Happy Tuesday, Illinois. Election Day is seven weeks away, and anything can happen.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Illinois Democratic Party is expanding its staff, hiring a handful of political players and operatives to ramp up political work before the November election — now just 49 days away.
Ben Hardin is now interim executive director for the party. He was executive director for the coordinated campaign, Organize Illinois 2022, and was chief of staff to Congresswoman Marie Newman in Washington, D.C.
Shannon Rice is interim finance director. She was a consultant with The Kauffman Group and has served in finance roles for Senate and presidential campaigns.
Chris McDonald is interim organizing director for Organize Illinois 2022. An Obama campaign alum, he was deputy director for FieldWorks.
Nick Ramos is interim Get Out the Vote director for Organize Illinois 2022. He was director of Illinois government affairs for the Shedd Aquarium and a field organizer with the Illinois Democratic coordinated campaign in 2016.
Kiera S. Ellis is spokesperson and senior adviser to Party Chair Lisa Hernandez. Ellis most recently founded Resist Strategies and was part of the public affairs team for real estate developer Related Midwest. She’s served in communications roles for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Yael Sheinfeld will lead party communications as interim communications director. She was Illinois spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association.
A search committee is being set up to find a permanent executive director and additional administrative roles. Previous Executive Director Abby Witt left last month after a contentious battle over the party chair that saw Hernandez take the reins.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tapped Timmy Knudsen to replace former Ald. Michele Smith, who stepped down last month, as alderman of the 43rd Ward.
Lightfoot described Knudsen as “deeply connected to the needs of 43rd Ward residents,” adding he has the “skills to communicate effectively, lean on the expertise of trusted messengers without ego and encourage civic engagement," according to a statement.
More specifically: “Knudsen is a University of Illinois College of Law graduate who worked for law firm Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres on venture capital and cryptocurrency issues before taking a leave to pursue the post. Knudsen is a longtime Lightfoot supporter and donated to her campaign in 2019,” report Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and A.D. Quig.
Leg up: Knudsen is already running for the 43rd Ward seat in 2023. The appointment now gives him a political edge as he’ll be in office nearly five months before that election.
Approval next: His nomination goes before the council’s Rules Committee today and the full council Wednesday.
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No official public events.
No official public events.
In Washington, D.C., to meet with members of the Illinois congressional delegation.
— HUGE VERDICT | Jury awards Willowbrook woman $363M, finds Sterigenics liable for exposing her to cancer-causing ethylene oxide: “The verdict is the largest ever for an individual in Illinois,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
It was the first of nearly 800 lawsuits against the company to go to trial, via Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— More migrants expected in Chicago this week as Pritzker, Bailey disagree on border security: “Pritzker said the process for the asylum seekers to go before a judge is taking too long. ‘They’re exhausted, bewildered by all they’re faced with,’ Pritzker said, ‘having made multiple months journeys to come to the United States, being shipped all across the U.S.’ Bailey says, ‘as far as JB Pritzker is concerned, I’m suggesting that he put these people up in one of his Hyatt hotels,’” by NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern.
— SAFE-T Act and end of cash bail become political lightning rods: “Despite assertions being made on social media and elsewhere, the elimination of bail doesn’t mean criminal defendants will automatically get released from county jails while awaiting trial. Prosecutors will be able to argue before judges that defendants should be detained at their initial court appearance. But many prosecutors worry the provision requires too high of a bar to convince judges to detain criminal defendants,” reports Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— SOUNDS FAIR | Back with a bang: Officials say over 636K people attended Illinois State Fair: That makes it “the highest attended fair since attendance record-keeping started in 2014. The fair also claimed a $6.4 million revenue,” reports the State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie.
— Lurie Children’s Hospital takes action after its gender development program is targeted on Twitter: “Lurie spokeswoman Julianne Bardele said Lurie has not received any recent threats but is monitoring the situation. The youth group is now meeting virtually out of an abundance of caution in response to ‘all harassment including Libs of TikTok but not solely because of Libs of TikTok,’ she said,” by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker.
— Republicans look to keep what few seats they have on the Cook County Board: “There’s only one incumbent Republican on the 17-member board running for re-election. Will Democrats take full control?” WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch reports.
— Pritzker, Bailey fray turns to a new subject: Union rights: The governor touts his pro-union moves, “but in the process, he may have left himself open to attacks that his actions have the bottom-line impact of raising costs for taxpayers. And Republican Darren Bailey’s campaign immediately responded that the biggest thing that’s occurred under Pritzker is that taxes on the typical family have risen by what it says are $2,000 a year,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton have been endorsed by LiUNA, which represents workers in the construction and energy industries.
