Happy Thursday, Illinois. Another day, another corn dog and lemon slushie. Isn’t life grand?
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Democrats bonded Wednesday over brunch and a shared animosity for Republicans trying to take control of the state.
But it was Donald Trump whose presence loomed large at the Democratic unity event — ironic given the former president lost Illinois twice by double digits.
“The lunatic fringe has taken over their party — and they’ll say anything, do anything, destroy anything to get elected,” Gov. JB Pritzker told the crowd of 1,700-plus guests and more watching online.
“The Donald Trumps and the Darren Baileys of this world want us to feel alone in the struggles that we’re all facing together,” Pritzker said, referring to his GOP challenger. “They want to distract us into believing that marriage equality, Black history, Disney World and library books are more of a threat to our children than AR-15s. They’re attempting to divide America with hateful words and a radical agenda.”
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton called Bailey a “Trump-endorsed MAGA extremist,” who would “do everything in his power to try to turn back the clock on our progress.”
And Sen. Dick Durbin chastised those who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. “It’s time to let everybody know the Big Lie is a lie. It’s time to let everybody know that ‘stop the steal’ needs to stop,” Durbin said to cheers.
“It’s time for us to realize that our party has a message that is positive, looks to the future, brings hope to people. It is time for us to realize that when it comes to our future, we need to make sure we don’t have a party of anger, fear, hate and violence,” Durbin said. “Our party is a party of hope, determination, fairness and respect for the law and constitution.”
In Illinois, it’s also a party experiencing growing pains. Wednesday was about unity but notably absent from the festivities was Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who was recently pushed out of her party chairmanship. Some see her no-show as a signal that the party is frayed. Maybe. But political parties are a lot like families. You fight like cats and dogs, knowing you’re still ultimately on the same team.
— Abortion remains a key focal point, reports Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles
— Democrats also targeted former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s tumultuous term, report Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Jeremy Gorner
— Best Democratic unity photo of the day, via Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki
Speaking of Unity: Richard Irvin, Gary Rabine and Jesse Sullivan, the Republicans who lost their bids for governor in the June primary, joined a reception Wednesday with Darren Bailey, the GOP nominee, at Mariah’s Steakhouse & Pasta in Springfield.
“It’s about everyone rallying to support the candidates this fall,” Shaun McCabe, the executive director of the Illinois GOP, told Playbook.
GOP statewide nominees were there, too, including Senate candidate Kathy Salvi, attorney general candidate Tom Devore and comptroller candidate Shannon Teresi. Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie was there, too.
Republicans gather formally today for their own unity rally at the fairgrounds.
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At Mulligan Solar Farm in Lincoln for its grand opening.
No official public events.
No official public events.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: State Rep. Tom Demmer, the GOP nominee for state treasurer, has launched a super-targeted paid digital program for the State Fair. The program has created a "geo fence" around the fairgrounds where everyone within its boundaries will be targeted with digital attack ads against incumbent Treasurer Mike Frerichs on the issue of taxing retirement income like pensions.
— Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) has been endorsed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) in his re-election campaign.
— Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) has been endorsed by state Sen. Laura Ellman and state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, both Naperville Democrats.
— ComEd to give back $38M in wake of Madigan scandal, but critic says it falls short: “The Illinois Commerce Commission on Tuesday approved the refund plan on a 3-0 vote, with the ICC’s chair abstaining from the vote because her father-in-law has been embroiled in the scandal,” by Tribune’s Ray Long.
— Illinois health department urges schools to watch for monkeypox; Covid-19 measures pulled back, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta and Tracy Swartz
— GOP lawmakers ask Illinois State Police for more details on how it handled report on alleged Highland Park shooter, by Tribune’s Dan Petrella
— Ethics Board clears Lightfoot’s use of city vehicles, aides, security detail on campaign trail: “The unanimous advisory opinion issued Monday and signed by Chair William Conlon represents the first time the board has addressed the issues that surround the decision by an incumbent mayor to run for re-election,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— 1 critical, 1 missing after falling from boat in second accident in less than week in Lake Michigan’s ‘Playpen,’ by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova.
