Arne Duncan endorses Vallas

Arne Duncan endorses Vallas

TGIF, Illinois. It’s been a week. Thanks for sticking with us.

Arne Duncan, the former U.S. secretary of education, is backing Paul Vallas for mayor of Chicago.

“He’s best positioned to try to lead the change that’s needed in the Chicago Police Department,” Duncan told Playbook in an interview. “Paul has credibility, and he has trust,”

Public-safety point: Duncan, who runs Chicago CRED, a program that helps young Black men find jobs, considered a run for mayor himself. And he did internal polling that showed crime as the No. 1 issue of the election.

How he decided: Ironically, Duncan came about endorsing Vallas after hearing candidate Brandon Johnson, who’s been a union organizer, talk about his relationship with the Chicago Teachers Union. “He said he was in a position to deliver hard news [to the CTU] because there’s a relationship there. And I think that’s right. I just thought about it, and the same logic would apply on the police side,” Duncan said.

Duncan pointed to Mayor Lori Lightfoot having to fight the CTU “tooth and nail from day one,” and he worries that electing Johnson would bring about a similar battle with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. “I don’t think it’s true” that Vallas has a “relationship” with the FOP, “but he has trust.”

Duncan talks more about his endorsement in this opinion piece in today’s Tribune.

Other endorsements: Johnson is backed by former Cook County Clerk and good government advocate David Orr, Starbucks Workers United of Illinois and People’s Action. Vallas is endorsed by Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez, Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Cook County Democratic Women.

Debate drama: Vallas and Johnson won’t appear together for Saturday’s “One Chicago for All” forum at UIC. Instead, they’ll take the stage separately to take questions from moderators and the audience. Vallas will start at 11 a.m., and Johnson at noon. It’s not about their clashing earlier this week in a debate. It’s a scheduling issue, both camps say.

Plans for next week: Johnson and Vallas are set to appear together Tuesday for a CBS 2/WVON forum and on March 30 for a WBEZ/Sun-Times event.

Welcome to the club: There was no formal invitation or application process to join the Squad, the group of progressive House lawmakers shaking up Congress, but Congresswoman Delia Ramirez (IL-03) is an official member nonetheless. Wikipedia even says so.

It seemed inevitable that Ramirez would join the group anchored by the New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC. Though on the campaign trail and even now, Ramirez said it isn’t a goal to be part of the group. She said her focus is on issues important to her district.

It’s her “vote record” that has aligned Ramirez with the Squad. “Where I land on the issues often aligns with these particular colleagues of mine,” she told Playbook. “I work with many of them closely on issues of housing, immigration, education, climate and healthcare … and we often hang out.”

On the bill: Ramirez filed her first legislation Thursday, a Veteran Affairs bill “to establish restoration of GI education benefits for student veterans defrauded by their college,” she said.

Speaking of the Squad: Your Playbook host Thursday called out Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, asking when she’d ever been to Chicago. But, of course, she was raised in Chicago. The question should have been, when was she last in Chicago.

If you are Ayanna Pressley, Playbook now wants to know if you’d allow us to buy you coffee the next time you’re in town. It’s the least we can do. Email [email protected].

No official public events.

No official public events.

At the Four Seasons at 6 p.m. for the Cara Gala.

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

— SCOOP | Giannoulias fears ‘catastrophic’ data hack, wants $200M to fix state system: A new report “paint(s) a troubling picture of precarious technology systems that run the high risk of breakdown, data breaches and cyberattacks and require immediate need,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

Spurred by heat deaths in Rogers Park, state Senate passes measure requiring AC at state-funded affordable housing, by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner

State awards $20M to upgrade security at religious and cultural institutions at risk for terrorism, by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner

Advocates push for tax credit to affordable housing, by Capitol News’ Nika Schoonover

Bill allowing multi-occupancy bathrooms to be gender neutral passes House, by Tribune’s Hank Sanders and Jeremy Gorner

— ‘ComEd Four’ trial | Michael Madigan’s ex-political director says arm-twisting on speaker’s orders helped pass ComEd legislation: A full-court press was set up to “gin up enough support from lawmakers and advocates who could help turn the tide,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.

From the Sun-Times: Will Cousineau was granted immunity. “Then he listened as prosecutors played a December 2018 call he’d participated in and which was secretly recorded by the FBI,” by Tina Sfondeles and Jon Seidel.

— 10th Ward: Public safety and environmental concerns are at the forefront: The race pits Chicago Police Officer Peter Chico, who works out of the South Chicago District, against Ana Guajardo, co-founder of United Workers’ Center, which advocates for immigrants and low-wage workers, writes Tribune’s Adriana Pérez.

