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Cook, most suburbs and parts of Downstate now rated High Community Level for COVID-19

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here to look up your county. Sangamon is currently at the Medium level. IDPH…

The CDC reported late today that 15 Illinois counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19, an area that includes Chicago, Cook County and surrounding counties in northeastern Illinois as well as counties around Peoria. An additional 30 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level, according to the CDC.

The counties listed at High Community Level are Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Grundy, Boone, Lee and Winnebago in Northern Illinois and Fulton, Knox, Henderson, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell in Central Illinois.

“With 15 counties in Illinois now rated at a High Community Level, everyone in the state should be paying close attention to the guidance from public health authorities and taking action to protect themselves, their loved ones, and friends,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars. “Everyone should make sure they are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots. Wearing a mask in indoor public places and avoiding crowded indoor spaces as much as possible will also make a difference. If you are at risk of severe outcomes, you should also consider avoiding indoor activities in public places. And if you test positive, promptly contact a healthcare provider to discuss which treatment is right for you. The treatments are much more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths when they are taken early in the course of the illness.”

The CDC recommends the following measures for people in areas that are rated at High Community Level for COID-19 transmission:

    • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
    • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
    o Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection
    o Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed
    o Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions
    o Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)
    o IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies
    • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease
    o consider self-testing to detect infection before contact
    o consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
    • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
    • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible
    • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19

At the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. In addition, they should make sure to get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines or get their 2nd booster, if eligible.

IDPH has been supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in efforts to increase their inventories of the various FDA-authorized treatments. There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois - including all the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

A total of 22,293,645 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 15,443 doses. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 76% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 69% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and more than 52% of the vaccinated population has an initial booster according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data indicates that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up to date on their vaccinations.

All data are provisional and are subject to change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.

The federal government has established a new website that provides an all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks, treatment, vaccines and testing resources for all areas of the country at: https://www.covid.gov/.

Hospitalizations are trending ever so slightly downward for the past three days, but, overall, they’re still relatively low.

  6 Comments      


Another day, another lawsuit

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go

Plaintiffs Congressman Michael J. Bost, Laura Pollastrini, and Susan Sweeney (“Plaintiffs”), by and through counsel, file this Complaint against the Illinois State Board of Elections and its Executive Director Bernadette Matthews, and allege as follows:

1. Plaintiffs are former and prospective federal candidates and registered Illinois voters, all of whom seek declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin parts of the Illinois election code.

2. The United States Congress is authorized under Art. I, § 4 cl. 1 and Art. II, § 1 cl. 4 to establish the Time for conducting federal elections. Congress exercised this authority in 1845 when it enacted the first of a trio of statutes that established a uniform national election day for all federal elections.

3. Under federal law, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year is election day (“Election Day”) for federal elections. See 2 U.S.C. § 1; 2 U.S.C. § 7; and 3 U.S.C. § 1.

4. Despite Congress’ clear statement regarding a single national Election Day, Illinois has expanded Election Day by extending by 14 days the date for receipt and counting of vote-by- mail ballots. See 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. §§ 5/18A-15(a) & 5/19-8(c).

5. Plaintiffs allege that Illinois’ extension of Election Day violates federal law and their rights.

6. Plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring Illinois’ extension of Election Day to be unlawful and seek an injunction enjoining the extension. […]

20. In its December 4, 2020, press release announcing certified results from the November 3, 2020 election, the State Board announced that there had been a total of 6,098,729 votes in the 2020 election, of which 2,025,662 were vote-by-mail ballots.

21. Read together, the November 2nd and December 4th press releases indicate that Illinois received 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots statewide during the period from November 3rd through November 17th.

22. Upon information and belief, most of the 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots were received after Election Day, which would mean that as many as 4.4% of votes cast in 2020 were received after Election Day.

23. Illinois is not allowed to hold open voting for congressional and presidential beyond the single Election Day. […]

25. The next federal election in Illinois will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at which time Illinois will elect a new Congressional delegation. Under Illinois law’s extended ballot receipt deadline, vote-by-mail ballots shall be counted if received on or before November 22, 2022.

26. Accordingly, Illinois will illegally hold voting open beyond Election Day on November 8, 2022.

For example, if you’re serving your country overseas and the notoriously slow APO doesn’t deliver your ballot by election day, Congressman Bost doesn’t want your votes counted.

  26 Comments      


Campaign notebook

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I told you two weeks ago that Darren Bailey was hinting at a possible Donald Trump endorsement in Quincy. Lynn Sweet says that at least a Trump Quincy visit is a possibility

There is a lot of political chatter stemming from allies of Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., that ex-President Donald Trump might be headlining a rally in Quincy for Miller, locked in a GOP primary battle with Rep. Rodney Davis in the 15th District. Miller is the only Illinois candidate Trump has endorsed, and she was in Mar-A-Largo for a fundraiser with Trump last month. Davis was a 2020 co-chair of Trump’s Illinois campaign.

* Meanwhile

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin took organizers of the Aurora Pride Parade to task Wednesday for their decision to ban uniformed police officers from marching in the parade next month.

Irvin said he was “extremely distressed and disappointed to learn that you have chosen to ban uniformed law enforcement from participating in the annual Pride Parade this year.”

From the group’s press release

This year, to further this goal, after much discussion, we made the decision that while we would continue to allow and encourage participation in the Aurora Pride Parade by law enforcement officers, we would ask that they participate without service weapons (our rules forbid all weapons), out of uniform, and without the presence of any official vehicles.

Why did we do that?

In short, many members of the community feel uneasy in the presence of official law enforcement vehicles, as well as uniformed officers, due to negative experiences they themselves or someone they know have had. Some of these experiences may be with the Aurora Police Department, some may be with other departments. APD is absolutely ahead of many other departments, but there’s still work to be done. There will already be uniformed officers and vehicles present outside the parade route, and we want the parade route to feel as welcoming as possible for everyone.

* The Peoria Journal-Star asked the gubernatorial candidates how they would bring down health care, prescription and drug costs. Here’s part of Jesse Sullivan’s answer

Healthcare workers have labored tirelessly over the past few years. Now they are being faced with mandates that put the government between them and their patients. We should be thanking these frontline workers, not punishing them. I will end these vaccine mandates.

