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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today’s edition

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Question of the day

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* What questions should be asked of the Republican gubernatorial candidates at tomorrow’s competing televised “debates”?


How Ken Griffin’s money busted the caps for the SoS and AG races; Proft uses Irvin’s Trump texts in new ad; Another Repub called a RINO by candidate with Dem history

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We have campaign contribution limits in this state, so you might be wondering how Richard Irvin’s campaign could legally transfer $500,000 to John Milhiser’s secretary of state campaign and another $300,000 to Steve Kim’s attorney general campaign. The statutory contribution limit is $59,900.

However, Citizens for Judicial Fairness (which spent millions to defeat Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride in 2020) busted the caps in those two statewide races with some independent expenditures.

First, billionaire Ken Griffin (who has given Irvin $45 million) contributed $6.25 million to Citizens for Judicial Fairness in April. The committee had only $45K in the bank at the end of March.

Then, Citizens for Judicial Fairness reported spending $255,000 on TV and radio ads for both Milhiser and Kim on May 12th. Any spending above $250,000 removes the contribution limits.

And, voila, just like that… caps off.

* And speaking of independent expenditures, Dan Proft’s People Who Play By The Rules PAC filed a B-1 on Friday with a list of TV buys throughout the state.

Here’s a new ad from Proft’s PAC


Gov. Pritzker busted the gubernatorial caps with a gigantic personal contribution to his campaign fund.

* And speaking of “You’re the RINO. No, you’re the RINO” races, Mark Szula took Democratic ballots in the 2016 and 2018 primaries and he’s now using union contributions to claim that former Republican Rep. John Cabello is a Republican in name only

Lotta that going around.


Intensely slow judicial process finally shows signs of movement on dispensary licenses

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* John Pletz at Crain’s

The long delay in issuing new retail Illinois marijuana licenses might soon end.

The attorney who filed the lawsuit that resulted in a Cook County judge prohibiting the state from issuing 185 new licenses requested today that the ruling be lifted. And attorneys from the state indicated that a deal to lift the judge’s stay could be worked out in the coming days. […]

The stay preventing the state from issuing the licenses was issued last summer by Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius, who retired in January. The applicant who filed suit, WAH Group, received a perfect score after the state rescored disputed applications, and it won lotteries for two licenses. However, the stay remained in place.

The state conducted three lotteries for 185 licenses last July and August, but none of those licenses has been awarded because of the stay. The legal limbo has frustrated applicants who have been unable to open stores. A handful have begun the zoning process in the city and suburbs, but many have been unable to move ahead as long as the licenses were on hold.

Just ridiculous.

* More

Dispensary license applicants have been waiting a long time for these licenses. Applications were first filed in January 2020, with awards originally supposed to be made in late April, but delays due to Covid, poor government planning, and then lawsuits kept adding delays to the process.

“The first thing I’m gonna do is have a drink and probably take a puff or two after thanking the good Lord that it’s finally over,” said dispensary license holder and activist Rickey Hendon when asked what he plans to do on Friday. “And then work on our location. My partners and I are looking at two places, and now that’ll accelerate.”


Campaign notebook

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

As voting begins in the Democratic Primary in Illinois 6th Congressional District, new polling shows U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (D-IL) with a robust 9-point lead – prior to his campaign spending a single dollar on television advertisements.

Key highlights from the poll:

    • Overall, Sean Casten has opened up a nine-point advantage over Marie Newman since January when the race was a dead heat.
    • Casten leads Newman among progressives (+7), liberals (+11), and moderates/conservatives (+10).
    • Casten is ahead of Newman with women (+5) and men (+14).
    • Casten has a significant lead among voters citing abortion as their top issue (+15).

No information was provided about any candidate prior to the questions related to this data.


On behalf of Casten for Congress, the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group conducted a district-wide telephone survey (including both cell and landline interviewing) among a representative cross section of 402 likely June 2022 Democratic primary voters. The survey was conducted May 12 to 16, 2022, and has an overall margin of error of ±4.9.

