TGIF, Illinois. With summer approaching, we’d like to showcase photos of your Illinois vacations in Playbook. Until then, enjoy the weekend and we’ll be back in your inbox Tuesday.
The same day an 18-year-old gunman entered a Texas elementary school and took 21 lives, a group of Illinois lawmakers and the State Board of Education examined a two-year schools audit showing “big safety issues” have been ignored.
“School districts aren’t complying” with a 2019 law requiring they document and report incidents of bullying, cases of guns being brought into schools, threats against teachers, or even whether schools have conducted safety drills.
“We know bullying exists, for example, and there should be reports on it,” state Rep. Fred Crespo told Playbook.
Persistently dangerous: Another law requires the State Board of Ed to detail “persistently dangerous” schools, Crespo said. “The act has been on the books since 2007, and there have been no reports generated.”
New law: Crespo carried a bill, the Threat Assessment Law Update, which was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker a few weeks ago. It requires school districts to turn in annual, detailed “threat assessment” reports to Regional Offices of Education to make sure they’re in compliance with the Threat Assessment Law that was passed in 2019.
The goal is to identify problems before they balloon into the violent acts we saw play out in Texas this week and at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., a few weeks before that.
“The questions they’re now asking in Texas [about school safety] go to the heart of what we have here,” Crespo added.
There’s a pandemic component, too: The Illinois Education Association’s Kathi Griffin says the issue has become more important since Covid-19 interrupted schooling across the country.
The two alleged shooters in Texas and Buffalo were both 18-year-old men. “Their last years in high school were interrupted by Covid,” Griffin said in an interview.
“We know a lot of mental health wasn’t funded in our state in the prior administration. And there are a lot of people with mental health issues that have not been addressed,” Griffin said. “And that’s been exacerbated because of the pandemic.”
— Frustration grows over Biden’s Texas response, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago and Laura Barrón-López
— Lake County Dem chair: GOP gun raffle would be in ‘devastatingly poor taste’ after Uvalde shooting, by Daily Herald’s Mick Zawislak
— Suburban schools work to reassure students, parents in wake of Texas shooting, via Daily Herald
— In Chicago, leaders look at community colleges to ease shortage of mental health workers, by Sun-Times Mitch Dudek
SOS-GALACTICA: City Clerk Anna Valencia threw the first punch in a secretary of state forum yesterday at the Union League Club of Chicago, but then she suggested the tough questions lobbed at her by reporters weren’t fair.
“These are the obstacles women face running for office,” Valencia said, throwing up her hands as she walked away from the media scrum at the Union League Club.
As Judith Hamill, an interested political observer told Playbook: “It just goes to prove that politics is, indeed, a blood sport.”
The big takeaway: Ethics is at the heart of the election. Valencia accused former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias of ethical shortcoming for his family’s now-shuttered bank getting a bailout by taxpayers — a point that Giannoulias said was false.
He then turned the ethics spotlight on Valencia, calling attention to her relationship with her husband’s lobbying practice, which also involves city contracts. “People are sick and tired of scandal and corruption,” Giannoulias said.
Chicago Ald. David Moore, the third candidate on the stage, tried to stay above the fray, saying he’s the only one in the race with a clean slate, ethics-wise.
Though the Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner points out even Moore slipped up. He was admonished last year for using his 17th Ward Facebook page to promote his campaign.
More takes on the forum…
Crain’s Greg Hinz notes: “Amid the verbal fisticuffs, all the candidates promised to move the office into the electronic age with digital licenses and such.”
Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles has a full report on the forum/debate.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
No official public events.
At Holstein Park Fieldhouse at 9:30 a.m. with Police Superintendent David Brown to discuss public safety and youth programs as summer approaches.
No official public events.
— Illinois public safety pension fund consolidation passes a legal test: “An Illinois judge upheld the constitutionality of legislation consolidating suburban Chicago and downstate police pension and firefighter pension fund assets,” by Bond Buyer’s Yvette Shields.
— Foster children held in jails, shelters — workers threatened, attacked: A state agency in crisis: “A BGA examination of DCFS under Smith found intensifying problems hampering the most fundamental parts of the agency’s mission: Finding appropriate placements for the youth in its care and ensuring the safety of its investigators,” by the Better Government Association’s Rachel Hinton and David Jackson.
— Illinois will investigate possible civil rights violations in student ticketing: “The Illinois attorney general’s office said it is trying to determine if a suburban Chicago school district violated students’ civil rights when police ticketed them for minor misbehavior,” by Tribune’s Jennifer Smith Richards and ProPublica’s Jodi S. Cohen.