Richard Irvin’s response was not so odd

I support initiatives to expand healthcare access and lower costs. During the pandemic, we saw a massive acceleration in telemedicine and at-home testing. We must look for ways to modernize our healthcare system, which will give people more options and drive down costs. We need to identify where state regulations may be stifling innovation and work with the General Assembly to cut the red tape. The state should absolutely use its market buying power to negotiate lower costs for prescription drugs in Medicaid and state employee group health. While state governments have limited ability to impact national and global drug pricing, I would join with other governors in urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to take a closer look at so-called ‘pay-for-delay’ agreements between brand-name and generic drug manufacturers where pharmaceutical companies pay generic manufacturers not to market generic drugs past the expiration of a drug’s patent.

* On guns during this week’s debate

On policy, Irvin suggested that the FOID system in Illinois needs reform in order to function.

“The system is broken and it definitely needs fixed,” said Irvin. “But we need background checks to ensure that guns don’t get in the hands of criminals and folks with mental illnesses.” […]

For Sullivan, he cited the importance of renewing Illinoisans faith in God and supporting people in the role of fatherhood.

“When you remove God from our society, these are the types of things that happen,” said Sullivan, referring to the shooting in Texas.

Maybe, but the government can’t force people to believe in God, Jesse.

* I shared a story with you yesterday about how GOP secretary of state candidate Rep. Dan Brady said he wants to offload the Motor Voter program to local election authorities. Here’s a fundraising email from Democratic SoS candidate Alexi Giannoulias in response…

At a forum earlier today, I called out Republican Dan Brady for his plan to “offload” the hugely popular and successful Motor Voter program. Motor Voter has given Illinoisans an easy, convenient option to register to vote or update their registration, so why is Dan Brady trying to get rid of it?

Republicans across the country are systematically limiting access to registration and voting, and now Dan Brady is pushing the same anti-democracy agenda here in Illinois. Brady is walking in lockstep with the Trump wing of the Republican Party and trying to make every aspect of voting — including registration — harder.

Motor Voter is a federal law that has helped millions register to vote, and one of the success stories of the office. I’ll build on that success, expand voter registration, and, if elected, will do everything I can to protect and expand voting rights.

* Meanwhile, from Rep. Brady…

Key education, public safety and GOP organizations have endorsed Dan Brady, a Bloomington Republican, for Illinois Secretary of State.

“I am honored and humbled to have the support of those who teach our children and protect our citizens in Illinois,” Brady said. “I am also pleased to receive the latest in a growing number of endorsements from area Republican organizations.”

The Illinois Education Association (IEA), comprised of more than 135,000 members including elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals, and retired educators has endorsed Brady for Secretary of State. In their endorsement, the IEA cited Brady’s pledge to modernize services at the department of motor vehicles, making it even easier to register to vote, and Brady’s pledge to upgrade libraries, especially those in rural areas, with more technology and internet.

So, in that press release, Brady is touting his support for Motor Voter. Maybe pick a lane?

…Adding… From Rep. Brady…

The Secretary of State office is bound to motor voter, because of federal law. I can not change that. I think local election authorities are best prepared to register voters. However, the Secretary of State office could share a digital photo from a license or ID card, which is done now with your signature on your voter ID card from your license. This would further help to protect the voting process and help election Judges.

* CD6…

Today, U.S. Congressman Sean Casten released his second TV ad of the cycle to highlight his 100% pro-choice record. The ad is part of the campaign’s nearly 7-figure television ad buy & will be seen on both broadcast and cable channels.

With the pending decision from the Supreme Court to strike down abortion rights, voters across the 6th District will be reminded of Congressman Casten’s 100% pro-choice record in Congress and his commitment to protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. He is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Marcie Love (the founder of Personal PAC), and numerous other pro-choice leaders across Illinois.

The ad is here.

* Apparently, Mary Miller is now a fake Republican…

Friend,

Biden and the Radical Left’s America-LAST agenda has left our Southern Border WIDE OPEN. To make matters worse, Conservative Congressman Rodney Davis’s FAKE Republican opponent stands with Radical Democrats like Pelosi on illegal immigration!

Rodney’s opponent even said, “If there’s an illegal alien - or illegal immigrants that lives next door and they need something, it is our responsibility as individuals to help those people.” This is why we need to support a REAL Republican like Rodney who will STOP Open Borders.

STOP THIS FAKE REPUBLICAN

Instead of this radical Pelosi-backed plan Rodney Davis proposes we finish President Trump’s Border Wall, ban Sanctuary Cities, and STOP illegal immigrants from voting in our elections.

Help Rodney Davis get tough on immigration and STOP his FAKE Republican opponent from gaining power before it’s too late.

SUPPORT RODNEY FOR CONGRESS

Thank you,

Team Rodney

* DPI…

In the aftermath of this week’s horrific massacre at a Texas elementary school, the usual pattern continued as major gun-related stocks surged in price. For Ken Griffin, Richard Irvin’s biggest donor, that means big returns on his investments in Smith & Wesson, Vista Outdoor, and Sturm Ruger.

Just last week, newly-filed records showed that Citadel and Citadel Securities — of which Ken Griffin is founder and CEO — expanded their holdings in gun and ammunition manufacturers by 62% during the first quarter of 2022, totaling $139 million.

Citadel’s holdings in Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. and Sturm, Ruger and Co. Inc., two of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers, are valued at nearly $23 million combined, and the new filing showed a more than three-fold increase in holdings for ammunition manufacturer Vista Outdoor.

A report released earlier this year revealed that guns manufactured by Citadel-linked companies were responsible for one in four recovered firearms from Chicago homicides in the past five years.

Griffin is profiting off of one of the most violent and deadly massacres in American history and what does Richard Irvin have to say about it? Nothing.

When will Richard Irvin stand up to his megadonor and say enough is enough?

* CD17…

Today, Jonathan Logemann, Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, announced the endorsement of the Painters District Council No. 30. PDC 30 comprises nine locals throughout 29 counties in Northwest and Central Illinois, and represents the 14th local labor endorsement Jonathan has received during his campaign.

