Irvin dodges Roe

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Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. May the 4th be with you.

That was fast. Campaign talk has shifted from crime and the economy to abortion. Democrats see the high court’s draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade as a call to arms.

But some Republicans are dancing around the issue. Conservatives embraced the likelihood of ending legal abortions. Moderates, not so much.

Richard Irvin, the GOP governor candidate backed by billionaire Ken Griffin, wouldn’t even talk about it. “We won’t be commenting until the Supreme Court puts out a final ruling,” Irvin’s campaign spokesperson told Playbook. (FWIW, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity the document yesterday but the wording of a final decision could certainly be different.)

In a competitive Republican primary where conservative voters are expected to come out in force, moderates like Irvin are trying not to wade into the abortion debate. It’s been a consistent campaign move for Irvin for weeks. Irvin doesn’t want to alienate conservative voters in the primary election by hinting where he stands abortion (or any issue). So he’s not saying anything at all — not to competitors, reporters or even the public (unless you count his ads).

Not everyone’s buying it. At a recent event where other Republican candidates took the stage, there was audible booing from the audience when it was clear Irvin didn’t attend or send a spokesperson.

On the issue of abortion, Irvin recently described himself as a “pro-life” and, with prodding, said “there are always exceptions: rape, incest, life of the mother.” Exceptions for rape or incest have not been the trend in red states lately.

Paul Schimpf, another GOP candidate for governor, also declined to comment yesterday on the issue of Roe, though he’s been outspoken about being anti-abortion. So have Darren Bailey, Jesse Sullivan and Gary Rabine, who praised the likelihood that Roe would be overturned. .

Bailey, who bills himself as the conservative frontrunner, held a press conference in Chicago yesterday to talk about the issue. He said the draft ruling offers “hope” for the country and that "If we all come together … we can make abortion unnecessary.” His answer to that is adoption.

If elected, Bailey said he would also seek to restore the parental notification law that lawmakers recently eliminated and end “taxpayer-funded abortion.”

Bailey also ramped up a meme campaign he’s been running that calls out Irvin for not appearing on the same stage with the other candidates.

In one meme, Irvin’s face appears on a milk carton above the word MISSING.

Democrats, meanwhile, are using the high court’s expected ruling on Roe to rally the troops. Gov. JB Pritzker even predicted rallies as large as the women’s marches that followed the election of Donald Trump.

The Democratic Governors Association is getting involved too. It created a digital ad saying the top five Republicans running for Illinois governor have something in common. “They all want to ban abortion.”

POLLING: Americans want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.

GOP congressional hopefuls for 8th District address abortion, by Daily Herald’s Eric Peterson

What can Dems do if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Not much: “With lawmakers stymied, much of the abortion-rights response is expected to fall to medical and activist groups,” by POLITICO’s

If Roe falls, Illinois abortion providers plan for influx of 20,000 to 30,000 more patients traveling here each year, by Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos, John Byrne and Alice Yin

What to know about Illinois law if Roe is struck down, by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch and Mariah Woelfel

Illinois has tangled history with abortion despite recent liberal push, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK X2: Kari Steele is breaking the caps in the Cook County assessor’s race, a move that comes just as incumbent Assessor Fritz Kaegi rolls out a TV ad campaign.

First, about Steele. She’s donating $100,001 to her campaign, busting the caps for the race. Watch for a $1 million donation from the Fight Back Fund, which represents union workers. The organization is funded by a number of groups, including Local 150, which represents workers in the construction industry.

That support follows the Chicago Federation of Labor recently endorsing Steele over Kaegi. Trade unions are closely tied to developers who have criticized Kaegi’s reforms, arguing he has unfairly shifted the property tax burden onto them.

Steele, who’s managed a $1.3 billion annual budget as president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for the past three years, said the donation is proof of her “broad base of support.”

About Kaegi’s ad: Titled “Hot Dog,” the ad compares the inequities of the property tax system to loading up a hot dog with condiments.

In the ad, Kaegi says “corrupt politicians” used to shift the tax burden “away from wealthy downtown landlords on to middle class families.” Sticking with the food theme, he adds, “That left a bad taste in my mouth.”