* This is hilarious

Jeanne Ives chased Richard Irvin out the door: Ives, a conservative Republican who got thisclose to defeating Bruce Rauner in the GOP primary for governor four years ago, asks Irvin who he voted for president in 2016. Irvin stuck by his guns and wouldn’t say. Ives can be heard chasing Irvin out the door for an answer. Via AM560 and Dan Proft, who is behind the “People Who Play By the Rules PAC” that opposes Irvin.

In the space of just a couple-two-three seconds, Irvin said a version of “Hold on a second” eight times while attempting to interrupt Ives.

Keep watching the video and you’ll see Amy Jacobson describe how Irvin was “shucking and jiving” while attempting to avoid her.

* Speaking of Irvin

Despite continuing to court Republican voters ahead of the June 28 primary election, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin again refused to say whether he voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Irvin, considered a frontrunner for the Illinois GOP gubernatorial nomination, briefly met with reporters following a Saturday morning campaign event in Springfield. It was one of the final stops of a three-day, 16-event campaign swing across the state to promote early voting, which started Thursday.

Asked point blank whether he voted for Trump, who was GOP’s presidential candidate in 2016 and 2020 and is widely considered the favorite to win the nomination in 2024 if he runs, Irvin deflected, saying that “in general elections, I’m a Republican. I always vote for Republicans.”

And he avoided the question over and over again.

* From the same Richard Irvin who won’t say if he voted for Trump…

* But two can play that game…

* “From left, GOP gubernatorial candidate Gary Rabine, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Bobby Piton take turns speaking Friday at a campaign fundraiser in Niles”

From the coverage

The audience roundly applauded anyone who supported Trump, those who support a single day of voting, speakers who wanted laws banning critical race theory from being taught in schools, and any mention that 2020 election was fraudulent.

* Mary Miller…

Conservative Congresswoman Mary Miller received a perfect “A” rating from the National Rifle Association today, after previously receiving an “A” rating from Gun Owners of America for her perfect record of support for the Second Amendment.

Miller’s opponent, RINO Rodney Davis, was scored lower by the NRA and Gun Owners of America because Rodney Davis has embraced “red-flag” gun confiscation and voted to allow the federal government to seize firearms from American citizens.

“I am honored to receive a perfect A rating from the National Rifle Association, and I will always defend the Second Amendment from Joe Biden and JB Pritzker,” said Miller, who is a member of the House Second Amendment Caucus. “Some RINO Republicans like my opponent Rodney Davis have betrayed conservative voters by embracing red-flag gun confiscation and voting to allow the federal government to seize firearms. President Trump endorsed me because I will never back down under pressure from the liberal media or leftist politicians. I am 100% pro-Second Amendment, and I will always defend our right to keep and bear arms.”

Mary Miller is the only member of Congress from Illinois in both the House Second Amendment Caucus and the House Freedom Caucus, where she has been a strong opponent of Joe Biden’s efforts to ban firearms, seize firearms, and create a national gun registry.

Her opponent, RINO Rodney Davis, has been endorsed and funded by Joe Biden’s major Super PAC, the United Union of Plumbers and Pipefitters, based on his liberal record supporting the Biden-Pelosi agenda. Rodney Davis has an “F” rating from the American Conservative Union and an “F” Liberty Score from the Conservative Review. You can read about RINO Rodney Davis’ support for red-flag gun confiscation below:

Davis scored an A- from the NRA.

* From a longtime reader…

Hi Rich,

We’ve begun to wallpaper our newsroom with the mailers we get for Illinois Governor and the Miller-Davis race.

We recently got a mailer for an anti-Miller ad from The Governing Majority Fund attacking Miller’s vote on [the National Defense Authorization Act].

I did some research on the Super-PAC sending out the mailer. They are based in Tampa, Florida. Nancy Watkins is the Treasurer for them. She seems to be a go-to CPA for Republican campaigns around the country.

