With help from Olivia Olander
Happy Tuesday, Illinois. We’re now hitting the 12 Days of Christmas period. Get moving before the partridges start singing.
SIZE MATTERS: Two Chicago aldermen are revisiting a proposal to take down the nearly 3,000-square-foot T-R-U-M-P sign that adorns the former president’s Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.
Not for trying: It’s an argument that the third largest city in the country has previously lost, free expression and all.
But things change: Now, Chicago Alds. Gil Villegas and Brendan Reilly say Donald Trump’s legal missteps — his Trump Organization was found guilty of tax fraud last week — and his call to terminate the Constitution warrant another look at removing the sign.
“We’re revisiting the issue. It’s time to take the stain off the skyline,” said Villegas of the sign that looms over the city’s Loop business district and the Chicago River.
It’s personal for Villegas. “I was a Marine who took an oath to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. That doesn’t have an expiration date,” he told Playbook. “I don’t have an M16 rifle, but I have the power of a pen as a legislator.”
Villegas has been vexed by Trump since the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The Chicago alderman had presented an ordinance in 2021 that said sign permits could be revoked if the holders were found guilty of treason, sedition or other subversive convictions.
Had Trump been impeached and removed from office, that ordinance could have kicked in. But he wasn’t. So, now Villegas and Reilly are working with legal teams on a new ordinance that they plan to introduce in January.
The irony of it all: “The reason we couldn’t take the sign down is because he’s protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Villegas said. “That’s the same Constitution he wants to terminate.”
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch joined Biden administration policy experts in Washington, D.C., on Monday to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session, including reproductive health, gun violence and paid family leave. It’s part of an ongoing effort by the White House to stay connected with state lawmakers.
While Welch was there, he was asked to return to D.C. to lead a roundtable discussion on historic Black statehouse speakers. Welch is the first Black House speaker in Illinois and one of a very few across the country. Legendary, of course, was former California Speaker Willie Brown, who counseled Welch when he was first named speaker.
If you’re Donald Trump, we’d like to hear from you about hotel signage. Email [email protected].
At the 54th and Cermak Pink Line stop at 4:15 p.m. to board the CTA Holiday Train heading to the Clark and Lake Pink Line stop.
At Harold Washington Library at noon with first lady of Chicago Amy Eshleman to attend the 2022 Kathy Osterman Awards to honor city employees.
At the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. to preside over a Forest Preserves board meeting.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
— Testimony was dramatic at hearing to ban assault weapons: Victims and witnesses of mass shootings in Highland Park and Chicago testified before Illinois state legislators Monday during a hearing on the Protect Illinois Communities Act, which would ban assault weapons in Illinois.
From the Tribune’s Dan Petrella: “On the surface, Highland Park and East Garfield Park don’t have much in common. But in the past six months, both the affluent, largely white North Shore suburb and the impoverished, largely Black neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side have been devastated by mass shootings.
A call for bipartisan support, writes Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles
— Illinois mandates replacement of lead pipes, but who’ll foot the bill? By CBS 2’s Lauren Victory
— Lightfoot appoints Cardenas’ former chief of staff to replace him as 12th Ward alderperson: “Attorney Anabel Abarca, a McKinley Park resident, is the mayor’s fourth appointment to fill an aldermanic vacancy,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
If approved by the City Council later this week, “which is expected, Abarca would become the fourth alderman Lightfoot has seated on the council this year. Those other three appointees, like Abarca, are running to retain their seats in the Feb. 28 municipal election, where they could see a slight incumbency advantage,” report Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt.
— Application deadline set for candidates wanting the GOP nod to replace state Rep. Tim Butler, by State Journal-Register’s Patrick Keck
— Jesus ‘Chuy’ García claims ‘front runner’ status for mayor in poll commissioned by union that endorsed him: “The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 backed García in the mayor’s race shortly after the poll was conducted.” The poll ahead of the Feb. 28 election shows García with 25 percent of the vote to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 18 percent, which would send them to an April 4 runoff. Paul Vallas follows with 14 percent and Willie Wilson with 10 percent, according to the poll. WTTW’s Heather Cherone reports.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Mayor Lori Lightfoot has released another ad in her reelection campaign. It’s called “Sacrifices” and features the mayor talking about how her parents, both “born in the segregated South,” working to elevate the lives of her and her three older siblings. Lightfoot, who gets a bit emotional, says it’s what motivates her administration’s key initiative, INVEST South/West. “I’m doing everything I can to widen and open up opportunities for those families who are growing up like the ones like mine,” she says.
— Vallas unveils crime-fighting plan to reverse ‘utter breakdown of law and order:’ “Mayoral challenger says he would fire Police Supt. David Brown, fill 1,600 police vacancies and push ‘resources to the district level,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Hearings held as Willie Wilson, Ja’Mal Green try to kick each other off ballot, reports ABC 7’s Craig Wall
— Two challengers taking on Ald. Jeanette Taylor as she seeks second term representing 20th Ward, by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans
— Delaying access to Chicago police radio calls threatens public safety, media coalition says: “The city’s new system prevents news reporters and the public from getting instant access to police scanners that broadcast information about crimes and emergencies — access that had been available for decades,” writes Sun-Times’ David Roeder. The message was signed by CBS 2, NBC 5, ABC 7, WGN, Fox 32, Sun-Times and Tribune.
