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Afternoon news roundup

Monday, Dec 12, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From today’s hearing…

* The Better Government Association’s CEO David Griesing bemoans the victory of the Workers Rights Amendment in a Tribune op-ed...

Uihlein, for his part, has cause to wonder if he might have made a difference. He spent more than $50 million supporting Bailey’s campaign against Pritzker that was bound to fail almost no matter how much Uihlein spent. Had Uihlein made his move earlier and diverted, say, $10 million of his Bailey money toward matching union spending on the Workers’ Rights Amendment, the outcome might have been different.

This was a winnable electoral contest, and at least Uihlein tried. Many other conservative funders, the type who helped defeat the graduated-rate income tax amendment just two years ago by contributing alongside Griffin, chose not to commit to defeat Amendment 1 at all.

With Griffin gone, the conservative movement in Illinois lost more than Griffin’s millions. Perhaps they lost his political mojo too.

The BGA didn’t report raising any money from labor unions in 2021, and I’m kinda doubtful any are gonna get on board after that column.

* Speaker Welch press release…

This morning, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch joined Biden administration policy experts to discuss and collaborate on legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Items for discussion included reproductive health, common-sense gun reform, paid family leave, and lifting up America’s working families.

“I truly enjoyed this thoughtful and insightful conversation with President Biden’s policy experts,” said Speaker Welch. “An overwhelming majority of Americans support these policy initiatives and, as Democrats, we need to ensure that we are better aligned on these issues so that we can deliver for people across this country.”

Speaker Welch met with Julie Chavez Rodriguez, senior advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Morgan Mohr, senior advisor for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

In addition to this morning’s discussion, Speaker Welch will also attend Vice President Kamala Harris’ Holiday Reception later this evening. Speaker Welch plans to network and continue strengthening relationships with leaders from states across the country.

* Ugh

In light of the Department of Homeland Security’s recent Terrorism Advisory Bulletin that the threat of extremism and…

Posted by UpRising Bakery and Cafe on Sunday, December 11, 2022

* Press release…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced he has reached a settlement with Walgreens and CVS to resolve allegations that the companies contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at stores.

The bipartisan settlement provides more than $10 billion nationally and requires significant improvements to how Walgreens and CVS pharmacies dispense opioids. Raoul and 17 state attorneys general on the executive committee, attorneys representing local governments, Walgreens and CVS have agreed to this settlement, which has been sent to other states for review and approval. The sign-on period for states will be until the end of 2022, followed by a 90-day sign-on period for units of local government. The $10.7 billion settlement will be divided among sign-on states, local governments and tribes, and will prioritize abatement and remediation of the opioid crises.

“The opioid epidemic has tragically affected too many Illinois families that have experienced addiction or even the death of a loved one. This $10.7 billion settlement with Walgreens and CVS builds upon the important progress we’ve already achieved with previous settlements, but more importantly, it holds both companies accountable,” Raoul said. “I am proud of the bipartisan work we are doing across state lines to hold retail pharmacies responsible. I will continue to ensure that resources Illinois receives through settlements are distributed equitably throughout the state to help fund services needed to mitigate the ongoing opioid crisis.”

Raoul said the settlement also includes broad, court-ordered requirements, such as the implementation of a robust Controlled Substance Compliance Program. The program will require independent pharmacist review of prescriptions, additional oversight of controlled substance dispensing, mandatory training and new reporting requirements.

* Press release…

High-impact tutoring is accelerating learning recovery in 72 Illinois school districts, thanks to a $25 million investment of federal pandemic relief funds by the Illinois State Board of Education.

ISBE has partnered with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to implement the Illinois Tutoring Initiative, which has trained and matched 490 tutors to provide high-impact tutoring to 1,270 students in 45 school districts statewide. An additional 27 school districts have received grant funds to design and implement their own local high-impact tutoring programs, anticipated to reach up to 2,000 students.

“Over the course of the last two and a half years, our students have sacrificed so much,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In the face of turmoil, they’ve been brave. We owe it to them to provide every resource possible so that their aspirations can be met and their dreams fulfilled. By investing millions of dollars in high quality tutoring services, we’re doing just that.”

