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Question of the day

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We talked about this yesterday within a broader context. Here’s our great pal Tina Sfondeles

A day after losing his battle to keep two of his appointees on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday delivered an impassioned defense of the “incredibly thankless job” they do and a blistering attack on their Republican critics — comparing them to QAnon conspiracy theorists.

Just as local Republicans are following the soft-on-crime strategy being used against Democrats nationally, Pritzker is taking a page from the Democratic playbook, dismissing dissenting Republicans as a bunch of wild-eyed disciples of former President Donald Trump. […]

“Now, to have Republicans attack them and their character and their biographies, to have Republicans essentially trying to tear apart this agency of government — I mean this is what the GQP has been all about, tearing government apart,” Pritzker said at a Springfield news conference where he commemorated the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Illinois State Police.

The Democratic governor pronounced the GQP acronym slowly and carefully in response to a reporter’s question about the Senate vote the day before. His staff said they haven’t heard him utter the acronym before. But it’s been used by some Democrats nationally to label Republicans as the “Grand QAnon Party,” more interested in dismantling government and chasing dark conspiracy theories than governing.

Full disclosure: “GQP” is on my list of banned commenting words. QAnon doesn’t appear to be a big problem in the General Assembly, aside from the occasional kook, yet it was being used all too regularly by a few folks and I eventually decided to stop it. I’ll take it off the banned list just for today to facilitate discussion.

* The Question: Was Gov. Pritzker’s use of “GQP” appropriate for this topic or not? Please explain your answer. Thanks.


It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) is pushing for additional funding to help struggling bars, breweries, restaurants, food trucks, venues and others.

“Local business owners continue to reach out to their legislators from around the state for help,” Feigenholtz said. “Their PPP has been spent. Many were not eligible for state grants or did not receive SBA funding. In order to save our small businesses, we must do more.”

The Build Back Better plan that stalled in Congress would have provided an additional $5 billion in relief for small businesses. In light of the federal program, Feigenholtz filed Senate Bill 4178, which would appropriate $125 million from federal funds to provide a lifeline to keep our small companies afloat.

The hospitality industry is the largest employment sector in the state and was the hardest hit sector due to closures during the pandemic. 11,000 Illinois restaurants shuttered along with bars and other venues. Along with those closures, 20% of hospitality workforce employees lost their jobs permanently.

“Our industry has only started on the road to recovery,” said Tim Tuten, co-owner of the Hideout in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood and co-founder of Chicago Independent Venue League. “We are all still fighting to keep our doors open. This relief means we can survive.”

* Press release…

The burdensome costs of textbooks and course materials for college students often deters them from making the purchase, which in turn can cause a learning barrier and hinder a student’s grades. Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus outlined a plan during a press conference Wednesday to break down those barriers.

Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is leading a measure – Senate Bill 819 – to allow students who receive MAP Grants to use the funds for room and board, as well as coursework materials including books, software and website access. Currently, MAP Grants can only be used for tuition and necessary fee costs.

“While there are initiatives that ease the financial burden of higher education, there are many essentials to university success, such as textbooks, electronics, and nearby housing, that are often overlooked,” Senator Fine said. “We need to make these resources more accessible to students from all economic backgrounds so that they can be successful as they pursue their education.”

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that even as tuition has risen, no cost of college life has increased faster than textbooks. The bureau found that book prices rose 88% between 2006 and 2016, and the College Board — which administers the SAT exam — reported that students budget more than $1,200 each year for textbooks and other class supplies, including technology.

Under Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) Senate Bill 3856, public universities and community colleges would be required to provide all necessary coursework materials for rental free of charge for Illinois students.

Many public universities and community colleges, such as Southern Illinois University, already include free textbook rentals in their tuition and fee costs for all students. Recent studies have found that these more affordable course materials can deliver student cost savings of 29% to 35% annually.

“As chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I know students face additional costs that can put financial strain on their families making it difficult for them to finish college,” Bennett said. “This textbook incentive will not only reduce that financial burden, but will ensure students are set up for success by having access to all of their course materials.”

