Robin Kelly’s in for another tug-of-war- POLITICO

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Happy Tuesday, Illinois. I hope you had a relaxing weekend as we gear up for the June 28 primary. Early voting starts today in Chicago and has already begun in other parts of the state.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Congresswoman Robin Kelly is announcing today that she’s running for reelection as Illinois Democratic Party chair.

It’s no surprise she’s running, but it officially sets the stage for another battle to control the direction of the party’s politics and finances for the next four years.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the progress we’ve made,” Kelly said in a statement about her first 14 months on the job. “Now is the time to reaffirm our commitment to a party that is inclusive, transparent, and active in everything we do.”

Kelly was elected party chair in 2021 after Michael Madigan stepped down from his 23-year reign. Kelly defeated Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris for the job, creating some intraparty tension that continues to bubble up. Kelly was backed by Sen. Dick Durbin, and Harris was endorsed by Gov. JB Pritzker.

For months there was buzz that the relationships between Kelly and Pritzker, and Durbin and Pritzker, were chilly — though all parties were publicly professional about it all (maybe through gritted teeth).

And now the top party job is up for grabs again.

Pritzker has enlisted former Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes to recruit allies to run for seats on the Democratic Central Committee. They will be elected during the June 28 primary. Winners will then pick the party chair.

Kelly’s team says she has the support after showing she’s been able to shift the party into the modern age. Under Kelly, the party has pulled together an email list of supporters, digitized outreach activities, and created a candidate recruitment program. The party is also decentralized. It no longer operates through one person (ala Madigan).

As the top Democrat in the state, it’s no surprise the governor would angle for control. Along with enlisting candidates, Pritzker has donated to the campaign of a central committee candidate, much to the surprise of a few political insiders.

They point to a Crain’s report that said Pritzker wouldn’t get involved in central committee races, but a source close to the governor’s political team disputes the report.

Pritzker has given $20,000 to Liz Brown-Reeves, a former Madigan aide turned lobbyist, for her race to join the Democratic Central Committee in a contest against Katherine Daniels, the sitting chair of the Adams County Democrats. Daniels is endorsed by the Sangamon County Democratic Party, which is headed by longtime Durbin ally Bill Houlihan.

Party details: After their election on June 28, winners — a man and woman representing each of Illinois’ 17 congressional districts — will then meet within 41 days of the primary to elect a new party chair.

It’s a lot of inside baseball, but the stakes are especially high for the top job. The party leader determines the party’s vision, where to direct funds for the 2022 General Election, and how to navigate campaigns to get the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and an early 2024 primary.

For all their elbowing, Kelly and Pritzker are on the same side in both 2024 efforts.

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Jane Lynch leads a gleeful tour of Illinois, the actor’s home state: In the “Middle of Everything” campaign, the award-winning actor and Illinois native “traipses around the Prairie State wearing a jaunty blue beret and a gleeful expression. Playing the role of official tour guide, the Illinois native comes face-to-hologram-face with Honest Abe at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, gets her kicks at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac and waddles with penguins at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Favorite things: “Lynch, who directed two of the four ads, assembled a list of her favorite places to eat, sleep, soak up culture and, of course, laugh,” via Washington Post.

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

At Victory Centre of Roseland at 1 p.m. to sign nursing home rate reform bill. … At Justice Village Hall at 2:30 p.m. to announce new Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity initiative.

At Navy Pier at 9 a.m. to attend the Chicago Police Department’s Graduation and Promotion Ceremony. … And back at Navy Pier at 3 p.m. to attend the Chicago Fire Department’s Firefighter, EMT, and Paramedic Graduation. 

No official public events.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Republican governor candidate Richard Irvin is being endorsed by Dan Webb, the former U.S. attorney who most recently served as special prosecutor in the investigation into how Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx handled the Jussie Smollet case. Webb has been a special prosecutor on other cases as well. He led the famed Operation Greylord operation for the U.S. Department of Justice, which resulted in the successful prosecution of 76 corrupt judges, police officers, court clerks, and lawyers in Cook County.

Daily Herald endorsements for governor: Pritzker, Irvin

GOP candidates running for Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s seat face ‘pick your poison dilemma’ in blue Illinois, by Tribune’s Clare Spaulding

Republican Senate candidates’ opinions on climate change vary widely, by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin

— Congressman Chuy Garcia is endorsing Democrat Fernando “Sergio” Mojica for 13th House District, citing Mojica’s “unique background and decades of work in Chicago communities.” Mojica is running for the seat now held by House Majority Leader Greg Harris, who isn’t seeking reelection.

