Happy Monday, Illinois. The Oscars honored “The Godfather” last night but who knew they’d take the idea of protecting a family’s honor that far.
The Tribune is out with a stunning story of former House Speaker Michael Madigan, who faces federal racketeering charges, vanquishing a bill to help low-income electricity customers that was backed by his daughter, Lisa Madigan, when she served as Illinois attorney general.
The bill, which was seen as a chance “to burnish her legacy” during her final year in office in 2018 only to be killed by her father, according to the Tribune account.
It’s a near Shakespearean account of Madigan “sticking the knife in the back of his own beloved daughter,” tweeted political observer and authorCarol Felsenthal.
The Tribune describes it as “one of the most intriguing chapters” of the federal indictment filed earlier this month against Madigan. In it, “prosecutors alleged he greenlighted efforts to kill his own daughter’s legislation as he pressed ComEd to give jobs to two political allies, including a coveted position on the utility’s board of directors.”
Who Madigan wanted to help: Juan Ochoa, former chief of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, who Madigan wanted named to the utility’s board of directors, and former Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski, who Madigan wanted to get a $5,000-a-month contract via ComEd, according to the Tribune.
Good line: “It details the often-upside-down world of Springfield politics, where even a member of the speaker’s family ended up on the losing side of the political ledger due to a near-secret arrangement.”
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The specter of former House Speaker Michael Madigan is entering the campaign on how the City Council’s ward maps will be redrawn.
In a new poll commissioned by the Latino Caucus and its supporters, respondents were informed that the Chicago United map supported by the City Council’s Rules Committee and the Black Caucus “was drafted by Michael Madigan’s lawyer.”
According to a polling memo obtained by Playbook, more than two-thirds, 69 percent, of respondents indicated “that is a convincing reason to vote against the Chicago United map.”
The memo states: “Perceptions of Madigan aren’t just negative, they are intensely negative — nearly two-thirds (64 percent) give him a strongly unfavorable rating. Negative perceptions of Madigan extend across all regions of the city and important voter subgroups like Democrats (84 percent unfavorable), Independents (85 percent unfavorable), and white voters (91 percent unfavorable).”
And just in case we didn’t get it, the memo continues, “Madigan is nearly universally disliked in Chicago.”
Without knowing anything, respondents favored the Chicago United map 53 percent to 42 percent. That gap closed up to a virtual tie, 49 percent to 48 percent, when respondents learned about who supports each map and how they’re drawn. The results have an overall margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
Another interesting data point: The poll memo says less than a fifth, or 18 percent, of voters have neither heard nor seen information about redistricting (we must get them signed up for Playbook!).
GOOD READ TO GET UP TO SPEED: Ward remap referendum still not a done deal, by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
No official public events.
Presiding over a Chicago City Council meeting at 1:30 p.m. where Nicole Lee is expected to be officially named the next 11th Ward alderperson.
No official public events.
— Illinois’ community Covid testing sites to close at the end of the month: “The IDPH says demand for the sites has dropped significantly over the past few weeks,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.
— Much of Shanghai locked down as mass Covid-19 testing begins, by The Associated Press
— Lawmakers and unions want answers on inmate movement in downstate prisons: “The Illinois Department of Corrections has reportedly developed a plan which includes a major downsizing at two prisons in Pontiac and Vandalia. Under the proposed plan by DOC, both prisons’ inmate population would be reduced by around 60%. The location of where the inmates are being moved to has not been publicly revealed,” by Illinois Radio Network’s Kevin Bessler.
— Illinois board of ed considers ramping up standardized testing to 3 times a year: “Offering the assessment to districts for free from the state would save districts money, allow underfunded districts the same opportunity to access student growth data prior to third grade, and ensure alignment to the assessment for grades three through eight,” ISBE spokeswoman Jackie Matthews said. Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta reports.
— HIGHER-ED | College Illinois won’t go broke after all: “Included in the $4.1 billion spending plan signed into law today by Gov. Pritzker is $250 million for the underfunded college savings program,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— TIF tiff | Measure would bring more accountability on tax increment financing: “Some suburban communities are among the groups opposing the legislation they argue will limit their ability to spur economic development. But many school districts, park districts and similar taxing bodies support it, because they believe it will limit the amount of tax money that TIFs draw away from them,” by Daily Herald’s Maria Gardner.
