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Illinois abortion news coverage roundup

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* CBS News

Planned Parenthood of Illinois has been preparing for years in case Roe fell, building a facility in Waukegan (about eight miles from the Wisconsin border), and another near Indiana.

Speaking ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday, MAC’s executive director Diana Parker-Kafka said demand for her organization’s services had already tripled this year. “Like, my phone’s vibrating every five seconds now,” she said.

And she worries that, without Roe, Illinois healthcare facilities would be stretched to capacity.

Diaz asked, “Do you expect people will have to be turned away?”

“Oh yeah. Yeah. There will be people that we won’t be able to see through their abortion care that need it. And we’re also thinking about plans on how to support those people.”


* The Tribune looks at the lay of the land in surrounding states

Republican legislative leaders said Friday they expected lawmakers to act on tightening Indiana’s abortion laws during a special legislative session starting July 6, but gave no details about what restrictions would be considered. Gov. Holcomb earlier this week called the Legislature into a special session to take up a tax refund proposal, but state law allows legislators to consider any subject. […]

What’s next: Abortion-rights activists say the suspension of abortion services in April foreshadowed what would happen in Kentucky and other Republican-leaning states if Roe v. Wade was overturned. It likely ends several legal challenges pending against other Kentucky abortion laws including a 2018 measure that abortion-rights supporters say would effectively ban a standard abortion method in the second trimester of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, can defend the measure that was struck down by lower courts. […]

What’s next: It is not clear what will happen next in Ohio. Activists are considering how to help Ohioans get abortions elsewhere. They may also mount a statewide ballot initiative that would embed the right to an abortion in the state constitution, though that could not happen before next year. Abortion opponents are weighing strategies for imposing a statewide abortion ban if Roe is overturned.

* More on Indiana from WLS TV

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is calling the General Assembly back on July 6 and expects members to take up an abortion ban then, saying, “I have been clear in stating I am pro-life. We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do.”

* NPR looks at California

State lawmakers’ proposed Abortion Practical Support Fund would help by providing grants to nonprofits like Access Reproductive Justice or Planned Parenthood, which can then be used to help people, in state and out-of-state, pay for logistical costs, including airfare, taxis, gas money, childcare, or translation services. They can also be used to fund the work of staffers such as abortion navigators, or volunteer coordinators like Gray.

Local anti-abortion activists oppose the proposal.

“We’re calling it ‘abortion tourism,’” says Greg Burt, a Sacramento-based advocate with the California Family Council. “Come to California, go to the beach, get your abortion done and we’ll pay for it, by the taxpayer.”

* Tribune

More than 45,000 people received abortions in Illinois in 2020, according to the most recent data available from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Most of those who got abortions in Illinois were residents, with 36,000 patients from counties across the state. Yet, the majority of in-state patients were from a select few counties in the northeastern part of the state near Chicago — Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake — as well as St. Clair County near St. Louis.

That’s where most of the people and the clinics are

There are 17 Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinics in Illinois that provide medicated abortion, said Mary Jane Maharry, interim director of marketing and communications for PPIL. Only six of those are outside the Chicagoland area: Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Ottawa, Peoria and Springfield.

Surgical abortion is less available, however. The closest Planned Parenthood locations providing in-clinic abortions to Peoria is Springfield, while the closest to Rockford is Aurora.

* The Republican gubernatorial candidates

Irvin, Sullivan, and Schimpf also support abortion in cases of rape and incest. Rabine does not.

After repeated attempts for clarification, Bailey’s campaign manager didn’t directly answer the question about abortion in cases rape or incest, but would only say Bailey would back legislation supporting the expectant mother and saving unborn lives.

* Tribune on the November political angle

The court’s ruling is likely to have a minimal effect on Tuesday’s primary in Illinois, where voters choose partisan ballots. It will likely resound more strongly in the November general election, when each party will work to galvanize its base while also trying to sway independent voters.

As always, a key factor in the fall will be the vote of socially moderate and fiscally conservative suburban women. Democrats will portray the ruling as a Republican-led attack on women’s rights as well as their right to privacy, and also a precursor for attempts to restrict other rights such as same-sex marriage and legal protections for the LGBTQ community.

With Democrats facing election headwinds on the economy, crime and political corruption, Pritzker said he thinks the court’s decision will rally voters behind his party.

“A strong majority people in the state of Illinois are pro-choice,” he said. “I believe that people are going to come out and vote in very big numbers to protect their individual rights.”


