Happy Thursday, Illinois. May your baseball opening day be bright.
With five days to Election Day, Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas are showcasing their big-name endorsements for Chicago mayor. The goal is to energize — and more importantly — mobilize voters to the polls.
Rallying today for Johnson: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, activist Martin Luther King III, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Illinois Attorney Gen. Kwame Raoul and Illinois Congressman Jonathan Jackson and Congresswoman Delia Ramirez.
Staring in an ad for Vallas: Sen. Dick Durbin, former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, former Congressman Bobby Rush, fellow mayoral candidate Sophia King and council member Silvana Tabares. They’re hammering home Vallas’ Democratic bonafides — down to the title card, “Democrats Endorse Democrat Paul Vallas.”
Sidenote: Tabares is also featured in a Spanish ad, in which she says she’s worried about the direction of the city as a representative of Chicago’s Latino community.
It’s all about turnout: Both candidates have a strong base, so they’re looking for voters who backed Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the first round.
Voting is up so far: According to the Chicago Board of Elections, 138,759 early ballots have been cast for Tuesday’s election. For comparison, 82,118 ballots were cast five days out of the 2018 election. And 105,511 had voted at this time in 2015.
It’s going to be close, says veteran Democratic political strategist Joe Trippi, who’s advising the Vallas campaign. “Vallas’ war room expects Tuesday’s mayoral runoff to be so close, the winner may not be known until days after the election, when most of the mail-in ballots are counted,” reports Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
On the campaign …
Dollars vs. decentralization: Johnson and Vallas have vastly different fixes for CPS, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa and WBEZ’s Sarah Karp
Donors are as different as their views: “Half of Johnson’s cash since March 1 has come from CTU, other teacher union organizations or progressive unions, Vallas has received millions of dollars from Chicago and suburban business leaders,” including some that support charter schools, reports Tribune’s A.D. Quig.
Chicago GOP says Vallas is no Republican. In a statement, the Chicago GOP says it’s not endorsing Vallas, hasn’t met with him and doesn’t plan to, either. The group calls Johnson “radical,” adding, “But we do not view Mr. Vallas as a Republican and have issued criticism on several aspects of his proposals.” Crain’s Greg Hinz has more.
The Illinois law banning high-powered guns and high-capacity magazines continues to be a lightning rod for criticism among gun rights activists in Springfield.
Hitting the streets: On Wednesday, a few hundred opponents to the law, including some Republican legislators, marched on the street and rallied at the state Capitol. And they did it just days after a mass shooting in Nashville killed people, including three children.
“Criminals will always find ways to commit crimes, no matter how strict our rules, and good law-abiding gun owners won’t be able to protect themselves or others,” freshman state Rep. Bradley Fritts, a Republican from Dixon, told the crowd. Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner has the story.
Fritts was echoing a line made popular by the National Rifle Association, that guns don’t kill people, people do.
The Illinois law was passed in January before the new legislative session began. It was a response to the mass shooting during the July 4th Highland Park parade that killed seven and injured nearly 50. The law is also facing a court challenge, which further fuels the opposition.
Gov. JB Pritzker was nonplussed by the protests, telling reporters Wednesday it’s all part of the Democratic process.
RELATED: Officer Rex Engelbert, Chicago native, was part of team that took down Nashville school shooter, by Tribune’s Olivia Alexander
If you are Sen. Bernie Sanders, Playbook wants to know how long you’ll be in Chicago. Email [email protected].
At Richland Community College at 10 a.m. to announce investments in freight mobility projects.
In City Hall at 9:30 a.m. to preside over a special meeting of the City Council.
At South Suburban Senior Housing at 10:30 a.m. for a ribbon cutting.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
— With a $150M infusion, Illinois’ rainy day fund hits a record: “While ratings agencies have cited the growth in the rainy day fund in recently upgrading Illinois’ debt, the state still ranks at or near the bottom of the 50 states, with the agencies suggesting that the run still is relatively small compared to the overall budget,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Senate advances bill to log abuse cover-ups in state health care registry: “The bill would prohibit health care workers who have been the subject of a substantiated claim of ‘material obstruction’ of an abuse investigation from further employment in the healthcare field,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— Senate passes bill protecting ‘child influencers’: “The bill gives financial protection to children whose parents make money posting videos of them on social media. Sen. David Koehler said if the bill is signed into law, Illinois would be the first state in the nation to enact such legislation.” It now heads to the House. Capitol News’ Peter Hancock reports.
— Breezy: A bill to make an offshore wind facility on Lake Michigan passed the House and is headed to the Senate. It would allow Illinois “to meet the ambitious clean energy goals” while also creating jobs, according to Democratic state Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. The measure is called the Rust Belt to Green Belt pilot project.