* Taxes are too high and spending is too low, says this Democrat…

The “change” she backs is a property tax cap, which won’t do much to increase services.

* More…

* Rep. Lauren Underwood leading drive to bolster swing district Democrats on Obamacare subsidies

  20 Comments      


Legislative LGBTQ Caucus criticizes State Farm

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Washington Post

State Farm’s jingle is unmistakable: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Yet when it came to State Farm’s support of a program providing LGBTQ-themed children’s books to teachers and libraries, conservative groups and right-leaning media outlets derided the insurance company as “a creepy neighbor” and accused it of “targeting” children with books about gender identity. […]

Hours after a report about the partnership prompted an online uproar from conservatives, State Farm announced that it was dropping its support of the GenderCool Project, aimed at helping raise awareness around what it means to be transgender, inclusive and nonbinary.

State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson confirmed to The Washington Post on Tuesday that the insurance company had ended its support of GenderCool after it had “been the subject of news and customer inquiries.”

“Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents,” Gadson said in a statement. “We don’t support required curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations. We no longer support the program allowing for distribution of books in schools.”

* Nothing about this program was “required,” which is the point of Illinois LGBTQ legislators, who criticized the Illinois-based company today…

Statement from Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus & Equality Illinois:

This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We are disappointed State Farm chose to make a knee- jerk concession to bigotry rather than stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our allies who support inclusion. Given the rise of hate crimes and discrimination, decisions like this embolden those peddling hatred and make our society a more dangerous place.

While other states push intolerance and try to roll back the clock on our hard-fought rights, Illinois has been a champion in affirming the dignity our LGBTQ community. We have taken active steps to ensure Illinois schools teach students about the struggles and history of the LGBTQ community, as well as Black history and the history of communities of color broadly. In fact, Illinois recently became the first state to mandate teaching Asian American history.

State Farm promotes itself as ’standing in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations’ to ‘ensure all communities are valued and treated with respect and dignity.’ This latest action to rescind support for GenderCool and the teaching of gender identity to families that want it is in direct contradiction to State Farm’s purported values. Unless State Farm reverses its course of action, we will be compelled to call out State Farm’s hypocrisy, including, but not limited to, any LGBTQ marketing State Farm plans on doing during Pride month.

    Senator Mike Simmons
    Majority Leader Greg Harris
    Representative Kelly Cassidy
    Representative Lamont Robinson
    Representative Sam Yingling
    Brian Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois

  21 Comments      


Ahead of holiday weekend, Pritzker touts new anti-violence funding and laws, claims state is “surging” resources to Chicago before summer

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Building on the administration’s record $250 million funding for violence prevention through the Reimagine Public Safety program, today Governor JB Pritzker and other lawmakers announced additional funding for summer jobs and mental health for youth, as well as enacting several laws that are designed to combat carjackings.

These changes come as Illinois becomes the first state in the Midwest to ban untraceable, privately made firearms known as “ghost guns” and cracks down on organized retail crime rings.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our communities safe,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “It’s why we’ve poured record funding into violence prevention and are surging additional resources to Chicago ahead of the summer. In order to help provide Illinoisans the security they deserve, we are also equipping law enforcement officers with the tools and protection they need to address rising crime rates. With these bills, we take another step towards dismantling cycles of violence that have plagued our neighborhoods for far too long.”

Summer Funding For CPS’ Project ‘Back to Our Future’

Governor Pritzker, in partnership with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools, announced an $18M investment for project “Back to Our Future,” a youth development designed to address the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce violence. The program is expected to support 1,000 young people in high risk situations this summer, and is in addition to the significant investments in Chicago and around the state in summer jobs for youth.

“Now, more than ever, we must deepen investments in our young people—many of whom have been disconnected from safe, enriching environments that nurture their socioemotional and academic development,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This bold effort will help us greatly in our efforts to create more of these environments, engage with every single child and ensure they have access to as many opportunities to thrive and succeed as possible.”

“Over the past 10 years, CPS has made significant progress in improving the academic and safety outcomes for students, resulting in record high graduation rates and record low exclusionary practices,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Pedro Martinez. “Unfortunately, the closing of in-person learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has set back these efforts. The level of disconnection can be associated with higher levels of young people becoming victims of violence, experiencing mental health issues, and further economic disparities.”

Youth participants named the project: “Back to Our Future.” The program will deliver services that encompass a comprehensive community outreach, mental and behavioral health assessment, clinical therapy, intervention services, personalized goal setting/achievement, guided transition to educational re-connection, and job readiness - including soft skills training, transitional work, and permanent employment options. The goal is to meet disconnected youth “where they are” in their homes and communities. Program providers will help to keep youth safe while reconnecting them to a CPS school or an education completion program in order to build long-term stability.

Through the RPSA, organizations across the state already approved by IDHS with the capacity to expand programming have already received $10 million in “summer expansion” funding to increase services before the summer begins, in addition to this $18M allocation to Chicago Public Schools announced today.

The Reimagine Public Safety Program is investing hundreds of millions in community-based programs across Illinois through a three-year, multi-pronged approach to violence prevention. RPSA funds programs like summer job training, afterschool programming, high-risk intervention services, violence interrupters, case management, affordable mental health care treatment, and more in targeted communities with higher incidences of gun violence. Governor Pritzker recently opened applications for the next phase of funding, with $113 million in available to organizations that apply on a rolling basis.

“We are at a critical moment and this unique approach has the potential to reengage youth who have struggled profoundly during the pandemic. When we support people holistically, they are much more likely to succeed,” said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services.

“We’re proud to be a part of this partnership that is laser focused on intervening with those most at risk of involvement in community violence. This partnership allows for access to education, employment and mental health resources that enable youth to thrive,” said Chris Patterson, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention.

Reducing Vehicle Hijacking

The Governor is signing three bills that will help support carjacking victims and crack down on vehicle thefts. A number of lawmakers spearheaded the efforts in the General Assembly to put the legislation on the Governor’s desk.

“Car thefts are becoming more frequent and sophisticated with advances in technology,” said State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “We must provide the legal remedies that law enforcement need to take down these increasingly organized rings of car thieves.”

