The politics of party – POLITICO

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Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. The text messages that are stunning Congress.

There was chatter Monday morning among Cook County Democrats that the assessor’s race might be an open primary — in which no one would be slated. A big talking point: In 2018, Fritz Kaegi was an outsider who beat out the party candidate, so why should the party endorse him now that he is the incumbent?

Kaegi ultimately squeaked out of the committee with a recommendation to be endorsed over Kari Steele, who is president of the water reclamation board. But the full party of slate-makers will have the final say on the issue today.

Also taking part in today’s endorsement session will be Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the four Democrats vying for secretary of state. The big question: Will Alexi Giannoulias, who leads the money race, secure the party leaders’ support? Also vying for the coveted party endorsement: Chicago Clerk Anna Valencia, Ald. David Moore and Ald. Pat Dowell, who is a longtime Democratic committeeperson.

Another tension point looming over the endorsement sessions is the loyalty pledge that the party has asked candidates to sign, calling for them to only back candidates who are slated.

Carmen Navarro Gercone, who’s challenging Sheriff Tom Dart, told slate-makers that she would refuse to take the pledge, accusing the party of “using scare tactics to protect its incumbents,” as the Tribune’s Rick Pearson reports.

Cook County Dems’ President Toni Preckwinkle defended the loyalty pledge: “If you’re on a boat, you want everybody rowing in the same direction. We’re going to support people and we expect them to row in the same direction,” Preckwinkle said in the Tribune. “If you’re not prepared to work with other people that are on the slate, you shouldn’t ask for slating.”

It was a clash of the titans at a Chicago City Council hearing yesterday as owners of the city’s premiere sports clubs testified on whether sports betting should be allowed at Chicago stadiums and arenas.

On one side were Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, who testified remotely in support of allowing betting on their properties. On the other was Neil Bluhm, a part owner of the Bulls and White Sox and, more importantly, a veteran casino owner. He has gambling facilities in Des Plaines and in other states.

The crux of the debate: Would sports betting at other locations pull revenue away from the yet-to-be-built Chicago casino?

Reinsdorf, Ricketts and Wirtz said that wouldn’t be the case. But Bluhm said his experience shows otherwise.

Once Chicago’s casino is built, the city would get 20 percent of casino revenue, which will be used to pull down Chicago’s pension debt. Bluhm’s concern is that allowing sports betting at five other facilities will keep people away from Chicago’s casino, where they might make additional bets — all to the benefit of the city.

At Monday’s hearing, Reinsdorf took indirect shots at Bluhm, pointing out that the Bulls and Sox focus their philanthropy on the city of Chicago — not on Des Plaines. (A bit of a cheap shot since it’s well-known that Bluhm has given gazillions to Chicago civic and philanthropic organizations.)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had initially supported Bluhm’s premise, but she’s since pivoted with the caveat that sports facilities pay an additional 2 percent to the city. Bluhm says that 2 percent tax wouldn’t generate nearly as much as what the city could get if it limited betting to the city casino.

The sports team owners convinced council members in Monday’s committee meeting that it was a safe bet to allow sports betting at stadiums. The panel passed the measure 19 to 7, and it now heads to the full council Wednesday.

As Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports: “The Committee on Zoning and License advanced the stalled ordinance to the full council after the addition of a clause aimed at promoting diversity — but with little teeth — to appease the Black Caucus.”

Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) is among those concerned the city hasn’t done enough research to know if sports betting in other places would devalue the Chicago casino. “I would like more time to vet this thing out,” Reilly said in the Tribune story by John Byrne.

History note: A few aldermen said it’s been 15 years since they’ve seen so many corporate heavyweights weigh in on council action. Back in 2006, the Chicago Children’s Museum had high hopes to relocate to Grant Park but concerns about harming open space prevented it from happening.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

At the IBEW Union Hall at 9 a.m. to present at the Cook County Democratic Party slating. At Thompson Center at 10:30 a.m. to sign legislation to improve maternal health outcomes by allowing for the licensure and certification of midwives in Illinois.

At Walmart Pullman Center at 5:30 p.m. to attend Christmas in the Wards with families shopping for the holidays.

Participating in the Cook County Democrats’ slating process.

