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Campaign notebook

Friday, Jun 24, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Let’s start with some oppo that’s been floating around. Back in December of 2008, an Illinois House Special Investigative Committee was created to investigate Gov. Rod Blagojevich to see if more reasons existed to impeach him. From that report

Ms. Gold’s first negative interaction came when she worked at the Equal Employment Office (EEO) in Schaumburg, IL as a TM 6 (technical manager), monitoring minority contracts and employment at IDOT sites. While there, Gilbert Villegas, was also put into this office as a TM 4. While there, Villegas was part of an incident where other employees heard Villegas and other associates using racial charged expletives including the N word. This incident was brought to Ms. Gold’s attention who then reported it to the Civil Rights Office of IDOT. This was further investigated and Ms. Gold stated that Gilbert Villegas was told by a superior that if Villegas lied about the incident (so as to cover it up) he would get Ms. Gold’s position at EEO. Shortly after the incident and investigation, Ms. Gold was transferred to the Civil Rights Office and Gilbert Villegas was placed into her old job as a TM6. Ms. Gold further claimed that upon Villegas’ taking over of this position, minority contracts for African-Americans fell swiftly and specifically that 14 African-American businesses went out of business.

Cook County Commissioner Stan Moore issued a statement today defending Villegas…

Marine Veteran Gil Villegas is a man of character and integrity. I was Gil’s direct supervisor during his time at the Illinois Department of Transportation and I have known him for decades since. There is no circumstance where he would ever use the language of discrimination and I can categorically say with certainty it did not happen at the time in question. 

* Speaking of CD3

Expenditures of about $2.8 million from outside groups are a big factor in the newly created 3rd Congressional District Democratic primary, where Ald. Gil Villegas (36th) and state Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, are the front-runners. […]

About $1 million was spent by outside groups to support Ramirez and some $565,000 to oppose Villegas.

About $800,000 was spent by outside groups to support Villegas and some $420,000 to oppose Ramirez.

* Republican US Senate candidate Bobby Piton’s “closing arguments”

Closing Arguments from Bobby Piton on Vimeo.

* From a Tribune story about the state party’s pitch to hold an early primary

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, told the Illinois delegation that “Chicago is a very interesting place” where there are “local issues that then get played out in the national campaign.”

She cited labor disputes between the CTU and Chicago mayors, adding that, “I would have hoped that it was simply restricted to Rahm (Emanuel) and the CTU but it seems to be a continuing oration in Chicago” under Lori Lightfoot.

“How do you ensure that this is about the presidential election as opposed to all these other issues,” Weingarten asked.

[Jake Lewis, the state party’s deputy director] didn’t directly address the question. Instead, he called the state “absolutely union proud” and said backing for the early primary date, as well as for a bid to get the party’s 2024 presidential nominating convention for Chicago, were backed by the state AFL-CIO and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

“Illinois isn’t a state where unions are on the defensive trying to stop Republican encroachment or join the race to the bottom. We are proud. We are aggressive,” he said. “Nobody knows better than you in this room the power unions have in Illinois and Chicago and we feel like Chicago is the capital of the Midwest and that what happens in Chicago, what happens in Illinois, radiates out to other states in the Midwest.”

As much as I despise much of the national political press, I gotta admit that watching presidential candidates navigate state, city and county politics would be hilarious.

* You can learn a lot at the doors. I was chatting with a legislator’s campaign manager earlier this month who looked incredulous when I asked if she had walked any precincts. “I’m the campaign manager,” I was told with an eyeroll. Well, yeah, but if you want to learn something about what actual human beings are thinking, go knock on some doors

Democratic primary voters in southwest Lake County have a choice between two candidates for their party’s nomination to the Illinois House of Representatives who have one thing in common — they say they are willing to work hard to get the job.

Chelsea Laliberte Barnes of Palatine and Nabeela Syed of Inverness have walked throughout the district since they decided to seek a seat in the General Assembly knocking on more than 10,000 doors each. They say they learned a lot and met many potential constituents.

