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Campaign notebook

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

* “One thing I won’t cut,” Richard Irvin promises in this new TV ad (sent to me via text), “is Mike Madigan’s prison term. If he’s convicted, I’m not commuting his sentence”

Way to go out on a limb there, Richard. I mean, Madigan is under federal indictment. A governor wouldn’t be able to commute his sentence. But, hey, this is the same mayor who claimed he called out the National Guard, so whatevs. He got “Madigan” into an ad and paired him with JB Pritzker. Mission accomplished.

A higher resolution version is here.

* A reader pointed this out to me. US Rep. Sean Casten sent out a fundraising email for abortion groups today…

And right now, the most concrete step we can take is supporting abortion advocates on the ground. Your local abortion fund knows the needs of your community the best. You can split a donation between over 80 abortion funds here:

Donate: National Network of Abortion Funds

In solidarity,

Also today, Casten’s opponent US Rep. Marie Newman was fundraising for herself off the leaked SCOTUS decision…

I’ve seen the fury of the anti-choice movement on my own doorstep. But I didn’t back down. And together, we out-organized them and won. In 2022, we must organize again — and organize even harder.

I’m sure as hell not going to stop fighting. Because if we back down now, civil rights, economic rights, and LGBTQ+ rights are next on the chopping block for this right-wing court.

Are you with me, [redacted]? If you can, please donate to help me continue to fight for justice →



* Along those lines, Gov. Pritzker’s campaign is using the news to recruit volunteers…

Rich, Democratic governors are the last line of defense against these ongoing threats to the fundamental right to choose. Will you pledge today to be a volunteer for our campaign, helping us elect Democrats up and down the ballot who will defend reproductive rights?

Yes, I will sign up to volunteer.

We trust women in our state and refuse to let their most personal rights be violated. Together, we must fight on.

* Speaking of Pritzker…

Chicago, IL –– Today, Governor JB Pritzker, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, and pro-choice advocates will rally for reproductive rights at 3 p.m. at SEIU Healthcare located at 2229 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608.

WHO: Governor JB Pritzker, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Senior Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Brigid Leahy, Director of the Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project for the ACLU of Illinois Ameri Klafeta, Deputy Director of Equality Illinois Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Executive Vice President at SEIU HCII Erica Bland-Durosinmi, and Personal PAC Board Member Bernadette Chopra.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

WHERE: SEIU Healthcare located at 2229 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608.

* This state Senate primary is really heating up…

Today, Democratic Candidate for State Senate La’Mont Williams (IL-16) announced the endorsements of State Senator Mattie Hunter (IL-3), State Senator Emil Jones, III (IL-14), and the SEIU State Council.

“I am proud to endorse La’Mont Williams, for State Senator in the 16th District of Illinois,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter. “La’Mont has been on the front lines of our county government in the fight to ensure economic opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses. I know that he will bring that passion to Springfield and I look forward to working alongside him.”

“I am excited to endorse La’Mont Williams for State Senator,” said State Senator Emil Jones, III. “La’Mont is committed to ensuring affordable and accessible healthcare for our residents who have experienced the disparities that exist. We need to continue to improve and I look forward to working with La’Mont to achieve better health outcomes for all of our community members.”

The SEIU State Council’s endorsement marks one of the first union endorsements in the race.

“Given his family’s working class roots, La’Mont Williams understands the fight our members have for a living wage, better benefits, and the working conditions they deserve,” said SEIU State Council President Greg Kelley. “We need La’Mont Williams in the State Senate as he will lead the fight to address income inequality and ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable in our society are heard.”

“I am honored to have the support of State Senators Mattie Hunter and Emil Jones, III along with SEIU State Council,” said Democratic Candidate for State Senate La’Mont Williams. “Through their leadership, Illinois residents have seen historic investments in our communities as it relates to healthcare, education, violence prevention, and job creation. I look forward to learning from both Senator Hunter and Senator Jones III to build upon my experience and best serve the residents of the 16th District.”

Williams has also been endorsed by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (IL-16), State Senator Robert Peters (IL-13), State Senator Ram Villivalam (IL-8), and Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry.

Williams is up against Willie Preston.

* Another problem for Rep. Denyse Wang Stoneback (D-Skokie)…

Today, Democratic Candidate for State Representative Kevin Olickal (IL-16) announced the endorsement of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.

