Happy Thursday, Illinois. Temperatures have inched up just in time for candidates to start gathering signatures to get on the June 28 primary ballot.
PUT A BOW ON IT — Teachers union approves Covid-19 safety deal to end standoff with Chicago Public Schools: “The CTU rank-and-file narrowly passed the measure Wednesday, with about 56% of the vote in favor. … Union President Jesse Sharkey said the outcome was a ‘clear show of dissatisfaction’ with Mayor Lori Lightfoot,” by Tribune’s William Lee, Gregory Pratt, Shanzeh Ahmad and Tracy Swartz.
SCOOP: Secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia is jump-starting her campaign with the help of one of the state’s most powerful political fundraisers: Laura Ricketts.
The Cubs co-owner, Democratic fundraiser (including for Hillary Clinton) and a leader in the gay and lesbian community has agreed to co-chair Valencia’s finance committee.
“There is far too much at stake this year for the Democratic Party that we must ensure we have the right candidate on the ballot in the General Election," Ricketts said in a statement to Playbook. She said Valencia has “a proven record and history of showing up for Democrats when it has mattered most.”
The endorsement comes after two setbacks to Valencia’s statewide effort: former rival Pat Dowell and the Cook County Democratic Party both backed Alexi Giannoulias, who is seen as a frontrunner in part because he’s banked $4 million.
Valencia’s campaign has about $1 million on hand and hopes Ricketts’ influence will ramp up fundraising and help build a statewide operation that can compete on the ground and the airwaves.
In Ricketts, the campaign has someone with a national reach. She was a leading fundraiser for former President Barack Obama and served on the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee.
SCOOP: Republican Steve Kim is throwing his hat in the ring to challenge Democratic Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, nearly rounding out a Republican slate for the June 28 primary.
Kim is a familiar name on the political scene, having challenged Democratic AG Lisa Madigan when she ran for reelection in 2010. Kim was also the running mate to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford in the 2014 primary contest that ultimately went to Bruce Rauner.
A source close to Kim’s campaign said he would be part of a slate that includes state Rep. Tom Demmer for treasurer, former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser for secretary of state, and McHenry County Auditor Shannon Teresi for auditor, who announced yesterday. Don’t be surprised if Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin leads the slate as the gubernatorial candidate. These candidates aren’t the only Republicans running for statewide offices, but by teaming up they hope to have an advantage securing a statewide seat (or seats) that are now controlled by Democrats.
Abby Witt, executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois, calls the slate a “Rauner Reboot” that’s being run by Ken Griffin. Actually, Griffin has so far kept out of the statewide races — though he’s acknowledged wanting to defeat Gov. JB Pritzker.
For his part, Kim said the AG job is “critical to repairing the state’s reputation as a haven for crime and public corruption.” And like Teresi did yesterday, he invoked Michael Madigan, the former House speaker, in his remarks, saying, “Under JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan, Springfield remains a cesspool run for the benefit of the politicians and insiders and not the people of Illinois.”
Kim, born in South Korea, is an attorney with an expertise in international issues. He was an adviser to former Gov. Jim Edgar on trade and Asian affairs, a trustee in Northfield Township, and an international affairs director for the State Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as a member of the Rules Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court.
In the private sector, Kim worked on internal and external affairs with Ameritech, now AT&T, while going to law school at night. After earning his law degree, Kim was VP of government and public affairs at Time Warner. He’s since practiced law at a boutique firm that advises small- and medium-size companies.
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At the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line stop at 7:30 a.m. along with Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton to kick off petition signature gathering.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. presiding over a meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
— Pritzker sends thousands of contract health care workers to hospitals swamped with unvaccinated patients: “More Illinoisans are testing positive for Covid-19 each day than ever before — an average of 32,501 per day over the last week — and ‘unfortunately, right now, today, the hospitals are bearing the brunt,’ Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. The spike is also resulting in more deaths, with 144 on Wednesday alone, the worst daily toll in over a year,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Illinois changes quarantine rules and isolation guidelines for schools to align with CDC: “Under the new guidance, any staff or student who tests positive for Covid, regardless of vaccination status, must "stay home for a minimum of five days and a maximum of 10 days after the first day of symptoms" or the date of a positive test result. " They must also continue wearing a mask around others for five additional days after returning to school,” via NBC 5.
— "Dr. Fauci, give me that ouchy": A message from the Dallas City Council. And you thought Chicago council meetings were crazy!
