With help from Olivia Olander
Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. We’re looking for the snow-shoveling app.
Mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia came out with his first TV ad Tuesday in the Chicago mayor’s race, only to take it down for a quick edit because it featured uniformed police officers.
That’s a no-no. Chicago Police Department rules prohibit officers from campaigning for political candidates, reports WGN’s Ben Bradley.
A fine-tuned commercial called “Home” popped up later in the evening and shows Garcia talking about public safety, saying, “It’s time to get back to a safer Chicago.”
In the ad, Garcia calls for getting more cops on the streets and getting illegal guns off the streets, expanding community-based violence prevention programs and attacking the root causes of crime.
Gloves are off: Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign says Garcia’s ad looks familiar. Here’s a side-by-side of text comparing his new ad to a previous Lightfoot ad.
The mayor has a new ad, too. It needles Garcia’s connections to crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried and former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, both of whom have been charged with various forms of corruption.
How they’re spending: Other mayoral candidates are also on the air. Paul Vallas is leading this week, spending nearly $300,000 on ad buys, followed by Lightfoot at $255,200, Brandon Johnson at $255,00, Willie Wilson at $195,591 and Garcia at $167,304, according to numbers pulled from media buys.
JUICE: Lightfoot’s campaign saw more than $300,000 in political donations to her campaign after a poll showed her leading other mayoral candidates. The Carpenter’s Union donated $150,000, and Chicago area-CEO John S. Frank gave another $150,000. Last week, philanthropist Jennifer Steans gave $25,000, and businessman and former governor candidate Chris Kennedy gave $10,000.
Lightfoot needed it: The donations arrived after two months of TV ad buys by the mayor’s campaign.
From downtown to the neighborhoods, here’s how mayoral candidates are vowing to strengthen Chicago’s economy: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her challengers have focused on how to reduce crime as a way to bolster the city’s economy,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tessa Weinberg.
GAMING GURU: Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is out with committee chair assignments, including Rep. Daniel Didech as chair of the Gaming Committee.
He’s got special experience: Didech is a former professional poker player, and he was a licensed thoroughbred owner. “We all offer our unique backgrounds and unique areas of expertise to the legislature,” Didech, a Democrat from Buffalo Grove, told Playbook.
From 2006 to 2011 when he was in college and after, Didech gambled professionally — “largely online” and he spent summers in Las Vegas. Didech even competed in tournaments in Europe and the Caribbean. “It was a fun part of my life,” he said.
Now Didech is dealing a new hand in the General Assembly. He says gaming comprises about 5 percent of the state budget. As gaming continues to expand, the House Gaming Committee will focus on “making sure the industry is working in the best interest of the people of Illinois.”
There are a river of gaming subjects, including new casinos, internet gaming, sports betting and the lottery. “It’s a significant subject matter that makes sense to have its own committee,” Didech said.
This isn’t the first House Gaming Committee. In the 2000s, former Rep. Lou Lang also chaired a House Gaming Committee. Then-House Speaker Michael Madigan was never a fan of gaming, so he folded it and moved gaming issues to the Executive Committee.
MORE NEW LEADERS: State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe is chair of the House Mental Health and Addictions Committee. “We are at an inflection point of need and willingness to seek support for mental health, and policy makers know it,” said LaPointe, whose background is in human services. “Fundamentally, we have to amp up our behavioral healthcare workforce through recruitment, retention and diversification.”
And state Rep. Kelly Burke is now chair of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. “It’s a challenging committee dealing with many important and sometimes complex issues and ideas,” she said in a text.
If you are Chris Kennedy, Playbook would like to catch up on what you’re doing these days. Email [email protected].
No official public events.
On Kilbourn Avenue for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Public Safety Training Center.
At the Cook County Building at 3 p.m. for a Lunar New Year Celebration.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
— NRA and lawyer who helped win U.S. Supreme Court case train their sights on Illinois’ assault weapons ban: “Although the National Rifle Association is not listed as a plaintiff, a spokesperson told the Sun-Times it joined the National Sports Shooting Foundation to bring forth the suit, similar to what it did in a New York case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court,” by Tina Sfondeles.
— Midwest economy shows signs of tough times ahead, says Chicago Fed: “Business activity in the Midwest has improved slightly but remains well below the norm, according to the latest survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Giannoulias makes modernization push, by Capitol News’ Nika Schoonover
— Carvana, state settle fight over vehicle titles, registrations, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
— Illinois public school enrollment keeps dropping, by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie
— GOP pushing back: State Senate Republican Leader John Curran and Republican deputies Sue Rezin and Neil Anderson are discussing a new resolution to reject “ongoing efforts to raise taxes on Illinoisans through a progressive income tax,” they said in a release.
— Embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner’s fitness is key issue in race for 45th Ward: “His time in public office has been marked by allegations he used his power as alderman to target political opponents, including a reported federal investigation into whether he sought to withhold ward services from some residents who opposed his agenda,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.
