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Meanwhile, in non-campaign news…

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Press release…

State Senators Karina Villa and Laura Fine held a Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Subject Matter Hearing Thursday to discuss the psychiatric needs of detained youth across Illinois.

“There are hundreds of children across Illinois waiting to receive the care they need and deserve,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “We must prioritize the needs of these children and ensure they have access to the appropriate care.”

The hearing was held at the request of Villa’s Mental Health Advisory Committee, a group made up of mental health professionals in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties who work together to advocate for mental health resources and care in the community.

The hearing focused on the drastic shortage of residential placements for youth across Illinois in need of psychiatric services. With more than 250 children across Illinois awaiting placement, these children are left at home or in hospitals with no access to adequate facilities with the proper care necessary to serve them. Children who have been through the justice system also experience additional barriers to receiving specialized care.

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin, Kane County Juvenile Justice Center, Peoria Juvenile Detention Center, and Children’s Home Association of Illinois spoke at the hearing to present their thoughts. They work with youth who have experienced significant trauma and present acute psychiatric needs, and have been directly impacted by the lack of inpatient psychiatric placement for youth who need additional services.

“Today’s hearing shined a light on where we need to focus our efforts to improve the delivery of mental healthcare for youth in crisis across Illinois,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Our committees are working diligently to ensure our children and loved ones have access to vital mental health resources and treatments for successful outcomes.”

* Press release…

A vast network of Community Health Workers trained by the Illinois Public Health Association and Illinois Primary Health Care Association to address health equity gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue offering resources in the Prairie State thanks to new support from the U.S. Center for Disease Control Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Leaders from Illinois’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Dr. Tracey Smith of IPHA and Ollie Idowu of the IPHCA, joined Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration today to announce the COVID Health Equity Pandemic Health Navigator Project - $10 million program allowing Community Health Workers to continue connecting vulnerable constituents with basic human needs and health resources. Dr. Smith said Community Health Workers were a crucial component to Illinois’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts whose usefulness goes far beyond the pandemic.

“Community Health Workers are a trusted source for communities dealing with long-standing health equity issues in Illinois,” said Dr. Tracey Smith, who serves as director of community health at the Illinois Public Health Association. “Many of the Community Health Workers we hired during the COVID-19 pandemic have already found positions utilizing the skillsets our training provides. We are grateful to IDPH for enabling us to continue this work and further strengthening Illinois’ public health infrastructure.”

* OK, this is tied to the election, but not a strictly political press release…

Beginning tomorrow, the Illinois Family Relief Plan will go into effect, making good on the promise by Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly to provide relief on the grocery tax, gas tax, and property taxes. The plan totals an estimated $1.83 billion in relief, including income and property tax rebates and a temporary cut in several sales taxes. […]

The Family Relief Plan includes several tax holidays, meaning a temporary cut in taxes, including:

    • Groceries: The state’s 1% sales tax on groceries will be suspended July 1 through June 30, 2023, saving consumers $400 million.
    • Gas: The state’s normally scheduled increase in the motor fuel tax will be delayed from July 1 to January 2023, saving consumers $70 million.
    • School supplies: Sales taxes for qualified clothing and school-related items will be reduced from 6.25% to 1.25% for a 10-day window from August 5 to 14, saving consumers $50 million. Items include qualifying clothing and footwear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item. Eligible school supplies are not subject to the $125 threshold.

In addition, the plan permanently expands the state’s earned income credit from 18% to 20% of the federal credit, while expanding the number of households covered, putting an additional $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it the most.

The State of Illinois is also providing property tax rebates for eligible homeowners in an amount equal to the property tax credit they qualified for on their 2021 Illinois tax returns, up to a maximum of $300. The rebate is not allowed if a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for the taxable year exceeds $500,000 for returns with a federal filing status of married filing jointly, or $250,000 for all other returns.

Additionally, individuals who made less than $200,000 in 2021 will receive $50 income tax rebates. Couples filing jointly with incomes under $400,000 will receive $100. Tax filers will also receive $100 per dependent they claimed on their 2021 taxes, up to three dependents.

Income and property tax rebates will be automatically issued to all of the estimated 6.2 million taxpayers who qualify under the Family Relief Plan based on information included in their submitted 2021 tax returns. Comptroller Susanna Mendoza will issue the rebates and expects to begin to cut checks the week of September 12. Distribution will take roughly eight weeks after the rollout begins.

Taxpayers who did not file their 2021 IL-1040 individual income tax returns but want to claim the individual income tax rebate, both the property tax and individual income tax rebates, or solely claim the property tax rebate, can do so. The Department of Revenue will provide an online submission form via the website listed below.

Rebates will be sent automatically using the same method original refunds were transmitted if they were sent directly to the taxpayer by the State of Illinois. If direct deposit was used, the individual rebate will be deposited directly into a taxpayer’s account. If there was no refund or a paper refund was issued, the rebate will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers who did not receive a refund directly from the State of Illinois, such as those who received an advance of their refund from their tax preparer, will receive a paper rebate check mailed to the address on file.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** IDOT chief says strike halting projects, threatens aggregate companies with suspending contract awards, changing mix designs

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Vulcan Materials Co. is one of the three gravel and aggregate companies hit by the Local 150 strike

June 30, 2022

Mr. Chad Groff
Vice President/General Manager Vulcan Materials Company

Dear Mr. Groff:

The ongoing strike has brought many of our projects to a halt, with more projects shutting down by the day. This strike has already negatively impacted several significant improvement projects, including the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction in the heart of Chicago and of our entire expressway system, the Interstate 55 and Weber Road interchange, the Interstate 80 bridge in Joliet as well as numerous resurfacing projects throughout northeast Illinois and Chicago.

The timing of the work stoppage could not occur at a worse time, at the height of construction season and during peak driving season with an eager public ready to travel after two years of a pandemic.

With these stoppages, the strike puts in jeopardy the state’s ability to deliver on the governor’s promise to modernize infrastructure, make capital and community investments and create jobs through Rebuild Illinois, the largest capital program in our state’s history and the first in nearly a decade. Additionally, the passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act late last year has Illinois poised to increase these investments to our transportation system and in our communities.

At this time, the Illinois Department of Transportation has no choice but to act in the best interests of the state and our taxpayers. This includes the possibilities of suspending awards from the June letting and revisiting whether to go forward with the upcoming July letting. It should be noted that the department reserves the right to explore using alternative mix designs to ensure the continuity of our projects. The department will not bear any responsibility or cost for increased expenses experienced because of the strike.

The workers of IUOE Local 150 have played a critical role in revitalizing our state’s infrastructure, stepping up to continue working on our job sites as essential workers throughout the pandemic. With the best interests of the state in mind, we call on management to bargain in good faith and offer the wages and protections the workers deserve. We urge the parties to come to a fair resolution without delay.

Omer M. Osman, P.E.

I’ve asked the Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association for a response.

*** UPDATE *** Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association…

We appreciate and share the interest that the Illinois Department of Transportation has in seeing IUOE Local 150 end its strike. The Association initiated discussions well ahead of the contract’s expiration date in an effort to prevent disruption to the construction season. We remain committed to a fair, mutually agreeable and economically sustainable resolution to the matters under discussion. It is important to remember that the union is on strike. Our companies’ gates are open, and we are eager for our employees to return to work.

* Local 150 release from earlier today…

Today, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 called on employers to commit to negotiating toward a resolution to a three-week strike that is impacting construction projects across Northern Illinois. Local 150 went on strike against material producers Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and Lafarge Holcim on June 7th over unfair labor practices the companies committed against their employees. The union has offered to meet anywhere at any time, day or night, weekends and holidays included.

On Tuesday, Local 150 presented the employers a comprehensive proposal on all remaining language and economic issues, and after a brief session on Wednesday, employers left negotiations without committing to any additional dates.

As the strike has gone on, reduced supply of materials has halted construction projects across northern Illinois and resulted in layoffs and project completion delays.

IUOE Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney issued the following statement:

    This strike can only be resolved through negotiations with the companies, and they are simply not bargaining in good faith at this time. Every day, more companies are running out of material, more projects are being delayed, and more workers are being laid off as a result.

    We are again calling on these employers to get back to the table. We will meet them any time – days, nights, weekends or holidays. We have made progress when we have gotten them to the table, but far too much is riding on these negotiations for the employers to stall them.

    Our urgency is not only about working toward a resolution for our members, but in getting laid-off workers back on the job, helping construction businesses get the materials they need, and completing the critical projects that municipalities across the state are now putting on hold.

    Our message is simple: get back to the table or send someone who has the will and the authority to bargain in good faith toward a resolution.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

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Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

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Pritzker talks about some future plans

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Greg Hinz interviewed the governor

But when asked what would be on his second-term agenda, beyond staying the course, the Chicago Democrat listed two items, both dealing with education.

Specifically, a college education ought to be “free” for anyone who comes from a family whose earnings are at or below the state median, Pritzker said.

The second: further increase funding for child care and related preschool programs so that anyone earning 300% of the poverty level would qualify, up from the current 225%. That would make families earning “about $50,000 a year” eligible for help.

Pritzker did not give specific figures or other details, nor did he indicate how he would pay for the new spending. But the governor has strongly asserted in recent years that education is an investment that pays dividends and is a matter of human justice.

From the Pritzker campaign…

Governor Pritzker believes that everyone who chooses to go to college should be able to do so, which is why he’s already taken steps to make college more affordable and accessible.

Since the Governor has taken office, he has increased college scholarships to an historic high of $600 million, and MAP is now serving every eligible student who applies through the end of the academic year, leaving no one on the waitlist for the first time in 20 years.

Over time, the State should work toward a model that helps students at or below the median income attend universities or community colleges, prioritizing those with the greatest financial need. 

* Politico is mainly stuff we’ve covered for days, like this

Watch for a legislative special session: The governor is talking to leaders in the General Assembly about a bill that would expand who can perform abortions.

“Illinois doesn’t allow nurse practitioners to perform procedures but in many other states they do. So if the Legislature passes that, I would sign it,” Pritzker said, explaining it’s necessary as more out-of-state patients come to Illinois seeking abortions.

More legislation in January: Pritzker said he’s seen numerous proposals, including creating a constitutional amendment to further enshrine abortion rights in Illinois. It’s something he supports.

Supreme issue: Pritzker pointed to the two state Supreme Court races in the general election as being important and plans to throw his support into those as well.

* Related…

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

Today’s must-watch video

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* House photographer Scott Olijar talks about his struggles with PTSD from his military service in Afghanistan

PTSD Awareness Month Scott's Story

Our photographer, Scott Olijar, shares his story for PTSD Awareness Month.