* Press release

As part of the Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA), along with the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), presented the Midwest Food Bank with 5,280 pounds of ground pork on Monday. The donation will go to agencies across central Illinois this holiday season.

“Illinois pig farmers are pleased to provide quality protein to those in need, especially during the holidays”, said IPPA Board Member, Pam Janssen. “Pork is a versatile protein, and ground pork is easy to use in so many meals.”

Since its inception in 2008, the Pork Power program has generated over 922,000 pounds of pork - enough for over 3 million meals - for families throughout Illinois.

That was in November. This came out today…

What: IPPA Reaches Goal of Donating 1 Million Pounds of Pork!

Where: Central Illinois Food Bank
1937 E Cook St.
Springfield, IL

Details: As part of the Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign, the Illinois Pork Producers Association has donated over 1 MILLION pounds of pork—over 3.3 million servings—to food banks throughout Illinois!

* Paul Vallas releases his public safety plan…

The Vallas Plan calls for the restoration of police strength to the levels left by former Mayor Rahm Emanual at 13,000 officers and the dedication of at least 10 percent to the Detective rank. We will return to a community policing strategy that restores strength level to local police districts and ensures local police beat integrity – in which every beat is covered by a police car.

Vallas also called for the dispensing of the private public transit security and the use of monies to hire an additional 600-700 officers to a restored and expanded CTA Police Transit Unit. This new unit would ensure that all stations and platforms have a Police presence and the officers would ride trains with the full power to enforce city ordinances. Vallas said that people should be as safe on the CTA as they are at the city airports.

“Commuters should be as safe on the CTA as they are at our city’s airports,” said Vallas. “Public transportation in Chicago under my administration will be synonymous with Safe Passage.”

The replacement of Brown and his leadership team, the restoration to a community policing strategy, and a predictable work schedule will do much to slow the exodus of existing officers. There are a number of strategies that I highlight to address this issue and increase the number of new officers.

This includes enabling retired officers to return in either a full or part time capacity. He would also work to remove obstacles for incentivized officers from other police departments to join CPD and recruit directly from select military bases.

Vallas would also move to waive the residency requirement and work to create a CPD Reserve of hundreds of former Police Officers who left the force to become City Firefighters or hold other jobs who could be re-certified and used in emergencies and to cover shortages, special events, emergencies or temporary assignments.

Vallas said he would also utilize the office of the Mayor to immediately convene an intergovernmental summit constituted of city, sister agency and county bodies to fashion integrated solutions to the rampant crisis of unprecedented levels of crime.

At the same time, he would resurrect the Law Department Municipal Prosecution Unit and enact a robust Public Nuisance ordinance with an enforcement and prosecution focus on misdemeanors by recalcitrant, recidivists who disturb the public peace and threaten or do harm to witnesses, victims, and communities. This would work to address the criminal justice and public safety voids left by a lax and lenient States Attorney and court system.

* Press release…

Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that Anabel Abarca, a resident of the McKinley Park community since 2015, will serve as the new alderman representing the 12th Ward. Abarca’s selection comes after a selection process led by community members of the 12th Ward.

“Anabel Abarca is a pillar of the 12th Ward community,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Her passion for public service and deep connection to her community makes her the best candidate to serve the residents of McKinley Park, Brighton Park, and Little Village. I look forward to working with Anabel, and I thank the 12th Ward vacancy committee for their collaboration in this process.”

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Sun-Times | More than just the Tumblers:As he nears retirement, Jesse White reflects on his time in baseball, the military, 1955 Montgomery, as secretary of state and his work with a certain well-known gymnastics group.

