Quigley passes on Chicago mayoral run- POLITICO

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Good Thursday morning, Illinois. These May flowers better be great.

BREAKING THIS MORNING: Rep. Mike Quigley announced this morning that he has decided “not to run for mayor of Chicago in 2023.” The Chicago Democrat who co-chairs the House Ukrainian Caucus just returned from a trip to Ukraine and said his focus is there.

“On this most recent trip with my colleagues from the Intelligence Committee, it became clear our work will continue for months, if not years. After much consideration, I simply cannot walk away from my duty to safeguard democracy, fight for American values abroad, and stand up for the brave Ukrainian people in their time of maximum peril. Campaigning to serve as mayor of Chicago would not allow me to fulfill this critical obligation,” he said in a statement this morning.

In recent weeks, Quigley has conducted polling for a possible run for mayor, and he’s been outspoken about crime in the city, which is expected to be the No. 1 talking point in the 2023 campaign. Quigley sent out an anti-crime mailer that called for a federal gun buyback program. Lightfoot has called for a $1 million gun buyback of her own.

What it means: This opens a wider path for Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who hasn’t yet announced her reelection plans. Quigley was seen as a potentially formidable candidate because his North Side constituents come from the same progressive wards that helped elect Lightfoot in 2019. Ald. Ray Lopez and businessman Willie Wilson declared their candidacies earlier this month.

ProPublica’s Jodi S. Cohen and the Tribune’s Jennifer Smith Richards are out with a bombshell investigation today, detailing how police across the state ticket students for teenage behavior that was once handled in the principal’s office.

Looking for litterbugs: Police issue tickets when students litter, make loud noises, use offensive words or gestures, or break soap dishes in the washroom. A ticket for truancy could bring a $200 fine.

Bending the law: “Ticketing students violates the intent of an Illinois law that prohibits schools from fining students as a form of discipline,” Cohen and Smith Richards write. “Instead of issuing fines directly, school officials refer students to police, who then ticket them for municipal ordinance violations.”

And here’s the kicker: “The revenue from the student tickets goes to the municipalities, not the schools.”

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch sponsored the legislation that banned schools from fining kids. But schools clearly found a loophole. Welch now worries the police records being created “will follow kids for the rest of their lives.”

Cohen and Smith Richards attended more than 50 quasi-court hearings and observed hundreds of cases from across the state, which they document in the story. Check out the interactive database to see if your school district is ticketing teens.
Ethics and lobbying dominated political discussions yesterday.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: skapos@politico.com

No official public events.

No official public events.

At Palmer House Hotel Hilton at noon to greet job seekers and employers at Hospitality Hires Chicago.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Rep. Ann Williams, chair of the energy and environment committee, is making plans to hold a subject-matter hearing to explore how the increase in energy prices caused by the invasion of Ukraine may affect Illinois consumers. She wants to know “what short-and longer-term solutions we can employ to keep costs down and ensure reliability, particularly downstate in Ameren territory,” she told Playbook.

Williams’ efforts come as utility Commonwealth Edison filed new rates with the Illinois Commerce Commission that will provide direct credits of more than $1 billion to customers as a result of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that was signed into law last fall, and that Williams helped steer. “We designed the bill to protect against energy price spikes while ensuring a smooth transition as we ramp up the development of renewable energy sources,” Williams said.

DETAILS ON YOUR UTILITY BILL: ComEd carbon credit to lower bills by $20 per month in June, a dividend from bailout of 3 struggling Illinois nuclear plants, by Tribune’s Robert Channick

Pattern of late-night finishes for the Illinois General Assembly raises transparency concerns: “There are many reasons why the last-minute budget votes benefit lawmakers. The lack of transparency makes the process less contentious, making it more difficult to mount cohesive opposition. Often, pork-barrel projects designed to help lawmakers back home are slipped quietly into the bills, and once a budget is passed into law, it becomes difficult to untangle later on,” by Better Government Association’s Olivia Obineme.

Pritzker signs bills addressing statewide teacher shortage, here’s how they help, by State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams

Only 48 of 102 Illinois counties monitoring Covid-19 via wastewater, but 80 percent of population covered: “Health officials see potential future uses for surveillance beyond Covid-19,” by WTTW’s Kristen Thometz.

