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Campaign roundup

Friday, Aug 5, 2022

* This Fran Spielman story is generating a whole lot of buzz

Zoning Committee Chairman Tom Tunney (44th) told the Sun-Times he plans to take some time off during the council’s August recess before deciding whether to call it quits after five terms to focus on the Ann Sather restaurants he owns — or run for mayor himself. […]

Over the years, Tunney has flirted with running for mayor repeatedly. This time, he said he hasn’t “completely ruled it out” and it “could be exciting for me” as a “young, 60-ish kind of guy” with plenty of “energy and initiative left” and a history of “bringing people together.”

“People want a unifier. People want somebody [who] can bring people together. Her personality is strong and can be somewhat divisive. She’s vulnerable. She knows that. A lot of people are looking for an alternative,” he said.

* Center Square

With the state’s college savings program seeing most investment funds down for the year, one analyst sees a potential cost to taxpayers.

Parents investing in Illinois’ Bright Start college savings program may have been shocked at their fund balance in recent statements.

Of 17 different individual portfolios, the Bright Start performance statement online shows investments in 13 of them are down over the past 12 months. Five of the funds are down double digits, with the T. Rowe Price Large-Cap Growth 529 Portfolio down nearly 23.5%. […]

For the Bright Start program, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ office says individuals choose their risk tolerance.

“[I]ndividuals choose their 529 investments based on their own risk tolerance, goals and time horizon,” said Frerichs spokesman Greg Rivara.

If you go to the site, you’ll see that three and five-year average annual returns are positive for every fund.


As thousands of Illinois students prepare for the upcoming fall semester of college, they’ll be shocked to see their Bright Start college savings down over 10%.

ILGOP Chairman Don Tracy is calling on the Auditor General to investigate State Treasurer Mike Frerichs for the mismanagement of Bright Start and student’s college savings.

“As the market anticipated a dip, Mike Frerichs did nothing to warn students that their college savings and investment was at risk,” said Chairman Tracy. When Mike Frerichs should have been reducing risk for young adults just months away from their first tuition payment, he instead let their accounts drop. Illinois families deserve to know why.”

* Pritzker press release…

Fresh off of failing to apologize for his offensive remarks about the Holocaust, Darren Bailey has once again found himself embroiled in scandal, this time for his support of the anti-LGBTQ+ far right group, Awake Illinois. Bailey has supported the group throughout his candidacy, spoken at and participated in several events, and continues to align himself with the organization––despite their role in inciting violence and attacks on a local bakery for planning to host a family-friendly drag show brunch.

Awake IL posted about an upcoming drag show at UpRising Bakery and Cafe and days before the event, the business was vandalized by a man with connections to the Proud Boys. Awake IL proudly admitted they “blasted” the event on social media in the days leading up to the attack, claiming the bakery was “coming for your kids,” and calling the event “perverted.” The owners received threats and endured harassment, ultimately forcing them to cancel the event.

Even after the attacks, Bailey is still proudly headlining Awake IL’s latest divisive protest on August 16. Bailey recently attended their first anniversary celebration and was the first candidate to take their “Parents Bill of Rights'’ pledge.

“Darren Bailey’s continued support for Awake IL is an affront to LGBTQ+ Illinoisans everywhere. Their vitriolic language led to violent attacks against a local business, and his silence speaks volumes,” said JB for Governor Press Secretary Eliza Glezer. “Bailey and Awake IL have employed the same homophobic and transphobic dog whistles, putting members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies at risk. Darren Bailey must answer for why he is so proud to be aligned with this organization.”

Tom DeVore is also speaking, among others.

* Politico

— IRVIN ENDORSEMENT: In his first big move since losing the GOP primary for governor, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is endorsing Republican Senate nominee Kathy Salvi: “Illinois needs a senator who will prioritize families and businesses every day. Kathy Salvi has been an advocate for women and children in the greater Chicago area for more than three decades, and she will be a champion for all Illinoisans.”

Bankruptcy filing emerges in North Shore congressional race: “Joe Severino, the GOP candidate seeking to unseat Congressman Brad Schneider, contends the filing was prompted by a legal system gone awry,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

— Greg Hart, the Republican nominee for DuPage County Board chair, has been endorsed by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

…Adding… Budzinski…

This week, anti-choice extremist group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America endorsed Nikki Budzinski’s Republican opponent in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, Regan Deering. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is a staunch supporter of anti-choice politicians who seek to ban abortion at any cost, and Regan Deering is no exception: she said she was “thrilled” when the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft indicated that the court would overturn Roe v. Wade, and she has promised that she’ll work to make abortion harder to access in Illinois if elected.