Posted by Illinois House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday, June 29, 2022

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Election notebook

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Sen. Darren Bailey on WXAN

And so it’s interesting that Governor Pritzker tries to make abortion the number one issue. Again, that is how out of touch this man is. Because it is indeed crime and public safety are the number is the number one issue for Illinois voters right now.

If it’s the number one issue, Richard Irvin would’ve won the primary.

Bailey was also asked if his win would lead to a “reorganization of the Illinois Republican Party”

We’re already working on that. It demands it. We will bring unity, but things have to change. We don’t just all come in and move on. I’m a person who believes in accountability and transparency. I’ve seen the failures of the last four years. As a matter of fact it was those same failures that basically prompted me to even run for office. … We will, we must make the Republican Party stronger. We have what we need, but there will be some restructuring.

* I dunno, maybe if the Chicago news media had covered him more instead of continuing to cover Irvin long after he imploded and then bought into the Sully Surge, voters might know a bit about him

A post-primary primer: Who is Darren Bailey?

While the downstate politician has had a meteoric rise within the Illinois Republican party, he’s still an unknown to many voters in Chicago. After his victory in Tuesday night’s Republican gubernatorial primary, we take a look at the Trump-backed candidate who tried to kick Chicago out of the state, called it a “hellhole,” celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade and, now, is challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the general election.

* Common Cause Illinois

This Tuesday, the great state of Illinois had its primary in anticipation of this year’s midterms. Among victories today include Rep. Mary Miller in the GOP primary for IL-15 and Darren Bailey in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Both Miller and Bailey are Trump-endorsed candidates who have aided the former president in uplifting the Big Lie, the results of which ended with the Jan. 6 insurrection at our nation’s capital.

Common Cause Illinois is a non-partisan, pro-democracy organization. The choice that these candidates offer is not a choice between different views on policy, but rather a choice between democracy and authoritarian rule; a choice between certifiable elections or the ability of ideologue to overturn the will of the people.

Make no mistake: that Jan. 6 was an insurrection, not legitimate political discourse. The beliefs of Rep. Miller and Mr. Bailey do not align with the values of Illinoisans who believe in the freedom to vote without the threat of violence or intimidation. It has long been documented that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election — including in the state of Illinois — and that 2020 had the most secure elections to date. While we do not engage in party politics, it is important that we denounce candidates who perpetuate The Big Lie and who, if elected, would undermine the ability of all Illinoisans to have a say in their future.

After countless audits proving the contrary, the spreading of the Big Lie by Miller, Bailey and candidates like them underscore a known truth: democracy is under attack across America — Illinois included. We must take those threats seriously and be committed to protecting democracy. We agree with state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield): “If you’re not stepping up and denouncing [the Big Lie and Jan. 6], no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I don’t have a place for you, because you need to denounce this.”

The upcoming midterm elections are an inflection point for voting rights, and we must be informed about which candidates truly believe in protecting those rights.

* Dems keeping fingers crossed

Two Republican candidates seeking a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court remained locked in a race too close to call following Tuesday’s primary. With 95% of the expected vote in, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran had a 1.5 percentage point lead over Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes.

Whoever ultimately prevails will face Democratic primary winner Elizabeth “Liz” Rochford in November to fill the vacant seat left by the retirement of former Chicago Bears kicker Bob Thomas. The 2nd Judicial District has consistently elected Republican justices to the seat since the 1960s, but the Democratic-controlled legislature recently redrew the district boundaries. […]

Curran said the other two Republican candidates in the race, 2nd District Appellate Judge Susan Hutchinson and Kane County Circuit Judge John Noverini, had called to congratulate him.

* Greg Hinz

Pritzker also rejected suggestions that his team chose to ignore talk that Chicago hedge fund owner Ken Griffin would move Citadel’s headquarters to Florida because Griffin was viewed as a political enemy.

“That’s not true at all,” Pritzker said. In fact, “I actually met with him when I became governor” and asked what would make Citadel happier. But Griffin’s list included unacceptable items, such as amending the Illinois Constitution to slash pension payments, Pritzker said.

* As subscribers were told for several days, there’s more to it than this, but, yeah, it’s a huge win

One of the biggest stories out of Tuesday’s primary is Hoan Huynh (pronounced Hahn Win) beating the Democratic establishment in the highly contested 13th District Democratic House race.

Huynh knocked on doors of “every street” in his district, located on Chicago’s North Side, he told Playbook. In the past month, Huynh estimates he hit 7,500 doors. That’s about 250 doors a day, “every day until 9 p.m.”

Five Democratic candidates sought the seat currently held by House Majority Leader Greg Harris, who is retiring. One candidate, Eileen Dordek, was endorsed by Gov. JB Pritzker and at least 13 other Democratic elected officials from across the state. She had $264,000 on hand by election day, including $5,000 from Pritzker.

Huynh had one elected leader in his corner: state Rep. Theresa Mah, who gave his campaign $57,000 to help get his message out.

And it’s a powerful one. Huynh and his family were refugees from Vietnam. His dad served in the South Vietnamese military during the war and was sent to a prison camp for five years just before Huynh was born. The family eventually received political asylum in the United States and lived briefly in Chicago.

Everybody who was anybody was backing Eileen Dordek. Oops. But Huynh also won partly by taking a very non-Democratic (for Illinois) position…

He never explained how he would pay for state and local construction projects without that money.

Also, I distinctly remember being told that “only a few” legislative races were “really hot.” Weird.

* This was another candidate backed by Rep. Delia Ramirez

Also Tuesday, Democratic socialist Anthony Quezada assumed a win over Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. in the Democratic primary, signaling a leftward shift in the County Board district drawn solely within the city’s Northwest Side. According to the results as of Wednesday, Quezada was leading the incumbent by about 13 points.


- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

Abortion coverage roundup

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* New York Times

Illinois is quickly emerging as an island of abortion access for people in the Midwest and the South, as neighboring states move to ban the procedure after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion. Providers in the state had been preparing for a surge of people seeking abortion services, but many said this week that they were still overwhelmed by patients’ reactions to the decision. […]

In anticipation of higher demand, lawmakers who favor abortion rights in some states, including Maryland, have pushed legislation to allow non-physician health providers to perform abortions. Others, like those in Connecticut, have introduced legal protections for providers and for patients who seek services in their states but live in states that prohibit abortion.

In Illinois, providers are also expecting increased interest in medication abortion, which does not require a clinic visit. Out-of-state patients can cross the border into Illinois and meet with a provider virtually, and then have pills mailed to a post office box or a friend at any address within the state.

“Telehealth can work as a pressure relief valve in Illinois,” said Melissa Grant, the chief operations officer of Carafem, an organization that offers telemedicine appointments and sends abortion pills through the mail. Carafem also runs a clinic in Skokie, Ill., just outside Chicago. “We have had people take virtual appointments in their car, in coffee shops, in libraries or just on a quiet corner with a set of headphones,” she said.

* Tennessee

CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, an abortion provider in Tennessee, will continue providing abortions under the narrow legal restrictions now in effect in the state.

The Memphis clinic is the only abortion provider still taking new patients in Memphis, and is the only provider in Tennessee to confirm to The Commercial Appeal it is taking new patients. […]

The provider announced in May, after a leaked draft opinion suggested Roe would be overturned, that it would open a clinic in Carbondale, Illinois. The planned clinic will be a three-hour drive from both Memphis and Nashville. CHOICES said the clinic in Carbondale will be the southernmost abortion clinic in Illinois.

* More on the Carbondale clinic

“We’re hoping to be up by August 1,” [Jennifer Pepper, CEO of CHOICES] said, “So that first phase of services will include medication, abortion, and gender affirming care. The second phase of services will include surgical and procedural abortions, […] and then that third phase will be around adding the midwifery and the birth services to get to our full complement of services. And we hope to be at the end of Phase Three within three to five years.”

After CHOICES made this announcement in early May, there were a variety of reactions from Carbondale residents and the surrounding community. Several groups from local churches showed up to a Carbondale City Council meeting to express their dissent, while at the following meeting, abortion rights advocates came to show support for the clinic.

Pepper said, in the face of opposition, she and her staff typically avoid engagement and press on to the best of their abilities.

* Mississippi

Abortion funds in the state and across the country also plan to continue raising money to help people pay to travel out of state for the procedure. For many Mississippians, the closest place to obtain a legal abortion will be southern Illinois. Every neighboring state is also set to ban abortion in almost all cases.

CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, a clinic that is more accessible for many north Mississippians than the Jackson clinic, has announced plans to set up a new location in Carbondale, Illinois – a six-hour drive from Jackson.

* But there may be a catch. You will recall that Peter Breen is a former Illinois state representative

The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal organization, is drafting model legislation for state lawmakers that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a resident of a state that has banned abortion from terminating a pregnancy outside of that state. The draft language will borrow from the novel legal strategy behind a Texas abortion ban enacted last year in which private citizens were empowered to enforce the law through civil litigation.

The subject was much discussed at two national antiabortion conferences last weekend, with several lawmakers interested in introducing these kinds of bills in their own states.

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers, an antiabortion organization led by Republican state legislators, has begun working with the authors of the Texas abortion ban to explore model legislation that would restrict people from crossing state lines for abortions, said Texas state representative Tom Oliverson (R), the charter chair of the group’s national legislative council.

“Just because you jump across a state line doesn’t mean your home state doesn’t have jurisdiction,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society. “It’s not a free abortion card when you drive across the state line.”

* Michigan

At least two county prosecutors would consider criminal charges against abortion providers despite a temporary injunction against enforcement of a 1931 ban, their attorney says, underscoring uncertainty over the legal status of abortion in Michigan.

Enforcement of the old law, which makes performing an abortion a felony by up to four years in prison, was suspended following a May injunction by a lower-court judge.

But David Kallman, a lawyer representing Republican prosecutors in Kent and Jackson counties, says the injunction only applies to the state, not county prosecutors.

* Wisconsin

Abortions have stopped in Wisconsin. A ban from 1849 still on the books has led the state’s four clinics to stop doing them. One district attorney now says he will enforce that old ban.

The district attorneys in Dane and Milwaukee counties said they will not prosecute the state’s abortion ban, and the attorney general is suing to block it, but the Sheboygan District Attorney Joel Urmanski said he will prosecute violators unless the courts rule the law is unenforceable.

* Missouri

While the wording of Missouri’s 2019 “trigger law” bans abortions in the cases of rape and incest, those who have ectopic pregnancies will still be able to get treatment, since the revised statutes lists “medical emergencies” as an exception.

