Happy Wednesday, Illinois. SCOOP: Watch for Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to announce today she’s paying off a loan nearly two years early, saving state taxpayers $82 million. The state took out the $2 billion loan from the Fed to cover medical expenses spurred by Covid-19. Gov. JB Pritzker announced last year the state would pay off the loan by June. But a source says the state’s fiscal shape has improved enough to pay off the final $302 million today.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS: Chicago Public Schools canceled classes today after teachers union members voted last night to go remote due to Covid safety concerns. “It feels like groundhog day,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (More below)
Watch for Ald. Pat Dowell to officially put her toe in for the 1st Congressional District seat that’s opening up with Rep. Bobby Rush announcing he won’t seek reelection.
Why it matters: Dowell didn’t get slated (endorsed) by the Cook County Democratic Party in her bid for secretary of state, creating some tension within the party. That would be smoothed over if she won party backing for the congressional seat.
Meanwhile, the secretary of state race continues to gain momentum.
Democrat Alexi Giannoulias has amassed $4 million after raising $655,575 in the last quarter, including from powerful labor organizations.
To get a sense of how massive that number is, Kwame Raoul in his statewide race for attorney general had raised about $1.1 million at this point in his primary contest, according to statewide records. The fourth quarter with all its holidays, is considered the toughest time to raise political cash.
On the Republican side, a political action committee with support from billionaire Ken Griffin is reportedly backing former U.S. attorney John Milhiser. Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore has more on Milhiser’s entry in the race.
Griffin’s potential involvement has little to do with the secretary of state office. Griffin wants to defeat Gov. JB Pritzker, and if he can’t do it this year, the Citadel CEO may want to put Milhiser in a strong position to run for governor in four years.
For now, Giannoulias and Milhiser face primary contests, so fundraising is far from over. Their opponents all have uphill battles to beef up their campaign accounts.
On the Democratic side, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia has about $820,000 on hand, Ald. David Moore, about $105,000, and Dowell has $520,000. Should she run for federal office, Dowell could return those funds and then see them donated back for a congressional race.
Republican Dan Brady, who’s been endorsed by party leaders across the state, has nearly $300,000 after announcing his bid just six weeks ago.
Money will be key in both primary contests given most voters pay little attention (sorry, folks!) to down-ballot races. It’s cash, not endorsements, that allow candidates to communicate with voters.
Countdown: 174 days until the primary!
RELATED: Dowell on verge of running for Rep. Bobby Rush seat, by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet
CHURNING THE WATERS: Gov. JB Pritzker is appointing Chakena Perry to the seat being vacated by Debra Shore, who recently was named regional administrator of the U.S. EPA.
The seemingly simple appointment to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is making waves in the Democratic Party.
Appointing Perry to MWRD gets her out of the primary race in the 32nd House District — she was challenging Rep. Cyril Nichols, who beat her out for an appointment to that job last year after former Rep. André Thapedi stepped down. So Perry’s move to MWRD helps out House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who didn’t want to have to spend money on a Democratic primary.
But it’s causing a headache for Cook County Democratic Party Chair Toni Preckwinkle.
Democrats just a few weeks ago slated the candidate they want for the two-year MWRD position that Perry would fill for the year. So Perry, who didn’t put her name in for slating, will now be running against community organizer Daniel Pogorzelski, who has the party’s support as well as backing from labor unions.
In a statement to Playbook, a party spokesperson said, “We stand behind our slate.”
Some political insiders expressed frustration that Pritzker didn’t share his plans during slating about wanting Perry appointed. But another says the party didn’t go to Pritzker asking for his opinion either. And there’s grumbling about “the loyalty pledge” requiring slated candidates to agree to endorse candidates backed by the party. It’s created headaches for elected officials who have relationships with candidates off the slate.
It’s worth noting that Perry comes to the MWRD job with credentials. She’s a former chair of the Cook County Young Democrats, has worked on political campaigns, was a press secretary for Chicago Public Schools, and works in the office of MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita.
She’s also the wife of Pritzker’s deputy political director, Christian Perry. Or, given her resume, some might say Christian is the husband of Chakena Perry.