While there are currently many initiatives to make higher education more affordable for children from low-income families, few provide relief for middle-class families who also come under large financial strain when sending their children to college.

To address this issue, Senator Laura Murphy’s measure – Senate Bill 1145 – would allow a taxpayer who either is a student or claims one or more students as dependents to earn a tax credit of up to $1,000 toward tuition and fees for Illinois public institutions of higher education.

“Paying for higher education can be a massive financial undertaking for working families,” Murphy said. “It is important that we provide relief to middle-class families working hard to send their children to Illinois schools.”

Mardell Davis, a Springfield High School senior, is in the process of deciding which college to commit to. The costs associated with each school could be a deciding factor for him.

“As a future college student, I am aware of the sometimes high costs attributed to earning a degree,” Mardell said. “I appreciate that the Senate is working on a bill that will make sure all necessary class materials are more affordable.”

For more information on the bills outlined at the press conference, people can visit

* Press release…

A measure initiated by local students to establish Dolostone as the official rock of the State of Illinois was advanced out of the Senate by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“Exceptional young people from across the state came together to bring forth this legislation,” Ellman said. “They saw a fantastic learning opportunity in front of them and took full advantage—and they deserve to have their voices heard.”

House Bill 4261 was brought to the General Assembly by students from Pleasant Dale School in Burr Ridge and Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville who discovered Illinois did not have a state rock. The students took it upon themselves to interview regional geology scholars, visit museums and do their own research. They then developed a ballot with three choices and asked schools across Illinois to vote on a state rock. Dolostone was the winner.

Dolostone is a sedimentary rock that underlies nearly all of Illinois, with the exception of the northernmost part of the state. It helps enrich soil across the state by providing valuable nutrients for plant growth, and caused a major mineral rush in Galena, Ill. in the early 1800s.

In addition to its natural abundance throughout the state, Dolostone plays a significant role in Illinois through its utilization in many important structures. Most notably, 3,300 exterior dolomite stones were used in the construction of the Old Illinois State Capitol. The quarry the stones were sourced from is now under Lake Springfield.

“Anyone is capable of creating change, and the engaged and curious students who crafted this legislation have proven just that,” Ellman said. “Since they helped us designate our state tree and flower over 100 years ago, our students have been a cornerstone in our state’s history and heritage.”

The legislation, having passed out of both chambers, now awaits further action.

* Press release…

State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, and State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, in coordination with the Illinois Veterans Advisory Council, are passing a measure to rename the entirety of U.S. Highway 20 running through Illinois the “Illinois Medal of Honor Highway”.

“The brave men and women in our armed forces make huge sacrifices to keep us safe, and they deserve recognition for their service,” Moeller said. “I hope that lasting public declarations of our appreciation for this service, such as the Illinois Medal of Honor Highway, sends the message to Illinois’ veterans that we support them. While I am pleased and proud to pass this measure, I am further committed to passing policy solutions to aid our armed services members. These can include expanding their health care coverage, increasing funding for VA programs and much more.”

Senate Joint Resolution 28 official renames all of U.S. Highway 20 from the Illinois-Iowa border to the Illinois-Indiana border the “Illinois Medal of Honor Highway”. Moeller and Kifowit worked with the Veterans Advisory Council and other members of the General Assembly to develop this resolution. It passed the Senate and House unanimously.

“The Illinois Medal of Honor Memorial Highway is a permanent addition to the coast-to-coast initiative to show our appreciation for our Medal of Honor recipients, and all our Veterans. Illinois is a proud home to two Medal of Honor recipients,” said Kifowit, a USMC Veteran and Chair of the IL House Veterans Affairs committee. “This honors our heroes, the men and women of our armed services, who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, or have risked their lives in harm’s way for our Freedoms. I am extremely proud that Illinois joins our surrounding states to give this highest Honor the respect and recognition it deserves. As a Veteran, I will continue to devote my time to ensuring our Veterans are always honored and receive the services they need. We owe it to them from a grateful State.”