— The Illinois Education Association raised eyes in endorsing Republican Dan Brady over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in the secretary of state race. The organization’s other endorsements are all Democrats. During the primary, the IEA endorsed Brady for the GOP ticket and Anna Valencia for the Democratic side. Valencia lost the primary, so IEA stuck with their endorsed candidate.
— Republican Kathy Salvi has been endorsed by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police in her bid for the U.S. Senate.
— Republicans’ election-year standing with Independents at risk, by The Associated Press
— Guaranteed income update | Chicago wraps enrollment for ‘Resilient Communities’ program: “As of September, officials said, 5,000 Chicago residents have received at least one $500 payment. They will continue to get $500 a month for 12 months,” by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón.
— An estimated 65,611 people in Chicago experienced homelessness in 2020, coalition report says, by Tribune’s Maddie Ellis
— Despite downtown gridlock, city’s top cop defends response to caravans of revelers for Mexican Independence Day: “By and large, the celebration [had] thousands of cars — if not tens of thousands of cars — with very little violence, if any,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Monday. “This was traffic congestion.” Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba and Fran Spielman
— Hostile work environment in Chicago’s Department of Water Management triggers $950K settlement: “Dilan Abreu, a 40-year veteran bricklayer, claims he was harassed, physically abused and retaliated against by the son of former Ald. Bernard Hansen due to an ‘unrestricted culture of overtly racist behavior and attitudes,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Ald. Andre Vasquez seeks to cap City Council pay raises: “He’s not one of 17 council members who have declined the latest pay raise. But he’s not oblivious to the pre-election dilemma. In fact, he’s proposing a cap of 5 percent or the inflation rate, whichever is yes,” reports Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Firm has filed more than 100 lawsuits against Lightfoot administration over FOIA denials, by WTTW’s Brandis Friedman and Acacia Hernandez.
— PETA calls for Museum of Science and Industry to halt exhibits: “PETA’s humane education division urges MSI to replace its cow eye dissection lab and its chicken hatchery with nonanimal exhibits and modern humane methods,” by Crain’s Corli Jay.
— Monarch butterflies tagged with stickers in Chicago garden as they migrate south, by Tribune’s Adriana Pérez
— Judge won’t block release of video showing shooting that led to charges against 2 Chicago police officers: “The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is set to release video this week from the July 22 shooting in Pilsen, just days after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced the charges against the officers,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm and Tom Schuba.
— Cost of former tollway chief’s exit: $111,500: “Tollway officials did not offer any detailed explanations for the $111,500 parachute, which equals about 117,368 trips at 95 cents each through the Touhy Toll Plaza. But a board resolution dated April 26 states the former top executive "was separated from the tollway and thereafter offered to resign,” by Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.
— Kane County eyeing first property tax increase in a decade, by Daily Herald’s James Fuller
— Aurora panel continues to discuss possibility of hiking fees for video gambling machines, by Aurora Beacon-News’ Steve Lord
— Dixmoor finally gets a break from water main troubles, most recent rupture repaired and no new issues reported, by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan
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— Doubts rise over whether DeSantis had budget authority to fly migrants, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout
— Biden leaves no doubt: ‘Strategic ambiguity’ toward Taiwan is dead, by POLITICO’s Phelim Kine
— Trump’s lawyers will get their first audience before new judicial bodies and judges today, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney
— A lesson from the past for Ron DeSantis: “In the 1960s, Southern organizations tried sending African Americans to Northern states in a “cheap” PR stunt designed to embarrass and expose Northern liberals. It didn’t work,” by Politico Magazine contributing editor Joshua Zeitz.
Steven Isoye, a former educator and superintendent, has been appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker to chair the Illinois State Board of Education effective immediately. Isoye follows in the footsteps of Darren Reisberg, who served as chair through the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to political science professor John Mark Hanson for correctly answering that Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter-Day Saints movement (Mormon Church) and presidential candidate, was killed in a mob attack while jailed in 1844 in Carthage, Ill., though his death was not directly related to his campaign.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Chicago business executive who defied a wartime order and was removed from his chair and carried out of his office by two National Guardsmen, still in a sitting position? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
State Sen. Terri Bryant, state Sen. Julie Morrison, state Rep. Joyce Mason, former state Rep. Lisa Dugan, former state Sen. Tom Cullerton, American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois’ Kevin Artl, attorney Louis Cairo and former Cook County comms chief Frank Shuftan.
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September 20, 2022 at 07:12AM