    * Fortune | The ‘pandemic is over’ mindset is seeping into nursing homes in troubling ways: ‘Worry about your granny’:Coronavirus-related hospital admissions are climbing again in the United States, with older adults a growing share of U.S. deaths and less than half of nursing home residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

    * SJ-R | Application deadline set for candidates wanting the GOP nod to replace Butler:Qualified candidates wishing to represent the district in the Illinois General Assembly have until Dec. 22 at 5 p.m., to file an application. The application must include a letter of interest and an up-to-date resume. It can be submitted at the Sangamon County Republican Central Committee headquarters, 1132 Sangamon Ave., or via email at

    * Tribune | Young voters’ enthusiasm for Democrats waned during midterms:Voters under 30 went 53% for Democratic House candidates compared with only 41% for Republican candidates nationwide, according to AP VoteCast, a sweeping national survey of the electorate. But that level of support for Democrats was down compared with 2020, when such voters supported President Joe Biden over his predecessor, Donald Trump, 61% to 36%. And in 2018, when Democrats used a midterm surge to retake control of the House, voters 18 to 29 went 64% for the party compared with 34% for the GOP.

    * CBS Chicago | Illinois mandates replacement of lead pipes, but who’ll foot the bill?:Instead of a $550 repair, her bill ballooned to nearly $7,700…Her pipe couldn’t just be fixed. The entire thing needed to come out per a new state law called the “Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act.” All this heavy lifting on her property came out of her pocket.

    * Patch | Undercounting Homeless IL Students Undercuts Access To Help: Report:A study shows that there were more than 47,000 students in Illinois who experienced homelessness during the 2019-20 school year.

    * Illinois Answers Project |As Investors Buy More Homes Around the Obama Presidential Center Gentrification Worries Soar:“People should be afraid, they should be concerned about firms that don’t live in this community buying up homes,” said Dixon Romeo, a South Shore organizer with Not Me We, a group fighting for better housing and sustainability. “It’s very simple, the goal of every firm is to make profit, right? In terms of housing that means raising the rent, imposing unnecessary fees and effectively displacing people.”

    * Sun-Times | Son of ex-state Rep. Edward Acevedo pleads guilty to cheating on taxes:Michael Acevedo, his brother Alex and their father were indicted separately in February 2021 for alleged tax crimes. The charges resulted from the same investigation that led to this year’s indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

    * SEIU | The SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Candidates Who Will Fight for Issues Important to Working Families:SEIU Illinois State Council Municipal Aldermanic Endorsements: 1 Daniel La Spata; 3 Pat Dowell; 4 Lamont Robinson; 5 Desmon Yancy; 6 William Hall; 7 Greg Mitchell; 8 Michelle Harris; 10 Ana Guajardo; 11 Nicole Lee; 12 Julia Ramirez; 14 Jeylu Gutierrez; 16 Stephanie Coleman; 17 David Moore; 19 Matt O’Shea; 20 Jeanette Taylor; 21 Ronnie Mosley; 22 Mike Rodriguez; 23 Silvana Tabares; 25 Byron Sigcho-Lopez; 28 Jason Ervin; 29 Chris Taliaferro; 31 Felix Cardona; 32 Scott Waguespack; 33 Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez; 34 Bill Conway; 35 Carlos Ramirez-Rosa; 37 Emma Mitts; 40 Andre Vasquez; 43 Rebecca Janowitz; 47 Matthew Martin; 49 Maria Hadden

    * Washington Post | Renewables to overtake coal as world’s top energy source by 2025, IEA says:The world is set to add as much renewable energy in the next five years as it did in the past two decades, as a global energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine accelerates growth in renewables such as wind and solar, the International Energy Agency says. Led by solar energy, renewables are poised to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity generation worldwide by early 2025, helping to keep alive the global goal of limiting Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), according to the Paris-based agency’s latest forecasts.

    * Block Club Chicago | Chicago Public Schools Did Not Defame Lincoln Park High Principal Fired Amid Scandal, Jury Rules: A federal jury sided with Chicago Public Schools in its handling of a high-profile scandal involving the school’s athletics program that led to the former interim principal’s firing. The jury deliberated for several hours Monday before reaching the verdict. As it was read at the Dirksen Federal Building in the Loop, former interim principal John Thuet looked down and clasped his hands in his lap as his attorney consoled him by patting him on the back.

    * KSDK | CARE STL Adoption Center overcrowded, in desperate need of foster homes:One of Downtown St. Louis’s largest animal adoption centers is overwhelmed with animals, particularly dogs. In a little over a week animal control brought in more than 70 dogs to CARE STL Adoption Center and they’re in desperate need of help.