Jacksonville State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer blasted Governor J.B. Pritzker for calling a special session of the General Assembly to work on codifying abortion rights into state law. Pritzker called for the special session in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Pritzker hasn’t talked about exact specifics of what he wants lawmakers to put into law after the repeal.

Davidsmeyer says the State of Illinois needs to work on issues that aren’t already settled: “Illinois is a destination for abortion already. The Democrats have already legalized everything that they can possibly do with abortion including: taxpayer-funded elective abortions, as well as a 12-year old being able to go into their doctor and get an abortion without even notifying their parents. Illinois is going to waste money – hundreds of thousands of dollars – to come back [to session] for something like this when Downstate communities are talking about having rolling brown outs because of lack of energy; we’ve got $5 gasoline; we’ve got inflation going through the roof…and we’re going to bring back a special session so that the governor and the Democrats can make a special point about an issue that the State of Illinois has already decided. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we are wasting this time and money.”

* Better Government Association President David Greising on WBBM over the weekend

Special sessions are a big deal. Last summer Pritzker denied calls for one focused on ethics. He also hasn’t held one to address the state’s woeful finances. Some will say Pritzker’s call for a special session is political posturing. When we see the agenda he lays out, we’ll learn if they’re right.

Woeful finances?

* More…

* Creating a Haven State - Diana Parker-Kafka and the Midwest Access Coalition help women with the logistics of traveling to Illinois for abortions: An interesting statistic about traveling out of state is how much more expensive that gets: Oh yeah. Women from Texas [where abortion is banned six weeks after conception and soon will be illegal altogether] who come here seven weeks pregnant or even six weeks and two days pregnant pay for a procedure — one that might have cost them $300 before — the $300, plus $500 in gas, plus $300 for a hotel room.

* Lawmakers and historian respond to SCOTUS abortion decision

* Abortion rights opponents cheer Supreme Court decision

* With Roe overturned, a new Illinois nonprofit has begun providing free light aircraft flights for patients traveling to get an abortion

* From police raids to reproductive justice, abortion history in Illinois is long and bumpy

* Abortion profoundly shaped the lives and work of these 8 Illinois women. Here are their stories.


Campaign notebook

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Democratic politics here. The unions have a ton of money. They’re a type of funding source that the Republican Party simply does not have

“I think probably in the long run, it’s a good development if we’re not relying on one guy, not that we wouldn’t welcome Ken Griffin’s money and are appreciative of it,” [Pat Brady, a former state GOP chairman] said. “But what happens is you get lazy and that’s why I think the Democrats are in that trick bag with Gov. Pritzker. They’ve got a guy who’s going to write all the checks, and that’s not good. Parties are supposed to be bottom-up organizations. That’s how you get people out to vote.”

* But, yeah, spending for the gubernatorial primary has been huge

For this primary, industry records from the first of the year show, nearly $59 million was spent on TV ads in the governor’s race on Chicago broadcast and cable stations. The spending was led by Pritzker’s $15.1 million, Irvin’s $15 million and the DGA’s $7.45 million.

But the spending has been so pervasive that even in Rockford, the nation’s 139th-largest media market, nearly $8 million was spent on ads, led by $2.8 million by Irvin, $1.9 million by Pritzker and $1.75 million by the DGA.

* From the Chicago Elections Board…

For comparison to the 2018 and 2014 Gubernatorial Primaries:

The 2018 VBM return total 2 days out was 15,250, so combined with the EV total (2 days out: 89,213), the full vote tally for 3/18/2018 was 104,463 ballots cast.

The 2014 VBM return total 2 days out was 5,467, so combined with the EV total (2 days out: 36,707), the full vote tally for 3/16/2014 was 42,174 ballots cast.

And Primary 2022 is currently 98,512 ballots cast for two days out (6/26/22).

So, running a bit behind 2018. Things seem to have improved.

* VoteVets parked a video truck in front of one of those early voting locations and had its Gil Villegas ad running on a loop

* President Biden endorsed US Rep. Danny Davis

“Representative Danny Davis has always been an effective leader and lawmaker who is deeply rooted in his community. He serves with passion and integrity, and that’s why I’m endorsing him in his upcoming primary,” Biden said in a statement released by Davis’ campaign. “So much is at stake, and we have more work to do to bring costs down for families and keep our communities safe. I know Rep. Davis will continue to be an essential partner in getting it done.”