Miller has been going after Rodney for not being Trumpy enough. Here’s something interesting on Nancy Watkins’ biography I found doing some googling online:

“Watkins’ firm also oversees the legal defense fund for Roger Stone, the GOP strategist and Donald Trump confidante who was convicted on charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation but was later pardoned by Trump.”


Here’s the Super PAC’s profile on Open Secrets:

This primary is going to be wild down to the finish.

More on that race here.

* Press release

Democratic State Central Committeewoman Lauren Beth Gash (10th Congressional District) has been endorsed by 10th District Congressman Brad Schneider, Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for re-election to the Democratic State Central Committee. These Congressional leaders and more than 100 other prominent Democrats are supporting Gash because of her tireless dedication to electing Democrats in the 10th Congressional District and throughout Illinois.

Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly said of Lauren Beth Gash: “I know a true political organizer when I see one.” That’s only one of the reasons so many prominent Illinois Democrats in the 10th Congressional District and beyond have endorsed Lauren for re-election.

* More…

* Stacy Davis Gates becomes CTU president as leadership wins reelection: The incumbent leadership group, part of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, also known as CORE, won 56% of the votes — CTU did not say how many ballots were cast. Members First, which called for the union to focus solely on basic working conditions for teachers, received 27%. The other challenger, the Respect, Educate, Advocate and Lead caucus, or REAL, got 17%.


Do curfews really accomplish anything?

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Last week

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety John O’Malley and Chicago Police Department Lt. Michael Kapustianyk told alderpeople the expansion and extension of the curfew would give officials another tool to fight crime.

O’Malley was repeatedly pressed by members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus to share evidence backed up by data that teen curfew laws had been effective in reducing violence or crime. O’Malley acknowledged he had no evidence to show that the proposal has worked in other cities and states.

O’Malley told Martin that he was not familiar with a study of the impact of the decision by Washington, D.C., officials to move its teen curfew from midnight to 11 p.m. in 2015. That change increased gun incidents by 150% during the additional hour of curfew, according to the study.

* The Marshall Project

A systematic review of research literature on juvenile curfew programs was published in 2016 by the Campbell Collaboration, a nonprofit that synthesizes research studies for policy-makers. Campbell examined over 7,000 studies on juvenile curfews and synthesized the 12 most rigorous studies. The report stated that, “evidence suggests that juvenile curfews are ineffective at reducing crime and victimization. The average effect on juvenile crime during curfew hours was slightly positive — that is a slight increase in crime — and close to zero for crime during all hours. Similarly, juvenile victimization also appeared unaffected by the imposition of a curfew ordinance.”

The Campbell findings followed a systematic review of juvenile curfew literature published in 2003 by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. That review found that “empirical studies of the impact of curfew laws failed to support the argument that curfews reduce crime and criminal victimization.”

Why are juvenile curfew laws ineffective? For one thing, the studies found that they damage already-strained relationships between police and youth of color and in some instances have “blowback” effects, increasing juvenile victimization or overall crime.

Another factor is that on empty streets there are no witnesses. Urban activist Jane Jacobs theorized that well-populated streets are safe streets; deserted streets invite crime.

A study published in 2015 tested the effect of Washington D.C.’s juvenile curfew on gun violence. Using ShotSpotter audio sensor data, the authors found that gunfire incidents were significantly more frequent when the curfew was in effect. Curfews remove bystanders and witnesses from the streets, reducing their deterrent effects on street crime.

* From one of the co-authors of that ShotSpotter study

Curfews incentivize law-abiding citizens to be at home instead of out on the streets.

* Today

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s executive order turning back the clock and age of Chicago’s seldom-enforced curfew law — from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m., for minors younger than 18 instead of under 17 — will not have the weight of law behind it. At least not for a few days.

Two mayoral allies — Emma Mitts (37th) and Nick Sposato (38th) — made certain of it on Monday by using a parliamentary maneuver to postpone a final vote on the mayor’s curfew ordinance after a barrage of criticism from all sides. That sets the stage for a final vote on Wednesday.

