announce $75 million in funding for another round of Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance.
Daily cases continue to drop, but September was the deadliest month with Covid in Illinois since February: “The state reported 42 additional fatalities Thursday for a total of 1,023 in September, more than double the death toll of 506 in August and more than four times July’s 222 fatalities,” reports Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
Former City Club president texted Lightfoot, saying: ‘ComEd duped me’ in bribery probe tied to Madigan: “The mayor responded curtly: ‘Jay, I really cannot accept these kinds of documents from you. Please stop. It is not appropriate.’ The text messages…show that Doherty repeatedly tried to downplay his role in the ComEd probe to the mayor even after federal agents raided the City Club’s offices in the Wrigley Building in the spring of 2019,” report Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Jason Meisner and Ray Long.
— Toxic foam dumped into downstate coal mine in unsuccessful attempt to extinguish underground fire: “The type of foam used by St. Louis-based Foresight Energy is being phased out in Illinois and 11 other states under laws that for the first time restrict unregulated chemicals known as PFAS — shorthand for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— State Rep. Croke is out to make Illinois the next crypto hub: House Bill number 3968 is a digital assets-focused proposal that would allow financial technology companies in the state to hold cryptocurrencies,” via Blockworks.
— Pritzker signs measure to limit how law enforcement works with ICE, by Center Square’s Andrew Hensel
— Gambling company withdraws Waukegan casino bid hours after announcing Arlington sale to Bears: “The move could suggest billionaire Neil Bluhm is focusing efforts on landing the long-sought Chicago casino,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— CPS Covid cases jump to 1,400 with change in how data reported, Tribune’s Tracy Swartz reports.
— New CPS CEO says he’ll explore remote learning options but makes no promises: “Pedro Martinez also said beefing up surveillance testing for COVID is a top priority,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Amid simmering labor dispute, El Milagro workers file formal complaint alleging retaliation: “The charge filed Thursday with the National Labor Relations Board comes after workers for the popular tortilla brand came forward with allegations of harsh working conditions and sexual harassment,” by Sun-TImes’ Tom Schuba.
— Fall bridge lift season is upon us, by Tribune’s Sylvia Goodman
— Cook County TIF districts’ 2020 tax tally: $1.5B: “A new Cook County report details how revenue collected from Cook County’s hundreds of tax increment financing districts rose 11.6% for the 2020 tax year,” by Sun-Times’ Jason Beeferman.
— Two applicants left vying for Waukegan casino license after another drops out, by Lake County News-Sun’s Steve Sadin.
— THE WATCHDOGS: You pay more in property taxes because 27,288 Cook County homeowners pay nothing: “As disabled vets, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and former Ald. James Balcer are among those with tax bills of $0. Income isn’t a factor in getting the tax break for disabled vets. In some states, it is,” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak, Lauren FitzPatrick, and Caroline Hurley.
— Wilmette Park Board seat goes to former statehouse adviser Lindsay Anderson, by North Shore Record’s Joe Coughlin
Familiar name on Mendoza’s team: Comptroller Susana Mendoza has tapped Springfield native Jack Londrigan to manage her 2022 re-election campaign. He starts today. “I first took note of him in Urbana-Champaign when he was outreach director for the University of Illinois College Democrats. Since then, he has been an active and passionate campaign professional, working to help elect great candidates throughout the state,” Mendoza said in a statement. Londrigan managed state Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel through a three-way primary and on to a general election win in 2020. Londrigan’s campaign experience runs deep. His mom is Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a congressional candidate who told the story of her son’s harrowing experience as a child being put in a medically induced coma after he was bit by a tick.
— Trial opening for ticket broker accused of conspiring with White Sox employees to sell phony tickets on eBay: “The 14-count indictment filed last year alleged Bruce Lee, 35, the owner of Chicago-based brokerage Great Tickets, earned more than $860,000 by selling nearly 35,000 tickets over four baseball seasons from 2016 to 2019,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
— High-paid informant led DEA to suburban fentanyl bust in nationwide narcotics sting: “It’s part of an effort targeting Mexican cartels selling counterfeit OxyContin, Xanax and other drugs that actually contain the deadly synthetic opioid, which the DEA chief called a national emergency,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
We asked what political scene you’d write into a Saturday Night Live skit, and the results are comedy gold:
— That time Gov. Bruce Rauner drank chocolate milk to demonstrate his belief in diversity.
— After being pardoned by Donald Trump, Rod Blagojevich claimed to have been a political prisoner.
— Rod Blagojevich auctioning off Barack Obama’s Senate seat in a public-TV fundraising format.
— Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s propensity for emailing about her disdain on certain issues could end with a zinger aimed at Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
— A scene with the punchline: “We don’t want nobody nobody sent!”
Thanks to Alex Crivellone, James Straus, and Mike Eller.
TODAY’s QUESTION: If “Porch Song” is how you end the week, what’s your go-to song to start?
