October 26, 2021

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How Illinois’ governor is plotting his run for a second term

Happy Tuesday, Illinois. With Portillo’s going public, cake shakes are a real commodity.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker made it official yesterday. He’s running for a second term.

The Democratic governor spelled out his campaign narrative in a video: it’s all about Covid.

“His message is that in the midst of chaos, he followed science and exhibited compassion,” said one Democratic consultant, pointing to the “stark contrast” of how Pritzker’s message will compare to Republicans.

Pritzker hints at Donald Trump in the video, saying: “In Washington, science took a back seat to politics. But in Illinois, we knew the stakes were too high.”

Along with managing the pandemic and guiding the state to a better place financially — even if it was thanks in large part to federal Covid-19 relief funds — Pritzker has also found success within the General Assembly.

“He’s given legislators an opportunity to legislate,” said Susan Garrett, a former state legislator who now runs the Center for Illinois Politics think tank. “There’s a certain amount of new freedom within the General Assembly and I think it’s paying off. They’re coming with unique policy approaches to key issues and he lets that happen. He doesn’t intervene and put his foot down and say ‘This is the way it should be.’”

Pritzker doesn’t have a primary and is expected to rely on Republican candidates’ own words to fuel attack ads during the general election.

“They’ll trip over each other trying to kiss Trump’s a—. Every time they say it on camera, they will make their own negative ads against themselves,” predicted another Democratic consultant.

State Sen. Darren Bailey of Xenia, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, and businessman Gary Rabine of Burr Ridge are all from the GOP’s conservative wing.

There are a few big question marks on the Republican side: Will Reps. Rodney Davis or Adam Kinzinger decide to jump in? They’re both waiting to see how redistricting plays out. If either is pushed out of their congressional district, a run for governor is possible. Both are more moderate than the three other GOP candidates, though only Kinzinger has been outspoken in his criticism of Trump and the former president’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. That could hurt him in a primary, where Trump’s base is still strong, but play well with moderates in the general election.

Davis sure sounded like an opponent Monday when he tweeted criticisms of Pritzker, calling him “another lying, failed politician.”

The other question in the governor’s race: What about billionaire Ken Griffin? Will he put money on a candidate, the way he did to oppose the graduated income tax referendum?

And though Pritzker so far looks to have an easy road to re-election, he is still expected to pour in as much as $170 million into his campaign — that’s how much he spent in 2018.

Pritzker’s message about managing Covid will play well with progressives and Black voters who are his base.

But he will have to do more than rely on his handling of the pandemic to win over moderates. “In some ways, that will be in the rearview mirror” by the time the election comes around, said Kivvit founder and managing partner Eric Sedler.

“The issue is what is he going to do over the next four years? I think that’s less clear,” Sedler said. “Moving forward, he has an opportunity to lay out what his vision is because the reality is the other big initiative he had was the graduated income tax plan. And that didn’t work out. So it has to be something bold and new.”

Democrats are optimistic that Pritzker will be on firm footing throughout the campaign, allowing him and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, who’s also on the ticket, to help down-ballot races — especially important during a midterm election when the party of the president traditionally doesn’t fare well.

Sidenote: Anne Caprara, who managed Pritzker’s first campaign and is serving as his chief of staff, will not work on his re-election bid. Quentin Fulks, who was also on the first campaign and went on to manage the graduated income tax effort, is at the reins for Pritzker’s re-election bid.

Political leaders respond along party lines, per NBC/5

Congressman Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the Committee on House Administration, has been named to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Davis could play a key role in discussions as he has oversight of the U.S. Capitol Police and the operations of the Capitol Complex. He was an early supporter of a panel to investigate the attack and proposed legislation similar to what was passed in creating the commission, which was styled after the 9/11 Commission.

Davis and four other Republicans were named to the Jan. 6 select committee by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy’s picks have the leadership skills and “oversight chops” to counter Democrats who are expected to use the select panel to hammer Donald Trump and the GOP for fueling the deadly assault on the Capitol, report POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers and Heather Caygle.

Other members are Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), a lawyer by trade who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment; and freshman Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), a former sheriff who supported Capitol Police in turning back rioters who tried to break into the House floor during the siege.

What McCarthy wanted: to “make sure you get the best people on the committee,” touting Davis’ work on the administration panel and Nehls’ years in law enforcement.

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No official public events, but he’s meeting with reporters to talk about his 2022 campaign.