Vatican officials in Illinois to study alleged miracles in Father Tolton’s cause, via Catholic News Service

Lightfoot dodges City Council defeat, narrowly delivers $12.5M gas, transit card giveaway: “The vote was 26 to 23, the closest of Lightfoot’s tenure. It would have been an embarrassing defeat if the mayor hadn’t broadened the boundaries to include the wards of two critics: North Side Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) and South Side Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th),” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

How to apply for Chicago’s new gas, transit card program, via NBC 5

Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt give a full rundown of City Council action.

City announces big environmental impact study as Pilsen residents protest metal shredder: “A major cumulative impact study of pollution is part of a $188 million plan to address environmental justice and climate, officials said,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.

Parents protest school budget cuts as CPS CEO defends against ‘incomplete’ claims: “About 150 parents with several community groups rallied outside CPS’ Loop headquarters Wednesday ahead of the monthly Board of Education meeting to decry budget cuts at their schools,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.

School resource officers are under scrutiny again in CPS as dozens of high schools reconsider the controversial police program, by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz

Carjacked? Now you don’t have to pay the city to get your car back: “Chicago will no longer force the victims of car theft to pay towing and storage fees to retrieve their vehicle if it ends up in one of the city’s impound lots,” by Justin Laurence for Crain’s.

Jackson, Pfleger sound alarm on curbing gun violence in the city: “After Chicago’s most violent weekend of 2022, Rev. Michael Pfleger said he hopes it will be a wake-up call before summer. ‘What are we doing before we need to call 911?’ he asked,” by Sun-Times’ Cadence Quaranta.

Chicago protesters push back against recent wave of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures, by Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg

Applications for lifeguarding jobs at Chicago’s beaches and pools drop sharply, by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos

Newest City Council member chooses sides in ward remap battle, but what difference will it make? “Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) is the 34th alderperson to back a map drafted for the Rules Committee and the Black Caucus. Both it and a map proposed by the Latino Caucus turn her ward into Chicago’s first with an Asian American majority,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

In the Cook County assessor’s race: Incumbent Fritz Kaegi is attacking challenger Kari Steele and her husband, Mazonne ‘Maze’ Jackson, saying Jackson’s work as a lobbyist for a real estate firm “could compromise her role as assessor.” Steele has countered that Kaegi “has not lived up to his promises that he’d reform the assessor’s office by making property assessments more equitable and transparent,” reports Tribune’s Alice Yin.

In Chicago, Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) sent a letter to the new inspector general, calling for an investigation of City Clerk Anna Valencia and her lobbyist husband’s business dealings with the city.

In regard to her husband’s lobbying, Valencia said through a spokeswoman that she’s "shot him down any time he’s come even close to crossing a line." The statement is raising questions about how often that has happened, via tweet from NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern.

And former Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz weighed in with a tweet late yesterday, saying: “Public officials, and those seeking public office, simply should not have lobbyists in their household. It’s just a bad combination that leads to diminished trust in our systems of government.”

— OPPO | GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey fought against mask mandates. His family farm required them for some workers: “Per documents on file with the federal government, face coverings are required for certain workers at the Bailey Family Farm, where according to Bailey’s campaign website, he grew up,” by WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky.

— Willie Wilson, a businessman and candidate for mayor in 2023, is expected to endorse attorney Richard Boykin today in the race for president of the Cook County Board.

— Jonathan Logemann, a Democrat, has been endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO in his bid for the 17th Congressional District seat that’s up for grabs.

— Mark Carroll has been endorsed by Aurora trustee Laura Curtis in his bid for the 11th Congressional District seat.

RACE FOR BUSTOS’ SEAT: It was all civility at a virtual forum of Democratic candidates vying for the 17th Congressional District now held by Rep. Cheri Bustos. We asked political consultant Porter McNeil — who doesn’t have a horse in the race — for his take.

The big takeaway: "There was no clear winner," he said.

On how they’d work across the aisle: "Angie Normoyle and Jonathan Logemann talked about their service at the local level (Normoyle on the school board and county board, and Logemann on city council). Litesa Wallace said during her six years in the Illinois House she sponsored and passed 40 bills — 39 of which had bipartisan support."

