Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. National Democratic Party folks are in town, so mind your p’s and q’s.
A group of Republican state legislators who support former President Donald Trump have called on the Illinois GOP to censure Congressman Adam Kinzinger for “incendiary language, wild exaggeration and personal opinions” during the House select committee’s hearings investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
But GOP governor candidate Darren Bailey, who’s backed by Trump, and Illinois Republican Party President Don Tracy are ignoring the request, signaling a division within the party as the General Election approaches in November.
Political pivot: Bailey and Tracy issued statements worded the same way that address party kumbaya, not Kinzinger. “The Illinois GOP is focused on uniting the party to defeat Gov. [JB] Pritzker in November and make Illinois a safe and affordable place for people to live. That’s what Republicans are rallying around. That is our priority."
The message being: Bailey and party leaders are working together after a bitter primary and in spite of their historically divergent political views within the Republican Party. Bailey’s far-right-leaning politics holds sway Downstate but not so much in Chicago.
It’s counter to Bailey’s positionlast year when he urged the GOP to “condemn” Kinzinger’s “personal and political attack” on Trump.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus didn’t talk to Bailey about its current stand. In an interview with Playbook, Downstate state Rep. Adam Niemerg called the Jan. 6 committee’s work “a sham process."
Niemerg said Kinzinger’s comments during last week’s prime-time Jan. 6 hearing prompted the request for censure. Kinzinger called Trump’s conduct “a supreme violation of his oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Kinzinger was censured: The LaSalle County Republican Central Committee passed a resolution last year to censure the Illinois congressman after he voted to impeach Trump. And the Republican National Committee voted earlier this year to censure Kinzinger and Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming for “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens.”
It’s a message echoed by Niemerg, who says Kinzinger and Cheney are "never-Trumpers" who don’t count as Republicans. Without a “truly bipartisan” committee, the hearings aren’t “open and transparent.”
Niemerg and the four other conservatives urging censure are also members of the unofficial “Eastern Bloc,” a group of far-right House Republicans that have bumped heads with the more mainstream GOP leaders. The group famously carried legislation calling for Chicago to be secede from the rest of the state. Bailey was a co-sponsor of the bill when he served in the House, but he’s since disavowed the idea.
Bailey has also distanced himself from the "Eastern Bloc" since being elected a state senator and running for governor. And though he attended a kickoff event for the Illinois Freedom Caucus a few months ago, he’s not a member.
That’s not to say he’s changing course. Bailey embraces his endorsement of Trump and is outspoken about supporting gun rights and opposing abortion.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus consists of five conservative Republicans serving in the Illinois House, including state Rep. Chris Miller, a cattle farmer and grain operator who’s married to far-right Congresswoman Mary Miller. They attended a rally at the Capitol a day before the Jan. 6 attack. Other members include Brad Halbrook, Blaine Wilhour, and Dan Caulkins.
— Trump speaks at 3 p.m. ET at the America First Agenda Summit. Stream it via C-SPAN
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has laid out her plan for the Chicago Bears stadium and surrounding Museum Campus. She wants to build a $2.2 billion dome over the stadium and pay for it in part by selling naming rights. Details are in this 50-page report.
The costs: “The mayor refused to say how she planned to bankroll a domed and expanded Soldier Field. She didn’t rule out building the dome without the Bears, noting ‘plenty of cities’ have had two NFL franchises,” writes the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
Big ideas: “The task force recommended transforming Solidarity Drive into a year-round plaza, creating educational programs for kids and adding large-scale art to rejuvenate the campus. The report also recommended improving CTA service and reducing traffic in the area,” Tribune’s Gregory Pratt writes.
Bear down, Chicago Bears: One expert questions whether a stadium is really worth the investment. VIDEO from presentation via WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky and Heather Cherone
Richard Price, Mesirow chairman and CEO who led the working group, addressed the need Monday for transportation improvements, saying “we all know that it’s a challenge getting here and getting around. That has to be part of the solution.”
What the Bears say: The only potential project they’re exploring for a new stadium is in northwest suburban Arlington Heights, reports WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.