— Why the left couldn’t destroy Rahm Emanuel: “After Rahm Emanuel limped to the end of two controversy-pocked terms as Chicago mayor in 2019, many people assumed he would be consigned at last to irrelevance. Some critics, especially on the Democratic left, thought a sullen fadeaway was too good for Emanuel — he deserved some place a bit hotter to spend his political afterlife. Less than three years later, Emanuel isn’t going to oblivion. And he isn’t going to hell, or at least not yet. He’s going to Tokyo.”
Insight on survival: “Part of political power comes down to psychology. Having the brass ones to ignore public or private censure may or may not be a positive character trait as an individual. But in an age of rising political and media ferocity, it can be an indispensable part of political character. Most people simply aren’t wired that way,” by POLITICO’s John Harris.
— Emanuel went to a Bulls game last night and tweeted a farewell: “My final stop before departing for Japan: the Madhouse on Madison to watch the first-place @ChicagoBulls. I have visions of another championship banner in the rafters. From Tokyo, I’ll be rooting for the Bulls and our city—the only place I’ll ever call home! Thank you, Chicago.”
— Republican Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri won’t seek reelection: He was first elected in 1994. “I’m thinking that there’s other things I want to do, like maybe teach or practice more law … and just have more time with my friends and family,” Silvestri said in a phone interview with the Tribune’s Alice Yin. “I hope that my legacy is that I tried to represent the people of our area to the best of my ability, understanding the social and financial limitations that government has.”
— Lilian Jimenez, the former top aide to Rep. Chuy Garcia when he was a Cook County commissioner, has filed to run for the 4th District state House seat that opened up when Rep. Delia Ramirez pivoted to run for Congress. Jimenez worked on Ramirez’s 2018 campaign and now Ramirez is backing her for the state rep seat. Jiménez is an attorney who has specialized in public policy advocacy, including immigration and labor. She was director of policy and chief of staff to Garcia. And she was director of the Fair Labor Standards Division at the Illinois Department of Labor.
— Erich “Mancow” Muller announces run for governor as an independent: The radio host announced on NewsNation’s “On Balance with Leland Vittert” show Wednesday. “I am serious,” Muller said. “I’ve decided I want to be the captain of the Titanic.”
— Jesse White is running for secretary of state. No, not that Jesse White: “The Libertarian Party of Illinois, a party with eight elected officials across Illinois, is running a candidate for secretary of state. His name is Jesse White,” by State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams.
— Pete DiCianni has been unanimously endorsed by the Addison Township Republican Organization for DuPage County Board chairman. Di Cianni currently serves as the commissioner of the 2nd District.
— Former La Salle County state’s attorney Karen Donnelly will run for state rep: “Donnelly will vie for Republican nomination in newly-drawn 105th District,” via Shaw Media.
— State Rep. Mark Walker, a Democrat from Arlington Heights, announced his campaign for re-election for Illinois’ 53rd House District.
— Illinois Capitol set for $224M renovation. ‘Our plan is that this building will last another 150 years’: “It will be the second major construction project on the building in a decade and will force some legislative sessions to find new locations for the next few years, while also being a temporary inconvenience for school groups and other tourists who won’t get to see the historic structure’s full grandeur,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— Illinois lawmakers cancel in-person work amid Covid surge: “Committee meetings can still be viewed online and will include testimony from the public. These meetings can be viewed on the legislature’s website. Leadership in the Illinois House and Senate also canceled two of three scheduled days in the first week of January, meaning that of the nine scheduled days of legislative session so far this year, eight have been canceled,” by State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams.
… Springfield officials are in ‘triage’ as workers quit jobs in record numbers, reports State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams.
… Dept. of Corrections to pause intake of inmates due to Covid-19 surge, by Capitol News’ Beth Hundsdorfer.
— Up to 15 gunshots reported during carjacking of Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford and her husband: “[A] four-page report from Broadview police provides additional details about the Dec. 21 carjacking of Lightford, the second-highest-ranking state senator, and her husband, Eric McKennie, in the western suburb. No one was hurt in the exchange of gunfire, and three suspects remain at large,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— You don’t see this very often: Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, a Republican from Oswego, and Rep. Lamont J. Robinson, a Democrat from Chicago, visited construction equipment sales and rental company McCann Industries together earlier this week “to foster bipartisan understanding of the need to support Illinois’ small business community and manufacturing industry in 2022,” according to a statement.
— Truckers using cocaine more than marijuana, study finds, via Freight Waves
MORE ON CPS-CTU:
… Internal memo shows union describing the work stoppage as “a strike,” via Tribune’s Gregory Pratt on Twitter.
… Chaotic day for some students returning after 5 days of canceled classes, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa, Mitch Dudek, and Manny Ramos
— Where vaccine rates lag, some restaurants feel mandate pinch; others see sales rise with comfort levels, reports Tribune’s Josh Noel
— South Side Irish Parade to return after two-year hiatus, by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.
