Happy Tuesday, Illinois. One day, the trivia question will ask who said: “They even broke into my safe.”
In Illinois, we’re accustomed to the feds dropping by unannounced at the homes and offices of political bigwigs. Yet, it was still a shock Monday to learn that the FBI had descended on former President Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“It was a historic step by the Justice Department and FBI to investigate the residence of a former president, who is battling an increasingly complex thicket of legal threats. No former president — particularly one who is openly considering another bid for the Oval Office — has faced such a public law enforcement action,” according to POLITICO’s Jonathan Lemire, Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu.
The investigation centers on alleged mishandling of White House records, including potentially classified material, according to our report.
It goes back to a letter written in February from the national archivist of the United States, about Trump holding on to boxes marked “classified.”
The Mar-a-Lago search was stealth. No showboating, as some have experienced in Chicago, where federal agents have been known to be photographed carrying out boxes of questionable stuff.
So far, there’s no information that might reveal that a "tuna" has landed, as Chicago Ald. Ed Burke mentioned in secret recordings obtained by the feds when his home and office were raided. (How ironic that Burke was once the tax attorney for Trump in dealing with his Chicago property.)
No, AG Merrick Garland, an Illinois native no less, has so far kept his lips sealed as to what the Justice Department and FBI are looking for.
Here’s what we do know:
“They even broke into my safe," Trump himself said in a lengthy statement decrying the FBI search.
Trump was not present (He was in New York.) but was informed of the raid by his son, Eric Trump.
Trump attorney Christina Bobb was present during the search.
President Joe Biden didn’t know: Top White House officials were not given advance notice of the raid, two sources familiar with the matter said, according to POLITICO’s report.
DeSantis comes to Trump’s defense after FBI search, by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon, based in Florida
House GOP vows to probe FBI in 2023, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers
Trump is already fundraising off the search.
What it all means: August suddenly got a lot more interesting.
ABOUT THE MAYOR’s RACE: Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t endorsing anyone quite yet, but said on Monday it’s “absolutely untrue” that he’d like Congressman Chuy Garcia to run for mayor.
John Catanzara isn’t running for mayor either, he told ABC 7’s Craig Wall.
And (news scoop) Gery Chico, who’s already run twice for mayor, is still mulling it over. Maybe three times is a charm. Chico, an attorney who served as chief of staff to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, also ran for mayor in 2011 and 2019.
All this mayoral buzz is getting louder because candidates for the 2023 Chicago municipal elections will start circulating petitions Aug. 30. They’re due Nov. 28, a few weeks after the Nov. 8 General Election.
So, the big question will be whether candidates — winners or losers — from Nov. 8 then pivot to run for a municipal job, mayor, city clerk, treasurer or alderman.
It wouldn’t be the first time: Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who was victorious in her statewide race in 2018, made the jump to run for mayor. She pulled out all the stops to gather signatures in the two weeks between the statewide race and the deadline for petitions. We imagine it made Thanksgiving fun.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
At the White House at 9 a.m. CT to join the president and other legislators for the signing of the CHIPS and Science Act.
At Navy Pier at 9 a.m. along with Superintendent David Brown for the Chicago Police Department Graduation and Promotions Ceremony.
No official public events.
— LEGISLATIVE LOBBING: It was “a bipartisan battery” with state Rep. Bob Rita, a Blue Island Democrat, pitching and state Rep. Avery Bourne, a Morrison Republican, catching for Team Illinois in the annual softball game against Team Missouri. Illinois’ secret weapon was state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, who played softball in college. Missouri won, 8-6, reports Lee Enterprises political reporter Brenden Moore, who called the game via Twitter
— Pritzker, Lightfoot roll out welcome mat for Indiana businesses in wake of new abortion restrictions in Hoosier State: “Already I’ve reached out to companies that are affected in Indiana,” Pritzker said. “I want to make sure that they know that they’re welcome in Illinois,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner, Robert McCoppin and Alexandra Kukulka.
