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Campaign notebook

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Um, OK…

* ILGOP Chairman’s letter on Friday

Fellow Republicans -

I wanted to highlight for you an interesting development that just happened this week related to election security. Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, Laura Pollastrini and Susan Sweeney with help from Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections related to the counting of ballots AFTER election day. Illinois Democrats passed a law that says mail in ballots must be counted up to 14 days past the election day in November, even if the mailed ballot is NOT postmarked. At the very least, this lawsuit helps highlight this truly ridiculous delay in election results and election integrity issue. You can read the Tribune story on this HERE.

* Irvin campaign…

Today the Irvin for Illinois campaign received the endorsement of former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and current Co-Executive Chairman of Winston & Strawn Dan Webb.

“Richard Irvin understands that to improve the lives of Illinoisans, we must make our state a safer, stronger and less corrupt place to live, work and visit,” Webb said. “His successful track record of reducing crime by prioritizing support and resources for our law enforcement and judicial systems shows that he is the best candidate to lead Illinois in this endeavor over the next four years. I am proud to endorse him for Governor and look forward to supporting and following his campaign to take back Illinois.”

In 1990, Webb received international attention for his successful prosecution of retired Admiral John Poindexter for his role in the Iran–Contra affair. Here in Illinois, as U.S. Attorney, Webb led Operation Greylord for the U.S. Department of Justice, which resulted in the successful prosecution of 76 corrupt judges, police officers, court clerks, and lawyers in Cook County. He has been appointed by courts to act as a Special Prosecutor or in a similar capacity on five occasions, including the recent prosecution and conviction of Jussie Smollett for staging a well-publicized fraudulent hate crime in Chicago.

* GOP AG candidate Dave Shestokas…

Every candidate speaks of crime reduction; the Attorney General is THE ONLY OFFICE THAT CAN AFFECT CHANGE IMMEDIATELY. Dave will. As your elected lawyer and the state’s chief law enforcement officer, the office has the responsibility and autonomy to right wrongs, protect citizens from roaming criminals, lax prosecutors, and election irregularities. Make Crime Illegal Again is not a slogan. It’s a promise.

Dave’s Plan his First Day in Office:

1. Reprioritize the first duty of the office is to represent the people, not the government.

2. Reassign Assistant Attorneys General to monitor and initiate prosecutions when local states attorneys don’t. (i.e. Kim Foxx Cook County, Eric Rinehart Lake County, and across the state.)

3. Create a Law Enforcement Liaison Office and hotline to alert the OAG of local prosecutors’ neglect.

4. The Illinois AG Act directs that it is to prosecute election offenses. David as AG will. It is critical to providing legitimacy to everything else that government does.

From the Illinois Constitution

The Attorney General shall be the legal officer of the State, and shall have the duties and powers that may be prescribed by law.

Emphasis added.

* Speaking of Shestokas…

* Valencia campaign…

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Anna Valencia announced today that she has earned the endorsement of the United Steelworkers Local 1899. In a statement announcing their endorsement, the union noted Valencia’s working-class background and that members of her own family earned a living working in the Mill. The announcement comes as Valencia continues to build a strong and diverse coalition of supporters and endorsers.

“Anna will bring vigor and vision to the office of the Secretary of State,” the Union’s statement reads. “Like she did in the Chicago City Clerk’s office, she will improve services through modernization, technology, and transparency. With creative leadership and the development of such programs as the Illinois DMV app, self-service kiosks, and digital driver’s licenses, Anna will provide Illinoisans with a Secretary of State’s office that works for them and one that they can be proud of.”

Local 1899 represents nearly 1,500 members and is an affiliate of United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union with 1.2 million members. The United Steelworkers have a proud heritage at Granite City Works, and Local 1899 is known as a leader and activist Union in District 7 and throughout the International Union.

* Politico…

GOP candidates running for Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s seat face ‘pick your poison dilemma’ in blue Illinois, by Tribune’s Clare Spaulding [Peggy Hubbard, a Navy veteran, former police officer and former IRS agent from Belleville, outside St. Louis, has called Salvi a pawn of the Illinois GOP, which Hubbard said “is working in unison with the Democrats to keep the control in Chicago.”]

Republican Senate candidates’ opinions on climate change vary widely, by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin [Geneva investment manager Bobby Piton claimed oil companies were responsible for creating a “climate change hoax” to prevent access to something he referred to as “free energy,” but did not elaborate on what that was.]