However, Dr. Colleen McNicholas says that exception isn’t as helpful as it seems. McNicholas is vice chair of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Missouri section and chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis and Southwest Missouri Region.

“We always maintain that medical emergencies in abortion bans are essentially meaningless, because what they do is force physicians to decide how sick is too sick, and they really pivot medical decision-making away from what is clinically the most important and best approach for a patient, and now requires that physicians have to contemplate whether their medical decision-making will be able to withstand an investigation from the attorney general,” McNicholas said.

* Indiana

“I’m going to tell you things, but they are not true.”

It’s a line Indiana-based OBGYN Dr. Katie McHugh uses right after she tells a patient they’re pregnant, and before she shares factually inaccurate information about pregnancy and abortion.

Currently, Indiana doctors are required by law to tell anyone who asks for an abortion that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is medically inaccurate.

Though McHugh qualifies her legally-required speech with a warning that what’s she’s about to say is not fact, she says these legalities make it difficult for patients to believe her. […]

As an abortion provider of eight years, McHugh has worked under various Indiana laws that require doctors to provide abortion-seekers misinformation and essentially commit medical malpractice.

Now, she’s applying to practice medicine in nearby states like Illinois, where abortion-seekers in more restrictive states are already starting to come in large numbers.

…Adding… Crain’s op-ed by Eric Bergman, a registered nurse

The Nurse Licensure Compact is not some hastily composed stop gap, but rather a tested and effective program to improve the movement and regulation of nurses across state lines. It is already in place in 38 states and has proven effective in supporting safe, well-regulated movement and care by nurses across state lines.

The nurses’ licenses would be like licenses allowing drivers in any state to drive in all other states on the strength of their home state license. Similarly, the Nurse License Compact sets strict standards and creates cross-border reporting. Only properly licensed and fit nurses can practice nursing in the compact states.

Unlike emergency orders waiving sensible rules about licensing and regulation, the compact will maintain protection, such as required background checks and reporting of violations to maintain public safety.

During the upcoming special session in early July, the legislators should act to pass HB4269 and get it to the governor’s desk so Illinois can guarantee safe, effective legal guidelines for rapidly increasing the available nurses for our reproductive health providers.

…Adding… McHenry County Blog

Planned Parenthood is moving to Rockford as Wisconsin law shuts down abortions.

The organization recently purchased a converted house at 611 Auburn.

In a high traffice residential neighborhood, the house orginally was a doctor’s office.

…Adding… Planned Parenthood denies purchasing the Rockford real estate.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Tina Sfondeles

Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey acknowledged Wednesday that he’s a millionaire — but, like his big backer former President Donald Trump, the downstate farmer and state senator is refusing to release copies of his income tax returns.

“Right now, I see absolutely no reason in doing that. I don’t see that as a qualifier,” Bailey said in an interview with the Sun-Times on Wednesday. […]

The tradition of Illinois gubernatorial nominees releasing their tax returns before the November election dates back to Republican Gov. Jim Thompson in 1976, at least.It isn’t required of candidates or elected officials. But the voluntary practice provides accountability for a statewide officeholder who will ultimately collect and manage state tax dollars — and also sheds light on potential conflicts.

But Bailey — who has painted his candidacy as a fight for “working families, parents, taxpayers, law enforcement and everyday citizens” — said he’s not interested in disclosing his returns.

* The Question: Should Sen. Bailey release his tax returns? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   110 Comments      

State central committee updates

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Politico

[Democratic state central committee races where Gov’s Pritzker’s] candidates won or are winning: 5th District candidates Margaret Croke and John Cullerton, 6th District candidate Patrick Hynes, and 17th District’s Maurice West.

Races where Pritzker’s trailing or lost: Hal Sloan is losing to Tom Maillard in the 10th District; Natalie Manley is losing to Christine Benson in the 14th; Liz Brown-Reeves conceded to Katherine Daniels in the 15th; and Jehan Gordon Booth is trailing Pamela Davidson in the 17th.

There’s a virtual dead heat in the 10th District, where Lauren Beth Gash, a former state rep, was challenged by outgoing state Sen. Melinda Bush, who Pritzker endorsed.

Once the roster is set, the newly elected committee members will meet later this summer to conduct officer elections — which will determine whether Congresswoman Robin Kelly remains at the helm.

* Current numbers from Sen. Bush…

Sen. Bush says that as of this morning she is up by 384 votes (24,663 to 24,161), but the mail is still coming in. If the percentages hold, she says, she should win by 700 or so votes (The Cook numbers have been updated since then to 5,877 for LBG and 2,625 for Bush, which is pretty much the same percentage).

And from what I can gather, Benson is leading Rep. Manley by a bit less than 1,000 votes.

Also, Rep. West may not be a sure-fire vote against Chair Kelly.

* But here’s something to remember: The vote for party chair is a weighted vote. It’s not about who has more physical members on the state central committee. So, it’s complicated. First you gotta figure out who won by how much in all the counties in the congressional district, then you gotta figure out the weighting. It’ll take a bit of time. The fact that the governor’s campaign isn’t being Johnny on the spot about the results, however, may tell you something.

* Gov. Pritzker was asked today if he was going to oust US Rep. Robin Kelly as state party chair and if he believes she’s done a good job. His response

Haven’t thought about that. All I want is to make sure that the Democratic Party is organized in a way that we can raise money for state candidates and federal candidates. As you know, there’s challenges with that having a federal office holder as the Chair. I support Congresswoman Robin Kelly, she’s terrific in her role as Congressperson and as somebody who’s lifting up Democrats across the state. So this is really just a matter of how we organize, to make sure we can raise the kind of dollars and organize our party to elect Democrats across the state. She’s great. There are just legal challenges. I think you know about that. The FEC has raised some of those, and they’re very difficult to overcome. And I think you’ve seen it in the challenges that the party’s had in fundraising. Having said that, you know, she’s a terrific leader, I think, you know, some of the people that are standing behind me work with her on a regular basis, as do I. So I intend to continue working with her, but you know, how we organize the party, that’s something that we’ll talk about in the next few weeks.

…Adding… Press release…

Today Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Congressman Danny K. Davis and Congressman Bobby Rush endorsed Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in her re-election bid for Chicago Mayor. […]

“I am honored to have Congressman Davis, Congresswoman Kelly, and Congressman Rush stand beside me today to announce their support for my re-election campaign,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “They are each leaders who exhibit integrity and compassion. Over the last three years, we have worked hand in hand to deliver real results to Chicago communities that have been left behind for far too long. We share a deep commitment to improving the lives of working people, and I am excited to see what we can continue to accomplish working together.”

“I endorsed Mayor Lightfoot back in February 2019 when her candidacy was a longshot because I knew that she was the one who could guide Chicago through its most challenging moments,” said Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02). “Three years later, I am proudly still by her side. A significant portion of the 2nd Congressional District is in Chicago and her partnership, as well as leadership, has been invaluable as we continue our work to transform the South Side. Whether its unprecedented funding for community-based violence prevention or investments in high-quality affordable housing in South Chicago through INVEST South/West, this administration is delivering results for our communities. I am proud to call the mayor a close friend and support her campaign for another term in office.”

I assume the favor will be returned. Stay tuned.

…Adding… Rep. Will Davis is a Robin Kelly supporter, so this is no surprise…

“I want to thank 2nd Congressional District voters for electing me to succeed my friend, Al Riley, as Democratic State Central Committeeman. I look forward to representing a diverse group of Democrats from Chicago and the south suburbs to Danville on the Central Committee.

The Democratic Party of Illinois needs strong, ethical, transparent, inclusive and effective leadership, which is why I pledge to vote for Congresswoman Robin Kelly to continue as chair of our party later this summer. She is the first African American and the first woman to serve in that capacity. She has rebuilt the party, engaged the grassroots and expanded its donor base.

I do not need to wait to see who else will run for DPI chair. Since she became chair last year, Robin has distinguished herself as the best person to lead our party to victory in November and through 2026. It is often said that Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party; Robin is the embodiment of that. She deserves our support. “

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Bailey’s sole defense of his Chicago “hellhole” comment just ain’t true: Suspect was out on cash bail

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Fox News

Bailey called Chicago a “hellhole” during a debate last month as the city battles a surge in violence. He pinned the blame on the city and state leadership as businesses flee the state for safer communities.

“The irony of that is, within hours after making that statement, a homeless man was burned alive in downtown Chicago,” Bailey said. “And the interesting thing is the person that committed this crime was out on cash free bail, and this is the problem.”

“Ever since then, Chicago media has been trying to get me to walk this statement back, and that’s what I’m telling these people,” he continued. “And I’m not going to do it.”

* He’s “telling these people” that story a lot

TM: You’ve called Chicago a dysfunctional hellhole. You’re going to need votes from Chicago and the surrounding areas in the suburbs. Do you have any regrets about the way you phrased that?

DB: From what I’m gathering, I believe the people of Chicago have respect for someone who is standing up and telling the truth. Isn’t it ironic within hours after I said that a homeless man was burned alive? And is it even more ironic that the person who committed that terrible crime was roaming from no cash bail from a previous crime that was committed? There’s the breakdown of dysfunction of Chicago.

* Steve Cochran show yesterday

I think it’s amazing that less than six hours after I said that a homeless man was burned alive. And then the person that created that crime, did that, was out on cash free bail. I think that is absolutely amazing.

Suburban Melrose Park resident Joseph Guardia was held without bail after his arrest for allegedly setting “Walking Man” on fire.

* And Guardia was out on bail when he allegedly committed the awful crime

On March 14, 2020, prosecutors charged Guardia with burglary and identity theft, both felonies, for crimes allegedly committed in suburban Melrose Park. Judge Arthur Willis released Guardia on his own recognizance the same day.

But just six days later, prosecutors charged Guardia with committing another burglary in suburban Bellwood. Judge Ramon Ocasio gave him a recognizance bond on the new charges, but ordered him held without bail for violating his release conditions in the Melrose Park case, records show.

On April 2, Judge Gregory Vazquez nixed the no-bail hold and allowed Guardia to go home by posting a bail deposit of $500.

Guardia then failed to appear in court for a hearing in the burglary cases on February 26, 2021 and Ocasio signed two arrest warrants, according to court records. But authorities never tracked Guardia down and he remained on the loose until police arrested him Friday for allegedly setting Kromelis on fire.

