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Special legislative session won’t be held this month

Tuesday, Jul 5, 2022

* Subscribers were told about this yesterday and it’s another reason why I felt I could take today off…

Joint Statement From Governor Pritzker, Senate President Harmon, and House Speaker Welch on Special Legislative Session to Protect Reproductive Rights

As we build on Illinois’ nation-leading abortion protections and access, it is essential to bring lawmakers and advocates into the room to continue to work together. In the coming weeks, as the ripples of the decision to overturn Roe are felt throughout the nation, we expect to get an acute sense of our needs and how Illinois can play an even more vital role in standing up for reproductive freedom. We plan to work closely together for the remainder of the summer to assess every possibility of what we can do and convene a special session in the coming months.

…Adding… Tribune

As for taking more time before convening lawmakers on abortion, “we need to look at how this is already impacting states and how it will impact states over the next couple months,” Abudayyeh said.

During a White House call with Democratic governors on Friday, Pritzker called for additional federal funding to help states where abortion remains legal.

The first-term Democrat has made his support for abortion rights a central theme of his reelection campaign. In the November general election, he faces conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey of Xenia, who has said he is opposed to abortion in all cases except to spare the life of the mother.

* ACLU…

Governor JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch today announced that they will not call a special session of the Illinois General Assembly this week to address measures Illinois can take in response to the Supreme Court overturning the landmark decision recognizing a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. The following from the ACLU of Illinois can be attributed to Khadine Bennett, Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director for the organization:

We applaud the careful, deliberate approach announced by Governor Pritzker and the legislative leaders today aimed at adding new protections for abortion and other reproductive healthcare rights. The goal of this effort should be to put in protections that are holistic, well-researched, include the voices of providers and advocates and can withstand the inevitable challenge of anti-abortion foes in Illinois. This goal is best served by the collaborative process announced today.

Each of us should remember that a reckless majority of the Supreme Court has cast us all into uncharted waters in terms of law, the provision of services and the role of government. Given Illinois’ unique role as a leader in protecting access to abortion care, we need an approach that addresses this unprecedented situation, works best for Illinois and individuals coming to our state for care, as well as adds protections and provides resources for healthcare providers and patients. These protections and resources should be implemented and available as early as possible.

The ACLU of Illinois stands ready to work with government officials, legislators, healthcare and service providers, advocates and others to move this process forward.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Taking another day

Tuesday, Jul 5, 2022

* I have a guest from out of town who hasn’t been to Springfield in months. Plus, frankly, I really don’t have the will to oversee an online comments debate today about the Highland Park shooting. That debate must happen and it will happen, but it won’t start here until tomorrow. So, study up.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s special edition of Capitol Fax (use last week’s password)

Monday, Jul 4, 2022

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Highland Park parade updates

Monday, Jul 4, 2022

* Rep. Morgan this morning…


* Lynn Sweet was on the scene…


* As of 1 o’clock this afternoon, five people are reported dead and the shooter was still at large. Multiple Independence Day parades in the area have been canceled.

* Sen. Julie Morrison represents the town…

“Today while participating in the Highland Park 4th of July parade, my family and I — and the entire Highland Park community — experienced the trauma of what far too many across the country are experiencing: the paralyzing terror of gun violence.

“Like so many other families, I was with my husband, our three children and our grandchildren on what was to be a day of festivities and a beloved community event. Instead, we were running for safety, desperately praying that no one would die from the gunshots we heard in the distance.

“Even in Highland Park, a town with some of the strictest gun laws in Illinois, lives are at risk from the lack of gun control.

“Gun violence has been normalized and no one is to blame except elected officials who have the power to put their constituents’ lives ahead of the gun lobby, but fail to do so every chance they get. Instead we have a Supreme Court that just put our country on a path to even more guns on our streets and a Congress that’s patting themselves on the back over a watered down gun reform package that does little to stop the death sentence that is life in America right now.

“I am enraged by the gun free-for-all that’s killing our children, our seniors and everyone in between. The only way we can end this crisis is for our state and federal government to pass the laws that we’ve all been demanding. Until that happens, we are not safe anywhere—not at our places of worship, our schools, our community gatherings. If you’re not committed to saving lives then you have absolutely no place in public office.

“Thank you to the first responders who bravely stepped in to an active shooting and undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives today. I pray for healing for the victims — and my promise to you is that my years-long crusade against gun violence will continue stronger than ever.”

* US Rep…


* Governor…


* GOP nominee…


* Actual info…


* Police said this afternoon that a rifle has been recovered, but that the at-large shooter should still be considered armed and dangerous.

…Adding… Gov. Pritzker…

Today, I ask all Illinoisans to pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed this morning in Highland Park, for those who have lost loved ones and for those who have been injured. I also ask that we all pray for our first responders at all levels of government who are actively working to bring the suspect into custody, and whose bravery undoubtedly saved innocent lives on the scene.

There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community. There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.

But grief will not bring the victims back, and prayers alone will not put a stop to the terror of rampant gun violence in our country.

I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must - and we will - end this plague of gun violence.

* Ugh…


…Adding… Just surreal…


* Lt. Gov. Stratton…

The pain that we are feeling today is not normal and never should be. My family and I are praying for the Highland Park community and all who attended the 4th of July parade today to celebrate our country only to have that celebration turned into tragedy. Our state is saddened and stunned by this horrific act of gun violence. We must lean on each other for comfort, and pray for the lives lost, those injured, their family and friends, as well as the brave first responders from every government agency working this mass shooting. As we struggle to process all that is happening today, we must again say ENOUGH. There are too many guns on our streets and we must enact common sense gun laws, stricter policies, and put resources in place to build the safe, healthy communities everyone deserves. Today we mourn with the people of Highland Park, and we make it clear that we see them and all who are impacted by gun violence in our state by remaining committed to healing from such immense pain.