Budzinski released the following statement: “Across the country, like we saw in Kansas this week, voters are making it clear that they won’t stand by while out of touch politicians try and mandate what women can do with their own bodies.”

“Regan is one of those extremists, who would vote to ban and restrict abortion at every turn no matter what the people of Illinois’ 13th Congressional District want. Unlike Regan, I will fight to protect the reproductive rights of women in my district and stand up against national abortion bans and other restrictive measures.”

* Pritzker…

Today, Governor JB Pritzker met with Corrina Sac, owner of UpRising Bakery and Café, and leaders from Equality Illinois and Woodstock Pride to discuss the hateful attacks perpetrated against the bakery. Also in attendance was State Representative Suzanne Ness and host and performer Jakki Love. In the meeting and earlier today, the governor denounced the far-right group responsible for inciting the violence against the bakery. He also reaffirmed his support for the LGBTQ+ community and every person’s right to live and work safely without fear of discrimination.

“My administration has worked tirelessly to ensure everyone in Illinois is treated with dignity and respect, but our fight continues,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We must come together to combat the rising tide of hate against the LGBTQ+ community and fight against discrimination and bigotry.”

“We are grateful to Governor Pritzker for his support of UpRising and his commitment to uplifting queer-owned businesses,” said Corrina Sac, Owner of UpRising Bakery and Café. “As hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community rise across the nation, having a governor who shares our values of acceptance and inclusion has never been more important.”

“We can all learn from the UpRising Bakery and Cafe’s resilience and determination in the face of anti-LGBTQ+ violence, harassment, and intimidation. Left unchecked, violence and intimidation can have a chilling effect for all LGBTQ+ people who simply want to gather together in our communities,” said Myles Brady Davis, Director of Communications and Press Secretary at Equality Illinois. “Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for your commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and combatting hate crimes and for demonstrating in person our state’s values of equality, inclusion, and the freedom to be who we are and love who we love without discrimination. Love must win.”

“The recent attacks on Uprising Bakery and Cafe are a jarring reminder that our work to ensure everyone feels safe and supported by their communities is far from over,” said State Representative Suzanne Ness. “I am proud to stand with Governor Pritzker, Equality Illinois, Woodstock Pride, and the many other concerned citizens lending their voice to support queer-owned small businesses. The governor’s support means so much to this district and together we will continue to affirm that hate has no home in Illinois.”

Despite the anti-LGBTQ+ far right group’s role in inciting violence and attacks on UpRising Bakery and Cafe, extremist Darren Bailey has supported Awake IL throughout his candidacy. He has spoken at and participated in several events and continues to align himself with the organization. Even after the attacks, Bailey is still proudly headlining Awake IL’s latest divisive protest on August 16.

Meanwhile, Governor Pritzker expanded the Illinois Human Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ residents as a protected class and expanded infertility insurance to cover LGBTQ+ families. From inclusive LGBTQ+ curriculums in schools, to expanded Medicaid coverage for gender affirming surgery, to requiring single occupancy restrooms be designated as gender neutral––Governor Pritzker has made great strides in affirming that Illinois is a place where everyone can feel supported.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ArchPundit - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    AWAKE Illinois is allying itself with a paramilitary group (the Proud Boys) who were part of an attempted coup of the United States Government. Either Bailey and Devore are for democracy or they are not.

  2. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    As someone with money invested through Bright Start, I didn’t need Mike Frerichs to tell me the market was down before I opened the last statement. Anyone who was taken by surprise by that might want to take their money out of the market and put it under their mattress, or invest in a hoard of Info Wars supplements, whatever works for you. No doubt Don Tracy and IL republicans have a ton of brilliant policy ideas to help you figure out how to pay for college, I’m sure they’ll be presenting them any day now.

  3. - vern - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    Awake’s insistence that they’re not a partisan group is insulting to everyone’s intelligence. They talk about “feeling politically homeless” while multiple Republican statewide candidates are keynoting their rally/caravan/walk-around thing.

