OSSOFF TO HEADLINE SPRINGFIELD BASH — THE SOS CAMPAIGN SURGE — IT’S DUSABLE LAKE SHORE DRIVE
Happy Monday, Illinois. We’re a year to the day away from the 2022 primary, and it already seems like a long campaign season.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff will headline the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association brunch in Springfield on Aug. 18.
The brunch was already getting a lot of buzz after taking a break last year and because it’s the lead-up to a big election season in 2022.
Add Ossoff to the mix, and it’s gonna be a blowout. He’ll be in Springfield for what’s otherwise known as “Democrats Day at the Fair.” It’s always a scene.
Past headliners have included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and then-Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who subbed for Joe Biden when the former VP fell ill.
Ossoff is a Democratic darling having won his seat in the 2020 Georgia run-off (along with fellow Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock), giving Democrats a crucial 50-seat threshold in the Senate.
Kristina Zahorik, who heads the Illinois Democratic County chairs, credits the Georgia victories with Washington being able to pass the American Rescue Plan. “Jon Ossoff was the right candidate for the job, and we’re honored to have him join us in Illinois to inspire us to keep our Democratic majority in 2022,” Zahorik said in a statement.
State Sen. Michael Hastings’ exit from the secretary of state race leaves an opening for the remaining Democratic candidates to secure the backing he had from party leaders.
On Saturday, a group of Black suburban lawmakers and suburban committee members gathered to announce they’re endorsing Alexi Giannoulias, the former state treasurer. The support comes on the heels of seven different labor unions backing him as well. All this before there’s even been a full-fledged debate.
Hazel Crest Mayor and Bremen Township Democratic Committeeperson Vernard Alsberry and Rich Township Supervisor and Committeeperson Calvin Jordan, both of whom had backed Hastings before he dropped out, are now with Giannoulias.
The endorsements, complete with splashy announcements, are a tactical move led by veteran political consultant Hanah Jubeh.
“My strategy was to get organized and get a schedule,” Jubeh told Playbook. “We’re building a diverse, broad-based statewide coalition. Every bit of support matters. We aren’t taking anything for granted.”
Giannoulias’ early start in consolidating support from labor may have helped influence Hastings’ exit.
Now, Giannoulias, City Clerk Anna Valencia, and Alds. Pat Dowell and David Moore are angling for support from key party leaders who backed Hastings.
“We’re a long way from anything definitive happening. The people decide who wins — not endorsements, not cash,” Chicago attorney Gery Chico, who’s heading up Valencia’s campaign, told Playbook.
Dowell’s spokesman, Kevin Lampe, echoed that. “This is a slow and steady race. Pat is doing the work that needs to be done, traveling across the state, meeting people and raising money,” he said.
Dowell has been public about seeing the SOS position as a destination, not one that will catapult her to a larger position down the road.
The flurry of endorsements for Giannoulias has some Democrats wondering what the candidate has offered in exchange. Jubeh balked at the question, pointing to Giannoulias’ experience. He’s ”working hard,” she said. “He has a track record.”
While labor endorsements come with donations, they don’t guarantee votes. SEIU endorsed Toni Preckwinkle over Lori Lightfoot for Chicago mayor, for example, and in 2010, the union backed rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith in his failed bid for alderman of the 20th Ward.
But endorsements from party leaders offer a different kind of edge. The Democratic Party includes endorsements on mailers that go directly to voters.
Sidenote: The Cook County Democratic Party, which includes 50 ward committee members and 30 township members, has adjusted its slating schedule from June and August to October and December. During the pre-slating meeting in October, candidates will introduce themselves to party leaders. In December, the committee members will vote. Cook County is just one of 102 county slatings, but it’s the largest in the state.
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At Penn Elementary School at 10 a.m. to announce the first phase of the Reclaiming Communities Campaign—as part of the INVEST South/West initiative.
In North Lawndale at 1 p.m. to mark the opening of the K-Town Business Centre.
At Sweet Woods Forest Preserves at 9 a.m. to kick off an internship program on nature conservation and ecological restoration.
In its weekly update, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 66 deaths since June 18 and 1,744 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 23,199 fatalities and 1,390,432 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from June 18 to 24 is 0.6 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 0.4 percent.
National Weather Service confirms 2 tornadoes struck Chicago area Saturday: “One tornado, an EF-0, occurred in Crete in the afternoon hours, with estimated peak winds of 70 miles per hour. A second EF-0 tornado, with estimated peak winds of 75 miles per hour, was reported in Dyer and Schererville, Ind.,” via NBC/5.