GOP gov candidate Bailey names former talk radio host as running mate: “State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) picked Stephanie Trussell, a ‘hardworking conservative’ and former WLS-AM 890 talk show host, to join the 2022 ticket,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

From Tribune’s Rick Pearson: “In her social media posts in 2016, Trussell was opposed to Donald Trump’s Republican presidential nomination. She used the #NeverTrump hashtag on her Twitter account as she wrote Trump ‘is a despicable human being,’ saying he “will donate to #Satan for a land deal” and that her “skin crawls when pundits call #Trump the leader of the #GOP. He doesn’t represent my values.”

GOP leaders seek to fend off Trump endorsement as Rep. Mary Miller mulls primary bid: “Hoping to boost Miller’s political prospects, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — another controversial firebrand who is close with Miller — has been talking her up to Trump and encouraging him to throw his weight behind Miller, according to multiple GOP sources. A Trump endorsement would turbocharge the intraparty battle and potentially make things even stickier, something GOP leaders are eager to avoid,” by CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Manu Raju.

— LaTonia Ruffin, who’s worked as a Cook County deputy sheriff, is throwing her hat in the ring to run for sheriff. She describes herself as an independent Democrat, saying in a statement: “The Democratic Party leadership has failed us all with their ‘hands off’ approach to crime and ‘same old’ insider approach to candidates.”

— Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) has been endorsed by 11 Republican county sheriffs from across southern Illinois, according to his campaign.

— Nikki Budzinski has been endorsed by Service Employees International UnionState Council in her bid for IL-13. The SEIU council represents workers in health care, the public sector, and property services.

Community activist takes out second mortgage on home to help fund her campaign for Cook County board president: “Zerlina Smith-Members said incumbent Toni Preckwinkle is “out of touch and out of time,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

— ‘Not my favorite thing’: In a story about races to watch, Rep. Marie Newman talks about running against fellow Democratic Rep. Sean Casten. “Not my favorite thing to do,” she told E&E News, noting that she was born and raised within its lines, even if she doesn’t live there right now. “I’m not running against Mr. Casten. I announced my reelection first, and then he announced his reelection,” she said. “My reelection was requested by my entire district, voters and constituents. So I’m running for the district.” Story by E&E News’ Timothy Cama.

As OSHA investigates, Gov. J.B. Pritzker surveys damage at Amazon warehouse where 6 died: “This is a tragedy of enormous proportion,” says the governor. Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner reports form Edwardsville

Amazon warehouse collapse spotlights phone ban: “Amazon had for years prohibited workers from carrying their phones on warehouse floors, requiring them to leave them in vehicles or employee lockers before passing through security checks that include metal detectors. The company backed off during the pandemic, but has been gradually reintroducing it at facilities around the country,” Bloomberg’s Spencer Soper reports.

… The entire Illinois congressional delegation, Ds and Rs alike, sent a letter to President Joe Biden, urging the support of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency declaration following tornadoes that caused extensive damage in the Metro East and Central Illinois.

VIDEO of Pritzker’s proclamation, via NBC 5

The Senate and House Redistricting committees released a proposed map of new Cook County Judicial Subcircuit boundaries to reflect population shifts that have taken place over the course of three decades, according to the Illinois General Assembly. “The current Cook County subcircuits are extremely outdated and out of proportion population wise,” Rep. Lisa Hernandez, Chair of the House Redistricting Committee, said in a statement. “These proposed boundaries allow for better representation of the diversity within Cook County for the first time since the subcircuits were created in 1991.”

Federal hearing on gun violence held in Chicago amid crime surge: “Illinois’ senior U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who chairs the committee, said he’s concerned that prosecutors don’t go after straw purchasers — those who buy guns on behalf of someone legally banned from owning a gun — because the penalties are too low to make it worth their while,” by WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky.

— Report | Chicago’s older adult population growing, becoming rent burdened: “It is imperative, one expert said, that lawmakers create more affordable housing for older adults,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramo.

Lightfoot dismisses questions about her text messages with aldermen: “We get things done,” she says. Tribune’s Gregory Pratt reports.

Tech talent draws Deere to new Fulton Market office: “The Moline-based company plans to open the office next year, hiring 150 people initially at 800 W. Fulton Market,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

As week warms up, we could reach 64 on Wednesday. That would tie a 50-year-old record in Chicago, by Tribune’s Shanzeh Ahmad

NBA postpones the Bulls’ next 2 games because of team’s Covid-19 outbreak — 10 players in 2 weeks, by Tribune’s Julia Poe

Fired Black educators reach $9.25M settlement with CPS: “About 413 teachers and paraprofessionals may be eligible for compensation after CPS and the teachers union opted to end a decade-long dispute that was destined for a court trial,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.

