Happy August, Illinois. It’s 99 days until Election Day.
Maybe we’re stating the obvious, but two revelations emerged in last week’s dramatic showdown for Illinois Democratic Party chair.
Gov. JB Pritzker’s wallet speaks volumes, and Congressman Chuy Garcia is a deal-maker set on expanding his power. The combination of the two propelled state Rep. Lisa Hernandez to be elected party chair on Saturday.
Garcia and three Latino lawmakers who sit on the Democratic Central Committee announced they would endorse Hernandez, who was Pritzker’s pick for the post over Congresswoman Robin Kelly. Realizing she didn’t have the votes, Kelly dropped her bid to keep the chair. She still has a seat on the committee.
The buzz is that Garcia negotiated with Pritzker and, after some additional coaxing, state Sens. Omar Aquino and Cristina Castro, and state Rep. Delia Ramirez all fell in line.
Up until Friday, the thinking among some political observers was that Garcia and Ramirez, who both are expected to win congressional seats in November, might support Kelly given she would be a fellow Democratic ally in Washington.
But money talks, and Pritzker — thanks to Garcia’s support — now has control of the Illinois Democratic Party after a campaign revealed racial tensions and infighting. Watch for big donations to the party from the billionaire governor.
Hernandez, the first Latina chair of the Illinois Democratic Party, isn’t giving interviews yet but read a statement after she was elected Saturday at a Democratic State Central Committee meeting in Springfield.
“I vow to continue listening to voices of Democrats across the state and will focus on building a party as diverse as Illinois,” she said.
What’s next: Hernandez will spend the coming weeks talking to Central Committee members and party staffers to “understand their needs,” according to a person close to Hernandez. She won’t be making any staff changes soon.
Another winner in this contest: House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch endorsed Hernandez, likely assuring that Pritzker also will open his checkbook to help House Dems hold on to their super-majority.
Everything is reciprocal. Helping fund Welch’s House Dems means Pritzker won’t ever have a problem getting legislation passed through the General Assembly. And in return, Welch saves enough incumbents that he can hold on to his gavel in January when House lawmakers vote on whether to keep him as speaker.
— The vote by the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee followed weeks of intense lobbying, report Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Rick Pearson
— Here’s Kelly’s farewell speech at Saturday’s meeting.
Lollapalooza here for 10 more years. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took the stage Sunday night in Grant Park to announce that Lollapalooza’s production company C3 Presents and the City of Chicago have agreed on a deal that keeps the annual concert in the city through 2032 with an option to extend it another five years. Here’s Lightfoot making the announcement
“I’m here to tell you that Lolla, all the great work, all the fabulous music, will continue for 10 more years,” Lightfoot told the crowd. “That’s 10 more years of music, of arts, of support for the City of Chicago. Four billion dollars in economic impact, 10 more years.”
Festival founderPerry Farrell joined Lightfoot on stage for the announcement as the weekend closed out and right before headliner J-Hope performed.
How the deal works, according to a statement from the mayor’s office
- The Chicago Park District receives a share of all C3 revenue streams ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on total festival revenue.
- C3 commits $2.2 million to Chicago Public Schools and additional capital funding for the Chicago Park District for a Grant Park Tennis Court renovation project.
- The festival will be held on the last weekend of July or the first weekend in August of each year during the term.
- C3 guarantees a minimum payment to the Chicago Park District of $2 million if a four-day festival is held, $1.5 million if a three-day festival is held and $750,000 if no festival is held.
- The maximum number of attendees for the festival at any time shall not exceed 115,000.
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No official public events.
On Cottage Grove Avenue at 1:30 p.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Discover Call Center and ShineBright Community Center.
In a virtual panel at 1 p.m. to discuss “federal evidence-based policy” with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs’ Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Department of Transportation’s Robert Hampshire, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Washington state county exec Dow Constantine. Register here
— An Illinois abortion clinic on the Wisconsin border is a window into the post-Roe world: “Abortion providers from Wisconsin are making two-hour treks each way, hoping to help provide access in Illinois to patients from their home state,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch
— Schools ‘cautiously optimistic’ about new year, but COVID-19 worries linger, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta
— Potawatomi Nation’s decades-long effort to reclaim land near DeKalb could be settled by Congress, by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin
— Winning $1.34B Mega Millions jackpot bought in Des Plaines: Here’s what winner should do, by The Associated Press’ Don Babwin
— INVESTIGATION | Sewage sludge contaminated with toxic forever chemicals spread on thousands of acres of Chicago-area farmland: “Most of the fetid muck is dumped on farmland. During the past six years alone, federal records show, more than 615,000 tons of sludge from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has been plowed into 29,000 acres near the nation’s third largest city. (All of that land combined is roughly the size of west suburban Aurora.),” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— Google turns up big in Chicago’s search for a benefactor: “In buying the Thompson Center, the search engine company is helping state and local governments answer some knotty questions. But will the partnership go a tiny bit further?” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
— Thompson Center sculpture heading to new home: “With the state of Illinois selling the building to Google, the sculpture, once dubbed ‘Snoopy in a Blender,’ will move to the former BMO Harris Bank building at 115 S. LaSalle St. That building was recently purchased by the state to replace some of the office space lost with the Thompson Center sale,” by Sun-Times’ Jordan Perkins.