…Adding… They got him…


* Gov. Pritzker…

Good afternoon. I want to begin by honoring the heroic actions of law enforcement who ran toward the gunshots they heard today. In particular, lives were saved because the Highland Park Police courageously protected and served their community.

I also want to thank our Illinois State Police who have been coordinating on the ground since this morning with Highland Park PD, neighboring police forces, the County Task force, FBI and ATF. Our troopers will continue the investigation and search until the job is done.

To the residents of Highland Park and surrounding communities: This murderer will be brought to justice. But until that happens, please follow instructions from local authorities on how best to keep you and your family safe. And please know that every resource at the state’s disposal will be available to you in the days and weeks ahead as you recover from this horrific tragedy.

A little while ago, I spoke with President Biden who pledged all support the White House can provide. The President agrees with me: This madness must stop.

This morning a gunman opened fire on a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, taking 6 innocent lives, leaving 24 people in the hospital, traumatizing countless children and families, and shattering the peace of this community.

The families of 6 individuals woke up today to join a community celebration of our nation’s independence. They will go to bed tonight less than whole.

There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle. There are no words I can offer to lessen the pain of those families who will no longer associate the 4th of July with celebration, but instead with grief. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I and our family grieve with you.

It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague. A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we as a nation refuse to uphold – the freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence.

You know what I love about the 4th of July? We celebrate the founding of this wonderful nation by gathering with family and friends, and enjoying parades and fireworks. Our cameras on days like this are filled with messy faces and reckless smiles and pretty sunsets – an effort to bottle up that unique feeling of sun-filled joy.

That’s what evil took from us today. That’s what gun violence robs us of — no matter the neighborhood or city it erupts in.

If you are angry today, I’m here to tell you to be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. I’m furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today. I’m furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I’m furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I’m furious because it does not have to be this way and yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen. While we celebrate the 4th of July just once a year, mass shootings have become our weekly – yes, weekly – American tradition.

There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time, to talk about guns. I’m telling you there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now.

It’s the 4th of July - a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine — or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.

So yes, I’m angry. We as a nation deserve better.

May the memory of those we lost today be a blessing – and a call to action.

* Rep. Morgan…

Today, State Representative Bob Morgan released the following statement:

“One of our most sacred traditions of celebrating our Nation’s Independence was desecrated today while we began marching in the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade.

I don’t know when the shooter will be captured, nor what his motivations were - and right now I don’t care.

What I do know is that there are families that have been torn apart; children who will have nightmares from their trauma; a community that will never fully heal. What I also know is that we are the only country in the world where this happens. I will fight every second of every day to do whatever possible in the General Assembly to make sure this tragedy never happens again.

We will continue to update with any information regarding crisis resources. Please hold my community in your prayers tonight - they need healing both physically and spiritually.”

* AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued a statement on the mass shooting that occurred at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

“Our country is once again rocked by another devastating mass shooting, this time at what should have been a joyous event. My heart is broken for the families and community that came together today in Highland Park to celebrate the birth of our nation. I am praying for those who lost loved ones today and for the survivors who experienced unimaginable trauma.

“Statements like these are becoming too frequent, which is why I remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to prevent the mass tragedies that have devastated too many families. I will continue to collaborate with federal law enforcement, such as the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center to ensure that community and faith leaders have access to training that can help prevent these horrific mass casualty events.

“I would like to thank the members of law enforcement and the first responders who ran selflessly toward the danger today. Investigators from my office continue to be on the scene assisting local, state and federal law enforcement. My office will also offer services to the families of those who were killed and to the survivors of this horrific incident. While a person of interest has been apprehended as a result of the collaborative work of law enforcement, it is critical that anyone with information that could help this ongoing investigation to report it immediately by calling 1-800–CALL FBI.”

* US Sen. Duckworth…

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement regarding this morning’s mass shooting at Highland Park’s July 4th parade after joining Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and other officials to give an update on the status of the investigation:

“Absolutely terrifying. Illinoisans who set out this morning to celebrate our Independence Day and watch Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade found themselves running for their lives. At least six of them will never make it home. Someone’s child. Someone’s grandparent.

“My heart goes out to the families who will never see their loved ones again and I join the entire Highland Park community in grieving their losses and wishing swift recoveries for the victims who survived.

“Every community deserves to be safe from senseless gun violence, and I’ve made clear to both Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering that I will do whatever I can at the federal level to get them the resources they need to not just catch the shooter, but to help Highland Park recover from this tragedy.

“Last month, Congress proved that bipartisan compromises on gun safety are possible. Today proved that we can’t stop there. We have to do more to keep our communities safe. We have to pass additional commonsense reforms that wide majorities of Americans are crying out for—that 6 Illinoisans can no longer cry out for. I won’t let their memories be forgotten.”

…Adding… Darren Bailey is clearly out of his element here

When reached by VICE News, Bailey’s spokesman sent out a statement saying “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”

“I am heartbroken by today’s tragic events and the pain and loss felt by so many. My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” he said in the statement.

“I hope we can all come together in prayer and action to address rampant crime and mental heath [sic] issues to make sure these horrific tragedies don’t happen again.”

In 2020, Bailey’s team held a fundraiser featuring a raffle for a semi-automatic rifle.

There is no history of “rampant crime” in Highland Park. Everything he said today was out of touch with reality and completely lacked empathy.

* And check out this very odd statement from Iris Martinez…

Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Iris Y. Martinez Condemns the Senseless Shootings in Highland Park Today

“My heart bleeds today for the families who lost loves and seriously injured many in today’s senseless shooting at Highland Park’s 4th of July Parade, says Clerk Martinez.