— Touting mental health benefits, advocates aim to decriminalize psychedelic plants in Illinois: Advocates are working with state Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, “to draft a bill that would decriminalize plant-based psychedelics and create a framework through which counselors, religious healers and others could use one of the drugs, psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms,’ therapeutically,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Column | Dems, GOP on opposite sides about helping state with American Rescue Plan money, writes Rich Miller in the Sun-Times
— Lawmakers take aim at Blue Cross Blue Shield in wake of Springfield Clinic controversy, by State Journal Register’s Andrew Adams
— Pending bill would mandate insurance coverage for cleft lip, cleft palate treatment, by Illinois Times’ Dean Olsen
— Lightfoot hopes to waive 3-cents-a-gallon gas tax hike until Dec. 31 to ease pain at pump: “If the plan is approved, the city would forfeit about $18 million by temporarily reducing the gas tax. The tax money pays for snow removal, street paving, bridge maintenance and related personnel costs,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— ‘BRAIN DRAIN’ | Exits have stabilized, but 660 cops retired in 2021, almost twice as many as in 2018: “The reasons for officer departures have been numerous, experts said, from citizens having a negative view of police in the wake of major police misconduct cases, such as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, to officers being placed under new scrutiny, to vaccine mandates,” by Tribune’s Paige Fry.
— Lightfoot says 5 years for sweeping police reforms was ‘unrealistic’ as city gets another 3 years: “The mayor estimates completing those massive reforms will cost $50 million to $100 million,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Anjanette Young joins alderwomen, social workers to support new ordinance fighting violent, discriminatory police raids: Among other things, the ordinance implements “regulations that would protect all residents from potentially harmful police raids,” bans the use of no-knock warrants and ensues the use of officers’ body-worn cameras, reports Tribune’s Shanzeh Ahmad.
— Cultural Center unveils historic renovation, by Steve Johnson for Crain’s.
— Why a Rockford state rep wants the Bears to move to Arlington Heights: "The current stadium is too small to host things like a Super Bowl. There’s limitations with parking and access. And when you look at that facility versus others, a facility in Arlington Heights — with the land surrounding it — has the potential for a state-of-the-art stadium,” says Republican state Rep. Joe Sosnowski. Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek reports.
— Lake Calumet has been subject of many big plans over the years, but the latest may bring it back to life, by Daily Southtown’s Paul Eisenberg reports.
— Chips all in as Southland casino project advances; groundbreaking possible in a few weeks, by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan
— Bartlett warehouse fire took 6 days to put out, and officials still don’t know what sparked it, by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: An anti-violence program in Chicago is seeing positive results according to researchers from three universities, including University of Chicago, who studied Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI). The program tracked 2,500 men, 35 percent of whom had been shot and 98 percent arrested prior to starting READI. After operating 20 months, READI participants had 63 percent fewer arrests and 19 percent fewer “victimizations for shootings and homicides,” according to researchers from the University of Chicago’s Crime and Inclusive Economy labs, the University of Michigan, and Cornell University. Full report here
— No bail for CTA worker accused of shooting intoxicated man during argument at Red Line stop: “Sylvester Adams, 53, of Lynwood, faces charges of attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the attack, which was captured on cellphone video that has spread on social media,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba and Emmanuel Camarillo.
— Trapped shoppers describe chaotic moments during fatal mall shooting in Rosemont, by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova and Rosemary Sobol
— Jehovah’s Witnesses elders sentenced to supervision, community service for not reporting child’s sexual abuse, by Shaw Media’s Amanda Marrazzo
— IL-01 endorsements and donations: Pat Dowell is being feted April 10 at a fundraiser hosted by Diana Rauner, the children’s advocate and wife of former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Also on the host list: Carol Moseley Braun. Invite here … Jonathan Jackson was saluted Sunday at a fundraiser hosted by Whitney Young High School principal Joyce Kenner and attended by Riteway-Huggins Construction Services CEO Larry Huggins, Service Club of Chicago’s Belvon Walker and others. … And Jacqui Collins had a fundraiser Saturday hosted by her state Senate colleagues over the years, including John Cullerton, Melinda Bush, Susan Garrett, Dan Kotowski, Kimberly Lightford, Iris Martinez, and Heather Steans.
— OPPO | When the government was buying vaccines, Rep. Newman was trading: “The congresswoman and her husband have stopped the practice, her campaign says, but only after trading millions in Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and other companies last year,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez is endorsing Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford in her campaign for the newly drawn Illinois Supreme Court’s 2nd District. Cook County is the largest court system in the state.
— City Clerk Valencia amends ethics forms after NBC 5 questions, via Mary Ann Ahern
We asked about Oscar moments. Who can forget Oscar night 2015, when Chicago native Graham Moore, who won for screen adaptation for “The Imitation Game,” made a compelling speech about grappling with depression and suicide and finding hope through it all. Joining him at the Oscars that night was his mom, Susan Sher, senior adviser to the University of Chicago president and a former aide to first lady Michelle Obama. … A year later, Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky joined Lady Gaga and survivors of violence against women for an emotional performance.
