Good Thursday morning, Illinois. I’ll be live today with my POLITICO colleagues on a Women Rule “Ask Me Anything” forum about the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The next big election is 10 days away. That’s when Illinois Democratic Party leaders who were elected last month to the Democratic Central Committee gather to vote on the next party chair.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly is the current leader, and she wants to continue the work she’s started. Kelly was elected to the seat with the support of Sen. Dick Durbin after former House Speaker Michael Madigan stepped down. Madigan had run the show for so many years that other party officials weren’t sure how to pick up the mantle. But Kelly did and is expected to have strong support for the July 30 election.
The big question is who will Gov. JB Pritzker support? In some states, the party chair is determined by the top elected official — Pritzker, arguably. The governor already tried to knock out half a dozen incumbents on the Central Committee during last month’s election. His allies won three of the six races he supported. It’s not clear if that’s enough to swing the party chair election. So far, Pritzker isn’t saying who he wants in the seat.
There was buzz that state Sen. Melinda Bush, who is retiring from the Senate, might be interested. But she told Playbook, no way. There are also whispers that state Rep. Lisa Hernandez wants to run. She didn’t return a request for comment, so we’ll just wait and see.
The governor is hung up on the fact that Kelly, as a congresswoman, can only fundraise for federal candidates. To avoid any impropriety, the party created a separate committee to handle local races. Kelly’s supporters say it’s worked out great.
Lips sealed: The friction over the governor wanting someone else in charge isn’t something anyone wants to talk about (in public at least). Carol Ronen, a former state senator who now serves on the Central Committee, spoke up. She wrote a letter to Pritzker ally Dan Hynes, urging him to lay off trying to find party candidates to push out Kelly.
What they do agree on: Neither Pritzker, nor Kelly want the appearance of disunity. They’re a united front in courting the National Democratic Party for an early primary in Illinois and the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Sidenote: Speaking of the convention, DNC officials will be in Chicago for a site visit next week as they work to select a location. In an unrelated news conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the officials will check out venues, examine the logistics and meet the team that would manage the convention. “It will be very busy. We’ll showcase the best of Chicago,” she said.
Lots of action out of the Chicago City Council Wednesday — they voted for speed cameras to stay put and improvements to ethics rules (more on all that under the CITY HALL header.)
What caught our eye was the mayor’s post-meeting comments with reporters about police officers.
Asked about criticism that officers feel restrained and second-guessed in doing their jobs, Lightfoot said, “There’s no question that there’s more scrutiny on law enforcement now probably than any other time. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
She cited the notorious police commander Jon Burge, convicted of torturing Black men in order to coerce confessions, and the Special Operations Section (SOS) whose officers operated a robbery crew, and the “hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements, judgements and attorneys fees” for cases involving police officers in police chases in cars and on foot that ended with someone getting shot in the back.
“When you sign up for an organization like law enforcement … where we have to abide by people’s civil rights, if that’s not the job that you want and you feel like we’re holding you back, it’s probably not a job for you. … For way too long in this city, things have happened with policing that have undermined the legitimacy of the police in communities all over our city, particularly Black and brown communities.”
Citing officer suicides and canceled days off, Chicago aldermen propose policing changes, elimination of civilian oversight board, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig, Gregory Pratt and Alice Yin
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.
No official public events.
Giving a virtual media briefing at 1:15 p.m. along with White House American Rescue Plan coordinator Gene Sperling and others on new initiatives and updates of the American Rescue Plan pandemic response. They’re at the National Association of Counties conference in Aurora, Colo.
— GOP TRUCE? Republican governor nominee Darren Bailey headlines tonight’s Illinois GOP fundraiser in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. And House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is listed at the top of the invitation, signaling a detente between the two Republicans who have butted heads for years. Most recently, Durkin backed Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin for governor. And before that, Bailey and Durkin clashed on policy issues when Bailey served in the House.
— DEMS’ SUM-SUM-SUMMERTIME: House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch will headline the Democrats’ Illinois House summer fundraiser tonight at the Fremont in Chicago. It will be a debut for Katelynd Duncan and Katy Langenfeld, whom Welch hired to ramp up fundraising ahead of the general election. Tickets start at $250 and go up to $20,000.
Congressman Darin LaHood has raised more than $577,000 in the 2nd Quarter of 2022. The Illinois Republican has raised nearly $3 million during the 2022 campaign cycle and has more than $4.36 million cash on hand.
— Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing more than 1 million new households have signed up for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program since May.
The White House says 391,690 Illinois households have already signed up for the program. Harris is sending a letter to Gov. JB Pritzker, urging him to help accelerate ACP enrollments in the state. She wrote: “We need your help to keep that progress going and to ensure all eligible families in Illinois sign up to save,” according to a statement.
— Proposed assault weapons ban gaining momentum in wake of Highland Park shooting: “The proposed legislation makes possession of an assault weapon illegal in Illinois unless the gun was both owned before the bill becomes law and is registered with the State Police. … ‘I keep getting calls every day to please, please, please get this done,’ says state Sen. Julie Morrison.” Lake County News-Sun’s Steve Sadin reports.
— Drinking water in Illinois prisons is a crapshoot: “Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Legionella bacteria was detected at Stateville. It was later revealed that water in five other prisons had also tested positive for the bacteria,” by Anthony Ehlers for The Reader.