“Kevin Olickal has proven to be a candidate who will fiercely advocate for working families and organized labor. Kevin understands the importance of standing up for workers, especially those who sacrifice so much for the safety of our community.” Said Jim Tracey, President of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2. “We need legislators who will stand shoulder to shoulder with organized labor to safeguard and expand protections for workers. Chicago Firefighters Local 2 are proud to endorse Kevin Olickal for state representative and look forward to working with him in Springfield.”

“Firefighters protect our communities at all costs, often putting their own lives at risk,” said Democratic Candidate for State Representative Kevin Olickal. “I am committed to championing policies that protect our Essential Workers. Firefighters are true heroes as they play one of the most critical roles in ensuring the mental, emotional, and physical health of our families in emergency situations.

Olickal has also been endorsed by U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8), LiUNA! Chicago Laborers’ District Council, National Association of Social Workers IL, and the Indo-American Democratic Organization.

* Danny Davis opponent…

Today, Chicago Alderman Daniel La Spata endorsed gun violence prevention advocate and Democratic candidate for Congress, Kina Collins in her primary bid in IL-07. The endorsement comes weeks after Kina joined Ald. La Spata at a UIC Graduate Workers Rally where they stood with striking graduate workers and demanded fair contracts. With the endorsement, Ald. La Spata joins a growing coalition of local electeds and becomes the second Chicago Alderperson to back Kina’s campaign, joining Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez of the 25th ward. Both represent key wards in the Illinois 7th Congressional district.

Ald. La Spata has represented the 1st ward in Chicago’s City Council since 2019. The 1st ward includes key regions of IL-07, including parts of West Town, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, Noble Square, Ukrainian Village, and East Village.

* Politico

Five Republicans, among the most conservative members of the Illinois General Assembly, are forming the statehouse version of Congress’ Freedom Caucus, a far right arm of the GOP.

Andy Roth, president of the State Freedom Caucus Network, will join Republican state Reps. Chris Miller, Brad Halbrook, Dan Caulkins, Adam Niemerg, and Blaine Wilhour to announce the formation of the group in Illinois on Thursday. Miller will serve as caucus chairman and Halbrook as vice chair.

Connecting the dots: Roth previously headed the conservative Club for Growth Foundation, which is connected to a political action committee that has endorsed Miller’s wife, Congresswoman Mary Miller.

No comment from Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin on the formation of the group.

Not sure if that’ll do much of anything.

* Another primary race to keep an eye on…

Abdelnasser Rashid blasted the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday for its expected ruling that will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that enshrined women’s right to abortion in federal law.

“This ruling aims to turn back the clock, threatening women’s reproductive rights nationwide,” Rashid said, “Before 1973, women still had abortions, but by making them legal, Roe made them far safer. With federal protections set to be overturned, state legislatures must step up. We need to codify women’s right to safe and legal abortion in federal law.”

Rashid also called out Illinois State Representative Michael Zalewski for his failure to support efforts in the General Assembly to protect abortion rights. In 2021, Zalewski joined right-wing Republicans to vote against the repeal of a state law requiring minors to notify their parents before having an abortion that, according to Human Rights Watch, had forced “young people to continue pregnancies against their will or to endure abuse, humiliation, and punishment by unsupportive parents.”

“Voting against the Youth Health and Safety Act was a vote to put the health and lives of young women at risk,” Rashid said.

Zalewski is the only Democratic incumbent facing a primary challenge who is not supported by either Planned Parenthood or Personal PAC, both leading voices in the pro-choice movement.

Terry Cosgrove, President & CEO of Personal PAC recently stated that Zalewski “is not a pro-choice incumbent.” Rashid, who is running against Zalewski in the Democratic primary to represent the 21st District, believes that ensuring safe and legal access to abortion is non-negotiable.

* And some local-level news…

Republican candidate for DuPage County Board Chairman Greg Hart today launched his first campaign ad titled “Keep DuPage Safe.”

The ad highlights the increasing wave of violent crime in Chicagoland and expresses concern that the crime is spilling over into DuPage County. This is evidenced by recent criminal activity including a shooting at Oak Brook mall where four were injured and even more recently, a family robbed at gunpoint at the same mall.

Hart provides his own solution, striking a hopeful tone in the second half of the ad.

“Greg Hart will stand with law enforcement and keep DuPage County safe,” the ad communicates.

