LaHood sees a GOP blowout

LaHood sees a GOP blowout

With help from Olivia Olander

TGIF, Illinois. It’s the last weekend before Election Day and the weather will only partially cooperate — rain Saturday and sun Sunday. Enjoy the door-knocking!

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood expects the GOP to capture an additional 20 seats in the House and maybe even 45, he says.

Though our POLITICO prognosticators say 20 is more likely.

“If we get only 10, that will be a disappointment,” LaHood told Playbook in a phone interview. LaHood is the finance chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee in charge of raising funds for candidates.

“It picks up every single day,” the Illinois Republican said, his voice a little hoarse because he had just come from cheering on his high school son’s soccer team.

All about recruitment: “We recruited a record number of women, a record number of minorities and veterans.” The effort was in contrast to the U.S. Senate, he said.

“We’re going to have the most diverse Republican class in the history of House Republicans. So, we recruited from California to Texas to Iowa to Rhode Island, Nevada. All over,” LaHood added.

Why he’s so effusive: LaHood wants to be chair of the NRCC, and he says his history raising money for the GOP committee makes him the perfect candidate. Along with this cycle, he chaired the NRCC’s 2019 spring dinner — a big fundraiser.

He points to the numbers: LaHood’s campaign has been active, even though he’s expected to handily win the newly carved 16th Congressional District. He’s raised more than $3.7 million this election cycle and has about $4.3 million cash on hand. He’s also given $1.32 million to more than 150 incumbents and candidates across the country. LaHood has also raised and contributed more than $2.4 million for the NRCC this cycle, according to his campaign.

The race is competitive: Also angling for the NRCC’s top job is Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who’s gathering powerful folks in Texas, according to Punchbowl News, which called LaHood “the underdog” in the race.

In the new Congress: Presuming LaHood’s predictions are right, he’ll be in the majority party and that means majority perks.

“I’m on two of the best committees in the House,” he said, referring to the Ways and Means and Intelligence subcommittees.


Another Illinois Republican who would move up the ranks should the GOP take over the House is Rep. Mike Bost, who’s in line to be chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

SCOOP: President Joe Biden will headline a fundraiser tonight for Democratic Rep. Sean Casten — right after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy attends a closed-door fundraiser for Keith Pekau, the Orland Park mayor trying to unseat Casten in the 6th Congressional District.

What it means: That Biden and McCarthy are coming to town just days before the election is an indication that the race is tightening. POLITICO’s Forecast 2022 recently moved the race from “likely Dem” to “leans Dem.”

How to attend: The Biden for Casten event is at 7 p.m. And here are details of the McCarthy for Pekau event at 4 p.m.

And get this: While McCarthy is campaigning for Pekau at the Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook, Casten will be holding a town hall for constituents in the same location to discuss Social Security, Medicare and prescription drugs. Sen. Dick Durbin will join Casten’s event.

Ain’t politics grand.


— VP DEETS: “The Democratic Party of Illinois said Vice President Kamala Harris will rally with Democrats on Sunday. The vice president’s office said Harris will “deliver remarks” at an Asian American and Pacific Islander event in Chicago. Sources said that event is for the AAPI Victory Fund, a political action committee. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) an Asian American, and on the Tuesday ballot, is also scheduled to attend the event,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

— THE JUICE: The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC that supports Republicans running for the House, has pumped $1.9 million into the 6th District race (and nearly $1 million into IL-17 to help Republican Esther Joy King who is facing Democrat Eric Sorensen).

Districts seeing the most spending show why House Dems are in trouble, by POLITICO’s Jessica Piper

If you are Kevin McCarthy, Playbook would like to hear your thoughts on who should be NRCC chair. 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 Old Fashioned Donuts at 3:45 p.m. with Ald. Anthony Beale.

In City Hall at 10 a.m. to preside over a council meeting. — At the Chicago Hilton at 6 p.m. for the Chicago International Gala.

At O’Hare at 6:30 p.m. to greet the president.

— TRIBUNE SCOOP | Dan Proft’s involvement in a Bailey campaign matter raises questions about his role: Proft, the head of a conservative PAC, contacted an attorney of a former employee of Republican governor candidate Darren Bailey. The move raises questions because PACs aren’t supposed to talk to campaigns, and vice versa. “Dan is a member of the press. He’s the chair of an independent expenditure committee” supporting Bailey, said the attorney. “It’s surprising to me that he would be aware of this internal HR matter and would be contacting me.” Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Rick Pearson report.

— Black politicos push back: Illinois’ African-American community is condemning a new ad by the conservative People Who Play By the Rules PAC. The ad revisits a recording of a conversation between Gov. JB Pritzker and disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in which Pritzker was dismissive of some possible African-American candidates to replace President Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Pritzker apologized for the comments.

Secretary of State Jesse White issued a statement calling the ad “highly offensive.” Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale threatened legal action because the ad uses his image. In a statement, he called the PAC a “racist, fear-mongering propaganda machine.” And Pritzker spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein said “If your strategy five days from Election Day is attempting to suppress the Black vote, you’re losing.”

African-American voters in Champaign receiving false texts about voting locations, by WAND’s Daja Clayton

In Senate race, Duckworth holds lead over Salvi: “Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth heads to the Tuesday vote leading Republican Kathy Salvi in two key metrics, polls and fundraising,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern previews the race for Illinois’ 14th.

