Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. How nice to enjoy the drama of Election Day without being in it. Check out POLITICO’s live chat tonight for the latest on today’s action.
Prayers and positive vibes to Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has been hospitalized after fall at Howard University, reports Tribune’s Sophia Tareen.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Art Turner Jr., Hanah Jubeh and Larry Luster, three notable names in the political consulting world, have teamed up to launch Landslide Media partners (LMP). The minority-owned company with an emphasis on public relations, public affairs and marketing, according to a statement provided to Playbook. It plans to advise clients from the corporate, nonprofit, issues-based, and government and political worlds.
Turner, who lives in Springfield and grew up in Chicago, is a former state representative who served in the General Assembly from 2010 to 2020, rising to the rank of deputy majority leader.
In 2020, he left government to team up with Springfield resident and political consultant Luster to form GR Consulting. Luster had previously worked for the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus and on political campaigns, including as field director for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s campaign.
GR Consulting has counted Sen. Dick Durbin, American Business Immigration Coalition and Enterprise as clients.
Jubeh, a South Sider, founded her own firm, P2 Consulting, in 2008, and has managed dozens of political campaigns across the state. Rep. Robin Kelly (2nd), chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, has credited Jubeh with her congressional win. More recently, Jubeh has put Alexi Giannoulias in the driver seat so far in the 2022 secretary of state race. She also was director of political affairs for the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO for 10 years.
“Our deep experience and insights into politics, communications and policy coupled with our ability to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with leaders in various industries positions LMP with a unique perspective to navigate complex issues,” Jubeh said in the statement.
While the trio will run LMP together, they will each keep their separate consulting firms operating on the side, Jubeh said.
Bill Houlihan, former state director for Durbin and current chair of Sangamon County Democrats, has worked with all three throughout their careers and has high praise: "They all have strong backgrounds and understand how to convey messages through various communities throughout Illinois,” he said in a statement. “LMP will have a strong impact on the industry.”
PUNTING ON THE VAX: A Cook County judge left Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s requirement that city workers — including police — report their vaccine status intact. But Judge Raymond Mitchell said the city can’t require police to get vaccinated by Dec. 31 without first taking it to arbitration.
What it means: “Mitchell’s ruling means that the city can continue placing officers on no-pay status for disobeying the city’s Oct. 15 reporting requirement, but the original Dec. 31 deadline to get vaccinated or face consequences will no longer apply to Chicago police union members. Instead, parties must first resolve the issue through arbitration,” report Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt.
Police unions see it as a “major victory,” report WBEZ’s Patrick Smith and Mariah Woelfel.
The mayor spins it as a win, too: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot chose to focus not on the judge eliminating the vaccination deadline, but on his upholding the reporting requirement. ‘The mandate continues. … Our lawyers are looking at the judge’s ruling. They’re looking at what our legal options are. But what I know is, we cannot stop. … This is about saving peoples’ lives,’ the mayor said later Monday,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm and Fran Spielman:
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At Steppenwolf Theatre at 10 a.m. for the opening of the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Then at Mile Square Health Center at 11 a.m. to receive his Covid-19 booster shot.
At Steppenwolf Theatre at 10 a.m. for the opening of the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Then at Maggiano’s Banquets at 1 p.m. for the City Club luncheon event featuring Jennie Huang Bennett, the city’s chief financial officer. Register here
Online at 1 p.m. for the launch of the Talent Solutions Connector, a new tool to help employers connect with workforce services.
— Ezike on how to bring down Covid numbers: “One hundred and twenty people get admitted to the hospital every single day in this state with Covid,” said Ezike, who was the keynote speaker at the Kankakee County Branch of the NAACP’s 56th annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday in Bradley. “And we know that that number would shrink to such low numbers, probably to single digit numbers, maybe in the teens, if we could just get these additional people vaccinated,” said Ezike, who is the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Kankakee Daily Journal’s Meredith Melland reports.
— Public universities are trailing U. of I. in the vaccine race: “And that gap may be tough to close: ‘The level of vehemence relating to objections to vaccine policies and vaccine mandates is really starting to escalate,’” by Crain’s Elyssa Cherney.
