Retribution fuels GOP state Senate race- POLITICO

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Good Thursday morning, Illinois. Johnny Deppwon his defamation lawsuit, and his ex-wife Amber Heard won on one point. And yet it feels like the rest of the world has lost.

Intra-party politics and dysfunction are playing out in the Illinois Republican Party.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin just gave $25,000 to Republican Brett Nicklaus, who’s challenging incumbent Win Stoller — a fellow Republican — for the 37th District state Senate seat.

You read that right. The House Republican leader is meddling in a state Senate GOP primary, doling out cash that might otherwise help Republican candidates fight off Democrats in the upcoming General Election. Republicans are a minority in Springfield, after all.

“It’s absolutely unheard of,” a GOP insider told Playbook.

Durkin’s move is retribution because Stoller donated to Republican Travis Weaver, who’s challenging House Rep. Mark Luft (who you might know for his other job as the mayor of Pekin).

There was a reason for Stoller’s move. He and Weaver are family friends. In fact, Weaver’s father is former state Sen. Chuck Weaver — who hand-picked Stoller to succeed him in the Senate.

There are some subplots to this drama, too. The Weavers have their enemies in the General Assembly, including Rep. Ryan Spain who’s working with Durkin against Stoller. Spain and Chuck Weaver served together on the Peoria City Council and never saw eye to eye. So no surprise Spain would donate $5,000 to Stoller’s opponent.

And Rep. Toni McCombie is endorsing Nicklaus over Stoller, too. She gave Nicklaus $16,000. McCombie at one point had considered running against Stoller but was persuaded by leadership to stay in the House. That cleared the lane for Stoller to run without a primary. But his support for Travis Weaver changed that.

From Durkin’s point of view, his leadership team moved to help Stoller in a primary and Stoller “went on and screwed the House,” another GOP source familiar with the controversy told Playbook. “It’s a faux pax for anyone to operate outside of their Senate or House district.”

Durkin got in the mud, too. Ultimately, GOP leader wanted to make sure Stoller wasn’t going to keep throwing money at House races, so he made sure Stoller faced an opponent instead.

HATE CRIME LAWSUIT: The Illinois Attorney Ganeral’s Office has filed its first-ever hate crime lawsuit, charging two white Carroll County residents with harassment and using a noose to lynch an effigy of their neighbor from a tree in their front yard.

Startling details: Chad and Cheryl Hampton allegedly engaged in “months of racist behavior” that included displaying the n-word in front of a Confederate flag in a window directly facing the victim’s home, according to a statement from the AG’s office. The lawsuit also alleges Chad Hampton had previously displayed swastikas in direct view of Johnson’s home.

“The defendants intentionally used the shameful history of lynching and racism in America to terrorize and instill fear in their next-door neighbor simply because he is Black. No one should be subjected to this kind of hate,” Illinois AG Kwame Raoul said in a statement about the lawsuit.

Raoul filed the lawsuit after a hate crimes investigation by his office’s Civil Rights Bureau with assistance from the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s office, the city of Savanna and the Savanna Police Department.

In an interview with the Sun-Times, “Savanna Police Chief Jeff Doran said his department had reported the incident to the FBI, which declined to bring any charges, and returned the effigy in pieces. Doran said charges brought by local prosecutors did not seem to deter the Hamptons and he was pleased by the attorney general’s lawsuit.”

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

In Andersonville at 11:15 a.m. to tour the Chicago neighborhood as part of a campaign event to discuss “equity and opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community,”

At AIDS Garden Chicago near Belmont Harbor at 10 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting.

At Chicago Heights Middle School at 6 p.m. for a town hall regarding Cook County’s plans for funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

BALLOT BROUHAHA: Four candidates who won court battles to stay on the June 28 primary ballot are now facing appeals by challengers. Supreme Court candidates Nancy Rotering, Mark Curran and Susan Hutchinson, and Cook County Sheriff candidate Carmen Navarro Gercone, were removed from the ballot when objectors argued they didn’t have enough signatures (in the high court races) or the qualifications (in the sheriff’s race). Judges overruled the decisions and all four were put back on the ballot. But now the objectors are appealing that decision.

The cases are on an accelerated court docket because of the approaching election. Briefs are due today and tomorrow, and the court could rule as soon as Monday. Depending on the outcome, the candidates could take their cases to a higher court.

And the contest is less than three weeks away: “At this point, their names already are on the printed ballots. If ultimately the courts remove them, votes cast for those candidates would not be counted,” Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections, told Playbook.

Republican Irvin’s anti-crime plan rests on taking ‘handcuffs off the police’ by repealing law Democrats insist he supported: “The Aurora mayor vowed to repeal ‘anti-police pro-criminal policies’ in a bill that Pritzker signed into law last year. Pritzker’s campaign says a letter that Irvin sent to one of the sponsors shows he actually supported the criminal justice reforms — but Irvin’s campaign says he was just ‘being polite to a state senator when asking for revisions’ to the law,” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.