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
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— White House embraces a manage-not-contain Omicron game plan: “The president is under immense pressure to keep some semblance of social normalcy amid a pandemic that is absolutely roaring,” by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and Christopher Cadelago.
— At pop-up Covid testing sites, customers report improper masking and social distancing, lengthy waits for results: “It’s kind of the wild, Wild West.” Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg and Lisa Schencker report.
— What you need to know about the 2022 spring Illinois legislative session: “Formal agendas for today have not been released, though the House will likely need to pass a rules change to allow lawmakers to vote remotely because of COVID-19. The Senate made a similar change permanent in 2020,” by State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams.
— Audits show Illinois lenders collect interest on bills: “Illinois’ finances were so bad at one point that the state set up a special program for third party lenders to step in and pay the state’s bills, and collect interest on them. Now that the state is catching up on its bills, most of those companies are no longer making advance payments and collecting profit on Illinois’ debts,” via MyStateline.com.
— New Illinois law requires education on contributions of Asian Americans, by CIProud.com’s Shabnam Danesh
— Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person schooling, meaning CPS classes canceled today: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot blasted the Chicago Teachers Union late Tuesday for the work action, which the union said was endorsed by 73 percent of its members. CTU said it took the step out of concerns about inadequate Covid-19 protections and intends to continue to teach remotely, though it remains unclear if that will happen starting Thursday,” by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz, Gregory Pratt, Dan Petrella and Tatyana Turner.
… Parents react: Children “need the interaction with their peers,” said Vanessa Chavez, the mother of three CPS middle schoolers. “To have the rug pulled out from under them again, it’s got the potential to be catastrophic.” Tribune’s Madeline Buckley, Alice Yin and Tracy Swartz report.
— City’s top doc says schools remain safe despite Covid surge, by WTTW’s Brandis Friedman and Blair Paddock. WITH VIDEO
… From last night’s press conference: "In what world would we think to close something essential like in-person education, when we have seen the negative effects of that, when our bars remain open?" asks Dr. Allison Arwady. (Answer, Chicago.)
… Also from the presser: “In what world do we live in where decisions are made at 9 p.m. the night before school tomorrow?” asks CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. (Answer, Chicago.)
— Lightfoot deems 2022 ‘make-or-break year’ for lowering violent crime: “Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown pledged a goal of 1.5 million positive interactions between police and the community, up from 500,000 in 2021,” by Sun-Times’ Clare Spaulding and Fran Spielman.
— Chief judge shoots down Lightfoot’s request for moratorium on electronic monitoring for most violent offenders: “Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans said that under the U.S. and state constitutions, the mayor’s request to end electronic monitoring for some defendants treated them as if they were ‘considered guilty until proven innocent,’” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm.
— What does 2022 have in store for Chicago? Economists aren’t optimistic: “The 5 percent net decline of the city’s office sector is nearly twice the U.S. average and isn’t expected to recover lost jobs until late 2023,” by Crain’s Steven R. Strahler.
— Blowing snow, strong winds, and single-digit temps are expected over the next few days, forecasters say, Tribune’s Tatyana Turner reports
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi donated $6,000 to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s political campaign. Municipal elections are next year. In the last days of 2021, trade unions also gave big to Lightfoot: $59,900 from Carpentry Advancement PAC Fund, $25,000 from I.U.O.E Local 399 Political Education Fund, and $10,000 from UFCW Local 881 PAC.
— Mud already flying in bitter battle to be Republican candidate in IL-15 Congressional District, by QuadCities.com’s Jonathan Turner
— Karin Norington-Reaves, an attorney who heads the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, will announce her run for the 1st Congressional District on Sunday, according to Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
Judge denies motion to dismiss St. Clair map challenge lawsuit over alleged Voting Rights Act violations: “U.S. District Judge David Dugan granted standing to Terrilynn Gossett, Marvin Strode, and Jason Madlock, who claim the board purposely reduced black membership from six to four,” by Madison-St. Clair Record’s Steve Korris.