Aldermanic allies and enemies alike have condemned the crackdown as a toothless and desperate response to a deadly outbreak of youth violence in the downtown area that prompted a mass shooting outside a McDonald’s at Chicago Avenue and State Street and the fatal shooting of a teenager at Millennium Park.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), a mayoral challenger and Lightfoot’s most outspoken critic on the council, has further warned that demoralized, inundated and overworked Chicago police officers will, once again, be yanked out of neighborhood CPD districts “so we can have the curfew patrol downtown.”


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a campaign roundup

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Abortion coverage roundup

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Derrick Blakley

In the 2018 elections, 53% of the Illinois statewide vote came from women, with 28% of the total votes cast from suburban women.

“It’s white suburban women who need to take this issue very, very seriously when they cast a ballot. Which means them, their friends, their daughters their nieces and everyone else,” said Terry Cosgrove, executive director of Personal PAC, which supports pro-choice candidates.

Both sides in the abortion debate are using the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade as a rallying cry for their voters.

“For those of us who are pro-life in Illinois, I think its a two-fold reaction,” said Mary Malone Rumley of Illinois Right to Life. “We’re absolutely thrilled that it’s looking like Roe is finally going to be overturned after 50 years. But we also know that this will impact Illinois greatly. We know that there are plenty on the pro-choice side who would like to see Illinois become an abortion oasis for the entire Midwest.”

* Dean Olsen

The final Supreme Court decision is expected before the Nov. 8 general election. [Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political science at University of Illinois Springfield] said the abortion debate could further energize a Republican base that generally supports abortion restrictions and is capitalizing on voter frustration with President Joe Biden and inflation.

Democratic politicians, whose base isn’t as enthusiastic, have more to gain if Roe falls and pro-choice voters want to prevent restrictions on abortion at the state and federal level, Redfield said.

In Illinois, where Democrats control state government, concern about preserving abortion rights could mitigate voters’ concerns about crime, he said.

“It will have a more positive effect overall, and it will affect Democratic turnout,” he said. “This is something that motivates younger voters, who are more likely to be pro-choice.”

* Michele Munz

Vice President Kamala Harris met Thursday with abortion providers from some of the most restrictive states in the country, including Missouri, to learn how the Biden administration can help protect access to abortion amid a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision that could end the constitutional right to the procedure. […]

The St. Louis region is unique in that it straddles the two states — Republican-led Missouri, which has moved to restrict abortion access, and Democrat-led Illinois, which has worked to expand access.

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region in 2019 opened an abortion clinic in Fairview Heights — just 15 minutes from its Missouri clinic. Over the years, the St. Louis clinic has become the only abortion provider in Missouri.

Since the Fairview Heights facility opened, abortions have become nearly nonexistent in Missouri. Patients can drive a bit farther to Illinois and avoid Missouri’s 72-hour mandatory waiting period, which requires two appointments three days apart for those seeking an abortion.

* Sarah Fentem

At the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, the day starts early. Before the doors open at 7:30 a.m., clinic escorts and protesters take positions on opposite ends of the parking lot.

“You’ll remember this for the rest of your life!” one of the protesters shouts at the escorts. “Is it glorious to you [that] you’re participating in the death and destruction of babies?”

The escorts, volunteers from the activist group Pro-Choice Missouri, have started seeing a lot of patients who have traveled far to get to the Metro East clinic.

“I can see a Mississippi plate behind you right now,” escort Justine Collum said. Like the others, she’s clad in a rainbow vest and sometimes carries a large umbrella to shield patients from view.“

“I would say we’ve been seeing a lot of out-of-state plates lately,” she said. “There always have been some. But I would say it’s been an increase.”

Between 2014 and 2020, the state saw a more than 200% rise in abortion patients coming from out of state, a total of more than 9,000 abortions, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In 2020, about two-thirds of those patients came from Missouri. They also come from other states that have also increased abortion restrictions in the past decade.