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

In Harvey at 10 a.m. with Rep. Robin Kelly and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Metra Electric 147th Street Station. …At Joliet Gateway Center at 1:45 p.m. to join Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Congressman Foster for ribbon cutting at Joliet Transportation Center.

No official public events.

In Harvey at 10 a.m. with Rep. Robin Kelly and Gov. JB Pritzker to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Metra Electric 147th Street Station.

— Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will be in town today to visit the new Joliet Gateway Center Bus Station. The visit will highlight “the historic bipartisan infrastructure law and how it will make once-in-a-generation investments in our infrastructure and create good paying jobs across the country, including in Illinois,” according to Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11). He will be on hand for the visit, along with Gov. JB Pritzker.

Ken Griffin: ‘I Don’t Appreciate Governor DeSantis Going After Disney’s Tax Status’: “The billionaire investor and political kingmaker issued a clear warning: ‘It’s important that the leaders in both parties stay above the fray when it comes to retaliation against corporate America,’” via Forbes.

— Willie Nelson & Family will headline the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 16. Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday.

Illinois educators, union leaders demand end to ‘weaponized’ standardized student testing: “Earlier this year, the state hired the New Hampshire-based nonprofit Center for Assessment to analyze the results of a statewide survey about how to make the state assessment more useful to families and educators, including the possibility of halting the annual Illinois Assessment of Readiness and testing students several times a year, to better gauge learning gaps,” by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta

Bally’s River West casino plan expected to get mayor’s nod, sources say: “The city signaled in March that the proposal for the Chicago Tribune printing plant site at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street was the front-runner over two other finalists. An official choice could be announced as soon as Thursday,” by Fran Spielman, David Roeder, and Mitchell Armentrout.

… SCOOP: The Chicago Federation of Labor last night came to an agreement with unions to move forward with Bally’s casino, the only casino being considered by the city that so far has a labor peace agreement, meaning all five unions have signed on.

What to know about the bids, via the Tribune

A new racial equity study underscores frustration among Jones College Prep’s students and staff, by WBEZ’s Sarah Karp

Move over Evian. Chicago introduces ‘Chicagwa,’ Lake Michigan tap water in a can, by Tribune’s Robert Channick

A new push to steer more young men of color into teaching, by Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova

Old Post Office food hall slated to open in June, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

— Abortion seeps into state House race: Rep. Mike Zalewski (23rd) is being taken to task for voting against a bill that repealed a state law requiring minors to notify their parents before pursuing an abortion. Democratic challenger Abdelnasser Rashid says Zlewski “put the health and lives of young women at risk,” according to a statement.

That vote kept Zalewski from being endorsed by Planned Parenthood or Personal PAC, which advocates for abortion rights. Zalewski “is not a pro-choice incumbent,” Personal PAC’s Terry Cosgrove claims in the statement from Rashid.

Zalewski defends his record, describing himself as a pro-choice Democrat who voted for the Reproductive Health Act that keeps abortion safe and legal in Illinois, as well as HB40, which allows abortions to be covered by Medicaid. It’s only the parental notification bill that gave him pause, though Zalewski says he’s glad it ultimately passed. This week, he called on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade.

— Ad buy: United Association of Union Plumbers & Pipefitters has bought airtime on broadcast and cable TV for Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in his race for the 15th Congressional District. The ad buy is $380,684 and starts next week. A digital component will be roughly $85,000.

— California Congressman Ro Khanna, who will be in town today to meet with United Steelworkers and local union organizers, will take time out to endorse Jonathan Jackson, who’s running in the 1st Congressional District. Khanna, a University of Chicago grad, came to know Jackson when they were on the campaign trail together for Bernie Sanders.

— La’Mont Williams’ campaign for state Senate in the 16th District has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, Ald. Jeanette Taylor and Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer.

— Vernard Alsberry Jr., a candidate for Cook County Commission in the 5th District, has been endorsed by Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, Cook County Farm Bureau® Political Action Committee, and the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization.