— Employees at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago join union, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— OPINION: Save the Thompson Center Food Court: “The case for saving the humble food court — the affordable, simple answer to the bourgeois food hall,” by Chicago magazine’s Edward McClelland.
Rumble uses GOP megadonor Ken Griffin’s financial backing to spread misinformation on vaccines, elections: “A simple search for the word “vaccine” on Rumble’s homepage returned three times more videos with misinformation than accurate claims, according to research published in Wired Magazine. Rumble’s presentation and distribution of video content amplified misinformation about vaccines and elections more than any other topics, according to the study’s findings,” by WCIA’s Mark Maxwell.
Ida B. Wells’ latest honor: a Barbie doll: “The doll is set to hit stores Monday. According to Barbie’s Twitter account, it is part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women series, intended to highlight ‘heroes who inspire us to dream big,’” by Sun-Times’ Cheyanne M. Daniels
— Bridgeport bank president had worker falsely make it look like Patrick Daley Thompson made loan payments, according to plea: “That worker, Alicia Mandujano, has become the first person to plead guilty as a result of the massive investigation that has swirled for years since the failure of Washington Federal Bank for Savings and the death of its president, John Gembara, both in 2017,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Tim Novak.
— State Sen. Thomas Cullerton’s federal embezzlement trial postponed due to pandemic scheduling, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner
— Why suburban retailers once again are struggling to keep shelves stocked: “Retailers already were struggling with supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, but the omicron variant has created new staffing issues as a massive wave of cases keeps workers in all sectors of the supply chain home, experts note. ‘It’s kind of a whole boomerang effect from Covid,’ said Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. ‘Compounding the problem are winter weather disruptions and inflation that’s changing shopping habits,” by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin.
— Arlington Heights chef makes finals of ‘Chopped,’ by Jonah Nink for the Daily Herald
— Judge nixes rail unions’ request to halt Metra’s Covid vax mandate, by Cook County Record’s Scott Holland.
— High school sports lawsuit vs Pritzker revised to seek order barring potential school vax mandates, by Cook County Record’s Jonathan Bilyk
We asked what activity you do to get you through the Midwest winter: Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation director Tiffany Hightower likes to hone her cooking and baking skills. “There is nothing more rewarding than making a pot of gumbo or stew that you allow to slow cook and simmer, while curling up on the couch and reading a good book." Former state Rep. Suzie Bassi does tai chi & Zumba Gold. “It keeps me functional during Chicago winters!” And Freeport City manager Randy J. Bukas writes: “I like to go on a long run on a snow-covered trail. It’s peaceful and quiet and you see all kinds of animals and animal tracks. With the cold temperatures’ we have been having, I bundle up so much that the run turns into a fast walk.”
Given petition season is in the dead of winter this year, where might candidates go to find crowds of people to get signatures? Email [email protected]
— Old-school senator no more: Biden goes all-in against the filibuster, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Laura Barrón-López
— Trump looks to reshape the Senate in anticipation of his second act as president, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw
… Durbin responds: “Perhaps the President went a little too far in his rhetoric. … But the fundamental principles and values at stake are very, very similar,” via CNN.
— Heather K. Sager is now deputy chief of staff for communications for Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). She was previously Bustos’ communications director. Leighton Huch is now deputy chief of staff, policy and operations for Bustos. She was previously legislative director.
— John Hanlon, Carrie Ward appointed to state’s newly-formed forensic science commission: “The commission is seen as a way to improve coordination between police and forensic scientists to help decrease the backlog in DNA cases,” by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie.
— Brady Chalmers starts next week as an analyst in the Cook County Board president’s office, where he’ll work on inter-agency comms and digital. Chalmers most recently was digital director for Cook County Democrats.
— Lars Anderson will be a partner at strategic communications advisory firm Finsbury Glover Hering’s Washington office. Anderson, an alum of the Obama administration, most recently worked at the communications consultancy BlueDot Strategies, where he was a founding partner.
Today at 9 a.m.: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is hosting an “Understanding Our New World” Zoom event with Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, Karin Olofsdotter. Topic for discussion: how Covid-19 is affecting international politics and trade.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Playbookers Robert Christie and John Carpenter for correctly answering that John D’Arco Jr. was a state senator convicted in 1991 for bribery and who also published a book of poetry and philosophy.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Chicago bridge is named after a local newspaper reporter? Email [email protected]
Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, City of Chicago spokeswoman Melissa Stratton, and businessman Ken Norgan.
January 13, 2022 at 08:05AM