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Afternoon news roundup

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* First, an explainer

Illinois eliminated parole (except for those people who were sentenced long enough ago that parole was a possibility when they were sentenced) and replaced it with supervised release, a different system entirely. […]

Illinois statute requires a program known as mandatory supervised release. […]

Under a supervised release system, the person serves his or her sentence in prison, and after it is served there is an additional term of supervised release on top of that sentence. The supervised release term is usually two or three years.

Despite what Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown claimed yesterday and pretty much all Chicago news media repeated, Samuel Parsons-Salas wasn’t released early on parole in September. Parsons-Salas did his time and the state wasn’t allowed to hold him any longer.

Parsons-Salas is currently charged with the brutal murder of three people and with kidnapping. The video is here, but I cannot recommend watching it. The shooter fired off 13 rounds in quick succession. Within half a minute, three people were killed and another was shot in the head.

* Senate President Harmon told me he believes candidates are already required to list their sponsoring entities on their “paid for” messaging. The Board of Elections disagrees, so legislation is likely needed…

* Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) told WJPF that he’s heading to Taiwan today with a trade delegation. That Cairo port is still in the works, but it’s apparently generating some real buzz overseas.

* Crypto bro fallout bites another candidate. Rep. Buckner press release…

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García isn’t the only candidate in the race for Mayor who welcomed support from corrupt crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried.

Lori Lightfoot literally cut the ribbon this past spring to launch Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange headquarters in Chicago. Bankman-Fried was arrested earlier this week and charged with allegedly defrauding his FTX customers out of billions of dollars to prop up his other ventures.

“Mayor Lightfoot owes this entire city an explanation about her relationship with Bankman-Fried,” said Kam Buckner, candidate for mayor. “It’s been four years since Mayor Lightfoot campaigned on a false promise to ‘bring in the light’ – maybe she can start by explaining her connection to Bankman-Fried and his involvement in the city’s guaranteed basic income program.”

Standing in the FTX office during the ribbon cutting, Lightfoot was quoted as saying, “this is a mechanism and a tool to bring traditionally underrepresented and ignored populations into the world of crypto so they can take ownership and control of their financial destiny.”

“In addition to collaborating with a highly corrupt individual whose firm is under investigation by the SEC, this shows that Mayor Lightfoot is highly out of touch with Chicago’s underrepresented communities and what we actually need to thrive,” said Buckner, who in his role as state representative successfully helped pass legislation to help close the racial wealth gap.

In addition to his collaborating with the Mayor, Bankman-Fried contributed to a PAC that spent nearly $200,000 on political mailers for García – a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee – during his unopposed congressional campaign, ultimately doing García the favor of “introducing” him to his new voters after his district boundaries changed during the remap and before he launched his mayoral campaign.

Just yesterday the Lightfoot campaign released a statement asking García what “Bankman-Fried’s motives were…and what did García promise in return…” The statement also said, “Voters deserve to know the facts when making important decisions about who they can trust. Unfortunately it seems that Chuy García will bring back the old way of doing Chicago-style politics – and we can’t afford that in City Hall.”

“The Mayor’s own campaign statement can be turned back onto Lightfoot,” Buckner said. “Surely she isn’t afraid to answer the very questions she’s asking of García.”

U.S. Prosecutors had Bankman-Fried arrested on Monday, the day before he was slated to testify before García’s House Committee, and allegedly charged him with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering, according to The New York Times.

But even before these new criminal charges and despite multiple media reports, Garcia has long been silent on the issue, ignoring public concern that this clear conflict of interest can influence the decisions he makes in Congress.

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * New York Times | New Suit Uses Data to Back Racial Bias Claims Against State Farm: The suit, which is seeking class-action status, also focuses on how State Farm’s fraud detection methods discriminate against Black customers when paying out those claims. Filed in Illinois federal court on Wednesday, it includes Ms. Huskey and hundreds of other as yet unnamed plaintiffs, and represents the insurer’s Black customers in six Midwestern states. All the plaintiffs had a harder time getting homeowners’ insurance claims paid out compared with white customers, according to the lawsuit, which may seek hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

    * Press Release | Gov. Pritzker Celebrates Historic Completion of Jane Byrne Interchange in Chicago: Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) joined local officials and community leaders today to celebrate the completion of the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction, a multiyear effort to modernize a key gateway into downtown Chicago and a critical transportation hub for the region and entire Midwest. One of the biggest projects in state history, the new-and-improved Jane Byrne Interchange eliminates a notorious national bottleneck and improves safety, efficiency, and mobility across multiple modes of transportation while better connecting people and jobs throughout the Chicago area.

    * Tribune | United to add 2,600 jobs in Chicago as part of plan to replace its aging fleet : The Boeing order alone will create 2,600 new jobs next year in the Chicago area, as United staffs up to handle the increased capacity the refreshed fleet will enable, the airline said.

