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*** UPDATED x1 *** Campaign notebook

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

* Bob Skolnik

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker dropped by Riverside Foods on the morning of May 17 to go grocery shopping with and for a Riverside woman.

No, the billionaire governor is not moonlighting as an Instacart shopper. But he did want to highlight how the recently passed package of tax cuts will help parents struggling with high prices and rapid inflation. […]

Pritzker spent nearly an hour at Riverside Foods. After helping Pfeiffer put her grocery bags in the back of her Chrysler minivan, Pritzker and Zalewski stopped by the Riverside home of John, Gelse and Ethan Tkalec.

Waiting for them was ShawnTe Raines Welch, the wife of Illinois House speaker Chris Welch and a candidate for judge in the 4th Judicial Subcircuit.

Raines-Welch said she was there in her capacity as a member of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission, even though the Tkalecs live in Riverside Township. Pritzker chatted with the Tkalecs for approximately 15 minutes.

Must’ve been a coincidence. /s

* This poll is not new. It was taken more than a month ago. A more recent poll has Wallace slightly in the lead. Politico

A NEW POLL shows Democrats Eric Sorensen and Litesa Wallace are leading in a four-person race for the newly drawn 17th Congressional District seat that Rep. Cheri Bustos now holds. But 51 percent of the 600 likely voters who participated in the Impact Research survey are undecided. Sorensen has an edge in the poll, which his team commissioned, with 20 percent, followed by Wallace, 16 percent; Jonathan Logemann, 5 percent; and Angie Normoyle, 3 percent. Margin of error was +/- 4 percent.

Some of those numbers are more than 5 weeks old.

* Press release…

Today Junaid Ahmed, Democratic candidate for Illinois’ new District 8, asks incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi to join him in refusing corporate-backed campaign donations.

Last week, an article in Politico highlighted ethical concerns over a Krishnamoorthi fundraiser. A pair of lobbyists planned to attend in hopes of discussing an active investigation that the Congressman is leading. Following questions by Politico about the possible conflict of interest, Krishnamoorthi and his campaign decided to cancel the event.

“Representative Krishnamoorthi is quoted in the Daily Herald as saying that he has to play by the rules of a broken political system. I guess those rules say you can break the law so long as the media doesn’t catch wind of it,” Ahmed said. “The congressman was caught with his hand in the corporate cookie jar. He embarrassed himself, his office, and the citizens of District 8. I call on the Congressman to join my pledge to refuse corporate PAC money.”

Ahmed has raised nearly $1 million through individual donations. To date, Rep. Krishnamoorthi has over $11 million cash on hand, more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other high-ranking members of Congress.

“Since Rep. Krishnamoorthi is the chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, he should really be leading the charge for campaign finance reform,” Ahmed said. “His job is to promote policies that address income inequality for the middle class. Fairer elections can happen if we take big money out of the picture.”

* Hackler is up against fellow Republican Jennifer Korte for the right to take on Rep. Katie Stewart (D-Edwardsville)…

Today, Joe Hackler, candidate for State Representative in the 112th district, announced his endorsement from the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police. As Democrats cast votes to make our communities less safe, supporting law enforcement and first responders is more critical than ever before. With this key endorsement, police voiced their support for Hackler as the candidate to represent them in Springfield.

“I am honored to have the support of our policemen and women and will fight every day to support them as they keep our communities safe,” said Hackler. “As crime skyrockets, I will continue to stand with law enforcement and take down the Democrats’ radical pro-criminal, anti-police agenda.”

* The folks at Peoples Fabric are in possession of another potentially huge oppo file: 3,500 emails between Tina Wallace, a candidate running for the Illinois House as a Democrat, and Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez, who is now a candidate for mayor. Some of the email exchanges between the two revolved around Wallace’s efforts to at first keep out and then close down a popular and award-winning local brewery/restaurant. Have a look

Launching her largely self-funded campaign for 19th District state representative with the slogan “The Change We Need,” Tina Wallace has touted her small business credentials and lack of political insider connections.

But public records show Wallace has already used her government connections to satisfy petty grievances, somewhat reminiscent of another area official. In one case, she set her sights on shuttering a beloved award-winning brewery—and she even enlisted the help of an alderman many wards away in her campaign against the small business. […]

In March 2019, after the extensive renovation—and more than a year after the establishment opened for business—inspectors from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection were dispatched to the site by the alderman whose ward is more than twelve miles away. […]

In a highly unusual move, the south side alderman prompted then-BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno to investigate Eris. The request was entirely based on complaints emailed by Wallace.

