Good Monday morning, Illinois. Here’s a little trick for dealing with fake news: When the tweet refers to a “rumor,” maybe don’t retweet it.
The Illinois GOP has never been a fundraising juggernaut, and yet the first quarter numbers were still pretty bleak.
For the first quarter, Illinois GOP reported receiving a little more than $115,000 in donations, leaving $74,374 in the bank after expenses, according to the State Board of Elections.
Still, they’re worthy of an asterisk this time after a defeat at the top of the ticket and their new state leader has only been on the job since February. That left the Illinois GOP little time to define the party to potential donors. Is it the party of Donald Trump, for example? Or does it represent Rep. Adam Kinzinger? And what is the vision of party Chairman Don Tracy?
The next quarter will be the real test of whether Tracy can galvanize support for his party. Another big question: Will billionaire Ken Griffin step in to help the way he did in the general election by funding opposition forces to the Democrats’ graduated income tax referendum?
So far he and other donors have been missing from fundraising.
The Democratic Party of Illinois, meanwhile, received about $2 million, leaving it with $2.6 million cash on hand. And Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker reports having $35 million in the bank, thanks to his self-funding.
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin raised $125,000 in the first quarter and had about $267,00 on hand after expenses. His House Republican Organization, which funds GOP reps’ campaigns, raised $111,000, leaving a mere $200 in the bank after expenses. And Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie raised $68,000 and has $432,000 cash on hand. His caucus committee raised $206,000 and has $209,000 in the bank. He’s new to the job, so it’s worth adding an asterisk there, too.
Democratic Party leaders, who hold the majority, raked in the cash — even with their big fundraiser, former House Speaker Michael Madigan, out of the picture halfway through the quarter. New House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch raised $1.2 million, with the Chicago Teachers Union making the largest donation: $59,900. Welch also contributed to local campaigns, leaving him $1.2 million cash on hand. And Senate President Don Harmon reported raising $402,000 and has nearly $6 million in the bank after spending $1.2 million primarily on the Senate Democrats’ caucus.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Alexi Giannoulias, the former state treasurer, is out with a digital ad in his bid to be Illinois secretary of state. It’s the first ad out of any campaign for the 2022 election.
Titled “Working Together,” the ad is produced by Adelstein & Associates and shows Giannoulias talking to the camera about the challenges working class families are facing.
“When times get hard, it means we need to fight hard,” Giannoulias says in the ad. It’s a line that we’ll likely hear again.
The images on the screen include the Hartmarx suit factory that nearly went bankrupt more than a decade ago. At the time, Giannoulias stepped in when he was state treasurer and leaned on Hartmarx’s creditors, threatening to pull the state’s $8 billion investment portfolio if the company was shut down. Wells Fargo relented, agreeing to sell the factory to an owner who agreed to save jobs.
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No official public events
At Sauk Valley Community College at 12:40 p.m. to accompany first lady Jill Biden on a tour.
At Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in Lemont at 1 p.m. for an Earth Week event.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 10 additional deaths and 2,666 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,663 fatalities and 1,302,241 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 11-17 is 4.0 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.6 percent.
— DATA GAP threatens to complicate Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause: “The current investigation could intensify concerns by state officials that the public will lose overall confidence in Covid-19 vaccines,” by POLITICO’s Erin Banco, Dan Goldberg, Rachel Roubein and Sarah Owermohle.
— How the pandemic produced a surprising silver lining in fight against homelessness: “Hotels, abandoned by business travelers and tourists, were used to house people who would otherwise be sleeping in congregate shelters or on pads arranged on the floor of a church basement. Social service agencies, doctors and those who stayed in the hotels are now calling it a game-changing model for how to stabilize people experiencing homelessness and get them into permanent housing and off the street for good,” by Tribune’s Charles J. Johnson.
— LIGHTFOOT calls Twitter rumors ‘homophobic, racist and misogynistic,’ indicates she is not resigning: “Lightfoot, who has been trending on Twitter since Saturday night, posted five tweets around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. ‘It’s shocking and disappointing to see some media members and verified Twitter handles are peddling this trash as truth,’ Lightfoot said. ‘If people hadn’t noticed, we have major challenges in Chicago we need to address TOGETHER. This nonsense that some apparently have the luxury of indulging in has not fed one person, stopped the pandemic, housed anyone living on the street or saved one young person,’” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and John Byrne.
— Chicago Teachers Union approves deal to reopen high schools today: “The agreement is a relief to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools officials, who were hoping to avoid the kind of protracted brinkmanship in negotiations with union officials that characterized the run-up to the reopening of CPS grade schools earlier this year,” writes Tribune’s John Byrne.
… Competitive high schools to see greatest numbers of students return Monday, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa
… Hundreds of CPS students, staff are in quarantine, though Covid cases remain isolated so far, reports Tribune’s Hannah Leone
— Little Village residents grapple with killing of Adam Toledo: “The video has sparked outrage in Little Village and across the nation. However, some in this Mexican-American and Mexican-immigrant community remained silent, hesitant to criticize police in a land that has provided them with work and other opportunities that were difficult to come by in their native Mexico. And some have openly questioned why a 13-year-old boy would be out in the middle of the night running from police,” by WBEZ’s María Inés Zamudio.
