Chicago nudges Biden in Wisconsin
With help from Olivia Olander
Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. We caught Goodman Theatre’s production of “Toni Stone” about the first Black woman to play in the Negro Leagues. It’s poignant and funny, and you don’t have to know baseball to enjoy it.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The City of Chicago has taken out a full-page ad in the Wisconsin State Journal ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Madison today, urging him to pick Chicago to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
In big capital letters, the ad says, “CHOOSE CHICAGO,” which we know is a play on the city’s tourism bureau, also called Choose Chicago.
Chicago and Atlanta are the leading contenders to hold the convention, though New York City is still hoping it can weasel its way into Biden’s heart.
Labor of love: Today’s ad makes the case for Chicago’s labor history, saying, Chicago is in a region that’s “union strong and built by organized labor.”
Perfect union: Chicago is pressing hard on its union history. A few weeks ago, the Chicago Federation of Labor released a digital ad reminding Dems that union workers run the show in Chicago.
Today’s print ad also highlights the city’s diversity “in the heartland of democracy.”
And it takes a dig at Atlanta, where it gets hot and steamy in the summer when the convention is held. Chicago’s ad says: “P.S. How about 81 degrees and a cool lakefront breeze?”
If previous announcements are any indication, the official decision on the convention selection could come next month.
The president is traveling to Wisconsin after his State of the Union address to Congress last night to talk about his economic plan.
The mayor’s race is on the POLITICO home page!
Inside the messy one-issue contest for Chicago’s top job, by your Playbook host and my colleague Marissa Martinez, examines the race and how it fits in the public safety debate.
Big city mayors across the country are looking at Chicago to figure out how to thread messaging around policing, violence and racial justice.
Unlike political contests in 2022 in places like New York and Pennsylvania, where Republicans and Democrats argued about crime, the Chicago mayor’s race pits Democrats against Democrats, at least that’s how they describe themselves.
Lightfoot’s take: “I think we have to, as Democrats, get comfortable talking about the fact that people in our cities deserve to be safe. They deserve to feel safe,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in an interview with your Playbook host in her campaign office. “We have to create the reality and the perception of safety. And we have started to embrace it wholeheartedly.”
The mayor’s challenge: She recognizes that perception isn’t always the same as reality and that that’s the challenge of her campaign. It’s in part why she faces eight opponents ahead of the Feb. 28 election.
TUESDAY’s DEBATE: It was proof that public safety is the dominant discussion point of the mayoral campaign. The candidates spent 24 minutes on the issue during the one-hour forum that included disagreements, over-talking and some “mansplaining.”
— Video: Here’s the full forum, via WTTW
NEW POLL: Garcia, Vallas and Lightfoot in dead heat in Chicago mayor’s race, by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles and WBEZ’s Tessa Weinberg
— Lightfoot scolds rivals during testy WTTW mayoral forum: “The debate included many personal attacks, mainly directed toward and between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and ex-Chicago schools boss Paul Vallas. Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia was in Washington for the State of the Union address,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Candidates criminal justice reform, and Lightfoot draws scoffs explaining inroads in overhauling policing, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Alice Yin and A.D. Quig
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The 77 Committee, an independent expenditure group that supports Lightfoot, is behind a new attack ad targeting Brandon Johnson. The political group is also behind a microsite targeting Johnson and Willie Wilson.
— Under attack for past abortion comments, Vallas rolls out agenda focused on women’s health and safety, by Crain’s Justin Laurence
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— Push for state child tax credit begins, could face uphill battle: “Low- and middle-income families would get $700 per child,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— Illinois gets penalized yearly for not meeting federal Sex Offender Registry standards, but keeps getting money back, by CBS 2’s Tara Molina
— 5 takeaways about voter turnout in Chicago ahead of this month’s municipal election: “This past November, Chicago witnessed its lowest voter turnout for a midterm election in the past 80 years,” by WBEZ’s Amy Qin and Alden Loury.
— Sophia King, one of the mayoral challengers, is out with her first ad. In “Phone,” King says, “When you call the police, you shouldn’t have to wait 30 minutes, no matter where you live.” She’s referring to research that shows wait times for ambulances have been as long as 30 minutes in the city. The ad follows a $100,000 political donation from King’s husband, Alan King.
— VIDEO: Brandon Johnson discusses mayoral candidacy with Laura Washington, via Block Club
— 4th Ward: Before opening Near South Side high school, city must support existing schools in the area, candidates say, by Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden
— 5th Ward: Voters will get new ballots after nearly 4,000 people received misprints incorrectly listing Adrienne Irmer, who was removed from the ballot last month. WGN’s Alonzo Small reports
— 19th Ward: Ald. Matt O’Shea faces 2 challengers as he seeks 4th term, by Block Club’s Tim Moran
— 46th Ward: Meet the aldermanic candidates in Lakeview forum Thursday, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich
— Kim Walz has won the endorsement of Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Samantha Steele in her campaign for 46th Ward alderwoman.
— Voter guide: 2023 Chicago aldermanic candidates answer Tribune questionnaire
— Civic leader Andrew McKenna has died: “Andrew J. McKenna, a consummate networker and inexhaustible dynamo who was among Chicago’s most consequential business leaders of his day despite never being a major company CEO, died today at his North Shore home, according to longtime friend Newton Minow. McKenna was 93 and had fallen ill last month,” by Crain’s Steven R. Strahler.
— Despite troubling rise in suicides, CPD falling short on getting help for officers, inspector general finds: “The people in charge really don’t care,” said Carrie Steiner, a former cop turned psychologist. “I think that’s exactly how Chicago police officers feel.” Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson reports.