The 4th of July is supposed to be a joyous day of celebration remembering those lost for our freedom. Now the nation is looking upon our state due to these random tragedies. “How safe are we, when we cannot no longer celebrate our freedom and be imprisoned in our homes”, says Martinez

Sending out a press release on a topic like this riddled with typos and confusing Memorial Day with Independence Day is a bizarre insult to the victims.

…Adding… Harmon…

Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement after a gunman opened fire at a Highland Park Fourth of July parade, killing six and injuring dozens:

“It is particularly heart-wrenching to imagine a celebration of America’s freedom cut short by a deadly rampage.

My heart aches for the people who gathered in Highland Park today with every expectation of celebrating a peaceful holiday with friends, family and neighbors.

This horrifying attack is a reminder that gun violence is not confined to a specific region or location. It touches us all.

I offer my deepest condolences and sincerest prayers for the Highland Park community today, and I vow to continue to build on the progress we have made in the State Senate to combat gun violence.”

* McConchie…

Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) released the below statement following the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, and the subsequent capture of the alleged perpetrator:

“Today, we witnessed an attack on America right in our own backyard. As we continue to mourn and grieve with the people of Highland Park, the recovery and healing of this horrific act of domestic terrorism will be a long journey ahead.

“During a time when fellow Americans, our neighbors, were celebrating our great nation, we witnessed pure evil. This will be a tragedy never forgotten.

“I join the many others in thanking the heroic work of our law enforcement, who kept the community safe in the moments after the shooting and successfully apprehended the suspect. I also join in thanking the first responders, doctors, and paramedics for their swift actions to help the innocent victims.

“As we await justice under the law, I will continue to offer my prayers and full support to the community of Highland Park.”

* More details

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC’s “Today Show” that the weapon suspect Robert Crimo III used in the deadly Fourth of July parade shooting was “legally obtained” — and now the U.S. needs to re-examine gun laws in its aftermath.

The Illinois mayor said she is waiting Tuesday for prosecutors to file charges against the 22-year-old accused of killing at least six and wounding more than 30 in yesterday’s attack. […]

Rotering told the “Today Show” that she did not know where the gun that was used in the attack came from, but noted that it was “legally obtained.”

“I think at some point the nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally-obtained guns,” Rotering continued. “If that is what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine the laws.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Mr. Ray Charles

Who more than self, their country loved
And mercy more than life

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Pritzker campaign spending $200K on cable/satellite TV in the next week

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Click here for the buy report and then try to avoid BRVO, CNN, ESPN, FOOD, HALL, HGTV and MNBC. /s

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Pritzker wants four things from Biden on abortion issue

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* The governor participated in a virtual White House event with the POTUS today. From the governor’s office…

This was the gist of what Gov. Pritzker said on the call today:

I propose that you immediately form a reproductive healthcare strike force – pulling together the best experts, federal leaders, and the states on the frontline of this fight to find every single federal rule and regulation that can enhance our ability to provide reproductive health care. Eliminate the rules that are creating barriers and create new rules that expand access. Make sure the FTC takes a hard look at whether our existing privacy regulations are sufficient to protect individuals looking for abortion care.

That’s action we can take without Congress, without the Courts – right now – and save lives.

I believe there are four essential issues that need immediate focus.

ONE. Right off the bat, we can find a way for the federal government to support doctors in EVERY state providing telehealth and mail prescriptions to patients, as well as making facilities on federal land in EVERY state available for clinicians to practice.

TWO. Those mail prescriptions are going out through the United States Postal Service, not the postal service of Alabama or Missouri. So we need to get out in front of any attempts to criminalize use of the federal postal system to deliver medication, because they will try.

THREE. We also need a centralized hub connecting patients and providers across state lines. I’m getting calls from providers up and down Illinois who are getting double and triple booked by scared patients who are grabbing every appointment they can because they’re afraid of losing all of them. There needs to be an ultra-secure navigator system for providers to communicate with each other and with patients about their options. We don’t want any appointments going to waste.

FOUR. Most importantly of all: we need federal dollars. Illinois is going to have half the country relying on us to provide abortions and reproductive health care. We fund abortions with our Medicaid dollars. But our state funds alone can’t support the demand. We need the federal government to pay for clinic upkeep, medical transport, and other associated billable items up until the abortion itself. And the federal government can provide the state with additional funding elsewhere to support our Medicaid needs.

This is a crisis and we need to treat it like one. That means acting urgently as a collective in the way this moment demands. We need to put more decision makers in a room and figure out creative ways to get to yes. I’m asking that as soon as this call ends, we work with our teams to get a concrete meeting for the coalition on the calendar. Illinois is happy to convene federal and state leaders, but I’ll go wherever it takes to get this done.

Statement from Jordan Abudayyeh…

Governor Pritzker is gratified that President Biden embraced his suggestions, particularly moving forward with a concrete strike force that includes Democratic governors and federal leaders to protect access to safe, legal abortion and reproductive care.

* Meanwhile

In the pre-reversal world, multiple clinics opened up near [Illinois] state boundary lines of access, including near St. Louis. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports nearly 10,000 patients crossed state lines to have an abortion in Illinois in 2020 — that was 29% more patients traveling than in 2019.

Meanwhile, in states like Iowa, where it’s likely a revival of the six-week ban will take effect, access to abortion in adjacent Illinois has been virtually impossible, with four Quad Cities clinics having closed in the past five years and none at all sitting on the state’s border.

A run on state resources is inevitable.

“The state of Illinois is among a handful of U.S. states that continues to affirm the right to safe and accessible reproductive healthcare. Indeed, the state has seen growing numbers of persons coming from outside the state in recent years,” said Natalie Bennett, director of the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center at University of Illinois-Chicago. “Those numbers will continue to increase.”