Davis said he was “grateful for President Biden’s support in this race and for his partnership in Washington, as we work to solve the pressing problems that families in Chicagoland face each and every day.”

But Collins said the endorsement was an example of Davis, who has served in Congress since 1997, “using his resources to call in favors to save himself” rather than assisting the district’s residents.

“He knows that voters are ready for a new generation of people-powered leadership, unbought by corporate PAC dollars, that will put our community above everything else. Time’s up on self-serving absentee leadership,” Collins said in a statement.

Oddly enough, it looks like some anti-Collins oppo was shopped to Fox News

Collins is supported by Justice Democrats, a far-left organization that has helped to elect progressive candidates, such as “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. In addition, she has received endorsements from the Center for Racial and Gender Equity and the Illinois Youth Climate Movement.

Offering support for several controversial ideas in recent time, Collins has called for defunding the police and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Collins was front and center filming a Facebook Live video of a “Defund the Police” rally in July 2020 and marched with protesters chanting to “defund the police” in a separate Facebook Live video the same day.

Claiming in multiple Facebook posts, some of which are no longer viewable, that “immigrant families are constantly living in a state of fear,” Collins called for an end to ICE.

* Speaker Welch out campaigning with some of his members

* Politico

State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz took heat over the weekend for posting a controversial image criticizing the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade. The sketch portrayed the image of a pope pointing a pistol at Lady Liberty. The Chicago GOP was outraged and called for Feigenholtz to resign.

“The posting of this disgusting cartoon has finally, but now openly exposed the deep contempt held by Senator Feigenholtz and her liberal woke colleagues toward not only the Catholic Church, but towards Christian religion in general,” Chicago GOP Chairman Steve Boulton said in a statement.

In a statement to Playbook, Feigenholz said, “Friday was an incredibly traumatic day — not just for me but for women around the country in the aftermath of the SCOTUS decision to overturn a woman’s right to choose. I posted an image that spoke to the moment and then later learned it offended people of faith. I immediately removed the post as I meant no ill will toward anyone who found it offensive, and am sorry. I have and will continue reaching out to friends and community members with the hope of healing.”

* Ms. Daniels is also a candidate for her party’s state central committee, so she got a nice little local press pop ahead of Donald Trump’s visit

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood blasted Republicans and Donald Trump right before the start of the former president’s rally Saturday at the Adams County Fairgrounds.

The second-term Democratic congresswoman from the 14th District covering outer western and northern suburbs of Chicago was the featured speaker at the rally at Clat Adams Bicentennial Park. […]

Katherine Daniels, chairman of the Adams County Democratic Central Committee, told the crowd of about 100 that “Donald Trump and his circus” weren’t needed in Adams County

“Donald Trump needs to get back on his plane and go back to Mar-a-Lago, because we’ve got work to do joining people together, working together supporting working people, supporting mothers, supporting children and supporting working people all across the United States, Adams County and (Illinois 15th District),” Daniels said.

But her state central committee opponent, Pritzker-backed Liz Brown-Reeves, blanketed the Quincy and Jacksonville area with thousands of dollars in radio ads starting last Friday

* More…

* Leaders gathered in Cairo for updates on the Alexander-Cairo port project: Mendoza promised Friday morning that the Alexander-Cairo port project is going to happen. “So far I have paid out 11 vouchers totaling 1 million dollars from the department of commerce and economic opportunity. And 43 vouchers totaling nearly 1.7 million from the Illinois department of transportation for architectural and design expenses related to the project,” said Mendoza.


Catching up with Bailey

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’ve grumbled about how, while covering him a little, the Chicago political media has mostly ignored Darren Bailey’s candidacy or given it short shrift, up to and including some folks buying into a “Sullivan surge” claim that hasn’t yet been shown to be even close to true.

This story looks like it could’ve been written three weeks ago, but the race has now become a battle of a Trump-backed candidate vs. the non-Trump candidates

The Republican primary for Illinois governor on Tuesday is shaping up to be a battle of billionaires trying to determine the face of the party in a Democrat-controlled state.

I mean, how many polls showing Irvin in third place do we need to see? And Sullivan’s billionaire backers aren’t even mentioned. Same goes for this AP story. The current second-place contestant also has billionaires behind him, but that is completely ignored.

* From a NewsMax interview

“I am endorsed by all of the pro-life and pro-family groups here in Illinois,” he said, adding that if he is elected and Republicans regain the state legislative majority, taxpayer-funded abortions will stop “immediately.”