— Only 5.3% of Illinois children under 5 have received a Covid-19 vaccine, worrying pediatricians, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencke
— City Council rejects push to roll back $35 tickets for drivers snapped 6 mph over the limit: “The (18-26) vote capped months of parliamentary shenanigans and came after a concerted effort by advocates for pedestrians and bicyclists to convince undecided members of the City Council the tickets were an effective way to reduce headline-grabbing and heartbreaking crashes,” reports WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Ethics ordinance approved after being watered down to help mayoral allies: “Eliminated from the ordinance was a requirement that alderpersons leave the room — or log out of a virtual meeting — whenever they have a declared conflict of interest that prohibits them from voting,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Housing equity plan and more on ethics rules for aldermen, by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt
— Council OKs towing crackdown on vehicles used in drag racing, drifting, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— Council calls on Lightfoot to release report on botched implosion that blanketed Little Village in dust, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase
— Can Chicago slow the spread of monkeypox? “Fatigue from the Covid-19 pandemic and a shortage of monkeypox vaccines are raising questions over whether the spread of the virus can be contained,” by WBEZ’s Courtney Kueppers.
— Comcast to invest $500K at Chicago YMCAs to create tech hubs as part of digital equity project: “Six Chicago YMCAs will be outfitted with tech hubs and digital navigators, who will help residents use digital resources available to them,” by Sun-Times’ Mariah Rush.
— CPS samples new school lunch recipes to the ultimate taste testers: students, by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan
— 32 Chicago concertgoers on music for a complicated moment, compiled by WBEZ’s Cassie Walker Burke, Manuel Martinez and Andjela Padejski.
Last-minute changes could be key to Naperville City Council passing ban on sale of some guns: Mayor Steve Chirico’s ordinance changes “include an exemption allowing sales to police, law enforcement and military personnel. The changes also remove handguns from the list of weapons that would be prohibited from being sold and removes the ban on the sale of large-capacity magazines for handguns,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.
We asked what you’re reading this summer:
Vincent Brandys, an ophthalmics consultant, is reading Phil by Alan Shipnuck.
Attorney Michael Kreloff: Get Out the Vote by Donald Green and Alan Gerber, and Politics of the Purse: Revenue and Finance in the Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention” by Joyce Fishbane and Glenn W Fisher.
Attorney Michael R. Lieber: Any Given Tuesday by political strategist Lis Smith, “who helped Pete Buttigieg go from barely known mayor of a small city to the winner of the 2020 Iowa Caucus and ultimately become secretary of Transportation.”
City Club’s Ed Mazur: The House that Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois’ Velvet Hammer” by Ray Long with foreword by Charles N. Wheeler III.
John Straus, a former state commissioner: While Justice Sleeps by Stacy Abrams (yes, that, Stacy Abrams).
What song speaks to you in these political times? Email [email protected]
— At Highland Park massacre Senate hearing, Republicans on Judiciary panel reject assault weapons ban: “When gunfire started at the July 4 parade, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering testified Wednesday, ‘Adults stared back, not comprehending. But the kids knew immediately this wasn’t a drill and they yelled to everyone to run and hide. They knew what was happening,’” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Rep. Sean Casten stood in the House reading the children under age 10 killed by gun violence. “I couldn’t even make it through the first page. So I ask my colleagues in the Senate — when will it be enough to take action?” he tweeted
— GOP lawmaker who gave Jan. 5 tour wants to investigate Jan. 6 panel, by POLITICO’s Jordain Carney
— Impact of Supreme Court’s climate ruling spreads, by POLITICO’s Alex Guillén
— GOP freezes up on same-sex marriage, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Debra Bogo-Ernst has been appointed managing partner of Mayer Brown in Chicago. She succeeds Britt Miller who was promoted to the firm’s global management committee. Bogo-Ernst is the third consecutive female leader of Mayer Brown’s Chicago office, as Miller was preceded by Rebecca Eisner. Bogo-Ernst joined the Chicago office in 2000 and serves as co-leader of the firm’s national consumer and class actions practice.
— Money where their mouth is: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is working with 32 corporate partners who have collectively donated more than $2 million to the organization’s Economic Empowerment Institute. The program aims to close the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship, home ownership and job training.
— For art’s sake: Eleven artists will split $547,310 in funding from E(art)h Chicago, pronounced Earth Art Chicago. Most of their art projects will be created in “communities facing environmental injustices or those with limited public art,” according to organizers. The Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation initiated the project to promote awareness of climate change and environmental justice.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to comms consultant Jim Bray for correctly answering that the late Terry Michael was the Daily Illini sportswriter who went on to be press spokesman for the Illinois House Democrats in the ‘70s, for the late Sen. Paul Simon when he served in the U.S. House, and for the Democratic National Committee, where he worked from 1983-87. He later drew controversy for his views on HIV-AIDS.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which former member of Congress began his career as a chemical engineer and retired as a member of the board of a brewery? Email [email protected]
State Sen. Bill Cunningham, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Erika Orr, Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Mulroe, NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing Executive Director Mark Swartz, Ray Lopez mayoral campaign spokesperson Enza Raineri and PR pro Amanda Berrios.
July 21, 2022 at 08:50AM