* AP

Twenty-two percent of U.S. adults name abortion or women’s rights in an open-ended question as one of up to five problems they want the government to work on, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That’s more than doubled since December, when an AP-NORC poll found a notable uptick in mentions of abortion from years before, likely in anticipation of the Dobbs ruling on abortion.

The new poll, which included interviews conducted before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling, finds prioritization of the issues grew sharply following the decision. […]

And the new poll finds mentions of women’s rights are almost exclusively by those who think abortion should be legal.

According to the poll, the percentage of women prioritizing abortion or women’s rights was already higher in interviews conducted before the ruling than six months ago, 21% vs. 9% in December; it swelled to 37% in the days after. Mentions grew sharply among men, too, but the growth was concentrated in the wake of the ruling, from 6% in interviews conducted before to 21% after.

* March for Life Chicago…

As reports show Illinois’ economy is lagging behind the rest of the Midwest and the state’s drivers pay an average of $5.40 per gallon at the pump – radical abortion promoters Governor J.B Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are pledging hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to abort babies from across state lines. March for Life Chicago believes that every Midwesterner should be outraged.

“The majority of Americans do not support taxpayer funding for abortion,” stated Anna Kinskey, Associate Director of the March for Life Chicago. “Yet, in the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision to uphold a state’s right to restrict abortion, Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot continue to ignore the people they represent to push their extreme abortion agenda at taxpayer expense.”

Pritzker was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as touting abortion as “another arrow in our quiver” to recruit businesses to Illinois and Pritzker has called for a special legislative session on reproductive health, during which it has been suggested that he will try to extend taxpayer funding of abortion to include out-of-state residents.

Following the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, Lightfoot pledged $500,000 of taxpayer money to abortion funds, including money to provide transportation and housing for women seeking out of state abortions in Chicago.

As the governor and mayor work to increase taxpayer funding of abortion, March for Life Chicago calls upon the people of the Midwest to rise up and speak out for the protection of women and children.

“Over 54 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” detailed Kinskey, presenting numbers from a January 2022 Marist Poll of Americans’ Opinions on Abortion. “Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot are exasperated following the Supreme Court’s finding that the United States Constitution does not include a ‘right to abortion,’ and they’re using taxpayer funding to push their extreme abortion agenda.”

“Taxes are intended to maintain public infrastructure, including the roads we travel on, and fund public schools, emergency services, and food stamp programs,” explained Kinskey. “Illinois can’t pay all of its bills, but the governor and the mayor of its largest city want to invite women from out of state to come to Illinois to abort their babies – at our expense. Every taxpaying Illinoisan should be outraged.”

“Illinois permits late-term abortions on demand for any reason at taxpayer expense,” Kinskey continued. “Already, abortion clinics in Wisconsin are sending women to Illinois for abortions. This trend will increase as our neighboring states move to protect preborn life.”

March for Life Chicago is calling upon Illinois’ governor and Chicago’s mayor to quit forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand – even on minor girls.

“Pritzker and Lightfoot are out of step with middle America. It’s time for Illinois to join the vast majority of the Midwest and return the right to life to preborn children and protect these most vulnerable members of the human family,” Kinskey added.

“And it’s not about choosing babies over women,” assured Kinskey. “The pro-life movement supports both mother and child. That’s why there are over 95 pregnancy resource centers right here in Illinois, meeting the needs of mothers and families, before and after birth. Women can easily find free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal care, diapers, cribs, parenting classes, and more. No woman should face an unexpected pregnancy alone, and if Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot truly cared about vulnerable women they would follow in the footsteps of states like Texas, and fund life affirming care for women and children.”

* More…

* Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Abortion Rights, New Firearm Tracing Database

* Abortion is now illegal in some states neighboring Illinois

* Stories from women who chose to end a pregnancy: We also hear from [Becky Carroll] who’s been an abortion rights advocate since she was a teenager and how she navigated her own experience of getting an abortion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Construction group warns that strike “is now threatening the viability of our summer construction season”

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Press release…

The Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) is a construction advocacy and membership organization working on public and private sector projects. We are very concerned that the ongoing labor dispute at our region’s largest aggregate suppliers is now threatening the viability of our summer construction season.

We can’t build and repair roads without rock and if this strike continues, we are going to run out of that vital supply.

Shutting down projects will be devastating to our members who are not compensated for the lost work. Even a week’s worth of lost work during the construction season can put our members in the red for the year.

We call on all parties to resolve this dispute immediately so our members and their employees can continue to provide for their families.

* From Local 150 a couple of days ago

Today’s negotiations concluded without an agreement. Local 150 made a comprehensive proposal yesterday with substantial movement on all remaining language as well as economics, and this morning, CAAPA presented a disappointing counterproposal that completely failed to address members’ primary concerns. This proposal does not recognize the hazardous working conditions that underground miners face on a daily basis and completely ignores the increased cost of living that workers are facing. Local 150 presented a counterproposal, after which the employers left negotiations without agreeing to any further dates. Our team is continuing to push employers to get back to the table this week and bargain in good faith.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Campaign notebook: Lipinski’s indy bid; Budzinski’s million; DeVore’s gun raffle; Pritzker on Republicans; Bailey says he’s in the middle; Pritzker on Miller-Davis; SDem loss

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Former US Rep. Dan Lipinski’s new Tribune op-ed

For 16 years, I had the privilege of representing the people of Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District until I was narrowly defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary. I lost that race because I dared to not always follow in lockstep with my party in an era in which extreme partisanship and polarization rule. In a number of primary elections on Tuesday, both parties continued to reject candidates willing to ever deviate from the party line, including Illinois’ 15th District in which Rep. Rodney Davis lost the Republican primary. This trend is causing more extremity, more intransigence and more gridlock in Washington. Both parties are failing our country and hurting the American people.