“Here in Illinois, a 12-year-old can get an abortion without her parents knowing anything about it,” Bailey said. “We will fight to end that. Interestingly enough, as Cindy and I have traveled the state and gotten to know many good people in Chicago, especially getting into the churches, we’ve come upon a novel idea to make abortion unnecessary. We will begin involving churches, religious groups, civic organizations to give pregnant women real choices. And I’m looking forward to that and spearheading that to make abortion unnecessary under the current makeup and laws here.”

Bailey said he will also fight against soft-on-crime leaders such as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and he believes he has been propelled to the lead spot in the gubernatorial race because 3 years ago when he was elected to the House, he started pushing back against the establishment.

“I found out the establishment wasn’t just the Democrats; but many times, it was people on our side of the aisle,” Bailey said. “So I sued Gov. Pritzker in June of 2021 over these egregious lockdowns, and then that began to propel us and gave us some notoriety across the state.”

He has some major intraparty fights left in him. And, as subscribers know, this is just one of them

Watch for conservative Republican Darren Bailey to make a play to take over the Illinois GOP after tomorrow’s primary. Playbook hears that move could come as soon as Wednesday — right after Bailey’s expected victory in the six-man race for the party’s nod for governor.

* Tribune with a bit of catchup

As a member of the legislature, Bailey also has opposed LGBTQ rights, most recently contending that teaching children about the role the community has played in history in state-approved textbooks is “sexualizing kids” and forces “schools to indoctrinate our kids with their far-left ideology.”

Bailey also has spoken in biblical terms of the decline of the family unit and the role of women and has called transgender rights “the moral rot that is destroying society.”

“God, in His creation, He intended, you know, the family unit to be headed by the dad. The dad is supposed to be out, you know, teaching his children hard work, ethics, honesty and integrity,” Bailey said in an April 4 interview on “Outside the Beltway.”

* Sunday on Facebook

We’ve been realizing that something is changing. And that something that’s changing is the people are just getting sick and tired of being burdened by a failed government, especially a woke liberal government that seeks to just indoctrinate our children. It seeks to let criminals go scot free. It seeks to just push people who dream and want to work hard in this state, push them out. That’s coming to an end. And I think despite our weather, I have hope and I’m going to make a statement that I believe Illinois will be a destination state very soon. So it’s going to take a lot of work. I’m going to need your help. But I’m telling you we can do this.

So anyway, I’m going to, let me read and get you kinda in the mode. Since it’s Sunday morning, please consider going to church somewhere wherever you’re at. Just get on Google and Google ‘a church near me’ and find a place to go. Many churches have 10:30 and 11 o’clock in the morning worship services throughout the state. Some have three, two o’clock, three o’clock in the afternoon services and evening services. Friends, I’ve said this from day one, this is the purpose of the church, to come together. We are better together. If we come together, worship our Creator and just get energized for the week ahead, listening to His word, which is truth.

* Maybe some reporters will show up for tonight’s event…


Question of the day

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* January of 2009

Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that Illinois’ political campaign season should be condensed, so he wants lawmakers to push back the primary election date by seven months, from February to September.

“We don’t need perpetual campaigns and perpetual campaign fundraising in Illinois,” he said. “I think the campaign schedule, the election schedule, is one that too often contributes to that problem of perpetual campaigning.” […]

Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello said a shorter campaign season “might be good for everybody.” But a September primary would be “a little too close to the November election” from an administrative standpoint, he said.

David Morrison of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform said his group would favor a later primary date.

The end of June is just about the latest we can hold a primary and still comply with federal laws. September would be out of the question these days. This year’s primary was moved to late June because of Census issues.

But, as always, be careful what you wish for. While the June 28th primary date has somewhat shortened the fall campaign season, it has greatly elongated the primary season.

* The Question: Do you favor keeping the primary in late June or moving it back to March? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


Irvin’s Aurora wants Census recount, official claims city did not lose “nearly tens of thousands of residents”

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Marni Pyke

A Daily Herald survey of 20 municipalities, including Chicago, showed 13 grew and seven lost population between 2010 and 2020, according to census data.

The highest loss was in Aurora, where the population decreased by 17,357, or 8.8%, over the decade to 180,542 as of 2020.

Other suburbs where population declined were Geneva and Palatine by less than 1%, Algonquin by 1.2%, Hanover Park by 1.3%, Addison by 3.4% and West Chicago by 5.4%.

