Burke, Thompson and eyes on Chicago’s remap
Good Monday morning, Illinois. To all those Nicks out there, including my late dad, a happy St. Nicholas Day to you.
The Irish Fellowship Club’s Christmas luncheon returned in all its glory Friday, with more than 1,200 guests attending, including a parade of elected officials who marched through a phalanx of pink-cheeked bagpipers in the grand ballroom of the Hilton on Michigan Avenue.
Irish Alds. Ed Burke and Patrick Daley Thompson, both operating under clouds of federal indictments, joined in the fun, too.
Burke waxed poetic when we asked him about the redistricting process (Recall that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said she’d veto a map that favors the alderman).
“It’s a process that will play out,” a confident Burke told Playbook. “The great British philosopher Edmund Burke once said that in politics, there are no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, only permanent interests. And that’s good advice for anybody in public life.”
It’s a line Burke has used many times over the years, including during a redistricting battle 20 years ago.
Your Playbook host then asked Thompson about a letter he wrote to constituents last week that says it would be “racism” to create an Asian-majority ward at the expense of other communities (including the Irish ones) in his neighborhood.
“Maybe that term wasn’t the right term,” he said. Thompson, however, has used the word “racism” to describe the remap battle before. “The point I want to reiterate is that we are about neighborhoods and keeping neighborhoods intact. I was the first alderman to want to unite all of Chinatown in one ward. I thought that was important,” he said. “But we can’t create the same issue we had in Chinatown in other communities. I don’t think it’s fair to other communities.”
Also spotted at the luncheon: Secretary of State Jesse White, state Senate President Don Harmon, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Ald. Silvana Tabares, MWRD President Kari Steele, MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita, and Secretary of State candidate Alexi Giannoulias.
SCOOP: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is heading west. After spending time in Washington, D.C., last week to get information on Chicago’s piece of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, the mayor travels to California Tuesday night. The trip to San Francisco and La La Land is a mix of personal, political and official business. She’ll join World Business Chicago officials for a series of roundtables with business leaders in Los Angeles, according to a source close to the mayor’s office. There’s some fundraising on the docket.
And the mayor will visit a beloved aunt — her mom’s twin sister! — and husband, who are both in their 90s and live outside of Los Angeles. Lightfoot hasn’t seen them since before the pandemic.
This is the mayor’s second trip to California this year. In July, Lightfoot and World Business Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht and their staffs traveled to the Bay Area for a series of meetings with tech companies on bringing business to Chicago.
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At Navy Pier at 7 p.m. to attend the 2021 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism.
At the Studios on South Wabash Avenue at 2 p.m. to announce affordable housing awardees as part of the Chicago Recovery Plan.
At the Cicero Government Office Building at 11:30 a.m. with Rep. Marie Newman and other elected officials to mark the towns of Cicero and Berwyn achieving 70 percent vaccination rates.
— Chicago’s remap is now online. The map proposed last week by the Rules Committee and backed by the Black Caucus is now available online. The Latino Caucus’ map proposes different boundaries.
— Virtual hearings on the city’s remap will be tomorrow at 3 p.m. and Friday at 1 p.m. ahead of next week’s hearings for public comment, according to the Rules Committee. The public can watch the hearings by visiting the Chicago City Clerk’s website and clicking on the event link that will be live at the hearing’s scheduled start time. Written public comment will be accepted at [email protected] until 10 a.m. the day before each hearing.
— Eleven women council members have written a letter to the editor of the Sun-Times criticizing those who have said Ald. Michelle Harris hasn’t engaged fairly in the map-making process. “This could not be further from the truth,” wrote Harris and 10 other alderwomen. Harris chairs the City Council’s Rules Committee that is overseeing the council’s efforts to redraw its boundaries.
Their letter follows reports about council members saying their marching orders on the remap are coming from the Rules Committee’s legal adviser Mike Kasper, a longtime ally of Michael Madigan.
— RE the legislative remap: Oral arguments to begin Tuesday in state legislative redistricting cases: “The panel announced during a status hearing Friday that it will go ahead with in-person oral arguments, even though two sets of plaintiffs had said earlier in the week that the case could be decided solely on the briefs and written testimony that have already been filed,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— It’s all about power: “Redistricting is the purest form of political competition. The only thing that matters is power to the people involved. They want to make it so their party is most advantaged,” Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, tells Eric Krol in Center for Illinois Politics.