— Congressman Chuy Garcia is endorsing Democrat Fernando “Sergio” Mojica for 13th House District, citing Mojica’s “unique background and decades of work in Chicago communities.” Mojica is running for the seat now held by House Majority Leader Greg Harris, who isn’t seeking reelection.

Edgar discusses primary, gun control measures, by WCIA’s Cole Henke

Illinois State Bar Association rates ShawnTe Raines-Welch “not qualified” for judge: “Raines-Welch, the wife of Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, is running in the Democratic primary against three other candidates,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos

— Karin Norington-Reaves, a Democratic candidate for Congress in IL-01, is out with a new digital ad that has Rep. Bobby Rush giving her resounding endorsement.

— Assessors race: Former Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and a group of Latino leaders have written a letter calling out “offensive comments about the Latino community” made by Maze Jackson, husband of Cook County assessor candidate Kari Steele. At least some of those signing the letter have endorsed incumbent Assessor Fritz Kaegi. In a statement, Steele responded, saying, “As I said before, I unequivocally reject any hateful rhetoric. My husband has pledged to do better. While the comments referenced by this letter occurred before his pledge, I am disappointed that they were said, and I expect him to do better moving forward.”

* From Heather Wier Vaught’s weekly newsletter…

Chicago Delays Early Voting: The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners announced a delayed start to early voting, but will have the super-site ready this week. […]

Cash Flows In Supreme Court Race: Four Republicans and three Democrats are running for the Supreme Court’s Second District, a seat formerly held by Justice Robert Thomas and currently held by appointed Justice Michael Burke. Two candidates have already broken the contribution caps on the race setting the stage for an expensive primary and general election. Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes and Kane County Circuit Judge John Noverini have both filed self-funding notices with the State Board of Elections, which lifted caps on contributions to all candidates. Shanes leads the pack in funding after reporting $244,000 on hand at the end of March. Noverini raised over $127,000 by the end of March, but he has only added about $4,000 since. On the Democratic side, Lake County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Rochford leads the pack with more than $375K. Previously the most expensive race was the retention campaign for Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride’s campaign, in part due to spending by Citizens for Judicial Fairnes,s a Ken Griffin-funded campaign opposing Kilbride’s retention. Everyone should keep an eye out for spending from Citizens for Judicial Fairness, even though Griffin’s independent expenditure committee has not involved itself in the Supreme Court race to date.

* CD1…

Today, Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 1st District Karin Norington-Reaves released a new digital video about the creation of the Chatham Education and Workforce Center which she created to honor the memory of Dr. Betty Howard, killed by gun violence on May 29 in 2014.

“It was one of the greatest honors of my lifetime to pull together the forces of Chicago’s philanthropic and business sectors to create the Chatham Education and Workforce Center from the ground up,” said Norington-Reaves. “I know that giving communities hope through economic opportunity reduces crime and gun violence–that’s the approach that I’m going to take with me to Congress.”

The video is here.

* CD6…

In an interview on Fox 32 Chicago on May 27th, Marie Newman claimed that only 3% of documents related to her bribery scandal have been released, and that the remaining documents deem it a “zero merit case.”

Casten for Congress Spokesman Jacob Vurpillat issued the following statement in response to Newman’s claim:

“If 97% of the documents related to her corruption exonerate her, then voters deserve to see these documents immediately. Congresswoman Newman is either safeguarding critical information from voters or purposefully misleading them in an attempt to downplay the bipartisan House Ethics Committee investigation into her bribery scandal.

“There is no question that the right thing to do is to release the documents, as well as the details of her secret settlement with the man she is accused of bribing. The only question is whether or not Congresswoman Newman has enough respect for voters to do it.”

You can watch the segment here.

On December 7th, Newman campaign manager Ben Hardin claimed “information will be made public on January 24th and that it will be definitively clear that there was no ethical wrongdoing.”

On January 24th, the House Ethics Committee decided on a bipartisan basis to extend its review into Newman’s bribery scandal following a report from the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics that found “substantial reason to believe that Rep. Newman may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support.”

* CD13…


Illinois Public Media, WAND News, and the League of Women Voters of Champaign County will host an Illinois 13th Congressional District debate between Republican primary candidates Regan Deering, Matt Hausman, Terry Martin, and Jesse Reising on Thursday, June 2 in the WILL-TV studios located in Urbana, Illinois.

This debate will air on WILL-TV and WSIU-TV and simulcast on radio on WILL-AM 580 and -FM 90.9 out of Urbana, WSIU-FM out of Carbondale, and NPR Illinois (WUIS-FM) out of Springfield. It will air on COZI-TV the following night.

