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Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

The Illinois Supreme Court, in an unsigned order Monday, rejected a request by the DuPage County clerk to lift a local judge’s ruling directing the clerk on how she should verify the authenticity of late-arriving mailed-in ballots.

The ruling comes as Tuesday marks the final day ballots sent on or before Election Day on Nov. 8 can be verified and counted — with a close race between GOP state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi and Democratic challenger Jenn Ladisch Douglass, both of Elmhurst, hanging in the balance. […]

Mazzochi, an attorney and an assistant House GOP leader, alleged DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek was improperly verifying the signatures on mail-in ballots by using vote-by-mail applications instead of the voter registration signature on file in the clerk’s office.

Mazzochi filed suit to challenge the signature-verifying method and last week DuPage County Circuit Judge James Orel sided with Mazzochi and ordered Kaczmarek to certify the validity of mail-in ballots using the voter registration signature on file in her office and prohibited the clerk’s office from using signatures of vote-by-mail applications to verify mailed-in ballot signatures.

“Use of the Vote by Mail ballot application to qualify signatures on the Vote by Mail ballot itself would be an obvious way to commit ballot fraud,” Orel said in his order.

Except, the signatures on the applications have already been verified as matching signatures on voter registration cards. Whatever. The state loophole needs to be closed one way or another.

* Tribune

Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson called on the Illinois General Assembly Friday to improve the city’s voter access, particularly for Black and Latino residents, after what he said was dismal turnout in their communities during this month’s general election.

Wilson, a business owner who has recently been known for his free gas and grocery giveaways, said the Nov. 8 election left him concerned that a recent change in polling locations led to primarily South and West Side wards seeing the lowest voter turnout. He said he will send a letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Springfield leaders demanding they pass legislation allowing Chicagoans to vote at any polling location. […]

As for voter turnout in this month’s general election, all but one of the 10 lowest-turnout wards were indeed on the South, Southwest and West sides, where most of the city’s Black and Latino communities reside. Those turnout percentages ranged from the mid-20s to low 30s, election data show.

But total vote counts don’t finalize until Nov. 29, and there are still over 10,000 mail-in ballots to process. The 2022 elections also saw low voter turnout in general, with the citywide percentage landing at 44.3% this November and at 22.8% in the June 28 primary election, which was organized under the previous ward map’s precincts that Wilson sought to keep.

* Isabel has the day off…

    * Daily Herald | Feds officially approve the massive expansion of O’Hare terminals: The least publicized element of the Terminal Area Plan is also the most consequential one to many suburbs, which have long sought to gain western access to the airport. The city proposes to open an entrance to O’Hare’s west side.

    * WICS | $9 million to address education and career equity in Illinois: The funding will be used to help minority and low-income students as well as individuals with disabilities remove barriers to completing their education and career goals through the Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant program (IBT).

    * WTTW | Friends of the Chicago River, Openlands and Others Join Chorus Calling on Pritzker To Halt Damen Silos Sale: “The governor should put this project on hold and open a meaningful discussion with the community about the future of the Damen Silos site for the betterment of public health and the ecological transformation of the Chicago River system,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.

    * Tribune | UIC dentistry professor used racist imagery and treated students of color unequally, lawmakers say in letter to school: “Students and alumni of UIC College of Dentistry have expressed to us that racist teachings and the unequal treatment of students has been ongoing for years,” the letter went on. “A recent revelation made us aware of a noose appearing in a PowerPoint presentation for seven years, which is disturbing. … This professor has continued to teach without any response or action from the university. Students of color have reportedly continued to be targeted at the university from being asked about their ‘natural hair’ to being called the N-word.”

    * Crain’s | How Lynn Osmond plans to bring conventions and tourists back to Chicago: Osmond has some wind at her back as the pandemic wanes. Leisure travel has recently returned at a faster clip, with downtown hotel revenues exceeding 2019 averages in two of the past four months, according to hospitality data and analytics firm STR. Conventions and trade shows are back—albeit with crowds that in many cases are smaller than they were before COVID—and Osmond enjoys broad support from local civic and cultural leaders who have known her for more than two decades.