— Chicago Plan Commission endorses Bally’s casino plan: “The action sends the zoning proposal to the City Council, but 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett Jr.’s objection could delay its consideration,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Attempt to end annual property hike stopped in committee: “Citing their concern that eliminating the annual hike could negatively affect the city’s credit and bond ratings and re-establish the practice of massive one-off hikes, [Mayor Lori] Lightfoot allies voted down [Ald. Brendan] Reilly’s ordinance in the Finance Committee in a 17-11 vote,” writes Crain’s Justin Laurence
— City panel gives green light to $8M subsidy for new near South Side high school, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park was evacuated Monday after a bomb threat, ABC 7’s Digital Team reports. The school received national attention from conservative media last week and was forced to tighten security, after an operative for the organization Project Veritas secretly recorded a discussion about the school’s sex-ed practices.
— Man giving winter tents to people who are homeless says city officials will no longer threaten teardowns, by Block Club’s Mack Liederman
— IN MEMORIAM: Chicago’s ‘Walking Man’ dies at 75 from complications of injuries caused by May gasoline attack, by Tribune’s Jordan Anderson and John Keilman
— Cop-killing prosecution raises questions about Kim Foxx’s conviction integrity chief: “That chief, Nancy Adduci, faces accusations she withheld ‘a mountain of evidence’ about the 2011 murder of Chicago officer Clifton Lewis,” reports WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell.
— How much cash are suburbs holding in reserve? And what are they planning to do with it? Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin reports
— Son of ex-state Rep. Edward Acevedo pleads guilty to tax charges loosely connected to ComEd case: “U.S. District Judge John Kness set sentencing for March 15, which happens to be in the middle of the scheduled trial of four people in the ComEd bribery case that spurred Acevedo’s own prosecution,” write Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.
— How Illinois courts are hidden from FOIA: “A quirk in the wording of Illinois’ FOIA — it does not explicitly name the judicial branch — has allowed the courts to interpret the law to mean they are exempt from FOIA,” writes Sophia Van Pelt, a policy analyst with Better Government Association’s BGA Policy, which is part of a coalition working to make the judicial branch part of FOIA.
— Chicago Public Schools did not defame Lincoln Park High principal fired amid scandal, jury rules, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich
— Nearly 20 police reports can be used in AJ Freund DCFS trial, by WGN’s Andy Koval
— Red Line South TIF approved by City Council committee, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— Bronzeville Trail organizers launch fundraising effort as city planners sketch first steps for 606-like path, by Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden
We asked which adjectives described you in high school:
Kristin DiCenso: “Bossy, talkative, extroverted.”
Omari Prince: “Fanatic. I was truly a sports fanatic in high school. Especially when it came to basketball.”
Gail Purkey: “Introverted.”
Bob Remer: “Active and caffeinated (remember NoDoz?).”
Phil Zeni: “Independent-creative-traveling.”
In a sentence, how will American politics change in 100 years? Email [email protected]
— Dems agonize over Sinema 2024, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine
— Sen. Dick Durbin on Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s decision last week to leave the Democratic Party: “It’s happened before in the caucus, I hope that she’ll join us in forming the leadership and committees. It’s her personal decision, I just hope she’s with us,” Durbin said.
— Appeals court struggles with Jan. 6 obstruction of Congress charges, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney
— FTX founder Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas, by POLITICO’s Sam Sutton
Gov. J.B Pritzker on Monday ordered flags to be flown half-staff until sundown Dec. 19, in honor of state Sen. Scott Bennett, 45, who died Friday from complications of a brain tumor. A memorial service for Bennett will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.
— Legendary Chicago broadcaster Floyd Brown dies at 92, by WGN’s Dean Richards
— Meredith Krantz has launched Krantz Strategies, a strategic communications consulting practice. For 12 years, Krantz has worked as a communications strategist in healthcare, transportation and government, including at Illinois’ Central Management Services and Human Services departments.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago Ald. Jason Ervin and former Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong for correctly answering that Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson grew up in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood after moving from New Orleans.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Chicago building designed by the Burnham and Root firm held the title of the tallest building in the world for two years in the 1890s? Email [email protected]
Ald. Michelle Harris, 46th Ward Committeeman Sean Tenner, former Chicago Park District Commissioner Mona Castillo, Indivisible Chicago’s Marj Halperin, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers VP Mae Hong, TV producer Donna LaPietra, Duckworth outreach coordinator and senior caseworker Stacey Berdejo and Sun-Times reporter Brett Chase.
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December 13, 2022 at 04:53PM