Vallas threw shade at big Dems

Vallas threw shade at big Dems

TGIF, Illinois. Watch for the Chicago River to turn green Saturday for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Paul Vallas is coming under more scrutiny for snarky comments on the radio and outright attacks on social media on fellow Democratic Party leaders, including Presidents Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Gov. JB Pritzker.

In 2021, before he started the latest run for mayor, Vallas was a guest host on the conservative Chicago’s Morning Answer (AM 560) talk show, where he made snarky comments about Biden, Obama and Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth. POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago and your playbook host have that story here: Vallas dissed Biden and Obama in Chicago.

On one show, Vallas whispers over a hot mic that the Obamas aren’t really Hyde Parkers but “living in Martha’s Vineyard.” In another episode he questions whether Biden has the reins of the White House.

Vallas’ campaign dismissed the comments as entertaining banter. “Paul is a policy wonk, not a talk-radio host, and any commentary referenced as critical was made in jest, as often occurs on morning talk shows,” his campaign said in a statement. “Paul looks forward to working with all Democratic leaders of our state to make Chicago a safer city for families and businesses to thrive once again.”

About his social media: Vallas’ Facebook page shows he liked comments that attacked Democrats, referred to Chicago as a “hell hole” and Pritzker as “the king of full term abortion,” a Tribune review of his social media found. Vallas’ team responded, saying Vallas doesn’t personally manage the account that is in his name.

Will those party pokes become a problem? Vallas is an enigma in many ways. He’s known statewide for having run as a Democrat for governor, lieutenant governor and now mayor two times. He’s been around long enough to be comfortable crossing the political aisle.

But in doing so, he also seems to have picked up conservatives’ anti-Democratic rhetoric, fueling the perceptions that he’s a Republican. The question is whether voters will care.

There are 25 days to Election Day.


— March 14 Debate: Candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson address public safety in a forum organized by community and faith leaders. Journalists Laura Washington and Eric Zorn will moderate. Details here

— INTERNAL POLL: Johnson’s campaign polling shows him with a 5-point edge over Vallas, according to an internal poll obtained by Playbook. Details here

— ENDORSEMENTS: Watch for an East Coast Democrat to throw her support to Johnson today. And the Chicago Teachers Union expects Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia will back Johnson, too. Garcia came in fourth in the mayor’s race last week. Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports.

— Analysis: Candidates’ different strategies and whether to go negative, by ABC 7’s Craig Wall

— Second debate forum at DuSable Museum, Vallas and Johnson talked on Thursday evening about TIFs and property taxes, via WGN 9

Ald. Tom Tunney goes to bat for Paul Vallas after LGBTQ leaders question his Equal Rights record: “Elected officials and community members said Vallas limited LGBTQ content when he was Chicago’s schools chief, but Tunney said Vallas has fought for LGBTQ rights since the ’90s, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich.

OFF TO THE RACES: Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) have been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Frontline” list of vulnerable Democrats for the 2024 General Election (Yeah, we’re talking about it already!).

Count on the support: They are among 29 Democrats who will receive extra support and resources from the DCCC to assure they hold on to their seats. The worry is that their districts are competitive enough that the beefed-up help is essential.

Playing it safe: Budzinski and Sorensen are both from redrawn districts that lean Democratic but have robust conservative constituencies, and Democrats don’t want to ignore that. Budzinski won her district in 2020, 55 percent to 45 percent. And Sorensen won by a tighter margin, 52 percent to 48 percent.

In their dreams: Democrats want to win back a majority in the House, and they can’t do that unless they hold on to the seats they already have.

“Democrats will have great offensive opportunities in 2024, and holding onto these seats is key to our path to reclaiming the majority,” DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene said in a statement. Roll Call has the full story

If you are Suzan DelBene, Playbook would like to hear your strategy to try to win back the House in 2024. Email [email protected].

No official public events.

No official public events.

No official public events.

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

— PRITZKER OP-ED: Make natural gas utilities more accountable to customers and the state: “It’s unfair and costly to consumers to allow gas companies to get away with not providing basic transparency and safety information to consumers and regulators,” Gov. JB Pritzker writes in the Sun-Times.

— Deadline day: Springfield has been buzzing as state lawmakers try to beat the clock before today’s end-of-day deadline to pass hundreds of bills out of their original committees. More than 6,500 bills have been introduced in the 2023 legislative session that ends May 19.

Illinois considers legalizing ‘human composting’: “Religious and environmental ideals are at odds for some in the ongoing debate around what to do with human remains,” by Capitol News’ Andrew Adams.