    * CBS | Fed hikes interest rates for seventh time this year: The Fed’s rate-setting committee hiked its benchmark rate by 0.5 percentage point on Wednesday, lifting its target rate into a range between 4.25% and 4.5% — the highest level in 15 years. The federal funds rate affects the cost of borrowing for consumers and businesses throughout the economy. The half-percentage-point increase marks a step-down from a string of bigger interest rate hikes this summer, when the Fed made four consecutive 0.75% jumps in an effort to curb the most ferocious bout of inflation in four decades.

    * WGLT | Bill Hauter focuses on constituent services given the Illinois GOP superminority: An incoming freshman lawmaker says it will be hard to pass or hold up legislation in Springfield, given his party’s disappointing election results. Republican Bill Hauter of Morton said he plans to focus on constituent services. “What I can do and what I have been doing as an emergency physician is I’ve been helping people,” Hauter said. “What you can do in the super minority is you can be a voice for your district and you can also help people. You can help constituents.”

    * NPR Illinois | Republicans are making plans for Rep. Butler’s replacement: Republican county chairs from that district are seeking applications to serve until the new general assembly is sworn in next month. That would include being installed for what is often called the “lame duck” legislature the first week of January. Butler was elected in November in the newly drawn 95th House District, which includes parts of Sangamon, Macon and Christian counties. Chairs from those counties will select someone to fill the new year term starting January 11.

    * NBC Chicago | 10 New Illinois Laws Taking Effect in 2023: Passed in May, the Student Confidential Reporting Act, establishes a program where officials from schools, the state and Illinois State Police can receive reports and other information regarding the potential harm or self-harm of students or school employees. The Safe2Help helpline will involve a toll-free telephone number and other means of communication allowing messages and information to be given to operators.

    * Pluribus | Marijuana delivery gains traction as legalization spreads: “I think that as long as it is regulated, as long as we make sure that the person who is ordering it gets it, and that they’re legally allowed to, then it would seem to me like the same as somebody coming into a store,” Pritzker said at an event to celebrate the opening of his state’s first “social equity” marijuana dispensary. Recreational marijuana is now legal in 21 states, two territories and the District of Columbia. Thirty-seven states, three territories and D.C. allow medical use. An estimated 23 states allow the delivery of recreational marijuana or medical marijuana or both, according to tracking by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    * Tribune | Aurora nominating petition challenge hearing continued to next week: A challenge to the nominating petitions of Aurora Ald. Patty Smith was continued Tuesday to next week. Members of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board are expected to make a decision then on whether the complaints about the petitions are enough to keep Smith off the ballot for the April 4, 2023, municipal election.

    * Illinois Newsroom | Students say Champaign schools fail to provide menstrual products: Loreal Allen was not surprised when she went into a bathroom at Central High School in Champaign in late November. Everything was as expected. She found soap, paper towels and a white dispenser that was supposed to contain menstrual products. As usual, she said, it was empty.

    * Crain’s | Illinois board approves sale of downstate hospitals: The Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board approved Quorum Health’s sale of four southern Illinois hospitals to Deaconess Health System. Evansville, Indiana-based Deaconess, a nonprofit 12-hospital system with facilities in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, plans to acquire Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Union County Hospital in Anna and Red Bud Regional Hospital.

    * Crain’s | Red Line extension TIF earns full City Council approval: The City Council on Wednesday approved the creation of a new tax-increment financing district to create $950 million over three decades to help pay for the $3.6 billion extension of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line from 95th Street south to 130th Street.

    * Press Release | Department of Human Services Launches Campaign to Help Those with Gambling Problems : The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched “Are You Really Winning?” - a campaign to build awareness of problem gambling and to promote helpline services for people experiencing gambling problems. According to research by Health Resources in Action (HRiA), four percent, or nearly 400,000, of Illinois residents have a gambling disorder, and another seven percent, or 700,000, are at risk of developing a gambling disorder.

    * Illinois Answers Project | Cook County Office Looks to Shed Anti-Patronage Monitor as Watchdog Raises Alarm: Since it was first brought by attorney and onetime political candidate Michael Shakman in 1969, the lawsuit Shakman v. Cook County Democratic Organization has spurred wave after wave of federal interventions designed to prevent public officials at the city, county and state level from doling out government jobs as rewards to political allies. Shakman, now 80, still oversees the litigation.

    * The American Prospect | The Easiest Criminal Indictment Ever : But embarrassingly bad criminals can help speed things along. As current FTX CEO John Ray, a restructuring specialist installed to manage the crypto exchange’s bankruptcy, told a House committee on Tuesday, crimes at Enron, another famously bankrupt company he stepped in to manage, “were highly orchestrated financial machinations by highly sophisticated people to keep transactions off balance sheets.” Enron declared bankruptcy in December 2001, but its former CEO Jeff Skilling wasn’t convicted of conspiracy, securities fraud, and other charges until May 2006. The group home in the Bahamas housing FTX executives, by contrast, “isn’t sophisticated whatsoever, this is just plain old embezzlement,” Ray said.