Last year, some Republican Party officials asked me to run for Congress as a Republican, but I declined. A few months later, some of my supporters from previous campaigns asked me to run in the Democratic primary in the 6th Congressional District because their analysis indicated I could win in a three-way race against the two incumbents vying for the nomination. When I responded that I was fed up with both parties and would only consider a run as an independent, they told me they would start a “Draft Dan Lipinski” campaign to get my name on the November ballot.

It is difficult for an unfunded grassroots effort to gather the 5,000 signatures needed to qualify as an independent for Congress — more than 12 times the 400 needed by a Democrat or Republican — but I understand that goal is within reach.

As I weigh my decision on whether to run now, or in two years, or find other ways to contribute to the fight to set our country on a better path, I want to explain the importance of running as an independent. The partisan gerrymandering of districts, the outsize influence of interest groups on elections and the concentrated power of congressional party leaders have created a situation in which most members of Congress no longer represent their approximately 800,000 constituents. Instead, they represent the small, often ideologically extreme minority of voters who cast ballots in their party’s primary.

Lipinski would be up against Democratic US Rep. Sean Casten.

* CD13…

This morning, Nikki Budzinski, the Democratic nominee in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, announced that her campaign is entering the general election with over $1 million cash on hand. Just 4 months from the general election, this puts Budzinski in a strong position to communicate with voters and run a strong campaign.

Budzinski made the following statement: “In my campaign, I am laser focused on finding solutions to fight inflation, tackle the rising costs of gas and energy, and help working families keep more of what they earn. My campaign has the resources to communicate that message to voters in Central and Southern Illinois.”

* Republican Attorney General nominee Tom DeVore is hosting a gun raffle fundraiser

* From the WBEZ interview of Gov. Pritzker

With Bailey’s primary win and the victory by downstate attorney Thomas DeVore in the attorney general primary — a lawyer who helped Bailey wage a legal fight against state public-health mandates during the pandemic — Pritzker said the Republican Party in Illinois has veered hard to the right. It’s a zone that general election voters will reject and a sign the state GOP has no room for moderate Republicans, the governor said.

“They’re going to continue to be a minority party if they’re going to continue to move farther and farther to the right. There’s an enormous schism within the Republican Party. They’re going to have to work that out on their own. But they’ve now nominated some completely extremist, Trumpy, MAGA Republicans to represent them for the governor’s race [and] the attorney general’s race.

“I mean, we’re going to have to fight to make sure that these people never see statewide office in the state,” the governor said.

* Back to the WGN interview with Sen. Darren Bailey

Q: You and your wife are the founders of Full Armor Christian Academy. Is there a sign at the door of that school that reads: ‘Staff heavily armed and trained in any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force’?

A: Well, you’ve done your research. There actually is, yes. We believe that the children are our most precious asset. And it’s interesting, when you go into a Target, or certainly a high-end fashion or jewelry store, you’ll usually see an armed guard there protecting that and in this day and age and climate, we believe that we need to do everything possible to protect our children.

Q: So you have guns throughout the school. Would you advocate that Chicago schools have guns easily available for teachers or others to use?

A: Well, I would certainly advocate under the current climate that is a plausible solution if the local school so chose. Obviously, lots of training, you know, handling the the gun itself, and then that training with local law enforcement agencies of which we do at Full Armor would be obviously mandatory. And I believe that that would, yeah, I believe that would certainly help be a step if a school so chose to use it to make schools and safer and protect our children. […]

Q: I think most working families in Illinois are right dab in the middle. I mean, the loudest people are in the left, and on the far right. Where do you see yourself on that spectrum?

A: Oh, gosh, I still say, I’d like to think that I’m in the middle. Because I believe the silent majority resides, we just want to be left alone, we want government out of our hair, we don’t want to be told what to do. We don’t want to be mandated, we want to be able to live, to keep most of our money, we want to make sure that we provide a future for our children and our grandchildren. We want to be able to send our children to school knowing that they’re taught how to live and thrive and work and get a job and, and then we want to be able to send our kids to you know, could be able to walk down the street to the store to go to that ball game or whatever it is down the street and to be safe.

* Let’s move on to the Brenden Moore interview with Gov. Pritzker

Q: Here in Central Illinois, we saw far-right Rep. Mary Miller defeat Rep. Rodney Davis in the Republican primary on Tuesday. It’s a district that was drawn to pack in as many Republicans as possible — the map passed the legislature, you signed it. Is there any responsibility that you and Democratic legislators have for the increasing partisanship given how gerrymandered this district was where somebody like Mary Miller could win pretty convincingly?

A: “Look, if I had asked you a year ago and if I had asked most pundits and people who understand politics a year ago who was going to win the race in that district, almost everybody would have said Rodney Davis. So let’s be clear, an area where there are more Republicans than there are Democrats shouldn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to end up with the most right-wing, most extreme person getting elected. That is what happened. I think that’s evidence of what’s happened to the Republican Party.

“Look, Darren Bailey is evidence to what’s happened to the Republican Party. He’s too extreme for Illinois. He’s somebody that stood at the outer edge of politics (and) does not understand what average working people in the state really need and want. And he’s worked against those things. He says that he wants to help people, but then he doesn’t vote for the things that help people.

“So, again, I just want to say this extremism, you’re talking about Mary Miller beating Rodney Davis, I think the responsibility there is about Donald Trump MAGA Republicans and people like Darren Bailey who are driving the Illinois Republican Party off a cliff.”

* This was a big loss for the Senate Democrats

In the race to fill the vacancy of State Senator Jacqui Collins on Chicago’s South Side, Willie Preston has emerged victorious - defeating his opponent by a margin of 54% to 46% (with a few precincts still left to be counted).

Despite being outspent by massive margins, Willie put together a winning coalition on the ground that helped carry him over the finish line on Election Day.