    * Washington Post | Cause of death: Washington faltered as fentanyl gripped America:During the past seven years, as soaring quantities of fentanyl flooded into the United States, strategic blunders and cascading mistakes by successive U.S. administrations allowed the most lethal drug crisis in American history to become significantly worse, a Washington Post investigation has found.

    * Axios | Illinois’ nonfatal opioid overdose rate among highest in U.S.:Illinois ranks third nationally in nonfatal opioid overdoses, according to an analysis of emergency medical responder data. Why it matters: The number suggests opioid use is high in Illinois, but also that our safety precautions — including making overdose treatments like naloxone (Narcan) widely available — are saving lives. By the numbers: Illinois recorded 182,402 nonfatal opioid overdoses over the last year, a rate of 55 per 100,000 people.

    * Sun-Times |Chicago’s ‘Walking Man’ dies several months after being set on fire on Lower Wabash:Chicago’s ‘Walking Man’ died Sunday afternoon, several months after he was set on fire as he slept on Lower Wabash Avenue. Joseph Kromelis, 75, died Sunday afternoon, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

    * Washington Post | Elon Musk uses QAnon tactic in criticizing former Twitter safety chief:Elon Musk escalated his battle of words with previous managers of Twitter into risky new territory over the weekend, allying himself with far-right crusaders against a purported epidemic of child sex abuse and implying that the company’s former head of trust and safety had a permissive view of sexual activity by minors.

    * Pantagraph | Abandoned nests reveal gaps in Illinois’ ability to protect endangered bird species:But construction last year on a new trail around the Chicago History Museum displaced a flock of the birds and put the remaining population at risk, as it is now highly concentrated in one location. Lardner wants to know what happened. For some conservation advocates, the herons’ abandonment of their nests represents a long-standing gap between policies in place to protect endangered wildlife and how they play out in practice. The state Endangered Species Protection Act mandates that public entities consult the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on any projects that could alter environmental conditions or could affect wildlife.


  1. - Big Dipper - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    Re nursing homes, the AP reported yesterday that only 23% of nursing home staff are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. What reckless disregard for the residents.

  2. - Jerry - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    I think the better solution for the CTA is to bring back conductors. One person operation of a train is beyond crazy. Make them Chicago police, thats fine. The devil is in the details and with the “fiscal cliff” looming how is it gonna be paid for?

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 2:12 pm:

    –far-right crusaders against a purported epidemic of child sex abuse–

    Currently, there’s a local diocese teacher/youth pastor indicted for child abuse. He wasn’t caught by the local police, or even the diocese. He was eventually caught red-handed by a vigilante group because neither the local police or diocese were doing anything about it for years, despite over a dozen underage kids being involved. The diocese did previously decide to take the customary ‘move him around to different schools’ approach to the internal investigation they held, but that’s it. When that was exposed the diocese pretended to not know it happened.

    The youth pastor is currently out on bond and his trial is underway.

    I have never once seen any of these far-right crusaders protesting out in front of the diocese offices here in town. To the contrary, many of them are members.

  4. - Montrose - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    I am sincerely curious how much of the concern about safety on the CTA is about people who are homeless using the CTA for refuge versus people that pose a genuine safety risk. Too often those two groups are considered one in the same. Vallas’ plan indicates he thinks that’s the case.

  5. - That Guy - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    = I have never once seen any of these far-right crusaders protesting out in front of the diocese offices here in town. To the contrary, many of them are members. =

    That’s because it’s a dog whistle for them to target specific groups of people and their supporters. They tend to like the church, therefore they are not targeted.

  6. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    I’m always amazed by grown adults who threaten violence for something as silly as a drag show. Haven’t they seen Mrs. Doubtfire?

  7. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    Maybe if Griesing had done or said more before the vote, the outcome might have been different.

    Maybe he was silent because he couldn’t see why Amendment 1 was a “better government” issue.

    Maybe he should be asking now how “Republican donors shouldn’t have sat this out” is a “better government” issue.

