This ain’t bean-bag, Mr. Vallas
With help from Olivia Olander
Happy Tuesday, Illinois. Get out the popcorn. Tonight is the State of the Union.
A NEW AD released by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s team shows a lengthier interview of challenger Paul Vallas claiming the Republican mantle.
“I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat,” Vallas says during a 2009 sit-down with conservative commentator Jeff Berkowitz. And “If I were to run for office again, I would run as a Republican,” he continues.
The ad seems to offer more context than the snippets of the same interview featured last week in a video by challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Vallas said then that the video was taken “out of context” and that he is an avowed Democrat.
The new ad also reminds viewers that Vallas did the interview when Barack Obama, Chicago’s top Democrat at the time, was president.
The attack ad runs 30 seconds, making it more difficult for Vallas to explain what part was out of context. Maybe he’ll explain more at tonight’s mayoral forum on WTTW. That starts at 7 p.m., right before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Vallas is a former Democratic nominee for governor, who’s enjoyed frontrunner status in recent days thanks to endorsements and donations.
His mayoral campaign has also leaned conservative. He’s endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and was on the docket to speak Monday at an event for the group alongside controversial FOP President John Catanzara.
On Monday, Vallas donated $10,000 to Parents for Peace and Justice in response to accepting a $5,000 political donation from a retired cop involved in the Laquan McDonald murder. "I don’t personally know this officer, and I was unaware of the donation until the WBEZ report brought it to our attention late last week,” Vallas said in a statement. WBEZ has more.
Negative ads fly in Chicago mayoral race as candidates seek to define opponents, by WTTW’s Paris Schutz and Paul Caine
DALEYS JOIN THE FRAY: Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is getting involved in the municipal race. He’s co-hosting a fundraiser Feb. 15 with his brother, Cook County Commissioner John Daley, to benefit 11th Ward Ald. Nicole Lee.
It’s not the first time the former mayor has added his two cents to Chicago’s political scene since announcing in 2010 he wouldn’t seek reelection. His other brother, Bill Daley, certainly had his support in a run for mayor four years ago. But Rich Daley has otherwise stayed quiet on the political scene.
The 11th Ward is important to the Daleys. It’s home to the Bridgeport neighborhood that the Daleys have counted as home for more than a century. The late former Mayor Richard J. Daley, the father to Richard, John and Bill and the legendary “boss” of Chicago, lived there his whole life.
Lee’s appointment last year by Mayor Lori Lightfoot had the Daley blessing, so they want to make sure she stays put. Lee faces six challengers in the race, as Block Club has noted.
If you are Richard M. Daley, Playbook would like to hear from you. Email [email protected].
At the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria at 10 a.m. for the mobilization ceremony of the 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 106th Aviation Regiment — At the Peoria Riverfront Museum at 11:30 a.m. to announce improvements to Bob Michel Bridge.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. for the Forest Preserves 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]
— The Uihleins are battling in the GOP’s civil war: “While Liz has spent millions of dollars buttressing the party hierarchy, including candidates and super PACs backed by GOP leaders, Dick has invested even more heavily in tearing it down, pouring millions into far-right primary challengers and insurgent groups,” by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt.
— Ranked choice voting in Chicago? “It would allow voters to list candidates in order of preference — potentially eliminating costly runoff elections. Its supporters hope City Council will at least have a conversation about the system,” says Ald. Matt Martin. Block Club’s Quinn Myers reports.
— State Rep. Blaine Wilhour laments the widening divide between Northern and Downstate Illinois: “If you aren’t articulating a vision” to tackle issues, “you won’t get people to vote for you” in a state that’s getting more Democratic, the Republican from Beecher City said in an interview with Vandalia Radio’s Todd Stapleton.
— Pritzker sets aside $40M for industrial growth: “The state grants would be available for work on parcels of at least 200 acres,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Some Illinois hospitals still don’t comply with price transparency rule, report says: “The rule requires hospitals to publish prices for common services and treatments on their websites,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.
— New bill would require Chicago grocery stores, gas stations to hire armed guards, via Fox 32
— Jesus “Chuy” Garcia offers property tax relief plan: “With grants for owners of homes and rental properties and help for owners of storefronts and residential buildings, Garcia hopes to buy time to face what’s really putting pressure on Chicago property taxes: inadequate state funding for CPS,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Brandon Johnson unveils sweeping plan to fight violent crime: “Under repeated questioning by the Chicago Sun-Times, Johnson refused to say whether he would permanently eliminate the 1,600 police vacancies,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Roderick Sawyer’s father is his hero. But the former mayor’s son says he’ll bring his own ideas to City Hall, by Block Club’s Noah Asimow
— VIDEO: Sophia King discusses mayoral candidacy with Laura Washington, via Block Club
— The tax that won’t die — and other revenue plans — surface in city election, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
— Megan Mathias, a challenger in the 45th Ward aldermanic race, is out with an attack ad against incumbent Ald. Jim Gardiner.