Colonel Michael Peck, chairman of the Illinois Veterans Advisory Council said regarding the measure, “Every medal of honor recipient will tell you that the medal is not just for him but for the soldiers with whom he served. The highway will serve as a reminder to all that freedom isn’t free.”

…Adding… Press release…

After the Illinois State Board of Education reported an increase in cases of college students substitute teaching on a temporary license, State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) advanced a plan through the Senate that would expand the pool of substitute teachers.

“Substitute teachers are in high demand and short supply, and that has left school districts scrambling to find different ways to ensure students are being educated and supervised throughout the day,” Loughran Cappel said.

Under Loughran Cappel’s measure, currently-enrolled Illinois students in the field of education who have at least90 credit hours would be able to obtain a substitute teaching license. By giving them creditable hours for this on-the-job training, more students will be able to substitute teach, and schools will have additional resources for finding temporary, short-term teachers.

“Real work experience can help transition student teachers into professionals,” Loughran Cappel said. “This legislation will ensure that student teachers are given every opportunity to succeed.”

House Bill 4798 now goes to the governor for his approval.

* More…

* Bill requiring rescue equipment along Lakefront on desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker


Ken Griffin oppo dump!

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Athletic has published a profile of the Ricketts family and Ken Griffin, who have placed a joint bid to take over the Chelsea Football Club from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich after Abramovich was disqualified as a director

Underpinning the rise of Citadel has been Griffin’s burning desire to win, his intolerance of failure and, above all, his ruthless pursuit of profit that has taken the company down some unsavoury paths. […]

[In 2007], Citadel provided $110 million (£84 million) in convertible loans to China Security and Surveillance Technology. The company, which used the money to acquire 10 of the 50 biggest surveillance companies in China, has been accused of providing much of the surveillance infrastructure for the ruling Chinese Communist Party, including technology used to alert police of possible unsanctioned protests and monitoring of internet cafes to track down democracy advocates and dissidents. Citadel declined to comment when the New York Times reported the loans. […]

Others have been less generous in their assessment. In an email sent to Griffin in 2005, rival hedge fund manager Dan Loeb likened Citadel to a “gulag” (a system of forced labour camps in the Soviet Union) and added: “You are surrounded by sycophants, but even you must know that the people who work for you despise and resent you. I assume you know this because I have read the employment agreements that you make people sign.” […]

Griffin’s public criticism of the wave of gun crime in Chicago in recent years jars with the fact that Citadel has invested millions in Storm Ruger & Co and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc, two of the leading manufacturers of guns seized by Chicago Police, as well as every major manufacturer of ammunition in the US. Citadel also invests in GEO Group and CoreCivic, private prison operators that run immigration detention centres, despite other US financial institutions cutting ties with both.

When questioned about these investments by WBEZ last month, a Citadel spokesperson said Griffin doesn’t have a role in the company’s stock choices, adding that the investments make up less than 0.01 per cent of the company’s portfolio and therefore that linking them with violent crime in Chicago is “quite a stretch”. […]

Citadel also significantly increased its investment in pharmaceutical companies Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and NovaVax in the weeks before then-president Donald Trump announced Operation Warp Speed, pledging $10 billion (£7.6 billion) of government funds to COVID-19 vaccine development. […]

Despite his staggering wealth, everything in his professional history indicates Griffin will only spend on Chelsea what he believes he will get back in the long run.

Lots more in there about Griffin and the Ricketts family, including exculpatory stuff, so go read it all. But that Chinese Communist Party surveillance thing really sticks out for me.


