* Crain’s last month…
[Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia] met with the governor in early November with plans to propose policy recommendations that include partial reopening. […]
Toia—already a high-energy, nonstop worker—is constantly working the phones. Boehm estimates he’s called Toia hundreds of times since the pandemic began. Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, owner of the Ann Sather restaurant chain and a former chairman of the association, says Toia is talking to leaders as often as possible, too, even amid tensions.
“The mayor and the governor—this is pretty unusual—they’re talking to the restaurant association every week,” Tunney says. […]
Toia’s focus is on negotiating with Pritzker, whose orders take precedence over city rules.
Proposing policy recommendations, talking with the governor on a weekly basis, negotiating with the governor. Hmm.
* From the Illinois Lobbyist Registration Act…
“Lobby” and “lobbying” means any communication with an official of the executive or legislative branch of State government as defined in subsection (c) for the ultimate purpose of influencing any executive, legislative, or administrative action.
Yet, Toia is not registered. I’ve been asking the Restaurant Association why he hasn’t registered for weeks, and the answer has been that he isn’t required to do so, even though he has registered with the city.
* Anyway, I was reminded of that long-dormant story when I read this one…
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) acknowledged Monday he “made a mistake” by allowing some of his regular customers to dine inside his Ann Sather Restaurants in defiance of state and city orders banning indoor dining. […]
On Monday, Tunney openly acknowledged having defied the governor’s order.
“We have, on occasion, sat regular diners in the back of the restaurant. I acknowledge that. It’s not OK. I made a mistake, and I’m owning up to it. I should have not sat regular customers in my restaurant whatsoever,” said Tunney, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s handpicked chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee.
“I have a lot of repeat customers over the years. On a sporadic basis, I have let regular customers — very few and far between — in my store. I made an error.”