— Ebony, Jet photo archives are headed to the Smithsonian: “The museum and J. Paul Getty Trust will digitize and make available material that documents African American life for most of the 20th century,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Chicago’s humanity shows through, sometimes in surprising ways, writes Crain’s Greg Hinz in a story about how he lost his wallet on the CTA only to have someone turn it in. Miracles do happen.
— ‘The Bear’ is the breakout TV series of summer, thanks to its supporting cast: “Set in an old-school Italian beef joint, the hit series gets Chicago mostly right, courtesy of the local actors it sourced from theaters, restaurants and all walks of life,” by Kerry Cardoza for WBEZ.
— Veteran prosecutor slams Kim Foxx in blistering resignation letter: ‘Zero confidence’ in her leadership: “James Murphy, a longtime assistant state’s attorney, zeroed in on many of the issues that have made Foxx a target for opponents, arguing she’s gone easy on some defendants accused of violent crime,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout and Michael Sneed.
— New 911 response alternatives find early success, but also limits in urgent mental-health treatment, by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova and Robert McCoppin
— Targeted in a hate crime over kid-friendly drag show, Lake in the Hills bakery can no longer host public events: “Village officials ordered UpRising Bakery and Cafe to stop hosting events because it isn’t zoned for entertainment. Owner Corrina Sac called the move discriminatory ‘and a conspiracy to interfere with my business,’” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— 25 Chicagoland moms are participating in a three-year pilot program to further invest in their academic careers, by Tribune’s Tatyana Turner
— Warrenville city administrator charged with lewd exposure, via WSPY News
We asked for your Lollapalooza moments:
Shelby Smith: “When Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine sang to the oncoming thunderstorm in 2015. Turning around from the stage you could see lightning around the skyscrapers.”
Johnny Buse, a teacher at Mather High School: “In 2008, the crowd for Rage Against the Machine absolutely plowed forward in a crush when the music started up. I remember being picked up off my feet and moved forward 50 feet toward the stage. Zack de la Rocha stopped the set and calmed the crowd multiple times so people could reset. It was an amazing show with some wild and healthy mosh pits.”
What book changed the trajectory of your life? Email [email protected]
— Final vote count confirms former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran is GOP nominee for Illinois Supreme Court: “The race had remained too close to call following last month’s election, with Curran maintaining a small lead over opponent Daniel Shanes, a sitting Lake County circuit judge,” by Tribune’s Emily Hoerner
— OPINION | Darren Bailey calls Chicago ‘a city in crisis’: “The problem is not a lack of resources but rather a lack of accountability,” he writes in the Tribune.
— 2023 MAYOR’s RACE | Paul Vallas rubs shoulders with the far right: “The mayoral candidate spoke at a fundraiser for a group that has promoted transphobic rhetoric,” by Chicago Reader’s Kelly Garcia.
LAKE COUNTY POLITICS: Keith Brin, a former clerk of the Lake County Circuit Court, is the new chair of the Lake County Republican Central Committee. The former chair, Mark Shaw, moves into a leadership role with Mark Curran’s campaign for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court, reports Lake County News-Sun’s Steve Sadin.
Brin was the only nominee. Your Playbook host mistakenly wrote last week that he defeated Shaw for party chairman. In fact, Shaw didn’t stand for reelection after serving three terms.
Leadership of the Lake County Democrats remained unchanged as former state Rep. Lauren Beth Gash was reelected chair at that party’s biennial convention.
— Manchin to Sinema: Believe in this bill, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— House votes to reinstate ‘assault weapons’ ban for first time in decades, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris and Jordain Carney …
— GOP fights to reclaim Arizona school chief seat, by POLITICO’s Juan Perez Jr.
— The web is home to an illegal bazaar for abortion pills. The FDA is ill-equipped to stop it, by POLITICO’s Ruth Reader
— Chicago native Nichelle Nichols, Lieutenant Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 89: “She was among the first Black women to have a leading role in a TV series. She later worked with NASA to recruit minorities for the space program,” writes The New York Times.
Nichols was born in the Chicago suburb of Robbins, where her father served as mayor. The family later moved to Chicago, and Nichols attended Englewood High School. She was a singer, involved in theater and was booked at Hugh Hefner’s Chicago Playboy Club. She performed in New York, too, before landing on ‘Star Trek."
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted a tribute: “Nichelle“Nichelle was a trailblazer, paving the way for Black women on the small and big screen alike.”
— Obama on Bill Russell: ‘Today we lost a giant,’ by POLITICO’s David Cohen
— Raymond Allen Murray Jr., one of the Montford Point Marines who broke color barrier in the service in WWII, dead at 99, by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell
It’s a baby girl for CNN anchor Laura Jarrett, Valerie Jarrett’s daughter: “June Tahay ‘has a big appetite and a big voice,’ the proud mom says of her new bundle of joy,” via BET.
— Joe Hackler is now an accounts manager at Arena, a political consulting firm. He has spent the last three years at the Illinois GOP, where he was comms director.
— Chanda Daniels has been named comms director of Common Justice, a nonprofit that promotes anti-violence programs. She was comms director for Rep. Lauren Underwood.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to John McCabe for correctly answering that Richard Morrison was known as the babbling burglar in the Summerdale Scandal.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Illinois member of Congress who appeared on two TV game shows? Email [email protected]
Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Crawford, chief of staff to Congressman Danny Davis Tumia Romero, CTA comms director Steve Mayberry, and former Illinois Film Office head Brenda Sexton.
August 1, 2022 at 07:22AM