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ComEd Four trial postponed until March

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Republicans were likely hoping for a pre-election trial, but no luck. Tribune

The federal bribery case against a longtime confidant of former House Speaker Michael Madigan and three others has been rescheduled for March due to logistics issues with another high-profile case against singer R. Kelly.

The “ComEd Four” case, as it has come to be known, had been set to kick off in September, but U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber scuttled that plan last month when he learned that the large ceremonial courtroom would still be tied up with Kelly’s trial, which begins on Aug. 15.

The courtroom on the 25th floor of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse has been in high demand during the pandemic and is the only space that can accommodate a jury trial with multiple defendants given the COVID-19 protocols that are still in effect.

* Sun-Times

Charged in the case are longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-top ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and former City Club President Jay Doherty.

The four are accused of arranging for Madigan’s associates and allies to get jobs, contracts and money in order to influence Madigan as key legislation worked its way through Springfield.

The group was originally charged in November 2020, and they had previously been set to go to trial in September. But U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, who presides over the case, is also set to preside in August over the trial of R&B star and convicted sexual predator R. Kelly. Kelly’s trial on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges was recently pushed back two weeks, which was enough to knock the ComEd case off the calendar. […]

Timothy Mapes, Madigan’s former chief of staff, is also set for trial on perjury charges in January. And earlier this week, a judge set the long-awaited racketeering trial of Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) for November 2023.


Campaign notebook

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From a longtime subscriber and Republican…

1. Heading into this cycle, regardless of all the convos about downstate and such, the suburbs still hold the pathway for a statewide GOP to win and since 2014, that pathway has gotten extremely more narrow.

2. By most modeling scenarios, to win statewide - assuming past trends hold - a GOP candidate is going to need to not only win DuPage County, but win with a pretty decent plurality. Past models would say 57%-61%.

3. The current trend in DuPage is not the GOP’s friend. And I know primary ballots cast are not necessarily a predictor of general election trends, but they do tell a story.

    2014: GOP Primary ballots cast for gov: 92,386, Dem Primary ballots cast for gov 15,122
    - Rauner gets 61% of vote in DuPage County in General Election against Quinn.

    2018: GOP Primary ballots cast for gov: 72,204, Dem Primary ballots cast for gov: 82,954
    - JB defeats Rauner in General Election in DuPage 48%-46%

    2022: GOP Primary ballots cast for gov: 69,443, Dem Primary ballots cast for gov: 71,693

Personally, I had thought with all the talk of GOP resurgence and an intense GOP primary at the top of the ticket that GOP ballots cast would significantly surpass Dem ballots cast in DuPage, it simply wasn’t the case.

I know everyone says a wave is coming, and I don’t discount it, but there seems to be a lot of work that needs to be done to get a DuPage environment closer to 2014. Winning DuPage isn’t enough to win statewide, you really need to run up the score and trendlines don’t seem to be heading towards a significant GOP spread in Dupage right now. DuPage has become a swing/Lean R county and that creates a ton of challenges for statewide candidates. It really mirrors what happened in Lake County in the late 90’s.

Maybe this makes sense or maybe I’m entirely off.


* DeVore claims victory

Students and staff at universities and community colleges no longer have to prove they’re vaccinated or test for COVID-19 under modified orders from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The attorney who sued over the mandates is claiming victory.

Pritzker’s office on Wednesday announced modified COVID-19 executive orders issued in August 2021 for all K-12 staff, college staff and students and workers in the medical industry to vaccinate or test. The updated order drops the vaccine and testing mandate in higher ed.

Attorney Thomas DeVore, who’s also the GOP candidate for attorney general in the November election, sued the governor and several colleges over the mandate June 22.

“It’s my opinion that given that these colleges were in the position where they had to answer our lawsuit within the next week or two, the governor issued this modified executive order to try to render this lawsuit moot,” DeVore told The Center Square. […]

DeVore still has a case pending against vaccine or testing mandates for K-12 teachers, which remains in place.

If they had dropped the K-12 mandates, I might have been more inclined to agree with him.

* Every vote counts. WQAD

Just over two weeks after the Illinois primary election that took place on June 28, Gregg Johnson was confirmed Wednesday, July 13 as the Democratic nominee for the state’s District 72 House of Representative seat.