Cash bail just isn’t what its defenders say it is.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      

Fabrizio Lee poll: Pritzker 50-43 over Bailey

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* This is Proft’s pollster, who was bringing back much the same numbers as other pollsters during the primary…

Full memo is here. Right direction is 40 percent and wrong track is 59 percent. That’s obviously not great, but the result has vastly improved over the years. Back in 2018, after four years of Bruce Rauner, it was 9 percent right direction and 84 percent wrong track.

Also, will Bailey have the financial resources to take advantage of these numbers?

* Methodology

Fabrizio, Lee & Associates conducted a survey of 800 likely 2022 general election voters from June 20th – 21st statewide in Illinois. The interviews were split 35% cell phone/35% SMS to web/30% landline phone, using live operators for the landline phone portion. Geography was matched to past voter turnout in recent midterm general elections. Gender, age, education, party affiliation, and race/ethnicity were matched to demographic profiles of likely voters based on the voter file, state data, exit poll and VoterCast data, and DataTrust modeling. Respondents were randomly selected from lists of known Illinois voters. The margin of error at the 95% confidence interval for 800 voters is ±3.46%.

The sample was light on Latinos, a bit too heavy on whites. Nothing that would hugely change things, though.

…Adding… Some of y’all are reading way too much into this poll. Polls are not necessarily predictive of voter behavior months from now. Polls can only tell you what people are thinking the moment they’re asked. If post-primary polls were totally reliable, Judy Baar Topinka would’ve beaten Rod Blagojevich in 2006. Instead, JBT lost by 10 points.

So, take a breath. And try to analyze this in the moment. Things change in politics all the time. And remember that Blagojevich buried Topinka in TV ads to reverse his early polling deficit.

…Adding… As noted in comments, this poll was taken before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, so, again, everybody on all sides should just take a breath already.

…Adding… Also as noted in comments, this doesn’t include any post-primary “bounce” for Bailey.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      

Open thread

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      

*** UPDATED x1 *** More campaign news

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Tribune

The primary unfolded with at least one incumbent House Democrat loyal to Madigan conceding he lost and another who served in Madigan’s leadership team trailing late in a tight race, based on unofficial results. And one House Democrat with a convincing lead declared victory despite being under federal investigation. […]

Rep. Kathy Willis, the Addison Democrat that Madigan recruited years ago to take the seat away from Republicans, found herself trailing challenger Norma Hernandez, a Triton College trustee from Melrose Park. Hernandez’s camp claimed victory Tuesday night. […]

Holding a solid lead late Tuesday, incumbent Democratic Rep. Sonya Harper of Chicago said: “It looks like voters still want me to represent them in Springfield, and I’m very happy for that.”

Appointed Democratic incumbent Rep. Michael Kelly, who replaced longtime Rep. John D’Amico of Chicago, declared victory, according to his campaign manager, over fellow Chicagoan Michael Patrick Rabbitt, who acknowledged he lost.

* Tribune

The GOP’s more moderate wing, reeling from the collapse of Irvin’s candidacy, is now fearful of the impact of Bailey’s candidacy as he leads the ticket for Springfield offices.

“We are really going to get our ass handed to us,” predicted one Republican in party legislative leadership, where the GOP has been a superminority to House and Senate Democrats. “If we thought where we were was bad, this is going to be a helluva lot worse.”

But Bailey said people should dismiss the naysayers.

“Springfield and the political elites have failed every one of us and now the elites and the press say that Pritzker is a shoo-in. They say our fate’s set, that a farmer can’t beat a billionaire,” he said. “Friends, the funny thing is these same people said that we couldn’t win the primary.”

* Press release…

Not even 24 hours after breaking out of an ugly Republican gubernatorial primary, GOP nominee for governor Darren Bailey wasted no time doubling down on his incendiary comments calling Chicago, the largest city in the state, a “hellhole.”

During an interview with WLS, Bailey showed Illinoisans more of his extremist MAGA brand of politics that puts divisive rhetoric over policy solutions. Host Steve Cochran pressed Bailey for solutions, even saying, “I’m asking you as the nominee, what will you do? Give me the specific, what will you do? It’s not a conversation. What’s the idea?”

“Even when given the opportunity to walk back his hateful rhetoric, Darren Bailey chooses to stand by his out of touch views that disparage the millions of Illinoisans who live in and around Chicago,” said JB for Governor spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein. “A politician who calls for separating Chicago from the rest of the state and embraces the divisiveness of Donald Trump is entirely unfit to represent Illinois’ diverse and vast population.”

* I get emails…

Rich -

Hope you’re well.

With the recent Dobbs decision and the primary behind us, I wanted to update you on the status of the 10th district candidates.

Joe Severino is an anti-choice extremist in a district that has been pro-choice for 50 years. Following the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Severino said, “I applaud the courage of the court,” and “It’s time to celebrate life.”

As Joe put it in a recent interview, “I’m pro life… I’m a pro life candidate” Joe will use racist, disproven conspiracy theories to try to justify his position, comparing black babies to cattle meant to be sold for parts.

In his own words: “85% of abortions are black babies drawing HUGE returns in baby parts. This includes late term abortion. “Like steer-the bigger the baby the more profitable”.
[Schneider] gets millions from the death of black babies.”

Brad Schneider’s comment: “Joe Severino’s racist, misogynist stance speaks for itself, and speaks volumes about who Joe Severino is. Illinois’s Tenth District has been pro-choice for 50 years—represented by both Democrats and Republicans. Severino’s extremism is totally out of step with the values of the Tenth Congressional District.”

Schneider’s statement on the decision can be found here.

I think Severino’s statements illustrate further the Bailey/Miller “White Life” positions of ILGOP. Further, both Jesse Reising and Regan Deering supported the SCOTUS decision

* Press release…

On Tuesday night, three candidates supported by Restore Justice Illinois won their primary elections! Representatives Sonya Harper and Lindsey LaPointe, and Senator Robert Martwick will be the Democratic nominees in November’s General Election; as of now, they do not have Republican challengers.
With our Political Action Team, we proudly supported these legislators because they voted for the SAFE-T Act and other needed criminal legal system reforms. They faced opposition funded by people and groups that oppose compassionate steps forward.

We will now turn our attention to the General Election so we can help make sure candidates who believe in fairness and equity win in November. Join us by signing up for our Political Action Team. The team will make phone calls, canvass, and engage in other activities to support candidates. We will also hold regular check-ins to provide updates and information on the races.

*** UPDATE *** Gryder declares victory…

After securing the Republican Party nomination to challenge Lauren Underwood for the right to represent Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, Kendall County Board Chairman, Scott Gryder released the following statement:

“To all who gave their precious time, resources, and votes, thank you!

Because of your support, our campaign for the future of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District continues.
Lauren Underwood is in trouble because we are in the grips of the worst economy in over 40 years. With gas, groceries, medicine, rent, and everything else skyrocketing in price, the results of this primary show people are concerned and focused on the rising cost of everyday necessities.

We need to change course, away from the failing policies and leadership Joe Biden and his allies in Congress like Lauren Underwood are offering, toward pro-growth, pro-family, pro-freedom policies backed by leaders who know how to get the job done.

While honored to be nominated as your messenger of change as we carry on toward November 8, this election was a win for the hard-working people of the 14th District who need real relief, not more of the same.”



Thank you for showing up at the polls in last night’s primary! Not only did we nominate strong, conservative candidates up and down the ballot, but we also SHATTERED the last midterm’s turnout with 50,000 MORE VOTES than 2018’s Republican primary.

We couldn’t have done it without you. We are so grateful for everything you’ve done, from donating, to volunteering, to showing up to the polls, to make this possible.

This election will not be easy. Billionaire Bully Pritzker is ready to throw his entire war chest at us, but Republicans are motivated to turn out and FIRE Pritzker in November!

We’ve also nominated strong candidates in all of our competitive Congressional races. Esther Joy King, Regan Deering, Scott Gryder, and Keith Pekau are all ready to FIRE PELOSI and return Congress to Republicans.

We can’t wait for November. Thanks for being a part of our team.



Pekau beat Gary Grasso by 11 points.

* Press release…

Illinois — Vote Mama, the first PAC focused solely on electing Democratic moms, is thrilled to share our wins in this heated primary cycle.


    • Rachel Ventura — Illinois State Senate, District 43
    • Laura Faver Dias — Illinois House of Representatives, District 62
    • Samantha Steele — Cook County Board of Review, District 2


    • Tammy Duckworth –U.S. Senate, Illinois
    • Margaret Croke — Illinois House of Representatives, District 12

“After a long election cycle I am thrilled to share that we have come out on top with important wins and especially for our contested races for Samantha Steele, Rachel Ventura and Laura Faver-Dias. Both Ventura and Faver-Dias have been declared victorious. With Steele 99% of the votes are in and there is a comfortable lead of 4,500 votes. We are optimistic about Steele’s victory, and look forward to celebrating her win that brings much needed reform to our broken property tax system that unfairly over taxes homeowners while giving breaks to big corporations. Samantha is confident of victory and looks forward to serving the people in the 2nd District of Cook County.” said Alexandra Eidenberg, Illinois Vote Mama State Chair.

“Thank you so much! I truly couldn’t have done this without your support and early belief in me. I am so appreciative of the help and support you provided. This win is ours.” said Rachel Ventura, candidate for Illinois Senate District 43.

“Through my involvement in my community, I know the power of moms working together and their ability to make change. We need more moms with young children in office to be a voice for all kinds of families and advocate for change that will improve the lives of our children and future generations,” said Laura Faver Dias, Democratic Nominee for Illinois House of Representatives District 62.

“From lapses in childcare to economic instability, the past two years have been devastating for so many families. Now more than ever, Illinois deserves representatives who understand these struggles firsthand and are committed to taking action. ” said Liuba Grechen Shirley, Vote Mama Founder and CEO.

* G-PAC…

The Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois (G-PAC), the state’s leading political force in ending gun violence, is proud to announce the victories of more than two dozen gun-safety candidates in races in Tuesday’s primary election. Chief among them was an upset in House District 16, where Kevin Olickal (D-Skokie) defeated incumbent State Representative Denyse Wang Stoneback.

“Rep. Stoneback failed her constituents when she worked against and refused to vote for life-saving legislation that would require universal background checks for all gun sales and provide funding for mental health. Elected leaders must be held accountable, and while Rep. Stoneback claimed to be an advocate, we need leaders who will consistently work with us to end gun violence, not just use it as a talking point to win their elections,” said Kathleen Sances, President, and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Since we founded G-PAC in 2013, we have created an electoral and legislative infrastructure that has made Illinois a safer state, and today we are proud to build on that legacy with major victories all across the state. We are confident that these gun safety candidates will be victorious in November and go on to further strengthen Illinois’ laws to help end the public health crisis of gun violence.”