— ‘She’s going to lose’: Dems brag redistricting dooms conservative Mary Miller: The first-term Rep says she’s running for reelection, “even though Democrats in the state legislature gutted her district and forced her to consider challenging two of her GOP colleagues,” write POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick and Olivia Beavers.
— Giannoulias nabs AFL-CIO backing with endorsement from Illinois Federation Teachers: “With the IFT’s endorsement, Giannoulias has secured backing from some of the largest members of the Illinois AFL-CIO, giving him an edge in getting support from the state’s largest organized labor group when it convenes next year ahead of the June 28 primary,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Congresswoman Marie Newman has received the endorsement of the Amalgamated Transit Union Illinois, ATU Local 308 and ATU Local 241. The two locals represent 16,000 active and retired PACE and CTA bus, rail and transportation workers in Chicago and Cook County. ATU Local 308 President Eric Dixon credited Newman helping secure federal funding to update CTA stations in Chicago. “She understands the needs of our public transit systems and the workers who keep them running,” he said in a statement.
— Republican governor candidates attempt to use violent crime increase as path toward regaining suburban voters: “With Cook County reporting on Tuesday its 1,000th homicide of the year, a level not seen since 1994, the GOP candidates’ rhetoric has shifted from criticism of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a subject on which the governor was ready to engage his opponents,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— David A. Clarke Jr., the former Milwaukee County Sheriff and Donald Trump supporter, headlined a fundraiser Friday for Rob Cruz, a Republican candidate for the 6th Congressional District. Clark stumped for the former president in 2016 and earlier this year urged MAGA rally attendees in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 not to cooperate with the feds. Cruz is a businessman from Oak Lawn.
— Pritzker signs legislation to create new local school councils, protect students from grooming by predators: “Faith’s Law is named for Faith Colson, who was sexually abused by a teacher two decades ago. It expands the legal definition of grooming and adds resources and protections for sexual abuse survivors and their families,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.”
— Springfield, Sangamon County only beginning to spend $72M from American Rescue Plan: The federal government’s second major pandemic-related economic stimulus program has “already helped reimburse Springfield for fire department overtime costs,” by State Journal Register’s Dean Olsen.
— PRITZKER MEMES: The governor stars in this funny TikTock parody account.
House majority leader reflects on crowning achievement: Leading crusade to legalize gay marriage in Illinois: “Greg Harris noted much of his career has been shaped by living for decades after diagnosed as HIV-positive. ‘I’m one of the few friends from that era that actually survived. … A lot of the stuff I do today is to honor them and the things they would have done if they had been here,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— At least 20 juveniles arrested after fights lead to chaos in the Loop: “We are going to take significant, swift action to quell any issues,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “[Saturday night] there were a large number of children that were down at Millennium Park. We followed the protocols that we put in place from the summer of 2020. When it was time for them to leave the park, we made sure they left the park without incident.” WGN 9 reports
— In fight over vaccine mandate, state labor board grants hearing on police union complaints of city overreach: “Leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police and other local police unions allege the city failed to bargain in good faith over its vaccine policies, and the Illinois Labor Board said in a newly issued complaint it will hold a hearing on the matter,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt.
— Pastor Corey Brooks is sleeping in the cold for 100 days — a decade after his 1st rooftop campout — to fight violence: “The South Side pastor — who is encouraging CEOs and others to join him this time — is seeking to raise $35 million for a new community resource center,” by Sun-Times’ Cheyanne M. Daniels.
— Opinion| Chicago has one chance to get its gambling mix right. And sportsbooks are a factor: “The mayor should not just shrug off casino bidder Neil Bluhm’s warnings about the effects of stadium sportsbooks. If her administration gets this wrong, the economic and reputational damage could be substantial,” by Better Government Association’s David Greising.
— FROM THE TWITTER: “I missed my connecting flight so I have to stay overnight at O’Hare and let me tell you guys being practically alone in an airport is fucking AMMAAAZZZIIIIINNNNGGG,” Allison Robicelli, a chef and food writer for The Takeout, posted over the weekend. Even more photos on Flickr
— New docuseries shines light on Chicago strangulation cases, by WTTW’s Aida Mogos
— Bad news, Bears: Chicago loses after throwing 4 interceptions, by Tribune’s Colleen Kane
Will Jussie Smollett take the stand? Critical question remains as actor’s trial resumes today: “Experts say that Smollett has to tell his story to sway a jury,” by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson and Andy Grimm.