“Public safety is critical. We need to support and fund our police so they can fight crime,” says Hart.

Hart has the endorsement of DuPage law enforcement leaders including Sheriff James Mendrick, former Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police President James Kruger, and Coroner Rich Jorgensen - all of whom have publicly vouched for Hart and his record in supporting law enforcement.

Watch the ad here.

The ad is playing on cable, I’m told.

…Adding… Rodney Davis fundraising email…

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to OVERTURN Roe v. Wade

MILLIONS of lives will be saved.

For nearly 50 years Pro-Life Americans have been praying, marching, holding politicans accountable, and doing whatever else they can to ensure that the lives of the unborn are protected.


However, nothing is official. In fact, the Radical Left and their pro-abortion groups are LIVID and have already begun protesting.

That’s why we’re calling every Pro-Life Patriot to PLEDGE their support one LAST TIME so we can ABOLISH abortion FOREVER.



We are pleading for your help. Biden and the Radical Left are doing everything in their power to KEEP abortion legal. Please, this fight has never been more important.

Thank you for your time.

God Bless,

Team Rodney

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:15 pm:

    What a weird ad. A prop comic ad about cutting the budget is not exactly speaking to the moment.

  2. - Nick - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:15 pm:

    I’m not the audience for Irvin’s ads so, go figure.

    But they do just seem to be incredibly cringey.

  3. - Red Ranger - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    This is becoming more Rauner Redux by the day. What was once a sledgehammer is now garden clippers. Please please please bring another caged animal in from another state. We need the comic relief these days.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:28 pm:

    The Irvin ad is very disappointing.

    ===Madigan is under federal indictment. A governor wouldn’t be able to commute his sentence. But, hey, this is the same mayor who claimed he called out the National Guard===

    Mayor Irvin, Aurora’s mayor, Mayor Irvin, is a really strong mayor, has built up Aurora, revamped downtown, won a re-election handily due in large part by doing the job he has… well.

    Just when I think they can inch closer to who Irvin actually is, Candidate Irvin, an attorney, seems confused to jurisdiction to the Madigan case and who can do what with Madigan … if convicted.

    It’s a head scratcher.

  5. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:30 pm:

    I’m confused. I thought Irvin didn’t comment on the leaked S.Ct. opinion because the ruling was not final. Now he is commenting on a speculative ruling in MJM’s case when the trial hasn’t even begun?

  6. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==This is becoming more Rauner Redux by the day.==

    At least Rauner’s “I’m going to go all Gallagher on the budget” commercials were during a time when the budget was a legit mess and getting worse.

  7. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    Where did this Clarence Darrow go to law school?

  8. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    Remember when Pat Quinn introduced two budgets and told the GA, “You have to choose.”? And then the GA said, “No we don’t.”

  9. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:49 pm:

    Has Richard Irvin morphed into Edward Scissorhands?

    If Irvin approved that spot, he has no business running for the governor’s office. Just awful.

  10. - Scooter - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:49 pm:

    Not sure if this is fits in with the theme of this post, but: Newman just picked up an endorsement from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (a division of the Teamsters).

  11. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:54 pm:

    This is a really strange Ad.

  12. - G'Kar - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 3:59 pm:

    I may the mistake on clicking on a text sent me by the Irvin campaign. I was then asked to rate and comment on a number of ads. This was one of them and I commented that a governor cant commute someone conviction in a Federal court. I guess they didn’t listen to me.

  13. - G'Kar - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    Oh, and the says a lot about how little the campaign respects the intelligence of the Republican primary electorate.

  14. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    It’s not that Irvin is stupid, he’s just depending on the voters being stupid.

  15. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    ==Oh, and the says a lot about how little the campaign respects the intelligence of the Republican primary electorate. ==

    No one things less of Republican voters than Republican candidates.

  16. - G'Kar - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:06 pm:

    So is the Illinois Freedom Caucus a super minority within a super minority?

  17. - Real - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:07 pm:

    No need to be surprised by Irvin. He is a lost and confused man whose on soul has been sold for political gain.

  18. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:11 pm:

    At least Irvin didn’t spell “commute” or “pardon” as marshall law so give him some credit? /s

  19. - Real - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:12 pm:

    The reality is Mr money man cares nothing about Irvin beyond using him as a tool. He most likely has more respect for his dog than an empty vessel.

