Bailey gets a death threat

It’s Thursday, Illinois. President Joe Biden’s message Wednesday night was ominous: “In our bones, we know democracy is at risk.”

Disturbing news on the campaign trail: Darren Bailey, the Republican candidate for governor, received a death threat a few days ago, prompting charges and an arrest on Wednesday.

The suspect: Prosecutors say Scott Lennox was so angered by a political ad on TV, that he left a voicemail on Bailey’s office line threatening to mutilate and kill Bailey and his family, according to the Sun-Times.

The language is horrific.  “I’m going to skin Darren Bailey alive, making sure he is still alive, and I’m going to feed his f——— family to him as he is alive and screaming in f——— pain,” prosecutors say Lennox said in the voicemail.

Lennox, 21, who lives in Chicago, is charged with one felony count each of threatening a public official, telephone harassment and harassment by electronic communications, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Sun-Times reported. Should he post $75,000 in bail, he would be on electronic monitoring and barred him from contacting Bailey or his family or staff.

Gov. JB Pritzker condemned the threat: “The violent rhetoric and division we’re seeing across our country is unacceptable. Hatred in any form has no home in Illinois,” Pritzker tweeted.

But Bailey called out Pritzker: He blames Pritzker and the “rhetoric and divisiveness” of his ads. “It was a vulgar disturbing threat,” Bailey told ABC 7’s Diane Pathieu.

Everything’s politics: Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch also denounced the threat and brought up the SAFE-T Act, tweeting, “This man made a despicable violent threat to Illinois Governor Candidate Darren Bailey. If he comes up with $7500 bond, he walks right out of jail under current law. Under the Safe-T Act, a judge would be allowed to keep him in jail.”

Tensions are high: The threatening phone call comes just days after Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was assaulted. Lawmakers across the country are calling for extra security.

Election day is five days away, and it can’t come soon enough.


Top lawmaker demands answers on outside-D.C. security after Pelosi attack, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu and Katherine Tully-McManus

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN is planning to stump in Illinois on Friday. And Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to visit Chicago on Sunday.

Deep blue question: Biden could go anyplace so why to Illinois, a blue state where Democrats are expected to be elected up and down the ticket? White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that “there are many places” where Biden can have a “conversation” about the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Illinois is a safe place to do that.

Looking at the suburbs: Biden’s appearance will “focus on boosting suburban Chicago congressional incumbents" — especially Democratic Reps. Sean Casten and Bill Foster — who are in races that may be tightening, reports Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

Harris will likely speak at an event for the AAPI Victory Fund, which Sen. Tammy Duckworth also plans to attend, Sweet reported.

Biden has been relatively absent from the trail this cycle, particularly in comparison to former President Barack Obama, who has emerged as something of a star surrogate in the campaign’s final weeks.

If you are President Joe Biden, we’d like to ride with you in the car while you’re here. Email [email protected].

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

On the campaign trail at 10:45 a.m. for a meet-and-greet on Chicago’s South Side. — Then in Hodgkins at 1:30 p.m. for a canvass event with Lyons Township Democrats.

No official public events.

At the Cook County Office Building at 10 a.m. to announce the Chicago Cook Technology Academy, a free seven-week program that provides veterans with career skills in the technology industry.

Getting out the vote in 2022: Text messages, social media posts, rallies, door knocking and a drag show: "In the closing days of the Nov. 8 campaign, TV sets will continue blaring millions of dollars worth of ads involving candidates for governor and a pair of state Supreme Court seats all the way down to myriad congressional and state legislative contests. But the real work for the campaigns now comes down to “GOTV,” the get-out-the-vote efforts to ensure candidates’ base voters show up at the polls as well as the remaining late-deciding persuadable voters — a number that dwindles with each day of early voting and voting by mail," by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

GOP super PAC targets blue House seats in Illinois, New York: “The Congressional Leadership Fund is spending seven-figures against Rep. Sean Casten in a district once considered to be safely Democratic,” by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick.

Avalanche of mail hitting Illinois voters: funding source for partisan ‘newspapers’ not disclosed: “The publishers of controversial newspapers with heavy political messaging targeting Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker are able to avoid disclosure requirements covering campaign committees,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

How anti-Pritzker PAC is trying to suppress the Black vote in Chicago: “The group distributes signs and leaflets on the South and West sides aiming to keep Black voters from polls,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet and Mariah Rush.

Focusing on crime and economy, GOP seeks to chip away at Democratic dominance of General Assembly, by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jeremy Gorner

Democrat Yarbrough and Republican Peraica each seek to make history in clerk’s race — and rehash a little along the way: “The next clerk will serve as the chief election authority for more than 125 municipalities in suburban Cook County, as well as administer all the county’s vital records. That might sound a tad dry, but the two rivals and their aides also exchange charges of political misconduct and shenanigans,” by Sun-Times’ Mohammad Samra.