  8. - Anon221 - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    Some backgrounders on the Pantagraph article…

    EcoCAT Consultations can be found here-

    If a state Threatened or Endangered species is impacted, an Incidental Take Authorization could be the next step-

    The plans under an ITA are much, much more in-depth than the consultation letters in EcoCAT… if the letters are even accessible to the public on that site. ITA’s may result in a fine and a habitat offset/mitigation which may occur many miles and counties away from where the original “take” occurred.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===The Better Government Association’s CEO David Griesing bemoans the victory of the Workers Rights Amendment===

    When you are asking, nay, begging the uber-wealthy to help fund an electoral attack on organized labor you probably are a parody of yourself when your name is “Better Government”

    There’s no shame in making yourself a parody, the shame is when the grifting from it runs dry, that’s the shame.

  10. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:18 pm:

    The head of the Better Government Association wrote an op-ed that is anti-worker and pro-GOP big money/donor.

    When people tell you who they are, believe them.

  11. - Goodson Oddman - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    @ Just Me 2…

    Or Some Like it Hot…
    Or Milton Berle…
    Or Flip Wilson as Geraldine
    Or Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in Bosom Buddies
    Or Dan Ackroyd or John Candy as Julia Child in a sketch
    Or Eminem as Britney Spears in one of his videos
    Or Madea movies
    Or Tracy Morgan

  12. - Homebody - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 3:56 pm:

    BGA has from time to time done good work. But they need to decide if they are a “good governance” and transparency organization, or if they are a conservative partisan advocate. Because they can’t be both.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===But they need to decide if they are===

    It’s who is paying the bills that month I suppose.

    The grift is real?

  14. - Chito - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 4:28 pm:

    Disagree with Vallas’ proposal to waive the residency for CPD. If you’re too good to live with the people you’ve sworn to serve and protect, then maybe you shouldn’t be here.

  15. - Proud Sucker - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:00 pm:

    “Disagree with Vallas’ proposal to waive the residency for CPD. If you’re too good to live with the people you’ve sworn to serve and protect, then maybe you shouldn’t be here.”

    I concur with this sentiment. After all isn’t that what Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Sauganash and that weird area west of Cumberland off of Montrose are for?

  16. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:19 pm:

    Lots to unpack here (not including the pork):

    I remember reading Dave Greasing in the Tribune a long time ago. He appears to have done a poor man’s Glenn Greenwald pivot to the right (maybe not extreme yet but that’s where the $ is).

    “Items for discussion included reproductive health, common-sense gun reform, paid family leave, and lifting up America’s working families.” Still looking for the far-left politics of the the Democrat Party (sic - don’t @ me!) making it into policy….

    Re: Vallas campaign - when is the housecleaning? When will omertà stop being condoned? When can the honest cops step forward and help fix the racial problems of the CPD? And I agree with Chito - residence should remain a requirement.

  17. - Huh? - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:20 pm:

    @ Goodson Oddman …

    Some of my favorite male actors played in drag. Including those mentioned above, here are a few more:

    - Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie”.
    - Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo in “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”.
    - Chiwetel Ejiofor in “Kinky Boots”.
    Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane in “Birdcage”.

    PS - The banned punctuation is part of the movie title.

  18. - Big Dipper - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:21 pm:

    ==Disagree with Vallas’ proposal to waive the residency for CPD. ==

    Do his wife and kids still live in the burbs? Last time he had to move into an apartment by himself to establish residency. I wonder if he kept it between elections or has bounced back and forth.

  19. - ;) - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:53 pm:

    Chito, does your thoughtful opinion extend to county employees too? They don’t have a residency requirement. How about state employees? Or do you just think Chicago employees should be treated differently?

    Vallas’ plan is spot on.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 5:57 pm:

    ===How about state employees?===

    So now it’s out state employees living out of state?

    What, they can live in Indiana, Wisconsin, bit can’t find a job like working for the state of Illinois?

    See, think like you’re in a dorm room…

  21. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Dec 12, 22 @ 6:24 pm:

    Goodson Oddman - And let’s not forget just about every Monty Python episode.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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