The Democratic primary election night results for District 72 had Gregg Johnson taking the lead with 2,830 votes and Thurgood Brooks coming in second with 2,802 votes, a 28-vote difference. […]

The Rock Island County Clerk’s Office’s recount confirmed Johnson’s lead, with a total of 2,843 votes. Brooks followed closely behind with 2,820 - just 23 votes shy of Johnson.

* Gawker interviews the person behind Socialists for Pritzker

He doesn’t look or sound like [a billionaire] at all. He’s a big Midwestern boy who doesn’t speak in a snotty, snooty, or overly intellectual manner; it’s easy to forget that he’s a member of the American aristocracy. You can contrast that with someone like [Michael] Bloomberg — when he ran, that man was just dripping with so much contempt for ordinary people. But when you hear J.B. speak, you can tell he doesn’t view you as an ant and he would never try to ban your extra large soda.

* Treasurer Frerichs…

We found $45,000 in unclaimed property that belonged to the American Cancer Society.

It is a common story for our office that includes a heroine, the best of intentions, a little miscommunication, and proactive work by our staff.

Diane Koszyk lived in Elmwood Park, near Chicago. She was a public servant who helped people in the county circuit court clerk’s office. She beat cancer once, ovarian cancer, but could not beat the stomach cancer that followed. She died in 2017 at the age of 78.

During her years here, she set aside a bit of money that she eventually earmarked for the American Cancer Society. However, when she passed, her wishes were not immediately known. It’s not that JP Morgan Chase, where she did this banking, did anything wrong. In fact, this scenario is all-too common.

A person has a banking relationship. The person also has final wishes. For whatever reason, the two are not reconciled and the money eventually is turned over to the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office as unclaimed property.

Unclaimed property comes in all forms such as forgotten bank accounts, unpaid life insurance benefits, or a refund check mailed to the wrong address. Today, an estimated one-in-four adults who search ICash find money, and the average amount is $1,000. You can search your name, or the name of your business, or church, by clicking here.

* Fran Spielman

The brother of indicted Ald. Edward Burke (14th) on Wednesday urged the City Council dean to retire from politics next year rather than risk defeat in a ward redrawn to exclude his most favorable precincts.

“I hope he does what is best for them as a family: To take care of his health number one. To engage with his grandchildren,” said former state Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago.

“Do the math. Seventy-eight years old. Come on. When is enough enough? … They’ve had a long run. It’s not insulting to say there’s an end to everything. I would just hope that they would be happy in their later years engaging with their family.”


Hi there –

Gas prices in Illinois are nearly 50 cents higher than the national average.

While working for Governor Pritzker, Nikki Budzinski supported a plan that doubled Illinois’ gas tax to 38 cents – giving Illinois the 2nd highest gas tax in the nation.

NRCC Comment: “Nikki Budzinski has already made the lives of Illinois families worse. Imagine what she could do if elected to Congress.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Courtney Parella

* Daily Herald

First lady Jill Biden’s comparison of Hispanics to “breakfast tacos” in a speech earlier this week has drawn the ire of the suburban Republican running for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District seat.

Catalina Lauf, a Woodstock resident who is Hispanic, seized on Biden’s comment for a fundraising email sent to followers Wednesday.

The subject line of the email proclaims: “This is just insulting.”

“Democrats have spent years taking the Hispanic community for granted,” reads the email from Lauf, whose mother immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala in the 1980s. “They are so disconnected from the people they claim to represent that reduce us to stereotypes.”

Does that means she’s now woke? I can’t keep up with this.


Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times editorial

Funding primary candidates from another party with the intent to set them up for a loss in the general election undermines the American idea of democracy.

An example of this trending political strategy will be at the top of the Illinois November ballot: Gov. J.B. Pritzker vs. state Sen. Darren Bailey.

The ploy began a few months back when the Democratic Governors Association and Pritzker began investing millions of dollars through advertisements boosting Bailey’s views — bringing more eyes on the Donald Trump-endorsed state senator than the more moderate Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who had $50 million in donations on his side and dubbed himself as “Pritzker’s worst nightmare.”

Pritzker got what he wanted when Bailey won the Republican nomination for governor in the June primary. Now it’s up to the voters to decide between him and a candidate who is anti-abortion, pro-guns and known for wanting Trump’s approval. […]

It doesn’t matter if candidates are trying to keep a political seat blue or red. Influencing elections by funding and boosting weaker opponents pollutes the nature of our democracy.

