Good Thursday morning, Illinois. There are 12 days until the primary. Do you know where you’re voting?
PROGRAMMING NOTE — Illinois Playbook will not publish Monday in honor of Juneteenth but will be back on Tuesday. Please continue to follow POLITICO.
The Federal Reserve is doing its largest interest rate hike in almost 30 years. Gas prices in Illinois are closing in on $6 a gallon. And in the world of politics, a Republican earlier this week flipped a congressional district in South Texas that Democrats have held for nearly a century.
Illinois Democrats who control this state are bracing for a rough general election in November. The June 28 primary could indicate how bumpy the ride will be.
Trump factor: There’s already been a shift in the Republican Party with recent polls seeing conservative governor candidate Darren Bailey edging Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. The prospect of former President Donald Trump visiting Quincy for a Save America rally to stump for Rep. Mary Miller has already caused a frenzy. Hotels are selling out, and Trump hasn’t fully committed to the June 25 event.
The primary’s outcome looms large over November. We asked some Illinois political consultants what to expect. Their overall answer: It’s going to be tough on Democrats, even though the state elected President Joe Biden by 17 points.
It’s the economy, stupid: A shaky economy “gives the Republicans some issues to run on,” Susan Garrett, a former Democratic state senator and now chair of the nonprofit Center for Illinois Politics, told Playbook. “Middle class families are going to be struggling and may feel the Democrats have let them down.”
The biggest risk to Illinois Dems will be trying to defend four congressional seats — IL-06, IL-11, IL-14, and IL-17 — that “could swing hard to the right in a bad year,” said 1833 Group’s Nick Daggers. “With three of those being in the Chicago suburbs, I’d shift from being tied down to a faltering economy, rampant inflation, rising gas prices, and put the GOP on the defensive about their radical positions on social issues.”
Political consultant Eric Adelstein acknowledges “the wind is definitely in Democrats’ faces, but there are countervailing forces as well.” He points to abortion rights and “Republicans’ refusal to take meaningful action on a nation awash with guns” as examples.
First though, there’s the June 28 primary. Congressional Democrats are hoping Republican voters pick the most extreme option on their primary ballot — and cheering a visit by Trump.
— Latino Democrats vent their fury after foreboding special election loss in Texas, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick and Sarah Ferris
— Fed vows all-out fight on inflation, by POLITICO’s Victoria Guida
— A boom in Chicagoland warehouse construction could cut costs for consumers, by Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal
— Springfield expert explains higher interest rates and what they mean to your pocketbook, by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Tourism in Chicago is up 86 percent over a year ago, with the city’s hotel tax revenue at $127.2 million, a 163 percent increase over 2020. So far this year, Chicago has seen 183 events and 1.5 million visitors, which generated $1.8 billion for the economy, according to Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm.
Tourism is back: “We can’t predict the future, but we know there’s a demand for travel,” Osmond told hospitality industry leaders Wednesday at Choose Chicago’s annual meeting at McCormick Place.
Then she addressed “the elephant in the room”: crime. “I know this is a concern of yours,” she said. “I’m tired of Chicago being portrayed in the media as a dangerous place. We are tired of being a right-wing talking point,” she said, referring to Texas’ Gov. Greg Abbott’srecent dig at Chicago’s gun violence problem.
Tangible solutions: Osmond said community leaders are working closely with Chicago Police to help put a dent in the problem. The city is also organizing community liaisons to stand in neighborhoods and welcome visitors and, hopefully, deter crime.
Attitude adjustment: Osmond also called on Chicagoans to quit criticizing. “We can be part of the solution. We must put aside negativity. We cannot have a negative attitude.” She said “it’s imperative to not allow disparaging remarks from distant audiences or from those among us.”
Pollyannaish as it sounds, the line drew applause, the loudest from a front-row guest: Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Choose Chicago unveiled its new tourism slogan: “When you go you know.” Ummm… let’s just say that’s something we can all agree on.
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At Rush University Medical Center at 9:30 a.m. to sign bills expanding protection for survivors of sexual assault. … At Hilton Chicago at 12:15 p.m. to give remarks at Crain’s Fast 50 business luncheon.