— Colleges, universities across Illinois begin monkeypox prep with students set to return this month, by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan …
… Officials: A central Illinois day care worker has monkeypox, via The Associated Press
— With soaring inflation, Chicago parents are searching for back-to-school deals: “To combat rising prices, the state sales tax on school materials, including clothing, has been reduced from 6.25 percent to 1.25 percent through Aug. 14,” WBEZ’s Clare Lane and the Associated Press’ John O’Connor.
— Illinois Dems’ action on assault weapons doesn’t match rhetoric: by WGN 9’s Ben Bradley
— What’s with the simplified license plate stickers? “Because of supply shortages, the company that makes the durable, adhesive paper couldn’t produce the stickers in the usual format,” reports Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.
— Despite differences, police unions endorse Bailey for governor, because he backs officers ‘unlike any of the politicians in this state’: “Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police President Chris Southwood stood with Bailey, who denounced Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx as ‘the three musketeers of crime,’” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.
— Burr Ridge mayor denounces GOP’s Bailey: “Mayor Gary Grasso asked Darren Bailey to withdraw, calling him an ‘albatross at the top of the ticket,’” by Patch’s David Giuliani.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Vote Yes For Workers’ Rights, a coalition of labor unions, community organizations and supporters, has launched its first TV and digital ad buy ahead of the general election. The ad, titled My Job, features a nurse on the night shift talking about why he supports the Workers’ Rights Amendment. The $174,000 in TV ads will run statewide starting today through Aug. 28.
— BALLOT QUESTION: Should mental health professionals, instead of police, respond to some 911 calls? A ballot measure in November would ask some Chicago voters, reports Tribune’s Alice Yin
— GOP to appoint new state House candidate after Bruzan Taylor bows out, by Daily Herald’s Katlyn Smith
— Pritzker, Lightfoot tout city’s $422M deal for green energy: “You’re really making clean energy the standard for buildings and for residents throughout our city,” the governor said at a news conference at the Chicago Urban League, Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports. …
… When it begins: Construction on the generator, known as Double Black Diamond Solar, is set to start before the end of the year, and generate 593 megawatts annually, reports WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Agreement to keep Lollapalooza in Chicago calls for tighter rules on competing Grant Park music fests and raises the number of fans allowed, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig and Tracy Swartz
— After Highland Park massacre, officials ‘really focused’ on rooftops along Bud Billiken Parade route, top cop says, by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba and Mariah Rush
— Uptown is one of the highest ranked areas for rich-poor friendships, a new study finds, WBEZ’s Charmaine Runes
— Groupon lays off 500 workers, mostly from Chicago, reports Crain’s John Pletz
— Cubs will wear cream-colored uniforms that harken back to the late 1920s, by Sun-Times’ John Silver and Maddie Lee
— Clerk of Cook County courts calls for more security after Daley Center breach: “Iris Martinez says a female clerk was alone in the courtroom when an angry party to a case broke through a locked door on July 28,” by WBEZ’ Dan Mihalopoulos.
— Wheeling, Buffalo Grove and Lombard among towns adding EV charging stations through new grants, by Daily Herald’s Steve Zalusky
— Illinois consumers sue health insurer Centene, saying they couldn’t find in-network doctors, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker
— Parents of Christopher Vaughn sue Will County state’s attorney, others as bid for freedom continues: “Vaughn’s parents argue they’ve lost time and income traveling to see their son in prison. Vaughn is being held in Pinckneyville Correctional Center, serving four life sentences for the murders of his wife and three children,” Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.
— Clayco founder Robert G. Clark has been elected to the board of Loyola University Chicago. He’s returning to the board after wrapping up his appointment as U.S. Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai. Also named to Loyola’s board: Old St. Patrick’s pastor Patrick E. McGrath and Edward Siebert, a rector and senior lecturer in the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
— Anthony Byrd has been appointed to the Illinois State University Board of Trustees. In his day job, Byrd is a special offender specialist in the U.S. Pretrial Service Office and is an adjunct criminal justice instructor for Lindenwood University.
— Sylvia Puente has been appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Puente is president and CEO of the Latino Policy Forum, a position she has held since 2009. She previously was the director of the Metropolitan Chicago Initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies.