Keep it clean. The power to choose representatives must stay with the voters.

* The Question: Does funding primary candidates from another party with the intent to set them up for a loss in the general election undermine the American idea of democracy? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


New abortion clinics moving to Rockford, Carbondale

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Yet another abortion clinic is being opened in Carbondale

The Tulsa Women’s Clinic will officially close its doors Thursday, as staff prepare to move the facility to Carbondale, Ill., a nearly eight-hour drive from Tulsa.

The clinic is owned by Dr. Alan Braid, who made headlines last year when he wrote an opinion essay in the Washington Post titled “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban”.

Braid is also shuttering his San Antonio abortion clinic, the Alamo Women’s Clinic, in preparation of moving that location to Albuquerque, N.M.

“It’s bittersweet. We have always been in the fight for both states, Texas and Oklahoma,” said Andrea Gallegos, executive director of the Tulsa Women’s Clinic. “We stayed open as long as we could.”

The other clinic is owned by Choices Memphis.

* Rockford

A Wisconsin doctor has purchased two clinical buildings in northern Illinois where he plans to offer abortion pills as early as this week at one location and surgical abortions within six months at the other site.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights last month. That led abortion providers in Wisconsin to stop the procedures while the courts determine whether the state’s 1849 law banning most abortions stands. Abortion remains legal in Illinois.

Dr. Dennis Christensen says he is part of a group trying to revive abortion services in Rockford, Illinois, in part to accommodate women from Wisconsin. Christensen is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has provided abortions in Madison and Milwaukee and is now mostly retired, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. […]

The only exception to Wisconsin’s abortion ban involves a risk to the mother’s life. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit last month challenging the old law, arguing that 1980s statutes supersede the ban and that it has been dormant so long it should be unenforceable.

* The move has created a bit of a local stir

Anti-abortion activists demonstrated in Rockford on Wednesday. They are concerned about the potential opening of a reproductive health clinic that would offer medication abortion.

Eric Scheidler is with the Pro-Life Action League. He joined demonstrators at an intersection on the east side of Rockford. Many held signs depicting graphic imagery of aborted fetuses. Scheidler says he’s troubled at the prospect of northern Illinois becoming a destination for women seeking abortion care.

“Well, we’re here in Rockford because, you know the state of Illinois becoming an abortion Mecca,’ said Scheidler. “The governor has called on women from all over the United States to come to Illinois for abortions. And that has prompted abortionists all over the region to try to establish abortion facilities here.”

* ABC7

On Thursday, the Planned Parenthood organizations from Illinois and Wisconsin will announce a partnership.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Wisconsin are coming together to make sure women have access to the care they need. […]

Later Thursday morning, Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will host a joint virtual press conference announcing a partnership to meet patient need for abortion care and increase access.

…Adding… Related press release…

Nearly three weeks following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaders of the Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) affiliates held a virtual press conference on July 14, to announce an innovative partnership to bring medical professionals to Illinois to meet the growing patient need for abortion care.

The Waukegan PPIL Health Center opened in 2020, near the Wisconsin border, in anticipation of PPWI patients losing access to care. Now that Roe has been overturned, and PPWI has been forced to suspend abortion care, Wisconsin clinicians, nurses and staff are traveling to the Waukegan Health Center to provide care and expand capacity at that health center as well as across Illinois through telehealth.

“Because abortion is safe and legal in Illinois, we are now an oasis for care, as millions of patients are stranded in a vast abortion desert, including Wisconsin residents,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “Fortunately, trained medical professionals from Wisconsin are providing the care patients need in Illinois, and Illinois has the space to accommodate this increase of staff and patients. So, while PPWI is temporarily suspending providing abortion care, Wisconsin patients can access services in Illinois. Together, we are working to ensure all of our patients get the care they need.”

“At PPWI, we have anticipated this difficult moment for years and worked with our health care partners at PPIL and others to do what we can to protect and enhance access to safe, non-judgmental abortion care for patients traveling across state lines,” said Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “Despite the devastating impact of Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban, we are grateful to the dedicated patient services team who are doing everything they can to meet the growing patient demand next door.”