No official public events
At the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. to preside over a meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
— From turkeys and trash cans to gas cards and guaranteed income? Freebie frenzy dominates election season: “Decades ago, Chicago politicians curried favor with voters by distributing Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams. Garbage cans with an office-holder’s name on it were also a frequent freebie. But, the avalanche of federal stimulus funds has allowed Gov. JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Lori Lightfoot to up the ante and then some during their re-election campaigns,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Downstate Republicans battle to reclaim — and freshen up — ‘outdated’ secretary of state’s office: “Bloomington state Rep. Dan Brady and former federal prosecutor John Milhiser each say they’ve demonstrated the ability to rack up bipartisan support during lengthy, distinguished careers in central Illinois political circles,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Republican AG candidates decry ‘tyrannical’ Pritzker, his ‘wingman’ Raoul and Illinois’ ‘world-famous’ corruption, by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Rob Martwick and Erin Jones square off in negative campaign mailers in race for 10th Senate District seat, by Nadig Newspaper’s Brian Nadig.
— VOTER TURNOUT: “Early voting is so low in Chicago that the #1 early voting site, by far, is the Cook County jail as of today, with 388 votes,” tweeted political consultant Frank Calabrese.
— Q&A with IL-01 candidates: They address crime, the economy, police budget and Roe v. Wade in this deep dive by South Side Weekly’s Jacqueline Serrato and Adam Przybyl. WITH COOL ARTWORK
… IL-01 candidate Pat Dowell is out with a new 30-second TV and digital ad titled “Day One” that will run through Election Day, June 28.
… IL-01 candidate Jacqueline Collins has been endorsed by state Rep. Justin Slaughter, and Chicago Alds. Michelle Harris and David Moore. Full list
Rachelle Aud Crowe resigns from the Illinois Senate: She recently was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, via the Edwardsville Intelligencer.
— The price kids pay | A teen was ticketed at school for a theft she says didn’t happen. Years later, she’s still fighting: “The Illinois student’s long ordeal shows the extraordinary effort it can take to overturn a school-related ticket. Her case — involving a missing pair of AirPods — is heading to a jury trial,” by by Tribun’s Jennifer Smith Richards and ProPublica’s Jodi S. Cohen.
— Rockford area has second-highest property taxes in the country, by MyStateline.com’s John Clark.
— FDA panel recommends Covid vaccines for little kids, but questions remain about where they’ll be available in Illinois, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker.
— Reopen parts of shuttered schools to revive neighborhoods on South, West sides, mayoral aide suggests: “Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox’s said re-purposing parts of closed schools — such as the kitchen or gym — would help a community without ‘having to marshal all of the resources that it takes to renovate an entire school.’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— As cops leave Chicago Public Schools, a new model of resolving conflicts takes shape, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa and Sarah Karp
— Chicago breaks a heat record, meteorologists say, via Sun-Times
— Chicago taps direct cash charity to give residents $500 a month: “GiveDirectly will run the city’s guaranteed basic income pilot, amid a surge in cash assistance programs,” by Bloomberg’s Shruti Singh.
— Inspectors General: Chicago among nation’s strongest, but lacks power to publish reports: “A BGA Policy comparison of major U.S. cities found Chicago’s Office of Inspector General among the strongest watchdog agencies in the nation — but it lacks independent authority to release its findings to the public, keeping Chicago out of the top-tier cities for governmental oversight,” by Better Government Association’s Geoffrey Cubbage.
— MacArthur Foundation, UIC report examines population shifts in Chicago, metro area: “Destinations for former Chicagoland residents differ by race. White movers are most likely to relocate to Phoenix, Black movers to Atlanta and Latinx movers to Houston. Black residents leaving Chicago commonly relocate to places like Atlanta that have higher wages, better employment and lower poverty for Black residents.”
— Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup trickles into Chicago. Here’s how the Rivian rival fared on a potholed city test drive, by Tribune’s Robert Channick.
— There’s no unseeing the world Cézanne left us: “The first major U.S. exhibition of the painter’s works in more than a quarter century amplifies his radicality,” via Washington Post
— ‘Lean on your neighbors’: Round Lake Beach residents gather after murders of three children, by Daily Herald’s John Starks
… Mother describes children allegedly drowned by estranged husband as ‘beautiful little souls’; father left note: “If I can’t have them, neither can you.” Lake County-News Sun’s Clifford Ward reports.
