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Campaign notebook

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ve been over this topic several times before, but this is a good read from Emily Hoerner at the Tribune

The state’s wealthiest man, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, is again exerting influence in a race for an Illinois Supreme Court seat during an election cycle that could give Republicans a high court edge.

Griffin has funneled $6.25 million to an independent expenditure committee that two years ago spent millions in a successful effort to unseat a Democratic high court justice by linking him unfavorably to former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The committee this time around already has spent more than $200,000 in the Republican primary, and Griffin said in a statement that Illinois residents “deserve fair and objective judges rather than the hand-picked candidates of Mike Madigan.”

I didn’t realize Madigan was still picking candidates. Who knew?

* Daily Herald

As the primary races for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District seat approach the finish line, incumbent U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove has been raising and spending far more than either of the other Democratic challengers for his job, federal documents show.

The latest finance reports were filed before Casten’s 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, died unexpectedly last week.

After that tragedy, Casten temporarily put his TV advertising on hold and withdrew from the public eye to mourn with his family. Casten’s campaign advertising has since resumed, spokesman Jacob Vurpillat said Monday, but he’s not yet making public appearances.

“(We’re) just taking it one day at a time right now,” Vurpillat said.

* Same district…

LCV Victory Fund and NRDC Action Votes announced a new digital ad buy backing Rep. Sean Casten in the IL-06 primary. Two new ads highlight NRDC Action Fund and LCV Action Fund’s endorsements of Rep. Casten in the closely watched primary and the Congressman’s support for clean energy solutions.

WATCH: “Real Solutions”
WATCH: “Front Lines”

“Representative Casten is the definition of a Congressional climate champion,” said Joann Saridakis, LCV Victory Fund Campaigns Director. “The last year has made it clearer than ever that we need proven pro-environment leadership in Congress in order to pass the cost saving climate and clean energy legislation our country needs – and it’s imperative that Rep. Casten wins his primary and heads back to Washington for another term to do just that.”

“Representative Sean Casten understands the climate crisis – and understands what it will take to address it,” said Jocelyn Steinberg, director of NRDC Action Votes. “We need Representative Casten’s proven leadership in Congress to address this crucial issue and build a clean-energy future.”

The new ads will run on digital platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, pre-roll video, and connected TV, in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District through the June 28 primary.

* I mean, if state legislator endorsements of statewide candidates worked really well, Richard Irvin would be cruising to victory right now. This appears to be an attempt to try and slow down Darren Bailey’s momentum

Jesse Sullivan, the venture capitalist who’s come in third in most polls behind Darren Bailey and Richard Irvin, is seeing a surge in endorsements — including from a lawmaker who has outright switched from Irvin’s campaign to Sullivan.

The thinking is that Republicans who don’t see a path for Irvin also don’t see Bailey being able to defeat Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the general election. So they’re working their way down the list. […]

Does Sullivan, who also sits far right on the political spectrum, have enough time to surpass frontrunners Bailey and Irvin among primary voters? Or, does the surge in his support only take away from Bailey and give Irvin a boost? We’ll see in a week.

As I told subscribers this morning, there is zero hard evidence of a “surge” outside of a handful of new endorsements from legislators. But, hey, maybe they can move the needle a bit. We’ll see. There are people in the party who would like to hold Bailey under 50 percent.

* Getting really mean in the 43rd…

Rachel Ventura, State Senate candidate for the 43rd District has been actively and unapologetically campaigning with multiple known abusers. Counted among her campaign staff and endorsers, are admitted groper Joel Brown; DuPage Township Supervisor Gary Marschke, who resigned from the Illinois State Treasurer’s office after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct; and Joliet Township Supervisor Angel Contreras, who was arrested this past weekend for an aggravated DUI and faced a criminal trial for domestic battery.

“Rachel Ventura only says what she thinks the person in front of her wants to hear,” said Eric Mattson. “But her real morals and values have never been more clear than when you see who she surrounds herself with: a cadre of abusers. The 43rd district doesn’t need a panderer, and we certainly don’t need someone who will lift up and support multiple men who have been accused and in some cases admitted to violating women.”

“Eric’s opponent started out her election aggressively attacking and then makes excuses for her actions when the facts are pointed out,” said Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Will County Executive. “Eric Mattson is the firefighter who spent his days off providing vaccines for seniors, he’s a community leader who volunteers with local service organizations to make his community better, and he’s the neighbor and friend who is always there when you need a helping hand. If voters truly want change in Springfield, the choice is crystal clear. Eric Mattson has chosen a career in which he puts others people first, that is leadership.”