— Chicago Public Media’s plan for acquiring the Sun-Times relies on major donors and more subscribers: “With questions raised by staff about the financial feasibility of taking on the Sun-Times, which has suffered financially in the past as have most legacy newspapers, [CEO Matt] Moog said key to the deal is the financial support of three major funders — Sun-Times investor Michael Sacks, the MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation,” reports WBES’s Tony Arnold.
— Former Tribune editor Mark Jacob was featured on MSNBC talking about why the media can no longer cover Democrats and Republicans the way they used to.
Fed up with status quo, college students take to social media to combat sexual misconduct: “Northwestern and Loyola students rallied online and in person against alleged attackers this month, saying they didn’t have confidence in university investigations,” by WBEZ’s Anna Savchenko.
— Reps. Chuy Garcia and Jan Schakowsky among progressives blocking infrastructure bill for now: “At issue for progressives is using the infrastructure bill as leverage to get a larger spending measure passed first in the U.S. Senate,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Legislation mandating more security at gun shops proposed after stolen pistol linked to more than two dozen shootings: “The proposal from Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Brad Schneider of north suburban Deerfield comes after the Tribune published a two-part series about how authorities linked the stolen gun and a handful of others to at least 35 shootings here, including three homicides,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney.
— Illinois rep’s big idea: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi wants an even broader effort than what President Joe Biden is recommending to be the world’s vaccine “arsenal.” Biden wants to donate 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine by next September. “I would like to see something much more robust,” the Illinois Democrat, who co-chairs the Covid-19 global vaccination caucus, told POLITICO’s Global Pulse. A program like the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief should be put in place to fight Covid worldwide, he said. The cost? $34 billion, according to Krishnamoorthi’s legislation.
— Democrats grit their teeth after Manchin lists demands, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett
— How Jared and Ivanka hijacked the White House’s Covid response, according to former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham in an excerpt of her book
— ‘Benghazi multiplied by 10’: Afghanistan becomes rallying cry for Republicans, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo and Lara Seligman
— Peggy Kirk has been named co-president and CEO of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). She most recently served as COO and senior VP since 2007 after joining the organization in 1981 as a nurse in the spinal cord injury unit.
— Nancy Paridy is now co-president and chief administrative officer at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. She most recently served as chief administrative officer and senior VP. An attorney by training, Paridy established the organization’s general counsel office 26 years ago.
Chicago lawyer Bill Quinlan has been selected to be part of the 2021 Irish Legal 100, an annual listing of the distinguished U.S. legal professionals with Irish heritage. Members include U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and former Justice Anthony Kennedy. Honorees will be celebrated in an awards ceremony at the home of the Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Mulhall in Washington, D.C.
Quinlan is the third-generation lawyer and politico in his family. His father was William Quinlan, who was a county and state appellate judge, and served as chief corporation counsel to Mayor Richard J. Daley as well as Mayors Michael Bilandic and Jane Byrne. Quinlan’s uncle is former Cook County Board President Richard Phelan. Early in his government career in government, Bill Quinlan served as general counsel for Illinois.
Maureen Monroe-Barron, creative who left mark everywhere from grade schools to Detroit ad agencies, dead at 62: “Maureen Monroe-Barron approached everything in life with gusto, from helping her two daughters design dioramas for school projects to hosting an unconventional dinner party with a menu based on a movie,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.
— Today at 11:30 am.: Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe headlines a virtual “Meet the Mayor” discussion.
— Monday at noon: Sen. Tammy Duckworth headlines a virtual discussion on “Understanding Our New World.” The event is sponsored by the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Valery Gallagher, Baxter Healthcare’s strategic partnerships director, for correctly answering that Lottie Holman O’Neill was the only suffragist willing to run for the Illinois General Assembly at the time because the husbands of the other women wouldn’t let them (!).
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Illinois city was the first in the United States to use electric street lighting throughout the entire town? Email to [email protected]
Today: former state Rep. Dave McSweeney, Illinois Republican Caucus staffer Jesse Johnson, Cook County Dems’ digital director Brady Chalmers, National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, and Raise the Floor program manager (and Senate Dems alum) Sophia Olazaba and McDonald’s Corp’s Alisa La.
Saturday: state Rep. Bob Rita, Former state Rep. Jack Franks, Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Ald. Willie Cochran, former Cook County Commission candidate Patricia Joan Murphy, Illinois Covid testing strategy coordinator John Arenas, attorney and Grant Park Music Festival supporter Peter Baugher, Stricklin & Associates public affairs founder David Stricklin, ActBlue State elections associate Caroline Pokrzywinski, The Associated Press’ Tom Krisher, comms consultant Michelle Damico, PR pro Lisa Spathis, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Marlena Baldacci, and Chicago mayoral policy adviser Jake Mikva, grandson of THE Ab Mikva.
Sunday: state Rep. Mike Marron (104th), Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, Illinois Association of School Boards government relations director Andrew Proctor, Forest Preserves General Supt. Arnold Randall, and political campaign consultant Hugo Jacobo.
H/t to Barack and Michelle who celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary Sunday, too.
October 1, 2021 at 08:34AM