— Man found beaten to death inside Cook County Jail cell: autopsy, by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry
Illinois craft marijuana growers can get back to work after judge lifts order that put industry on hold: “Winnebago County Circuit Judge Stephen Balogh ruled that jilted license applicants challenging the licensing process must file lawsuits under administrative review law, which provides some protection for existing licensees,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will be installed as chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association at its annual meeting in Chicago next month. She will be the first Black woman to hold the position.
— Edward Mazur has been elected to the board of directors of the Lionel Operating Train Society, membership of 2,500 electric train nerds.
The West Side GOP Club drew a crowd at Señor Pans in Chicago last night. Joining the party were Republican candidates Stephanie Trussell (lieutenant gov), Aaron Del Mar (lieutenant gov), Steve Kim (AG), John Milhiser (secretary of state), Shannon Terisi (comptroller) and Justin Burau (IL-03). Also mingling over Cuban appetizers were Chicago GOP Chair Steve Boulton, State Central Committee member Jay Reyes, former Chicago Ald. Bob Fioretti, former state’s attorney candidate Chris Pfannkuche, Illinois GOP deputy executive director Tommy Choi. Co-Chairs were Jonathan Serrano (36th Ward GOP Comm) and J.D. Sloat (26th Ward GOP Comm).
We asked about the hottest summer you ever spent: Graham Grady voiced what many remember: “Today’s heat is a sad reminder of the 1995 heat wave that tragically took the lives of 739 primarily elderly Chicagoans.” … Marilynn Miller remembers 1953, the year she was pregnant with her daughter. “We lived in a tiny apartment in a U shaped building on the South Side, at 61st & Kimbark. Air conditioning then was only in movie theaters. We didn’t have money for our own furniture, much less a fan. I used to sit on a kitchen chair in front of the window, looking for even a slight breeze. There may not have been record temperatures then, but the misery was record for me.” … Phil Zeni: “Landing at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix at 121 degrees and being told that at 122 they shut down the airport over concern that the tires blow out.” … Dan Mattoon: “In the late 1960s on the farm putting hay in the barn. Hay mow temps were about 120 degrees each day.”
To what lengths have you gone to find the cheapest place for gas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bobby Rush has sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that the Justice Department investigate the 31 men arrested in Idaho who were planning to disrupt a local pride event. Rush asked that the DOJ consider the Anti-Riot Act, which specifies it’s a federal crime to cross state lines to commit or incite a riot or acts of violence.
— Jan. 6 panel to spotlight pressure campaign against Pence: “The select committee will try to convince the public Thursday that Donald Trump’s work with John Eastman turned into a criminal effort to subvert the election,” by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu.
— The Guilfoyle email that illustrates Cheney’s pre-Jan. 6 assistance to Trump World, by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan.
— McConnell’s gun safety gamble, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett
— He’s one of the most powerful gun lobbyists in D.C. And you’ve never heard of him, by POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs
— Abortions jumped in 2020, up 8 percent over 3-year period, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein
— Ivan Claudio Gonzalez, chief of staff to state Sen. Omar Aquino, has died. The 40-year-old political aide managed day-to-day operations of Aquino’s senate district office, legislative agenda, and community relations for the senator. He was also a friend and adviser to many in Illinois’ political community.
— Family of Gwen Casten — daughter of U.S. Rep. Sean Casten — says the only thing known about her death is that it was ‘peaceful,’ by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.
… Here’s Casten’s statement, via Twitter.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to University of Chicago political science professor John Mark Hansen for correctly answering that Robert LaFollette, of the Progressive Party, won Clinton County in the 1924 election.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the taxicab tycoon, mobbed-up horse racing wire-service operator, and NFL team founder who dropped out of the fourth grade to focus on his business selling newspapers on an Englewood street corner? Email email@example.com
Businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, businesswoman and former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Griselda Vega Samuel, and designer Yolanda Lorente
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June 16, 2022 at 07:21AM