— Pritzker’s Rx for ‘public health crisis’ of gun violence: $250M to fund new state office to reduce and interrupt shootings: “Pritzker was joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other elected officials, including the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders and members of the City Council to announce the state’s ‘next step in the pursuit of violence reduction,’” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton and Fran Spielman.
— Gas prices are the highest they have been in seven years: “Illinois’ gas tax sits at 38.7 cents per gallon. But the state’s average gas tax burden is 53.87 cents per gallon when the state’s 6.25% sales tax is factored in along with other varying taxes imposed by municipalities and counties. ‘That just compounds the cost even more on a gallon of gas,’” State Journal-Register’s Natalie Pierre reports.
— Who’s on first at Illinois tollway? At least one state lawmaker is raising questions after the board recently voted to delegate authority to Chairman Will Evans to reorganize departments and administrators’ duties, reports Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.
— Illinois test scores show young students were hit hardest by pandemic year: “Initial data from Illinois Assessment of Readiness and SAT shows the number of students overall meeting the state’s learning standards dropped 17.8% in math and 16.6% in English language arts. Declines were sharpest in third and fourth grades,” by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie.
— Performances by prisoners explore domestic violence: “Last week for the first time, some 20 inmates at Logan Correctional Center near Lincoln, Illinois, were allowed to share a collection of stories and poetry and dance with the public in a virtual release of ‘Look at Me,’ a show written and directed by them,” by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney.
The British Consulate in Chicago feted Gov. J.B. Pritzker, state Rep. Ann Williams and the state’s clean energy legislation last night, ahead of the governor’s trip to London and Glasgow for the U.K.-hosted COP26 climate talks. About 50 guests gathered in the Field Museum’s Founder’s Room, where the governor, Williams and British Consul General Alan Gogbashian spoke about Illinois’ efforts to move the needle on climate change. United Airlines government affairs VP Dan Lynch and Sierra Club Illinois director Jack Darin also took to the podium. Watching over their speeches was a portrait of Marshall Field, the museum’s namesake whose family is descended from British royalty. Notables in the room: state Sen. Laura Ellman, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, state Rep. Suzanne Ness, Illinois Commerce Commission’s Carrie Zalewski, Michael Carrigan and D. Ethan Kimbrel, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen, Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Colleen Callahan, Mondelez public affairs VP Russ Dyer, The Nature Conservancy’s Michelle Carr and Erika Allen of Chicago Urban Growers Collective, which is a finalist for the Climate Challenge Cup at COP26.
— A Bears move to Arlington Heights may leave thousands of fans with worthless Soldier Field seat licenses: “The Bears sold 26,000 permanent seat licenses, or PSLs, priced between $765 and $10,000 each, to help fund the 2003 renovation of Soldier Field. While many of those seats have since changed hands, thousands of current PSL owners now face the prospect of their investments expiring worthless if the team packs up for the northwest suburbs,” by Tribune’s Robert Channick.
— Anti-violence programs are working. But can they make a dent in Chicago’s gun violence? “[D]espite the recent investment of millions in private and public money, [researchers] say the anti-violence efforts don’t have nearly the scale, structure or support to make a meaningful dent in the city’s overall levels of gun violence where more than 650 people were already killed this year and another 3,200 were shot,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.
— The top of the market just went over the top: “The highest strata of Chicago’s housing market crossed a line it never has before: So far this year, 75 homes have sold for $4 million or more,” by Crain’s Dennis Rodkin.
— Tempel Steel CEO says company staying in Chicago despite sale: “A year ago, the company puts its North Side property on the market, but now the plan is to expand it, said the CEO, Cliff Nastas,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Search underway for 23-year-old Chicago man last seen leaving River North bar over Halloween weekend, by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry
— Oprah names a Chicago meal kit and food tech company to her 2021 Favorite Things List, by Eater’s Naomi Waxman and Aimee Levitt
— Are Fritz Kaegi’s assessments too high or too low? “Landlords say the Cook County assessor is unfairly targeting them with big hikes. An analysis of recent appraisal data on Chicago buildings suggests otherwise,” by Crain’s Alby Gallun.
