White House taps Mike Cabonargi


Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are meeting in the Oval Office today. Don’t expect fireworks.

Mike Cabonargi, the longtime Chicago Democratic insider and former Cook County Board of Review commissioner, is exiting the Democratic State Central Committee because he’s taking a job in the Biden administration.

The White House is tapping Cabonargi to be a regional director of Health and Human Services. “I have accepted an appointment from President Biden,” Cabonargi said in an email to Democratic Party friends. The White House has not yet announced the appointment. Cabonargi is expected to remain in Chicago.

Cabonargi, once an aide to Sen. Dick Durbin, stepped down from the state Democratic Party committee Sunday. Democrats have until Feb. 28 to replace him in a process that’s similar to how state representatives are chosen. Elected Democrats from the area represented by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s 9th Congressional District will name Cabonargi’s successor.

Angling for the seat: Leo Smith, director of policy at Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny) and husband of former state Sen Heather Steans, is a name that’s popped up.

And the Asian American Caucus is pushing for an Asian American to get the appointment. “Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in Illinois,” the group wrote in a letter to fellow Dems who will vote on Cabonargi’s replacement. Here’s the letter.

Population power: The caucus notes that the 9th District contains the largest Asian-American population of any congressional district in Illinois and that it helped flip three Illinois General Assembly seats from R to D in the past two cycles. “We deserve a seat at the table,” the group wrote.

Why it matters: Members on the party’s central committee have cachet ahead of a presidential election. Along with promoting the party’s presidential pick, they would play outsized roles in the Democratic Convention if it was in Chicago.

Voting to fill Cabonargi’s seat: state Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Mark Walker, state Sen. Laura Murphy, Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita, Chicago Alds. Harry Osterman and Debra Silverstein, Evanston Committeeman Eamon Kelly and Democratic committee leaders Sean Tenner, Joe Cook, Maggie O’Keefe, Paul Rosenfeld, Tracy Katz Muhl, Dean Maragos, Kristina Zahorik and Lauren Beth Gash.

IT’S GETTING UGLY: Last night’s Chicago mayoral debate was the most raucous yet, with protesters disrupting the forum and candidates taking jabs at each other.

Some of the harshest criticism was aimed at Willie Wilson, who has repeatedly doubled-down on his belief that police should “hunt” criminals like “rabbits.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the comments “offensive,” saying, “to hunt people down like rabbits, you’re talking about Black and brown boys in our city. I can’t believe you continue to say it.“

“Disgusting” is how Ja’Mal Green put it. “When you have that mentality that Willie Wilson has, you have Tyre Nichols, you have George Floyd, you have Anjanette Young. We cannot have that in this city.”

Asked if he wanted to respond to Green, Wilson said, “I don’t respond to kids.” Wilson is 74, and Green is 27. The Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo has more on that exchange.

Good overview from Tribune’s Gregory Pratt: Moderators Lourdes Duarte and Tahman Bradley of WGN 9 “called for a show of hands from candidates who would keep Lightfoot’s handpicked police Superintendent David Brown as the city’s top cop. Lightfoot raised her hand and businessman Willie Wilson sheepishly followed suit. ‘I think you have to fire the mayor,’ Wilson said. Lightfoot mostly ignored the comment but pivoted to an attack on Brandon Johnson and U.S. Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, who she accused of being “defunders” of the Chicago Police Department.”

WGN 9 has video takeaways of each question.

If you are Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Playbook would like to know what you look for in a good central committee member. Email [email protected].

No official public events.

In City Hall at 10 a.m. to preside over the City Council meeting.

At Center of Englewood at noon for the opening of the Gandhi King Center for Non Violence.

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

Emergency’s over, but danger’s not: Pritzker ends pandemic disaster status, but warns, Covid-19 has not disappeared’: “Beyond the bureaucratic red tape, the disaster proclamation allowed Gov. J.B. Pritzker to put in place multiple executive orders. Should the pandemic worsen, he would have to make another disaster proclamation in order to issue those sorts of orders again,” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.

State Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin says bill would help prevent homeowners losing properties due to back taxes: “Her legislation, House Bill 1238, and corresponding legislation in the Senate introduced by Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would allow taxpayers the opportunity to catch up on delinquent tax bills, which Meyers-Martin said has been a big obstacle for homeowners in the south and southwest suburbs,” which she represents. Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan reports.

Appellate court upholds restraining order on assault weapons ban, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock

Amid ‘unprecedented’ prolonged revenue boom, state finds budget breathing room, by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki

— Mayor Lori Lightfoot received a $25,000 contribution to her re-election bid from Emily’s List, which recently endorsed her. And Chicago entrepreneur Pete Kadens donated $10,000.

— Paul Vallas has received $50,000 each from Rush Street Gaming’s Greg Carlin and Chicago Trading Co.’s Eric Chern and $25,000 from LaSalle Network’s Tom Gimbel.

How Willie Wilson built the fortune that fuels his populist giveaways: “He began working at McDonald’s as a janitor and says his willingness to continue working while his white managers walked out on strike won him his first managerial job. Eventually wanting a store of his own, he ‘went to Ray Kroc at a shareholder meeting … He gave me the opportunity to get my own store.’” What Wilson won’t say: whether he voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Crain’s Justin Laurence reports.

Paul Vallas proposes ‘second Burnham plan’ to rebuild neighborhoods, reverse population loss, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

Vallas will keep campaign contribution from former CPS board member: “The decision marks an about-face from his stand in 2019, when he returned a donation from Deborah Quazzo,” write WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos and Tessa Weinberg.