On experience: Logemann cited his Illinois Army National Guard service, and Eric Sorenson said his career as a TV weatherman gives him insight to climate change.

Best jobs messaging: "Normoyle did the best at talking about reviving the small businesses in small towns, including connecting higher ed with entrepreneurs and businesses to promote manufacturing and economic growth."

DuPage County ranked healthiest in Illinois; Cook County ranked 41, report says, via ABC 7

Death of a dream house: “Despite owner’s pleas, DuPage County tears down unfinished mansion that became trespassers’ oasis,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.

Elgin council reverses course, votes to bring back Nightmare on Chicago Street Halloween event, by Daily Herald’s Rick West

Elk Grove’s latest marketing effort: Short TV ads and corresponding billboards, by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Tammy Wendt, a commissioner for the Cook County Board of Review, has been told a second time that she must fire her cousin, who serves as her chief of staff, and pay a $2,000 fine for violating rules that forbid nepotism.

The Board of Ethics reiterated an earlier decision Tuesday that Todd Thielmann should not have been hired to Wendt’s staff. If Wendt doesn’t comply and fire Thielmann, the Board of Ethics can sue her to enforce its order, according to a filing issued by the Ethics Board.

Wendt didn’t return a call for comment, but Thielmann told Playbook yesterday that he’s still on the job with the property tax appeals board.

“I haven’t spoken to Tammy yet,” he said about the latest Ethics Board decision. “I don’t know what her train of thought is. I’m looking at attorneys myself. And I’m still working.”

Wendt, a Democrat, is up for reelection to the Board of Review and faces Chicago Ald. George Cardenas (12th) in the June 28 primary. In a statement, Cardenas called on Wendt “to follow the law and fire her cousin.”

News orgs fighting Chicago Park District effort to seal lawsuit alleging mayor made obscene, defamatory comments: “The Park District is arguing the case should be sealed to protect attorney-client privilege as it defends itself in a separate lawsuit brought by an Italian American organization over Lightfoot’s decision to remove a Columbus statue in Little Italy following protests in the city in 2020,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

What’s driving Chicago’s carjacking surge? Not the city’s youth, a new study suggests: “Police have blamed young people seeking joyrides for the uptick, but a researcher points to perpetrators with economic motivations,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith

We asked what issue prompted you to attend a city council meeting: Timothy Thomas Jr. attended the December 1987 Chicago City Council meeting at which an acting mayor was selected after the death of Mayor Harold Washington. A witness to history!

What did you do to get called to the principal’s office? Email skapos@politico.com

McCarthy-aligned super PAC plans $125M ad buy to win the House, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick

White House’s Ukraine aid bid heads straight for Hill morass, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio

It’s Trump vs. Cruz in Ohio and Pa. Senate races, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett

Boeing CEO says company shouldn’t have agreed to Trump’s Air Force One deal, by POLITICO’s Lee Hudson

Biden will visit South Korea and Japan next month as he works to keep focus on Asia, via CNN 

… No one’s more excited than Rahm Emanuel, via tweet

— Ben Kamens has been promoted to be deputy comms director and digital director for Rep. Chuy García.

— MeLena Hessel is associate director of policy at Elevate, a nonprofit focused on equitable climate action. Hessel previously worked with the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago.

— Friday: State Rep. Lisa Hernandez will be feted at a wine-pairings fundraiser at the Gibsons Italia rooftop. Lieutenant Gov. Juliana Stratton is a headliner. Register here

— Monday May 2 at 6 p.m.: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi holds a virtual town hall.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: So many folks were quick on the draw! Congrats to Patrick Pfingsten, Jarod Hitchings, Jim Bray, Janice Anderson, Ashvin Lad, and Kevin Conlon for correctly answering that Rick Santorum was the GOP Iowa Caucus winner who went to school in Illinois. He attended Carmel High School in Mundelein.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Illinois county has the most farmland? Email skapos@politico.com

State Rep. Ann Williams, businessman and political fundraiser Les Coney, Duckworth comms director Ben Garmisa, Four Corners Global Consulting co-founder Daniel Weyl, Kasper & Nottage public affairs consultant David Dring, and Jennifer Allison, district director for state Sen. Dave Koehler

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April 28, 2022 at 09:39AM

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