Aurora leaders including Mayor Richard Irvin, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, were skeptical of initial results and will seek a special census in 2023.

Census data determines how about $1.5 trillion in federal money is distributed to states over the next decade.

“The city of Aurora has long believed the reflection in our 2020 census count was due to an undercount in the official process and not because of nearly tens of thousands of residents leaving Aurora over the last decade,” spokesman Clayton Muhammad said.

“We remain hopeful that things can be rectified through the official process, especially with the most recent news of this issue being statewide.”


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Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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*** UPDATED x1 *** Has Rodney Davis finally met his match?

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* You’ve all heard this by now

At a rally with former President Trump on Saturday, Republican Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois applauded the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, saying it was a “historic victory for White life in the Supreme Court.” Her campaign immediately responded, saying it was an error and she meant to say “a historic victory for right to life by the Supreme Court.”

“Mary stumbles while saying ‘Right to Life’ and the fake news vultures are out,” her spokesperson Isaiah Wartman said in a statement to CBS News.

Wartman said Miller has the “most Pro-Life voting record in Congress” and that she is the “proud grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren” who have Down syndrome.

The explanation there ain’t great. She wasn’t talking about eugenics, necessarily, so why bring up Down syndrome? Also, she has mixed-race grandchildren.

* Austin Schick

During her portion of the speech, Miller also took shots at Davis and at multiple times called him a “RINO,” the abbreviation for a “Republican In Name Only.”

“Rodney Davis betrayed us by supporting Red Flag laws and voting for the disgraceful Jan. 6 witch hunt commission,” Miller said.

In the hour-long speech, Trump stuck to similar talking points since losing the 2020 election. Those points included claims that the election was stolen and slamming the January 6 committee that is in the process of investigating the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.

“The unselect committee are pushing a fake and fabricated narrative based on doctored video lies and testimony,” Trump said. […]

“The best thing that happened about January 6 was I paid $26 for a full tank of gas,” [Bloomington resident Althea Shonn] said.

* Jason Rosenbaum and Brian Munoz at St. Louis Public Radio

Miller’s opponent in the GOP primary, Congressman Rodney Davis, said in a statement on Sunday that the first-term congresswoman’s “comments yesterday are just another part in a disturbing pattern of behavior she’s displayed since coming to Congress.”

“This is why it’s so important to vote in our Republican Primary on Tuesday and show the country Miller’s behavior is unacceptable,” Davis said. […]

After calling him an “establishment RINO,” Miller alluded to how Davis called for Trump to withdraw in October 2020 after a tape came out showing the then-GOP presidential nominee making vulgar remarks about women.

“If Rodney Davis had gotten his way, we would have had crooked Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Miller said. “And we would have had the most leftist Supreme Court in history.” […]

During an interview earlier this month with St. Louis Public Radio, Davis criticized Miller for being inaccessible to the media and emphasized that he’s built a stronger constituent service system since coming to Congress in 2013. […]

“A lot of the constituents, 80%, know that I’m a fighter,” Davis said. “I have fought Nancy Pelosi every election cycle. … Every election cycle, it’s been a race that has been at times the No. 1 most competitive race in the nation. These are the fights I’m used to.”

Donald Trump has messed with Rodney Davis’ mojo since Day One. It’s been painful to watch. Maybe he should’ve just run against Nikki Budzinski. It woulda been a race he knew how to win.

* Scott Reeder

“I think this is going to be a very close race,” said Mike Lawrence, former director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and a longtime Illinois political observer. “I think it is significant that Trump came and campaigned for her. I’ve said all along that could make the difference.”

* Media advisory…

Congressman Rodney Davis will hold a pre-Election Day media availability this afternoon in Springfield with Sangamon County Republican leaders. Davis plans to discuss his campaign heading into Election Day tomorrow, thank Sangamon County Republican leaders for their support, and take questions from the media. Details can be found below:

WHO: Congressman Rodney Davis, Sangamon County Republican leaders
WHAT: Pre-Election Day media availability in Springfield
WHERE: Sangamon County Republican Headquarters, 1132 E Sangamon Ave, Springfield, IL 62702 (across the street from the Illinois State Fairgrounds)
WHEN: 3:30pm CT, Monday, June 27, 2022
RSVP/QUESTIONS: Aaron DeGroot, cell phone: xxxxx,

Congressman Davis also plans to hold two media availabilities tomorrow in Taylorville, one at 4:00pm CT and a second one after the polls close, exact time to-be-determined. The location will have tables, chairs, and WiFi access if media would like to work from Taylorville for the duration of the evening. Final details will be sent out later today.