* Planned Parenthood press release…

Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) is proud to offer abortion pills through the mail to qualifying patients with an Illinois address. The FDA permanently removed in-person dispensing requirement for Mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, in December 2021, allowing PPIL to launch this new program. With the Supreme Court expected to dismantle the legal protections afforded by Roe v. Wade this summer, this service is one more way PPIL is advancing health equity, breaking down unnecessary barriers to health care, and expanding access to underserved areas of the state.

“Now more than ever it’s crucial that our patients can access the care they need, when and where they need it,” said Dr. Amy Whitaker, Chief Medical Officer for PPIL. “There are over 20 years of data demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of medication abortion using Mifepristone. Not only is this a safe method, but it also increases access to care, especially for people of color, people living in rural areas, and people with low incomes who already face barriers to care.”

PPIL has been offering medication abortion via telehealth since 2021, however, patients needed to visit a physical health center to pick up the prescription. Starting mid-April 2022, patients can have the medication mailed to an Illinois address after they meet with a clinician via telehealth to determine whether they qualify. Mailing prescriptions directly to qualifying patients allows PPIL to expand capacity for patients who still require in-person services and for those who are forced to travel here from other states.

Out-of-state patients can still access medication abortion via telehealth, as long as they are traveling to Illinois for their video visit. They can then pick-up the medication in person at a PPIL health center.

* And Jesse Sullivan is fully embracing the abortion issue. Click the pic for a larger image

* Related…

* Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program: Pritzker announced in August 2019, shortly after the policy took effect, that the state health department would no longer participate in the program while a number of other family planning service providers, including Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, said they would not comply with the new requirements. For the rest of that fiscal year, the state health department used General Revenue Fund money to fill in what was previously paid for by the federal government. The following year, the agency expanded the program with $5.8 million to fund Planned Parenthood, which had previously gotten its Title X money on its own, and other providers that weren’t previously part of the state’s Title X program.


Rate John Milhiser’s first TV ad

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go

* Background

Republican candidate for governor Richard Irvin has shifted $800,000 from his Ken Griffin-funded campaign to two members of his slate of GOP candidates a little more than one month before the June 28 primary.

Secretary of state candidate John Milhiser received $500,000 from the Irvin for Illinois Fund on Friday, while Steve Kim, a candidate for attorney general, got $300,000 from the Irvin fund, state campaign records show. Both men are part of a slate of Republicans seeking statewide offices put together by Irvin’s campaign and backed by Griffin, Illinois’ wealthiest individual and the billionaire founder and CEO of the Citadel hedge fund.

Griffin has already given Irvin, who is mayor of Aurora, $45 million to help Irvin secure the Republican nomination for governor and challenge Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November.

Irvin, during a campaign stop on Saturday, said more money would be coming for Milhiser, Kim and other members of the Griffin-backed slate.

As subscribers know, Milhiser is spending much of that largess this week.

…Adding… Press release…

Today, Secretary of State Candidate John Milhiser is launching a new ad as early voting is getting underway. The ad, titled ‘Competence,’ highlights exactly why Illinois needs a career prosecutor who has put corrupt public officials behind bars as our next Secretary of State.

Even today, we learned more about how deeply Madigan corruption has permeated this state. The Sun-Times reported today on a recording of Madigan discussing a plan to provide secret payments to a disgraced former aide, a scheme Madigan has consistently denied having knowledge of.

The Democrats in this race have shown they are more of the same Madigan Machines politicians, and are pointing fingers over who is more corrupt. In contrast, the Irvin-Bourne slate is laser-focused on ending the Madigan-style corruption that has eroded competence in state government and held Illinois back. We must restore trust in government in Illinois, and with John Milhiser in charge of the state government office more Illinoisans interact with than any other, they can have faith that government is working for them, not the special interests and corrupt insiders.

Click here to see the ad.


    Corruption Corrodes Competence.

    Madigan-style politics permeating every government office, and we pay the price.

    I’m John Milhiser. As a federal prosecutor and state’s attorney, I put criminals and corrupt politicians behind bars.

