Latest political campaign: Chicago remap

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Latest political campaign: Chicago remap

Happy Tuesday, Illinois. We’re all in for Kansas today after its comeback win over North Carolina.

Chicago’s remap process is shifting from a racially divided debate between city council members to a full-blown campaign with political action committees and high-profile endorsements in the mix.

Members of the council’s Rules Committee, with support of the Black Caucus, filed to create a PAC that allows them to raise money to campaign for the Chicago United Map — which would create 16 majority Black wards and 14 Latino wards.

If you’ve been following, you know that’s the rub. The Chicago Coalition Map supported by the Latino Caucus and a few other alderpeople allows for 16 Black wards but 15 majority Latino wards. The Latino Caucus wants greater representation on the council given how much the Hispanic population has risen.

Ald. Michelle Harris, who chairs the Rules Committee and is a member of the Black Caucus, has spent months trying to rally support for the Black Caucus’ map. The 15-member Latino Caucus has forced the map process to a standstill because the 50-member council needs 41 votes to approve a map or it goes to referendum on June 28.

The Latinos’ Coalition Map has already been fundraising in anticipation of getting its message out for its map.

The Black Caucus also secured an interesting endorsement this week from the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.

The organization represents firefighters who live in mostly white wards and have aligned with the Black Caucus. They might like the Black Caucus map because it goes out of its way to make a ward for embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner, who’s a firefighter. He’s also drawn scrutiny for allegedly using his political power to harass and arrest a constituent in his ward.

RELATED

Remap referendum will ‘fan flames of racial division,’ Asian groups warn, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

A group of Democratic state legislators stood up yesterday in Springfield to say more funding is needed for training and recruiting police and keeping them on the job once they’re there.

It was a move made by mostly white Democrats from communities representing law enforcement families. The lawmakers want to show they’re tough on crime and that they don’t buy into the “defund the police” slogan that gained traction after George Floyd’s death.

It’s an election year, and Republicans are using the rise in violent crime (though it’s already dropping in some areas) and the “defund” message in political contests. GOP candidates are also pushing back at last year’s SAFE-T Act legislation that calls for police to wear body cameras and will eliminate cash bail for criminal suspects. They’ve also blamed the law for police officers leaving the force.

“They want to have it both ways and try to say that they are being smart on crime while keeping their progressive wing up. No one’s going to fall for it,” House Minority Leader Jim Durkin told WBEZ’s Dave McKinney in a story that examines public safety legislation.

As The Associated Press reports, the Democratic lawmakers rebuffed a question about whether the anti-crime package is an “antidote” to ease the discomfort police feel about SAFE-T Act.

"First responders, firefighters, police officers in particular, see things every day when they go to work and leave their families that so many of us could never even imagine," said Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, a Chicago Democrat, who’s sponsoring a bill focusing on addressing mental health issues.

The legislation proposed Monday includes eight bills that would help fund local police departments to recruit police candidates, offer special training to officers, and even allow retirees to keep their service revolvers.

It’s the second anti-crime-focused package of bills coming from Democrats in four days. The first addressed services for victims of crime.

Democratic state Rep. Justin Slaughter, a main sponsor of the SAFE-T Act, “downplayed any pressure his party may feel to curry favor with a voting base that’s more sympathetic to law enforcement,” writes Tribune’s Springfield reporter, Jeremy Gorner. "It’s more so important to not feel the pressure but address the concern around how to bring about sustainable long-term strategies to public safety,” Slaughter told the Tribune.

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In the state Capitol at 11 a.m. to sign legislation cementing Covid-19 sick leave protections for vaccinated school staff.

At Google at 9:30 a.m. along with company leaders to welcome back employees.

At Abundant Living Christian Center in Dolton at 5:30 p.m. to talk about plans for funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Vaxxed teachers to get paid Covid-19 time off under bill Pritzker is schedule to sign: “The compromise bill that passed the Legislature last week will also return COVID-19 related sick days to vaccinated employees who had to use them earlier in the school year,” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.

Bust of Lincoln that Pritzker purchased for $400,000 is now on display at ALPLM, by State Journal Register’s Steven Spearie

Profits for meat producers soar amid Allegations of price gouging, by WTTW’s Paul Caine

House Dems spearhead effort for affordable health care, prescriptions: “Sponsors say many people struggle to keep their coverage because they have to decide between paying for health care or other debt,” by WGEM’s Mike Miletich.

TIFs are too important — and controversial — to fade away anytime soon: “The battle over tax-increment financing districts has been renewed, as an effort to pass a new set of reforms winds its way through the Statehouse,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

Lawmakers are scheduled to end their session this week, but could stay longer, by ABC 20’s Jordan Elder

Lightfoot: Parents, not just police, need to hold kids responsible for roaming streets after curfew: “I say this as the parent of a 14-year-old, we have to make sure that we know where our kids are, that we are telling them right from wrong at the earliest possible age,” Lightfoot said at a community meeting Monday. Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek reports.

City offers free legal representation to low-income Chicago renters at risk of eviction: “The Chicago Department of Housing on Monday chose two nonprofit groups to provide the legal help to tenants,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Chicago will give rebates for home security cameras and host gun buyback, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt

General Iron eyes return to Lincoln Park, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase

Director of Chicago Film Office beaten, robbed outside his home, by Fox 32’s Pilar Arias

In Chicago, many birds laying eggs earlier, Field Museum study finds, pointing to climate change, by AP’s Teresa Crawford

Arlington Heights restaurant owners want to serve alcohol starting at 8 a.m. on Sundays, by Pioneer Press’ Elizabeth Owens-Schiele

Finance chair rips county officials over late property tax bills: “If second-half bills are pushed into 2023, taxpayers would not be able to deduct them from this year’s taxes. That’s one reason John Daley is pushing Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and Board of Review Chairman Larry Rogers to solve the problem,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

Gas prices easing slightly, but rates fluctuate wildly across the suburbs: “Overall, gas prices are easing somewhat and the cost of a barrel of oil has dropped from $123 right after Ukraine was attacked to about $99, AAA experts noted. But the market is expected to be volatile this week,” by Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.