“The rise in carjackings is disturbing and yet, arrests are almost never made in these crimes denying these victims justice,” said State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago). “We need to do all we can to ensure that law enforcement agencies are working together to try new ideas to address this issue.”

“Burglars are using new technology to break into and steal cars, including devices that duplicate a signal from a key fob,” said Assistant Majority Leader Jaime Andrade Jr. (D-Chicago). “This is a needed update to our laws that will help prosecutors and ensure that we are effectively holding car thieves accountable for their actions.”

“We’ve seen a significant increase in violent carjackings in recent years that have recklessly endangered too many lives,” said State Representative Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago). “This measure provides needed investment to help law enforcement and prosecutors in the identification, apprehension and prosecution of carjackers. Long-term, it will also help us develop new strategies to combat vehicle hijackings and respond to additional challenges as we deal with this issue comprehensively.”

“When someone has their vehicle stolen, the last thing that should be on their mind is having to deal with red light tickets and other vehicle fines,” said State Representative Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago). “This commonsense measure makes it clear that vehicle owners are not liable for these penalties while their vehicle is stolen or hijacked.”

“Our job is to protect victims of violence in all its forms, and we are moving forward to tackle the roots of crime,” said Senate Majority Caucus Whip Omar Aquino (D-Chicago). “To that end, this measure ensures we are not traumatizing victims a second time with fines accumulated after suffering a carjacking. Carjacking victims must not be responsible for penalties and administrative fees imposed on a vehicle while it was not in their possession.”

Supporting Law Enforcement Efforts

Under House Bill 3699, the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council is responsible for allocating nearly $6.5 million in grant funding to support law enforcement in their efforts to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle theft. These funds are intended to assist in the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of hijackers while also implementing strategies to reduce carjackings and recover stolen vehicles. This legislation is effective January 1, 2023.

Many modern cars are equipped with key fobs used to open the car remotely and start the engine without turning a key in the ignition, allowing perpetrators to take advantage of convenient systems that can be easily compromised by using relay vehicle theft devices that mimic the car’s key. Under House Bill 601, possession of these devices with the intent to commit a felony or theft is made illegal. This legislation is effective January 1, 2023.

Protection for Victims

Under House Bill 3772, if a victim of a carjacking receives red light or speed camera violations after their vehicle has been hijacked, the court or hearing officer would be able to consider whether the vehicle was hijacked before the violation occurred or not under the control or possession of the vehicle owner or lessee at the time of violation. Expenses incurred for the towing and storage of a victim’s vehicle in connection with a crime of violence are reimbursable, to a maximum of $1,000. Administrative fees for a stolen car that was impounded would also be waived if an owner submits proof demonstrating the vehicle was hijacked.

Earlier this month, Governor Pritzker also signed laws reinvigorating the Violent Crime Witness Protection Act and launching a victim-centered co-responder pilot program to pair victims and witnesses with trauma-informed social workers. Last year, Illinois enacted the most comprehensive reform to our state firearms laws in over a generation, including universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

* And one from Sen. Martwick…

A measure designed to provide law enforcement with additional resources to combat carjackings was signed into law thanks to the efforts of State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago).

“The rise in carjackings is disturbing and yet, arrests are almost never made in these crimes denying these victims justice,” Martwick said. “We need to do all we can to ensure that law enforcement agencies are working together to try new ideas to address this issue.”

The new law, formerly known as House Bill 3699, expands the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Act to include vehicle hijacking. Under the legislation, the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council – made up of representatives from law enforcement, state’s attorneys and the insurance industry – will be tasked with working together to reduce carjackings, a step that law enforcement say is needed.

A recent study from the Civic Federation found that in 2021 only 4% of the reported carjackings in Chicago resulted in arrest.

“I am pleased that we have taken this step to equip our law enforcement officers with the resources needed to protect our communities,” Martwick said. “This law puts us one step closer toward addressing this critical public safety issue across our state.”

The measure was signed into law Thursday and takes effect immediately.

  3 Comments      


Kari Steele’s spouse under fire again

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. An open letter to MWRD Commissioner Kari Steele, who is running for Cook County assessor against incumbent Fritz Kaegi

Commissioner Steele,

We witnessed the recent public discussion of anti-semitism on your spouse’s talk show. While we were heartened to see that apologies were issued, we feel compelled to raise similar and related concerns about Mr. Jackson’s history of making offensive comments about the Latino community on his show, and fomenting harmful anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiments.

As you know, there is a long and painful history of tension cultivated between African American and Latino communities in Chicago. Following in the legacy of the Harold Washington era, we have worked hard to build solidarity between our communities, which face so many common challenges. That is why Mr. Jackson’s consistent sowing of animosity against the Latino community is so deeply troubling.

Furthermore, our immigrant community and particularly the undocumented population came under attack in recent years under Donald Trump and ICE. Now more than ever, we need leaders of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to stand together to defend undocumented immigrants against the threat of violent attacks and oppression.

Our struggles are inherently bound together. But instead, amid this crisis, Mr. Jackson has offered his show as a platform from which to lob attacks on the vulnerable Latino immigrant population. And all along, disappointingly, you have remained silent.

For example, just recently, on 4/27/2022, Mr. Jackson made several troubling comments in response to a recent report from the Great Cities Institute. “The person leading, who has the data ain’t us,” Mr. Jackson says [42:00], a reference to Teresa Cordova of the Great Cities Institute, who is Latina. He goes on to say he is “coming to the realization that [Latinos] are going to take our stuff.”

“They [Latinos] are hijacking our birthright by using the people of color analogy,” said Mr. Jackson. Later [1:07], Mr. Jackson says he “went to the Black gym at the Blackest church in Chicago, and it’s all Latino. They playing basketball right on Jackson.”

In the same episode, which took place during your campaign for Assessor, President Steele, Mr. Jackson discusses your campaign, and your logo is visible throughout the show on screen.

In another episode, this time from summer 2021, Mr. Jackson stated: “We gotta get these people in control, they’re destroying our city: Latinos! I think Latinos have taken the premise of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ and when I say ‘beat them,’ you can’t beat the white boys so [you] join them in beating and villainizing the Black people.”

