Racial tensions simmer amid slating


Racial tensions simmer amid slating

Happy Wednesday, Illinois. It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring, even though we’re 10 days away from the big ho, ho, ho.

Racial tensions are bubbling up within the Cook County Democratic Party, which nailed down its slate for the June 28 primary.

In the contested races, the party will endorse Alexi Giannoulias for secretary of state, and incumbents Fritz Kaegi for assessor and Tom Dart for sheriff. Kaegi and Dart were endorsed together after committee members rejected a proposal for separate endorsement roll calls. There will be no open primary for any of those races, though it was considered and rejected for the secretary of state race.

The elephant in the room for all three contests: candidates winning the party endorsements are all white men. Kaegi and Dart are incumbents, so their securing party support wasn’t a complete surprise.

The big question going into Tuesday was whether Giannoulias, who has racked up high-profile donations and endorsements, could also gain party support. He faced three people of color, all of whom are current officeholders with their own constituencies, and all trying to replace an African American secretary of state.

Giannoulias and his campaign team had worked the phones for days trying to lock down support from Democratic committeepeople in the suburbs and across the city. Each committeeperson represents a share of constituents, which determines the weighted vote. Frank Zuccarelli from Thornton Township, for example, has 29,714 weighted votes, among the highest of committee members. He backed Giannoulias.

The state committee voted early in the day to endorse Giannoulias, locking him in with 369,372 weighted votes. Ald. Pat Dowell secured, 96,239; City Clerk Anna Valencia, 61,485; and Ald. David Moore, 19,369. Giannoulias’ name then went to the full committee, which gave him 526,273 weighted votes, or about 55 percent of the 957,807 total votes.

Dowel, Valencia and Moore have said they will still stay in the race. And Ald. Walter Burnett told Cook County Dems yesterday that Secretary of State Jesse White will make an endorsement in the race next month.

Racial friction also emerged during what should have been an innocuous vote for the 1st District Board of Review. Ald. George Cardenas is the only Democratic candidate running, so it was a surprise when Ald. Jason Ervin, head of the Chicago Black Caucus, announced he wouldn’t endorse Cardenas because of the contentious battle to redraw the city’s ward map. Ervin tried rallying Black committee members who sat on one side of the room, while Latino committee members sat stunned on the other. (Yeah, it felt like high school.)

Cook County Democratic Party Chair Toni Preckwinkle put an end to the tense moment by calling for a vote that saw Cardenas endorsed by acclamation.

Preckwinkle is also facing pushback in the assessor’s race. The decision to endorse Kaegi over water reclamation board president Kari Steele, who is Black, drew outrage from Maze Jackson, the radio commentator who is also married to Steele. In a Facebook post, Jackson vowed to run against Preckwinkle for the Cook County Board president seat.

“The fact that the Black Woman Chairman of the Democratic Party refused to allow Kari [an] up or down vote based on her qualifications and protected White privilege is why I believe we need change at the top,” he wrote. “Instead of re-coronating the Queen, it’s time to take the crown… I want THE CROWN.”

In the Sun-Times story about slating, Preckwinkle dismissed questions about Democratic infighting, saying the process showed democracy in action. “There were two races, clearly, in which passions ran high — the assessor’s race and the secretary of state race — but as I said, this is an open, transparent process and we have our slate.”

Full list of endorsements.

Recapping the SOS speeches to Dems, by Tribune’s Rick Pearson

BUSINESS OF POLITICS: We’re a month away from Jan. 13 when candidates can start circulating petitions, according to the latest calendar sent out by the Board of Elections.

POLITICO’s State Pandemic Scorecard | How Illinois and other states fared in the pandemic: Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re beginning to get enough data to evaluate how well states handled the crisis. Each state shaped its own response differently, and you can see the results in POLITICO’s State Pandemic Scorecard. The numbers show Illinois exceeded the national average in its performance on health, but lagged on the economy. It did better than the national average on social well-being but was about the same as the national average on education. Some other takeaways:

  • States that imposed more restrictions such as stay-at-home orders and mask requirements experienced lower rates of death and hospitalizations. But they also tended to have worse economic and educational outcomes;
  • States whose economies are heavily dependent on tourism suffered the most economically, with Hawaii and Nevada hit hardest. Tourism was hit especially hard in Chicago;
  • No state did well in every policy area;
  • Overall, rural states tended to fare better than more urbanized states on better economic and educational outcomes. Many rural states, despite being less densely populated, ranked poorly in health outcomes, however.


Illinois Covid hospitalizations up 20% from week ago, by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin

Lightfoot considering new mitigations as Covid cases in Chicago rise, via ABC 7 with VIDEO

Chicago schools sending 150,000 at-home Covid tests to students, by Chalkbeat’s Mauricio Pena

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

La Villita Community Church at 10 a.m. to announce additional funding through the R3 program to support neighborhoods most impacted by the war on drugs. Then at the Thompson Center at 11:30 a.m. “to discuss future savings,” according to his schedule.