“I am disturbed and offended that a fellow woman seeking office in Springfield would publicly and unapologetically stand by men who have abused women in the workplace and who’ve been accused of domestic battery,” said Meg Loughran Cappel. “There is a new generation of leaders in Springfield that are passing ethics reforms and rehabilitating a longstanding culture of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. Rachel Ventura has clearly demonstrated that women can’t count on her to be that kind of leader.”

Rachel Ventura has posted several photos (see attached) campaigning alongside Joel Brown on her Facebook page. He was also the lead petitioner on her failed attempt to challenge Eric Mattson’s petition signatures in the State Senate race.

Both Marschke and Contreras have endorsed Ventura.

* Press release…

Today, Kendall County Board Chairman, Scott R. Gryder, frontrunner for nomination of the Republican Party to challenge Lauren Underwood for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District released his closing message to voters as they prepare to head to the polls on June 28.

Gryder’s ad, titled, “We’ve Paid Enough,” is an encapsulation of the hardships working families face daily while in the grip of the Biden-Underwood economy.

The ad is here.


As Cook County GOP chairman and one of only two Republicans on the 17-member county board, Sean Morrison is a frequent and vocal critic of the ruling Democrats.

He often points to violent crime in Chicago and has questioned the costs of providing security details to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and county board President Toni Preckwinkle.

But Morrison also has benefited for years -– starting soon after he became a county commissioner — from “special attention” given to his home by police in south suburban Palos Park.

Records obtained by WBEZ show police in Morrison’s hometown have patrolled his house 415 times since he took office less than seven years ago.

* Lynn Sweet

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot pitched top Democratic National Committee officials on Friday about Chicago’s bid to host the 2024 Democratic convention, bringing boxes of Chicago goodies and - in a show of how serious this bid is - themselves.

In separate presentations, the DNC officials - including DNC Chair Jamie Harrison, who attended via video, and new DNC senior adviser Cedric Richmond, a former top official in the Biden White House - Chicago, New York, Houston and Atlanta representatives made their cases to host the 2024 convention.

* More…

* Secretary of state hopefuls on jaywalking, rolling stops for cyclists and driver exams: “Provided there is no other traffic present, I support the ability of cyclists to roll stop signs,” Giannoulias said. “However, when traffic is present, that practice can result in more accidents, and I would only support the rule when no other traffic is present.” And because “enforcement often falls on the backs of the people that can least afford to be penalized for violating these ordinances … I would support changes to this law to significantly reduce or eliminate the fines.”

* After Pritzker endorsement, Edly-Allen surges past Yingling in campaign money

* Democratic candidates focusing on health care in race for 77th state House seat

* Irvin visits manufacturing business in Central Illinois

* Darren Bailey stops through Tazewell County on campaign tour

* Calumet City elected officials face off in Democratic primary in 29th House District: In early April, the Chicago Tribune reported that Jones is under federal criminal investigation for tax issues involving his campaign funds.

* Hackler says he’s always opposed mask and vaccine mandates; Korte says as a mom she fought Pritzker lockdowns, mandates

* State Rep candidate campaign signs vandalized in Normal: “Probably the motive would have been somebody saying they view me as a threat, so they go out there and put an X on my name on all my signs, trying to tell people in a way don’t for Jim, don’t vote for Mr. Fisher,” Fisher said.


  1. - Sue - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:06 pm:

    Given the composition of the legislature and a D in the Gov’s mansion- having a 4/3 S CT with R’s in the majority wouldn’t be the worst result in terms of checks and balances

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===Today, Kendall County Board Chairman, Scott R. Gryder, frontrunner for nomination of the Republican Party===

    I’m not too sure about that…

  3. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==There are people in the party who would like to hold Bailey under 50 percent.==

    What good would that do anyone. Honestly, these guys prove every day why they’re a super minority in this state.

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:11 pm:

    ===What good would that do anyone===

    Because then he’d be nominated by a minority of the minority party.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===Because then he’d be nominated by a minority of the minority party.===

    I was one that had a possible win for Irvin with roughly 37-41% and it was seen a weak for Griffin and Irvin and a problem.

    We are now at the point of the game where the discussion is keeping one below 50%?

    Good, bad, the idea folks are talking about how the win will be… or could be… it’s a wow type thing.