… Chicago protest brings out thousands in Little Village, by WGN’s Alexis McAdams
… Prosecutor who detailed Toledo shooting video put on leave after saying boy had a gun in hand when he was shot, by Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson
— Time for Chicago business leaders to start mapping a path back downtown: “If you have been waiting for another executive to move first on the question of when and how to bring employees back to the office, Crain’s publisher Jim Kirk would like to introduce you to Bob Clark.”
— Downtown condos selling again, as buyers eye end of the pandemic and a return to the office: “Warmer weather, Covid-19 vaccinations and improved consumer confidence after the presidential election have created a ‘perfect storm’ of interest downtown, said Tommy Choi, co-founder of Weinberg Choi Realty. Add to that the reopening of restaurants, bars and gyms and the prospect for employees soon returning to the office, and proximity to downtown is again becoming important,” by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.
— Always a risk, One Central project now a tougher sell: “More questions emerge about the feasibility of its transit hub and whether the state is still interested in backing it,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Future in question for Loop synagogue and its monumental stained-glass window: “The congregation’s president, Lee Zoldan, reports that the synagogue has enough cash assets in the bank to continue running comfortably for another year and a half. ‘Then we are headed for the red,” she said. “The time to panic is now,’” by Jewish Telegraph Agency’s Alanna E. Cooper.
— VIOLENCE CONTINUES: 7-year-old killed at McDonald’s in Homan Square: Jontae Adams, 28, and his daughter, Jaslyn, were in their car at a McDonald’s drive-thru Sunday when they were shot. Adams called his mom for help, reports Sun-Times Madeline Kenney, Cindy Hernandez and Jermaine Nolen.
— ‘Traumatizing’ feeling of being hijacked with your 2-year-old in backseat: “Ariana Morales thought it was her husband tapping on the window of her car Wednesday night as she waited outside the Wicker Park restaurant where he works. When she turned her head, she saw a man she didn’t recognize holding a bat,” by Tribune’s Paige Fry.
— Illinois Dems may cite Trump factor in using non-census data to redraw maps: “Although Democrats have held several legislative hearings on the redistricting process, they have yet to say what source of population data they will use to fashion the maps as an alternative to the delayed census figures. Illinois’ Constitution does not require the use of federal census data for legislative redistricting, and some leading Democrats question the accuracy of the final census data by pointing to efforts by former President Donald Trump’s administration to block the counting of undocumented immigrants,” reports Tribune’s Rick Pearson in his overview of Illinois redistricting.
— KINZINGER: If Illinois Democrats carve up his district in remap, he may run for Senate or governor: “Democratic Party of Illinois chair Rep. Robin Kelly said when it comes to Illinois losing a district, ‘If we have something to say about it, I don’t think that it’ll be Adam’s seat,’” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Musical chairs: The Sangamon County Democratic Party elected Bill Houlihan as chair at last week’s central committee meeting. Houlihan takes over for Dan Kovats, who assumed chair duties in February after Doris Turner resigned—after she was appointed to the state Senate. “It is an exciting time to be a Democrat in Sangamon County,” Houlihan said in a statement. He’s been a precinct committeeperson since 1984 and previously served as county chair. Houlihan also serves as a state central committeeperson. In his day job, he is state director for Sen. Dick Durbin.
— FACT-CHECK: Are a quarter of America’s lead pipes really in Chicagoland? “A spokesperson for Sen. [Dick] Durbin said he meant to reference the entire state, not just Chicago and its surrounding area. Either way, data limitations complicate national comparisons,” by Better Government Association’s Kiannah Sepeda-Miller.
— To fest or not to fest? Some suburbs are canceling summer events. Others are making plans for modified, socially distanced events. “Then there’s Elk Grove Village, which is planning to carry on normally — with no requirements for masks or social distancing — with its summer events,” reports Daily Herald’s Elena Ferrarin.
— BIDEN’s MODERN-DAY NEW DEAL: It could have a lasting effect on joblessness and global warming: “Illinois conservationists are working to create a program that they hope will find bipartisan support… For the Great Lakes region, a new corps could mean checking off a long list of items on advocates’ lists: more green space and infrastructure in cities, much-needed assistance to eroding shorelines, habitat restoration, reforestation of dwindling canopies — and new jobs,” writes Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Illinois will spend another $140M to stabilize its daycares: “Child care centers across the state are eligible to apply for the business recovery grants to help shore up operations as the sector tries to claw back from enrollment declines, mounting safety costs, and payment delays from overburdened families,” by Chalkbeat’s Cassie Walker Burke.
— Prison watchdog organization’s leader glad for restart of in-person visits: “Jennifer Vollen-Katz, executive director for the John Howard Association, said it’s good there are plans in place for in-person visitation. But she said the Department of Corrections should have restarted visits much sooner,” by WGLT’s Christine Hatfield.