In City Hall for 1 p.m. Covid-19 update.

No official public event.

American Academy of Pediatrics: Universal masking in schools will protect kids from Covid-19: The highly respected national organization of pediatricians calls for masks in school to protect those not vaccinated, and it’s “encouraging all students 12 and older to get vaccinated,” Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke reports.

Illinois county with lowest Covid vax rate faces steep challenges getting shots in arms: “Roughly 15 percent of the population of Alexander County is fully vaccinated, far lower than the near 50 percent statewide, according to Illinois Department of Public Health statistics,” by Angie Leventis Lourgos.

Chicagoan, two suburbanites latest to win $100,000 jackpots in state’s vaccine lottery: “Three residents — one from Chicago, the others from Berwyn and Joliet — will be notified by phone or email by the state public health officials about their winnings,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

— Is this considered waffling if helps people? Fox News host Sean Hannity urged his viewers Monday night to “please take Covid seriously. I can’t say it enough. Enough people have died. We don’t need any more death. Research like crazy. Talk to your doctor. … I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination.” The clip

Union Pacific suspends inbound international container shipments to Chicago for a week: The embargo began Sunday and “will help the railroad clear a container backlog at Global IV. The terminal is clogged largely due to reasons beyond the railroad’s control. Labor shortages and pandemic-related restrictions have slowed unloading and loading of containers at customer facilities. That has led to a shortage of chassis and drayage capacity during a period of high demand,” reports Bill Stephens of Trains.com.

Chicago police create new gun team to target illegal weapons ahead of Biden strike force: “About 50 cops will focus on gun traffickers and people whose state firearm permits have been revoked in the latest effort to reduce violence in the city,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.

… Police Superintendent David Brown wants a new firearm investigation effort that he can control without waiting for federal intervention, reports Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.

“We Are Coming For You,” Brown says, via WTTW’s Matt Masterson

Deal on civilian police oversight reached after weekend of negotiations in Chicago: “The mayor would retain final say on police policy disputes. Reform advocates won the right to take a vote of no-confidence in the police superintendent, though the vote would be non-binding,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Alderman taking no chances with coveted ward superintendent’s position: “At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Ald. Brian Hopkins plans to introduce an ordinance changing the law to make it clear that the hiring and firing of ward superintendents is controlled by the local alderman,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Redevelopment of Michael Reese site takes giant step forward: “The City Council’s Finance Committee agreed to earmark $60 million to build city streets, a new park and other infrastructure needed to pave the way for the “Bronzeville Lakefront” project,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Fatal shooting of teen by Chicago police could result in $1.2M settlement for boy’s family, by Tribune’s John Byrne and Jeremy Gorner

— Opinion: Obama Presidential Center. Right project, wrong location, by Jamie Kalven

Evanston will hire outside lawyers for sexual misconduct probe at beaches: “The move was prompted by Friday’s WBEZ story on a petition signed by more than 50 female lifeguards and other Evanston beach workers. The young women had brought their concerns to city officials about a year ago, vividly detailing accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by coworkers and bosses on the lakefront — with some of the alleged incidents targeting underage girls,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

Commissioner retaliated against staffer who reported sexual harassment by her supervisor, watchdog office says: “[T]he inspector general’s report states that the elected official ‘disagreed with the OIIG finding of retaliation and rejected the OIIG recommendation for discipline of the [supervisor] on that charge,’” by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt.

DuPage officials asking residents how they want money spent in budget: The county has familiar questions and some new ones on its online survey. “We realize it’s the taxpayers’ budget,” said Liz Chaplin, a DuPage County Board member who serves as chairman of the finance committee. “We really do want to get a feel for how our constituents want their money spent.” Daily Herald’s Susan Sarkauskas reports.

Illinois National Guard faces cuts after helping at U.S. Capitol: “About 13,000 part-time Illinois National Guard soldiers and airmen, as well as more than 1,000 full-time civilian employees, could lose two months’ pay if Congress fails to act by August 1, the state’s adjutant general said Monday,” by State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen.

— Standing up for Dreamers: Business leaders are speaking out against a federal district judge ruling against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA. The Biden administration has also said the Justice Department would appeal the decision. The American Business Immigration Coalition in issuing a letter signed by more than 400 university presidents, CEOs and civic leaders urging Congress to take action on behalf of “Dreamers,” as immigrants are known. “This relief is particularly critical for the 98,000 Dreamers who graduate from high school every year and the 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in institutions of higher education,” the letter states. Among the Illinois business leaders signing the letter: Exelon Chairman Emeritus John Rowe, Illinois Institute of Technology President Alan Cramb, retired Ingredion CEO Sam Scott, Duchossois Group’s Craig Duchossois, Henry Crown Chairman Lester Crown, United Airlines board member Michelle Hooper, and Glenn Tilton, an Abbott Labs board member and the former CEO of United Airlines.