And at least 3 tornadoes hit Central Illinois, reports Jacob Dickey for WCIA
— It’s a mouthful: Lake Shore Drive renamed for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable: “Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive it is. Or rather, will soon be. Two years after a South Side alderman introduced an ordinance to rebrand the landmark Chicago Lake Shore Drive to honor DuSable because he was upset he didn’t hear the Black founder of Chicago mentioned during a river boat tour, the City Council on Friday ended months of racially charged debate by adopting a compromise to make it so,” by Tribune’s John Byrne and Gregory Pratt.
— Lightfoot suffers first City Council defeat — on aldermanic prerogative: “Ald. Brendan Reilly moved to take out the part of the relief package that invades aldermanic turf. Among other things, it would have ended the practice of requiring separate ordinances for each public way permit. That part was deferred. The rest was approved unanimously,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— City Council confirms Corporation Counsel Celia Meza: “Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) joined Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) on Wednesday in delaying the appointment in protest of the Law Department’s treatment of Anjanette Young, who was forced to stand naked while an all-male team of Chicago police officers mistakenly raided her home. But, Meza’s nomination was easily approved on Friday,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Reilly proposes minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers: “Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) last month introduced an ordinance to limit Uber’s and Lyft’s surge fees to 150% of the regular fare,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Pope asks Chicago’s Cupich to investigate Vatican’s peace and justice office: “Cupich will lead what is formally known as an apostolic visitation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which is led by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson. In a June 24 release, the Vatican press office said the inquiry ‘is taking place in the context of a normal examination of the activity of the [Vatican] dicasteries, aimed at obtaining an updated understanding on the conditions in which they operate,’” according to the National Catholic Reporter.
— Cautious optimism that mail delivery will improve with Chicago postmaster’s ouster: “Wanda Prater’s departure came after nearly a year of complaints about mail delivery across the Chicago area…. The primary factor was Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s national cost-cutting efforts,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— Column: When Black women argue, they are ridiculed and stereotyped: “Men battle all the time. So why did the confrontation between Mayor Lightfoot and Ald. Jeanette Taylor become instant fodder at the virtual water cooler?” writes Laura Washington in the Sun-Times.
— Preckwinkle facing labor woes as about 2,000 county employees take to the picket line a day after earlier strike by nurses: “Union spokesman Eric Bailey said SEIU workers will be striking “indefinitely” until a contract is solidified. The sticking points are over pay, including pandemic pay such as temporary bonuses or raises for front-line workers in hazardous situations, and lowering proposed health care premium increases, he said,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— ‘Senior freeze’ tax program riddled with errors, lax oversight, Sun-Times finds: “Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi admits his office made numerous errors managing a program that shifted $250 million last year in taxes from eligible seniors onto everyone else,” by Tim Novak, Lauren FitzPatrick, and Caroline Hurley.
— First mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus this year reported in Cook and Lake counties: “It seems kind of counterintuitive,” says Mike Adam, Lake County’s deputy director of environmental health. “When we have the hotter and drier seasons we have fewer mosquitoes, but the mosquitoes that are out there can be these Culex mosquitoes” — the kind of mosquitoes that are the primary carriers of West Nile virus. Tribune’s Talia Soglin reports.
— Alderman asks state, county officials for Cal City mayor’s removal: “An alderman has asked the Illinois attorney general and Cook County state’s attorney to remove recently installed mayor Thaddeus Jones, citing a city ordinance prohibiting city elected officials from holding another elected office. Jones, meanwhile, said an Illinois Senate bill recently signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker nullifies the Calumet City ordinance, allowing him to continue to serve as mayor and as a state representative for the 29th District, which stretches from Chicago’s South Side to Ford Heights,” by Times of Northwest Indiana’s Mike Clark.
Are Latino voting rights protected in Illinois’ redistricting plan? “The new maps that Illinois Democrats drew for state House and Senate seats face at least two lawsuits about their validity. The first, predictably, came from Republicans. But the second came from more traditional Democratic allies: Latino rights advocates. The challenge from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is especially noteworthy, because top Democrats in state government repeatedly touted the ways the new maps would promote ethnic and racial diversity in the legislature. Instead, MALDEF is asking a federal court to force the legislature to redraw its maps,” reports Daniel Vock for Center for Illinois Politics.
— State bill and new scholarship provide more support for immigrant students in Illinois: “A bill awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature would require all college campuses to ‘designate an undocumented student resource liaison’ by the 2022-23 school year to help immigrants and students living in the country illegally access financial aid and other resources to get their degree,” by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova.
— Fact-Check: No, Southern Illinois’ Prairie State Is Not the Nation’s ‘Cleanest’ Coal Plant: “U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to allow Prairie State Energy Campus to stay open, calling it the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the U.S. That’s way off base,” by Better Government Association’s Kiannah Sepeda-Miller.
— Is the ICC ready for its close-up? “If and when the state’s big energy redo passes, the Illinois Commerce Commission will have more say than it’s had for years over your power rates. Whether it’s up to that challenge, however, is an open question, by Crain’s Steve Daniels.