    * FOX 32 | Mother sues Flossmoor school after daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted in class: The alleged attack came months after hundreds of students staged a walkout at the same school over more allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

    * Tribune | No charges against students involved in apparent ‘wrestling incident’ at York Community High School: Parents of a special needs student seen pushed to the ground in a video posted on social media have declined a formal police investigation, Elmhurst police announced Tuesday. The Dec. 8 incident in a York Community High School restroom involved five students, including a boy with special needs. Police determined the students engaged in “willful physical contact,” while other students watched. The boy with special needs is on the wrestling team, and two of the boys involved are his teammates, police said.

    * Tribune | HIV/AIDS advocate and her family work to promote testing and fight stigma. ‘I feel like I’m not just existing, that I’m living.’: Four years later, the power of going public was on full display Saturday when friends, family and people hoping to learn more gathered at Lawndale’s Jesus Word Center to talk about how the deeply stigmatized disease has touched their lives. Openly sharing about the disease has changed their lives, those gathered said.

    * CBS Chicago | Biden signs Respect for Marriage Act, recognizing marriage equality in federal law: Vice President Kamala Harris, Democratic and Republican lawmakers and more than 5,000 guests marked the occasion on a frigid White House South Lawn. The signing comes a decade after Mr. Biden as vice president put former President Barack Obama in an awkward position by getting ahead of the then-president and endorsing same-sex marriage on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    * The Center Square | Black carp spreading through the Midwest threatens Illinois waterways: Illinois waterways are being invaded by another invasive species that could threaten the ecosystem. Black carp, which are native to east Asia, were first imported into the U.S. to control snails in fish farms where fish are bred. How they escaped is unknown.

    * Illinois News Bureau | Book examines tallgrass prairies’ ecological history, effects on Indigenous cultures: History professor Robert Morrissey wrote the first comprehensive environmental history of the tallgrass prairies and how they shaped tribal cultures in his recently published book, “People of the Ecotone.” The book also examines how those transformations contributed to the Fox Wars

    * Crain’s | Walgreens bets its future on an unprecedented reinvention: Walgreens Boots Alliance is betting its future on an unprecedented effort to reinvent itself as a health care company, a venture of immense scale and complexity. There’s no playbook for what the Deerfield-based company hopes to achieve. Never before has a retail pharmacy chain transformed into a full-fledged provider of medical care. Walgreens’ ambitions threaten to disrupt long-standing U.S. health care delivery structures, a status quo guarded by powerful entrenched interests.


  1. - DuPage Dad - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    I did not listen. I watched the video. DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    Chicago casino zoning just passed overwhelmingly, with Ald. Burnett in strong support (he had concerns about minority hiring that Bally’s and MLL addressed). Now the Illinois Gaming Board decision awaits.

  3. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 2:08 pm:

    Watch the video. This is what criminals look like. It is clear and horrible. And makes me want to check the details of the crime for which he was recently released and understand why he was not in longer but the person with whom he committed that crime was. Imagine that you see video for each and every murder committed in Illinois. That is what crime is.

  4. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    Re State Farm. There was a time such cases were filed in Illinois State Courts. Well, before former Justice Karmeier.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    === but the person with whom he committed that crime was===

    Assuming he flipped.

  6. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 3:36 pm:

    @Rich Miller, good assumption. still seems light. will be interesting reading.

  7. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 3:45 pm:

    You can be held after sentence served and you are to go on to mandatory supervised release. this happens more frequently with sex offenders who do not have a place to be released to. Often times homeless are released to a shelter but if that is not available they may still be held. With sex offenders they are often held through the mandatory supervised release time then they have to be cut loose unless a petition is filed to civilly commit. It is a horrible crime but unless the underlying sentence is a lot longer he did what he was sentenced to and should be released.

  8. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 3:50 pm:

    It would be nice if just once the Police Superintendent could speak about a violent incident without trying to explicitly point the finger of blame at some other government actor. It would also be great if he would bother to get his facts straight.

  9. - Leave a Light On George - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    Watch the video. Then ask yourself if some criminals don’t deserve the death penalty.

  10. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 5:43 pm:

    “Despite what Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown claimed yesterday and pretty much all Chicago news media repeated, Samuel Parsons-Salas wasn’t released early on parole in September.”

    I had hoped that an outcome of the SAFE-T Act flood of misinformation would be that the press would finally understand that some people in law enforcement… play very fast and loose with the truth.

    But now I must simply hope that more members of the press one day develop the capacity to learn.

    – MrJM

  11. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Wednesday, Dec 14, 22 @ 7:10 pm:

    “you can be a voice for your district and you can also help people. You can help constituents.”


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