The abortion ban has forced people in Wisconsin to travel far distances for health care at great cost and disruption to their personal lives. Since the Supreme Court’s decision, PPWI’s and PPIL’s call volume has doubled and all abortion patients in Wisconsin are being referred out of state for care. PPIL’s abortion care for Wisconsin residents has increased 10 fold since Roe was overturned.

* This is Dan Proft’s PAC

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe V. Wade, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker envisions Illinois as a state women can turn to for abortions.

The governor asked the Biden administration for more federal funding to support doctors providing telehealth services, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“J.B. Pritzker has an extreme and ghoulish position on abortion,” said Mike Koolidge, spokesman for the political action committee, People Who Play by the Rules. “He supports allowing it to a healthy mother and child all the way up to birth, or even after birth if the parents don’t want their child. That’s infanticide. This is an extreme and disturbing position and polls show it thankfully represents the views of a very small sliver of our state.”


Guttmacher Institute

In Illinois, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of June 28, 2022:

    • An abortion may be performed at or after viability only if the patient’s life or health is endangered.

* The LG testified to a US Senate committee

Stratton also highlighted how racial inequalities to abortion access and healthcare could leave lasting impacts on minority communities.

“Recognizing that after a child is born that they do not have access to resources, they are not given what’s needed to address the systemic racism that they are gonna experience throughout their lives, to make sure there’s no help that’s given to these Black and brown families across our country in the wake of these abortion bans and restrictions. It’s contradictory to what so much of what we’ve heard today. This is not about helping. This is only gonna harm and cause immeasurable suffering,” Lt. Gov. Stratton said.

Her full testimony is here.

* WaPo dispatched a reporter out on one of those classic East Coast adventures to fly-over country. In this case, it’s Granite City, which has an abortion clinic

People in Granite City usually don’t focus on the clinic unless they have to. When the subject comes up, there’s nervous laughter. Long pauses. Eventually, someone changes the subject.

When the clinic asked to build a four-foot fence around its property in the fall of 2020, to minimize contact between patients and the protesters, the city council turned down the proposal, without any members voicing an opinion on the matter before they took a vote.

City officials seem to prefer avoiding the topic altogether.

Mayor Michael Parkinson, who was elected last year, did not respond to requests for comment on this story. Nor did nine of Granite City’s 10 city council members.

“That place needs to leave,” said city council member and longtime Granite City resident Bob Pickerell, referring to the abortion clinic, before he excused himself and hung up the phone.

* Also in the Metro East

The Catholic Diocese of Belleville announced Tuesday it will sell the historic mansion that housed its bishops for more than 70 years and use the proceeds primarily for a maternity fund for expectant mothers.

Bishop Michael McGovern is planning to move from the bishop’s residence at 925 Centreville Ave. to the rectory of the Cathedral of St. Peter on Harrison Street in downtown Belleville this summer. […]

Myler noted the decision to give proceeds of the home sale to a maternity fund comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973.

While the proceeds will primarily be used for a maternity fund, money also will be used in “support of Catholic education, youth ministry and evangelization,” according to Myler and the diocese’s news release.

* Meanwhile, in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis — a Democrat up for reelection — signed an executive order [last] week that will, essentially, protect Colorado from having to cooperate with other states’ investigations into people seeking or providing abortions.

Polis’ executive order states that Colorado will not help out with any criminal investigations or civil actions that originate in other states that are aimed at curbing access to abortion or punishing those involved in the procedure. Here’s the language of that part of the order, it’s seems rather sweeping:

    “All state agencies and principal departments shall not, unless pursuant to a court order, provide information or data, including patient medical records, patient-level data, or related billing information, or expend time, money, facilities, property, equipment, personnel, or other resources to assist or further any investigation or proceeding initiated in or by another state that seeks to impose criminal or civil liability or professional sanction upon a person or entity for conduct that would be legal in Colorado related to providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive health care.”

Polis also ordered the state Department of Regulatory Affairs to put measures in place to protect anyone who holds a Colorado professional license from “disciplinary action against a professional license or disqualified from professional licensure” for performing or seeking abortion care in any state.

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 10-year-old survivor of rape in Ohio was forced to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion. For weeks, Republicans have placed doubt upon the story and failed to acknowledge the destructive nature of abortion restrictions in their own states.