“This was a hard-fought campaign and at the end of the day I am just so proud of the work my team put in to help me pull this out,” said Preston, “we focused our campaign intently on the issues that plague our community the most: rising violence, the gun epidemic, and a lack of working-class jobs. I’m so thankful to the voters and supporters who made this victory possible. Now it’s time to go to Springfield and fight like hell for my constituents.”

Willie Preston is a community organizer and small business owner who was born and raised in the Englewood neighborhood (which is included within the 16th Senate District) and currently lives with his wife and Campaign Manager Brittany Preston and their six amazing children in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

Throughout the entire cycle, Preston remained focused on the basics and executed perfectly on a thorough campaign plan including knocking on thousands of doors and running an aggressive Early Vote campaign. This plan ultimately resulted in his victory on Tuesday night despite tremendous resources and obstacles sent against the Willie Preston team.

Preston defeated Lamont Williams.

* More…

* Gay Weatherman Could Be First Out Congressman From Illinois: Illinois may get its first out member of Congress this year now that Eric Sorensen, a gay man, has won the Democratic nomination in the 17th Congressional District. Sorensen bested five other candidates in the Democratic primary, finishing with about 38 percent of the vote by the latest count. The district covers portions of central, western, and northwestern Illinois.

* How candidates aligned with Donald Trump did in the suburbs: Although all three downstate Illinois Republicans endorsed by former President Donald Trump won their primary races Tuesday, outspoken Trump supporters seeking nomination for statewide or federal seats saw mixed results in the suburbs. Such candidates were defeated in the 6th, 8th and 14th congressional districts’ GOP primaries, as well as in the U.S. Senate race. But they won nominations in the 5th and 11th districts.

* Berwyn voters endorse concept of ranked choice voting, an electoral method some call the future of democracy. Evanston might soon do it for real.

* Winnebago County Clerk looks into whether error affected Illinois primary election results: The error “has to do with the font and format in which the referendum questions were laid out in the ballots, which could have had an impact on the outcome. The election office is in the process of reviewing ballots and we expect to learn more in the coming days,” her email said.

* Voting rights advocates say it’s time to give convicted inmates the chance to vote: “While the people of Illinois are being subjected to heinous crimes, Democratic legislators are trying to ensure that the very perpetrators of those crimes will still have the opportunity to vote while incarcerated. This is another example of how out of touch the super majority party is with the issues facing the families of Illinois. They seem to be more concerned with securing votes for their party than protecting victims,” said Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


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Illinois’ version of “The Big Lie” is hilariously pathetic, but points to a bigger problem

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* So, according to this odd little graph, Republican US Senate candidate Kathy Salvi was leading then continued her same basic proportional lead when lots more votes were counted. So, yeah, it is normal. Salvi is currently winning by about 37,000 votes…


This guy. Whew. But he ain’t alone

Unsurprisingly, she’s fundraising off of this. She may raise some dough. After all, 175,239 Republicans voted for her as of the latest update. Another 64,755 voted for Piton.

* More…


Jimmy Lee and Matt Dubiel are also failed Republican US Senate candidates…


Matt Dubiel currently has 64,755 Republican primary votes. Total all those up and the four have so far received 365,351 total Republican votes, which is 152,840 more votes than Salvi got.

That party sure appears to be seriously off track, man.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


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Question of the day

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* As we discussed a few months ago, the Illinois Policy Institute has calculated the new tax cut savings at $556 per household on average, not including the six-month suspension of the increase in the Motor Fuel Tax.

But despite often referring to the institute’s numbers and analysis on the budget, or taxes, or pensions, or the Census or whatever, we have hardly seen that number mentioned in stories about this particular topic. For just one example, here’s Capitol News Illinois

Illinoisans will receive some modest tax relief starting Friday when the state’s new fiscal year begins. […]

[Republicans] also criticized some of the tax breaks as too small or for not being permanent

$556+ ain’t chump change. And for those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, that relief is permanent.

* When I interviewed Gov. Pritzker yesterday, I asked whether he agreed with the IPI’s numbers…

I haven’t looked at their estimate. With doubling of the potential property tax rebate and a couple hundred, few hundred dollars that some families will get directly. And you know, the elimination of the grocery tax and the freezing of the gas tax. I haven’t done a calculation of what it would save each person. So I can’t answer that question. But, being able to send hundreds of dollars back to people at a time when they’re suffering from higher prices, is an obligation of government.

And by the way, we’re limited in doing that to what we can afford in the surpluses that we ran. And we gotta keep running those surpluses in order to be able to continue to cut people’s taxes, which is not possible unless you do what I’ve done, which is balance the budget and pay off the bills.

On the one hand, pointing to an official estimate could help dispel the widespread belief that these are barely negligible savings. On the other hand, if people don’t actually see those touted savings, they might get angry. And using IPI’s analysis might legitimatize a frequent critic.

* The Question: Should the governor run the numbers to come up with his own tax savings estimate, point to IPI’s numbers or just stay the course? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker pounces on Bailey “biblical marriage” comments

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Marni Pyke

Bailey opposes abortion including in cases of rape or incest. However, “I have no problem when it comes to the point of saving the life of the mother … I don’t consider that an abortion.”

Bailey would seek to end taxpayer funding of abortion and try to repeal a new law that ended required parental notification when minors get abortions.

But he supports the idea of making “abortion unnecessary. Let’s empower churches and civic groups and religious organizations to offer real help and hope to pregnant women.” […]

Democrats have warned the Supreme Court will next act to reduce access to contraceptives or restrict same-sex marriages.

“I believe in biblical marriage between a man and a woman,” Bailey said. But in Illinois, “currently with same-sex marriage, it’s the law. Illinois decided to make it a law, I understand the reasons. I will not be seeking to mess with that; we have bigger problems to deal with.”