Those are just two recent examples of many such troubling comments Mr. Jackson has made without apparent response from you. Now, after years of silence, you are asking for our votes, and in some cases, our campaign contributions.

As you run for office countywide in a county with a significant Latino voting age population, we hope you will consider addressing this problematic history with the same urgency that you did when the Jewish community sounded their alarm.

Now more than ever, our communities should be uniting across the racial and ethnic lines that traditionally divided us. We hope you agree.

Sincerely,

    Former Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza (10)
    Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22)
    Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25)
    Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33)
    Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35)
    Ald. Andre Vasquez (40)
    State Sen. Celina Villanueva
    State Rep. Delia Ramirez
    State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez
    Commissioner Alma Anaya
    The Latino Leadership Council
    Equality Illinois Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco

* Here’s a smallish sampling of the rest, but you can click here for the whole thing

Date: 5/11/2021
Link: https://youtu.be/rLtPONSsL6I Timestamp: 01:48:59
Transcript:
“So again my question becomes, who are we putting in these positions like who’s gonna be the new head of the streets, and saying ‘will we allow it to be somebody Latino?’”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:40:00
Transcript:
“I am going to remain in the position that the Black and Brown coalition is a mythical creation that white folks use.”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:40:19
Transcript:
“I don’t believe that there is a true Black and Brown coalition and I don’t necessarily believe that there should be.”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:42:38
Transcript:
“When is the last time you heard somebody Brown say ‘what about the Black people?’”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:42:15
Transcript:
“I was offended—I am offended—that once again we are marrying our issues to the Brown community.”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:43:50
Transcript:
“I think that Rep. Welch is ignoring the history of the ‘Black-Brown relationship’ in Chicago and Cook County, particularly because when the Latinos got into power their plan was not to coalesce with us, it was to make us bend the knee.”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:44:58
Transcript:
“I’m also tell you that until we until we reconcile the the latest offenses of the Latino community, the latest assaults of the Latino community, against Black folks, ain’t no Black Brown coalition [going to exist].”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:46:24
Transcript:
“What I want you all to do is to put your third eye out and recognize that all this Black-Brown coalition is usually talked about by people who represent mixed districts and are more concerned about the Latinos than the Black folks.”

Date: 5/8/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/Q9xFQTYNf7g Timestamp: 01:47:45
Transcript:
“Can you point to me in Illinois when the Latino caucus or the Latino community has stood up for Black people? The only person I can tell you who has done that I could think of is Senator Martin Sandoval. Besides him, I can’t think of any Latino elected official that went out upfront and said ‘as a Latino I am concerned about the interests of what happened to my brothers.’ Not even your boy Chuy Garcia, who talks about Harold Washington all the time! Not even Luis Gutierrez [in an mocking accent].”

Date: 4/16/2019
Link: https://youtu.be/bcobyWodYc0 Timestamp: 00:53:15
Transcript:
“I’m saying that Black people are being diluted to the point where they’re gonna be like, it’s just gonna be this murky pool, and we’re going to have nothing”

Again, as we’ve already discussed, Maze Jackson has advocated for and acted as a surrogate for his spouse’s campaigns. That makes this relevant.

  17 Comments      


Irvin campaign releases own poll showing it leads Bailey 31-25, with 22 percent undecided

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Richard Irvin campaign…

Despite being outspent by over $5 million, with $4 million coming from the Democratic Governors Association in the last two weeks alone, a new poll shows Richard Irvin pulling ahead as a terrified J.B. Pritzker now personally involves himself in the GOP Primary.

“This poll confirms what Pritzker knows to be reality, that he will be defeated by Richard Irvin this November,” said Irvin for Illinois spokesperson Eleni Demertzis. “Pritzker’s attempt to hijack the Republican primary has been an utter failure, just like his tenure as governor of Illinois.”

According to a poll from Irvin Pollster, 1892, Irvin now leads the GOP primary field by 6 points despite being outspent 2 to 1.

The Irvin campaign team is usually very tight-lipped about their own polling.

* Text version of polling memo

To: Interested Parties
From: Irvin for Illinois
Date: May 26, 2022
Re: Illinois Governor Primary Poll

Methodology
1892 polling conducted a poll for the 2022 Illinois Gubernatorial Republican primary election on May 24th-25th. The poll was taken of N=700 likely voters. Respondents were contacted via a combination of cell phones and landlines, and the margin-of-error is ±3.7 percent.

Key Findings
Despite being outspent by millions, Irvin continues to lead the field: Illinois’ governor’s race has become the battleground location for the most expensive primary election in state history. The spend is being driven by a historic alliance between JB Pritzker and the Democrats along with some factions of the Republican Party to try and defeat Richard Irvin.

    Irvin 31%
    Bailey 25%
    Sullivan 11%
    Rabine 8%
    Schimpf 2%
    Soloman 1%
    Undecided 22%

Pritzker is attempting to hijack the primary election: JB Pritzker knows that Richard Irvin is a threat to his corrupt political system. In the month of May, Irvin’s campaign has been outspent by over $5 million. The Democratic Governors Association (DGA), alone, has spent over $4 million in the last 2 weeks.

Spending 4 May - 24 May

    Irvin Spending $10,695,994
    Democrat/Bailey Spending $16,024,787

    Bailey Outside Group $2,723,917
    Bailey Campaign $3,756,501
    Pritzker/DGA $9,544,369

About 1892
1892 has polled in every corner of the country, at every level of politics – from races for President, Governor, Senate, and Congress. Past clients include the Republican Governors Association, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

  51 Comments      


BGA digs into DCFS’ problems

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The BGA’s Rachel Hinton and David Jackson have a long report on DCFS today. I’ve broken it down into four sections. First, one of the big, well-known problems

In 2021, 343 foster children — some as young as seven — were housed in psychiatric hospitals after doctors cleared them for release, records show.

That is up from the 309 cases from 2019, the BGA found.

“This is a true crisis,” University of Illinois at Chicago psychiatry professor Dr. Michael Naylor wrote in an October 2021 letter to state officials about the improper placements of foster children with mental health needs. […]

He was among 73 foster children locked for weeks or months in the Cook County juvenile temporary detention center without pending charges during 2021, according to a BGA analysis of court and DCFS records.