— Gov. JB Pritzker has endorsed state Sen. Omar Aquino for reelection. In a statement, Pritzker praised Aquino as "a strong Democratic leader” who’s worked “to improve the quality of life for Illinois seniors, support small businesses, and protect immigrants.” Aquino is also running for a seat on the Democratic State Central Committee.

— The Chicago Teachers Union made some endorsements: Jonathan Jackson for the IL-01 congressional seat, and incumbents Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board president, and Justin Slaughter, Thaddeus Jones and Mike Zalewski for state Rep. seats.

— Pat Dowell has been endorsed by powerful Ald. Matt O’Shea in her bid for the IL-01 congressional seat.

— The Indo-American Democratic Organizationhas announced its endorsements ahead of the June 28 primary.

— Congressman Rodney Davis is being endorsed by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge and current and former central Illinois county sheriffs in his bid for the IL-15 congressional seat.

— George Cardenas, a Chicago alderman running for the Cook County Board of Review, called on opponent incumbent Tammy Wendt to follow the Board of Ethics demand (via a lawsuit) to fire her cousin and repay the salary he took while employed by her office in an ongoing nepotism case.

— Jaylin McClinton has been endorsed by Illinois Senate Black Caucus Chair Robert Peters and 20th Ward Ald. Jeanette Taylor in his bid for Cook County commissioner in the 5th District.

Corinthian Colleges federal student loan debt canceled: Impacts 26,000 Illinois borrowers: “The Education Department discharged all remaining federal student loans borrowed to attend any Corinthian Colleges campus. The 26,000 Illinois loans total about $226 million,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

Illinois drops parental consent requirement for pregnant minors seeking an abortion, by ABC 7’s Will Jones

Illinois broadband expansion will create 25,000 jobs, researchers say, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

State child welfare agency suspends 2 workers in death of 8-year-old, by Sun-Times’ David Struett.

Bill signed into law, to ban child sex offenders from working at Illinois State Fair, via WCIA.

Illinois issues 48 new craft cannabis grower licenses in step that helps diversify the industry: “Twenty of the new licenses are majority Black-owned, 17 are majority white-owned, and four are majority Hispanic-owned, with the rest owned by a partnership group or not providing specific information,” Tribune’s Robert McCoppin reports.

— Yas queen: The British Consulate General Chicago hosted a garden party at the Chicago History Museum yesterday to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Spotted in the crowd, Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar, state Rep. Robyn Gabel, Tribune editorial page editor Chris Jones, and Polk Bros. Foundation CEO Gillian Darlow, who knows some history about the queen’s 1959 visit to Chicago. When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrived via a boat, they stepped onto a 2,300 feet red carpet on loan from Polk Bros store before meeting Mayor Richard J. Daley and touring Chicago. Historical video here. That carpet was then cut into pieces, and pitched to customers at Polk Bros, which proclaimed, "We Treat Every Woman Like a Queen."

— Lofty: Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Sen. Dick Durbin, state Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and Democratic State Central Committeeman Al Riley were among the notables at a Democratic Party of Illinois fundraiser at The Loft at 70 West Madison. Kelly chairs the party. Special guests from out of state: Reps. Joe Neguse (Colorado), Ted Lieu (California) and Frank Mrvan (Indiana).

— Another group of Dems attended the 47th Ward Democrats’ summer kickoff fundraiser at O’Briens Riverwalk Cafe. Spotted: Committeeman Paul Rosenfeld, Rep. Ann Williams (president of the group), Attorney General Kwame Raoul (he was about town), state Treasurer Mike Frerichs, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, House Majority Leader Greg Harris, County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, state Reps. Kam Buckner, Margaret Croke and Cyril Nichols, Alds. Matt Martin and Roderick Sawyer, MWRD Commissioner Kim Du Buclet, 6th District Central Committeewoman Nancy Shepherdson, former Senate President John Cullerton, former Ald. Dick Mell, state rep candidate Eileen Dordek, and MWRD candidate Precious Brady Davis.

Congresswoman Mary Miller and her husband, state Rep. Chris Miller, sat with conservative mega-donor Dick Uihlein at the Lake County Republican Federation Spring Gala last night. Mark Maxwell tweeted a photo and an observation: Uihlein “just so happens to be one of the biggest donors to Club for Growth, the dark money group backing Mary Miller’s campaign for Congress with $1.6M in advertising.”

Utility watchdog dozes while Peoples Gas slams customers with more than $600M in surcharges: “The Illinois Commerce Commission is supposed to review Peoples’ spending annually to keep the utility honest on a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program. It’s six years behind,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.

Former Chicago parks leader blamed political pressure for her exit: “In recordings from a closed-door meeting, former park district board president Avis Lavelle said she left to relieve pressure on Mayor Lori Lightfoot,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

Chicago police officer in serious condition after being shot in Englewood: Mayor Lori Lightfoot responds: “I have asked the Superintendent to use every resource possible to find the person responsible for this attempted murder of a police officer and bring them to justice.” Sun-Times’ Katie Anthony and Emmanuel Camarillo report.