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Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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*** UPDATED x2 - ILGOP responds - Buying Fox News Channel ads *** Report: DGA going up on TV tomorrow here

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’ve reached out to the Democratic Governors Association to see if I can get the spot or at least to find out if it’s pro-Pritzker or yet another meddle in the GOP primary like it did in 2018 for Jeanne Ives…

*** UPDATE 1 *** Still no response from the DGA, but this ought to give us at least a hint…

*** UPDATE 2 *** Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy…

“The DGA and the Pritzker campaign, like everyone else that does polling, is watching in real time as Governor JB Pritzker’s re-election chances plummet under the considerable weight of his own failures and extreme agenda. The Pritzker campaign is desperate and has hatched a plan to launder Pritzker’s inherited wealth through the DGA to begin running ads to interfere in the nomination of our Republican nominee.

It’s up to every person in Illinois, including the media, to call out this charade for what it is - a desperate plan from a desperate man with a lot of money.

DGA, let Republicans pick our own nominee. Too scared to play fair?”


Comptroller matches terminology with bill payment reality

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza has paid back the final $297 million in short-term borrowing from 15 state funds needed to recover from the 2015-2017 budget impasse.

In August 2017, when the Illinois Office of Comptroller first used the interfund borrowing tool authorized by the General Assembly, Illinois’ bill backlog was more than $14 billion. Between then and January 2020, $2.3 billion was borrowed from various state funds and through the State Treasurer’s Office so that essential payments could be made for medical bills and social and human services.

With stronger-than-anticipated Fiscal Year 2022 revenues through March, this final payment is months earlier than the plan enacted by the legislature and Governor to repay the funds in full by June 30.

“Not only did we pay off our short-term debts, but we paid them off early,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “This highlights the progress Illinois is making in achieving fiscal responsibility. This week, I will inform the credit rating agencies of the good news of this final repayment of state borrowing.”

The payoff is in addition to the $3.9 billion borrowed from the federal government, and already repaid, for state obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $2 billion paid in full in January to the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility was repaid nearly two years early, which is expected to save taxpayers $82 million.

The bill backlog is now “accounts payable”

Now that Illinois has been paying its bills in about 15 business days since July 1, 2021, a more accurate description of the State’s pending liabilities should be used.

“With the state’s excellent progress in paying down our bills from the record $16.7 billion backlog caused by a reckless and irresponsible budget impasse, the Illinois Office of Comptroller is retiring the ‘backlog’ term and instituting ‘accounts payable,’ since we are well within 30 days of paying our state vendors and providers,” said Comptroller Mendoza.

The snapshot of pending bills as of Tuesday morning represents liabilities that are not “backlogged,” but rather reflects the ongoing processing of bills which averages around $2.5 billion each month. This is especially true of statutory fund deposits, known as transfers, that make up $2 billion of the State’s current $3 billion of pending liabilities. Those transfers will be made by the IOC as the need arises for each respective state fund. Thus, it is more accurate to refer to these standing transfers as “accounts payable.”

Also, keep in mind that ARPA funds were not deposited by Illinois until July 22 of last year, which was weeks after the bill payment cycle was reduced to 15 days and months after it was brought below 30 days.


Campaign notebook

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Darren Bailey’s new ad is here if you need it. The Tribune reports that Sen. Bailey isn’t advertising on Chicago broadcast TV

State Sen. Darren Bailey has launched his first TV commercial of the primary campaign, joining two rivals for the Republican nomination for governor who have been airing ads for weeks.

But Chicago-area residents may not see much of the conservative from downstate Xenia on their TVs. Television station logs and cable ad buys show Bailey is focused on markets in areas where rural Republicans predominate.

In the expensive Chicago market, none of the city’s broadcast stations have reported a Bailey ad buy. But his campaign did purchase ad time on broadcast stations in St. Louis, Champaign, Peoria, Rockford, the Quad Cities and in the southern Illinois market that includes Carbondale, according to government and industry reports.

Bailey’s campaign also purchased 80 half-minute spots on the Fox News Channel in Chicago, part of a $63,762 statewide buy on the conservative cable news channel running through Monday.

* What a rookie mistake

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider improperly received homeowner exemptions on two properties at the same time for one year, but he recently paid the balance of what he should have been billed, Lake County officials said Monday.