*** UPDATE *** Rodney Davis press release…

Mary Miller has emerged from her Biden basement strategy. During one of those incredibly rare times Miller gives an interview, she has honed in on her closing message to voters just one day before the Primary Election: “I’m not a racist.”

This morning during an interview on WMAY, Miller was asked to say what she would tell an individual who may have heard her “white life” comments and thought they were racist. Miller’s response was in part, “I’m not a racist.”

Miller caused a media firestorm yesterday after she called the Supreme Court abortion decision a “victory for white life” during a rally in Adams County. Miller claims she misspoke, but she has a history of espousing extreme rhetoric. Just two days after taking the oath of office, Miller praised Adolf Hitler in a prepared speech in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, saying Hitler’s views on indoctrinating youth should be emulated.

Miller (no relation) was asked “Are you racist?” Her reply

It’s so ridiculous. Not one person I’ve talked to that was at the rally, or heard it on TV thinks that I didn’t, that I didn’t stumble over saying ‘right to life.’ That’s all it was. I’m not a racist. I don’t know what else to say.


Trump/Bailey endorsement roundup

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Um

“Darren is a farmer and he’s a fighter and he has been an outstanding warrior in the Illinois state Senate where he’s totally totally respected by all of them,” Trump said.

Not sure where the former president obtained that insider information about the Senate.

* Brenden Moore

On Saturday, he went further: “Darren is just the man to take on and defeat one of the worst governors in America, J.B. Pritzker.”

“He will crack down on the violent crime that is devouring our Democrat-run cities and restore the state of Illinois to greatness,” Trump said. “Darren has my complete and total endorsement.” […]

Calling Pritzker “pathetic,” Trump criticized the governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and compared gun violence in Chicago to the military situation in Afghanistan during his presidency.

“Everybody’s fleeing your state. This is a disaster,” Trump said.

* NBC 5

“He wants to cut your taxes,” the former president said. “He wants to lower your regulations down to the lowest in the country and make Illinois competitive again, because it is not competitive at all.”

* Alex Degman and Dave McKinney

Trump then launched into a seemingly unscripted anecdote involving Bailey when the two were posing for pictures with one another backstage.

“I wanted to say hello because I’m hearing Darren’s really doing a job,” Trump began. “And we’re standing up, and I’m shaking his hand. He said, ‘Sir, you have a hair coming down right in the middle.’ It was coming down. He said, ‘Let me get it, sir.’ And he grabbed it and pulled it out. I said, ‘Oh, that’s terrible. That’s terrible.’ I’m still looking for that hair. He just ripped it out.

“Which tells you a lot about Darren. There’s no games, right? Somebody else would’ve patted it gently back. He ripped it out,” Trump laughed. “That’s going to be one I remember. We’re still searching for that hair.” […]

“I’m glad President Trump told the story about his loose hair because here’s the deal. I will not lie to anyone, and I will not let anything go unnoticed,” Bailey said. “And when I see it, I will name it. And when I name it, we will fix it. And we have our work cut out for us in Illinois, friends.

Video of the hair bit is here.

* Rick Pearson and Jeremy Gorner

“We have our work cut out for us here in Illinois, friends,” Bailey said. “I’ve made a promise to President Trump that in 2024, Illinois will roll the red carpet out for him because Illinois will be ready for President Trump.”

Trump lost Illinois by 17% of the vote in his winning bid for the presidency in 2016 and his losing reelection run in 2020.

Trump, who has often delayed endorsements unless he was sure of a candidate’s victory, predicted Bailey would “win the primary very big and you’re going to go on and win the election.”

* Tina Sfondeles

It could make a difference in the general election, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker will use the endorsement against Bailey, should he prevail. Hours before Trump’s rally, and in anticipation of some roasting, Pritzker’s campaign blasted out a video of the governor calling Trump “a narcissist who values power over principle and seeks out darkness over light.”

The campaign said Trump’s visit was an attempt to prop up far-right extremists running for office — even though Pritzker himself paid for ads to help boost Bailey’s campaign with ads calling him “too conservative.”