— Pritzker urges feds to use ‘updated’ numbers to boost Illinois’ federal funding, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock
— State Farm faces heat from LGBTQ advocates after pulling support for gender identity program, by Tribune’s Robert Channick
— Lawmakers, energy experts meet over solutions to rising energy costs, by WMBD’s Demetrios Sanders
Cook among 15 counties to move into ‘high’ Covid-19 level Thursday evening: officials, by Tribune’s María Paula Mijares Torres
— Summer slammed | Lifeguard shortage threatens full opening of Chicago beaches and pools this summer, by Tribune’s William Lee.
— In Rogers Park, glimpses of a neighborhood that reflects Chicago’s diversity more than any other: “The Far North Side neighborhood most closely fits the racial makeup of the city as a whole, a Sun-Times analysis of census data finds. These are some of the people who make it so diverse,” by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón and Pat Nabong.
— CPS accused of failing to meet religious, dietary needs of Jewish and Muslim students: “Mayoral challenger Ald. Ray Lopez is demanding City Council hearings to determine why more CPS schools don’t regularly serve Kosher or Halal food options,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and Nader Issa
— No hoodies. No do-rags. No spaghetti straps. In Chicago Public Schools, dress codes leave many students feeling targeted, by Tribune’s Emily Hoerner
— Parking meter deal gets even worse for Chicago taxpayers, annual audit shows: “Parking meter revenues are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. With 61 years to go on the 75-year lease, Chicago Parking Meters LLC has now recouped its entire $1.16 billion investment, plus $502.5 million more,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Bally’s timeline: From pinball to Pac-Man, health clubs to casinos, a colorful name in Chicago’s corporate history, by Tribune’s Robert Channick
— A wave of Afghan teens arrived suddenly — and changed everything at a Chicago Sullivan High School, by Elly Fishman for WBEZ.
Is it time to forgive Cliff Kelley? Some political and civic leaders think so and want to honor Kelley’s work as a radio broadcaster by erecting an honorary street sign in his name. The “Cliff Kelley Show” on WVON ran for 26 years.
What isn’t mentioned: Kelley is also a former alderman convicted in 1987 in Operation Incubator, a federal investigation into City Hall corruption. Thirty-five years is a long time, say supporters of the honorary street sign.
“Black Chicago and WVON wouldn’t be what it is today without the pioneering efforts of the ‘Cliff Kelley Show,’” Chicago Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell said in the statement. She, Congressman Danny Davis, state Sen. Mattie Hunter, and Rev. Michael Pfleger are urging Mayor Lori Lightfoot to also declare a “Cliff Kelley Day.”
No word from the mayor’s office, though the whole issue may be moot. A measure passed by the City Council in 2017 says when it comes to street signs, “no living individual shall be the subject of a designation.”
— News column | Thornton Township payroll records reveal raises, bizarre sliding pay scale for public officials: Supervisor Tiffany Henyard is “on pace” to earn $277,412 in gross annual pay this year, according to payroll records. That’s even more than the $177,000 compensation for Illinois governor, though billionaire Gov. JB Pritzker declines to accept a taxpayer funded salary, by Daily Southtown’s Ted Slowik.
— District 211, Palatine to comply with civil rights probe on treatment of minority students, by Daily Herald’s Eric Peterson
— Fundraiser planned for family who lost daughter in Uvalde school shooting, by Daily Herald’s Alicia Fabbre
Lawsuit seeks to block Illinois from counting mail-in ballots post-election: The conservative Judicial Watch says it’s filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois “on behalf of Congressman Mike Bost and two other registered Illinois voters to prevent state election officials from extending Election Day for 14 days beyond the date established by federal law,” according to its web site.
The Illinois State Board of Elections said Thursday that it does not comment on pending litigation, via Tribune.
— Richard Irvin, whose campaign team has controlled much of his message, is out with polling information that shows he’s leading the GOP governor’s race.
The one-page polling memo shows Irvin getting 31 percent of the vote to conservative Republican Darren Bailey’s 25 percent. The four other candidates are farther behind: Jesse Sullivan, 11 percent; Gary Rabine, 8 percent; Paul Schimp, 2 percent; and Max Solomon, 1 percent. Undecided voters number 22 percent in the poll conducted by 1892. What’s not in the polling memo: the crosstabs of questions and answers, any mention of favorability numbers.
— ON THE AD FRONT: Gov. JB Pritzker came out with a new ad Thursday targeting Ken Griffin, who’s fueling Irvin’s campaign. The ad shows the “political animosity” Pritzker has for Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund executive. The ad calls attention to connections between Griffin’s Citadel Securities and a company that built a communications tower in Aurora, where Irvin is mayor. Tribune’s Rick Pearson has more, including Griffin’s scathing response.