Chicago activist banned from courthouse during Jussie Smollett trial, by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney, Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner
Oak Park-River Forest school officials rescind decision to cancel athletics due to Covid-19 transmission rates: “In a statement sent to parents Sunday evening, Superintendent Greg Johnson said that the final decision on reinstating school programs hinged on how well students responded to new stepped-up rules aimed at preventing transmission of the virus,” by Tribune Sylvia Goodman.
— AG Kwame Raoul: $1M in stolen items recovered by retail theft task force: “Announcement comes after smash-and-grab thefts on Michigan Avenue, Oakbrook Center,” by ABC 7’s Diane Pathieu and Caig Wall.
— Cook County judge arrested in Hinsdale: “A Hinsdale man accused of DUI is an associate judge for the Cook County Circuit Court,” by Patch’s David Giuliani.
— Man arrested on I-88 accused of having six pounds of cocaine, other drugs in secret compartments in vehicle, by Tribune’s Megan Jones
Crest Hill couple plead guilty in U.S. Capitol breach, admit they entered through broken window: “In all, at least 19 Illinoisans are among the hundreds charged nationwide in connection with the riot that interrupted the Electoral College vote count and led to what prosecutors say is likely the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history,” by Sun-Times’ By Jon Seidel.
Windy City Smoke Up offered safe space to get stoned, sell unregulated weed: “While the city hasn’t set rules for public pot consumption, the event’s organizer insisted it was a private, invitation-only affair and thus ‘100% legal.’ The rapper Afroman was listed as the headline attraction,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
United Airlines plans to take on climate change with jet fuels made from sugar water, corn and garbage: “Climate change is the biggest issue our generation faces and our generation needs to solve. The implications if we don’t are potentially catastrophic,” said CEO Scott Kirby, who has made SAF a major priority for United. WBEZ’s Michael Puente reports
We asked when you drew a line in the sand: Sharon Rosenblum said she “refused the $10 per signature that the Trump campaign was offering in 2016” even though it would have made for “a good petition season.”
For tomorrow, To what extent is testing for Covid-19 part of your routine? Email to [email protected]
Rush is pushing to mandate safety standards for portable generators: “Gas-powered portable generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and have been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths since 2005, including that of a Morgan Park woman,” by Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann.
— Dems plot escape from Biden’s poll woes, by POLITICO’s Heather Cayble, Burgess Everett and Jonathan Lemire
— SCOOP: ‘Absolute liars’: Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6, by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meridith McGraw
— Islamophobia and antisemitism controversies dominate Congress. Diplomacy, not so much, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio
— After parents’ arrest, third party to probe Oxford High’s actions leading up to school shooting, by The Associated Press
— How DNA solved one of the final mysteries of Pearl Harbor, by POLITICO’s Bryan Bender
Marilyn Jackson of United Way of Metro Chicago named CEO of Muhammad Ali Center: “She is the first woman to lead the center, which focuses on the life and legacy of boxing champ and activist Muhammad Ali,” by Sun-Times’ Jason Beeferman.
— Bob Dole, longtime Senate leader and 1996 GOP presidential nominee, dies at 98, by POLITICO’s Cory Bennett
… Opinion | Bob Dole endorsed Trump. But would today’s party even consider him a Republican? Jeff Greenfield writes in POLITICO
— Timuel Black remembered for opening doors — and keeping them open — for others: “The three-hour memorial opened with African drums and dance. More than two dozen people shared stories about the impact Black had on them and on Chicago, and there were several performances of jazz, which Black loved,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
… “Mr. Black is the missing link in our history," said Jonathan Jackson, delivering the eulogy with stories from his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Tribune’s Morgan Greene reports
— Today at 10 a.m.: State Reps La Shawn Ford and Fran Hurley host a crime summit at U. of I. at Chicago. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. CAN TV will air it live
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Former UIC professor Leslie Heffez is receiving the largest public employee pension in Illinois this year. It’s $654,176.52. In 2015, he got $557,862. h/t Better Government Association data guru Jared Rutecki for the info
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who’s the convicted Illinois lawmaker buried in Arlington National Cemetery? Email to [email protected]
Former Transportation Secretary and congressman Ray LaHood, United Airlines Senior VP Robert S. Rivkin, Illinois Senate Democrats’ comms director Brandy Renfro, Bozzuto property manager Beth Argaman, Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker, University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone, PR pro Noreen Heron, Air Current editor in chief Jon Ostrower, and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.
December 6, 2021 at 09:41AM