— Column: Revisiting the case of Anthony Porter: Jim Dey says Porter was “woefully miscast” as a “poster boy” for innocence.

Amazon endorsed legal weed. Will it now fight to make it happen? “The company’s money and power could be a game-changer for federal cannabis policy,” by POLITICO’s Natalie Fertig and Theodoric Meyer.

Vaccines urged for college campuses: The Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board released higher education guidance in line with recently released guidance from the CDC. “We are strongly encouraging universities to require vaccination to protect their campus and local communities as they bring students back for a full campus experience” IBHE executive director Ginger Ostro said via WIFR.

Rockford Mayor McNamara will not run for Congress: “I firmly believe that my goal should always be to serve whatever office allows me to do the most good. And right now, that place is as the mayor of Rockford. After much discussion and reflection, I have decided that my heart is here. I want to remain your mayor and will not run for a Congressional seat in 2022,” Tom McNamara said, via WTVO.

Congressional candidate touts support from controversial Republican lawmaker: Jack Lombardi, a Manhattan Republican running for the 16th District seat now held by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, was the subject of a tweet Friday by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, “who’s drawn controversy for ties to white nationalists and comments about the 2020 election and the Capitol riot,” reports Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau.

Arlington Heights Trustee Canty running for state rep: Mary Beth Canty, elected to the village board in 2019, “says she had been contemplating a run for higher office for some time but decided to make it official Thursday by establishing a formal campaign committee. On Thursday night, she held her first fundraiser in the backyard of an Arlington Heights supporter’s home,” reports Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.

Rush on energy: The House approved by voice vote bipartisan legislation Monday to create a new assistant secretary post at the Department of Energy to deal with emergency and cybersecurity functions. Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) reintroduced the legislation in May after the Colonial Pipeline hack, which paralyzed vital fuel lines in the Eastern United States. The bill would make emergency response and cybersecurity core functions of the department, Rush said in a statement, which “is necessary given recent attacks, including on Colonial Pipeline, as well as ongoing threats to our energy infrastructure that we will no doubt continue to face.”

Chicago attorney Tiffany Cunningham confirmed as first Black federal circuit judge, via Bloomberg Law

— Pelosi’s Dems grit their teeth amid Senate infrastructure drama, by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris

— Senate Democrats propose requiring women to register for military draft, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Connor O’Brien

Georgia senator and pastor Raphael Warnock headlines the annual awards luncheon for Personal PAC, the political action committee dedicated to electing abortion rights-supporting state and local officials in Illinois. The event is Oct. 20 and will be virtual with more than 1,000 supporters expected to attend, including more than 100 elected officials and candidates from across the state. The visit by Warnock will follow fellow Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff headlining the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association brunch in Springfield on Aug. 18.

Bernard J. Hansen, former Chicago alderman, dies at 76: “Bernie taught me that policy only matters when it works at the street level,” said Rep. Mike Quigley. Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell and Fran Spielman report.

— Big change at CPD: Jose Tirado, the chief of the Chicago Police Bureau of Counter-Terrorism, is retiring. Tirado has been the face of the Be the Change program to get young officers excited about working with the Chicago Police Department.

— Yul Edwards has joined Thorn Run Partners as a partner in its D.C. office. Edwards was most recently chief of staff to Rep. Danny Davis, a senior member of both the House Ways and Means and Oversight committees, advising the congressman on issues like tax policy, health care, transportation, energy, and the environment and judiciary. Before joining Davis’ office, Edwards lobbied for Fabiani & Company and served as legislative director for former Rep. Frank Ballance (D-N.C.).

— Robert Emmons Jr. has been named founding director of employer engagement at National Louis University. He previously was a consultant and former congressional candidate.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to labor leader Clem Balanoff for correctly answering that Al Jourdan (1991) and Michael Bilandic (2001) were the tie-breaking commissioners selected to serve on Illinois’ redistricting commissions.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the last county formed in Illinois? Email to [email protected]

Former Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes, AIPAC regional director David Fox, and sociology professor Barbara Risman

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