— FOID bill could eliminate backlog ‘within a year.’ Why are some still opposed? “Gun rights advocates were pleased the bill would relieve a notorious backlog in FOID — or firearm owners identification — cards. Gun control proponents praised expanded background checks and additional tools for law enforcement to remove firearms from people who have had their cards revoked. But a little something for everybody isn’t enough for supporters of gun rights or gun control. Both promised to continue pushing for more extreme changes to the FOID law (HB 562), which is waiting to be sent to Gov. J.B Pritzker for his signature,” by Belleville News-Democrat’s Kelsey Landis.
— Bill headed to Pritzker could set up a wave of annual property tax hikes: “Under the measure, starting with next year’s property tax bills, a taxing district levy shall be increased to reflect refunds through rulings of the Property Tax Appeals Board, a court-ordered assessment correction or a certificate of error. Because such appeals can often take years, and due to annual assessment errors, the recapture provision means likely annual future increases in property tax bills regardless of current limits in state law,” reports Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— Opinion: The Legislature’s Covid protocol was partisan: “[T]he public was never given any regular updates on who or how many people might have been infected during the session,” writes Rich Miller in the Herald & Review.
— No bail for man arrested in fatal Loop stabbing of Maryland student: “Tony Robinson, 41, whose home address is listed as in the Loop, was ordered held with no bail by Judge Charles Beach after an assistant state’s attorney detailed the charges against him: the fatal stabbing of 31-year-old Anat Kimchi as she walked near 401 S. Wacker Drive and an armed robbery of a 50-year-old woman at 95 E. Congress Parkway. In total, he is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of aggravated battery,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— ‘Motive’ podcast figure killed girlfriend in apparent murder-suicide, Chicago police say: “In what became a viral cellphone video, Earl Casteel was seen shot in the legs by Thaddeus ‘T.J.’ Jimenez in a bizarre case recounted in the 2019 Sun-Times/WBEZ podcast,” Sun-Times’ Frank Main
— Family accuses former teacher of ‘brainwashing’ daughter to convert to Christian faith: Their complaint in federal court accuses District 300 and the teacher “of establishing a custom of promoting and advancing Christianity and religion through hiring and retaining Thorsen and allowing him to ‘promote evangelical Christianity while denigrating other religions for over 20 years,’” reports Daily Herald’s Madhu Krishnamurthy.
House Dems launch PAC to protect incumbents from attacks from within: Rep. Danny Davis is among progressives “who are already facing primary challenges from the far left.” Davis is being challenged by Kina Collins, who’s making her second run against the longtime congressman. NBC News reports.
— ‘Spray and Pray’: Republicans ramp up attacks on Biden on … everything, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago and Eugene Daniels
— Biden worked phones to salvage infrastructure deal, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Christopher Cadelago
— The 2024 Iowa caucus campaign has already begun, by Alex Isenstadt
Saturday’s storm didn’t stop about 120 friends and family from turning out to celebrate Pride weekend with Choose Chicago’s Rob Fojtik and partner Josh Whitaker, who works with the Obama Foundation. The party moved from the backyard of their Andersonville home to the garage. Special guest sightings included Mayor Lori Lightfoot and first lady Amy Eshleman, Equality IL CEO Brian Johnson and board Chair Justin DeJong, local Indivisible-IL9 leader Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, and Nick Uniejewski, political director for Rep. Marie Newman. Also attending: Ald. Andre Vasquez and Committeeman Maggie O’Keefe from the neighboring 40th Ward; Shannon Andrews (chief equity and inclusion officer for Cook County Health); Art Johnston and Pepe Pena (owners of sidetrack and gay activist legends); David Munar (CEO of Howard Brown Health), political fundraiser Hope Pickett, comms whiz Kevin Hauswirth, Alight Solutions exec Duke Alden, WBC exec Kyle Schultz, election lawyers Mike Dorf and Ed Mullen, 46th ward community leader Marianne Lalonde, and Bartlit Beck attorney Mac Lebuhn (previously a senior policy adviser and counsel to the mayor).
Wade Giltz is now a campaign manager with Calvert Street Group. He previously was legislative correspondent for Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.).
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Development Consortium CEO Janet Mathis and entrepreneur Ashvin Lad for correctly answering that Jonathan Lindley from Sangamon County is listed as the only known Illinois defender of the Alamo.
And h/t to attorney Graham Grady for noting that Jesse Bowman, a Tennessean who moved to Illinois, also was a defender of the Alamo.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What is Western Illinois University’s connection to Frasier Crane? Email to [email protected]
Political consultant Robert Creamer, actor/producer John Cusack, technology consultant Mark Zivin, and Beth Kaufman, Chicago-area press secretary for the Secretary of State’s Office. And belated happy birthday to Inland Real Estate Group’s Dan Wagner, who celebrated Sunday.