— Covid-19 safety pact between Chicago Public Schools and teachers’ union near as CTU plans vote on latest offer: “The district and teachers’ union have negotiated all summer in hopes of avoiding the contentious battles of the past two years over pandemic safety,” by WBEZ’s Sarah Karp and Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Lightfoot pledged $1M for gun tips last year, but so far payouts are just over $10,000: “The mayor’s office defended the gun tip line as merely one piece of a multipronged anti-violence effort… But former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who considered running for mayor and leads a nonprofit aimed at violence prevention, this week told the Tribune the $1 million program was flawed,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— City must help CPS support students through violence, mental health crises, schools chief says: “CEO Pedro Martinez previewed the school year for a lunch crowd at the City Club of Chicago in his first appearance there as the head of CPS,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Southern abortion rights advocates arrive in Chicago for ‘Black August Freedom Rides’: “Activists from Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi traveled to Chicago to strengthen ties with local organizations as abortion bans go into effect in the South,” by Sun-Time’s Elvia Malagón.
— Jim Belushi has done his stretches and is ready to kick off Blues Brothers Con with Dan Aykroyd this weekend, by Tribune’s Darcel Rockett
— Metra moving toward battery-powered trains: “Metra will convert at least three of its 173 locomotives to battery power, with the option to convert up to three more, under a plan approved by the Metra board Wednesday. The total cost to switch all six locomotives is $34.6 million,” by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.
— After legal scrapes and guilty pleas, ex-Ald. Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno says he wants another shot at City Council, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig
— Bradley Laborman, who works in real estate and has produced a vanity film, has formed a committee to run for mayor of Chicago. In a statement, Laborman described himself as “a common sense candidate” who won’t make decisions “based on particular party lines.” Laborman is an Iowa native who moved to Chicago a few years ago.
— Naperville’s ban of sale of certain rifles: Opponents warn of lawsuits, elections: “The ban also on corresponding high-capacity magazines was approved in the early morning hours of Wednesday and will take effect on Jan. 1. And, as residents and city council members noted, it could have repercussions both legally and politically,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit
— R. Kelly, co-defendants worked to hide singer’s ‘dark side’ from public, according to prosecutors. WTTW’s Matt Masterson reports
— Two Illinois women plead guilty for roles in Capitol riot: “Sentencing for Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco is set for Nov. 22 in U.S. District Court in Washington,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.
We asked what subject you know well that bores your friend to tears:
Brent Zhorne, Knox County Board candidate: “I can talk about the experience of German POWs here in the U.S. during WWII ad nauseam. It is a favorite, and ongoing, research project of mine, and most people politely listen until they can finally escape.”
Brian Bernardoni of Aurelius Public Affairs: “The History of Wrigley Field and, of course, Svengoolie!”
Ed Mazur of City Club: “Toy electric trains: Lionel, American Flyer and Marx. Friends call me ‘Choo Choo Ed’ and roll their eyes when I get on a roll.”
Mark Michaels, a legislative candidate consultant: “Application of chaos and complex systems theory to organizations.”
Patricia Ann Watson: “Astronomy, especially the fun of sharing findings with people around the globe.”
Christine Walker, Lake Forest College public policy instructor: “Legislative intent.”
Where do you go for your family reunion? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
— Dems mount $10M ad campaign to sell landmark law — and skirt a November wipeout, by POLITICO’s Elena Schneider
— Cheney releases concession call audio in tit-for-tat with her primary foe, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers
— ‘It’s unfathomable’: No arrests made 6 months after HBCU bomb threats, by POLITICO’s Bianca Quilantan
— After Labor Day, expect a showdown over return-to-office mandates, via Bloomberg
— Gary Perinar, executive secretary-treasurer of the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, has been unanimously re-elected to another four-year leadership term by the union’s delegate body. In the post, Perinar will oversee 52,000 union carpenters in 324 counties across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Eastern Iowa. The Mid-America Council, formerly the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, is a major donor in state politics.
— Christopher Childers has been named Northeastern Illinois University’s new executive director of marketing and comms beginning Aug. 29. He’ll report directly to school President Gloria J. Gibson and sit on the president’s cabinet. Childers comes to Northeastern from the Academy for Urban School Leadership, where he was the chief marketing officer and managed all facets of the AUSL brand.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to political science professor John Mark Hansen and attorney Roger Flahaven for correctly answering that the first U.S. auto race was held from Chicago to Evanston and back in 1895.
H/t to political consultant Kevin Lampe and a few others who mentioned Elgin road races, which started in 1910.
TODAY’s QUESTION: From the balcony of which Chicago hotel did Lincoln and Douglas both deliver speeches during the 1858 Senate campaign? Email email@example.com
Political and nonprofit consultant Kevin Conlon, former government affairs director Scott Cisek and University of Chicago prof Austan Goolsbee.
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August 18, 2022 at 07:06AM