Now, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has indicated that he wants to investigate the doctor who performed the abortion and challenge her medical license. Instead of going after the rapist who attacked an underage girl, today’s GOP is more concerned with prosecuting doctors providing critical care.

Darren Bailey voted against the Reproductive Health Act, which codified the right to choose into state law and removed the law in Illinois that holds doctors criminally liable for performing an abortion. Bailey even served as a co-sponsor of a bill that would repeal the Reproductive Health Act entirely.

“As more and more states implement dangerous anti-abortion legislation, it is essential that Illinois remains an island for reproductive freedom. Voters need an answer from Darren Bailey: does he stand with protecting doctors or with the man who sexually abused a 10-year-old?” said JB for Governor Press Secretary Eliza Glezer. “We deserve to know just how far Bailey is willing to go to restrict women’s rights in Illinois. In Darren Bailey’s Illinois, doctors providing essential health care and the patients they treat could face greater burdens than abusers.”

Bailey has stated that he does not support allowing abortions even in cases of rape or incest. His extreme beliefs are a danger to women and girls in Illinois and in our neighboring states like Indiana and Ohio.

* More…

* Unimaginable abortion stories will become more common. Is American journalism ready?

* Lt. Gov. Stratton tells Senate panel that Illinois needs federal help as ‘island’ for reproductive rights


MLB open thread

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Pretty darned shameful…

…Adding… The lawsuit is here.


At about a third of CPI, rent is helping drive inflation

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Bloomberg

Rents rose in the US last month at the fastest pace since 1986, helping to propel overall inflation to a fresh four-decade high.

n index measuring rent of a primary residence was 0.8% higher in June than the month before, an acceleration from the 0.6% increase recorded in May, according to the Labor Department’s report on consumer prices published Wednesday. In the 12 months through June, rents were up 5.8%.

Those costs are soaring across the country as would-be homebuyers get priced out by the fastest-rising mortgage rates in decades and slide back into the overcrowded rental market. But rent growth may be peaking as affordability concerns mount, and a surge in construction of new units is poised to start adding to the available inventory.

The Labor Department measure tends to lag behind other estimates, so it is likely that rent increases will contribute to rising inflation in the consumer price index through the rest of this year, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. […]

Nearly 836,000 multifamily units are under construction, the most since 1973, according to Jay Parsons, chief economist at RealPage. But most new construction targets higher-income tenants and not the lower end, where supply shortages are most extreme, he said.

Rent is up 4.3 percent over the past year in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area.

* But

Since 75% to 80% of renters remain in their homes every year, the topline figure is weighted toward the inflation rate experienced by continuing renters.

The rate is much higher for new renters.

* Also

Rent comprises 40% of the core CPI price index.[1] Tenant rent and housing characteristics are used to impute an “equivalent” rent for owner-occupied homes in the index. During the pandemic, this method may have led to distorted estimates for owner-occupied rent because most tenants live in multi-unit properties whereas 9-in-10 owner-occupants live in one-unit homes.

* And

Housing represents about a third of the value of the market basket of goods and services that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses to track inflation in the Consumer Price Index.

* Crain’s last month

The net rent at high-end, or Class A, apartment buildings hit an all-time high of $3.55 per square foot in the first quarter, up 19.1% from a year earlier, according to the Chicago office of Integra Realty Resources, a consulting and appraisal firm. After plunging with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the downtown multifamily market is soaring once again, pushing up the cost of housing and pumping up the profits of landlords. […]

It’s not just the high end of the downtown market that’s booming: Net rents at less-expensive Class B buildings also rose to a record high, $2.92 per square foot, in the quarter, up 18.7% from a year earlier, according to Integra. Net rents include concessions like free rent. […]

Right now, demand for apartments exceeds supply, but the market should move closer into balance next year, when developers complete nearly 3,900 apartments downtown, according to Integra. If tenants don’t get any relief from rising rents then, they might in 2024, when Integra forecasts developers will add another 4,800 units to the downtown market.

Not too awful worried about people who can afford that much rent.

* NY Times

Rents have been rising swiftly across America for much of the pandemic era, and housing experts are warning that they could now receive a boost from an unlikely source: the Federal Reserve.

As the central bank raises interest rates to cool down the economy and contain rapid inflation, it is also pushing up mortgage costs, putting home purchases out of reach for many first-time buyers. If people who would have otherwise bought a home remain waylaid in apartments and rented houses, it could compound already-booming demand — keeping pressure on rental prices.