What’s an onstage moment you’d like to walk back? Email [email protected]
Sen. Dick Durbin talked to Chicago reporters Friday about Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Some takeaways:
Will he get any Republicans on the committee to back Jackson? He hopes so. “I’ve talked to some of them privately. I’m not naming names. They understand that they couldn’t ask for a better resume in terms of a person seeking this position.”
If the committee splits 11-11? “Her nomination would be released to the full Senate, where all 50 Democrats and Kamala Harris will join us.”
Was there anything that caught you by surprise during the hearings? “The statement by Cory Booker. It changed the mood in the room and on the committee. It was exceptional and it appealed to higher levels of participation and cooperation.”
How do you think Jackson did? “She was extraordinary. There were some harangues from the Republican side. I thought if I saw her stand up and say ‘I’ve had enough and am taking my family and going home,’ I couldn’t have faulted her. That was a bruising process.”
BTW, what about Ginni Thomas’ political activities? “To think that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas was reaching out to the chief of staff of the president of the United States and trying to find ways to void the results of the last election, it sounds like some bizarre plot in a movie. … I think she has crossed the line many times in her political activity. She has a right as a private American citizen, but she’s in a special circumstance given her husband serves on the Supreme Court.”
— Anthony Guglielmi has been named chief comms officer for the U.S. Secret Service. He most recently headed comms for the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia. But Playbookers know him for his work as comms chief of the Chicago Police Department before that. “Working in Chicago certainly prepared me for what’s ahead,” Gugliemi told Playbook.
— Hanover Park announces new police chief: “Deputy Police Chief Andrew Johnson will be sworn in by Mayor Rodney S. Craig at the village board meeting of 7 p.m. May 5 and have an effective start date of May 7,” via Daily Herald.
— Jake DiGregorio has been named VP of comms and marketing at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. He previously was comms director at Illinois Institute of Technology.
— Griselda Garibay and Bill Gerstein have joined Conlon Public Strategies as senior advisers. Garibay previously served as the national director of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Mujeres de HACE Program and as finance and marketing director for the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative. Gerstein is a former founding principal of two Chicago public high schools in South Shore and Austin. He’s also an active board and civic leader, though many folks may know him as the owner of Mr. G’s Grocery store in Hyde Park.
— Chicago protesters, politicians gather in solidarity with Ukraine: “Can we do anything less than to stand out here on a chilly day, in the sunshine, in a peaceful setting and pledge our solidarity to the same cause? No. We need to stand together,” says Sen. Dick Durbin. Sun-Times’ Katie Anthony.
— Russia threat sets off mad dash for defense dollars, by POLITICO’s Lee Hudson and Connor O’Brien
— Putin’s useful German idiots, by POLITICO’s Matthew Karnitschnig
— How a Google billionaire helped pay for Biden’s science office, by POLITICO’s Alex Thompson
— Biden’s trip to Europe: A triumph, a walk back, and no clearer end game, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Lemire
— How the assassination of JFK changed Krzyzewski coaching career, by Daily Herald’s Jim O’Donnell
— MEDIA MATTERS: Chris Wallace Says Life at Fox News Became ‘Unsustainable’, via The New York Times.
— IN MEMORIAM: Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had 10 different substances in body, early report finds, via USA TODAY Network
Emanuel, Japan PM visit Hiroshima as Russia nuclear tensions rise: “Rahm Emanuel, who arrived in Japan in January, said that it was important to him to visit Hiroshima early in his tenure and that he also plans to visit Nagasaki,” via Washington Post.
Pritzker honored with the Ruth Ellis Award for LGBTQ support: "Governor Pritzker has not only acknowledged us but he’s done it with things that could cost him politically," said Coalition of Rainbow Alliances’ Bur Morton. "He’s raised the rainbow flag (a symbol of LGBTQ pride and social movements) on the (Illinois) Capitol (Building) and the Governor’s Mansion, included many people in his administration who are LGBTQ, and he’s been open to meetings with groups across the state and acknowledged that rights should be equal." State Journal-Register’s Tiffani Jackson reports
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to U. of Chicago political science professor John Mark Hansen for correctly answering Micheaux Film and Book Co. produced the first feature length film by a Black filmmaker.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Chicago alderman who head up a billiards hall on Clark Street after organizing the Chicago White Stockings baseball club? Email [email protected]
Democratic Committeewoman Carol Ronen, former ambassador to Belgium Ron Gidwitz, former Treasury Secretary and Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson, comms guru Marlow Colvin, Pride Action Tank executive director Kim Hunt, and ABC News national correspondent Alex Perez.
March 28, 2022 at 08:39AM