Schneider, a Democrat serving the 10th District, visited the Lake County treasurer’s office Friday and settled a $510.25 debt that resulted from the recalculation of the 2021 tax bill for property he owns in Highland Park, Treasurer Holly Kim said Monday. County records acquired by the Daily Herald confirmed the payment.

Schneider, who is running for reelection this year, has said he’s in the process of moving to that Highland Park property from Deerfield. A statement issued by his campaign called the situation “an inadvertent error.”

Schneider immediately took action to correct the mistake after learning of it, the campaign said, “including paying the full amount of any mistaken benefit, interest, and penalties.”


* Russ Stewart writes about Sen. Rob Martwick’s Democratic primary against Chicago police officer Erin Jones

Jones, despite the backing of the FOP, may be knocked off the ballot for allegedly engaging in a “pattern of fraud” in her collection of petition signatures, based on a challenge to her nominating petitions.

Martwick supporter and former Alderman John Arena aide, Ed Bannon, has filed an objection petition alleging that Jones signed petitions as a circulator that she in fact did not circulate. […]

But on several sheets, said Martwick, the signers were sequential, meaning on the same street and meaning door-to-door solicitation.

Martwick sent workers with Jones’ picture to investigate, and many signers attested that it was an older White man, not Jones, who appeared at their door. They supposedly got affidavits. […]

Martwick intends to bring as many as possible of those 9-sheeter signers, as well as the purported circulator (which he has identified and is not a registered voter) to testify. A circulator need not be a registered voter, only a U.S. citizen. So if the petition challenge is upheld, why didn’t he, not Jones, sign his own sheets?

Under established case law, dating back to the 1988 Canter case, if a circulator can be proven to make a false attestation on a number of sheets, then that “pattern of fraud” invalidates all the circulator’s sheets. Jones is up by 100 as of now. If all of her 55 sheets, which contain at least 300 valid signatures, are stricken, she’s off the ballot.

Jones told Nadig Newspapers that she spent about 40 hours a week collecting signatures and that in some instances she was part of a team that went out gathering signatures.

She said that the claims in the challenge are not only false but show that Martwick is scared, given that he is using a team of “Madigan” attorneys to try to kick her off the ballot.

Jones adds that she received numerous messages from residents who say that Martwick’s campaign workers tried to bully them into signing affidavits that she wasn’t the petition circulator. And she said she now hears reports Martwick will go after her Chicago detective job if the challenge is upheld, with a complaint being filed with the police oversight agency - similar to what Arena did to numerous police and firefighters over the “5150″ housing controversy in Jefferson Park.

All this will unfold, or perhaps unravel, at the election board hearings throughout April. She will be subpoenaed to testify under oath, as will Martwick, an attorney, who scoffs at a possible Jones’ defense that she was within an “eyeball” of another team member while getting a signature. He noted the 2014 case of retired cop Joe Bembynista who filed petitions to oppose Martwick, then a state representative. Martwick filed a similar “pattern of fraud” objection to his petitions, most of which had him as circulator. He employed the classic I-was-sitting-in-my-car-and-watching defense. He got knocked off the ballot.

If Detective Jones did indeed pass those sheets, then she should fight back with everything she’s got. Otherwise, Jones would be wise to do some serious thinking right now. If Martwick can prove he’s right about a pattern of fraud (and he’s done it before), the consequences for her career could be calamitous.

* More like this, please. From a Daily Herald editorial

It happens during every election cycle.

Candidates file nominating petitions to get on the ballot, then their political rivals scrutinize those documents to find a way to kick them off.

Last week, objections were filed in several congressional races in suburban districts. For example, five of the seven candidates running for the 14th Congressional District seat have been challenged.

But in DuPage County, there have been no objections against candidates in countywide, county board and forest preserve races. Even precinct committeeman hopefuls face no petition challenges.

Representatives for the county clerk’s office said this is unprecedented.