Five Springfield teachers, employees among plaintiffs in class action lawsuit filed Monday: “The lawsuit seeks emergency injunctive relief from executive orders issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker requiring masks in Illinois schools for teachers, students, staff and visitors and requiring mandatory vaccinations or testing for school personnel,” by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie.

PASSING OF THE TORCH: Lou Lang, the longtime Niles Township Democratic Committeeperson, is passing the torch to Josina Morita, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Morita is set to become committeeperson when the Cook County Democrats ratify her appointment during today’s slating. Morita will be the first Asian American woman to serve as a Cook County Democratic Party committeeperson. She has been serving as deputy committeeperson for the Niles Dems. “At a time when we need young, energetic, and bright people with great ideas to improve our world, I was proud to appoint Josina Morita to be the deputy committeeperson for the Niles Township and to recommend her as my successor,” Lang said in a statement.

We asked what worldview you had in college changed after you got into the real world: Attorney Brent Pruim wrote: “I used to have a much more libertarian mindset, chock-full of ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘law and order’ values. The more I traveled, learned, and experienced, the more I realized that my worldview did not leave room for the vagaries and complexities of life. Now I’m the insufferable ‘but let me ask you this’ person at every party (although perhaps I’ve always been that person).” NFP Consulting’s Kelly Kleiman: “I went to the U. of C. where they preached the gospel according to Milton Friedman, but I never bought into it — I was a Dem then and am a Dem now!” And David Melton said, simply, “I got more disillusioned.”

For tomorrow, What’s the first office you ever ran for (me, it was 7th grade vice president, and I lost)? Email to [email protected]

Conflicted Congress: Five members of Illinois’ congressional delegation are ranked as having “borderline” conflicts of interest, according to research by Insider.

Manchin keeps Dems guessing on their megabill, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine

Biden’s rural investments run up against the culture wars in Wisconsin, by POLITICO’s Meredith Lee

‘He’s got to condemn this …’: Panel releases urgent Jan. 6 texts from Donald Trump Jr., lawmakers and Fox hosts, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney

Democratic governors worry about threat to democracy but don’t see it as a winning message for 2022, by CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere

— U.S. parties split on China: A new survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that Democrats and Republicans are split sharply on their attitudes toward China.

— Whitney Barnes, the press secretary for Illinois Senate Republicans, will be leaving the Legislature at the beginning of the year for a job at Nicor Gas, where she will serve as communications manager. Barnes has been in her role with the Senate Republicans since January and previously served as director of communication and advocacy at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and public information officer at the Illinois Department of Insurance.

— Sloan Smith has joined the Cook County State’s Attorney Office as special assistant of scheduling and advance. She previously served as deputy director of advance for Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

— Sonia E. Saucedo is a new community engagement specialist for the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and will focus on the Latinx community. She previously served as a legal assistant at the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Illinois. Saucedo joins the long-serving members of the CCSAO Community Engagement team Christine Chan, Bernard Headley, and Ta’Sha Williams.

Howard P. Lanser is managing director and head of U.S. Private Capital Markets for Duff and Phelps, A Kroll Business, in Chicago. Prior to joining the firm, Lanser served as managing director and head of Capital Markets for G2 Capital Advisors. Before that, he founded and headed up Baird’s Debt Advisory Group.

— Rachel Hinton is joining the Better Government Association. She has been a political reporter for the Sun-Times. Media reporter Robert Feder has the scoop.

Friday: Litesa Wallace, a Democratic candidate for IL-17 (and a former state rep), will be feted at a fundraiser hosted by entrepreneur and political fundraiser Mae Whiteside Williams.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jim Bray and Ed Mazur for correctly answering that “Raisin in the Sun” was the play based on a Chicago restrictive covenants case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

TODAY’s QUESTION: To the surprise of many, The Who opened for which band at the 1968 Illinois State Fairground show? Email to [email protected]

Resolute public affairs COO David Smolensky, Gun Violence Prevention PAC founder Tom Vanden Berk, former mayoral candidate John Kozlar, and film director Matthew Cherry.

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December 14, 2021 at 08:47AM

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