In City Hall at 10 a.m. to preside over the City Council meeting.

No official public events.

Pritzker says he has ‘no intention of running for anything except re-election as governor: “In every way imaginable, the governor denied he’s talked to anyone about running for president,” reports WGN 9’s Tahman Bradley.

— Commissioner Bridget Degnen has announced she’ll run for reelection in the 2022 Cook County Board of Commissioner race.

— Litesa Wallace, a former Democratic state rep running for the IL-17 congressional seat, has been endorsed by Collective PAC, which is dedicated to increasing Black political representation in government.

Illinois and 7 other states ask feds to freeze interest on loans used to pay unemployment benefits during pandemic: “Illinois owes nearly $4.5 billion to the federal unemployment trust fund, which has been accumulating interest at a rate of 2.27% since Sept. 6. As of Friday, the state owed $19.6 million in interest, a tab that would grow to more than $100 million if the debt is left unpaid for a year, according to Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

Illinois establishing midwife license: “Since Illinois outlawed midwives (those who are not licensed nurses or doctors) decades ago, they’ve had to operate somewhat underground — unable to purchase certain drugs or to coordinate care with doctors and hospitals. Illinois is in the process of changing course with a new law signed Tuesday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker,” by WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky

— Targeting ‘smash and grab’: House Minority Leader Jim Durkin has filed legislation targeting “smash-and-grab retail theft” that’s become “disturbingly commonplace and these criminals are only becoming more brazen,” Durkin said in a statement. His House Bill 4275 calls for organized retail theft to be classified as a felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail if the value of the stolen goods is more than the state’s current felony threshold of $300.

Families in crisis want the state to do more to help children with the most dire needs: “There’s an increase in kids with mental and behavioral health issues but a shortage of facilities that can treat them,” by WBEZ’s Susie An and Sarah Karp

Legislators call on state school board to pause state assessment switch, by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie.

Edwardsville police chief on Amazon warehouse: ‘It was definitely one of our worst days,’ Capitol News’ Beth Hundsdorfer reports

Great Lakes governors request federal funding for Brandon Road project to deter invasive carp, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene

The Senate Democratic Caucus outlined 10 laws “that will affect Illinoisans in all corners of the state,” when they take effect Jan. 1:

· SB 1682: Requires pharmacies to post a notice informing customers they can request the retail price of brand name or generic prescription drugs;

· HB 576/SB 1577: Gives Illinois students up to five excused absences to prioritize their mental health;

· HB 0605: Requires state agencies and institutions to only purchase Illinois and American flags made in the United States;

· SB 817: Prohibits discrimination against natural and ethnic hairstyles;

· SB 119: Prohibits lemonade stands and other means of nonalcoholic sale operated by a person under the age of 16 from being regulated or shut down by public health authorities;

· HB 3922: Recognizes June 19 — Juneteenth — as an official holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S.;

· HB 168: Prohibits people who have a record of felony offenses like torture or animal fighting from owning or living with animals;

· HB 122: Ends early termination fees on utility contracts for deceased residents;

· SB 58: Lowers the registration fee for trailers weighing less than 3,000 lbs. from $118 to $36;

· HB 226: Allows students to choose whether to submit their ACT/SAT score when applying to Illinois public institutions.

Lake County board approves its new map: “While the realigned district map was ultimately approved 14-7, those opposed gave scathing criticisms of the new boundaries, with some members calling it a disgrace and others questioning if the map was legal. Those opposed included all six Republicans on the board and District 18 member Julie Simpson,” by Lake County News’ James T. Norman.

From Englewood to Chinatown, residents fight to keep their communities together in Chicago’s remapping, by WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel and Esther Yoon-Ji Kang

New judicial map takes effect Jan. 1, with the Fifth District including about half the state, by Madison-St. Clair Record’s Steve Korris

Cabrini-Green — A history of broken promises: “Transforming Chicago’s most famous public housing complex will cost taxpayers $2 billion. It also came with often-unkept promises of jobs, city contracts and homes for those forced from the neighborhood,” by Better Government Association’s Alejandra Cancino.

Cabrini-Green residents were promised 2,500 construction jobs. They got 40: “To quell a rising controversy 25 years ago that threatened to derail his grand plan to raze the public housing complex, Mayor Richard M. Daley made promises to the residents he was kicking out — including jobs,” by Better Government Association’s Alejandra Cancino.

Affordable housing project headed to council vote despite alderman’s objection to ‘complete overstep’: “The City Council Zoning Committee approved the Glenstar O’Hare development by a 12-5 vote, despite local Ald. Anthony Napolitano arguing it isn’t a good fit for the area just east of O’Hare International Airport. The proposal will head to the full council today,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.