  20. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:18 pm:

    I checked. Vegas has the over/under at 13 1/2 for how many more years the GOP will be beating the dead horse named Madigan.

  21. - Roman - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Irvin needs to go further. If I were him I’d promise not to commute John Gacy’s death sentence.

  22. - Blake - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:26 pm:

    Eastern Bloc already has a name, no need for a new one

  23. - Nefarious Veneer - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:30 pm:

    – So is the Illinois Freedom Caucus a super minority within a super minority? –

    Probably more of a … clan

  24. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:46 pm:

    === Probably more of a … clan ===

    It’s spelled “Klan.”

  25. - Leslie K - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 4:55 pm:

    Nefarious and Norseman for the double play [banned punctuation]

    So, if much political advertising is a nugget of truth with a whole lot of spin, I guess Irvin’s ad makes a little sense. It’s also a campaign promise he could keep. He definitely 100% will not commute Madigan’s sentence if Madigan is convicted. /s

  26. - Phineas Gurley - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 5:31 pm:

    I read Pritzker’s email as only “rich Democratic governors” can defend choice. Oof.

  27. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 5:43 pm:

    He probably thought that because a governor had his federal sentence commuted that meant that a governor could commute a federal sentence.

  28. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 5:46 pm:

    “He probably thought that because a governor had his federal sentence commuted that meant that a governor could commute a federal sentence.”

    Unless you are joking, if you mean Blago, I’m pretty sure Irvin knows that Trump was the one who commuted Rod’s federal sentence, not JB Pritzker.

  29. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 5:57 pm:

    A joke.

  30. - opinions opinions - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 5:58 pm:

    Irvin is a lawyer, for f* sakes and has some responsibility to uphold the law. A completely misleading and blatantly false statement like that is ridiculous.

    Rashid is showcasing what’s wrong with politics and highlighting the “my way or the highway” antics of groups like Indivisible and Personal Pac. They’re quick to drop you if you aren’t 100% in their tent. A legislator may vote with them 98% of the time, but they get tossed away like yesterday’s trash if they deviate 2%. It’s why we keep losing middle of the road Democrats and Republicans, and why there are no longer pro-choice Republicans. Zalewski has a long record of voting with women on reproductive health issues and women’s rights. He voted against one bill related to notice provided to parents, not access to abortions. There’s a fundamental difference. You can be pro-choice and also think it’s a good policy to have a minor notify an adult before having an abortion. But people like Cosgrove miss why having varied views on what makes you pro-choice is a good thing.

  31. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 7:47 pm:

    === will join Republican state Reps. Chris Miller, Brad Halbrook, Dan Caulkins, Adam Niemerg, and Blaine Wilhour ===

    This sure makes it easy to identify Rep Miller’s future co-conspirators.

  32. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 8:10 pm:

    Is Irvin announcing he’s running for president by promising not to commute a federal sentence. I mean, a guy who is a lawyer can’t be so stupid to think a state governor has any say over a federal case … can he?

  33. - Anti-Trump Republican - Tuesday, May 3, 22 @ 9:59 pm:

    I am part of Irvin’s target audience and while I understand the objective of the political ad, it just is sad to see the intelligence of voters insulted with the “I won’t commute Madigan’s sentence” thing.

    Plus, I am getting several mailers from the Irvin campaign a week now saying that Bailey and Sullivan are secret NeverTrump agents. I wish that were the case.

    Clearly, the powers to be in that campaign have calculated that the way to try to mitigate your biggest perceived weakness is to try to turn it on your opponents, but that can have other consequences as well, such as turning off voters who should be your natural base of support in a crowded field.

    When Irvin first got in the race, I expected that I would enthusiastically vote for him in the primary, but now I might just cast a vote for Schimpf.

  34. - Denise - Wednesday, May 4, 22 @ 8:27 am:

    They just replaced Rauner’s sledgehammer with pruning shears. So lazy and unimaginative. And lame.

  35. - Elliott Ness - Wednesday, May 4, 22 @ 8:47 am:

    Technically he is correct, he will not be commuting Madigan’s sentence. This statement is more factual than much of the other garbage and nonsense all campaigns spew these days. But, this is working, Bailey is sinking like a rock and now team Griffin starts on Sullivan and the same thing will happen. Then Sullivan (who has cash and access to cash) will respond and we will be awash in a sea of campaign refuse.

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