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Friday, Mar 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz

Locked into a tough primary race for re-election, U.S. Rep. Marie Newman has signed on to legislation that would ban the increasingly controversial practice of members of Congress trading stock in individual companies.

But Newman’s conversion to that issue is recent—very recent. Only in the last month have Newman and her husband voluntarily ceased the practice themselves, this after trading stock worth $5.8 million in 2021. That was enough to rank her ninth among the 535 members of the House and Senate, right behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is eighth. […]

Newman’s campaign says her family’s investment decisions did not affect her public conduct, and there is no direct sign to the contrary. But in 2021, she and her husband, Jim Newman, engaged in numerous trades that involved companies with major issues before Congress.

For instance, according to disclosures tracked by Washington, D.C., website Capitol Trades, they bought or sold tens of thousands of dollars of stock in Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the three pharmaceutical firms whose anti-COVID vaccines were purchased in large numbers by the federal government after receiving approval from Congress.

* I’ve been asking the Democratic Party of Illinois and others who’ve pledged not to cross the WTTW picket line how far they would go with this, particularly whether they would take questions from WTTW reporters. I asked because I remembered a presidential candidate refused questions from an NBC reporter during a strike at that network several years ago. Most said they were waiting for word from IBEW Local 1220, and now here it is via the state party…

Those honoring the picket line are asked to not have any direct on the record communications with WTTW reporters via phone, email, etc. However, if there is a public press event (e.g. a press conference), WTTW reporters cannot be barred from attending those events.

If candidates choose to answer WTTW’s questions at those public press events, the union will not consider that crossing the picket line, I was also told.

DPI’s spokesperson said today that if candidates ask, they’ll forward the union’s guidance. The governor’s spokesperson says they will comply with the union’s request.

…Adding… Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s spokesperson says she will be complying with the union’s request.

* Gov. JB Pritzker endorsed US Rep. Danny Davis this morning, but the Davis campaign hasn’t yet sent out any sort of notice. They promised me something almost two hours ago, so here’s the take from Davis primary opponent Kina Collins…

Today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that he will be lending his support to Congressman Danny Davis in his re-election. Rep. Davis is being primaried by Kina Collins, a national gun violence prevention advocate, with deep roots on the West Side of Chicago. In response to the endorsement, progressive frontrunner Kina Collins released this statement:

“Over the last year, Danny Davis has shown the voters of IL-7 that he has some powerful friends, but once again, he is more interested in using his favors to strengthen his own grip on power than in securing attention and support for the people in the communities he is supposed to be fighting for. This endorsement is just the latest example.

“The reality is that Rep. Davis is finally starting to recognize how much trouble he’s in. He is inviting big establishment supporters to visit our community months before election day and expects their names to be enough to convince our communities to vote for him. We see Rep. Davis using his political power — not for us, the residents of this district, but to try and save himself.

“We don’t want an establishment-backed candidate who only calls in his political favors to save his seat. The residents in IL-7 deserve someone who can fight and deliver for our district.

“Our district deserves real transformative change and someone with a vision that is ready to fight for them. I am that person for IL-07.”

In the last few months, Kina Collins has earned the endorsement and support from powerhouses including Indivisible, National Organization for Women, The People’s Lobby, Sunrise Movement Chicago, Justice Democrats, and many more. Kina’s broad coalition of endorsements includes many progressive grassroots organizations that are ready to see true leadership in IL-07.

* I told you about this yesterday, but here is Politico’s story

An unusual petition challenge could see two Democratic Illinois Supreme Court candidates kicked off the ballot.

Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford is challenging the petitions of Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and Kane County Judge Rene Cruz in the Democratic primary battle to fill the vacant 2nd District Supreme Court seat. A few candidates in other Supreme Court races are facing similar challenges.

The challenges have nothing to do with authenticity, which is usually the beef in these cases. Instead, it’s about how many signatures are actually required.

According to Rochford’s elections attorney, Michael Dorf, Rotering and Cruz used numbers from the State Board of Elections that “miscalculated the signature requirements. They read the law in a different way than it should be read,” he told Playbook. Instead of the 334 they thought they needed, Dorf said 791 signatures should be required. Dorf is a high-profile election attorney who represented Lightfoot’s campaign to get on the ballot in 2019.

He says his team followed the statute, used county records that make up the 2nd District, and “did the multiplications and division by one-third” to come up with the numbers.

Rotering’s election attorney, Ed Mullen, says he’s confident “the plain language of the statute” and “relevant legal precedent… support the minimum signature calculation.” Cruz’s attorney didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

On Tuesday, the challenges will be assigned to Election Board hearing officers who will rule on the challenge — which could be appealed by either side and then head to court. If Rochford’s campaign is victorious in kicking her challengers off the ballot, she would bypass a primary and slide into the general election in November.