I’m so old I remember when the Democrats nominated a southern Illinois gubernatorial candidate with those very same beliefs (Glenn Poshard, 1998).

* Pritzker campaign…

As Pride month comes to an end, Darren Bailey wasted no time reminding voters that he cannot and will not be a governor for all of Illinois. In an interview Thursday, Bailey said that he “believe[d] in biblical marriage between a man and a woman.”

In his concurring opinion on the Roe decision, Justice Clarence Thomas signaled the Supreme Court may revisit marriage equality. At a time of great uncertainty for LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities, Illinoisans need a leader who will proudly fight for their rights––not one who doesn’t even recognize they exist.

“Every day Darren Bailey shows us just how extreme he really is,” said JB for Governor Spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein. “Marriage equality is the law of the land and all Americans, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can exercise their right to marry. Illinois deserves a governor who will not just “say gay,” but who will march alongside them at Pride, protest with them for Black Trans Lives, support queer-owned small businesses, and above all else ensure their rights are protected.

Meanwhile, Governor Pritzker expanded the Illinois Human Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ residents as a protected class and expanded infertility insurance to cover LGBTQ+ families. From inclusive LGBTQ+ curriculums in schools, to expanded Medicaid coverage for gender affirming surgery, to requiring single occupancy restrooms be designated as gender neutral––Governor Pritzker has made great strides in affirming that Illinois is a place where everyone can feel supported.

*** UPDATE *** Sen. Bailey was on WGN with Lisa Dent and Steve Bertrand yesterday

Q: There’s an ad against you on TV right now that says you would support an abortion ban, including when it comes to incest or rape. Is that true or not true?

A: No, that’s not true…

Q: But they show you agreeing with it? Did they edit it? Or what?

A: I said ‘at this time,’ and that was early on in my candidacy and the laws of Illinois have changed since then abortion has been codified into a law as a medical procedure.

Q: So, what would you support as governor, the state of Illinois when it comes to abortion?

A: I’ve been very clear about that during this entire campaign. And since then, I’ve said that, number one, we must end taxpayer funded abortion, there’s people residents of Illinois have no stomach or desire to be paying for abortions, let alone this increase that Governor Pritzker wants to bring in. We need to restore parental notification. And because parents need to have they need to be able to make choices for their young children, 12 year old girls that this is ridiculous. And then finally, an idea that was picked up in some of the churches on the Southside of Chicago that I’ve been presented with and I’ve been working on is this idea to make abortion unnecessary. And we do that by making adoption easier. We will do that by partnering with churches, civic groups and religious organization to make sure that pregnant women get the true care and opportunities that they deserve. I’m having to make a choice. Do I get an abortion or not?

Q: If the legislature would have passionate abortion ban, would you sign it?

A: Well, that’s not going to happen.

Q: We just, [crosstalk] I want to know what, but I just want to, Senator I want to zero in on where you stand in your position on it. If they were, and I agree with you it’s very unlikely, would you sign it?

A: Right now, my stance is that I have said that banning abortion is not a solution. We have got to work together. So hopefully, hopefully, I can work together with many groups in the Chicago area, to come to some terms and present some real options where government can partner with organizations to offer true hope and choice to pregnant women. That is the goal, so there’s, that’s your answer.

* More

Q: Representative, are you going to support the LGBTQ community?

A: Well, I believe that, you know, in biblical marriage, that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I can tell you this, I don’t, law has been created. I embrace and love everyone as Jesus loves them. I don’t intend to hinder and get in their way at all. So, as a matter of fact, one of my best friends in the House that I consider a friend that I’ve been able to work with is a Representative Greg Harris, we’ve had an amazing the two years that I served in the Senate and in the House and now in the Senate, I’ve been able to refer to him to help get things done and to bring some ideas to him and to partner with him on some bills. So, so no, this whole, Governor Pritzker twisting all this nonsense trying to make this election about to abortion, this, is a problem. And this us going to be on Governor Pritzker’s head and that’s why we’re going to win in November because the true problems in Illinois encompass everyone, and that is crime, high taxes and unsafe schools. We’re going to get those six, we’re going to bring opportunity up to Illinois. That’s what people are worried about.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      


Dem pols praise “historic night” for Asian American/Pacific Islander candidates

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Press release…

Following the Illinois primary election results, U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois Senator Ram Villivalam, and Illinois Representative Theresa Mah issued the following joint statement:

“Tuesday, June 28th, was a historic night for the hundreds of thousands of individuals who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) in the great state of Illinois,” they said. “Several immensely qualified AAPI candidates won in contested elections for U.S. Congress, the Illinois State Senate, the Illinois General Assembly, and other key local positions in Cook County Government and across the state. While the Illinois Republican Party continues to elect candidates who promote the sanctity of ‘white life,’ Illinois Democrats continue to promote inclusivity, unity, and prosperity for all.”

“But make no mistake: racial, cultural, and religious minorities are not elected to public office by accident,” they added. “These candidates and their supporters have worked tirelessly to earn a proverbial seat at the table. We look forward to continuing our support of these candidates to ensure they are victorious in November.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi won his primary election decisively on Tuesday night, receiving 71% of the vote. Congressman Raja is one of only four Indian-Americans in the U.S. Congress, and is the first ever South Asian to serve as Chair of a Committee or Subcommittee in Congress.

State Senator Ram Villivalam also won his reelection. He is the first Asian American elected to the Illinois Senate.

State Representative Theresa Mah also won her re-election for Illinois District 24. She is the first Asian American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly.