More than two dozen endorsed candidates have won their primary election with G-PAC’s support. The organization was heavily involved in delivering victories in many contested races, including:

    • Sen. Omar Aquino (SD 2)
    • Sen. Robert Martwick (SD 10)
    • Sen. Celina Villanueva (SD 12)
    • Kevin Olickal (HD 16)
    • Rep. Lindsey La Pointe (HD 19)
    • Rep. Justin Slaughter (HD 27)

These resounding victories showcase G-PAC’s political strength by organizing hundreds of supporters. Each candidate has G-PAC’s continued support going into the general election as we continue to build and defend our gun safety majority in the Illinois legislature.

Following Tuesday’s election, each candidate will now regroup and get back on the campaign trail as they look to secure their seat on November 8, 2022, in the General Election. Once elected, these candidates will ensure that the Illinois legislature has a gun safety majority so Illinois can continue to protect and pass life-saving legislation as violence continues to affect our communities.

…Adding… Sun-Times

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch came out of Tuesday’s Democratic primary a winner — and not only because he faced no challenger in his legislative race.

Flexing his newfound political muscle since succeeding Michael Madigan as House speaker, Welch also helped his wife, attorney ShawnTe Raines-Welch, win her Democratic primary contest for a seat as a Cook County judge from a suburban district.

Raines-Welch bested three opponents in the primary, getting about 35% of the vote. There were no Republicans running for the seat. So, barring last-minute ballot additions before the Nov. 8 general election, she has all but clinched a seat on the bench.

Raines-Welch’s campaign raised around $666,000 — a whopping amount for this type of judicial race and far more than all of her primary opponents.

* More…

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Google eyeing Thompson Center as it plans to add 1,000 jobs in Chicago

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Ryan Ori

Google is negotiating to buy the spaceship-like James R. Thompson Center in Chicago in a deal that could provide a much-needed boost to the city’s Loop business district.

The Mountain View, California-based tech giant is seeking to buy the Helmut Jahn-designed building at 100 W. Randolph St., where it plans to expand its Chicago offices into a large portion of the 17-story building’s soon-to-be-renovated office space, according to people familiar with the deal.

It’s the latest twist for a 37-year-old building that faced the wrecking ball until Chicago developer Prime Group emerged last year with a plan to buy it from the state for $70 million.

* Crain’s

Google plans to add 1,000 jobs in Chicago in the next few years and is looking for more office space to accommodate them in a surprising location: LaSalle Street. […]

“Chicago continues to be an important and growing hub for Google here in the Midwest,” a Google spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “What started as a two-person outpost in River North has expanded to a two-building campus that’s home to nearly 2,000 employees in Fulton Market. As Google grows in Chicago, we’ll continue to explore opportunities to ensure our physical space meets the needs of local Googlers.” […]

But Gov. J.B. Pritzker told Crain’s today: “I’m excited that Google appears to be expanding its presence and its jobs in Chicago.” Asked directly if that expansion might involve the purchase of the Thompson Center, he would say only, “That’s not something I can talk about. . . .I’m not at liberty to talk about it.”

But Google could try to inject itself into the deal by purchasing the Thompson Center for its own use and finding a different destination for the state’s offices. A source familiar with the discussions said one option could be the LaSalle Street property that BMO Harris Bank is vacating at 115 S. LaSalle St., which Reschke is also nearing a deal to buy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Election results notebook

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* “I’m JB Pritzker and I’m gonna beat Donald Trump’s candidate for governor, Darren Bailey!” the governor said last night at his victory party.

It occurs to me that if Pritzker is really trying to set up a presidential bid, then helping to maneuver a Trumpist into the opposing role and then thumping him in what could likely be an otherwise Republican year would look pretty good from afar.

* Speaking of higher ambitions

More than a decade after leaving public office, his political star fallen, Alexi Giannoulias landed the Democratic nomination for Illinois secretary of state Tuesday night, the culmination of a heated primary that pitted him against a new up-and-comer in the party.

Giannoulias declared victory over his top challenger, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, a notable comeback for someone who served one term as Illinois treasurer, failed to parlay that into a U.S. Senate seat and then mostly bowed out of the public eye.

Not even the endorsement of retiring Secretary of State Jesse White — long one of Illinois’ most prolific vote-getters — could put Valencia over the top in a race that forced the state’s most powerful Dems to pick sides. She conceded late Tuesday.

Addressing more than a hundred supporters at a Streeterville hotel, Giannoulias said “we’re on a journey, a journey to restore trust in government to strengthen our democracy to make Illinois better.”

* Tribune

In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Brady acknowledged he’s “mismatched” when it comes to campaign funding compared to Giannoulias. It’s going to take an “individual candidate that can cross party barriers” to beat a Democrat like the ex-state treasurer in November, he said.

But Brady touted his qualifications to be the next secretary of state by showing that he’s worked with longtime Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White, who is retiring, on various legislation, from organ and tissue donation to distracted driving issues.

“I think the working relationship speaks to itself from the standpoint of what we’ve been able to find common ground with and that is service to the general public, to the people of Illinois, no matter what their political party is,” Brady said of his relationship with White.

Aside from funding winnable legislative contests, the Republicans should throw everything they have into that SoS race. Even then, though, it may not be enough. But at least Brady understands that he needs to embrace Jesse White as much as humanly possible.

* This win shook up a lot of Statehouse types

Time for a change is one of the oldest and most effective arguments in politics. And that’s the argument that won out in the hard-fought Democratic primary race for the in the 21st District of the Illinois House, as 32-year-old Abdelnasser Rashid narrowly defeated seven-term incumbent state Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) on June 28.

Rashid with now face Republican Matthew Schultz, a 26-year-old from Brookfield who works for the anti-tax group Taxpayers United in the November general election. Schultz ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

With all but one suburban precinct reporting, Rashid led Zalewski by a mere 255 votes. Despite the narrow margin, Zalewski conceded defeat in a phone call to Rashid around 9 p.m. Rashid received 51.7 percent of the vote to 48.3 percent for Zalewski. […]

Rashid’s campaign raised about a third as much as Zalewski’s, although final figures won’t be available until next month. But Rashid ran a sophisticated campaign with direct mail, television ads and an enthusiastic core of volunteers who went door to door throughout the district.

His campaign chairman, Clem Balanoff, said he thought Rashid was the first state legislative primary challenger to ever air ads on network television in the Chicago area.

* So did this one

Will County Board member Rachel Ventura appeared headed to victory in the Democratic primary for the 43rd Illinois Senate District race against Eric Mattson, who was put in the Senate seat mid-campaign. […]

“I feel like I didn’t win against Eric Mattson,” Ventura said. “I won against a broken political system.”

Ventura said her apparent victory “lit a candle of hope in a time in politics when a lot of people are seeing darkness.”

The SDems and their allies spent a fortune on Eric Mattson.

* Kaegi cut off Steele’s potential fundraising by highlighting ugly remarks by her husband and campaign surrogate. She couldn’t get off the ground

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi defeated challenger Kari Steele Tuesday, winning the Democratic nomination in his battle for a second term in what was the county’s most expensive and high-profile primary contest.

Kaegi unseated one of the most powerful politicians in Cook County in 2018 by vowing to overhaul the county’s unjust and error-ridden property tax assessment system to make it more equitable, transparent and free from political influence.

Kaegi led Steele with 54% of the vote with 62% of the vote counted, according to early and unofficial returns.

* Loami voters, by the way, approved allowing chicken coops within town limits by a 62-38 margin. I’ll have more later. I need to go outside and get some air and sunshine. I’ve spent too many days cooped up, so to speak.

* More…

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Raoul focuses on bipartisanship after DeVore win

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Brett Chase at the Sun-Times

DeVore’s central theme has focused on Pritzker’s COVID mandates. On Tuesday, he said Raoul has been too complicit.

“Raoul has for the last two years done whatever the governor has asked him to do,” DeVore said in an interview. “I’ll tell whoever is governor that there will be no more mandates.” […]

Campaigning as “the People’s Attorney,” DeVore has the words “Freedom” and “Liberty” tattooed on his forearms and has frequently referred to Pritzker as a tyrant.

“The people have been paralyzed by fear and allowed J.B. Pritzker to rule as a king,” he says in a recent ad. “I’m running for attorney general to educate, empower and equip the people to take back their government and restore the power where it belongs.”

* Media advisory…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul will be joined by Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly, law enforcement representatives and gun safety advocates to announce a new state-of-the-art online platform to assist law enforcement agencies in investigating gun crimes and identifying the sources of illegal guns.

Who: Attorney General Kwame Raoul
Brendan F. Kelly, Director, Illinois State Police
Mitchell Davis, Past President, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
Leo Schmitz, Chief of Police, Cook County Sheriff
Dan Kotowski, President and CEO, Kids Above All
Kim Smith, Director of Programs, University of Chicago Crime Lab
Kayce Ataiyero, Chief External Affairs Officer, The Joyce Foundation
Valerie Burgest, Moms Demand Action

When: Wednesday, June 29, 2022
11 a.m.

Where: James R. Thompson Center
Blue Room, 15th Floor

* AG Raoul was asked about Tom DeVore’s GOP primary win and what it says about the state of the Republican Party here…

Raoul: Well, first of all, congratulations to Tom DeVore. Listen, in my role, I think in the role of Attorney General, it’s important not only for me in this state, but for my colleagues in other states to try to be as nonpartisan as possible. In our law enforcement role, for example, I don’t choose which state’s attorneys I collaborate with based on party affiliation, I don’t choose which police chiefs I collaborate with based on party affiliation. I count many of them, who may be Republicans, as my personal friends, who I’ve worked with on this project, as well as on making sure we get relief to those who are addicted to opioids, and trying to combat organized retail crime. We’ve collaborated and we haven’t talked a second about Tom DeVore or partisan politics.

I look forward to being able to compare my record, serving as Attorney General to Mr. Devore and whoever may have been nominated with any other parties.

Q: [Unintelligible.]