— In IL-13, Regan draws a blank on term limits, by WTAX’s Dave Dahl

State 24th District Senate candidates differ on how to improve the business climate in Illinois, by Daily Herald’s Dave Oberhelman

Valuable Lincoln artifacts are taken from a Springfield museum as feuding with a not-for-profit intensifies: “The fate of 1,500-plus artifacts, including some tied to Lincoln’s murder, is unclear as a foundation pulls items out of a state Lincoln museum,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney.

Gov. JB Pritzker moves to make abortion more accessible to people in prisons: “In removing fees and promising access, Illinois joins a handful of states providing abortions for incarcerated people,” by WBEZ’s Sam Dier.

Lying officers unpunished in 2018 inmate death, records show: “Three former Illinois prison guards face life behind bars after the 2018 fatal beating of a 65-year-old inmate in a case marked by the unpunished lies of other correctional officers,” by The Associated Press’ John O’Connor.

Illinois AG sues to stop Jewel-Osco parent Albertsons from paying $4B dividend, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

$16.4B Chicago budget set for final vote as Lightfoot rebuffs demands to create Department of Environment, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

What’s the full cost of the Chicago Police Department? CPD budget doesn’t give the whole picture, former city analyst says, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig.

Staffing shortages in Chicago Police Department negatively affecting reform effort, court monitor reports, by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney

South Shore voters hope Obama center brings change to believe in — but they take nothing for granted:South Shore was long seen as a ‘first-house neighborhood’ for middle-class residents, and it saw one of its favorite daughters go to the White House as first lady. Residents now hope the nearby Obama Presidential Center will make it ‘an area where people want to move into,’” writes Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón in the Pulse of the Heartland series.

Highland Park Community Foundation distributes $5.8M in donations to July 4 mass shooting victims and nonprofits, by Tribune’s John Keilman

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is joining a new law firm, though he says being mayor is his ‘main priority,’: “The mayor said he has dissolved his association with his former firm in Aurora to join Castle Law, which is based in Joliet but opening a new DuPage County office in Oak Brook, where Irvin would be based. The company also has a Hoffman Estates office,” by Aurora Beacon-News Steve Lord

How Naperville officials are proposing an 11.6 percent bigger budget with no tax or fee hikes: Because of “existing revenue streams and financial policies, officials said, the impact on residents will be mitigated,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

Proud Boy from Aurora bragged he ‘bonked 2 cops,’ pleads guilty to Jan. 6 role: “James Robert Elliott is the only known member of the Proud Boys from Illinois charged in connection with the Capitol riot. He admitted his membership in the group as part of his plea Wednesday,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

We asked if you’d pay for a blue checkmark on Twitter:

John Fritchey: “I’ve had a blue checkmark for years; it’s the only way I could be sure that I was me. I might be willing to pay a small subscription price for it but not $20/month and not until we know what Twitter is going to look like after being Muskified.”

Mike Kohr: “As the red hat has become the mark of the beast, the blue check will become the mark of the chump.”

John Straus: “NO, a thousand times, NO.”

Bill Velazquez: “Recognition is earned, not purchased.”

With all the advanced technology we can muster, what’s the one thing that will never change? Email [email protected]

Republican Senate races showing momentum in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett, Natalie Allison and Marianne Levine

Trump lawyers saw Justice Thomas as ‘only chance’ to stop 2020 election certification, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney, Josh Gerstein and Nicholas Wu

Newsom stays on sidelines of tightening LA mayor’s race, by POLITICO’s Lara Korte

Former first lady Michelle Obama headlined the Erikson Institute’s fundraiser on Wednesday at the Hilton Chicago. She was there to honor Cari Sacks, a long-time Erikson Trustee and graduate of the school who has led the way on student scholarship support and funding to establish Erikson’s Center for Children and Families. Sacks and her husband, Michael Sacks, are also major Democratic donors.

— Penelope P. Campbell, a partner at Honigman’s real estate department, was named to The Best Lawyers in America 2023 list in the practice of real estate law. Campbell is a former publicist for Secretary of State Jesse White.

— Kenneth A. Alderson, the longtime executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, has died. Obit here

— Andrea Sáenz has been named president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, succeeding Helene Gayle. Sáenz, who will be the institution’s first Latinx leader, most recently served as chief operating officer and interim president and CEO of the Trust, via Brandon Dupre at Crains.

— Andrew Davis, the longtime Windy City Times executive editor, is stepping down to take a new full-time role as digital news editor of The TRiiBE. Managing Editor Matt Simonette moves up now as Windy City Times’ executive editor. Details here

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Scott Burgh for correctly answering that George K. Spoor and Gilbert M. Anderson were the “S” and “A” in S&A studios, a film company that started out as Essanay Studios.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who is the Illinois state legislator whose vote for Alson Streeter in 1891 led to his election as chair of the national Populist Party?  Email [email protected]

Quentin Fulks, campaign manager for Sen. Raphael Warnock and previously head of the Illinois Vote Yes for Fairness campaign; political consultant Isabelle Dienstag; political consultant Kathy Posner; Rabbi emeritus Paul Caplan and Wall Street Journal Senior Publishing Editor Lisa Donovan.



November 3, 2022 at 07:30AM

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