While it is tough to predict how big or how lasting that Fed-induced bump in rental demand might prove, it could ironically make it more difficult for the central bank to wrestle inflation lower in the near term. Rent-related costs make up nearly a third of the closely tracked Consumer Price Index inflation measure, so anything that helps to keep them climbing at an unusually brisk pace is likely to perpetuate rapid inflation. […]

Because a large number of new apartments and condominiums have been started since the pandemic began, few if any economists expect the recent breakneck pace of rent increases to continue: More supply should be on its way. Some markets, like Phoenix, have already seen a slowdown in real-time rent trackers.

But new buildings are taking a long time to finish amid shortages of both the labor and supplies needed to turn blueprints into reality, and it is uncertain when those challenges will clear up. Plus, new apartment and housing developments skew toward high-end and luxury units at a moment when the nation is short about 1.5 million housing units that are affordable and available to lower-income renters, according to a Harvard housing study.

So, price hikes may ease for upper-income types, but not for others. And rising interest rates will make it even less likely that people will build smaller, affordable rental properties. Maybe some smart policy people ought to take a look at this.

* Related…

* The Great Rent Squeeze: Landlords’ jacking up rent was the single largest factor in May’s red-hot inflation report


Bailey’s campaign manager profiled

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’m glad to see Darren Bailey’s campaign manager Jose Durbin get some recognition. You might not believe this, but the young man is very easy to work with and understands a lot

How did you come to meet Darren Bailey? “For a few years, I worked for [former state Sen.] Kyle McCarter as his legislative aide and chief of staff. He asked me to go to Kenya with him,” where he served as an ambassador during the Trump administration. “But my wife refused. To be fair, she was getting her undergrad degree to be a teacher. … Then Kyle introduced me to Darren. I’m his longest staffer,” having worked on his state House and Senate campaigns before the governor’s race.

The biggest challenge? “Darren being an outsider. When I’d start talking to people about Darren for governor, people would say a candidate from southern Illinois didn’t have a chance. They’d say, ‘He’s a great guy, but he can’t win.’”

What’s your take on the Democratic Governors Association ads that described Bailey as far right? “I didn’t like the meddling. More than the DGA, it was help from the Super PAC [headed by Dan Proft and funded by Dick Uihlein] that really made a difference. … We tried not to pay attention to that and just kept our noses to the ground.”

What strategies helped you in the primary? “Facebook was huge, but it didn’t start as a campaign strategy. When JB shut down the state [because of the pandemic], Cindy [Bailey’s wife] went on Facebook to pray with people. Then Darren started going on and talking about different subjects and it just blossomed. We don’t spend a lot of money on it. Darren had to get used to it. But now, if you ask Darren Bailey one thing, he’ll tell you he loves social media.” […]

What’s the biggest challenge going forward? “Pritzker’s money. But honestly, I don’t think money wins the race. We have a great staff. We won’t be outworked. We’ll leave everything on the ground.”

Say what you will about Bailey, but this young man is going places.


State park vendors no longer allowed to offer single-use plastic foodware

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Daily Herald

Starting next year, you can still bring plastic spoons and cups into state parks — but they won’t be offered.

The change is part of a bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law earlier this month. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, state agencies and departments will be prohibited from procuring single-use plastic disposable foodware at state parks and natural areas.

Instead, vendors at these locations will have to offer either recyclable or compostable foodware. The legislation will affect Illinois’ 184 state parks and natural areas, which collectively host millions of visitors each year, according to the state Department of Natural Resources website.

“This is a modest attempt to begin to show that the state of Illinois, as a purchaser of products, is going to prefer compostable products,” said state Sen. Julie Morrison, a Lake Forest Democrat who sponsored the bill. “It’s really important that we get plastics out of our landfills and out of our whole use chain. We can do this.”


Open thread

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Is it Friday yet?


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* Cash bail did not necessarily make us any safer
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated)
* GOP poll has Sorensen up by 9 points, but below 50 percent
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* It’s just a bill
* Revenue omnibus includes some little-noticed charitable provisions
* Pritzker teams up with IBM, Discover Financial to push for federal quantum funds
* They’ll come back to it
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Yesterday's stories

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