Raoul: Yeah, no, I understand your question. And believe me, I would have rather used those resources on on some of the other things that I mentioned to keep on continuously making successfully the same argument over and over again about mitigations that we put in place to save lives. What we’re doing here is aimed at saving lives. What we do with regards to opioid abatement is aimed at saving lives, not drawing attention to ourselves. We’re hosting a press conference here not to draw attention to ourselves, but to get the word out there to law enforcement partners and to the public at large that we need to focus not just on the shooter, but on those who are trafficking guns to the shooter.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Up to a thousand steel-making jobs will be lost in Granite City

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* From January

US steelmakers rely on Russia and Ukraine for shipments of pig iron and steel slabs, used to produce raw steel at electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers and for rerollers to make flat-rolled products. […]

Russia and Ukraine have been critical pig iron suppliers to the US for years, comprising more than 60pc of the imports coming in since 2018.

* Bloomberg

U.S. Steel Corp., the nation’s third-largest steelmaker, announced it’s in talks to end production at its century-old furnaces in Illinois. Shares fell to their lowest since January.

The more than 120-year-old Pittsburgh-based company plans to sell the two blast furnaces at its Granite City Works facility to SunCoke Energy for an undisclosed amount to propel the use of so-called pig iron, a raw material needed to make steel in its mini-mills. Transitioning the facility to produce the raw material from steelmaking will take until 2024 and would result in the loss of as many as 1,000 jobs, according to the company.


Under the company’s plan, U.S. Steel would sell iron ore from its own mines to SunCoke. SunCoke would sell all of the material back to U.S. Steel for use in its own “mini mill” in Arkansas and other locations, creating a “significant cost advantage,” according to the letter. “We want to be as self-sufficient as possible,” said U.S. Steel spokesperson Amanda Malkowski.


United Steelworkers late Tuesday called United States Steel Corp.’s plans to sell two blast furnaces at its big Granite City, Illinois, facility a “betrayal” and another example of how the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer is reducing union facilities.

In a statement, USW International President Thomas Conway blasted U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) for its announcement to sell the two blast furnaces to an outside company, as well as its plans to only have one finishing mill at Granite City Works. It said the company “callously failed to mention a word about the massive job loss” at the Granite City plant, which makes hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated steel for automotive, construction and other industries. […]

United Steelworkers said the steelmaker was making investments in its electric arc furnace operations, such as the nonunion Big River Steel plant in Arkansas, at the detriment of union operations.

“U.S. Steel has established a trend in recent years of shutting down operations, as it has done at the Great Lakes facility in Detroit, Lone Star Steel in Texas, tubular operations in Ohio, and the company abandoned a previously announced major capital improvement project at the Mon Valley Works and announced the closing of its West Coast operations at UPI in California,” Conway said.

* Post-Dispatch

The deal, if finalized, threatens the future of a 127-year-old operation, an economic engine of this Metro East suburb and a facility held up as a success story in a revitalized U.S. steel industry. Just four years ago, President Donald Trump visited the plant, lauding the impact of tariffs he imposed on imported steel. The plant had ground to a halt about two years prior. But, that summer, the facility was set to rekindle both blast furnaces. Rehiring had already begun.

This week’s announcement, however, shows U.S. Steel shifting directions.

U.S. Steel would supply the iron ore for the SunCoke plant from its own mines.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

Ken Griffin’s no-good, lousy day

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* The Democrats may catch yet another break, this time in the 2nd Illinois Supreme Court District

Lake County Associate Judge Elizabeth “Liz” Rochford won the Democratic primary for an open Supreme Court seat following Tuesday’s election, but whether she will face off in the fall against another Lake County judge or the former Lake County sheriff remains too close to call.

In the Republican primary, with 95% of precincts reporting, Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes and former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran were leading two other candidates and separated by less than two percentage points.

Shanes and Rochford were both rated “highly recommended” by the Illinois State Bar Association, while Curran was found “not recommended.”

Shanes, a former Lake County prosecutor and sitting judge since 2007, was the Republican primary candidate favored by an independent expenditure committee funded primarily by billionaire Citadel CEO Ken Griffin. The group, Citizens for Judicial Fairness, spent more than $170,000 in support of Shanes. He is a deputy chief judge in Lake County and oversees felony and law division cases.

Citizens for Judicial Fairness spent roughly $50,000 to oppose Curran’s bid. Curran was elected sheriff in Lake County in 2006 and remained in office until 2018. Before that, he worked as a local and federal prosecutor, and he now works on criminal defense and civil cases. He unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in 2020 as the Republican Party candidate, scoring almost 40% of the vote statewide.

That Curran thing is so wild. Both the establishment and folks like Jeanne Ives were with Shanes. Curran started the quarter with $10,150.09 in the bank and didn’t report raising any other money since then.

Also, that was a huge 15,000-vote win for Rochford over Nancy Rotering. We’ll circle back to that part of the world later today or tomorrow.

* Then there was this…

Rodney is losing by 15 points.

* And, of course

“Except for wealthy politicians who bankroll their own campaign, this [Richard Irvin race] is the largest amount ever given by a single donor to a U.S. candidate at any level,” according to a report from the Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive watchdog group based in Madison, Wis. […]

It’s unclear if Griffin will continue his heavy spending in Illinois politics after he and his Citadel hedge fund have packed up and left for Miami. But what was obvious was that his latest big bet on elections in this state was a big failure, up and down the ballot.

The Griffin-supported candidate for secretary of state, John Milhiser, and his pick for attorney general, Steve Kim, also lost Tuesday.

Irvin is in third place and Bailey has a 42-point lead over second-place finisher Jesse “Big Mo” Sullivan.

Tom DeVore is ahead of Steve Kim by 11 points and Kim conceded. Rep. Dan Brady is absolutely annhilating John Milhiser by 53 points. Wow.

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      

Delia Ramirez’s gigantic win

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Rep. Delia Ramirez worked her tail off and, as subscribers know, put together a very successful slate of candidates. Yes, Chuy Garcia played a very important role here. So did others. But, man, look at this huge margin over what many had considered a very legit, well-funded opponent who benefited from a ton of outside money. Here’s Mina Bloom

State Rep. Delia Ramirez emerged victorious in the Democratic race to represent the newly-drawn 3rd Congressional District, which was left without a representative when boundaries were re-drawn.

Multiple news outlets called the race for Ramirez over Chicago Ald. Gilbert Villegas and others. With almost all precincts reporting, Ramirez held 65.8 percent of the vote to Villegas’ 23.7 percent, according to unofficial returns.

The predominately Latino 3rd congressional district had no incumbent. Illinois Democrats created the district during last year’s redistricting process to reflect the Chicago area’s surging Latino population. It stretches from Chicago neighborhoods like Belmont Cragin, Humboldt Park and Logan Square to largely Hispanic suburbs west of the city, including Elgin and Bensenville.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

Rate the new Pritzker ad

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* No letting up

* Script

VO: On the issue of abortion, the Republican nominee for governor Darren Bailey has made his extreme views clear.

Bailey: I think we’re going to end this abortion thing, I think we’re going to end this travesty.

God is not going to heal our land until we repent of our ways.

Once Roe v. Wade is overturned, once abortion is made illegal, then we have to turn around…that’s not where it stops.

Interviewer: If somebody were raped or there was a matter of incest in the family, would you allow that woman to have an abortion?

Bailey: Right now, my answer is no.

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      

Open thread

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Illinois topics only, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   180 Comments      

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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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Election night coverage

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Follow along with ScribbleLive…

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Election night results

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* We’re going to link to the Tribune’s results tonight, but you can click here for the NY Times site, which is putting all results on one page. The Sun-Times results page doesn’t seem to be pay-walled, so click here for that. I may add or change this post. Let’s start with federal races…

* Statewides…

* Judicial…

* Legislative…

I’ll try to get Democratic State Central Committee races as well.

Discuss away. But keep in mind that lots of mail-in ballots won’t be counted tonight. Results can change as all the votes are counted.

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      

Early evening election day notebook

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* This is so very weird and obviously last-minute…

* Rolling Stone profiled the race today

There is a time for generational progress, CBC allies say, pointing to recent Black primary victors like Summer Lee in Pennsylvania and Jasmine Crockett, both of whom vyed for open seats. That progress, they maintain, should not come at the expense of Black incumbents. Party leaders have signaled they agree: Both Jeffries and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stumped for Davis, and President Joe Biden offered a rare primary endorsement of him over the weekend. Opportunities for All, a new super PAC, has dumped more than $440,000 into the race’s final days to boost Davis. (Justice Democrats have spent $422,000 on Collins’ behalf.)

“Democratic leadership and Democrats in general should be very careful of being dismissive of young, working class Black women like myself,” Collins says in response to the blitz. “The message that’s being sent to my campaign and the people who are helping me in this campaign says I am not welcome in the party.”

* $$$…


One of the largest changes in political advertising spending within the last four years has been the explosion of CTV/streaming spending.

This gubernatorial election has demonstrated the rapidly increasing influence of CTV advertising. So far, $29M dollars have been spent on CTV marketing for this race, which is the second most CTV spending AdImpact has ever tracked. It is second only to the Internet Regulation Issue—which has seen $33M dollars. […]

Advertisers on both sides of the aisle have quickly learned how to adapt CTV spending into their marketing strategies. Billionaire incumbent J.B Pritzker has spent $5.9M on CTV, while the DGA has spent $5.2M. For the Republicans, mayor of Aurora, Richard Irvin, has spent $12.5M on CTV, a staggering total

* Tribune

Voting was extended an extra hour for six suburban Cook County precincts in response to broader challenges in today’s primary election, with late-arriving poll workers and no-shows causing delayed starts for an election that is expected to draw fewer voters overall.

According to the Cook County clerk’s office, the office sought a court order this afternoon to keep certain precincts open at Kennedy School in Chicago Heights, Golf Middle School in Morton Grove, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Melrose Park, Roosevelt School in Broadview and Douglas MacArthur School in Hoffman Estates.

Six precincts that opened late this morning will remain open until 8 p.m., which will delay the clerk’s reporting of results, the clerk’s office said. The remaining 1,424 precincts in suburban Cook County are set to close at 7 p.m.

* Chicago elections board…

The voter turnout for Chicago as of 5:00pm is:

- 251,783 ballots counted

- 16.8% citywide turnout

As an update, there were 56 delayed openings at precinct polling locations today – but so far election investigators have not found enough needed evidence for a court order to hold any open later than 7:00pm in Chicago.

* From Effingham…

* Speaking of Bailey

Speaking on WGLT’s Sound Ideas, [Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington] was asked what he thinks about Bailey’s campaign for governor.

“He has been very vocal about his opposition to the governor’s unilateral approach to handling COVID and the state’s response to it. That has been divisive, and it is divisive. I was of the belief that the governor was flying solo without any input from anyone. And while my tone may be different than some of my other Republicans, we desire the same thing – which is a governor who collaborates with the legislature,” Barickman said. “I think the governor was wrong there. So I’m not one who’s going to throw fire at Darren for his response, because I think … if we want a collaborative environment, if we want to bring people together, rather than criticizing a potential opponent of the governor, I think we need to look at the governor. He’s the governor. Why didn’t he bring people together?”