Much confusion over Amendment 1, writes Illinois Times’ Scott Reeder, outlining advocates’ closing arguments.

Early voting up in Illinois, Chicago slightly lagging behind, via Fox 32

Senate candidates in 48th District explain their ads, by Illinois Times’ Dean Olsen

Halpin spends more than twice as much as Thoms in District 36 Senate race, by Galesburg Register-Mail’s Tom Martin

More Democrats seeking seats on Sangamon County Board, by Illinois Times’ Dean Olsen

Man named Dick Bigger Jr. becomes unlikely political icon, via Indy100. Even Jimmy Kimmelgives Bigger a shout-out.

Comptroller Mendoza, local officials call on state to timely pay families of fallen first responders: They support a House bill that “would ensure a continuing line of funding is available without disruption, so there is no delay to the families,” by Quad-City Times’ Grace Kinnicutt.

A mobile vasectomy clinic dubbed ‘Nutcracker’ offers free procedures in Midwest, by Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos

Last winter’s heating costs were bad. This year could be worse, with Chicago-area gas bills expected to spike another 30 percent, by Tribune’s Robert Channick

— A Wall Street Journal editorial says Illinois is government union heaven. “The state has 132,188 public employees who earn over $100,000,” the editorial states.

— POT-POURI | Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs to buy cannabis operations in Illinois, two other states for up to $185M: “If approved by U.S. and state regulators, the deal could create the nation’s largest Black-owned and licensed cannabis company,” via The Wall Street Journal.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Ald. Matt O’Shea clash over public safety spending: “In response to a question about crime, Lightfoot said residents should ask their aldermen to back her budget and criticized aldermen who say they support police but don’t vote for her spending plan,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.

NASCAR says downtown race worth $113.8M to city’s economy, by Crain’s Greg Hinz

Chicago Public Schools may take on more costs as it breaks away from mayoral control, report says, by Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova and Samantha Smylie

Pritzker finds a buyer for Damen Silos, industrial site once featured in ‘Transformers’ movie, by Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal

Cops: ‘Hood CNN’ reporter’s murder solved but no prosecution, by The Associated Press’ Michael Tarm

Schreibers donate $25M to Lurie Children’s Hospital for early childhood programs, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker

MacKenzie Scott breaks another local donation record, this time to Chicago nonprofit Access Living, writes Crain’s Brandon Dupré

Vintage Tribune: Revisiting Election Day in the city — including ‘Dewey Defeats Truman,’ by Tribune’s Kori Rumore and Steve Rosenberg

State senator whose district includes Arlington Park opposes possible Bears TIF: “State Sen. Ann Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat who is sponsor of legislation to reform the controversial TIF process, questioned the need for the local property tax help during conversations about the NFL franchise’s possible move to the shuttered racetrack, where the team has proposed a $5 billion mixed-use redevelopment,” by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.

Kane County’s proposed gun safety ordinance shelved amid concerns about vague wording, by Daily Herald’s James Fuller

CTA boss says he won’t ghost a City Hall hearing next week, as public pressure mounts to address rider complaints, by Block Club’s Mack Liederman

We asked what’s the one thing technology will never change:

James Castro: “A cure for the common cold. You’re welcome.”

Jordan Henderson: “To go outside and touch some grass.”

Kathy Posner: “People spouting anti-Semitic and racist messages will never change. The only difference from 60 years ago is the method of dissemination.”

Andy Shaw: “Miles of cones and barriers that close off interstate highway lanes and create massive time-sucking traffic.”

In one sentence, how much does the news affect your day-to-day life? Email [email protected]

Trump closes the midterm with his own standing in the GOP on the line, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw

Paul Pelosi at home after release from hospital, by POLITICO’s Olivia Olander

How a secret meeting put Hakeem Jeffries on track to replace Pelosi, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin

Trump’s company to get a court monitor, judge rules, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein

Susan Kelly Power dies at age 97, nearly 70 years after she helped found the nation’s first urban American Indian Center, via Indian Country News

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Ed Mazur for correctly answering that Herman Taubeneck was an state lawmaker whose vote for Alson Streeter in 1891 led to his election as chair of the national People’s Party.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What Chicago cemetery has an elevator tower that was originally used to bring caskets to ground level?  Email [email protected]

Today: Former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann, GOP political operative Michael Fontneau, Data Reporting Lab founder Darnell Little, National Equity Fund CEO Matthew Reilein, Gemini Builds It CEO Courtney Wright and Tribune investigations editor Kaarin Tisue.

Saturday: Law Bulletin editor Andrea Hanis, Young Invincibles Midwest Regional Director Lily Rocha, attorney Meryl Holt Silverman and Crain’s Assistant Managing Editor Cassandra West.

Sunday: Assistant Illinois House Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, Emerson Collective managing partner and former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Illinois House spokesman Steve Brown, Michigan regional service manager and former Chicago political insider John Geahan, media relations pro Rachel Kingery, LNA fundraiser Laurie Dimakos, KSDK News Political Editor Mark Maxwell, WBEZ’s Hunter Clauss, arts critic Hedy Weiss and Playbooker Chris Adams.



November 4, 2022 at 07:49AM

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