WBEZ has a splashy story about a lawsuit filed against a “clout-heavy company” collecting millions from Illinois. The lawsuit accused Vendor Assistance Program (VAP) LLC of taking Illinois for “tens of millions of dollars.”

As background, when the state can’t pay state vendors, such as health care providers, for services, vendors contract with companies like VAP to pay off their bills. When the state is able to reimburse for these payments, it is also pays a late interest fee — which is then collected by companies like VAP. It’s a business model that benefited VAP, and others like it, to the tune of millions until the state was able to catch up on its backlog of bills.

That VAP would make such a profit prompted a lawsuit comparing the company to “vultures,” according to WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos and Dave McKinney.

In a statement VAP says it “vigorously denies all allegations and assertions that it ever violated any terms and conditions of the Vendor Payment Program. The lawsuit is frivolous and we expect a court to dismiss it.” VAP is also only one of two such companies that is incorporated in Illinois and therefore pays income taxes here (which was questioned in the lawsuit).

The players in the case are interesting. VAP’s CEO is lawyer Brian Hynes, who got his start in politics as an aide to former Democratic boss Michael Madigan. And Michael Forde, the plaintiff, is a former personal attorney to ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a board appointee of Gov. JB Pritzker.

AJ Freund’s mother tells court she was seeing and hearing demons at the time of her son’s murder: "Last year, JoAnn Cunningham was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 35 years in prison for her son’s death," by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.

Irvin’s campaign acknowledges mailer blasting rival violated election code, blames the printer: "The mailers, which began appearing in mailboxes late last week, came from a post office box in Aurora, where Irvin is mayor, but failed to directly disclose that they were paid for by Irvin’s campaign as required under the election code,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

We asked whether you’re more swayed by political ads or debate talk: John Lopez likes to see candidates unscripted, especially when a debate moderator cuts through a candidate’s “talking points, narratives, platitudes and bromides.”

Who do you listen to for inspiration in public speaking? Email [email protected]

3 Republicans will join 50 Dems to advance Jackson: “In a 53-47 vote, the Senate voted to advance Jackson’s nomination out of committee, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joining all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in supporting Biden’s high court pick. All three of those senators have now said they will support Jackson’s confirmation to the high court,” by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine.

Doug Jones got Jackson to the SCOTUS precipice. He’s also sherpa-ing himself: “The former Democratic senator is rejuvenated by guiding the first Black woman tapped as a justice. His former colleagues wonder if there’s more to come,” by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett.

— SPOTTED: Jonathan Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson and a candidate for Congress, was spotted at the hearing Monday for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Sen. Dick Durbin had invited Rev. Jackson, the civil rights leader who started Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Jonathan Jackson is the national spokesman for the group.

Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris and actor Rob Lowe headline a fundraiser Saturday for Haymarket Center, a Chicago substance use disorder and mental health treatment provider. Lowe will keynote, and Harris is being honored. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf is the event chair, and Dick and Sharon Portillo will also be honored. The gala event is being held at the Chicago Bulls Advocate Training Center. Tickets here

Ukraine massacre has U.S. and allies seeking new ways to punish Putin: “As Western leaders express outrage, Ukrainian officials call for the “most severe sanctions” in wake of alleged war crimes,” by POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi and Tina Gallardo.

‘They killed everyone.’ Fury in Ukraine at Russian troops’ barbarity: “The atrocities uncovered in Bucha are fuelling demands for international war crimes investigations — and adding to Ukrainian fury,” by POLITICO’s Jamie Detttmer.

Ukraine tells EU to play rough with Russia on gas prices, by POLITICO’s America Hernandez

Build Back Center: Biden plows a revamped lane for the midterms, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago

How election conspiracy theories turned local politics ‘toxic’ in one Wisconsin city, by POLITICO’s Elena Schneider

Democrats’ dilemma: Back Biden’s Pentagon budget or supersize it, by POLITICO’s Connor O’Brien

James R. ‘Jim’ Reilly, former McPier, RTA and Chicago convention chief, dead at 77: “There are very few people in Illinois history that have ever had such a big effect on major projects and issues,” said Kirk Dillard, who chairs the Regional Transportation Authority. Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell reports.

… “Jim Reilly was, I think, is the most significant (Illinois) individual in the last 30 years, maybe 40, who wasn’t elected,” says former Gov. Jim Edgar, via Crain’s Greg Hinz.

Lillie Petty, union organizer who ‘changed the face of labor in Chicago and nationally,’ dead at 76: “A founding member of Local 880 of the Service Employees International Union, she helped it grow into the largest union local in the Midwest and seventh-largest SEIU local nationally,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.

— Amy Korte is now executive VP at Illinois Policy Institute. She previously headed up policy. Korte fills a position that has been empty for three years, when Matt Paprocki moved up to president.

— Adam Schuster is now VP of policy at Illinois Policy Institute. He previously was senior director for budget and tax research.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to U. of Chicago political science professor John Mark Hansen for correctly answering that Chicago Ald. Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna (1st) was 12 when he bought a newsstand at the corner of Madison and Dearborn.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Chicago alderman who vanished, only to be arrested in a California betting parlor a week after a special election to fill his seat? Email [email protected]

Attorney Michael Radzilowsky, Loyola University Chicago admissions exec Lindsy Fagerstrom, and  Noble charter schools’ Claudia Rodriguez.

-30-

via POLITICO

April 5, 2022 at 07:42AM

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