— More suburban schools close as Covid-19 surge hits teachers: “At one district, more than 500 employees are out sick,” by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta.
— Buffalo Grove won’t extend vaccine requirement to Lake County businesses: “The village is enforcing the Cook County order on a complaint-driven basis, officials said,” reports Daily Herald’s Steve Zalusky.
— Benedictine monks cut ties with Benet Academy months after school hired coach in same-sex marriage: “The chancellor of Benet Academy said in September he was “deeply troubled” by the school’s decision to hire a girls lacrosse coach in a same-sex marriage,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.
Illinois pot sales doubled last year to $1.38B: “Sales averaged $4.4 million a day in December, the highest level yet and a 54% increase from the same month a year earlier,” by Crain’s John Pletz.
We asked about your biggest surprise announcement and heard two amazing tales: During a holiday dinner party Dec. 26, 2015, for 10 friends and family at political consultant David Ormsby’s home, he mentioned that one of the guests, Gloria Coco, had served as a Cook County judge. “And oh by the way,” Ormsby said, Coco would be marrying Ormsby and his fiancé, Juan Carlos Álvarez y Esposito, before the salad was served (!). Judge Coco then pulled out her robe and married them right there. Among the guests: state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, who served as the “flower girl.” Pic!
And community organizer Glo H. Choi wrote: “I publicly shared my experience as an undocumented person on WBEZ! It was September 2019 during the height of the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrants and I did so to inform the public about the personal and institutional damage anti-immigrant sentiments were having on the community.”
What’s a memorable snow day from school? Email to [email protected]
Rep. Bobby Rush makes it official: “Rep. Bobby Rush announced Tuesday he will conclude a three-decade congressional career next January, but said he would continue a lifetime in public service and activism by turning to his ‘higher calling’ as a Baptist pastor to help shape ‘minds and hearts,’” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— Trump cancels Jan. 6 event amid GOP complaints, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett
— What the Jan. 6 responders found: Brotherhood in trauma and a search for accountability, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu
— Sean Hannity tried to dissuade Trump from Jan. 6 strategy, texts show, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu
— Christopher Stetler has joined Katten’s white collar and internal investigations practice as a partner in Chicago. Stetler most recently served as deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, supervising a team of prosecutors in the General Crimes Section and working with federal agents in high-profile investigations. He worked alongside U.S. Attorneys Patrick Fitzgerald, Zach Fardon and John R. Lausch Jr. in handling high-profile public corruption cases.
He was the lead prosecutor in the convictions for former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who pleaded guilty to bribery and tax offenses; former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno, who pleaded guilty to personal corruption schemes; former state Rep. Luis Arroyo, who pleaded guilty to bribery; former state Sen. Terry Link, who pleaded guilty to a tax offense; and former McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski, who pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy and tax charges. Before that, Stetler was a law clerk for Judge Amy St. Eve, when she was seated on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. And he got his start as an associate at Katten. Talk about full-circle.
— Corey Tellez has joined the U.S. Treasury as deputy assistant secretary for International Affairs in the Office of Legislative Affairs. She most recently was deputy chief of staff to Sen. Dick Durbin.
— Keenan Irish has joined Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association as VP of government relations and member engagement, based out of Springfield. He previously worked as a policy and budget analyst in the Office of Senate President Don Harmon.
— Natalie Federle, a Chicago attorney, has been named chairperson of Personal PAC, which supports abortion rights. Federle replaces Eileen Dordek, who resigned the position after announcing her candidacy for the 13th House District.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Katie Johnson, bureau chief of the Tobacco Enforcement Bureau in the Attorney General’s Office, for correctly answering that Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Baseball Museum in Nokomis, Montgomery County, honors Jim Bottomley, Red Ruffing and Ray Schalk. All had ties to Montgomery County, and all made it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Where is the highest elevation in Illinois, and which states have a lower peak elevation than Illinois? Email to [email protected]
Rep. Rodney Davis, Obama Foundation President David Simas, former state Rep. Chad Hayes, and writer Nash Jenkins.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
January 5, 2022 at 07:19AM