“We attribute this progress to simplifying and clarifying the candidate forms and instructions, along with providing workshops to educate candidates on how to avoid petition objections,” DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said in a statement. “These changes have paid off.”

* Press release…

Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia), endorsed conservative outsider Jesse Sullivan for governor Tuesday.

“There is a crowded field of people running to carry the torch for our party and save Illinois for our families. Frankly, I wasn’t going to get involved in the primary because I thought any one of the candidates would be better than J.B. Pritzker. As we get closer to the election, I believe there is only one Republican candidate who can win our primary, unite our party, and defeat J.B. Pritzker in November,” Anderson said.

“That leader is Jesse Sullivan and I am wholeheartedly endorsing him for Governor.”

“Illinois needs more next generation leaders, with a vision for the future, the courage to fight honorably for it, and the integrity and conviction to see it through. Jesse will always stand with our police and first responders. He has concrete plans to restore safety to our streets and ethical leadership to our government. He shares the values of my district – faith, family, and service– and I trust he will be there to work with the General Assembly to lead us out of this mess.”

“At their core, Jesse Sullivan and Kathleen Murphy are two leaders who love Illinois and who value deeds more than words. Jesse has a proven record of delivering success, creating jobs, and growing companies in the kinds of corrupt war zones that make Chicago look tame. Kathleen is fighting for parents every day to make sure our children get a first class education no matter where they live, how much money their parents have, or what they look like. They are trustworthy and qualified and beholden to no man. That’s what we need, more land of Lincoln, less corruption of Capone.”

“Neil Anderson is one of the most genuine public servants I have met in Illinois politics,” Sullivan said. “From early on, it’s been clear that Neil and I share our commitment to faith, family, and service. He is a devoted husband, a great father, and a committed first responder. As a paramedic and firefighter, he runs to danger to protect others who are running from it. There couldn’t be a more apt description of what public service is at its best, and that’s why Kathleen and I are honored to have Neil’s support in this fight to Save Illinois.”

Sen. Anderson is unopposed in his primary and his new district is solidly Republican.

* Press release…

Today, the Illinois Pipe Trades Association (IPTA) announced its endorsement of Judge Elizabeth Rochford in her campaign for the Illinois Supreme Court’s new Second District. IPTA represents 19 United Association Local Unions, 1500 Union contractors and over 30,000 plumbers, pipe fitters, sprinkler fitters, welders and HVAC service technicians.

“Receiving the endorsement of the hardworking men and women of the Illinois Pipe Trades Association is extraordinarily humbling,” said Judge Elizabeth Rochford. “Throughout my decades in the judicial and legal systems, including the last nine years as a judge on the circuit court, I’ve always worked to ensure our courts operate with fairness and equality, and I’ll bring that same commitment to the Illinois Supreme Court. I am grateful for the IPTA’s belief in me as the right candidate for this seat and I will make them proud in this campaign and as a Supreme Court Justice.”

IPTA’s endorsement adds to Judge Rochford’s growing coalition of support from organized labor. She has previously been endorsed by the Illinois State AFL-CIO, IUOE Local 399, UFCW Local 881, Plumbers Local Union 130 UA, the Lake County Building & Construction Trades Council and its 18 local affiliate trade unions, and the McHenry County Building & Construction Trades Councils and its 26 local affiliate trade unions. Judge Rochford has also been endorsed by Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez, and a group of current and former state legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz, Senator Melinda Bush, Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Senator Elgie Sims, Assistant House Majority Leader Marcus Evans, former Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, former State Senator and State Representative Susan Garrett, and former State Senator Heather Steans.

“The Illinois Pipe Trades Association is proud to put the support of our dedicated members behind Judge Elizabeth Rochford for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Second District,” said IPTA Legislative and Political Director Rick Terven, Jr. “We believe Judge Rochford is not only the most qualified candidate for this seat, she is also the strongest candidate to win in November. We are pleased to join the growing coalition supporting Judge Rochford’s candidacy in this race.”

