Happy Tuesday, Illinois. And Happy Valentine’s Day! 13 ways to treat yourself, via WBEZ.
The nine Chicago mayoral candidates attacked each other with abandon Monday in the last forum with all of them on stage before the Feb. 28 election. Along with the drama and tension among candidates, it was a debate that only Chicagoans could really appreciate given all the references to their neighborhoods.
The big battle: Mayor Lori Lightfoot needled Brandon Johnson, a signal she’s trying to tamp down momentum he’s seeing among Black and progressive voters. Lightfoot accused Johnson of backing tax hikes on residents who earn more than $100,000. Johnson denied it even though United Working Families, which supports him, is behind the idea.
This again: When Johnson repeated a familiar debate line about his “lived experience” on the West Side, fellow challenger Ja’Mal Green rolled his eyes and called Johnson “a fraud” for not doing enough as a county commissioner to improve the neighborhood.
And the mayor and Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia went toe to toe over Lightfoot’s Invest South/West program. She touted the effort for pumping “hundreds of millions of dollars into those communities.” But Garcia scoffed, saying, “most people in Chicago don’t believe anything she says with respect to her signature program.”
Lightfoot pushed back, inviting Garcia to join her in visiting the communities. “I know you don’t know Black Chicago that well,” she said.
Garcia’s quick response: “I live on the West Side. I live in K-Town,” he said, referring to a nickname of the community in the Lawndale neighborhood. “Maybe you don’t come there from Logan Square,” he said of Lightfoot’s North Side community.
The forum was cohosted by NBC 5, the Business Leadership Council, WVON, the Chicago Urban League and NABJ Chicago.
— Full recaps from the Tribune and Sun-Times.
— What candidates have to say about ending cash bail, by NBC 5’s James Neveau
AN ILL WIND: State Sen. Chapin Rose, a Republican from Mahomet, is out with a bill he’s called, “If This Is Such a Good Idea, Let’s Start With You Act.”
The bill tweaks Democrats, including Gov. JB Pritzker, for passing legislation that ignores local governments. Specifically, Rose is concerned that state leaders are dictating where wind and solar farms should be built in communities around the state.
“They’ve never even been to some of these counties,” Rose said, referring to Chicago Democrats who passed legislation during the lame duck session that establishes a statewide site selection process for wind and solar projects. Rose says the new rules don’t take local concerns into consideration.
His bill takes a swipe at the new law, saying, “The City of Chicago must convert Millennium Park into a solar energy park by building solar energy facilities on all open space and by mounting solar energy facilities on structures, except that no solar energy facility is required on Cloud Gate.” Call it a case of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
If you are Invenergy wind and solar company CEO Michael Polsky, Playbook would like to hear from you. Email [email protected].
No official public events.
At the Hilton Chicago at 5 p.m. for the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association’s awards banquet.
In Washington, D.C., for the National Association of Counties’ 2023 Legislative Conference.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
— Illinois is spending $225M on state Capitol upgrades: Progress is being made on “one of the most ambitious renovation projects at the Illinois State Capitol. A big hole in what was a parking lot to the north of the Stratton Building has led to road closures along the busy throughway to downtown Springfield,” reports State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth.
— LIGHTFOOT’s NEW AD: Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign is out with an ad attacking rivals Jesús ‘Chuy’ García and Brandon Johnson, who lean both to the left, and focusing on some of her accomplishments.
— VALLAS’s NEW AD: Mayoral challenger Paul Vallas’ new ad says he’ll put “accountability and safety first.”
— From The New York Times: After four turbulent years, Lori Lightfoot sees a second term: “She is an unpopular mayor whose support has nose-dived in the last four years, in part because of her performance and in part because of the circumstances of the pandemic. … Ms. Lightfoot’s supporters say that her achievements — under difficult conditions — have been understated. The unemployment rate in Chicago is 4.3 percent, down from 18.3 percent in April 2020. The city’s economy remains diverse, a hub of transportation, manufacturing and technology,” by Julie Bosman.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: 1983 Labs is out with a new poll taken from online respondents. It shows Mayor Lori Lightfoot and challenger Paul Vallas neck and neck — and 22 percent of voters undecided.