Syed and Barnes are running for the Democratic nomination in the 51st District in Tuesday’s primary for the opportunity to oppose one-term incumbent Chris Bos, R-Lake Zurich, in the Nov. 8 general election. Bos is unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Both candidates learned from potential voters the economy was at the top of the peoples’ minds while campaigning. Though there are other issues — like gun violence and health care — inflation, jobs and taxes were always close to the top of the list.

* Politico

— Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez — AOC — just announced she’s endorsing Delia Ramirez in the newly drawn 3rd congressional district.

— Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller has been endorsed by state Rep. Dan Caulkins in her reelection bid against Congressman Rodney Davis.

— Steve Kim, a GOP attorney general candidate, has been endorsed by Dan Rutherford, a former state Treasurer who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014. Kim was his lieutenant governor running mate.

* More…

* Rep. Underwood’s fundraising again tops Republican hopefuls’ in 14th District

* Opponents Criticize Jonathan Jackson’s Crypto Campaign Donations

* In primary races for Cook County Board, a new map and 3 retiring commissioners boost competition


  1. - a latinx observer - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    Is anyone surprised by this report on Gil Villegas casual use of the N word. The guy literally had a year to negotiate with the black caucus on a good map for both sides but was so toxic that his own caucus abandoned him. Too busy running for Congress to do the job he had. But hey, its Chicago, so he’ll probably just run for Mayor after he loses next week.

  2. - "Ms" Brenda Gold - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    Her name should never have been brought back from the dead. RIP. But she was no friend of the DBE community at IDOT. AND, dots can be connected back to her, as the real reason black construction businesses failed at IDOT.

    Please let her RIP. It won’t be pretty if this road is travailed…

  3. - Shytown - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    A Latinx observer…So it’s all on Villegas as to why the caucuses couldn’t get to a resolution sooner? Lol. Obviously you had not been engaged with the Ward remap process because if you were you would know that he was heavily involved. Widely known fact. And to equate an alleged use of a racist term with him not being engaged with negotiating with the black caucus is a false equivalent.

  4. - Chito - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 3:47 pm:

    ^ here come the Delia/Gil surrogates ^

  5. - ;) - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 3:55 pm:

    Whomever has that person as a campaign manager, time to move on.

  6. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Cheap shot from Ramirez… I’ve also known Gil for a very long time. He is a quality public servant and this is a blatant attempt to smear him unfairly. Ramirez does not deserve the spot, she is proving it with this kind of late attack.

  7. - vern - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    Hard to imagine a better use of a “campaign manager’s” time in a state leg race than knocking on doors, especially this close to election day. The mail, digital and tv buys are all locked in, and any money you raise right now can’t be spent in time. The turf should be pre-cut at this point, and data entry can be done off of peak knocking hours. Once the volunteers are sent out, the best use of staff time is to go knock on some doors.

    When I worked campaigns I always tried to explain to candidates that a full office means lots of people doing nothing, and an empty office means lots of people knocking on doors. The candidates who understood that tended to win, the ones who didn’t usually found ways to lose.

  8. - vern - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    Also in a year of people manically seeking useless endorsements, Dan Rutherford for Steve Kim has to take the cake. I know it’s hard to run statewide without any money, but Kim literally would’ve gotten more votes knocking a random precinct than writing that press release.

  9. - Chris in ChiTown - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 4:49 pm:

    I guess whenever there is a strong Latina versus a Latino with issues, everyone will side with the Latino man. And when the Latino man gets himself into problems at a state job, he’s told to lie (to cover up his actions) & he’ll get the person’s (who filed the report) job, so he did lie & he did get the person’s job. But people commenting here feel that the public finding out about his actions & problems at his state job is so unfair. Ugh…

  10. - Arsenal - Friday, Jun 24, 22 @ 8:25 pm:

    == Hard to imagine a better use of a “campaign manager’s” time in a state leg race than knocking on doors, especially this close to election day.==

    The phrase I always heard was “everyone is field staff the last week of the campaign.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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