* HGOPs…

It has now been several weeks since federal prosecutors dropped a 22-count indictment against former Speaker Michael Madigan, following a string of investigations, indictments, arrests, and cover-ups. For many Illinoisans, the stain of corruption on our politics feels like something we may finally be able to remove, but House Democrats who were “made by Madigan” are finding the stain a stubborn blemish they seem unable to hide.

“After years of accepting millions from former Speaker Madigan, Democratic incumbents cannot shake the ghost of their former leader,” said Jayme Siemer, Executive Director of the House Republican Majority. “Now that these made-by-Madigan Democratic House members have primary opponents, will they finally step away from their indicted former leader?”

Among some top Primary Election races, House Democrats have a Madigan problem.

Fran Hurley:
Accepted $201,977 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker FIVE times.

Curtis Tarver:
Accepted $37,167 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker TWO times.

Natalie Manley:
Accepted $584,870 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker FOUR times.

Justin Slaughter:
Accepted $53,065 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker THREE times.

Mike Zalewski:
Accepted $203,934 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker SEVEN times.

Thaddeus Jones:
Accepted $248,732 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker SIX times.

Kathleen Willis:
Accepted $614,156 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker FOUR times.
Led charge against Ethics Reform legislation on the House Floor.

Sonya Harper:
Accepted $76,335 in campaign contributions from Madigan.
Supported Madigan for Speaker THREE times.

Democrats have been silent on these tainted funds, with no indication members will donate these funds to charity, a practice often used by politicians to dispose of funds taken from undesirable sources.

* DuPage County Republican Party video

Dupage Republican anti crime 2022 from tom Mannix on Vimeo.

* Jesse Sullivan…

Jesse Sullivan’s campaign released the following statement ahead of an upcoming Prisoner Review Board parole hearing for convicted murderer and rapist Curtis Brownell:

“In 1977 Curtis Brownell kidnapped, raped, and killed Louise Marie Betts. Four months later, he was caught attempting to do the same to a pregnant woman, who he kidnapped, raped, and attempting to kill by running over her over with his car. In addition to these gruesome crimes, he’s admitted to sexual abuse of a child.”

“Because Brownell’s crimes were committed prior to 1978, he is entitled to a parole hearing every 3-5 years. Given the questionable judgement that J.B. Pritzker’s appointed Prisoner Review Board has shown in the past, we urge the Board to stand with the families of his victims and to reject parole for Curtis Brownell. He presents a clear and present danger to society, and he should not be released.”

       

9 Comments
  1. - Hunter - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    So a union gets to dictate what media outlets elected officials talk to? That is really terrifying.


  2. - Fav Human - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    Signatures for petitions

    OMG! Even when I filed for a precinct Committeeman slot, I ALWAYS had 3-4x the number I needed (10, I seem to think).

    Even I know that you ALWAYS file minimum of 2x what you need to be safe.

    It’s not like the favorite sport of establishment pols isn’t “challenge petitions to kick off the newbies”


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===So a union gets to dictate…===

    If you want their support.

    It’s a free country, candidates can choose to do what they want.

    You may say it’s a condition to gain or keep support, but choices are made.

    It’s so interesting that the HGOP is enthralled by the Dem primary season with “Madigan”, if I were Durkin and his (Durkin’s) Crew, I’d be especially worried come 2023 if all those leaving the HGOP, and the new map, will Durkin win his spot as Minority Leader.

    Normally that would be such a silly thought, prolly wouldn’t have typed it, but after surviving one coup and Bill Brady’s coup, successfully done by McConchie, maybe I’d keep one eye on how that caucus might roll, especially if the wrong GOP
    Gubernatorial nominee sinks the whole boat.

    It’s an interesting flex by the HGOP.


  4. - Been There - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    ====federal prosecutors dropped a 22-count indictment against former Speaker Michael Madigan====

    The way stories and articles get parsed and twisted nowadays this line would blow up the internet if put out by itself.


  5. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    =So a union gets to dictate what media outlets elected officials talk to?=

    Some elected officials will choose to never sit down to one-on-one interviews with certain reporters or outlets.

    Some will only go on specific stations for long form morning show interviews. Others will ignore requests for interviews from small market reporters or papers.


  6. - Nuke The Whales - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    Gee NRA backed Republicans, whatever could have caused all of those guns to flood onto the street?


  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    == But in 2021 […] they bought or sold tens of thousands of dollars of stock in Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson ==

    Clearly in 2021 they had insider information that there was some sort of disease circulating amongst the general public.

    I mean… they bought ALL of the largest pharma companies there are. Does someone thing there was a possibility government money for vaccines was going to go somewhere else, like Peleton?

    I just don’t see how they are somehow helped by being in Congress. Paying attention to the world around you is much different than having insider information, both legally and ethically.


  8. - Galway Bay - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    Fran Hurley is not going to lose.


  9. - vern - Friday, Mar 25, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    Yea, when will Kathy Willis finally stand up to Mike Madi- oh oops, sorry, I’ve been asleep for 2 years I guess. Probably should’ve read up on current events before taking a job writing HGOP press releases.


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