Why it matters: “The vote represents a nearly unprecedented rebuke of the decades-old tradition of giving alderpeople the final say over housing developments in their wards,” reports WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

Right-wing group’s attempt to open at Chicago high school rejected: “After talk of starting a Turning Point USA chapter at Taft High School emerged, the school’s principal said they will ‘never tolerate’ student groups that go against the school’s values,” by Sun-Times’ Clare Spaulding.

CPS says new ‘boys+’ and ‘girls+’ bathroom signs are gender inclusive; petition seeks to rescind policy: “The Chicago Public Schools say the three types of student bathrooms are open to anyone who feels comfortable using them. But some parents are critical of the policy,” by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.

Students walk out of South Side school over racial slurs: “We will not be silenced.” Chalkbeat’s Mauricio Pena reports.

Former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo pleads guilty to tax evasion: “Acevedo had been drawn into a federal corruption probe. Then, last February, prosecutors hit Acevedo and his sons, Michael and Alex, with separate indictments,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Ald. Burke faces key hearing in February, as trial slips to 2022: U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow said during a brief hearing that his review had been “waylaid” because he is presiding over three consolidated cases challenging the Illinois House and Senate district maps, WTTW’s Heather Cherone reports.

Sears HQ in Hoffman Estates to be up for sale in 2022: “The announcement comes only a month after Transformco closed its last Sears department store in Illinois, at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg,” by Daily Herald’s Eric Peterson.

Jussie Smollett is guilty — of stupidity: The Smollett story “elicits snickers and eye rolls… But at the time, it drew swift condemnation of Smollett’s ‘attackers.’ In Trump’s America, it felt plausible to many people and reignited conversations about racism that permeated the previous administration,” writes Brakkton Booker in The Recast.

Federal judge says GOP judge candidate can’t sue IL Elections Board over alleged stolen 2020 judicial election, by Cook County Record’s Scott Holland

We asked what’s the first office you ever ran for: Pritzker’s chief of staff Anne Caprara: “I ran for 4th grade class representative against Michael McGuire at St. Katharine of Siena grade school in Wayne, PA. The gender gap was huge. All the girls voted for me. All the boys voted for Mike. Unfortunately there was one more boy than girl and I couldn’t convince the men to break ranks.” Illinois CPA Society’s Marty Green ran for student council president at Canton High School and won. Commission on Human Rights’ Julia Epplin-Zapf ran for student council in 3rd grade. Political consultant Steve Sheffey ran as a delegate for Tom Harkin in 1992. Political consultant Porter McNeil ran for eighth grade class president, the beginning of a string of wins in 9th, 10th and 12th grade before losing as a state rep. Retired Circuit Court Judge Hy Riebman ran for Buffalo Grove Village Trustee in 1983, and lost. WMAY’s Jim Leach ran for president of my college residence hall. “I won! And I did not get impeached during my tenure.”

For tomorrow, how has Covid affected your pocketbook? Email to [email protected]

THE FIFTY: The Democratic party’s defeat last month in Virginia has many governors searching for a way to handle the pandemic while also talking about a brighter future ahead. The headline: They’re sick of masks, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro.

— Joe Ferguson, Chicago’s former inspector general, has been named a winter fellow with the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, which was founded by former political consultant David Axelrod. Also among the latest fellows are GOP campaign strategist Mark Campbell, former San Juan (Puerto Rico) Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, former MoveOn executive director Anna Galland, Afghan journalist Lotfullah Najafizada, and journalist and “Heartland” author Sarah Smarsh.

— Michael Jordan is featured on the new Century Series Wheaties boxes. Wheaties is bringing back past covers of iconic athletes known for shaping sports culture. No bull, no one is more iconic than MJ.

House votes 222-208 to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress and make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice. Just two Republicans — Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney (Wyo.) — voted for the resolution, seven fewer than the nine Republicans who supported the recent contempt of Congress vote regarding Steve Bannon, via POLITICO’s Congress Minutes

Congress clears $2.5T debt limit increase, forestalling economic fallout, by POLITICO’s Jennifer Scholtes and Caitlin Emma

Senate Dems’ choice: Election reform first, or Biden’s megabill? POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett report

Trump-appointed FDIC chair blocks Democratic bid to undercut her, by POLITICO’s Victoria Guida

— Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Evanston on Friday to make “a major announcement underscoring USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and support school meal programs,” according to his office.

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Christopher Mooney, politics professor at U. of I. Chicago, for correctly answering that The Association opened for The Who at the 1968 Illinois State Fairground show.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What building now sits on the site of the former H.H. Holmes “murder castle” where dozens of murders reportedly occurred during the 1893 World’s Fair? Email to [email protected]

Cook County Judge Perla Tirado, Norwood Park civic leader Frank Avino, public affairs entrepreneur Dave Lundy, Strategia Consulting CEO Lissa Druss, Cameo CEO Steven Galanis, marketing guru Ben Counts, Chicago–Kent College of Law professor Richard Kling, and veteran corporate PR exec Ron Culp. And belated greetings to University of Chicago student Fernando Elizondo Junco.



via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq

December 15, 2021 at 07:33AM

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