— Mayoral mixer: All nine candidates for mayor are confirmed to give a quick pitch and then mix and mingle at City Club’s “Take 5 Cocktail Reception” on Thursday. Restaurateur Alpana Singh will keep everyone in line for the event that will feature cocktails (and mocktails) and music by Beverly Phono Mart and Mecca Elevated. Details here
— $100M South Shore film studio a step toward making Chicago ‘Hollywood of the Midwest,’ officials say: “The 222,000-square foot Regal Mile Studios is projected to open next year on a 7-acre parcel at South Chicago Avenue, Stony Island and 77th Street. The studio will have five soundstages, a gym, cafeteria and recreation space,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— Cardinal Blase Cupich weighs in against proposed Chicago labor ordinance: “In an unusually public move, Cupich sent a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and all 50 aldermen asking them to oppose a pending proposal that would require Catholic Charities to sign a labor peace agreement with union officials. Such a pact wouldn’t necessarily result in staffers being unionized, but it would likely result in higher wage and related costs,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Applications open for one-time $500 payments aimed at providing relief to domestic workers, undocumented immigrants, by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón
— Nonprofit envisions new affordable housing for families at vacant Lower West Side lot, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
— Sandra Bland was right: “Out of the six Chicago-area traffic stops where Bland was ticketed, the police in five of them had a practice of racial profiling during the exact window of time in which she was stopped,” by NBC 5’s Christian Farr and Katy Smyser.
— Tax plan proposal filed in Springfield could aid Bears’ proposed Arlington Heights development: “The plan, which would require the Bears to invest at least $500 million in converting the 326-acre site to a stadium and surrounding mixed-use development, has been floated for weeks and is being met with some skepticism, even from the state lawmaker who filed the legislation,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Robert McCoppin.
— Anticipating security needs for a Bears stadium, Arlington Heights police and fire brass visit stadium venues in L.A., Vegas and Dallas, by Pioneer Press’ Caroline Kubzansky
— State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) and Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, are being honored by the Illinois Railroad Association with the Railroader of the Year award. Tim Butler, the association’s president, praised Joyce and Denzler for “promoting a robust freight rail system” in Illinois.
We asked how far back your social media posts matter, and heard nothing but crickets.
For tomorrow: Do you keep track of who donates to campaigns? Email [email protected]
Sen. Dick Durbin, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is taking heat from the New York Times editorial board, which is calling for an end to the “blue slip” process that gives home-state senators veto power over judicial picks. The Times calls the tradition “a fundamentally undemocratic practice that gives far too much power to individual senators.”
— Biden’s 2022 State of the Union report card: Where he delivered — and fell flat, by POLITICO’s Myah Ward
— Jill Biden invites Rolling Meadows H.S. student to sit in her box at the State of the Union address: “RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, who died after a police beating in Memphis, Tenn., will also be guests of the first lady,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Illinois Congresswoman Delia Ramirez tapped to give Working Families Party response, by ABC 7’s Sarah Schulte
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders gets a SOTU spotlight. Trump gets the affirmation, by POLITICO’s David Siders
— Their +1s Sen. Dick Durbin will host Chris Manson, VP of government relations for OSF HealthCare in Peoria and founder of U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine. Sen. Tammy Duckworth will host Dr. Erin King of Illinois’ Hope Clinic. Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06) will host DuPage Pads shelter provider CEO April Redzic. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) will host Campaign for Uyghurs Executive Director Rushan Abbas. Rep. Nikki Budzinski will host Andrea Kelly, a Decatur construction wireman. Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) will host retired cardiac ICU nurse Cindy Mundell of Naperville.
— And Rep. Mary Miller (IL-15) says she won’t be attending the SOTU tonight as a protest against the president.
— NPR’s State of the Union coverage geared for listeners who navigate the world in two languages, via KQED
— Top general says Trump-era spy balloons flew over the U.S. undetected, by POLITICO’s Lara Seligman
— Florida Republicans help DeSantis clean up legal and political dilemmas, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout
— Klobuchar rising: Leadership path opens for Minnesota Dem, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Susan Cappello is now active executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control. She has been deputy director since July 2021.
— Mamadou Diakhate is now administrator of Cook County’s Department of Animal and Rabies Control. He was head of Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Tarrah Cooper Wright, CEO of Rise Strategy Group, and husband Jeffrey Wright of Gold Leaf Capital Partners, have welcomed Claire Leatrice Theresia home to join big brother Jeff.
— Feb. 11: Dan Proft, a conservative broadcaster in Florida who still keeps his hand in Illinois politics, headlines the McHenry County Republican Lincoln Leadership dinner. Proft ran the People Who Play By The Rules political action committee that supported Republican Darren Bailey for governor. Details here
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Robert Christie, John Mark Hansen and Bill Velazquez for correctly answering that the Mickelberry Sausage Co. was made famous when it was rocked by a deadly explosion on this day in 1968.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Illinois community is known as the sweet corn capital of the world and their high school sports teams are known as the “Cornjerkers”? Email [email protected]
Illinois House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons, Durbin comms director Emily Hampsten, philanthropist Maureen Dwyer Smith, Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides, political consultant Wallace Gator Bradley and Charles Schwab senior writer Bruce Blythe.
February 7, 2023 at 08:28AM