Full pension benefits for cops, firefighters who survive Covid clears House panel, by Sun-Times’ Frank Main

Secret recordings of Madigan, allies won’t be released beyond courtroom, judge rules: “U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said releasing the recordings to the public would ‘sensationalize the trial more than we want,’” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Biden proposes $350M federal grant to fund far South Side CTA Red Line extension: “The inclusion of federal funds for the long-stalled rail line extension in Biden’s proposed budget comes several months after Mayor Lori Lightfoot created a new tax-increment financing district along the southern branch of the CTA Red Line to generate $959 million for the project first proposed by former Mayor Richard J. Daley in the 1950s,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

— State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, is working to pass a $5 million appropriation to support construction and renovation costs at Malcolm X College’s West Side Learning Center.

North Park University is Chicago’s college basketball team of the moment — except nobody has been following it:On Friday, North Park (24-5) will play in the Division III Sweet 16 against Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio,” by Sun-Times’ Annie Costabile.

100 years old, the Chicago-born Golden Gloves are continuing to mold boxers and inspire lives, by Tribune’s Rick Kogan.

CTA cars from the 1970s are for sale — in West Virginia, by Sun-Times’ Vanessa Lopez

Mourners gather for funeral of slain Chicago Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso: “Officers from across the Chicago area were among mourners who gathered along a 6-mile procession on the Far Southwest Side while Vásquez Lasso’s body was escorted to St. Rita of Cascia Church,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett, Tom Schuba and Michael Loria.

— SPOTLIGHT: The Illinois cannabis license lottery is now prioritizing gun violence survivors: “While many states are striving to issue licenses to individuals afflicted by the war on drugs, Illinois is the first to give preference to those directly affected by shootings,” by The Trace’s Rita Oceguera.

— In the running: “Northwestern University professor Janice Eberly is the frontrunner in the White House search for a successor to Lael Brainard as vice chair of the Federal Reserve,” Bloomberg’s Kate Davidson, Josh Wingrove and Jennifer Jacobs report. She had served as Treasury’s chief economist during the Obama administration.

Patrick Daley Thompson on prison life: ‘It was horrible, absolutely horrible’: “The former Chicago City Council member from Bridgeport offered a glimpse Wednesday of his life behind bars as he fought to keep from having his license to practice law suspended for three years,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth and Tim Novak.

We asked how you’d tackle global warming.

Thomas Eiermann: “I would promote the use of hydrogen in fuel cells.”

John Howell: “Resign and move to higher ground, it’s over.”

David Melton: Nuclear energy.

Joan Pederson: “Fast-track viable, cleaner alternatives to diesel as truck and train fuel.”

 Patricia Ann Watson: “Ban plastic shopping bags, ban copious product packaging and accelerate the switch to green transportation.”

Josh Witkowski: “Accelerate the building of modern nuclear generation facilities.”

What’s the last picture you took on your cell phone (feel free to include it)? Email [email protected]

Inside the “private and confidential” conservative group that promises to “crush liberal dominance”: “Leonard Leo, a key architect of the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority, is now the chairman of Teneo Network, a group that aims to influence all aspects of American politics and culture,” via ProPublica.

Student groups protest Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk appearance at UIC, by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo

— ‘Don’t Be Fooled’: Why leading GOPers are taking aim at both Trump and DeSantis, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin

TikTok hires Biden-connected firm as it finds itself under D.C.’s microscope, by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman

George Santos masterminded 2017 ATM fraud, former roommate tells feds, by POLITICO’s Jacqueline Sweet

— Marcus Garza is now chief of staff for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). He was chief of staff for former Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.).

— Aaron Gettinger, who’s been reporting for the Hyde Park Herald for the past five years, is headed to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, where he’ll cover emerging business and consumer trends. Congrats, Aaron!

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Robert Christie for correctly answering that Edgar Lee Matthews was the Illinois poet who also was Clarence Darrow’s law partner from 1903 to 1911 His name is inscribed on a frieze at the Illinois State Library.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What year did Springfield change its form of government and why? Email [email protected]

Today: Bettylu Saltzman, the veteran Democratic fundraiser who Barack Obama has credited with helping him get his start, state Rep. Blaine Wilhour, Illinois Senate Dems comms specialist Erin Carney, restaurateur Manolis Alpogianis, CKL Engineering CEO Mae Williams, relationship expert Bela Gandhi and PR pro John Youngren.

Saturday: Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski, state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Springfield Ald. Kristin DiCenso, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., tech CEO and former state Sen. Dan Duffy, former legislator and Mac Strategies Group Senior Director Matt Murphy, Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding, Illinois Democratic Party finance associate Wendy Alvarez, consultant and former Chicago Treasurer’s Office COO Tripp Wellde, consultant and Flower and Garden Show owner Tony Abruscato and PR pro Samantha Frontera.

Sunday: Sen. Tammy Duckworth, retired Cook County Circuit Judge Roger Fein, All-Circo founder Jim Houlihan, Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin, Duckworth Illinois press secretary Courtney Jacquin, McDonald’s global comms manager and former Durbin aide Joseph LaPaille, Fair Housing Division director Steven Monroy and public affairs pro Jennifer Mullin.



via Illinois Playbook

March 10, 2023 at 07:20AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s