— Lightfoot has been endorsed by state Sen. Willie Preston in her reelection bid. Preston represents South Side communities, including Auburn Gresham and Englewood.
— Vallas has been endorsed by Chicago Ald. Brendan Reilly in his run for mayor. Reilly, who represents a chunk of the downtown business community, has a long friendship with Vallas. In 2001, when Reilly was just 30, he served as press secretary to Vallas in his unsuccessful run for governor.
— Mayoral challenger Brandon Johnson unveils plan to help migrants, refugees, immigrants: “Johnson proposed, among other things, that all residents, regardless of citizenship status, be able to vote for Chicago Board of Education members — a concept also embraced by Congressman Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— García says residents are the key to redeveloping neighborhoods and under-enrolled schools, by Block Club’s Kayleigh Padar
— South Side Ald. David Moore endorses Ald. Sophia King for mayor, by Block Club’s Atavia Reed
— 8th and 9th Wards: Challengers look to unseat longtime incumbents, by Sun-Times’ Mariah Rush
— 30th Ward: Candidates talk gentrification, immigration at Hermosa forum, by Block Club’s Quinn Myers
— 45th Ward: Challenger Megan Mathias has been endorsed by Nancy Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park, just north of Chicago.
There’s a proxy war in the 14th Ward aldermanic race between outgoing and indicted Ald. Ed Burke and mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
In each corner: Burke is backing Raul Reyes, a city clerk staff assistant and longtime precinct captain in Burke’s political organization. And Garcia supports close ally Jeylú Gutiérrez, district director for Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya.
Gutiérrez’s take: “We need to elect someone new that’s willing to work for the people, someone that’s going to shine a bright light on this ward,” she told Olivia. “Because we’ve had the same leadership for 50 years.”
JUICE: More than 90 percent of Reyes’ campaign donations last quarter came from a $50,000 transfer from the embattled alderman’s brother, former state Rep. Dan Burke, who lost his political perch when current Rep. Aaron Ortiz defeated him with Garcia’s backing.
Endorsement: The Tribune gave it to Gutiérrez. “We join all of Chicago in heaving a sigh of relief,” the editorial board said.
Reyes did not respond to requests for comment.
— Bally’s moves to boot Tribune Publishing printing plant from casino site: “The relocation notice, delivered several weeks ago, could end a four-decade run for the Freedom Center, which is slated for demolition to build a $1.74 billion casino complex in its place along the Chicago River,” by Tribune’s Robert Channick.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot is among 44 city leaders from across the country who signed a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on the State Department to address visa late times. The city leaders say the average wait time is 400 days for people from certain nations.
— Officials pause plan to move migrants into vacant KMart on Southwest Side, by Block Club’s Kayleigh Padar
— ATF report looks at origin of crime guns: “Over the past five years, Chicago has had the highest number of gun trace requests to the ATF of any big city in the nation,” writes WGN’s Ben Bradley
— Suspected spy balloons trigger UFO watch over Chicago skies, by Tribune’s William Lee and Hank Sanders
— Chicago Arab Americans face widespread racism, groundbreaking report finds, by CBS 2’s Samah Assad
— Evanston mandate would make businesses accept cash: “The ordinance was introduced last week by Ald. Devon Reid, 8th, who said he proposed it because he wants people who lack a bank account to be able to participate in the economy,” by Crain’s Corli Jay
— Pritzker: Bears are ‘private business,’ don’t need taxpayer funds, by Front Office Sports’ Owen Poindexter
— Krishnamoorthi helps kick off expansion at South Elgin library, by Daily Herald’s Rick West
— As exonerees seek damages, a disgraced ex-police sergeant breaks his decade-long silence: “Former Sgt. Ronald Watts pleaded guilty to corruption. Judges have thrown out 226 convictions tied to him. Now he’s lashing back at prosecutors,” by WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell
— CTA, Pace to launch joint, unlimited-ride passes Feb. 20, by Sun-Times’ Ilana Arougheti
— 6 months after changing schedules and adding security CTA rider frustrations persist, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat
— NTSB issues final report on deadly 2020 plane crash in Springfield, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie
— 3 people dead in Michigan State shootings; gunman also dead, by The Associated Press
— LOOKING BACK: 15 years ago, students were gunned down at NIU, by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin, Zareen Syed and Angie Leventis Lourgos
— Rodney Davis has joined the board of the Governing Majority Education Fund, a not-for-profit that promotes “center-right policy solutions,” according to the group. Davis is a former five-term congressman who served on the House Administration Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
— Matthew Beaudet, commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Buildings, has been appointed to the National League of Cities 2023 REAL Council, which addresses the impact of race and equity issues in communities. Beaudet, Chicago’s first Native American commissioner, will serve a one-year term.