The idea is already getting pushback: Former Gov. Pat Quinn, who might be eyeing a run for mayor, says he’ll introduce a citizen ordinance calling for “a citywide referendum to protect the good name of Soldier Field and prevent the mayor and others from selling naming rights to Soldier Field.”
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
In the Fulton Market neighborhood at 10:15 a.m. with DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Chuy Garcia and Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Illinois Democratic Party chair.
At the same event in the Fulton Market neighborhood at 10:15 a.m.
At Chicago Botanic Garden at 10 a.m. to preside over a meeting of the Cook County Forest Preserves.
Congresswoman Kelly tells NBC News’ Natasha Korecki it’s “disappointing” that the governor isn’t offering her his support for the state party chair position. Asked whether Pritzker had reached out behind the scenes or had warned he would back someone else, Kelly responded: “No, no and no.”
— House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch has formed working groups around four hot-button issues leading up to the next legislative session — a veto session in November. Here’s the lineup:
Reproductive Health and the Dobbs Decision Working Group, led by Rep. Kelly Cassidy. Members: Reps. Dagmara Avelar, Lakesia Collins, Terra Costa Howard, Margaret Croke, LaToya Greenwood, Greg Harris, Anna Moeller and Ann Williams.
Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group, led by Rep. Bob Morgan, who was at the Highland Park parade when a gunman opened fire July 4. Members: Reps. La Shawn Ford, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Sonya Harper, Barbara Hernandez, Maura Hirschauer, Jay Hoffman, Nick Smith, Denyse Stoneback, Kathleen Willis and Lance Yednock.
Mental Health Working Group, led by Rep. Deb Conroy. Members: Reps. Fred Crespo, Mary Flowers, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Will Guzzardi, Fran Hurley, Lindsey LaPointe, Camille Lilly, Rita Mayfield, Michelle Mussman, Bob Rita and Maurice West.
Social Media and Online Extremism Working Group, led by Rep. Jaime Andrade. Members: Reps. Carol Ammons, Jonathan Carroll, Daniel Didech, Edgar Gonzalez, Stephanie Kifowit, Lamont Robinson, Curtis Tarver and Michael Zalewski.
— A new study found millennials didn’t stray far from where they grew up: “Three quarters of young adults who grew up in the Chicago area stayed there. Throughout the state, Rockford was the top destination for millennials who moved away and stayed in Illinois,” by The Associated Press.
— Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visits Aurora academy to get look at its science and technology programs, by Aurora Beacon-News Steve Lord
— Tentative deal offers new chance to end construction strike: “Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers said members will vote Tuesday on an offer that could put about 300 members back on the job after a seven-week walkout,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
— State Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has filed a legislative package “that seeks to prevent any future utility price spikes and rolling blackouts by securing Illinois’ energy producing capabilities,” according to her team.
— SPOTLIGHT | Downstate’s warshed-up accent: “The ‘intrusive r” and other ways in which Midlanders misuse the English language.” Fun piece by Chicago magazine’s Edward McClelland.
— Labor shortage drives fierce competition in Chicago hospitality industry, with cash promises and on-the-spot job offers, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta and Sarah Freishta
— 16 CHA employees fired, 1 resigns after accused of defrauding federal program, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— Chicago Board of Education to vote on $10M school resource officer contract renewal, by WTTW’s Matt Masterson
— Former Marshall basketball standout Dyanla Rainey shot and killed in her driveway, by Sun-Times’ Michael O’Brien and Andy Grimm
— Goodman Theatre names first female artistic director in 97 years: Susan V. Booth takes over Oct. 3, reports Daily Herald’s Barbara Vitello
Debate over CTA safety reignites after Red Line rider pulls knife on 7 robbers, killing 15-year-old who police say had a gun: “It was the second time in three days that a Red Line rider used a knife to fend off a large group, and it comes as the CTA has had problems hiring unarmed guards,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos and David Struett.