Edgar discusses primary, gun control measures, by WCIA’s Cole Henke

Illinois State Bar Association rates ShawnTe Raines-Welch “not qualified” for judge: “Raines-Welch, the wife of Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, is running in the Democratic primary against three other candidates,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos

— Karin Norington-Reaves, a Democratic candidate for Congress in IL-01, is out with a new digital ad that has Rep. Bobby Rush giving her resounding endorsement.

— Assessors race: Former Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and a group of Latino leaders have written a letter calling out “offensive comments about the Latino community” made by Maze Jackson, husband of Cook County assessor candidate Kari Steele. At least some of those signing the letter have endorsed incumbent Assessor Fritz Kaegi. In a statement, Steele responded, saying, “As I said before, I unequivocally reject any hateful rhetoric. My husband has pledged to do better. While the comments referenced by this letter occurred before his pledge, I am disappointed that they were said, and I expect him to do better moving forward.”

How Illinois is winning in the fight against Big Tech: “The facial recognition company Clearview AI agreed in a settlement this month to stop selling its massive database of photographs culled from the internet to private firms across the United States. That decision is a direct result of a lawsuit in Illinois, a demonstration that strong privacy laws in a single state can have nationwide ramifications,” explains New York Times’ Greg Bensinger.

Illinois collects data about who gets abortions. But it keeps race and ethnicity hidden: “The data that could help illuminate disparities has never been public here. After a WBEZ inquiry, the state is evaluating whether that should change,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.

Farmers and Big Greens square off against Biden and the GOP: “At the center of the drama are three proposed carbon dioxide pipelines — greenhouse gas superhighways that would traverse the nation’s breadbasket, carrying emissions from ethanol refineries to storage in underground rock formations in North Dakota and Illinois,” by E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg.

State task force urges government, businesses to unite behind ‘quality jobs’: “The report from a 36-member panel says Illinois could be a national leader if it encourages creation of jobs with pay and benefits that can help workers support families,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

Transition to electric vehicles crucial to stopping pollution-related deaths, according to report, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase

America’s hospital regulator is ill-equipped to enforce safety regulations, by POLITICO’s Rachael Levy

Ameren Illinois customers may see $600 increase in their annual electric bill, explains State Journal-Register’s Andrew Adams

Schmidt resigns Springfield Park District board after appointment to Seventh Judicial Circuit, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie

Will Pat Quinn run for Chicago mayor? “I don’t know about that. I think the next couple of months I’m going to talk to a lot of people across Chicago and participate in events, including petitions drives and we’ll see,” Quinn tells ABC 7’s Tahman Bradley.

— Mayoral candidateKam Buckner is scheduled to roll out his plan to address neighborhood violence today at a presser at a nonprofit community center in Woodlawn.

Paul Vallas to run for mayor, sources tell Sneed

Memorial Day lives up to its violent reputation: “By Monday night, 48 people had been shot in the city over the holiday weekend [nine died], as the Chicago Police Department canceled officers’ days off in anticipation of the historically violent unofficial start of summer,” via Sun-Times.

Life sciences developments are booming in Chicago, bringing jobs and helping fight ‘brain drain’: “A who’s who of the local development community are either launching or already leasing several million square feet of new space dedicated to life sciences, forming the cornerstones of planned communities such as Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards, Related Midwest’s The 78 and the former Reese site, as well as in the rapidly expanding Fulton Market neighborhood. Experts say developers finished or started about several million square feet already, with another 2 million square feet of buildings on the drawing board,” reports Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal.

Deaths of 3 women in early heat wave raise questions, fears: “Temperatures barely climbed into the 90s and only for a couple of days. But the discovery of the bodies of three women inside a Chicago senior housing facility this month left the city looking for answers to questions that were supposed to be addressed after a longer and hotter heat wave killed more than 700 people nearly three decades ago,” by The Associated Press’ Don Babwin.

In Englewood, food leaders look ahead in wake of Whole Foods’ planned departure, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

During the pandemic, homeless people turned to the CTA for shelter. With housing limited, many remain there, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat

Ald. Sigcho-Lopez files complaint against Mayor Lightfoot over rezoning of Pilsen church, by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos

After 2020 slump, Chicago sees a surge in votes cast for Local School Council election, by Chalkbeat’s Mauricio Pena

Whiskey Point, Slag Valley and Black Bottom: Chicago’s ‘layers upon layers’ of forgotten neighborhood names, by Tribune’s William Lee

Studebaker Theater is reborn on South Michigan Avenue, by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito

DuPage County’s Heritage Gallery needs more diversity to better reflect the area’s history, some officials say. Bob Goldsborough reports for the Tribune.

