With help from Olivia Olander
Happy November, Illinois. Election Day is one week away, but who’s counting?
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign is urging Republican rival Darren Bailey to vow to accept the results of the Nov. 8 election.
In a letter obtained by Playbook, Pritzker campaign manager Mike Ollen wrote Bailey campaign manager Jose Durbin directly, saying, “The JB for Governor campaign, and each and every one of our staff members commits to accepting the results of the election — win or lose –– because we trust and respect Illinois voters. We call upon your campaign and Senator Bailey himself to publicly commit to doing the same.”
The letter is a bit gimmicky, but in this polarized moment of post-truth politics, Pritzker’s team wants to avoid anything that mirrors the 2020 presidential election.
“Election denialism is a dark plague that threatens the very foundation of our democracy,” Ollen said in the letter. “In this time of unparalleled division, it is important we as campaign leaders, along with our candidates, promise to respect Illinoisans’ wishes.”
He also called out Bailey for comments that have “stoked the flames of poll-aggression.” Ollen pointed to a Facebook Live video in which Bailey said his team could train poll watchers “on what to look out for and what to do if you suspect fraud.”
Bailey’s response: “Darren’s been clear he will accept the outcome of the election. JB hasn’t been clear about how he will fix the SAFE-T Act and has made life unaffordable for working families. That’s why we will win. The real question is, will JB pledge not to remove the toilets from the governor’s mansion once he loses?” It was a reference to a property tax appeal brouhaha in which Pritzker had five toilets removed from a second home.
We’re getting in the muck: With a week to go before the election, anger and harsh language are going to be the name of the game.
— Democrat-turned-independent Tulsi Gabbard backs Republican ‘man of the people’ Bailey, by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles
— Pritzker, Bailey take to ‘burbs in final full week of campaigning, by WGN’s Tahman Bradley
— Bailey, Gabbard blast Pritzker on crime, by NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern
— Pritzker says education funding, learning recovery are top priorities if reelected, interview with Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie
— Garcia likely to run for mayor after his poll shows him beating Lightfoot in two-way race: “The poll of 616 likely Chicago voters was conducted last week by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh, N.C., firm that works only for Democrats. Half were contacted on landlines, the rest on cell phones via text message,” reports Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
What Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia says: “Getting a strong mandate from voters across Chicago would be important. Finding the financial resources to run an effective campaign is another consideration and, of course, I’m working on that.”
More mayor’s race news a little farther down …
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On the campaign trail to canvass in Proviso Township at 4:15 p.m. with Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, Congressman Danny Davis and Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey.
At Dom’s Kitchen & Market in Old Town for a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting.
No official public events.
— In campaign that has raised social issues, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten looks to cement power against Keith Pekau: “The race has heated up in the months since Republican Pekau came out against a planned October drag queen bingo event for teenagers at the Downers Grove Public Library. He spotlighted the program in a late August statement, saying it ‘targets children’ and was ‘inappropriate, and an unacceptable use of taxpayer funds.’ Democrat Casten, who has publicly battled with Awake Illinois so much that he says the group has threatened to take legal action against him” has scoffed at Pekau’s claims, write Tribune’s John Byrne and Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan.
— GET UP TO SPEED:A look at all the statewide races heading into Nov. 8, by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki and Peter Hancock
— Sen. Tammy Duckworth has launched her final ad of the election cycle, titled “Validator.”
— RARE CROSSOVER: Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) has been endorsed by Mayor Steve Chirico of Naperville. Chirico’s mayoral job is nonpartisan though he personally is a Republican. Foster is running against Republican Catalina Lauf.
— Environment Illinois and its national office Environment America are endorsing Rep. Sean Casten and Eric Sorensen in their IL-06 and IL-17 congressional races, respectively. Both are Democrats.
— Also in IL-17, Republican Esther Joy King is out with a new ad that attacks her opponent, Democratic Eric Sorensen.
— Gov. JB Pritzker has donated $500,000 to Democrat Mary Kay O’Brien’s campaign for Illinois Supreme Court, according to the State Board of Elections. By donating through his private trust fund, he avoids rules on spending.
— SUPREME SPENDING: The Illinois Supreme Court races are among the most expensive judicial races in the country, according to research by the Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal-leaning think tank and advocacy group.
The TV ad spending speaks for itself. Brennan Center says Democrat Mary Kay O’Brien, an appellate judge, has spent $1,078,260 in her race against Republican Justice Michael Burke. And Democrat Elizabeth Rochford, a Lake County judge, has spent $528,380 in the contest with former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, a Republican.
The independent expenditure committee All for Justice, which has run ads attacking Burke, has spent $1,252,330. And two conservative groups, Citizens for Judicial Fairness and Fair Courts America, have spent $889,720 and $145,970, respectively.
— VOTING STATS: There have been 841,270 vote-by-mail requests, and 400,385 vote-by-mail ballots have been returned. That’s a return rate of 48 percent. Add on-site voters, and 695,023 have voted so far in Illinois, according to stats from the State Board of Elections.
— Illinois school districts received billions in Covid relief funds but some are slow to spend: “Districts in Chicago’s south suburbs stand out for spending small portions of their COVID recovery dollars as reported to the state,” by Better Government Association’s Jewél Jackson and Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova.