— Trump appointees obstructed investigation of Sterigenics, cancer-causing emissions, EPA says: “Political leaders tied the hands of EPA staff looking into ethylene oxide releases in DuPage and Lake Counties, the agency’s inspector general says,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Lawmakers considering legislation that could hike ComEd bills less than a year after utility admitted bribery scheme: “Long known for flooding Springfield with campaign cash and well-connected lobbyists, ComEd is now politically toxic at the Capitol. So this year it’s remaining in the background while labor unions take the lead in selling the Climate Unions Jobs Act as a way to preserve and create high-paying jobs, and help Illinois transition away from energy sources that contribute to climate change,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Stacy St. Clair.
… From WBEZ: Lawmakers’ reform plans are hazy: “A pair of potential rewrites to state utility law give some prominence to ethics reforms related to the revelations in the ComEd probe, but nothing under consideration would seriously curb the outsized political influence ComEd has enjoyed for decades in Illinois.,” report Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.
— Senate considering bill allowing firefighters to transfer benefits: “Lawmakers are working to change how firefighters are compensated for their service. Right now, if a firefighter leaves his or her department to work in another, they lose some benefits,” by WCIA’s Jamie Mayes.
— Advocates push for added state funding in disability support services, by WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller.
— BORDER WEED: “Marijuana remains illegal in Idaho. In fact, it is one of only two states left in the nation that bans all forms of cannabis, including hemp and CBD products. But drive across the border into Oregon, and Idahoans can purchase every conceivable type of cannabis product, from THC infused artisan grape taffy to 1.5 gram pre-rolled joints….In southern Illinois, Jushi Holdings has opened two shops just across from St. Louis, Mo. Erich Mauff, the company’s co-president, points out that even when two bordering states both have legal cannabis, differences in regulation — a lower tax rate or a higher potency limit for edibles, for example — can still lure shoppers into going the extra mile,” by POLITICO’s Natalie Fertig.
— Cannabis reform puts social justice front and center: “States like Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and others have recognized something critical to a comprehensive justice conversation: cannabis expungement is not enough. Expungement is important (automatic expungement more so), but expungement only fixes one day in a person’s life: the day he or she is convicted of a crime. Expungement does not inherently fix all of the missed economic, educational, wealth-building, and social opportunities that occurred because of a criminal record,” by the Brookings Institution.
— Diverse coalition will boost hemp industry: “The industrial hemp industry is still in its infancy in Illinois and a new venture is underway to create viable models for its success. Mississippi Fiberworks was developed last year at the Savanna Industrial Park, and Robert Davies detailed the new initiative at the recent Illinois Hemp Summit, hosted by the Illinois Department of Agriculture,” AgriNews’ Tom Doran reports.
FROM NATIONAL PLAYBOOK: Lanny Davis has registered as a foreign agent to represent Dmytro Firtash, the Ukrainian billionaire who played a key role in Trump’s first impeachment saga and is facing federal bribery charges in Chicago. Davis, a partner at Davis Goldberg & Galper, was previously part of Firtash’s legal team in 2019, but he was dropped in favor of Joseph Digenova and Victoria Toensing, the Trump-aligned conservative lawyers who reportedly met with BILL BARR about the Firtash case. With Trump gone, Davis is back — at $50,000 per month, according to his FARA registration, which was submitted to the Department of Justice last night.
“I am pleased to rejoin the legal defense team led by Dan Webb of Winston & Strawn to prove that Mr. Firtash is innocent of the charges filed against him by U.S. prosecutors in Chicago,” Davis told Playbook. “I hope that the Chicago federal prosecutors and U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. will re-evaluate the case as I believe it will be determined that there are no facts to support any of the charges against Mr. Firtash.”
— Biden takes on Dems’ ‘Mission Impossible’: Revitalizing coal country, by POLITICO’s Zack Colman and Anthony Adragna
— California GOP sees a path to salvation: Gavin Newsom, by POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White
— How ‘Papa Gaetz’ tells you everything you need to know about Matt Gaetz, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout
— Swiss billionaire is said to end his bid for Tribune Publishing: “Hansjörg Wyss was part of a serious offer for the major newspaper chain that could have prevented it from being sold to the hedge fund Alden Global Capital,” by the New York Times.
— William Barr, Amy Coney Barrett land book deals: “But other Trump-era figures are having trouble selling their memoirs,” by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman.
— Documenting LGBTQ history: Windy City Times an ‘invaluable resource’ for Chicago: “After more than 35 years of covering major events like the HIV/AIDS epidemic and writing about diverse communities, Chicago’s main LGBTQ publication is still going strong,” by Sun-Times’ Mari Devereaux.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Elizabeth Manion of the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau and former legislator turned lobbyist John Fritchey for correctly answering that the town of Olney gives squirrels the right of way on roads. Side note: Olney is the birthplace and resting place of Fritchey’s father, grandfather and great grandfather.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who is the only person to be elected both mayor of Chicago and governor of Illinois? Email to [email protected].
Former House Speaker Michael Madigan, 43rd Ward Committeeperson Lucy Moog, The Strategy Group’s Pete Giangreco, Allison+Partners Account Exec Abbey Schubert, Odelson & Sterk election attorney Ross Secler, and political commentator and former Clinton White House aide Laura Schwartz.