Naperville Park District receives $250,000 donation for new pavilion, via Daily Herald.

Faced with staffing shortage, McHenry County facility halts animal adoptions, by Shaw Local’s James Norman.

‘Walking Man’ was burned alive for 3 minutes: “Attacker offers no motive other than he’s an ‘angry person,’ prosecutors say,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.

In gun trafficking’s new frontier, man charged with manufacturing ghost guns in South Side apartment, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.

City of Chicago settles e-scooter rider’s personal injury lawsuit for $600K, via LegalRideshare.

We asked what policy debate you’d like to hear in the Illinois secretary of state’s race: A few folks asked how candidates would keep the election safe and prevent it from being “hijacked” by “partisan election boards.” This is a good place to note that the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office doesn’t oversee elections the way other states do. That’s done by the Illinois Board of Elections.

What’s the worst thing a political candidate can do to lose your support? Email skapos@politico.com

Items from the estate of the late Gov. Jim Thompson, who also was an avid collector, will be auctioned this week: Some highlights: "a mid-century Brutalist bedroom set by Lane, a South Loop Loft marble and chrome cocktail table, Cuban folk art, a vintage English decoupage booze label bar cabinet, a pair of French antique glass tray-table floor lamps, a velvet Chesterfield sofa, and a pair of newly reupholstered swivel chairs."

United president Brett Hart gets $4M retention bonus, by Crain’s John Pletz

Smita Shah advising Biden on AANHPI policies: “She said commissioners are focusing on six topics, including anti-discrimination, health equity and immigration reform,” by ABC 7’s Will Jones

David Koo named new board chairman at the Shedd, by Steve Johnson for Crain’s

Corey DeAngelis has joined the The Liberty Justice Center board of directors.

State Rep. Anna Moeller held a campaign kick-off and delayed 50th birthday party at Adler Planetarium on Thursday. Among the high-profile attendees were Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, House Assistant Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, and Reps. Nick Smith, Will Guzzardi, Joyce Mason, Anne Stava-Murray, Lakesia Collins and Sam Yingling. Also attending: Personal PAC’s Terry Cosgrove, ACLU of Illinois’ Khadine Bennett and Sierra Club Illinois’ Jack Darin.

Lobbyist Dan Shomon hosted a reception Thursday for Democratic state Reps. Sam Yingling, Rita Mayfield, Joyce Mason, and Dan Didech, all Lake County-area lawmakers. Attendees at the historic Chicago Chop House restaurant sipped on Lake County specialty-themed cocktails, including Waukegan Whiskey Old Fashioneds, Lindenhurst Lynchburg Lemonades, Zion Zombies. and Park City Pinot Noirs. Yingling is in a competitive primary for the state Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Melinda Bush.

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Republicans Kinzinger, Brooks offer contrasting views on gun law reform, by POLITICO’s Jesse Naranjo

Why we can expect more hacking of politicians’ phones, by POLITICO’s Maggie Miller

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Austin pushing to effectively decriminalize abortion ahead of ruling on Roe, by POLITICO’s Megan Messerly

Obama reconnects with youth — now graduating high school — in famous ‘Hair Like Mine’ photo, by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet

Nearly 54 years after his untimely death, the legacy of 1st African American astronaut lives on, by Tribune’s Tatyana Turner

Elmhurst police chief Michael Ruth dies after surgery, city officials say: “Elmhurst Police Chief Michael R. Ruth served in law enforcement for 44 years, first as a dispatcher in Alsip and then a patrolman in Hometown. He joined the Skokie Police Department in 1981, and rose to the rank of commander in 2010,” via ABC 7.

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and marketing exec Erica Baker were married in a small ceremony last week at the State Capitol. In attendance were their parents and Frerichs’ daughter. The couple is planning a destination wedding in June. Pic!

Ari Emanuel marries designer Sarah Staudinger in a star-studded St. Tropez wedding, via People magazine

Wednesday: A virtual Democratic candidate forum in the Illinois House District 15 will be held via Facebook live.

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mark McCombs for correctly answering that Sidney Olsen was the Cook County recorder of deeds known as the Swedish Viking and who was succeeded by Harry "Bus" Yourell from Oak Lawn.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Chicago Cubs field announcer from 1916 to 1974 and what did he do when not at Wrigley Field?Email skapos@politico.com

40th Ward Democratic Committeeperson Maggie O’Keefe, Equality Illinois policy director Mike Ziri, and Pillars Fund co-founder Kashif Shaikh.

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May 31, 2022 at 07:24AM

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