— Sporty: Republican state Rep. Jennifer Sanalitro is championing a resolution to make the game of Cricket an official IHSA sport. The resolution got a thumbs-up by the full House floor.
— Moon habitat named ‘Coolest Thing Made in Illinois,’ by Capitol News’ Nika Schoonover
— As the South bans abortion, thousands turn to Illinois clinics, via The Associated Press
— Big spenders trying to shape the next City Council, by Block Club’s Mick Dumke. Cool chart included.
— 48th Ward: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth has been endorsed by the Chicago Asian American Caucus, including state Sen. Ram Villivalam and state Rep. Theresa Mah. Full list
— Joliet prepares for Election Day amid warehouse boom, city hall turmoil, neighborhood concerns, by Tribune’s Jonathan Bullington
— Cross-examination underway for star witness in ‘ComEd Four” trial: “The jury on Wednesday saw a string of emails and other evidence detailing Madigan-backed demands for jobs and contracts for political associates, including the wife of convicted former City Clerk Jim Laski, the convicted son of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, former U.S. Rep. Morgan Murphy, and two daughters of former Cook County Democratic Chairman Joe Berrios, who doubled as county assessor,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.
— Jay Doherty takes names: “This is just you and me talking,” he tells ex-ComEd executive Fidel Marquez in a secretly recorded video, via Capitol News’ Hannah Meisel. WITH VIDEO
— Key witness in ComEd bribery trial, says he was ‘scared’ when FBI agents came to his door, by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Tina Sfondeles
— ComEd’s formula rate might still be law but for timing of fed raids on Madigan allies, by Crain’s Steve Daniels
— $3.8B Bronzeville lakefront megadevelopment breaks ground at former Michael Reese Hospital site: “The sprawling 48-acre megadevelopment will offer mixed-income housing, retail, a welcoming center and a life sciences center. It’s expected to be completed by 2035,” by Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden.
— Chicago’s next mayor needs to change this police PR ‘strategy’: “For years Chicago Police leaders have restricted media access to the rank and file. That has hurt public understanding and empathy for cops,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.
— Lightfoot picks 3 developments to launch effort to transform Chicago’s financial district, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— NATIONAL VIEW: It’s Northwestern vs. Evanston neighbors over a new $800M stadium that will host concerts and serve booze. Wild quote: “You’ll have people spilling out of concerts drunk at 10:30, 11 o’clock.” The Wall Street Journal’s Douglas Belkin reports.
— State Sen. Mary Edly-Allen (D-Grayslake), state Reps. Suzanne Ness (D-Carpentersville), Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee), Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) and state Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) have been named to the executive committee of the Conference of Women Legislators, which raises funds for scholarships and mentors women.
— Carrie Zalewski, chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission, is being honored with a distinguished service award by the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The honor comes as Zalewski wraps up her five-year term in June.
— Ken Griffin’s Citadel to reopen Tokyo office this year, via Financial Times
We asked what committee you’d add to your City Council.
Jimmy Dean: “A Common Sense Committee, though it would fail because not enough people would be able to serve.”
Jimm Dispensa: “The Committee on Getting Stuff Done.”
John Fritchey: “A TIF Transparency Committee that publicly reviews and debates proposed TIF expenditures would be a good idea. A lot of these issues are addressed outside public purview and this could remedy that issue.”
Natalie Hill: “An Implementation Committee that would monitor local outreach efforts. Members could flag barriers to access to services and programs and then remove those obstacles.”
Christopher Lynch: “A Committee for Refugees and Displaced Persons.”
Omari Prince: “A Fees Committee to address Chicago’s fines and fees.”
Alison Pure-Slovin: “A Community Engagement Committee to help residents to engage in conversation with other residents as a way to bridge diverse communities.”
Which past, present or future Illinois politician would you like to get a personal letter from? Email [email protected]
— On National Vietnam War Veterans Day Wednesday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced a bill to rename the St. Charles East Side Station Post Office as “Veterans of the Vietnam War Memorial Post Office.”
— BREAKING: Russia detains Wall Street Journal reporter over spying allegations, by POLITICO’s Nicolas Camut
— FDA approves first over-the-counter Narcan, by POLITICO’s Katherine Ellen Foley
— How Iraq war powers repeal turned into an unlikely bipartisan win, by POLITICO’s Anthony Adragna
— What happened when Bernie Sanders put Starbucks’ former CEO in the hot seat, by POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Judge John Curry for correctly answering that, during the 1855 Lager Beer Riots, Mayor Levi Boone tried to prevent protesters from marching on City Hall by opening the Clark Street Bridge.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the famous engineer whose offer to build a 1,000- plus foot structure for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 was turned down? Email [email protected]
Former state Rep. Avery Bourne, Chicago Dowel Co. President Paul Iacono and comms specialist Omari Prince.
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March 30, 2023 at 08:39AM