That is an increase from the 49 similar cases in 2019, the BGA found. […]

He was also among 167 foster children forced to sleep on air mattresses and cots in shelters, government offices or emergency rooms in 2021 as DCFS searched for placements, records show.

That is up from 154 cases the year before, according to the BGA analysis.

* The traffic jam

[DCFS Director Marc Smith] said his agency currently is forced to hold youth in juvenile jails, psychiatric hospitals and shelters because the department lacks safe alternatives.

“Safety is the number one concern of the Department of Children and Family Services,” Smith said. “We do not want to step a child out of a safe environment into a chaotic environment, or into an environment that’s not appropriate. It is better than putting them some place where they’re unsafe.”

Under then-Gov. Rauner, Illinois in 2015 embarked on a deliberate mission to decrease the number of youth in large institutions after a Chicago Tribune investigation showed some facilities were riddled by violence, runaways and sex-trafficking.

Illinois lost an estimated 460 beds in private residential treatment centers for youth since then, and DCFS has struggled to create the hundreds of promised therapeutic foster homes.

As of November, there were only 26 therapeutic foster homes — all run by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. Data provided by LSSI suggests those foster homes are effective in keeping their wards on track.

DCFS is currently negotiating to add 30 new shelter beds, 28 new residential beds for youth with autism or intellectual disabilities, and 43 new emergency foster beds “in the next few months,” according to a recent department plan.

* The staffing issues

Since 2015, some 500 child protection staff have left the department, DCFS said in one court filing from late March. The COVID-19 pandemic created “a nationwide hiring crisis that has impacted the child welfare sector acutely.”

In that court filing DCFS acknowledged it wasn’t hiring new workers fast enough to keep up with investigations and rising numbers of children in state care.

Statewide, the agency’s job vacancy rate soared to over 21% this March from less than 9% in March of last year, court records show. In 2021, the agency employed nearly 3,000.

Of those who remain, nearly 35% are managing caseloads that exceed limits set by a 1991 federal consent decree, according to April figures from the union that represents agency employees. […]

DCFS also raised its recruitment staff from two to seven people, and cut the time to onboard new recruits from six months to two. It added recruitment efforts at the Chicago Auto Show and the Illinois State Fair, and brought on retired workers under 75-day contracts.

And the department has been conducting “blitzes” at field offices, in which volunteer staff from other sites sweep in to complete investigations and paperwork, according to court records filed by DCFS.

* One reason for the staffing issues

Bill McCaffrey, a DCFS spokesman, said agency workers have endured only 20 threats or assaults in the five years ending in January, during which they made 2.5 million home visits.

Not true, says the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents about 2,800 agency employees. The union reports 20 incidents of threat or assault against DCFS workers in the first quarter of 2021 alone, and 29 more throughout the rest of the year.

McCaffrey said the union’s figures reflect a broader range of threats and violence outside of home visits, including at hospitals, offices, residential facilities or through email or text. Not all warrant notifying law enforcement, McCaffrey said.

The threats may not all warrant calling the cops, but they’re still an issue for the folks on the receiving end. That’s a truly unfortunate dismissal by McCaffrey.

  6 Comments      


Unclear on the concept

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. From Illinois Supreme Court Rule 67 - Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct...

A candidate for a judicial office … shall not:

(i) make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues within cases that are likely to come before the court

* With that in mind, notice the Supreme Court candidate’s use of a #ProChoice hashtag…


* And Rotering isn’t the only Supreme Court candidate who’s trying to get the message out on this particular topic. This example from the 3rd District a few weeks ago doesn’t appear to be an obvious violation of the canon, but it’s why Personal PAC and other groups are so anxious about the court’s balance…

  29 Comments      


Once again, we learn that shady gambling rackets help breed corruption

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Steve Kim…

Yesterday’s sentencing of Luis Arroyo is just the latest example of Kwame Raoul’s failure to keep his campaign promises. In 2018, Raoul promised that he would tackle corruption, and yet he has taken the backseat and shown no initiative to take on his corrupt cronies like Mike Madigan.

Attorney General candidate Steve Kim released the following statement following the sentencing:

Kwame Raoul has proven that his ‘promises’ are just empty words. What has he done to tackle corruption in this state? He stood idly by while federal investigators took action. There is a reason Illinois remains the most corrupt state in the country: career politicians protecting their cronies time and time again. I’ve attacked corruption throughout my legal career, and I will tackle it as Attorney General. Unlike Kwame Raoul, when I make a promise, I intend to deliver.

* From an insider at Comptroller Mendoza’s operation…

If you’re doing a round-up of stories on Luis Arroyo’s well-deserved sentence, feel free to note that his final, sleazy act as state rep, post-dating his resignation to take effect the following day so he could get an extra month’s salary, prompted a law banning the practice. Comptroller Mendoza was not happy to learn she’d have to pay him & Marty Sandoval an extra month’s salary and championed a bill to end the “exit bonus”:

https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/press-releases/house-vote-clears-way-for-comptroller-mendozas-bipartisan-exit-bonus-no-signing-bonus-reform-as-part-of-larger-ethics-package/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/eric-zorn/ct-column-general-assembly-pay-scam-ethics-mendoza-zorn-20210423-2jwaz3ieszfojl3pjcrcrvzbam-story.html

* John Milhiser…

Luis Arroyo was sentenced to 57 months in prison yesterday for his role in attempting to bribe public officials to help with gambling machine legislation. Arroyo’s conduct is indicative of the corruption that has destroyed the public’s trust in our state government.

It shows exactly why we need John Milhiser, a corruption busting career prosecutor, as our next Secretary of State in the office that touches more lives than any other in state government. Illinois can’t afford to go backward with more career politicians.

John Milhiser released the following statement following the Arroyo sentencing:

From 1970 to 2010, there were more than 1500 corruption convictions in the state of Illinois. Obviously that trend is continuing with the indictment of powerful politicians like Ed Burke and Mike Madigan, and further illustrated by the sentencing of Luis Arroyo. Our state can’t go backwards with more career politicians. The Democrats in this race are pointing fingers at one another, each accusing the other of being more corrupt. We need a Secretary of State who knows what it takes to root out corruption from the inside. I’m the only candidate in this race who can get the job done.