    * Tribune | Cook County court clerk is latest to exit federal oversight of hiring practices, though administrator has lingering concerns: In a statement, a Martinez spokesperson did not directly address the concerns Feibus raised in her final report but rather reiterated that the judge in the case granted the “substantial compliance” finding.

    * Crain’s Chicago Business | Tim Degnan, influential Daley aide, dies at 82: For the Crain’s profile, a colleague recalled Degnan’s blunt message to one bureaucrat: “Look, this is not on your schedule next year. This is on our schedule today.” Even Michael Madigan, the long-reigning House speaker, got that message. “Tim walks up to me and says, ‘You wanna help us, right?’ ” Madigan told Crain’s in 1995. “He hands me a piece of paper (a draft of a bill). ‘See that word? Take that f—— word out of there.’ We did.” Madigan added, “His effectiveness lies in his simplicity.”

    * Washington Post | LGBTQ club shooting suspect’s troubled past was obscured by a name change, records show: In June 2021, Aldrich was arrested for an alleged bomb threat, one that prompted a partial evacuation of the Colorado Springs neighborhood where his mother lived at the time. He was charged with kidnapping and felony menacing, but was never prosecuted, for reasons that remain unclear. No bomb was ever found. … Suthers and other officials deflected questions about whether Aldrich’s 2021 arrest could have led to a legal action, perhaps under Colorado’s 2019 red-flag law, to prevent the suspect from obtaining a weapon.

    * Washington Post | The upside to FTX’s downfall: While FTX’s downfall may be the first cryptocurrency scandal of this scale, the story is all too familiar. Allegedly, Bankman-Fried loaned $10 billion of his customers’ dollars to his investment company, Alameda Research, and used it for risky day trading. When consumers lost confidence and tried to pull their money out, they learned that FTX did not have their funds on hand. FTX covered up the misuse from its customers, its auditors and its own employees. Heard that before? John Ray III has. Ray was the man who oversaw bankruptcy proceedings for Enron. Yet taking over as chief executive of FTX after Bankman-Fried’s departure, Ray said: “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls.”

    * Sun-Times | Chicago mobster gets 4 months in prison for stealing Social Security money: It wasn’t the first time Marcello made his case before a federal court. Marcello, the half-brother of Chicago mob boss James Marcello, was sentenced in March 2008 to 8 ½ years in prison — the first to be sentenced in the Family Secrets case. He once ran a lucrative video poker machine operation in the western suburbs and carried out his half-brother’s orders while James Marcello was in prison, authorities have said. He admitted his role in the mob in a 2007 plea agreement.

    * WCIA | Iroquois County Public Health Department holds long-awaited meeting Monday night: McGinnis said board members received complaints about Schippert from her employees, claiming there was mistreatment of workers, gambling during the work day or simply not showing up to work. But he said the overtime pay is the biggest concern, with nearly $100,000 worth of overtime being paid to her over two years.

    * Sun-Times | Businessmen seek $5 million in TIF funding to install surveillance cameras in Fulton Market, Garfield Park: ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka said promises that the cameras will reduce crime simply haven’t materialized. “It’s been this long-term kind of shadow game of saying just one more set of cameras will be effective, this is what we need,” Yohnka said. “It never works, and the answer is always more of the cameras.”

    * Tribune | One of the last of its kind, Lincoln Oasis serves as a welcome center for Illinois: It was designed by Chicago architecture dean Mies van der Rohe’s protégé David Haid, whose most famous building was a glass pavilion built to house sports cars at the Ben Rose House in Highland Park, which was featured in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

    * Vox | Vaccinate the turkeys (and the chickens): Bird flu is driving up turkey and egg prices — and killing millions of animals. Why won’t we vaccinate against it?


  1. - May we file this as... - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:22 pm:

    …not exactly useful?

    Shakman Decree.

  2. - Just a Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 5:25 pm:

    It was very kind of you to let Isse off while you carried on. Way to go.

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