Lawsuits allege substandard care at South Side facility: “Family members removed two women with dementia from New City Supportive Living in the Back of the Yards before filing lawsuits,” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek

South Side woman suing Advocate Christ hospital, alleging racial discrimination when she brought in her son, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker

We asked what news headline really shocked you: Instituto del Progreso Latino’s Carlos Jaramillo was "speechless" upon seeing this headline: “TRUMP WINS THE WHITE HOUSE IN AN UPSET.” Since then, he says, “nothing has surprised me as far as headlines go.” … Kevin Lamm was struck by “Ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich Is Among People Pardoned By Trump.” Veteran journalist Andy Shaw remembers Richard Daley’s announcement in late 2010 that he would not seek reelection to a 7th term in 2011. … Timothy Thomas Jr. was struck by this one: “Luis Guitererz endorses Richard M. Daley over Eugene Sawyer.” Alliance of the South East’s Chris White remembers being in Guatemala when he read: “Ice storm in Florida.” … Mike Matejka remembers "Candidates union-tie issue called dirty politics” in the March 26, 1989, Bloomington Pantagraph because he was in the story. … Sal Benedetto: “The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor.” (How old are you, Sal?) And Veritas Strategies Bill Velazquez can’t forget this beauty: “Feds Investigate City Hall: Sex, Drugs, and Not-So-Happy Endings”

What’s the best part about being back in the office? Email [email protected]

Return to office sparks Democratic infighting in New York: “The split means there’s no shared vision for the post-pandemic future of the nation’s largest metropolis, whose office workers have returned at a slower rate than in most other big cities in the U.S.,” by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin.

Trump-backed Vance wins Ohio GOP Senate nod, by POLITICO’s Steven Shepard, Zach Montellaro and Ally Mutnick

Trump flexes and the center shrinks: 5 takeaways from a key primary night, by POLITICO’s David Siders and Adam Wren

Supreme Court investigation of opinion breach faces multiple legal obstacles, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney

What falls after Roe? Liberals warn of a privacy rights nightmare, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein

Loyola University introduces new president: “Mark Reed will take over at the Chicago school on Oct. 1. He has been president of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia for the past 7 years,” by Sun-Times’ Cadence Quaranta.

— Whitney Smith is now executive VP and chief strategy officer at the Joyce Foundation, taking over for Darren Reisberg who was just named president of Hartwick College. Smith most recently was head of regional philanthropy for North America at JPMorgan Chase & Co. In a full-circle moment, Smith worked at Joyce from 2005 to 2015 as a program director.

— Today at 10:30 a.m.: Congressman Danny Davis Jr. and Sow Community Development Corp. discuss “solutions for the affordable housing crisis.” The event is at 3906 W Gladys Ave., Chicago.

— Today at 2 p.m.: A virtual debate featuring the Cook County assessor’s race. Participants are incumbent Fritz Kaegi and challenger Nico Tsatsoulis. The other challenger, Kari Steele, can’t attend because of a scheduling conflict. The event is sponsored by the Fulton Market Association. Register here.

 — Friday at 6 p.m.: A forum featuring 6th Congressional District candidates Sean Casten and Marie Newman will be held at The Mecca Center in Willowbrook. It can be viewed on Facebook Live, too. The event is organized by the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, along with civic, religious, and non-profit groups. Details here

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to House Speaker senior adviser Jon Maxson, Elevate Illinois President & CEO Janet Mathis and political and nonprofits consultant Kevin Conlon for correctly answering that President Theodore Roosevelt presented the antelope horns to the Illinois State Museum after a year-long hunting trip to East Africa. (h/t Jim Bray)

TODAY’s QUESTION: While presiding over a debate about seafood labeling, which former legislator changed the traditional "have all voted who wish?" to instead say "have all voted who fish?" Email [email protected]

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stephanie Saltouros, former Lt. Gov. Neil F. Hartigan, PR consultant and lobbyist David Ormsby, former Preckwinkle chief of staff G.A. Finch, Mesirow Financial community engagement senior VP Ellie Forman, fashion consultant and designer Crystal McAuliffe, Durbin correspondence manager Chris Peleo-Lazar, Illinois native and political pundit George Will, and Illinois Chamber government affairs VP Clark Kaericher and his wife, Katie Kaericher, share the same birthday.

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via POLITICO

May 4, 2022 at 07:54AM

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