* Politico

Rep. Brad Schneider has endorsed Alexi Giannoulias, who’s running for secretary of state. In a statement, Schneider said he likes Giannoulias’ plan to “strengthen ethics laws and place new restrictions on politicians and lobbyists by curbing corrupt activity and requiring more disclosure and transparency.” […]

— Rep. Rodney Davis sent out a statement saying he’s now visited all 35 counties that are part of the new 15th Congressional District.

— Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi has been endorsed for reelection by Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya and state Reps. Robyn Gabel, Will Guzzardi, Camille Lilly and Delia Ramirez. He is also endorsed by Network 49, an independent political organization in the 49th Ward.

— Jonathan Logemann, Democratic candidate for the 17th Congressional District, has been endorsed by the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois.

* DPI…

In a new 44-page ruling, a federal judge found it was “more likely than not” that former President Donald Trump broke the law and “corruptly attempted to obstruct” Congress in his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Despite these shocking revelations, the Illinois Republican Party and the GOP candidates for federal and statewide office have repeatedly dodged questions about the Big Lie and Donald Trump.

Every Republican running in 2022, especially those running for federal or statewide office, must be asked: Do you believe that former President Trump committed a crime in attempting to overthrow the election?

“If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution,” U.S. District Court Judge David Carter wrote in his ruling. “If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”

Any politician who ignores this ruling is turning a blind eye to the ongoing effor to undermine our democratic institutions. Since the GOP gubernatorial candidates are staying silent, we’ve made it easy for them to let us know where they stand:

    • Does Darren Bailey still believe Trump is a “a leader who understands what it’s like to take on the corrupt establishment and put the people first”?
    • If “we’re looking for Donald Trump policies in the state of Illinois,” is Jesse Sullivan still our guy?
    • Does Gary Rabine stand by his ranking as one of Illinois’ largest donors to Trump?
    • And will Richard Irvin ever look the people in the eye and answer the simple question about whether he voted for Trump?

In the midst of rampant attacks on democratic elections, the silence of these candidates, along with the Illinois Republican Party, is deafening. There is no place for placating conspiracy theorists and election deniers in Illinois and anyone who propagates the “Big Lie” is unfit to serve in the state’s highest office.


Morning musical interlude: Dear Abby

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I believe this is the first time I’ve ever excerpted a “Dear Abby” column

DEAR ABBY: A close friend has just announced — out of the blue — that she’s running for a prominent public office. It’s going to be a contentious race, and it’s likely to get ugly for whomever runs. She sent out messages this week assuming her friends will be supporting her through our social networks, door knocking, hosting fundraising events and whatever else she needs. She said she’s looking forward to working with us.

Abby, the way her announcements are worded, I can tell she’s going to be blindsided when I decline her “request.” She assumes that because we are friends, I would want her in office. However, in my opinion, she’s not the best person for the job, and I have other civic engagements I’m already committed to this year. I also feel that maybe she should have actually asked.

Is there any way I can maintain the friendship without supporting the candidate? I don’t see what the graceful way out is, and her conversation is already oriented toward “us” vs. “them.” — HIDING UNTIL THE PRIMARIES

DEAR HIDING: Explain to your friend that you are already committed to other “civic engagements” this year and, because of time constraints, you can’t back out of them. Then wish her luck and send her a small financial contribution for her campaign “in the name of friendship.”

Your own thoughts?

* And now for the music, from the late, great Illinoisan John Prine

Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood


Open thread

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Have fun, but keep it Illinois-centric. Thanks.


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Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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* Afternoon roundup
* NYC grabs lion's share of federal migrant aid money
* Pritzker signs venue restriction bill for constitutional challenges
* It’s almost a law
* Pritzker says new budget accounts for AFSCME contract negotiations
* FY24 budget overview
* Uber And ASU Are Expanding Access To Higher Education In Illinois
* Pritzker to use reduction veto to correct "inadvertent" pay raises above legal limit
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* * Live Coverage * Jimmy Weiss trial
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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