“We stand with the people who barred the doors of the Capitol on Jan. 6th – not the ones who were trying to knock them down,” Pritzker said in the video. “And any candidate who refuses to speak out against Trump’s Big Lie has no business running for office. Not in Illinois.”

* Friends, it’s a conspiracy

Gary Rabine, another GOP hopeful, was also there working the crowd. His bus was kicked off the fairgrounds and supporters were told to cover their t-shirts if they want to get in the rally.

Rabine said Trump was close to endorsing him but it was blocked at the last minute.

…Adding… DGA…

“With this new endorsement from Trump himself, there’s no question: Darren Bailey is the most MAGA, far-right conservative candidate in this race,” said DGA Illinois Press Secretary Yael Sheinfeld. “A would-be Governor Bailey poses a serious threat for Illinoisans everywhere. Voters know Darren Bailey is far too conservative for our state.”


Happy warriors they’re not

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Man, there is so much whining in this New York Times article about the primary race

“This has never happened in the history of our nation that a Democrat would spend this much money stopping one individual from becoming the nominee of the Republican Party,” Mr. Irvin said in an interview after touring a manufacturing plant in Wauconda, a well-to-do suburb north of Chicago. “There are six Republican primary opponents — six of them. But when you turn on the television, all you see is me.”

Ken Griffin has almost ten times the wealth of JB Pritzker. Griffin said he was going “all in” to beat Pritzker and then he split town before the first round was even over. I don’t wanna hear about money, or the lack thereof.

* And bitterness

Representative Darin LaHood predicted an “overwhelming” Bailey primary victory in his Central Illinois district, but warned that he would be toxic for general-election voters.

“Bailey is not going to play in the suburbs,” said Mr. LaHood, who has not endorsed a primary candidate. “He’s got a Southern drawl, a Southern accent. I mean, he should be running in Missouri, not in suburban Chicago.”

Southern Illinois is the south. Has been forever. Congressman LaHood should maybe get out more.

* And even an admission of ultimate failure

“Whether or not Darren and I win the general election, if we can at least get control within our own party, I think long term we have an opportunity to be successful,” Mr. DeVore said at their stop in Green Valley.

* And, of course, it’s gotta have uninformed voters with a grievance about the big city

“Everything that we pay and do supports Chicago,” said Pam Page, a security analyst at State Farm Insurance from McLean, Ill., who came to see Mr. Bailey in Lincoln. “Downstate just never seems to get any of the perks or any of the kickbacks.”

…Adding… And anthropomorphism. Can’t forget that

“The rest of the 90 percent of the land mass is not real happy about how 10 percent of the land mass is directing things,” Mr. Bailey said in an interview aboard his campaign bus outside a bar in Green Valley, a village of 700 people south of Peoria.


No surprise: Sixth poll has Bailey leading pre-Trump endorsement; Brady has big advantage; DeVore still nip and tuck

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* It’s from Ogden & Fry, but it lines up with other numbers we’ve seen. Governor

Darren Bailey 37.6%
Gary Rabine 8.5%
Jesse Sullivan 17.2%
Max Solomon 0.8%
Paul Schimpf 3.2%
Richard Irvin 12.7%
Undecided 20.0%

After pushing the undecideds to make a decision

Darren Bailey 44.8%
Gary Rabine 10.7%
Jesse Sullivan 21.4%
Max Solomon 1.1%
Paul Schimpf 4.9%
Richard Irvin 17.1%

* US Senate

Anthony Williams 0.2%
Bobby Piton 3.3%
Casey Chleback 1.3%
Jimmy Lee Tillman II 2.2%
Kathy Salvi 20.1%
Maryann Mahlen 2.0%
Matthew Dubiel 6.3%
Peggy Hubbard 11.2%
Undecided 53.3%

After the push

Anthony Williams 6.1%
Bobby Piton 9.4%
Casey Chleback 4.2%
Jimmy Lee Tillman II 4.7%
Kathy Salvi 38.2%
Maryann Mahlen 5.8%
Matthew Dubiel 10.0%
Peggy Hubbard 21.6%

* Secretary of State

Dan Brady 42.4%
John Milhiser 18.2%
Undecided 39.4%

After the push

Dan Brady 68.7%
John Milhiser 31.3%

* Attorney General

David Shestokas 9.9%
Steve Kim 26.8%
Thomas DeVore 28.1%
Undecided 35.3%

After the push

David Shestokas 19.0%
Steve Kim 38.6%
Thomas DeVore 42.4%

* Methodology

Ogden & Fry conducted an eight-question poll June 24, 2022, with 518 respondents. Respondents were selected by random sampling of likely Republican voters. Responses were gathered through SMS to web. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 4.39% at the 95% confidence interval.