— In first Highland Park council meeting since mass shooting, mayor renews call for federal assault weapons ban: “In a report following the mayor’s remarks, city manager Ghida Neukirch said 115 agencies responded to the shooting, including 74 law enforcement agencies and 25 fire departments,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Collecting stories. State Rep. Bob Morgan’s office is collecting stories from survivors and witnesses of the Highland Park Shooting. Fill out the form here
— West Chicago is cleaning up the last of its nuclear contamination. Residents exposed to radiation say ‘it’s not over,’ by Liuan Huska in Borderless Magazine
County Commissioner Donna Miller has received an achievement award from the National Association of Counties for her efforts developing a countywide CPR and AED awareness and training campaign for all Cook County employees.
We asked what you do to get motivated:
Attorney Graham Grady thinks about “the sacrifices that my ancestors made — enslaved in southern Kentucky, serving and dying in the Union Army during the Civil War, suffering through the Jim Crow era, serving in segregated Army units in WWI and WWII and the myriad forms of discrimination along the way ranging from redlining to more subtle bias. I think about how fortunate I am to have the advantages they never had yet am aware of the racism that my generation still experiences. That motivates me.”
Janice Anderson says she’s “motivated by a desire to succeed, even if I’m not always successful. It’s enough to get me moving. That, and going to the fitness center at 5 a.m. every morning.”
Robert Christie: “I think back to my high school football days and the two-a-day practices in August in West Central Illinois when the heat AND humidity would both be in the 90s. Days before Gatorade, and we’d have water breaks where we would drink salt water out of tin buckets. I tell myself if I could survive that experience, I certainly can get through this challenge.”
Do you trust what elected officials say or take it with a grain of salt? Email [email protected]
Indiana statehouse swarmed by protesters as lawmakers debate new abortion ban: “Indiana is the first state legislature to take up a sweeping new ban since Roe v. Wade was overturned,” by POLITICO’s Adam Wren.
— Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) was part of a delegation that met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Quigley, who cochairs the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released a statement, saying he’s “deeply moved by the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people." He praised Ukrainians for working to rebuild "even as they continue defending their nation in the east.”
— Congressman Rodney Davis pushes for bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act: “The bill would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), two policies which negatively impact public sector employees and their spouses,” by Illinois Public Media’s Harrison Malkin.
— Biden’s gas price nightmare is America’s future, by POLITICO’s Ben Lefebvre
— The GOP’s messiest primary is in Michigan, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro
— Biden goes silent after SCOTUS gives him power to nix Trump immigration policy, by POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodriguez
— Greitens drops to third place in Missouri Senate GOP primary after domestic abuse allegations, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison
— How an AP reporter broke the Tuskegee syphilis story, by The Associated Press
David Prosperi has been named executive VP and managing director of KemperLesnik, a Chicago-based public relations, brand activation and events agency. Prosperi will oversee the PR and content businesses. Prosperi had headed comms at Options Clearing Corporation, Aon, CME Group and the Chicago Board of Trade. Politicos know him for his work as an assistant White House press secretary under President Ronald Reagan and assistant secretary of the USDOT under Secretary Sam Skinner.
Jessica Lach is now governmental policy specialist at Vivid Seats. She was chief of staff to state Rep. Margaret Croke and digital campaign manager for Save the Children in DC.
Dan Surowiec has been hired as chief information officer at the law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to oversee all technology systems across the 30-office global firm. Surowiec joins from Baker McKenzie, where he was global CIO for the past decade
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Clem Balanoff and Andy Shaw for correctly answering that before he was an elected official, Paul Simon gained national attention testifying before the Kefauver Committee examining organized crime.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the prominent Illinois congressman who admitted the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton was, in part, payback for the Democrats’ treatment of President Richard Nixon over Watergate? Email [email protected]
Former Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson, former Ald. Michael R. Zalewski, public affairs consultant Thom Serafin, SEIU Local 1 political director Mario Lopez, Earthy founder John Vlahakis, former University of Illinois administrator Barry Munitz and Chicago Bear-turned-free-agent Tarik Cohen.
July 26, 2022 at 07:53AM