— Willie Wilson defends cash giveaways as fellow mayoral candidates raise ethical concerns, by ABC 7’s Craig Wall
— Mayoral hopeful Ja’Mal Green wants to make the Mag Mile ‘a strip of experiences,’ by Crain’s Greg Hinz
— At 5th Ward forum, slew of candidates share stances on housing, cops in schools in South Shore, by Block Club’s Noah Glasgow
— City touts ‘social bonds’ sale as success: “As part of the $1.2 billion Chicago Recovery Plan put together by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and approved by the City Council, the city issued a roughly $160 million bond offering and gave Chicagoans a one-day head start on the right to purchase the bonds ahead of the larger market,” by Crain’s Justin Laurence
— FBI’s new Chicago boss says he considers job the ‘pinnacle’ of his career: “A 24-year FBI veteran with a background in counterterrorism, Wheeler was appointed special agent in charge earlier this month by FBI Director Christopher Wray to succeed Emmerson Buie, who retired in August,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
— Chicago police, Cook County sheriff partner up to help owners protect vehicles from theft, by Sun-Times’ Cindy Hernandez
— Construction begins on new FlyOver ride at Navy Pier, by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo
— Thousands of letters — some sent from Chicago nearly 2 centuries ago — up for auction, by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito
— The city has declared today “DePaul Day” in honor of the school’s 125th anniversary. Watch for the skyline to be lit up in blue and red.
— As several support DuPage sheriff, county chair says she’ll seek censure over weapons ban remarks: “Deb Conroy’s announcement came after more than 200 people gathered at the board meeting on Tuesday to express support or outrage over Sheriff James Mendrick’s refusal to fully enforce the state’s new ban on high-powered weapons and high-capacity magazines,” by Daily Herald’s Alicia Fabbre
— RELATED: Hundreds flood DuPage County Board meeting to speak out on sheriff’s statement against enforcing state’s ban on assault weapons, by Beacon-News’ Megan Jones
— Highland Park leaders say they’ll take their time on permanent memorial to shooting victims, by Daily Herald’s Doug T. Graham
— Toni Preckwinkle’s chief of staff is a driving force getting Cook County equity fund to uplift Black, brown communities, writes Tribune’s Darcel Rockett
— Former Cook County Board of Review employee sentenced to 3 months in prison for taking bribes to fix tax appeals: “Danilo Barjaktarevic, who was a deputy at the board responsible for helping property owners appeal their real estate tax valuations, pleaded guilty in September to one count of bribery,” reports Tribune’s Adriana Pérez
— Chicago is a key battleground as railroads struggle to figure out the future, by Tribune’s John Lippert
— At Jefferson Park transit center, CTA security teams give unhoused Chicagoans the boot, by Block Club’s Ariel Parrella-Aureli
We asked how your political views have evolved:
Kalpana (“Kali”) Plomin: “Since sending my kids to a majority-minority CPS elementary school and seeing how unevenly educational resources are allocated, I’ve gotten much more progressive.”
Warren Silver: “I haven’t changed, but as political discourse has moved rightward over time, I find myself further out on the left. It’s like our house — find ourselves in the 39th Ward instead of the 40th Ward despite not moving an inch.”
In what area does progress move too fast? Email [email protected]
— Durbin, Jam Productions CEO slam Live Nation at Senate hearing over Taylor swift ticket fiasco: “The ticketing and live entertainment markets lack competition and they are dominated by a single entity: Live Nation,” Durbin said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing sparked by the recent problems with Ticketmaster’s handling of sales for a Taylor Swift tour that left fans disappointed and anguished. Crain’s Mark Walsh reports.
VIDEO highlights from the hearing, via POLITICO
— GOP Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) was appointed by Speaker Kevin McCarthy to serve as a member of the House Select Committee on China. LaHood served on the House Republican China Task Force in the 116th and 117th Congress and co-chairs the bipartisan U.S.-China Working Group. LaHood also is on the Ways and Means and Intelligence committees.
— GOP Congresswoman Mary Miller (IL-15) will serve a second term on the House Agriculture Committee. “As one of the few family farmers left in Congress,” Miller said in a statement that she looks forward to bringing her “expertise and experience to the committee” as it drafts a farm bill.
— THE FIFTY: States look to California’s blueprint for a post-Roe world, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein
— McCarthy names GOP members to run sweeping investigative panel, by POLITICO’s Jordain Cairney
— The improbability of George Santos’ $199 expenses, by POLITICO’s Jessica Piper
— Jennifer Layden has been named acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance and Technology. She’s currently CDC’s associate deputy director of public health science and surveillance. Layden joined the CDC in 2020 after serving as the deputy commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Public Health and was epidemiologist and chief medical officer for the Illinois Public Health Department, via POLITICO Pro.
— Golnar Teimouri has joined Arnold Ventures in Washington, D.C., as manager of criminal justice reform research. Teimouri was a policy adviser for public safety in the Lightfoot administration after also working on the mayor’s first campaign.
— Natalie Phelps Finnie, a former Downstate representative, has been appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Finnie has been deputy director of DNR since 2021.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mary Kay Minaghan for correctly answering that Frank Kruesi was the aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley and a longtime government worker who was known for wearing a yellow jacket.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Chicago museum once served as a police lockup? Email [email protected]
Obama Foundation Chief Strategy Officer Tina Tchen, Cleveland Avenue Managing Partner Andrea Zopp, GPG Strategies CEO Michael Axelrod, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Executive Director Erin Aleman, Fig Media President Michele Gustin and Laura Bagby, comms director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.
And belated congrats to Eric Madiar, a pension expert and Springfield lobbyist, who celebrated the big 5-0 on Tuesday.
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January 25, 2023 at 09:33AM