Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney invoked Lincoln and chided Trump in her concession speech.
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Democratic Central Committee held its first meeting under newly elected chair state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, who announced her deputies and a plan to change the organization’s bylaws — a move that drew some pushback from committee members.
The new officers: Congressman Bobby Rush is vice chair. State Sen. Omar Aquino is secretary. And Patrick Croke, an attorney whose firm deals in cryptocurrency and digital assets, is interim treasurer (That position does not need to be a member of the committee.). Croke is the husband of state Rep. Margaret Croke, who is a committee member, along with Rush and Aquino.
Bylaws brouhaha: Hernandez also told the group gathered at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall in Springfield that she’s revamping bylaws to better handle how the committee should operate when a federally elected officer is named chairman.
It’s the issue that divided Dems in the recent inter-party election. Hernandez’s predecessor, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, couldn’t raise state funds because of election rules on what a federal officer can and can’t do. The Central Committee had created a sub-committee to handle state fundraising, but Gov. JB Pritzker, who sits at the top of the state party, said the fix wasn’t working. He pushed to get Hernandez elected chair instead.
The Illinois Democratic Party is now contracting with Elias Law Group’s Sarah Mahmood, who was hired by Pritzker (He uses the law firm for other matters.). Mahmood will pull together bylaws that draw clear lines about how to handle the chairmanship in the future when a federal office holder becomes chair, replacing the fix that Kelly’s team put together.
Inside baseball, but … Having an attorney handle this instead of the committee raised eyebrows at Tuesday’s meeting.
Some committee members are concerned that they’re not being consulted on the front-end of the process. Instead, Hernandez said committee members will have a chance to give their two cents after the bylaws are drafted. A vote won’t be called until everyone weighs in, she said.
Michael Cabonargi made a motion for a “bylaws committee” to be created, rather than using an outside attorney. Fellow committee member Bill Houlihan chimed in that he agreed.
But Hernandez stuck to her plan, saying she didn’t think a smaller, standing committee would give everyone a voice.
State Sen. Cristina Castro isn’t bothered that an attorney will draw up the bylaws. She compares it to a legislator working with legal expertise on legislation.
But another committee member told Playbook, “It feels like they’re shoving it down our throats.” Why not just create a committee that also includes the attorney, they asked rhetorically.
Also at the meeting … Outgoing Executive Director Abby Witt gave her farewell speech, ticking off her team’s accomplishments, including modernizing the party to be more service-oriented and proactive, increasing media presence across the state and adding regional organizers to connect voters and volunteers to local campaigns.
And Ben Hardin, who’s now the coordinated campaign director, shared his goals for the party: to win seats by ramping up get out the vote efforts. Hardin previously was chief of staff to Congresswoman Marie Newman.
Darren Bailey has made a major pivot. His team told reporter Mark Maxwell that “Mike Pence followed the constitutional process" and "Joe Biden is the duly elected president."
Jan. 6 connection: Bailey made his comments in response to a former campaign aide being charged in the attack on the Capitol, according to KSDK’s Maxwell.
‘Definitive’ pivot: “Those comments may represent the most definitive statement from Bailey’s campaign to date about the outcome of the 2020 election and could be another sign Republicans fear litigating the last election might interfere with their designs to win a statewide race in 2022 in a state where Joe Biden won handily,” reports Maxwell.
Don’t go thinking Bailey is woke. On Tuesday, the GOP candidate for governor stood with members of Awake Illinois, an anti-mask, anti-LGBTQ and anti-Critical Race Theory organization, protesting at the state Capitol. Bailey stressed the importance of fighting for “these freedoms that are being taken away from us,” report Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Dan Petrella.
And then there’s the unfortunate coincidence of Bailey’s multiple campaign events with the same gun store where the accused Highland Park mass murderer later bought his gun, according to Vice’s Cameron Joseph.
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 BOS Center in Springfield at 9 a.m. for the Illinois Democratic County Chairs annual brunch. — At the Director’s Lawn at the State Fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m. for a rally and performance by country singer Chris Young.
No official public events.
No official public events.
The weather cooperated for hobnobbing around town last night. Lawmakers and lobbyists couldn’t believe the comfortable temps, remembering summer days during fair week when your feet melted into the asphalt, as state Senate President Don Harmon put it while holding court at Illinois Association of Beer Distributors building for the Senate Democratic Caucus rally.
What’s cooking: The Illinois AFL-CIO’s Vote Yes for Workers Rights Cookout drew a “taking names” crowd, including Gov. JB Pritzker, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Secretary of State Jesse White, Secretary of State candidate Alexi Giannoulias, congressional candidate Delia Ramirez, state Rep. Kelly Burke and state Sen. Ram Villivalam.
— Former Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman is endorsing Rep. Bill Foster’s reelection bid in the IL-11 congressional race.
— Esther Joy King has been endorsed by Tea Party Express, billed as “the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee.” King is the Republican in the IL-17 congressional race.
— Ad swap: In its latest ad, the People Who Play By The Rules PAC initially included a video clip of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow criticizing the end of the cash bail system. Then the link stopped working, and the PAC offered a new one with Glasgow’s words and no image. Playbook hears it’s because Glasgow complained, but PAC’s spokesman Michael Koolidge says “it was purely an aesthetic reason for the change.”
— Pritzker talks session timeline, highlights infrastructure spending: “Gun and abortion-related bills could wait until new year, depending on lawmakers’ support, Pritzker says,” via Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— Illinois first lady MK Pritzker buys grand champion steer again: “Big ambitions met big money Tuesday at the 2022 Governor’s Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair, where Illinois first lady MK Pritzker matched her record-setting bid from 2021, putting down $105,000 to buy King from Guyer and her family, who live in Robinson. The bid came after yet another bidding war between her and her husband, Gov. JB Pritzker, with MK coming out on top once again,” by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth.