We asked whether the shape of a pizza slice matters, and apparently it really does:
Art Friedson, political commentator: “Having lived in the Midwest for nearly twice as long as my native New York, the one thing I have never gotten used to is the idea of cutting a perfectly good pizza into a million little pieces. How do you know how much you ate? What’s the ratio of little squares to a slice? Moreover, how do you eat it? When you fold a slice, you have a handy handle that keeps your fingers clean.”
Dennis Johnson, a retired math teacher from Murphysboro: “Only when you are calculating per square inch cost.”
Anabel Abarca, associate at Faegre Drinker: “It would be blasphemous to go with anything but small squares.”
Ed Mazur of City Club: “I prefer triangle since it can easily fit into the mouth. Squares and rectangles are simply too large for most mouths to accept without using a knife and/or fork. Utensils are for salad.”
Warren Silver, an attorney, says whatever you do, “Don’t try to eat deep dish pizza cut in squares. Thin crust, absolutely. But not deep dish.”
Diane Scott of Green Residents of Westchester Ecological Commission: “Gotta be square and better be from Q’s in Hillside or Rocky’s in Westchester.”
John Mark Hansen, political science professor: “New Haven coal-oven pizza and New York Sicilian are always cut in squares, but only triangles make sense for Chicago deep dish.”
Fred Lebed, Prairie Consulting CEO: “It matters. Squares!”
Mark Michaels, candidate coach: “Squares and rectangles are yucky. They are too messy to manage. Give me a nice, tasty triangle any day. And it has nothing to do with my being from Philly.”
Eileen Dordek, former legislative candidate: “As the sister-in-law to Steve Dolinsky, the Food Guy and Pizza City USA entrepreneur, I have to go with square because the tavern style was invented in Chicago and is the REAL Chicago style.”
Stephen Rosenblat, retired campaign operative: “Tavern style squares, thick slices.”
Robert Christie, government relations expert: “Squares because I strongly prefer thin crust tavern style pizza.”
Tammy Hansen, librarian guru: “I prefer the traditional triangle. But if it’s good, it can be a rhomboid for all I care!”
Joe Desparrois: “It is inconceivable to think of cutting pizza anyway but square. Triangle or rectangle is for food-courts.”
Sol Ross says “square for thin-crust pizza; triangle for deep-dish; and rectangle only if you’re a savage.”
What item did you take on your way out the door from an old job? Email [email protected]
Kinzinger allies launch ‘pro-democracy’ candidate recruitment program: “The nonprofit aligned with the retiring GOP congressman aims to be a counterweight to MAGA efforts to control election offices,” by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro.
— Republicans turn on each other amid post-Roe chaos, by POLITICO’s Megan Messerly and Alice Miranda Ollstein
— Man who shot Ahmaud Arbery gets life sentence for hate crime, via The Associated Press
— Welcome to the strangest Senate race in America, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Lucia Calderon is now chief of staff to Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th). Calderon has worked in Chicago’s 25th Ward office for the past two years as director of community relations and as the interim chief of staff. In her new role she’ll oversee constituent services, the alderman’s legislative agenda, and staff management.
— John Escalante, the police chief at Northeastern Illinois University, has retired after six years with NEIU. Cindy Guerra, current assistant administrative director of the NEIU Police Department, becomes interim chief while the university works to fill the permanent position, according to the school. Escalante landed at NEIU after serving as the No. 2 in command with the Chicago Police Department, where he served for 30 years.
— Ron Nunziato joins Health Care Council of Illinois as senior director of policy and regulatory affairs. Previously, Nunziato was CEO of Extended Care Consulting. He serves on the board of advisors for the Illinois Department of Public Health, having been appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker in 2018.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Janice Anderson for correctly answering that Congressman Mike Quigley got his political start as an aide for Alderman Bernie Hanson.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Illinois high school is the basis for the musical “Grease”? Email [email protected]
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Greg Ahern, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, civic leader Nora Daley and activist and mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green.
And hat tip and condolences for any confusion about our mistakenly listing the late state Sen. Bill Haine in Monday’s birthday list. He died in 2021. Playbook talked to his wife, Anna, who said, "I am so grateful for the 50 years of marriage I shared with Bill."
August 9, 2022 at 07:59AM