    As Secretary of State, I’ll root out corruption and modernize government services, saving millions in taxpayer dollars to make government work for you, not just the chosen few.


Despite his denials, Madigan was recorded learning about the secret Kevin Quinn payments

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Mark Brown, Jon Seidel and Tina Sfondeles

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was recorded on a wiretapped phone call in 2018 discussing with lobbyist confidant Michael McClain a plan to arrange secret payments to a close political ally who had been implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, newly released court documents show.

Madigan has always denied any involvement in the scheme in which McClain allegedly arranged with a group of other lobbyists allied with the speaker to make monthly payments to Kevin Quinn, brother of Ald. Marty Quinn and a key member of Madigan’s political organization who had been ousted over his inappropriate treatment of a female co-worker, Alaina Hampton.

But in the call from Madigan to McClain on Aug. 29, 2018, McClain is quoted as telling Madigan he had put “four or five people together” who were willing to make monthly payments to Quinn for a six-month period to tide him over until he could find a job.

The call was referenced in an affidavit sworn out by an FBI agent May 13, 2019, as the feds sought permission from a judge to search McClain’s home in Quincy. A redacted version of the document was unsealed Friday in federal court in Springfield.

The full affidavit is here. Tell us what you find.

* Buried deep in the story

[Fidel Marquez, a former ComEd executive who pleaded guilty separately to a bribery conspiracy in September 2020] later told the feds he “was not aware of any action by Madigan to defeat or advance a bill ComEd either opposed or supported, respectively. Marquez knew of no ‘obvious’ influence by Madigan to defeat a bill.”


For some folks, trashing Illinois has become a perverse pleasure

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Illinois peaked at 27 U.S. House seats after the 1910 Census and subsequent reapportionment. That lasted until the 1940 Census, when Illinois dropped to 26 seats.

We’ve been steadily losing ground ever since. It’s not that we lost population, it’s that other states in the West and the South grew much faster. California had just 11 congressional districts as a result of the 1910 Census. It now has 53.

Our downward trajectory has often been demoralizing, but even more so during the past decade as professional naysayers trumpeted annual Census estimates that showed huge, six-figure population losses.

By December 2020, those annual Census estimates showed Illinois had lost about 240,000 people, or 2% of its population.

“Illinois is a deepening population sinkhole flanked by states that are adding people, businesses, jobs,” the Chicago Tribune editorial board opined. “The estimated Illinois population is 12,587,530, down more than 240,000 since the 2010 census. That’s more than Waukegan and Naperville, combined.”

The paper went on: “So tell us again, Democratic power brokers who rule Illinois. Tell us what great jobs you’re doing. Tell us that these worsening annual population losses aren’t an indictment of anti-jobs, high-spending policies. Tell us it’s just snowbirds fleeing the weather here. Tell us you need to keep raising taxes.”

When the official 2020 Census count showed those previous estimates were wildly wrong and Illinois’ net population loss was “only” 18,000 people, those same folks either changed the subject or harrumphed that, whatever the case, Illinois was still a net loser and had fallen to the rank of sixth-largest state behind Pennsylvania.

To this day, political candidates and pundits still regularly trumpet our losses as evidence that we are a state in horrific decline while offering simplistic policy prescriptions based on numbers that have, as of last week, turned out to be more inaccurate than we ever knew.

As you probably know by now, the Census Bureau admitted last week that it had screwed up Illinois’ decennial headcount, and the state actually grew by about 250,000 people – that’s almost a 500,000-person swing from the December 2020 estimate.

We’re back to being the fifth-largest state and our population has surpassed 13 million people for the first time ever.

“This is excellent news,” Illinois Senate President Don Harmon said in a statement issued hours after the Census Bureau admitted its blunder. “It confirms what most of us already know: Illinois is a great place to live and work. We need more people cheering for Illinois and fewer spelunking for misery.”