What real estate industry wants from Chicago’s next mayor, by RealDeal’s Rachel Herzog

— 9th Ward: Far South Side aldermanic hopefuls vow to improve public safety, spur developments, by Block Club’s Maia McDonald

— 21st Ward: Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia has endorsed Ronnie Mosley for alderman.

— 22nd Ward: Little Village Ald. Michael Rodriguez faces 2 challengers, by Block Club’s Madison Savedra

— WBEZ voter guide: Find your ward and police district, and watch video interviews with Chicago mayoral hopefuls

They’re filling in the map of historical racist covenants on Chicago homes: “The first online map of 20th-century racist restrictions placed on Chicago homes launches today, showing about 25,000 properties where owners agreed to never sell or rent to Black people,” Crain’s Dennis Rodkin reports.

Some City Council members are questioning Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed deal with ComEd, by Tribune’s Alice Yin

$1M settlement in fatal police shooting stalls in committee, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

Opioid Response Team launches as alternative for Chicago overdose emergencies, by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan

Man who says he settled Chicago police brutality case shares video after Tyre Nichols killing, by Block Club’s Mack Liederman

Promontory Point repairs get $5M boost, by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans

Some migrants head to police stations, hospitals as shelters fill up, by Block Club’s Madison Savedra

Old Wadsworth School still not open as a shelter, but migrants could move in this week, by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans

SHOVEL-READY: Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) is advocating for a pilot program to clear sidewalks on snowy days. Danger zone: The city’s slippery walking paths pose a safety hazard to seniors, people with disabilities and people without cars, limiting economic participation, he argues.

“In a $16 billion budget, there’s opportunity there,” he told Olivia, adding that Toronto and Syracuse, N.Y., offer municipal sidewalk clearing, so why not Chicago, too.

Villegas envisions a pilot program that would see city workers clear some sidewalks next winter with a citywide rollout over the next four to five years.

Advocates have pushed the idea for at least two years. “We cannot rely on individual property owners to clear the streets. We shouldn’t rely on them for sidewalks,” says Laura Saltzman, a transportation policy analyst for Access Living.

The big question: How to pay for it. A pilot proposed by the campaign puts that cost at $750,000.

Financial disparities in Cook County are almost double national average, study finds, by Sun-Times’ Michael Loria

R. Kelly accuser opens up about waiting for justice and pain over charges being dropped, by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner

Former CPD officer faces felony charges, city’s inspector general says, by Tribune’s Paige Fry

Jussie Smollett given more time to file appeal brief, but court warns ‘no further extension will be granted,’ by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson

O’Hare’s expanded international terminal is ‘stunning and beautiful,’ Lightfoot boasts, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

Metra’s UP North Line to receive funding to replace bridges, track, via Fox 32

Pope Francis names Chicago native head of Vatican bishops’ department: Some reports cited Cardinal Blase Cupich as a likely candidate for the job, via Pillar Catholic.

— Former U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) is donating physical and digital papers and artifacts from his 12 years of service in the U.S. House to the Dirksen Congressional Center.

We asked about your teenage celebrity crush:

James Castro: Hellen Hunt

Ashvin Lad: Jennifer Aniston

Enza Raineri: David Cassidy

Steven Smith: Patty Duke

What was our greatest triumph in the past 100 years? Email [email protected]

— Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) and fellow lawmakers Dina Titus (NV-01) and Diana DeGette (CO-01) introduced the Keep Americans Safe Act, “legislation that would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of high-capacity gun magazines that hold more than fifteen rounds,” Schneider’s team explained in a statement.

— Sen. Dick Durbin joins Democrats in calling for the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified. Video via POLITICO

House GOP sets its expectations low for McCarthy-Biden debt meeting, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris, Olivia Beavers and Caitlin Emma

— THE FIFTY: Election officials ready themselves for the next wave of Trump followers, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellero

Omar, now a Dem unifier, faces down her GOP critics, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu

Indiana justices won’t hear 2nd abortion case for now, by The Associated Press’ Arleigh Rodgers

Sean O’Shea, a South Side native who worked at the White House under Clinton, dies at 46, by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek

U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders leaving district to become state superintendent of education: “U-46 school board President Sue Kerr noted that Sanders’ numerous accomplishments include expansion of the district’s dual language program, launching a full-day kindergarten program, starting a dual-credit program with Elgin Community College, undergoing a facilities study to identify building needs, and growing the career pathways programs for high school students,” by Daily Herald’s Alicia Fabbre.

— Kevin Bueso is now CFO and senior deputy executive director at the Regional Transportation Authority. Bueso has spent his career in local government and finance, serving for the last three years as the chief financial officer for McHenry County.

— Today at 10 a.m.: To kick off Black History Month, The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago hosts its annual raising of the Pan-African flag at the MWRD Barbara J. McGowan Main Office Building, 100 E. Erie Street.

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mike Kreloff for correctly answering that Ron Michaelson was the first executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Portuguese-American federal judge and civil rights icon once indicted for inciting a riot? Email [email protected]

State Sen. Willie Preston, Illinois Department of Commerce legislative liaison Aaron Gold-Stein, Kirkland & Ellis’ William S. Singer, Chicago State University external affairs VP Erin Steva, Chicagoland Apartment Association Executive VP Mike Mini, former McLean County Board member Hannah Beer, political analyst Charles Lipson, 14th Street Strategies’ Meaghan Burdick and congressional comms director Miguel Ayala.



via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/7Wz1dqS

February 1, 2023 at 07:54AM

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