Additional key primary victories for U.S. Congress, the IL General Assembly include, and Cook County Government include:

    • U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
    • State Representative Gong-Gershowitz, IL-17 (incumbent)
    • State Representative Janet Yang Rohr, IL-41 (incumbent)
    • Hoan Huynh, IL-13
    • Kevin Olickal, IL-16
    • Azam Nizamuddin, IL-48
    • Nabeela Syed, IL-51
    • Sharon Chung, IL-91
    • Josina Morita, Cook County Commissioner
    • Judge Rena Mare Van Tine, Circuit Court of Cook County
    • Judge Sanjay Tailor, Circuit Court of Cook County

…Adding… My curiosity got the best of me and I had to look up Azam Nizamuddin. He lives in Bloomingdale and ran unopposed in the primary. He will face Hanover Park resident Jennifer Sanalitro in the 48th House District. It’s a swingy kinda-Dem district in presidential years, but has leaned Republican in off years.

Also, I’ve told subscribers this, but all of you should know that Sharon Chung is one hard-working candidate. Keep an eye on her.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Today’s quotable

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Um

The GOP turned out to not only look confused and shortsighted, but also outfoxed. By running millions of dollars in ads that not only blasted Irvin but spurred on the far right by labeling Bailey “too conservative for Illinois,” Pritzker, and the Democratic Governors Association, took out the competition before there was even a main event. How the Dems so effectively meddled in this campaign, one Irvin supporter told me, will be discussed and written about for years to come.

“Democrats are like pickpockets,” he said. “And Republicans are like confused tourists asking for directions while they get their pockets picked.”

At last check, Bailey was getting 57.7 percent of the Republican vote. Man, if that’s how top Repubs feel about their own voters, it’s no wonder there was such a revolt on Tuesday.

…Adding… A valid point from the comment section…

Was Pritzker supposed to let Irvin run $50 million in ads attacking him for four months without any response? That would’ve been political malpractice and apparently, they learned to get out of the gate quickly after the fair tax debacle

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


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Comptroller says state ends fiscal year with a GRF bill payment cycle of zero days

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Comptroller Mendoza’s office…

Marking an end to Fiscal Year 2022 on June 30, Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza is pleased to report good news on Illinois’ fiscal recovery since fighting through a state budget impasse and a global pandemic.

The state fiscal year ended with a General Funds accounts payable balance of $1.8 billion for the first time in more than a decade – and a General Revenue Funds payment cycle of ZERO days for the first time in decades. This means the office is caught up on all bills related to Medicaid, the state’s Group Health Insurance program, K-12 schools, higher education and other government operations and programs.

With the payment cycle down to ZERO days, it means the office was able to pay the Mandated Categorical Grants (MCAT) for K-12 schools on the very day they were due at the end of the fourth quarter. This is a far cry from when Comptroller Mendoza first took office in 2016, inheriting a General Revenue Funds average payment delay of 210 business days and an MCAT delay of more than six months. Today, K-12 schools don’t even wait one day.

On July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year, the Illinois Office of Comptroller (IOC) is paying the remaining $200 million of the $500 million in additional funds earmarked for the five state pension funds to lower long-term pension liabilities by $1.8 billion.

Over the past year, the IOC paid off the $2 billion owed to the Federal Reserve two years early, saving $82 million in interest, paid off $928 million owed to other state funds and paid off $900 million owed to Group Health Insurance bills.

After decades of consecutive downgrades, Illinois earned six credit rating upgrades in the past year, and delivered stability and predictability to our state vendors and providers that they hadn’t seen in years. This action has been most meaningful to our health-care industry partners, educators and small businesses who bore the brunt of the ongoing pandemic and the effects of the 2015-2017 budget impasse.

Most importantly, the state’s bill backlog was eliminated, paid down to $3 billion a year ago, without using any American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus dollars, and is now an accounts payable of $1.8 billion today with a payment cycle of ZERO days.

Yesterday, the Comptroller joined Governor J.B. Pritzker and legislative leaders showcasing Illinois’ recovery and returning $1.8 billion in relief to taxpayers to help them as they face record levels of inflation and rising gas prices.

“This tax relief is possible because we’ve balanced our state budgets, eliminated our bill backlog and are paying our bills on time. We are saving money for a rainy day and working to better stabilize our pension liability. We’ve worked very hard to put Illinois on much stronger financial footing, allowing us to provide this tax relief to Illinois working families and individuals when they need it most,” Comptroller Mendoza said.

Later this year, Comptroller Mendoza’s office is prepared to process the $1.1 billion in property tax and income tax rebates administered by the Department of Revenue beginning the week of September 12.

Today’s fiscal report means that Illinois is better poised to face upcoming challenges to state finances as the nation experiences record levels of inflation.

The Comptroller and her office faced great uncertainty when she came into office in 2016 during the worst budget impasse in the state’s history, with a bill backlog nearing $17 billion, followed by a global pandemic impacting state revenues throughout the country two years later.

“I’m battle-tested and have proven my ability to successfully navigate us through these fiscal crises, and I have worked hard to prepare and get us to this level of financial stability so we can better address challenges that may come our way,” said Comptroller Mendoza.

“The fact that we’ll have a billion dollars saved in our Rainy Day Fund to help us during adverse downturns certainly helps, but Illinois must save more when we are able to with stronger-than-expected revenue receipts so that we strengthen our ability to weather through these unexpected crises.”

Comptroller Mendoza has proposed legislation, HB 4118, sponsored by State Representative Michael Halpin, to lessen this uncertainty by fortifying the state’s Rainy Day Fund and the state’s Pension Stabilization Fund, implementing automatic triggers for future deposits into both funds. With additional savings, the state will be able to better prepare to weather the uncertainty of potential fiscal downturns.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


Open thread

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Almost the weekend. And a holiday weekend at that.

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LIVE COVERAGE

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

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* Highland Park parade updates
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* Pritzker campaign spending $200K on cable/satellite TV in the next week
* Pritzker wants four things from Biden on abortion issue
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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign report
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker pounces on Bailey "biblical marriage" comments
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