I cannot imagine anyone actually cheering for Illinois. We’re just not that way here. Pessimism is in our collective bones, partly because it has been beaten into our beings for so many years by opinion leaders, and partly because, well, we do indeed suck at so many things.

In reality, more people leave Illinois in search of greater economic opportunities, lower costs of living or even better winter weather than move here. It’s still a problem that must be dealt with.

But this eager acceptance of Illinois’ decline as an overwhelming cold, hard scientific fact needs to be reexamined by the news media, which has repeatedly perpetuated what has apparently turned out to be a widely believed myth.

The Tribune has almost seemed to revel in the stories of Illinois’ population loss. And where the Tribune goes, so goes most of the rest of the state’s news outlets.

You don’t have to cheerlead for Illinois. Nobody would buy that, anyway. But the almost perverse pleasure some get at running down this state’s already bad reputation needs to be called out.

And what about those annual population estimates, which turned out to be almost half a millions Illinoisans below the final number released last week?

U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi sits on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Census Bureau. Back in January, Krishnamoorthi asked the Census Bureau for a methodological review of its annual state population estimates.

Last week, Krishnamoorthi again pressed the Census Bureau for answers, this time about why Illinois was so grossly undercounted in the decennial census. The agency owes him, and the rest of us, some answers.


Meanwhile, the Illinois Policy Institute surmises that the reason for the 2020 undercount is that the 2010 census must’ve been off. Yeah, that’s it. The Census Bureau also took another look at the 2010 count and revised Illinois’ population by half a point.

* Meanwhile, Crain’s scolds everyone

The census snafu should have given our elected officials and the economic teams who work for them cause to take no more than a five-minute victory lap and perhaps enjoy one round of “I told you so’s.”

Got that? You can be happy for no more than five minutes! After that, we must all return to harrumphing. “I didn’t get a ‘harrumph’ outta that guy,” said Crain’s, probably.

* And after years of finding individual people to tell their anecdotes about why they’re leaving Illinois, the Tribune finally quotes someone who says otherwise

Brooke Landrum came to Chicago from Cincinnati in 2016 to attend Loyola University, and after graduation she decided to stay and settle into the bustling Lakeview neighborhood.

That put Landrum among the influx of newcomers who helped Illinois’ population grow by about 250,000 between 2010 and 2020, according to updated census figures released Thursday. The new estimate stands in contrast to the oft-expressed belief that the state is hemorrhaging people, and matches what Landrum, a 23-year-old market research analyst, has experienced on the North Side.

“I’m apartment hunting right now and all the decent ones get snapped up in 24 hours,” she said. “It’s so quick. It’s not a sign of people leaving.”


Celebrate Illinois Statesmanship

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Advertising Department

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Nominations are open now for the Paul Simon-Jim Edgar Statesmanship Award.

The annual Paul Simon-Jim Edgar Statesmanship Award is presented to a former or current state or local government official in Illinois who has demonstrated a pattern of public service characterized by vision, courage, compassion, effectiveness, civility, and bipartisanship.

Former Governor Jim Edgar and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute invite you to nominate an Illinois elected official who has displayed this kind of exceptional leadership.

We created the Simon-Edgar Statesmanship Award to shine a spotlight on remarkable public service that is taking place in our state and local communities. Please join us as we celebrate the Prairie State’s best traditions. Nominate an Illinois statesperson by June 1.

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Open thread

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Happy Monday.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Monday, May 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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* Pritzker says state has settled labor dispute at migrant tent city
* *** UPDATED x4 - Coverage roundup - Reporters received report before governor - Report finds high levels of mercury in soil - Report released to reporters *** After stonewalling governor’s office, city finally shares pollution report on migrant tent city
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Some campaign updates
* Citing 'delays' in Chicago's procurement process, Pritzker announces $2 million to feed asylum seekers
* Union says Pritzker office intervention at least temporarily prevented likely construction shutdown at migrant camp
* Today's quotable
* Not-for-profits at risk as state funding nears end
* Illinois Supreme Court again cites the plain language of a law to overturn lower court's ruling
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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