Lots more there, and, apparently, lots more to come. This is the same group that dug up a huge amount of unsavory things in Keith Thornton’s past before he dropped out of the same House primary race. Wallace is up against Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago).

* Press release…

Republican candidate for Governor Paul Schimpf released his 2021 Tax Returns, becoming the first Republican candidate to provide Illinois voters and media the opportunity for full transparency ahead of Illinoisans casting their ballots for the Primary Election. Schimpf understands the struggles of working families across the state, and calls on the other candidates for governor to release their tax returns and offer full transparency to the people they are trying to obtain support from.

“Illinois’ history of corruption runs deep, in large part because elected officials decided transparency to the people they were elected to serve wasn’t important,” Schimpf said. “I will bring transparency to our state government, and I’m starting now by releasing my 2021 tax returns so voters can truly know who they’re voting for—and who are they voting for? Someone that understands the daily struggles our working families face. I’m not like some of my other opponents who are lined with millions of dollars. High taxes, rising gas prices, increasing energy costs, record-high grocery prices all impact our low- and middle-class families, and I feel their burden. I call on all my fellow opponents to release their tax returns because Illinois voters deserve full transparency from the people who could be managing their tax dollars and running our state.”

The return is here. Schimpf reported an adjusted gross income of $56,360, mostly from his pension.

* Government email, but campaign-related…

Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) released the following statement after Governor Pritzker signed HB4383, which makes buying, selling or possessing certain guns illegal in Illinois.

“Governor Pritzker is once again targeting law-abiding gun owners by banning certain firearms when his soft-on-crime policies caused the crime wave in Illinois,” said Miller, who is a member of the House Second Amendment Caucus. “Governor Pritzker cares more about providing “sanctuary state” benefits to non-citizen illegal aliens than defending the Second Amendment rights of the citizens he swore an oath to serve. The crime wave in Illinois is the result of Governor Pritzker using COVID to release inmates and refusing to accept inmate transfers from county prisons, and his work eliminating cash bail to put offenders right back on the street. Governor Pritzker is refusing to work with ICE to deport dangerous illegal immigrants but has no problem violating the Second Amendment rights of the citizens he swore an oath to defend. In Congress, I will always stand up for our Second Amendment. That is why I voted against H.R.8, also known as the “universal” background check bill, which seeks to criminalize the private transfer of firearms. We must protect law-abiding gun owners and our Second Amendment.”

* From the Rodney Davis campaign…

For two weeks, Mary Miller has refused to comment on news reports that a campaign worker of hers served jail time for soliciting sex from a young boy on the internet. Rodney Davis is calling on Miller to break her silence and explain her relationship with the child sex predator.

“Mary Miller needs to stop using the Biden basement strategy and start answering questions about her relationship with a child sex predator. For someone who claims to be an advocate for children and family values, Miller’s silence on this issue speaks volumes about her judgement and character. When you’re a candidate for Congress, you have to answer basic questions about your record. You can’t just hide from the public and hope a bad story blows over like Miller is doing. It’s far past time for Miller to start giving voters some answers.” - Rodney Davis, Republican candidate for Congress in IL-15

*** UPDATE *** I forgot to post this

A recently conducted survey by Lake Research Partners in IL-01 reveals a competitive Democratic primary race for Congress, and a major opportunity for State Senator Jacqui Collins to take the lead. The race starts out a statistical tie between Collins, Jonathan Jackson, and Pat Dowell, with the undecided vote the clear leader today. However, Collins surges into a commanding 30-point lead once voters learn more about how her background and agenda for the office.

    ● Despite Jonathan Jackson’s name ID advantage, the race starts out with the top three candidates in a dead heat: 19% for Jackson to 14% for Collins and 14% for Dowell. Karin Norrington-Reaves (5%) and Jonathan Swain (3%) trail behind in the single digits. A 42% plurality of voters are completely undecided, making this contest truly up for grabs at this point in the race.

The polling memo goes on to claim that Sen. Collins’ builds a substantial lead with push questions. But that assumes she’ll have the cash to make her full case to voters. We’ll see.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 1:44 pm:

    Do Republicans hate basements? Bailey keeps talking about Irvin’s basement. Davis is now talking about Miller’s basement. Trump campaign was all over Biden’s basement.