Attached you will find the media release containing full details. You can also view the media release here:


  1. - Graceland's Neighbor - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    These documents that say Newman is innocent definitely exist, but she is the only one allowed to see them so please just take her word for it and stop asking.

  2. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:06 pm:

    Of course Webb had to be told it wasn’t appropriate for him to be throwing around the N word at the Smollett trial so he’s not exactly in touch with the zeitgeist.

  3. - Lurker - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:08 pm:

    That’ll work well in the general /s

  4. - bkhartbnjo - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    If Bailey were endorsed by Race Bannon instead, that would be something.

  5. - Amalia - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    I need a shower after just looking at the photo of Bannon.

  6. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    Rep. Newman and her camp can’t stop tripping over their response to this investigation. Just a dumb response, when how many of those 97% of documents are within your power to release? Afraid Mr. Chehade might sue to enforce what may very well be an illegal and void contract?

    On a different topic, apparently the longstanding advice to job seekers to research and know the job you are applying for doesn’t apply to IL AG candidates.

  7. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    I always think it’s Bannon who needs a shower…bigly.

  8. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    “If Bailey were endorsed by Race Bannon … .”

    Perhaps Bandit will be available to nip at the ankles of rude reporters, particularly those obsessed with “PPP loans and local school district property taxes” ?? /s

  9. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:33 pm:


    So one lawbreaker endorses another?

  10. - Chris in ChiTown - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    The Casten campaign’s like a broken record. Doesn’t he have something he voted for or supports he can focus his campaign on?

    My mom helped him out in 2018, guessing he’d support a legislative proposal for immigration reform. Since he was sworn in January, 2019, he has never agreed to support any legislative proposal for immigration reform.

  11. - Unstable Genius - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Clearly, Darrin Bailey at this point is the hardest working candidate in the race. Holding numerous events throughout the entire State, including Chicago and suburbs. Perhaps the Bannon endorsement is a precursor to a Trump endorsement, which would be a big deal.

  12. - Laughing - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    So if I’m reading right nothing Kari Steele’s husband said counts, because he didn’t take the decent human pledge until a couple weeks ago?

  13. - Jocko - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    ==information will be made public on January 24th and that it will be definitively clear that there was no ethical wrongdoing.==

    Santa is coming a month before that and he’s bringing that pony you always wanted. /s

  14. - Mike K - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 1:05 pm:

    And as to “undated” Vote-By-Mail ballots mailed by Election Day, but not received until later, three magic words: USPS Bar Codes (or six words, you decide). A frivolous lawsuit in search of an issue. Late arriving Vote-By-Mail ballots are counted. Late mailed Vote-by-Mail ballots are not.

  15. - Chris in ChiTown - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 1:34 pm:

    This “controversy” alleged early on by the right wing, Koch-backed groups to hurt US Representative Newman isn’t very much. Here is her campaign statement on the issue:

  16. - G'Kar - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    Maybe with a Race Bannon endorsement, Bailey would be allowed to fly around the state in the Dragonfly. That would be cool!

  17. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 2:11 pm:

    -This “controversy” alleged early on by the right wing, Koch-backed groups to hurt US Representative Newman isn’t very much.-

    The 10-member bipartisan Congressional Ethics Committee including five of her colleagues seems to think otherwise.

  18. - Graceland's Neighbor - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 2:45 pm:

    === The 10-member bipartisan Congressional Ethics Committee including five of her colleagues seems to think otherwise. ===

    As does the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics, which found “substantial reason to believe” Newman did what she is accused of having done.

  19. - Chris in ChiTown - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    When people who comment don’t care that the right wing group backed by Koch money filed an issue regarding a Democrat, woman US Representative, it demonstrates what is wrong with actual discussion on Capitol Fax. There is no actual discussion.

  20. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    ==There is no actual discussion.==

    You mean there’s no discussion you agree with.

  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 4:10 pm:

    lol, Demoralized

  22. - Uptown Funk - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    Valencia got endorsed by the Steelworkers but Alexi got endorsed by the Daily Herald

  23. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 5:12 pm:

    -When people who comment don’t care that the right wing group backed by Koch money filed an issue regarding a Democrat-

    You are right that I don’t care who filed it… if it proves to be correct and she broke the law.

  24. - Chris in ChiTown - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 6:25 pm:

    People who wish a real discussion should read these two stories.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

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