— The story of the Illinois State Fair butter cow: “Sculptor Sarah Pratt spent 90 hours over five days crafting the cow. The unsalted spectacle, first whipped up in 1922, has been a part of the state fair for a century,” by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan.
— Nearly 200 dogs rescued from hoarding conditions in western Illinois, by WGN 9’s Alonzo Small
— State Sen. Mike Hastings has resigned as Illinois Senate Democratic Majority Caucus whip, and Senate President Don Harmon accepted the resignation, according to a letter obtained by the Edgar County Watchdogs. Hastings is caught up in an ugly divorce case.
— Ald. Derrick Curtis fined for inviting residents to Lightfoot campaign event using city email: “Officials aren’t allowed to mix politics with city business,” reports Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot touts glow at end of city’s pension debt tunnel: “Not only is Chicago set to fulfill her promise that the city will have the ‘best economic recovery of any big city in the nation’ from the Covid-19 pandemic — it will do so after climbing the so-called pension ramp — without adding billions to the city’s already massive debt burden or cutting services, the mayor said,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Chicago music festivals bring revenue — and tension — to city: “Lollapalooza and similar events are big moneymakers for Chicago. But as festivals grow in economic importance, they’re also becoming flashpoints for conflict,” by Bloomberg’s Teresa Xie.
— Is CPS keeping student data safe? There’s “chaos and confusion as the district scrambles to comply with privacy law after a recent breach,” reports Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.
— ‘I knew I would die.’ Woman recounts ‘Playpen’ boating accident near Oak Street Beach that severed her feet: “My husband truly saved my life when he pulled me out of the water,” said Lana Batochir, 34, who was injured when a boat backed into a raft Saturday afternoon. Sun-Times’ David Struett reports.
— Merger of Chicago’s Information Technology, Fleet and Facility Departments slowed spending growth: “New Department of Assets, Information and Services reduced spending growth by $1.8 million per year post-merger, exceeding $1 million savings target,” by Better Government Association’s Geoffrey Cubbage.
— Fulton Market is about to get two new skyscrapers, by Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal
— CTA awarded nearly $29M federal grant to buy electric buses, modernize Humboldt Park garage: “About $3.4 million of the money will be spent on 10 e-buses. Another $13.2 million will be used to upgrade the Chicago Avenue Garage in Humboldt Park — the first location to be fully equipped to handle electric buses,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— 130 sign up to speak: Naperville gun sale ban debate lingers deep into the night, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit
— Family of Flossmoor woman shot by police question officers’ training; chief defends actions, by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan
— Jury of 8 women, 4 men selected to decide R. Kelly’s fate in latest Chicago trial: “The group includes three Black jurors federal prosecutors sought to keep off the panel. They were restored to the jury after defense attorneys accused the feds of improperly striking them based on race,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Andy Grimm.
— Judge dismisses school mask lawsuit, but GOP attorney general candidate Thomas DeVore still claims victory, by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jeremy Gorner
We asked what political debate you’ll never forget:
Ashley Stead of Loyola University Chicago Law School: “Passage of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) at the end of the Illinois legislative session in 2019. The Senate Chamber was totally silent yet filled with emotion as Sen. Melinda Bush proclaimed ‘we are not going back.’ After Dobbs, that night feels more significant than ever.”
Donovan Pepper of Walgreens: “The famous Dan Quayle/Lloyd Bentsen debate where Quayle was told he wasn’t Jack Kennedy!”
Phil Zeni: “The Nixon-Kennedy debate.”
Kent Gray: “I had the good fortune to be a part of the Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain debate advance teams. After the 2000 St. Louis debate between Vice President Al Gore and Gov. Bush, our advance team presented George W. with a championship boxing belt.”
What’s a subject you can talk about forever but most people probably don’t care about (besides politics!)? Email [email protected]
— Redistricting and abortion are supercharging state Supreme Court races: In Illinois, there are two open seats. And if voting in the primary election is any indication, Democrats face an uphill battle. Check out POLITICO’s national report by Zach Montellaro and your Playbook host.
— 2024 preview? Cheney telegraphs her next shot at Trump, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers
— How Team Trump systematically snuffed out Cheney’s reign in Congress, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt
— Biden is still climbing out of his Afghanistan-shaped hole, by POLITICO’s Elise Labott
Justin Cox is leaving the Illinois House Democratic Caucus, where he’s been chief counsel to the speaker for 13 years. He’s making a career change, according to the speaker’s office. “I want to sincerely thank Justin for his dedicated service as I’ve transitioned into my role as speaker and to our entire caucus for so many years,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “He has been a calming voice and a pillar of institutional knowledge. Congratulations on taking the next step in your career, Justin!”
James Hartmann becomes chief counsel to the speaker and ethics officer beginning Sept. 15.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago magazine’s 312 editor Edward McClelland for correctly answering that Frank Sinatra once called Mike Royko “a pimp” because he wrote that Sinatra was receiving police protection.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Where was the first U.S. auto race held? Email [email protected]
State Rep. Michelle Mussman, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Pat Stanton, Chicago Board of Elections public information director Max Bever, former state of Illinois spokesperson Mary Kendrigan, consultant and former Rep. Jan Schakowsky legislative director Daniel Penchina, Chicago House nonprofit CEO Michael Herman, former United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek and political science guru Mike Lawrence.
August 17, 2022 at 08:33AM