Pence gives Durkin a boost- POLITICO

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Happy Thursday, Illinois. Your Playbook host is writing this morning from the home office in D.C., where I’m visiting with editors and colleagues in person for the first time in more than two years. Feels good to be back.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Illinois Playbook won’t publish Monday, Aug. 29, to Sept. 5. We’ll be back on our normal schedule Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was in Chicago on Wednesday to headline a fundraiser for Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin.

It was exclusive: The event was hosted by DRW trading firm’s Don Wilson and drew a small group of high-level GOP donors, according to a person in the room.

Fundraising has become a priority for Durkin with the exit of influential donor Ken Griffin, who up and left Illinois to live in Florida.

Griffin didn’t wasn’t a major donor to House races, per se, but he helped fuel larger Republican coffers that boosted candidates up and down the ballot. He gave $1 million to Durkin during the primary, for example.

Durkin’s fundraising efforts are important to show Republicans that he can help get them over the finish line in November. It’s the kind of support that has gotten him elected as party leader each year.

Durkin has headed House Republicans for nearly a decade and is expected to run again for the post in January.

Still, there’s already been some angling to find a challenger to head the party. The thinking is that it’s time to think for a successor.

Sharks in the water. There’s talk that someone could challenge Durkin. One name that’s popped up is Republican state Rep. Tim Ozinga. Asked by Playbook if he’s running, Ozinga hedged: “Right now, all of my energy is focused on getting Republicans in the state legislature out of the super minority.”

IT’S ABORTION STUPID: A special election in New York has caught the attention of Illinois Democrats anxious about the November elections.

New York Democrat Pat Ryan, who made abortion rights part of his campaign message, beat Republican Marc Molinaro in a special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado, who’s now the state’s lieutenant governor.

Abortion v. inflation: Ryan’s TV ads “hammered” on the need to elect a representative who would fight for abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, while Molinaro focused his campaign on crime and inflation, reports POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney.

Those two campaign themes are part of elections up and down Illinois, too, with Democrats calling attention to abortion — though maybe not as fiercely as Ryan — and Republicans insisting that voters only care about kitchen table issues.

The Illinois governor’s race is a perfect example: Gov. JB Pritzker has been an outspoken advocate for candidates who support abortion rights, while Republican governor candidate Darren Bailey has focused on economic issues and voters having to weigh whether to “put food on our table or whether we fill our gas tanks up.”

Political consultant Becky Carroll says Democrats are going to ramp up their focus on abortion rights. The adviser to Elizabeth Rochford’s campaign for Illinois Supreme Court, says it’s not just candidates on the ballot. “Choice is on the ballot.”

RELATED

Turnout surge powered Democrats’ N.Y. special election win — and their renewed hopes for November, by POLITICO’s Jessica Piper, Ally Mutnick and Bill Mahoney

Judge sides with Biden admin, blocking part of Idaho’s abortion ban, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein

Abortion rights advocates see potential in Gen Z as political force, by WTTW’s Mckenzie Richmond

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: skapos@politico.com

On the campaign trail with Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton at 12:15 p.m. to meet with other Democrats at the Illini Union in Urbana. The event will be livestreamed here. — In Murphysboro at 7 p.m. for the Jackson County Democrats Annual Dinner.

At Malcolm X College at 10 a.m. to attend the Chicago Department of Procurement Services’ annual vendor fair.

No official public events.

Biden OKs sweeping student loan relief as midterms near: “The plan comes after months of deliberations. The White House will also extend the loan payment moratorium through Dec. 31,” by POLITICO’s Michael Stratford and Eugene Daniels

12 things to know about Biden’s new student debt cancellation plan: Biden’s plan will wipe out $20,000 in federal student debt for Pell Grant recipients and eliminate $10,000 in federal student loan debt for other borrowers,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

Illinois will feel the weight of Biden’s student loan move more than most states: “The day-to-day spending of the state’s 1.6 million borrowers is at play here. On average, Illinois student loan borrowers owe $38,526, the seventh-highest average debt in the United States,” by Crain’s Sophie Rodgers.

Darren Bailey again slams Chicago violence and Gov. JB Pritzker touts business experience during agriculture forum downstate: Bailey said “it’s time that we had a farmer in the Governor’s Mansion so we can get our state growing again.” Following Bailey’s speech, Pritzker addressed his lack of rural experience head-on and subtly dismissed claims he can’t connect to everyday residents. “Look, I’m not going to pretend to be a farmer. I’m not. But I do know that agriculture is a business. And before I was governor, I was a businessman with 10,000 employees.” Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner reports.

— More from the ag forum: Bailey, Pritzker face off in agriculture forum with accusations of lies: “Gov. JB Pritzker’s message was one of optimism, billing himself as the state’s ‘chief marketer.’ His challenger, state Sen. Darren Bailey, a Republican from Xenia, told the room full of farmers that Illinois was in a ‘dire situation’ that needed the ‘grit of a farmer’ to rectify it,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.