  6. - Craig Wright - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    People who supported Irvin or Undecided are going to go somewhere. Bailey is a pretty well known entity, not sure that these undecided folks are going his way. Sullivan appears to be the horse for the non-Bailey folks.

  7. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    ==Bailey is a pretty well known entity, not sure that these undecided folks are going his way.==

    This was the reason given several weeks ago for why he’ll never take the lead.

    But just in general, every time I’ve seen an “Anybody But X” movement, X wins.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    ===People who supported Irvin or Undecided are going to go somewhere===

    According to the polls, they’re moving to Bailey. Also, Irvin is still on the ballot. He ain’t dead.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===People who supported Irvin or Undecided are going to go somewhere.===

    There’s Rabine, Schimpf, even Rabine… let alone following the trend (if there’s one) towards Bailey…

    Sullivan hasn’t shown any outside thoughts to a surge. Media polls seemingly have Sullivan stuck, and voting is going on as I type this now.

  10. - The Snowman - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    I don’t trust a word that comes out of Rachel Ventura. The first time she ran for Joliet City Council she talked like a conservative Republican.

  11. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:37 pm:

    The only Sully Surge I’ve seen is that he got a small package of State House endorsements. And poaching one from Irvin has gotta feel good.

    But I’ll believe these guys’ ability to move votes when I see it.

  12. - Former Downstater - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    Why is so much money being spent to defeat Ventura?

  13. - up2now - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    Perhaps a little off-topic, perhaps not: I looked at the Democratic and Republican specimen ballots for Effingham County for next week’s primary. There were 18 “no candidate” listings for various state and local positions on the GOP ballot, and 55 on the Democratic ballot. The Democratic Party barely exists any more here in the Eastern Bloc.

  14. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    -The only Sully Surge I’ve seen is that he got a small package of State House endorsements.-

    Looks like he’s surging from “not winning” to “not winning.”

  15. - South side cubs fan - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    To my knowledge, Joel Brown made a pass at someone because he thought he had the green light to do that. She said no, and as I understand it, her “no” directive was immediately complied with. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my understanding. I think I’d be cautious about slinging mud here.

  16. - South Side Chi - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 3:55 pm:

    @SouthSideCubsFan You clearly have not read the article or what Mr. Brown has admitted to.

  17. - Mister Bizzy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 4:16 pm:

    It’s 2022. Whipping out your junk and groping a woman’s breast isn’t considered making a pass. It’s considered assault. He admitted to it.

  18. - South side cubs fan - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 4:42 pm:

    I don’t know that the Herald News article was all that accurate. I am merely saying I wouldn’t take that article as an authoritative statement on what happened. That’s all.

  19. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 5:03 pm:

    We have had a long line of distinguished senators in 43rd over the years people who’s word meant something …Larry Walsh, Pat McGuire and John Connor to name a few. Newly appointed Sen Eric Mattson has my vote in the 43rd. Part of your character is the company you keep Ventura clearly lacking in that.

  20. - low level - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 5:26 pm:

    Im sorry, but can someone explain Alexi’s remarks about the rolling stops? Its as clear as mud for me.

  21. - Not Your Gramma - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 6:02 pm:

    Ventura is out for herself, can’t work with others to save her life, and frankly a jerk but the idea that Bertino-Tarrant & Cappel would accuse her of not standing by women is rich. Anyone check their votes on women’s rights? Yeah. Glass houses, ladies. And hey what about their bestie Rep Natalie Manley who got a domestic charge for clocking her own daughter? And, unlike Contreras’ charge, that one actually stuck. Neither side in this race is any good. Gross all around.

  22. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 6:48 pm:

    Alexi going for the stupid hipster vote. Rolling stops are dangerous to encourage but the hipster bikers do it far to often and it plays havoc with traffic. Vote no on rolling stops, though that would make a good band name.

  23. - Long time Independent - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:21 pm:

    What possible reason could a elected official need the police to come and check out their house 415 times in 6 years. Then says he never knew

  24. - Rufus T. Firefly - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:18 pm:

    Not Your Gramma is right. Lousy candidates in the 43rd. The mean girl machine trotted out Mattson at the last minute, and he’s clearly in way over his head and way out of his league. And Ventura burns bridges like it’s her job and thinks she’s gonna stop climate change from the Illinois state senate. Sheesh.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Stop Illinois From Making Credit Cards Hard To Use
* Question of the day
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* Isabel’s morning briefing
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