— Illinois Gaming Board set to take first step toward approving Bally’s Chicago casino, by Crain’s Greg Hinz
— Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza calls out Cardinal Blase Cupich over opposition to proposed city ordinance, by ABC 7’s Karen Johnson
— Pilsen neighbors, leaders slam Sims Metal shredder after fire at facility, by Block Club’s Madison Savedra
— Organizations push for more resources on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, by ABC 7’s Will Jones
— TimeLine Theatre will stage ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ this fall, a coup for the theater, reports Tribune’s Chris Jones
— Gov. JB Pritzker says Bears’ move to Arlington Heights has ‘a lot of hoops to run through’: “Pritzker spoke a day after state Sen. Ann Gillespie introduced legislation that would create a financing device to allow property tax assessments to be frozen for up to 40 years on major developments like the one proposed by the Bears,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— Lawyers for ‘ComEd Four’ seeking to bar evidence of utility’s deal with feds, expert on Chicago political corruption from upcoming bribery trial, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long
— Wicker Park bar sues over shutdown as public safety threat, saying city is using it as a scapegoat for a failure to control violence, by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry
— Family of bicyclist killed in 2022 hit-and-run on Northwest Side files lawsuit against Metra, city of Chicago, by Tribune’s Adriana Pérez
— Amid struggles to meet diversity goals, Illinois launches study to determine whether discrimination exists in pot industry: “The $2.5 million study, required by state law, will analyze applications for licenses to grow marijuana, as well as transport and dispense it. The study will look closely at the much-criticized social equity program, aimed at increasing diversity among license holders,” by Sun-Times’ Mohammad Samra.
— Would transit ambassadors help the CTA with its crime problem? “Transit ambassadors are being introduced in transit systems from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Cleveland and Philadelphia but evidence of its effectiveness remains limited,” writes Illinois Answers Project’s Manny Ramos.
We asked whether you keep track of political donations.
Robert Kieckhefer: “I remember riding around with Jim Thompson in the big Buick during one election campaign, listening to an aide go through a stack of checks. Big Jim either OK’d each one, asked ‘Who’s that?’ and put it on hold, or said, ‘No. send it back.’ I don’t think there’s that much attention to detail anymore.”
Eli Brottman: “Yes, it’s one of the best ways to learn about a candidate.”
Fred Lebed: “I am unequivocally not influenced by who donates to political campaigns.”
Mark Heffington: “Not influenced by who donates or how much, but it’s always interesting for discussion.”
Mike Matejka: “Who donates to a campaign speaks to whom a candidate is connecting and what issues they are resonating with.”
Ed Mazur: “I am influenced and turned off by contributors over $100,000 regardless of party or PAC.”
Mark Michaels: “I am influenced by both who contributes to a campaign and maybe more so to whom the candidate contributes.”
Kathy Posner, who’s worked on campaigns and for the Office of the Legislative Inspector General, enjoys “deep diving” into political donations “is a fun game whether I am involved with a race or not.”
Why do you stay put in Illinois? Email [email protected]
— What Biden said — and what he meant, by POLITICO’s Eli Stokols
— ILLINOIS DEMS REAX: Sen. Dick Durbin looks forward to “supporting Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty against Putin’s unjust and unprovoked invasion.” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said “women’s health is on the line.” Rep. Jonathan Jackson (IL-01) called Biden’s speech “powerful and hopeful.”
Rep. Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) would like to have heard more about the farm bill. Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) described Biden’s agenda as “ambitious.” Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04) said it was “hopeful.” Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11) liked the attention to job creation. Rep. Eric Sorensen (IL-17) said “there’s more work to be done.” And Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) praised Biden’s comments on bipartisanship.
— VIDEO: Rep. Delia Ramirez (IL-03), who gave the Work Families Democrats speech after the State of the Union, liked that Biden mentioned the child tax credit.
— And Republican Rep. Darin LaHood liked what he heard about bipartisanship, but “much” of the speech he said was “rhetoric.”
— Illinoisans who attended the address, via NBC 5’s Kate Chappell
— The state of Biden’s union with a GOP Congress: It’s tense, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris, Burgess Everett and Meredith Lee Hill
— DeSantis continues broadsides against the media ahead of likely 2024 run, by POLITICO’s Arek Sarkissian
— Big money, including from the Uihleins, and partisan priorities are going into the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, by Courthouse News Service’s Joe Kelly
— WTTW elects new members to its board of trustees: “The new members are Connie Lindsey, recently retired executive vice president of Northern Trust; Rachel Saunders, the CEO of Apex Digital Assets, a subdivision of Apex Fintech Solutions; and David Mabie, co-founder and partner at Chicago Capital, a financial services and investment firm,” writes Crain’s Corli Jay.
— Chicago Reader editor Jim Daley moving to The Triibe, by Crain’s Corli Jay
— Greg Cybulski is deputy chief of staff and comms director for Congressman Bill Foster. He has been comms director.
— Grace Bouton is press secretary for Congressman Foster. She was comms assistant.
— Today at noon: Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, a candidate for mayor, will present his education plan at a City Club event. Details here
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Stella Black for correctly answering that Hoopeston is known as the sweet corn capital and its high school teams are the “Cornjerkers.” H/t to Jim Bray for noting the most famous Cornjerker might be Thad Matta, who coaches at Butler University.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What’s the winningest basketball team in Illinois? Email [email protected]
Secretary of State press secretary Henry Haupt, Illinois Automobile Dealers Association Executive Director Joe McMahon, former Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman, CPA and former city treasurer candidate Peter Gariepy, Salesforce VP Matt Jaffe and Community Media Workshop co-founder Thom Clark.
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February 8, 2023 at 02:27PM