* Press release…

Former candidate for Cook County Sheriff Carmen Navarro Gercone appeared on voters’ ballots today with no notification being provided to the voters that their vote for her would not count.

“This is widespread. We received hundreds of calls from locations not posting a notification nor handing out a notice that their vote would not count. For this I am requesting to know how many people casted their vote for me” says Navarro.

People need to understand that their vote is their voice. My campaign messages resonated with thousands of voters who asked for change, but the system once again mislead them. Elected officials need to listen to the citizens request and demands.

On June 8, 2022, the Chicago Board of Elections spokesperson said, “Due to the ruling, notices were to be placed at early voting sites and future polling sites informing voters that Navarro Gercone had been removed as a candidate, and that votes for her will not be counted” and this did not happen.

Some of the locations reporting not notifications posted nor give included: South Shore
Several locations on the Northwest side of Chicago
Mount Greenwood
Just to name a few.

Carmen Navarro Gercone is available for an interview anytime this evening to discuss this concern.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Abortion coverage roundup

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Tribune

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Chicago fired off hundreds of letters Monday to Fortune 500 CEOs in states facing abortion bans, pitching the city as a more welcoming location for their businesses.

The letter, which was signed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other civic leaders, was mailed to about 300 CEOs in 25 states that are enacting trigger bans, restricting access and criminalizing abortion. It warns that employees in those states “may suffer” and see their lives upended as a result of the decision to end the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right.

“As you weigh the repercussions facing your employees, customers and vendors, we welcome the opportunity to highlight the ways in which Chicago remains a welcoming city for all,” the letter states.

* Newsmax

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to make the state “the abortion mecca of the nation,” GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey told Newsmax on Tuesday — Illinois’ primary election day.

“I’m just appalled, listening to the conversation about the abortion issues,” Bailey, a state senator, told Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” “We’ve got a fight on our hands here.”

* Fox 32

Former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, who is pro-choice on abortion, noted that a majority of Illinois voters are too. He fears Bailey won’t be able to win over many of those voters in the general election.

“People can complain maybe they don’t like what some of us did back in the eighties and nineties. But we won, and we governed,” Edgar said “If the party continues its move to the right, we will be a permanent minority party in Illinois.”

* Center Square

Women seeking abortions who live in state where the procedure is now banned may get help from an Illinois charity.

The Springfield-based group called Elevated Access is organizing free flights. The group recruits volunteer pilots to fly patients to medical procedures, including abortions. The charity flew its first abortion patient earlier this month from Oklahoma to Kansas.

* Wisconsin

It had been barely 80 minutes since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday when physician Nisha Verma’s phone pinged with an urgent group message from another obstetrician-gynecologist that made her catch her breath.

There was a woman in Wisconsin carrying a fetus with anencephaly, a fatal birth defect in which parts of the brain and skull are missing. With abortion likely illegal in the state, the clinic had canceled her appointment for a termination later that day. But forcing her to continue the pregnancy was cruel and risked complications. What should I do? the doctor wrote.

As colleagues in other parts of the Midwest responded with leads for out-of-state clinics, Verma mentally added the case to her growing list of gray-area situations where the new abortion bans fail to capture the complexity of modern medicine and leave doctors in the lurch.

“There are so many unanswered questions,” said Verma, an OB/GYN in Atlanta, where a six-week abortion ban law that is on hold could be activated soon. “The decision is creating confusion and fear because we know what to do medically but we don’t know what we can do based on the law.”

* Ohio

The parking lot of Dayton Women’s Med Center in Kettering was busier than usual Monday as patients inside tried to understand their options now that abortions are banned in Ohio after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — about six weeks into pregnancy.

“Patients are very upset, crying and desperate,” said a representative from Women’s Med, one of the few remaining abortion providers in Ohio. “There is a lot of confusion.”

“Today we saw a patient in Dayton who has cancer. Her doctors told her she would have to terminate before she received chemotherapy treatment. She will have to travel to Indiana. A mom brought her daughter in and doesn’t own a car. She will have to rent one to get her daughter to her appointment in Indianapolis later this week.”

* Missouri

Just five weeks before the August primary vote when Schmitt will need to win over fervently anti-abortion Republican voters, the Missouri attorney general is now empowered to investigate potential violations of the ban.

“My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion,” Schmitt said in a statement on Friday. “I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn.” Schmitt didn’t elaborate on what shape his continued fight would take.

* Indiana

Indiana’s attorney general is asking federal judges to lift orders blocking several state anti-abortion laws following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to end constitutional protection for abortion.

An appeal of one of those blocked Indiana laws aimed at prohibiting abortions based on gender, race or disability was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019. But that was before former President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett strengthened the court’s conservative majority.

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office asked in court filings Monday that federal judges lift injunctions against that law, along with others banning a common second-trimester abortion procedure that the legislation calls a “dismemberment abortion” and requiring parents be notified if a court allows a girl younger than 18 to get abortion without parental consent.

* Iowa

Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking a court to reinstate Iowa’s “fetal heartbeat” law — which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — in her first action to limit abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to the procedure.

Reynolds, a Republican and staunch abortion opponent, signed the so-called heartbeat law in 2018, but it never took effect and was ruled unconstitutional in 2019. At the time, it would have been the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

* Online

Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. […]

The Facebook account was immediately put on a “warning” status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on “guns, animals and other regulated goods.”

Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail “weed” was also left up and not considered a violation.


Majorities of Americans say they disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, think it was politically motivated, are concerned the court will now reconsider rulings that protect other rights, and are more likely to vote for a candidate this fall who would restore the right to an abortion, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. […]

By a 56%-to-40% margin, respondents oppose the court’s decision, including 45% who strongly oppose it. […]

By a 57%-to-36% margin, respondents said the decision was mostly based on politics as opposed to the law. And by a 56%-to-41% margin are concerned that the overturning of Roe will be used by the Supreme Court to reconsider past rulings that protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. […]

A bare majority of 51% say they would definitely vote for a candidate who would support a federal law to restore the right to an abortion, while 36% would definitely vote against such a candidate.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Afternoon/evening precinct reports

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Tell us what’s going on over by you.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* SJ-R

Though it hasn’t received as much attention as the fiercely competitive race for governor, this election is the first in more than 20 years without Secretary of State Jesse White on the ballot.

Almost 24 years, and that’s just statewide. He was first elected to the House in 1974. I’m old enough to have covered a couple House vs. Senate softball games he played in. Man, was he good, particularly since he was in his mid-to-late 50s back then.

* The Question: Your favorite Jesse White memory?

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Afternoon election day notebook

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Gov. JB Pritzker has contributed $2.4 million to other campaigns and committees this June. $1.5 million of that went to the Democratic Party of Illinois, likely for stuff like this

Such an odd person.

* Lynn Sweet

In the 1st Congressional District — the crowded Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. Bobby Rush — a surprise last minute surge of outside money — $823,122, according to Federal Election Commission reports — was spent to elect Karin Norington-Reaves, who is backed by Rush. Last week, I reported how crypto currency interests put in a combined $1,092,561 to bolster Jonathan Jackson.

Most of the independent expenditures for Norington-Reaves — some $758,000 of the total — comes from a shadowy political action committee called Forward Progress, whose donors and organizers are not known. The rest of the outside spend for Norington-Reaves, $65,122, came from the Collective Super Pac, whose goal is, according to its website, “to create an America where Black people are equally represented at every level of government.” […]

GOP mega donors from Illinois — Ken Griffin and Richard Uihlein — both players in the GOP governor primary — Griffin for Richard Irvin and Uihlein backing Darren Bailey — are also factors in the $12 million in outside expenditures spent in the Miller and Davis primary, where the independent expenditures are about evenly split.

Griffin is the sole donor to the Illinois Value PAC — and his $1. 5 million contribution was used mainly on ads to oppose Miller. Uihlein donated $3 million to the Club for Growth Action fund between April and May; the group spent $2.5 million to help elect Miller.

Lynn has the outside spending in other races, too, so click here.

* Center Square

Illinois statehouse Republicans that voted in 2019 to double the state’s gas tax and include annual increases tied to inflation face challengers in Tuesday’s GOP primary election.

The vote to double the gas tax in 2019 was bipartisan.

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, supported the measure. Challenging Butler in the GOP primary is Kent Gray, who criticized Butler’s support for the doubling of the gas tax that also included a parking excise tax.

“Rep. Tim Butler, if you drive a car, he’s going to tax you as soon as it moves and he’s going to tax you as soon as you stop,” Gray said.

Butler defended his vote.

“I make no bones about the fact that infrastructure is one of the things in the state of Illinois that gives us a competitive advantage,” Butler said. “And what my opponent would like to do is strip that away, basically stop the hundreds of millions of dollars of projects that are being invested right here in this community.” […]

Don Debolt, who is challenging Springfield state Sen. Steve McClure in the GOP primary Tuesday. He said the incumbent is to blame for the state’s high gas tax.

“He voted to double the gas tax, but more importantly, they voted to put in automatic tax increases every year into the gas tax,” Debolt said.

McClure said Democrats already had the votes to double the gas tax in 2019 and if he didn’t support the measure, it would have been difficult to bring projects to his district. He said separate from the motor fuel tax is the sales tax on top of the price of fuel and that needs to be suspended without impacting infrastructure funding.

Both of those challengers are endorsed by Darren Bailey.

* Pic of Rep. Zalewski getting ready to face the last primary day…

* LBG mailer…

The governor has endorsed her opponent, Sen. Melinda Bush.

…Adding… More from Lake County…

…Adding… This endorsement arrived after 3 o’clock this afternoon…

“Organized labor is the backbone of the middle class, and families throughout Illinois’ need a representative of the court who is keeping their interests front and center. I know Judge Elizabeth Rochford will be a tireless advocate for workers because as an advocate for working people and families, she knows the value of unions in fighting for better wages, working conditions, and quality of life.”

-DeKalb County Building and Construction Trades Council President Lance McGill

Just a bit late.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

Sullivan claims he’s “surging” as he makes his final pitch

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* You’ll remember that we connected the American Jobs and Growth Fund to the Jesse Sullivan campaign a while back…

* ABC7

“I think we can, we’re surging; there’s so many undecideds just now making up their mind,” Sullivan said in more conservative DuPage County. “We’ve also energized a whole group of people who have not voted in Republican primaries before, but they’re sick and fed up with how far left this governor has gone and want to fix the state.”