— “Air,” a movie about how Michael Jordan came to represent birth of Nike’s premiere shoe, comes out in April. Here’s a trailer
We asked what one book never gets old.
Dave Evans: “Of Mice and Men.” by John Steinbeck.
Mark Heffington: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert Pirsig.
Rachelle Jervis: “The Silent Wife,” by A.S.A. Harrison
Dave Kohn: “Holidays in Hell,” by P.J. O’Rourke.
Ed Mazur: “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall : A Series of Very Plain Talks On Very Practical Politics,” by George Plunkitt.
Ron Michaelson: “Boss,” by Mike Royko.
JuanPablo Prieto: “Hardball,” by Chris Matthews.
Alison Pure-Slovin: “Night,” by Elie Wiesel.
Patricia Ann Watson: “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison.
Chris White: “Grapes of Wrath,” by John Steinbeck.
Scott Wiseman: “Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” by Robert Caro.
What do you hope to hear from the governor’s State of the State address? Email [email protected]
— Nikki Haley announces 2024 White House run, by POLITICO’s Kelly Hooper
— Tim Scott to attend presidential forum alongside Haley, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison
— Pence to fight special counsel subpoena on Trump’s 2020 election denial, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein
— Biden dismisses scandal-plagued Capitol manager, by POLITICO’s Katherine Tully-McManus and Christopher Cadelago
— Judges Lorna E. Propes and James N. O’Hara have retired from the Cook County Circuit Court in recent weeks, “each after a decade-plus on the bench and each after presiding over high-profile cases in the past year,” by Chicago Law Bulletin’s Grace Barbic.
— Virxhini Gjonzeneli is executive VP and CFO at Federal Home Loan Bank, where she’ll be group head of financial accounting and markets. Gjonzeneli previously was the bank’s group head of support and strategy.
— A Super Bowl win: Illinois native Nick Allegretti, a guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, and his wife, Christina, became parents to twin girls in Chicago, via Allegretti’s proud dad on Twitter.
— POLITICO aviation reporter Oriana Pawlyk and Defense One editor Marcus Weisgerber welcomed Kalyna Sofia Weisgerber on Feb. 8. Intelligence sources say baby and family are all doing well. Pic and pic!
— March 3: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi headlines a fundraiser for Illinois Democratic women and hosted in part by Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. Details here
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to JC Strzalka-Steil for correctly answering that Frederick Hecker led the Baden uprising before moving to Illinois and leading the 24th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was made up mostly of German and Hungarian recruits from Chicago, so it was called Hecker’s Jaegers.
TODAY’s QUESTION: When was Chicago chosen to host the Olympics and why weren’t the Games held there? Email [email protected]
Mayoral candidate and Chicago Ald. Sophia King, Congressional health policy expert Gidget Benitez, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics exec Karen Anderson, nonprofits consultant Bill Beach, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s chief of staff Hannah Fierle, comms pro Emerald-Jane Hunter, National Insurance Crime Bureau analyst Craig Sepich, National Insurance Crime Bureau Government Affairs Senior Director Howard Handler and political operative Roberto Caldero.
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February 14, 2023 at 05:59PM