— Embattled Chicago-area Covid testing company barred from Washington, fined in Wisconsin, by Block Club’s Kelly Bauer
— 14 people shot, 1 person hit by car during Lawndale mass shooting, by CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov
— Black and Latino Caucuses make pitches for changes to the city’s 2023 budget: “As of Monday evening, Lightfoot had not herself sat down with either the Latino Caucus or Black Caucus to negotiate her budget, although aldermen insist the mayor and her budget team have engaged in smaller group discussions,” by Crain’s Justin Laurence
— City reverses course, won’t make cops reimburse for legal fees in SWAT Team lawsuit, by WGN 9’s Ben Bradley.
— Police lieutenant retires before COPA finds racist, sexist social media posts against policy, by Tribune’s Paige Fry
— FAMILIAR NAME joins the race. Chicago real estate developer John Thomas is running is out gathering signatures to run for mayor. “I know how to corral crime,” he told Playbook, ticking off the reasons he wants to be mayor.
Does he ever: Thomas, who also went by the name Bernard Barton, wore a wire in the FBI probe that helped convict Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a fundraiser for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Thomas later served time for charges that he stole public funds in a south suburban development project. He now runs a commercial real estate company.
“I love living in Chicago. I love the people and the community. I have unfortunately met too many of the politicians here. Although I have a criminal past, I paid my debt to society,” he said. “I want my wife and children to be proud of what their husband and father will have accomplished even if it’s later in life.”
— NO JOKE: Another mayoral candidate, activist Ja’Mal Green, has been endorsed by actress Susan Sarandon and comedian Mike Epps in his bid to lead City Hall.
— Cook County Board incumbent would expand weapons ban: “In the wake of the mass shootings in Highland Park and Uvalde, Texas, and surging gun violence in Chicago, Cook County Board member Scott Britton believes the county’s ban on military-style firearms should be expanded across the state,” by Daily Herald’s Steve Zalusky.
— In one high-poverty Chicago suburb, an uncommon plan to embrace hybrid learning, by Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova
— Robert Crimo, accused of killing 7 people at Fourth of July parade, to appear in court today, reports Tribune’s Clifford Ward
— New CTA Green Line station at Damen set to open in 2024, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat
— Ex-tollway executives file suit, allege cronyism: “A lawsuit by former Chief Administrative Officer Kimberly Ross and former Chief Procurement Officer Dionna Brookens says both were ‘terminated without cause’ after pushing back against Will Evans and other officials,” by Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.
— City Colleges reaches deal with faculty, staff union; strike called off, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa
— Illinois colleges commit to diversity despite challenge to affirmative action admissions, by State Journal-Register’s Tiffani Jackson
‘Beltway’ changes: Conservative talk show host Jeanne Ives and libertarian Eric Kohn have been named as new hosts of “Beyond the Beltway,” the long running national political radio show that’s broadcast out of Chicago. Bruce DuMont, the show’s creator, has stepped back from the show, taking an “indefinite hiatus” as he recovers from an extended hospital stay because of health issues, he said on his show Sunday. DuMont is working on “regaining strength and stamina,” he told Playbook. DuMont has been doing the show for 42 years. Get well soon, Bruce!
We asked why you haven’t voted yet — and apparently you still prefer to do it on Election Day:
Ethel C. Fenig: “I will vote on the official Election Day. I will only vote once. Early voting is too ripe for fraud among other problems.”
Daniel Goldwin: “I love taking my daughters to vote on Election Day.”
Kent Gray: “It’s not Election Day yet.”
Dennis Johnson: “Though my wife, Sharon, and some friends like being at the courthouse when it opens for early voting, I wait for Election Day. It’s special to me.”
Ashvin Lad: “I’m a traditionalist and enjoy voting on Election Day.”
Ray Sendejas: “We moved this summer and wanted to my actual polling place on Election Day at least this first time. After this time, I’ll probably vote early.”
If you could time-travel to a historic Illinois event, what would it be? Email [email protected]
— Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker charged with attempted kidnapping, by POLITICO’s Nicholas WU and Jeremy B. White
— The Biden gap and the partisan poll flood: Breaking down the latest Senate surveys, by POLITICO’s Steven Shepard
— Justices appear poised to curtail affirmative action in college admissions, by POLITICO’s Bianca Quilantan and Josh Gerstein
— PASS THE LOX: Yinam Cohen, consul general of Israel to the Midwest, hosted a breakfast briefing the other day with district directors for members of Illinois’ congressional and senatorial District offices. At the table were Rick Bryant, special adviser to Rep. Robin Kelly; Hilary Denk, district director for Rep. Bill Foster; Jake Kaplan, district director for Rep. Brad Schneider; and representatives from Indiana and Wisconsin. Also on hand Itai Biran, the consulate’s head of political and economic affairs, and Mike Warren, director of public affairs.
— Patrick Hillmann has been named chief strategy officer at Binance. He was its chief communications officer.
— Ann Callahan, mom to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) has died. She was 89. Bustos was with her at her death. Callahan’s husband was the late Gene Callahan, the longtime chief of staff to former Sen. Alan Dixon. Callahan was a social worker who also worked for years at Gingerbread House preschool in Springfield. Full obit here
— Wednesday at 6 p.m.: Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy performs at a campaign event for Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in DeKalb. Details here
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago Buildings Department Commissioner Matthew Beaudet for correctly answering that the University of Chicago named its teams the Maroons after a minor league team that played pro baseball for one year, 1888, in the Class A Western Association.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the highest federal office and the highest local office won by the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in Illinois in the 1912 election and who won the respective offices? Email [email protected]
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November 1, 2022 at 08:34AM