They’re all missing an obvious angle here.

* One thing that could be done right now is for Chicago and/or the state to actually get serious about eliminating those ubiquitous and shady sweepstakes machines. Illegal or even kinda-illegal gambling breeds corruption. Period. The city and state turns a blind eye to the sweepstakes machines, but the city won’t opt-in to legal video gaming so that small businesses can make legitimate money off of something people are gonna do anyway. It says more about city leaders than they may believe. WTTW

Former Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo, who last year pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme in which he offered a member of the Illinois Senate monthly payments to support a bill that sought to legalize sweepstakes machines, has been sentenced to 57 months in federal prison

​​U.S. District Judge Steven Seeger issued the sentence during an in-person hearing Wednesday afternoon in the Dirksen Federal Building downtown, nearly seven months after Arroyo pleaded guilty.

“You took bribes, you corrupted yourself, you corrupted the political process,” the judge said. “You tried to corrupt the law itself. You tried to change Illinois for a corrupt reason. … What you did was a frontal assault on the very idea of representative government. The public did not get what they deserve.” […]

On top of the prison time, Arroyo must also forfeit $32,500, the amount Seeger determined he had received in bribes from Weiss’ company. Arroyo must turn himself in by Aug. 31 to begin serving his sentence.

* Tribune

According to the 15-page indictment, Weiss paid bribes to Arroyo beginning in November 2018 in exchange for Arroyo’s promotion of legislation beneficial to Weiss’ company, Collage LLC, which specialized in the sweepstakes machines.

Weiss was also in business with another sweepstakes machine company, V.S.S. Inc., run by an ex-Chicago cop who was fired for consorting with a drug trafficker, the Tribune has previously reported.

The bribes were paid via off-the-books lobbying payments to Arroyo’s consulting firm, Spartacus 3 LLC, which Arroyo failed to report to state regulators, according to the charges.

Both Weiss and Arroyo also conspired in 2019 to pay then-state Sen. Terry Link $2,500 a month in kickbacks in exchange for the senator’s support on the proposed sweepstakes game legislation.

* Sun-Times

Arroyo and Weiss allegedly tried to enlist Link in the scheme, and Arroyo gave Link a $2,500 bribe payment in August 2019. But Link turned out to be cooperating with investigators in hopes of leniency at his own sentencing hearing. He has since pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

“You betrayed the public, you betrayed the people that you promised to serve, you sold out your office, you sold out your constituents, you sold out yourself,” Seeger told Arroyo.

The judge said, “You can’t read the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun-Times for very long without coming across a story about public corruption. The federal courthouse in Chicago is a beehive of activity when it comes to public corruption.”

But Gillespie wrote in one brief that Arroyo was undeterred from his crime by such news reports. Seeger didn’t like that comment, either.

…Adding… Delia Ramirez…

Below is a statement by 3rd Congressional District candidate Delia Ramirez on the sentencing of former State Representative and 36th Ward Alderman Gil Villegas’ mentor, Luis Arroyo.

“The sentencing of former State Rep. Luis Arroyo is the latest example of an elected official going to jail for betraying the public trust. While former Rep. Luis Arroyo bribed elected officials in Springfield over sweepstakes legislation, his protége Alderman Gil Villegas introduced similar sweepstakes legislation in the City of Chicago. Villegas did this at the request of James T. Weiss, the same individual who has been charged as the source of the bribes in the Arroyo corruption scandal.

“Although these charges have been public for over two years, Alderman Gil Villegas has never denounced the corrupt behavior of his political mentor, Luis Arroyo. Villegas has unapologetically taken more than $40,000 in campaign contributions from Arroyo. Voters deserve an explanation for these connections. Villegas’ silence speaks volumes.

“Our families can not afford to be represented by elected officials who are beholden to corporate interests and corrupt politicians. If Alderman Villegas can’t even condemn his personal mentor who has been convicted and sentenced for corruption, why should 3rd district voters trust him to stand up for them in Washington?

“The voters of the 3rd Congressional District deserve to be represented by an accountable and ethical leader in Washington. I am that leader and I have the proven track record of getting results for working families.”

  14 Comments      


New Bailey TV ads feature Irvin’s disparaging Trump texts, Bailey’s promise to “fight the liberals at every turn”

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We have two Darren Bailey TV ads to rate today. The first one is a hit on Richard Irvin

* Script

The real Richard Irvin is a lifelong liberal Democrat. Need more proof? In text messages, Richard Irvin called President Trump an idiot and a bigoted racist. ‘I hate Trump,’ wrote Irvin. These are Richard Irvin’s actual text messages. So see for yourself. Richard Irvin thinks JB Pritzker is a great leader. But Irvin hates President Trump and thinks he’s an idiot. Richard Irvin, a lifelong liberal Democrat you just can’t trust.

* The second is a positive Bailey spot. He actually speaks to the camera in this one

* Script

I’m Darren Bailey and it’s time for some straight talk. I’m a lifelong Republican and I voted for President Trump every time. In Springfield, I’ve never voted for a tax increase. And I’m the only candidate who’s taken on JB Pritzker and won. As governor, I’ll fight the liberals at every turn. We’ll ban Critical Race Theory from our schools. We won’t let boys compete in girls’ sports. And our police will always be funded. If you’re ready to take back Illinois, I’d appreciate your support.

  45 Comments      


Today’s must-watch news report

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Amanda Vinicky at WTTW had the best story about the Texas school shooting as it relates to Illinois and the national level that I’ve seen so far this week. Have a look

  54 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 *** Rotering to get pro-choice group endorsements for Supreme Court as Rochford launches digital ad

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’m told the pro-choice groups will endorse Nancy Rotering, who was rated “Not Recommended” by the Illinois State Bar Association…

PRO-CHOICE GROUPS GATHER TO ANNOUNCE ENDORSEMENT IN ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT 2nd DISTRICT RACE
WHEN: Thursday, May 26

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Administrative offices, 17 N. State, Chicago 5th Floor

SPEAKER LIST:
Kelley Foxx, Board Chair, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action
Terry Cosgrove, President & CEO of Personal PAC
Representative Anna Moeller, Representative Dan Didech, Representative Joyce Mason, Representative Sam Yingling

DETAILS:
In light of the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on Roe V. Wade, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) and Personal PAC are gathering to publicly announce their endorsement for the Illinois Supreme Court in the 2nd District race.