    This has been going on for years, since the “Tea Party.” Lifelong Republican activists create a new organization, pretend it’s a new influx of volunteers, and then lie anyone who will listen about their political history. Right-wing media is full of man-on-the-street “independent voter” interviews, and a quick search usually turns up a leadership position in a Republican county party.

  4. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    When each kid hit senior year in HS, I switched their money into the money market option, so I knew what I ‘had.’

    I have one suggestion for Don Tracy, tie the max annual tax-deductible contribution limit to higher education inflation rates vs. leaving them at the same amount they have been for years.

  5. - Karen - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    I hope Republicans file (and pass) a bill guaranteeing 10% or higher returns for bright start investments. The investment options in bright start, while not perfect, are completely legit and easy to understand. This kind of misinformation campaign against the Treasurer and Bright Start will only harm students from families with limited means by fostering distrust in making normal stock market investments.

  6. - Ouch - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Not bright start participant, but I also lost thousands in that T Rowe. Payroll deduction investors don’t get warnings, just monthly statements.

  7. - Big Dipper - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:05 pm:

    The market is cyclical and bounces back. It has already started to do so. Tracy is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

  8. - Nathan H - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    Sure it sucks to lose money, but that is what happens in the stock market. As someone else said, go put it under your mattress if you can’t handle that. I have been a Bright Start user investor for 14 years and it goes up and down. They have great options, especially their age-based allocations which grow more conservative the closer your kids get to college age. Frerichs didn’t do anything wrong. This is just political opportunism.

  9. - Steve Polite - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    “When Mike Frerichs should have been reducing risk for young adults just months away from their first tuition payment, he instead let their accounts drop.”

    So Tracy wants the Treasurer’s Office to have the power to change how individuals invest for college and move money between funds without their permission to protect them from market downturns? I’m confused. Are republicans for more government intrusion or less?

  10. - Primate - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    Please expect more nonsense from the ILGOP in the Treasurer’s race. The Rauner crowd fled to Demmer after the shellacking. This office is all they have left for relevance.

  11. - Steve Polite - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:44 pm:

    My Deferred Compensation investment has dropped since the beginning of the year. Maybe I should call “on the Auditor General to investigate [CMS] for the mismanagement” of Deferred Compensation funds. You made a pretty ridiculous demand Mr. Tracy.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    It should be clearly noted that Chairman Tracy took time and energy to discuss a nuance of a program.

    Chairman Tracy has yet to condemn Darren Bailey for comparing abortion to the Holocaust.

    Chairman Tracy has had plenty of time to condemn.

    Chairman Tracy sees no problem with an anti-Semitic dog whistles Darren Bailey has used, and doesn’t see anything wrong with those remarks out publicly.

  13. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    The GOP wants me to take investment advice from ‘democrat’ politicians? It’s a funny world.

  14. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    Awake Illinois site has links to Moms for Liberty that got its start in Florida in 2020 opposing mask and vaccination requirements to combat COVID-19 in public schools. They have since added opposition to CRT, LGBTQ rights, etc. They have been accused of harassing teachers and school board members in this state and others. The Republican Party in Florida has praised the organization for bringing more women into the fold.

  15. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Darren Bailey’s continued support for Awake IL is an affront to LGBTQ+ Illinoisans everywhere.”

    Also an affront to anyone who cares about them.

    – MrJM

  16. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 2:26 pm:

    AWAKE Illinois and Darren Bailey are the [perfect marriage of bigotry and hypocrisy.

    They both advocate for parents rights when the parents agree with their beliefs and intervention when they don’t.

    They are both only vaguely literate (see parents bill of rights and all Bailey communication).

    They are both extreme by normal standards and mainstream by ILGOP standards.

  17. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    “State Rep. Tom Demmer … said … the treasurer needs to communicate more with families about their investments.”

    Is Demmer (& his party) going to do this for state university employees using the Retirement Savings Program? If IPI / Tillman / Griffin get their ultimate dream, for state employees and their 401(k)s?

  18. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==that their college savings and investment was at risk==

    Aren’t investments always at risk? I mean, that’s the nature of an investment in the market. I’m sure the Treasurer would support a state guarantee of a return on investment if that is what they would like.

  19. - Just Sayin - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 4:10 pm:

    Anyone know what Frerichs’ position is on student loan forgiveness? If that happens, is he tall enough to support taxing the amounts of the forgiven loans, similar to his support of taxing retirement 2 years ago?

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