Sullivan was in Arlington Heights Tuesday morning, meeting with volunteers there.

“We’re ready to fight to save Illinois. We’re out to fight for law enforcement, fight for our kids, get this indoctrination out of our schools, fight for the unborn, fight for our faith and our freedom, ready to take our state back from these corrupt insiders who have ruined it,” he said.

Recent polls suggested there were still quite a number of undecided voters, but whether it’s enough for Irvin or Sullivan to catch Bailey is the question that will be answered Tuesday.

* From a reader comes this photo of Jesse Sullivan at the Arlington Heights Metra station today…

* Sullivan was also on WLS Radio earlier today

We had 120,000 people leave the state of Illinois last year. We just lost Caterpillar, an iconic company. We lost Boeing we are losing Citadel now. We need somebody who actually knows what they’re doing from a business standpoint. I went out to Stanford Business School after I got back from Afghanistan, and I learned how to create jobs. I’ve been running a business to do that around the world, but I’m going to create them right here at home and that requires a low-tax environment. I’m the only candidate in this race who vowed never to raise taxes on the people of Illinois because we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. And it’s also you know, as a parent, one of the biggest differences is, I’ve said, I will ban this sexuality and racial indoctrination that’s starting to happen in our schools. And we need a strong leader who’s going to stand up against it. I have faith and family values rooted in my Christian faith, to say, I’m not going to sell out the people of Illinois. Not just the Democrats, it’s these insider Republicans that have the same pay to play mentality. I don’t owe anybody anything in this system, and I’m going to change it.

* Meanwhile, on a public way in Chicago…

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Mid-day precinct reports

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* What’s going on out there? Turnout, snafus, whatever you want to talk about, but please let us know where you are.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Rate Mary Miller’s new TV ad

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Here you go…

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

House GOP Leader continues dissing his party’s frontrunner

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Dave McKinney and Tina Sfondeles

“I still stand by my statements that he is the strongest candidate to challenge J.B. Pritzker in November, but J.B. Pritzker has done a hell of a job interfering in the Republican primary, and it looks like he’s going to accomplish what he set out to get — the weakest of the bunch,” said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, who serves as Irvin’s campaign co-chair. […]

But with victory possibly in his grasp, Bailey told his Facebook followers over the weekend that his candidacy will usher in a new era of conservatism that will transform Illinois and Chicago.

“Look back into Illinois and find out when the last time Illinois had a conservative, Republican governor who actually stood and did something. It’s been a long, long time,” he said. “And I can assure you that ever since those days, Illinois has plummeted. We’ve become a laughing stock. … Friends, those days are coming to an end.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      

Election day notebook

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Aside from the silly counties argument, the original version of this Washington Post story contained a couple of weird errors

Nothing illustrated this change more than the 2020 general election when President Biden beat Trump by one percentage point by carrying just 14 of the state’s 102 counties. (By comparison, Barack Obama won 46 counties in 2008.) Likewise, Pritzker handily defeated Republican incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018 by carrying just 16 counties. Pritzker’s strength came from the northeast pocket of the state — Cook County, which includes Chicago, and four of all five collar counties — and he barely campaigned elsewhere.

The corrected version (which is not labeled as such) changes Biden’s margin to the actual 17 points, but still incorrectly claims that the governor barely campaigned in the rest of the state. Not sure where that author was at the time. But, heck, I remember Pritzker catching flak from a Chicago reporter for holding a big pre-election event in the Metro East. Also, click here and check out that thread.

* Greg Hinz

In one new twist, voters in DuPage County will be able to cast ballots in any of the county’s 263 polling places instead of going to the one closest to their house. The new option is intended to provide flexibility in casting a vote during a busy workday, but don’t be shocked if someone sees a nefarious plot to rig the vote.

That is a really good idea and I hope it eventually goes statewide.

* Contrary to this take, there are a ton of hot legislative contests

STATEHOUSE RACES: They’re all up for grabs, but only a few are really hot. Top of the list for Democrats is state Rep. Mike Zalewski vs. challenger Abdelnasser Rashid in the 21st District. Zalewski is seen as one of the last vestiges of the Democratic machine and has the support of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Gov. JB Pritzker. While Zalelwski is a progressive with an energetic ground game.

Also watch challenges to state Reps. Denyse Wang Stoneback in the 16th, Lindsey LaPointe in the 19th, and Kathleen Willis in the 77th. Among Republican races, we’re watching for the outcome of Brett Nicklaus’ challenge to Sen. Win Stoller in the 37th District state Senate seat.


* Late outside money in CD11…

* The Post-Dispatch ain’t happy at all with the choices in the CD15 GOP primary

Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville, supported by this newspaper in his 2020 reelection bid for Illinois’ 13th District, used to be someone unafraid to stand up to former President Donald Trump and defend old-style GOP beliefs without veering off the deep end. Sadly, space aliens kidnapped that man and replaced him with someone willing to compromise his principles at every turn just to stay in office. For inspiration on hypocrisy, he turns to his spiritual and political mentor, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

Challenging Davis from the far right is Rep. Mary Miller of Oakland, who never seems to miss an opportunity to align herself with the likes of white supremacists.

Space aliens. Whew.

* Frank Avila formed this committee last month, but has never reported any contributions. Looks like a possible Chicago FOP front group…

* One side of a Lyons Township Democrats’ palm card…

The flip side…

Who says bipartisanship is dead?

* Poultry politics

Mike Holloway has had chickens at his Loami residence since shortly after he moved there in 1976.

At some point, Holloway doesn’t remember when, they were outlawed in the Sangamon County village about 15 miles southwest of Springfield, but Holloway was “grandfathered” in and allowed to keep his chickens.

Loami voters will consider an advisory referendum Tuesday about allowing chickens back in the village’s limits. The village of Clearlake and New Berlin also have referendums.

…Adding… The Chicago Board of Elections being the Chicago Board of Elections

As of 8:30 a.m., State Rep. Delia Ramirez, a Democrat running in the 3rd Congressional District race, was one of two voters who had shown up at her polling place at Harriet Beecher Stowe School in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, which opened with two of four poll workers still yet to arrive.

Ramirez said while she was enroute to vote, she saw volunteers in front of the voting site at Yates Elementary School did not have voting booths open as of 6:45 a.m. Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Max Bever did not have information about Yates but confirmed three other polling locations had delayed starts.

“Unfortunately, Lillian and I talked to a number of voters who said ‘I’m sorry, I’ve been waiting, I have to get to work,” said Ramirez, who addressed reporters alongisde Lillian Jimenez, who is running to replace Ramirez’s seat in the Illinois House.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

Suzanne Deuchler

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* They just don’t make ‘em like Suzanne anymore

Aurora is mourning the passing of Suzanne Deuchler, a state representative from Aurora for 18 years in the 1980s and ‘90s who died last week at the age of 92. […]

Suzanne Deuchler served 18 years as a Republican state representative from Aurora in the General Assembly, after serving four years representing the West Side of Aurora on the Kane County Board. […]

She served on the Education, Appropriations, Banking, Transportation and Environment committees in the Illinois House. She was known for her support of women’s issues, including abortion rights and the Equal Rights Amendment, and for supporting environmental issues. She was instrumental in establishing Nelson Lake Nature Preserve in Kane County.

She also was a supporter of education initiatives, and was one of the representatives instrumental in establishing the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, as well as the Orchard Road interchange with Interstate 88.

She was a great lady and I always enjoyed our talks. My deepest sympathies to her family.

* Related…

* June 3, 2011 Interview with Suzanne Deuchler

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Today’s quotable

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Regarding the Republican gubernatorial primary and the Richard Irvin campaign

“This is the biggest debacle I’ve ever seen. It’s the biggest screw-up I’ve ever seen and the biggest waste of money I’ve ever seen,” said former Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady, who is doing communications work for candidate Gary Rabine.

Dude is openly pushing an also-ran conspiracy-theorist for the top office in the state likely because his cousin didn’t get slated for secretary of state. He probably doesn’t have a whole lot of room to talk. Just sayin…

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      

On election day, Pritzker begins new TV ad campaign

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* “Wasn’t Over”


The day has come that we’ve always feared.

And across America, women are losing their right to make their own health care decisions.

But here in Illinois, JB Pritzker made sure we’re protected by signing a landmark abortion rights bill that made Illinois the only state in the Midwest to put those protections into law.

Because of JB, women will get the health care they need and the freedom to make their own decisions.

And that’s exactly what we deserve.

* “Launch”


Some launches are more complicated than others.

But when Governor Pritzker launched the manufacturing and training academies downstate, the idea was pretty simple.

JB brought businesses and community colleges together to train the workforce that businesses need.

Now, thousands of downstate workers are getting good-paying jobs.

And companies are open for business across our state.

Supporting workers and growing the economy, it’s not rocket science.

JB is working for Illinois.

Rate ‘em.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Morning precinct reports

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* How’s it looking out there? Tell us about turnout, weather, mood, or anything else you’ve seen. Also, try to tell us where you are to give us some context. Thanks.

…Adding… From the Chicago Elections Board…

The voter turnout for Chicago as of 9:00am is:

    - 141,122 ballots cast

    - 9.4% citywide turnout


    - 18-24 year olds: 3,516
    - 25-34 year olds: 16,367
    - 35-44 year olds: 17,571
    - 45-54 year olds: 17,349
    - 55-64 year olds: 27,114
    - 65-74 year olds: 33,777
    - 75+ year olds: 25,410

…Adding… I asked if the totals above included early votes…

That’s correct, this is inclusive of previous Early Voting and Vote By Mail numbers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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* Special legislative session won't be held this month
* Taking another day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's special edition of Capitol Fax (use last week's password)
* Highland Park parade updates
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Pritzker campaign spending $200K on cable/satellite TV in the next week
* Pritzker wants four things from Biden on abortion issue
* Construction group warns that strike "is now threatening the viability of our summer construction season"
* Campaign notebook: Lipinski's indy bid; Budzinski's million; DeVore's gun raffle; Pritzker on Republicans; Bailey says he's in the middle; Pritzker on Miller-Davis; SDem loss
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Session update
* Illinois' version of "The Big Lie" is hilariously pathetic, but points to a bigger problem
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign report
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker pounces on Bailey "biblical marriage" comments
* Dem pols praise "historic night" for Asian American/Pacific Islander candidates
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* Comptroller says state ends fiscal year with a GRF bill payment cycle of zero days
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