With Illinois remaining as the last line of defense to ensure people in the midwest have access to safe abortion, it’s more important than ever before to support pro-choice candidates for the Illinois State Supreme Court.

Maybe this means she will finally have the cash to compete. We’ll see.

* Meanwhile, from one of her Democratic primary opponents…

Today, the Judge Rochford for Illinois Supreme Court campaign released the first digital ad in the Second District race. The ad highlights Judge Rochford’s deep credentials and decades-long experience in the courts, which include more than 35 years practicing law and serving as a judge for the last decade. It also highlights Judge Rochford’s recent “highly recommended” rating by the Illinois State Bar Association, the only Democratic candidate in the race to receive it.

“This first ad represents the launch of an aggressive paid media campaign to engage voters across the Second District about Judge Elizabeth Rochford’s unparalleled depth of experience in the race for Illinois Supreme Court,” said Steven Campbell, campaign manager for the Rochford campaign. “As the only Democratic candidate in this race to be rated highly recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association, it is more clear than ever that Judge Rochford is the Democratic candidate who is best positioned to win this seat in November. There is too much at stake in this race to risk nominating a candidate who does not have the qualifications necessary to serve on our state’s highest court and make that case to voters this Fall against a very well funded Republican nominee.”

The ad spotlights the strong coalition of support Judge Rochford has built from leading labor organizations, elected officials, and pro-choice legislative leaders. She has been endorsed by nearly every major union, including the Illinois State AFL-CIO, Local 881 UFCW, Plumbers Local Union 130 United Association (UA), Teamsters Joint Council 25, and the Lake County and McHenry County Building & Construction Trades Councils and their affiliates, which together include 44 local affiliate trade unions.

In addition to labor support, Judge Rochford has been endorsed by Secretary of State Jesse White and Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez, as well as current and former state legislators that include 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.

* Rate it

I cannot see how that ad will possibly stand out in the growing ambient noise. But, maybe you think differently.

…Adding… From Rochford’s campaign…

Today, the Judge Rochford for Illinois Supreme Court campaign released the following statement on behalf of both current and former Illinois State Senators who endorse Judge Rochford’s candidacy and have served as vocal advocates in protecting and expanding access to women’s reproductive healthcare here in Illinois. Those lending their name to the statement include State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, State Senator Melinda Bush, State Senator Sara Feigenholtz, former State Senator and Cook County Clerk Iris Martinez and former State Senator Heather Steans. Their statement is as follows:

“For years, we have been on the frontlines of the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights here in Illinois, work that has become more important than ever as we witness our freedoms coming under attack across the country. To ensure Illinois stays strong when it comes to protecting the rights of women across the state, we need proven and experienced leaders at every level of government. That includes the Illinois Supreme Court. We support Judge Elizabeth Rochford in the Second District, whose qualifications are unmatched by any of her opponents, which is underscored by the fact that she is the only Democratic candidate in this race rated ‘Highly Recommended’ by the Illinois State Bar Association. Judge Rochford is not just the best candidate to serve on the highest court in the state, but our best chance at winning this seat in November.”

Personal PAC has been on the opposite side of influential pro-choice women legislators on more than one race this year. It’s an interesting development.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum…

Illinois is drawing nearer to the most important election in years. With life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on the line, voters have the power to make historical change with office-holders. Pro-life, pro-family, and pro-liberty David E. Smith, Director of Illinois Family Institute, announced his full endorsement of Republican Judge John Noverini for Illinois Supreme Court 2nd District in the June 28th Republican Primary.

“John Noverini is a man of integrity, a family man who has a strong Christian faith, and unwavering principles. We need jurists like him on the bench in Illinois because we know that he will defend the Constitutions of Illinois and the United States,” stated Smith. “I have every reason to believe that Justice Noverini will uphold our civil rights of life, liberty, and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession will have no better guardian.” David E. Smith is the executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, an independent 501c(3) non-profit ministry dedicated to upholding and re-affirming marriage, family, life, and liberty in Illinois since 1992. David is a Republican precinct committeeman and the Crete Township Republican Organization chairman.

“Receiving the personal endorsement from David Smith, the head of one of the most influential and important organizations to voters, is received with sincere appreciation. Dave, and those who work with and for IFI, are regularly bombarded with hostility from those opposed to their firmly held religious beliefs, yet they stand firm in their cause and never give up on God’s calling for them. I have tremendous respect for David.”

Judge Noverini was elected in 2008 as a Circuit Court Trial Judge and retained in 2014 and then again retained in 2020. Judge Noverini has experience in Family, Criminal and Civil courtrooms. During his judicial tenure, he has served as the Presiding Judge of the Family Law Division, Criminal Division, where he has presided over close to 100 criminal jury trials, Probate Court, Guardianship Court, Traffic and Mental Health Courts. He and his wife, Saray Rodriguez Noverini, are long-time residents in Kane County. Judge Noverini is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Master’s degree in History from Northeastern Illinois University and a Juris Doctorate from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law.

Noverini was also rated as “Not Recommended.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Personal PAC just sent a blast email to supporters. Here’s the only reasoning the group pointed to for why they’re backing Rotering to be an Illinois Supreme Court Justice and not anyone else in the district…

Nancy served on the Planned Parenthood Illinois board from 2016 until declaring her candidacy, demonstrating her deep commitment to reproductive rights.

  35 Comments      


Rate the new JB Pritzker TV ad

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go…


…Adding… Natalie Edelstein at the Pritzker campaign when asked for a statement…

Richard Irvin has repeatedly urged the public to examine his record, which is exactly what this ad does. The more we learn about him, the worse it gets. 

…Adding… Eleni Demertzis at the Irvin campaign…

This ad is nothing more than proof that JB Pritzker is running scared because he knows Richard Irvin will beat him in November.

  76 Comments      


Open thread

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* How are ya?

  20 Comments      


* LIVE COVERAGE *

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


  Comments Off      


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