— Illinois governor candidates: What help do small businesses still need due to pandemic? Via the Peoria Journal Star
— Nancy Rotering has been endorsed by two high-profile abortion-rights organizations — Planned Parenthood Illinois Action and Personal PAC — in her bid for the Illinois Supreme Court’s 2nd District seat.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Jorge Neri, former senior adviser for Joe Biden for President, has raised more than $2 million for the launch of the America United PAC, according to a statement. The PAC is focused on Latinos and diverse candidates across the country, including Rep. Chuy Garcia’s reelection campaign.
— Congressman Sean Casten is out with his second TV ad showing his support for abortion rights.
— Three newcomers seek GOP nomination for state Senate District 49, by Daily Herald’s Susan Sarkauskas — Carmen Navarro Gercone, a candidate for Cook County sheriff, has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7.
— Precious Brady-Davis has been endorsed by House Majority Leader Greg Harris, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, and Ald. Andre Vazquez and Equality Illinois in her bid for commissioner at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
Chicago man charged along with father in U.S. Capitol breach: “Matthew Bokoski allegedly told authorities the Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington was effective because its participants were able to ‘shut down’ the government,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel
— Summit police chief charged in bribery plot tied to heroin dealer’s bar: “Also indicted this week in the same case was longtime political operative William Mundy, who doubles as Summit’s building inspector and public works director,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.
— Wintrust accused in lawsuit of racial discrimination in home lending: “Prominent Chicago civil rights law firm Stowell & Friedman is handling the case. The firm also is involved in a similar class-action suit against Wells Fargo,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
We asked what’s something you accomplished only after years of trying: Andy Shaw might speak for many, saying, “It took 10 years and multiple failures but have been cig-free since 1990.” Congrats, Andy!
What’s the policy debate you’d like to hear in the secretary of state’s race? Email [email protected]
— ‘Americans have had enough,’ Quigley, others in Congress tell ATF, demanding data on gun-dealer inspections: “They cited an investigation published by the Sun-Times that found the agency routinely goes easy on lawbreaking gun dealers that sold ‘crime guns’ recovered in Chicago,” by The Trace’s Champe Barton
— Column | Senate Republicans block Durbin, Schneider domestic terrorism bill; lax to act after Uvalde, Buffalo: “Once again, Democrats are pushing for not the perfect, but at least some good when it comes to responding to mass shootings, the latest in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet
— Swing-state politics stymie gun debate, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison
— Dan Snyder’s secret weapon: Republicans, by POLITICO’s Michael Schaffer
— Behind the Jan. 6 panel’s last-minute efforts to win 3 key Trump-world lawsuits, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney
— Hamburgers, a history: How a small Wisconsin town got credit for birth of the burger, by Tribune’s Jay Jones
— Saturday at 1 p.m.: Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) will host an in-person town hall on inflation at the Downers Grove Public Library. Reservations here
— June 2: Chief Judge Timothy Evans will be honored, and state Sen. Ram Villivalam will keynote at the South Asian Bar Association judicial reception. Details here
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Paul Colgan and Mathias Delort for correctly answering, respectively, that the Cubs’ Ernie Banks and Chicago Bull Bob Love were beloved Chicago sports figures who ran for alderman — and lost. Banks ran in 1963, and Love ran in 2003.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Cook County recorder of deeds known as the Swedish Viking and who succeeded him?Email [email protected]
Today: State Rep. Bob Morgan, Cook County Circuit Court Judge P. Michael Gonzalez, Lake County Zoning Board Chairman Gregory Koeppen, political strategist and 2008 Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, marketing author and professor Philip Kotler, and deputy chief of staff of external affairs in the governor’s office Sean Rapelyea.
Saturday: former Rep. Aaron Schock, Illinois House Republican Organization executive director Jayme Odom, entrepreneur Matthew Pritzker, MolsonCoors Chief Comms Officer Adam Collins, 1833 Group’s Hannah Bartholff, Illinois Lawyers Trust Fund President Shawn S. Kasserman, Arena Partners event director Jen Kramer, and Young Invincibles Midwest policy manager Hannah Keller.
Sunday: attorney and Highland Park Councilmember Anthony Blumberg, Gilda’s Club Chicago CEO LauraJane Hyde, “Freakonomics” co-author and University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, and comms consultant Kevin Lampe.
Monday: Neil Malone, CEO of Three Rivers Association of Realtors, and Amisha Patel, executive director of Grassroots Collaborative.
May 27, 2022 at 07:38AM