Behind the upcoming special session

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

As I’ve been telling my newsletter subscribers for several weeks now, talks began in mid-May about a possible special state legislative session to address the abortion issue.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch had some brief chats about bringing legislators back to town back then.

Illinois is already an abortion rights oasis in the region, but the Democratic leadership wants to do more, so they talked about possibly having the legislature submit a constitutional amendment for voter approval in November to protect abortion rights.

They also talked about passing some additional legislation that would, for instance, make sure abortion providers are protected from retaliatory action by other states (like revoking licenses, for instance).

Democratic state senators then met privately about the issue, and their leadership eventually decided to wait until they saw what exactly the U.S. Supreme Court did.

Then, in mid-June, as the deadline for the U.S. Supreme Court was fast approaching to issue its ruling on overturning Roe v. Wade, Democratic senators were again surveyed on when they could come to Springfield for a special session.

The following week, just ahead of the Supreme Court’s striking down the decades-old precedent, House members were polled. Gov. Pritzker announced he’d call a special session the day the high court finally acted.

As I write this, Senate Democrats have been advised to keep open July 6th and 7th as possible return dates.

So, what will they do?

Planned Parenthood of Illinois has a list of demands that is worth looking at as a possible roadmap. The group’s political arm, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, recently told its supporters abortion rights are “meaningless without the resources to access abortion,” and their list reflects that belief.

For instance, they want the state legislature to allow nurse practitioners to provide “early abortion procedures.”According to the group, doing so “would quickly expand the pool of qualified providers.”

The group also wants to streamline the process for “out-of-state health care professionals to be licensed and credentialed in Illinois,” to help increase the number of abortion providers. Gov. Pritzker said on “Meet the Press Now” that perhaps as many as 30,000 people a year will travel to Illinois to receive an abortion, which is up from 10,000 last year.

“We’re going to need to expand capacity in our state,” Pritzker said. “We’re going to need to make sure that we have the healthcare personnel that are necessary to perform these procedures and to guarantee that medical abortion is available.”

Despite campaign claims by several House and Senate Democratic legislators that the General Assembly “fully funded” Planned Parenthood earlier this year, the group wants a lot more state money spent on things like helping providers to “build capacity” in existing and new locations.

Planned Parenthood also wants the legislature to provide funding for “practical and logistical support for patients who face barriers to access because they have to travel,” calling the money “essential to ensuring that people can access abortion.”

Pritzker told reporters last week the state doesn’t “provide direct subsidies to people coming from other states,” saying folks who come from elsewhere “benefit from the capacity building that we do, from support that we provide to providers.”

The idea of subsidizing travel and even temporary housing for out-of-staters could be a tough sell in the General Assembly, even among many pro-choice Democrats. But I was told by the governor’s office that nothing is yet off the table.

Something that Planned Parenthood hasn’t asked for but is being actively discussed is a non-binding statewide referendum on the topic this November, now that it’s too late to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. The question could be as simple as asking voters if they want a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive rights. It would have the benefit of helping Democrats drive voter turnout.

But Planned Parenthood issued several warnings last week that made clear it wanted more than a few feel-good measures, including an official telling a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter if the governor “wants to join the ranks of other haven states that are truly protecting access and putting money behind that promise, then [funding] is a critical component of that work.”

In other words, political moves and simple changes to state law will not be enough for Planned Parenthood. And so the Democrats have now somehow found themselves looking at a potential political minefield during the special session instead of what they likely thought would be a quick and easy lay-up.


Open thread

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I hope your weekend went well. What’s on your Illinois mind today?


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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Afternoon roundup
* Bears dangle possible move to Naperville
* Pritzker suggests changing Invest in Kids tax credit
* Question of the day
* Fentanyl overdose deaths have fallen 42 percent in Chicago this year compared to 2022
* Crowds ease at Mexican border, but will that lead to fewer asylum-seekers in Chicago?
* Pritzker, other Dem governors warn school textbook publishers: "Sanitizing our educational texts for the mercurial comfort of a few today ultimately limits the next generation’s ability to make informed decisions for themselves"
* Justice Jesse Reyes announces second bid for state's top court
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