— Another political debate from the State Fair | Reporter Brenden Moore put ketchup on a corndog, and everyone had an opinion on it: “What I incited perhaps didn’t rise to the level of an international incident, but it did spark a brouhaha that pitted me against politicians of both parties, reporters and other followers on Twitter who united under the banner of ‘Team Mustard.’”

Changes coming to Lincoln Library: “New director Summer Beck-Griffith has an ambitious five-year plan,” by Illinois Times’ Dean Olsen.

10 tree species native to Illinois are at risk of extinction, study finds: "Ash and elm and butternut … are native to the state or to our region [and] are all threatened by invasive pests and diseases," said Murphy Westwood, VP of science and conservation at the Morton Arboretum and senior author of the report. Daily Herald’s Jenny Whidden reports.

As Evidence Based Funding formula turns 5, lawmakers reflect on historic legislation: The formula “was also supposed to narrow the disparity between the best-funded and worst-funded school districts in the state, with the hope of lowering property taxes and improving academic achievement in the most underfunded districts. Five years later, huge disparities still exist among districts,” reports Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.

Chicago aldermen stand to get raises of nearly 10 percent unless they turn down the inflation-tied pay hikes by next week, by Tribune’s Alice Yin and John Byrne

Lightfoot celebrates start of construction on 1st project designed to boost investment on South, West sides, by WTTW’s Paris Shutz and Heather Cherone

CPS promises to route 1,200 students without bus service and reduce long route times for hundreds more, by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz

Obama Presidential Center makes progress in building talent pipeline from South and West Side, report shows, by Tribune’s Darcel Rockett

CTA signs $30M contract to bring K-9 units back to rail system:Teams will consist of two unarmed guards working with a dog to complement the existing security presence on CTA property,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.

Kane County officials say they can’t afford to make justice system reforms: “Most of Kane County’s elected officials support the ideas behind the state’s SAFE-T Act. The 2021 state legislation attempts to address racial and economic bias in the system by eliminating cash bail and requiring peace officers to wear body cameras, among other reforms. But it supplies no new funding to implement what most agree are major and costly changes to the legal system,” by Daily Herald’s James Fuller.

Divided Naperville City Council calls on state to reconsider parts of the SAFE-T Act, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit

— From the R. Kelly trial:

 ‘Is this funny?’: Defense attorneys in R. Kelly trial tear into prosecution witness who smiles back: “Kelly attorney Jennifer Bonjean tried to tick through all the crimes Charles Freeman could have been charged with had he not secured an immunity deal. The judge cut her off but she quipped, ‘It would take me too long to go through them all,’” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Andy Grimm

‘Are you having a good time?’ Withering cross-examination for alleged R. Kelly fixer paid to recover sex tapes, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Megan Crepeau

We asked what’s keeping you from returning to the office full time:

Carol S. Portman, president of Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois: “This gorgeous weather.”

Chris White, Alliance of the SouthEast organizer: “We get more done without shortchanging our families. We can do a 3-minute errand without taking half a day off.”

Do you have an end of summer tradition? Email skapos@politico.com

How Trump has spent his days since the feds searched his home, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw and Daniel Lippman

Money isn’t everything: Demings hauls in cash but Rubio holds firm, by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon

RNC chief on tape to donors: We need help to win the Senate, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs was elected president of a bipartisan organization that brings together state finance officials to address government financial management issues. Frerichs was picked to be president of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers.

Ally Lopshire has joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) as the government relations director in Illinois. Lopshire was the assistant counsel to the Illinois House speaker on issues including healthcare reform, insurance coverage, pharmaceutical drug pricing and access to treatment.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to John Mark Hansen, political science professor at University of Chicago, for correctly answering that Orville Hodge was the state auditor who created a false paper trail to convince the Illinois General Assembly that his office was insolvent and then stole the $525,000 emergency appropriation, purchasing two private jets, 30 cars (including four Cadillacs and a Rolls-Royce imported from Britain) and properties in Florida and Illinois. (Money clearly went farther then.)

TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the boxing match that caused Illinois to ban professional prizefighting for 25 years? Email skapos@politico.com

Chicago Principals and Administrators Association President Troy LaRaviere, Democratic fundraiser Brenna Walsh, director of administration for RPM Doug Kucia, Stephan Zouras LLP law clerk Jane Wasserman, Chicago Public Schools STEM Projects Coordinator Sam Bernstein, deputy governor to then-Gov. Jim Thompson Jim Fletcher, Silver Lining Foundation founder Sandy Goldberg and POLITICO Florida Playbook author and colleague Gary Fineout.

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via POLITICO https://ift.tt/C4EvzPU

August 25, 2022 at 07:14AM

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