Far South Side organizer appointed to Chicago school board: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Joyce Chapman, who founded the Pullman Community Development Corporation and is the chair of the Far South Side Community Action Council, to fill a seat that had been empty for nearly a year,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.

Effort to tighten Chicago’s ethics rules stalls without Lightfoot’s support: “Lightfoot said she “didn’t know anything about” the proposal in response to a question. ‘I’ve never seen it, I haven’t read it, we were not consulted on it,’ Lightfoot said,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

Chicago sees wave of union activity as frontline workers across the U.S. organize, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin and María Paula Mijares Torres

General Iron owner says Lightfoot broke rules, politicized permit process, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase 

A welcome change,’ say organizers as Chicago Pride Parade and Fest returns in June, by Tribune’s Doug George and Stephanie Casanova

… Police at Pride: Though members of the Lesbian and Gay Police Association won’t be marching at Chicago’s Pride parade, some members of the Chicago Police Department will be there to represent. Watch for CPD’s pride car. Nifty.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard attacked with paintballs in Chatham, by ABC 7’s Eric Horng

35 years later, and “The Untouchables” endures:“They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. THAT’S the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone.” Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper reports.

Metra to offer new $100 monthly pass, the latest change to draw back riders: The passes will be “valid for unlimited travel on the rail system, for use beginning in July. The Super Saver pass will be offered for a three-month trial period, after which Metra will evaluate whether to continue the offer,” by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.

Amid Supreme Court decision, suburban boards wrestle with whether to fly Pride flag: “Arlington Heights library’s policy — modeled off one adopted by the Glenview library board — says flags flown on the library’s poles serve as a ‘government forum for expression of the library’s mission, vision, values or sentiments,’ and as such are to be approved by trustees,” by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.

Cook County reaches ‘high’ Covid-19 community risk level, by WBEZ’s Christian Elliott.

Judge set to rule on use of recordings in corruption probe of Ald. Edward Burke, as trial slips to 2023: “Burke faces charges of racketeering, bribery and extortion. Racketeering charges — usually brought against members of the mob or street gangs — allege a pattern of corruption unknown to its victims,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

We asked when you’ve marched in a parade, and of course Playbook readers have seen their share: Barb Cornew remembers marching in five parades on July 4, 2008, when she was political director for Dan Seals … Claude Walker says he’s marched in at least 80 parades over the years. The best was the Chicago Gay Pride Parade of 1992 with Carol Moseley Braun. “Sweaty, ecstatic, boom-box & confetti-gun,” is how he describes it. …

Timothy Thomas Jr. and Graham Grady count Bud Billiken Parades as the most memorable. …. Marilynn Miller, a Crest Hill resident, remembers marching in the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Plainfield in support of now-Rep. Bill Foster. "I wanted to see him elected as the only scientist (at that time) in the house."… And Nancy Shepherdson, candidate for 5th District Democratic state central committeewoman, says she enjoys “every dang parade I can find, from St Patrick’s day to labor day, to support Democrats.”

Who’s a political dignitary you’d wait in a crowd to see? Email skapos@politico.com

Pa. GOP gubernatorial nominee shares documents with Jan. 6 panel, agrees to interview, by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have a warning for progressives, by POLITICO’s John F. Harris

How FEMA helps white and rich Americans escape floods, by POLITICO’s Thomas Frank

Anatomy of a fake news story: “A public policy professor tells a tale involving Oak Park & River Forest High School, ‘race-based grading’ and people who so badly wanted a story to be true, they didn’t care that it wasn’t,” writes Georgetown University’s Donald Moynihan.

Steve Pfrang, chief of staff for Rep. Darin LaHood, and Rebecca Shaw, a member of the government relations team at Subject Matter, got engaged Saturday while on a hike in Glacier National Park. The couple met on the Team Ohio campaign trip. PicAnother pic

Legendary City News Bureau editor Paul Zimbrakos dies at 86: “He trained generations of journalists at the “boot camp” for reporters,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.

Today at 7 p.m.:A debate among Republicans running in IL-13. Candidates are Regan Deering, Matt Hausman, Terry Martin, and Jesse Reising. Hosting are Illinois Public Media, WAND News, and the League of Women Voters of Champaign County. The debate will air on WILL-TV and WSIU-TV and simulcast on radio on WILL-AM 580 and -FM 90.9 out of Urbana, WSIU-FM out of Carbondale, and NPR Illinois (WUIS-FM) out of Springfield.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mark Rosenberg, a retired pediatrician and White Sox fan, for correctly answering that Hyde Park’s KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation was founded as Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv in 1847 on Lake Street. KAM Isaiah’s current home is a Chicago Landmark, across the street from the Obama’s Chicago house.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the first business to return after the Great Chicago Fire?Email skapos@politico.com

Congressional candidate and state Rep. Delia Ramirez, business consultant Sonya Jackson, attorney Pejman Yousefzadeh, Kieloch Consulting director of congressional services Hannah Botelho, syndicated columnist Clarence Page, and PR pro Lauren Pulte.

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June 2, 2022 at 10:01AM

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