— Five Southland towns OK video gambling tax in special Sunday meetings to beat legislative deadline: “Calumet City, Dolton, Markham, South Chicago Heights and University Park village boards and city councils approved such a push tax Sunday, while Homer Glen trustees soundly rejected similar action,” by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan.
— After marathon meeting, Arlington Heights board OKs shelter care home’s controversial relocation: “The hourslong meeting was the latest public forum about Shelter Inc.’s request to operate its Transitional Living Program for males ages 17 to 21 inside a duplex at 207-209 E. Valley Lane,” by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.
— The case for reparations, according to two Jews living in the first American city to offer them: One of Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss’ grandmothers survived Auschwitz, and went on to receive restitution payments from the German government. “Her attitude was, basically, this is a thing they can do to acknowledge the crime that they perpetrated against my family,” Biss told Jewish Insider “It’s not particularly satisfying. It does not bring back my parents. It does not bring back innumerable other things. That said, it is an acknowledgment and acknowledgment is valuable.”
— Dixmoor getting close to normal water pressure, schools and businesses open again, by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova
— Former Ald. ‘Fast Eddie’ Vrdolyak ordered to report to federal prison by end of the month: “After several pandemic-related delays, a federal judge Monday ordered Vrdolyak to report to the medical facility in Rochester, Minnesota, by Nov. 30 to begin serving his 18-month sentence on tax-related counts,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
— Convicted twice, former Portage mayor James Snyder files appeal in his case: “On Oct. 13, James Snyder was sentenced to 21 months in prison for soliciting bribes and obstruction. He will have to surrender into custody Jan. 5. He was convicted in February 2019 of using a shell company to hide income assets from the IRS while owing back personal and business taxes, but never sentenced,” by Post-Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka.
— Feds announce sweeping conspiracy case against Chicago street gang involving 19 slayings, by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney and Jason Meisner
Rep. Bill Foster has taken his concerns about the latest congressional map to his supporters. In a fundraising letter, he said, “Last week new Illinois maps were released, and frankly the results don’t look great for me: My existing 11th District was cut into four pieces. The main city, Aurora, which has stayed with me through thick and thin throughout my political career, was cut in two. Our second major Democratic city, Joliet, was transferred entirely into another district. Our third city, Naperville where I live, remains split in two. Conservative rural areas more than an hour away replaced much of the missing population from the loss of these cities.”
He adds, “most worryingly… our Democratic senator and governor only received 48 percent of the vote in this new district — the worst performance of any Democratic district in Illinois.” With that, he says, he needs supporters’ financial help.
North Barrington Democrat announces campaign for state Senate: Maria Peterson is running for the 26th District state Senate seat currently held by Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods, by Daily Herald’s Doug Graham.
We asked what you do when the boss is away: No one fessed upp (on the record) to doing anything that might appear to be slacking off, like making personal phone calls, or taking extra long lunches, or starting happy hour a little early. Maybe that’s because working from home allows you to do that anyway. LOL
For tomorrow, what do you do to make the switch to winter? Email to email@example.com
— The suburbs, Trump country and more: What to watch in Virginia’s election, by POLITICO’s Steven Shepard and Charlie Mahtesian
— Takeaways from SCOTUS arguments on Texas abortion ban, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein and Josh Gerstein
— Fear, gun rights and memories of a chaotic summer hung over jury selection in Kyle Rittenhouse murder case, by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Christy Gutowski
Today at 10 a.m.: Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, will join the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute for a virtual conversation.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Playbookers Timothy Thomas, John Straus and Matthew Beaudet for correctly answering that Dr. Herb Sohn was the urologist who seemed likely to win the GOP nomination for Chicago mayor in 1989 before Ed Vrdolyak launched a last minute write-in campaign and won the nomination.
David Axelrod, then a political consultant for Mayor Richard M. Daley, once dubbed Sohn, “the fighting urologist!” during an interview with radio reporter Bill Cameron.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which U.S. senator from Mississippi attended an Illinois college? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, ComEd comms director Shannon Breymaier, Capital J. Productions owner JoAnn Fakhouri, actor David Schwimmer, and POLITICO national Playbook producer Eli Okun.
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November 2, 2021 at 07:11AM