    I guess the Republican party is the anti-basement party.


  2. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    So Mary Miller is for ghost guns and against background checks, but is “tough on crime.” Yeah, right.


  3. - Graeme Z - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    Not sure if it’s true, but I heard that Sorensen’s poll is so old that it never heard of night baseball at Wrigley.


  4. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    I don’t live in the 17th but am near it.

    Wallace was the only candidate organized enough to have people marching in the Bloomington Christmas parade last year. I still know very little about her though.

    Sorensen is the only person I have seen a TV ad for. It did not make the best impression with me even as a base Dem voter. I get that the climate-change-focus is leaning into his background as a weatherman and likely part of his core convictions for running. But the commercial felt really goofy and not really in tune with what voters in the 17th would likely consider their biggest issues right now (inflation/gas prices/economy).

    And it pressed my buttons in general where Dem candidates can’t just be normal humans and talk about caring about clean water and clean air and clean soil like old school environmentalists that got bipartisan support. Instead, they say things like “I believe in science” like caring about climate change is a moral/religious issue you make part of your identity and it’s just a phrase that comes off as smug or condescending if you don’t agree with that politician’s solutions for addressing environmental problems.

    I think there are ways to reach rural/Downstate Illinois voters talking about climate change and the environment that are far less off-putting, like talking about the real concerns associated with the corn belt moving north and growing seasons changing if we don’t take action.


  5. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:26 pm:

    =In Congress, I will always stand up for our Second Amendment.=

    what about the other 26 amendments? How about the 4th?

    Mary Miller is so tough on crime she has a sex offender on staff.


  6. - Techie - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    Litesa Wallace has a good chance to win the primary. She has built a small following after running as Daniel Biss’ running mate when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.


  7. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:41 pm:

    As a gun owner who carries concealed, I’d like Mary Miller to just shut up about the 2nd Amendment. Support from her and those like her does little good for and much harm to the rational discussion of gun policy so desperately needed in the state and country.


  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    Is Schimpf a RINO? I thought releasing tax returns information was verboten in der leader’s GOP.


  9. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:46 pm:

    Alas, GOP pols embrace ghost guns. No reasonable gun measure is appropriate for the gun worshippers of the GOP death cult.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:52 pm:

    ===Sorensen’s poll is so old that it never heard of night baseball at Wrigley===

    It’s so old it knew the Burger King when he was just a prince.


  11. - Chad - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 2:52 pm:

    Last time I checked, a person with a youth solicitation/abuse administrative finding or conviction cannot volunteer to be part of groups like the YMCA, Girl Scouts, church youth groups or similar organizations. Political activity by such a person is not prohibited, but it is hard to understand why a campaign would knowingly permit a person to be regularly visible and proximate to the candidate. People do need rehabilitation and forgiveness, but a congressional primary is not the John Howard Association.


  12. - Stu - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 3:00 pm:

    Any enemy of craft brews is an enemy of mine.


  13. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 3:08 pm:

    Congratulations to Governor Candidate Paul Schimpf on releasing his income tax returns. We need more candidates and elected officials to be that transparent.
    Quite a contrast to the Trumps and Pritzker’s of the world.
    We live in a state where our Governor probably pays less in taxes as a percentage of his net worth than 99 percent of Illinois citizens and this unfair system of tax avoidance will stay in place as long as we keep electing people that benefit from it.
    I hope our Major media outlets cover this story, but I suspect that they will not.


  14. - Soccermom - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    Sorenson’s poll is so old that he was still voting in the Republican primaries when it first came out.


  15. - Soccermom - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 4:38 pm:

    Oh gosh — I can’t help it. Here goes:

    Sorensen’s poll is so old that he was still voting in the Republican primaries when it first came out. I guess that makes him (wait for it) a DINO-saur!

    Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week…


  16. - RTT - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 5:58 pm:

    ===I’ll be here all week…===

    Really looking forward to it!


  17. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, May 18, 22 @ 7:35 pm:

    Riverside Foods has done a couple collaborations with Buckle Down Brewery in Lyons and JB didn’t buy any. What’s wrong wit chu??


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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Campaign notebook
* Federal judge rejects lawsuit over gas pump signs touting gas tax freeze
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and some campaign updates
* Ken Griffin coverage roundup
* Digging into that new poll
* *** UPDATED x3 *** Pritzker to call special session on abortion rights
* Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization react
* Roe v. Wade overturned
* New law expands sports team license plate options
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