Big names and big money in suburb races, via WGN 9’s Ben Bradley with Greg Hart

— In Springfield: City treasurer candidates talk about investing, pensions, services, via State Journal-Register

Monitoring group says police training tactics are flawed and foster a culture of misconduct, by CBS 2’s Dave Savini

Ald. Tom Tunney on Ann Sather’s future, leaving City Council and why he didn’t run for mayor, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

United to fly air taxis to O’Hare beginning in 2025: “The first route is planned between the airport and the Illinois Medical District,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

— Appellate Court Judge Joe Birkett will be honored at the Chicago Golden Gloves 100-year anniversary championship bouts on April 13. Birkett is a former DuPage County state’s attorney. And long before that, he was a Golden Gloves boxer, winning the light heavyweight championship in 1974. Details here

— Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05) received the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s Humane Legislator of the Year Award for being lead sponsor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. The new law prohibits keeping tigers, lions and other big cat species as pets and bans public contact with these species, including paid interactive experiences like cub petting.

— Ald. Stephanie Coleman is among new trustees named to The HAP Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates on hospice and palliative care issues. Also named to the board: Larry Feldman, Betsy Foley, Jill Kottmeier and Elisa D. Waldman.

— Steve Diveley, principal at Hadley Junior High School, won the Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year Award, via Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

Major shake-up coming for Fermilab, the troubled U.S. particle physics center: “Department of Energy opens new competition for contract to manage the storied facility,” via Science.

Horse track/casino proposed for south suburban Richton Park as lawmakers seek to eliminate Hawthorne veto power, by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin

Husband was desperate, menacing before Buffalo Grove murder-suicide, report finds, by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm

After 43 years, remains of man found in sealed crate identified by Will County coroner, by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan

We asked what’s the nerdiest thing you do.

James Castro: “Read books in the library in my free time.”

Leslie Dimas: “Create spreadsheets of election data, then calculate the variance, standard deviation and standard error between wards, counties, cities, populations. All for fun!”

Mark Heffington: “Sponsor the Gamers’ Club at Pittsfield High School.”

Steve Hild: “My fantasy baseball league, composed of guys I grew up with, has been together for 27 seasons. I’ve never won, BTW.”

Ashvin Lad: “On long, solo road trips, I count out loud in Roman numerals to pass the time.”

Val Ojeda: “Compile voter data for 10 hours straight.”

Patricia Ann Watson: “Collect classic books and old clocks.”

What do you watch on Tik-Tok? Email [email protected]

Sen. Tammy Duckworth joins bipartisan call for stronger rail safety measures, by Stephen R. Groves for the Sun-Times

Washington’s unusual embrace of the Pentagon’s top general, by POLITICO’s Michael Schaffer

Trump to GOP firms: Stop using my image or your clients will suffer, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt

What the world looks like to Ron DeSantis, by POLITICO’s Alexander Ward

Edward G. Gardner, co-founder of Soft Sheen Products and a philanthropist, dies at 98, by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito

— Sheherbano “Sherry” R. Mirza has joined the finance, restructuring and bankruptcy practice group at Blank Rome in Chicago. She was with Gutnicki.

— Rikke Dierssen-Morice is now a partner in Blank Rome in Chicago in the insurance recovery group. She was with Maslon.

— Bret Watson, a portfolio manager at the Edward Jones Trust Company, proposed to Nahiomy Alvarez, a financial markets specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “We met at the best neighborhood bar in Chicago called Will’s Northwood Inn on a sleepy Sunday afternoon,” she writes in. “Three years later, he proposed at Playa Pocitos in Montevideo, Uruguay, in front of family and friends.”

— April 4: Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist Paula Bronstein headlines the Georgie Anne Geyer Lecture at Dominican University for a talk about Geyer. Details here

— April 30: “American Conservatism: From Reagan to Trump” is the subject of a Chicago Humanities Festival event featuring Matthew Continetti. Details here

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Clem Balanoff and Matthew Beaudet for correctly answering that a “four-legged voter” was someone joined in the voting booth by an unscrupulous election judge who made sure the right candidates were picked.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the first Illinoisan to be awarded a Nobel Prize? Email [email protected]

Today: Former Congressman Donald Manzullo, former state Sen. Dan Kotowski, former state Sen. Tom Rooney, noted trial attorney and political donor Bob Clifford, Durbin downstate director Kaylee Gholson, Reputation Partners’ Nick Kalm and Impact Research associate Nadia Perl.

Saturday: Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski, former Congressman Terry Bruce, comms specialist Sofia Kinzinger, state comptroller comms director Abdon Pallasch, project manager Doug Kinney and comms specialist Meredith Shiner.

Sunday: Illinois Department of Revenue Director David Harris, former state Rep. Raymond Poe, energy consultant Max Frankel, PR pro David Rosenberg, media relations guru Andrea Schwartz, maritime writer Mary Ann O’Rourke, journalist Michael Sean Comerford and Squire Patton Boggs principal Caren Street.



via Illinois Playbook

March 24, 2023 at 07:27AM

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