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Afternoon roundup

Monday, Jan 30, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Legislative Black Caucus statement on the release of video documenting the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police

“The release of police body camera footage makes clear what we already knew: the murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was brutal and unjustified. Our deepest condolences are with his family and all those who knew and loved him. The police officers who beat this young man to death have no place in law enforcement, and were rightly dismissed. Still, this is not enough. These officers callously and viciously killed another human being, and Mr. Nichols’ family deserves justice. We know very clearly this is about more than a few bad apples.

“For the people who are angry, for the people who are sick of living in fear, we will always stand with you in the fight for justice. We are proud of the steps we have taken in Illinois, including restrictions on dangerous policing methods and closing prosecution loopholes in officer-involved killings, but we know there is still much more work to do.”

More react here.

* Daily Herald

As a draft of legislation that would give the Chicago Bears a massive property tax break at Arlington Park emerges in Springfield, the NFL franchise has a major backer in its corner.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch’s lobbying pitch to legislators is practically a version of the “Bear Down, Chicago Bears” fight song, which famously proclaims the team as the “pride and joy of Illinois.”

“They deserve their place in front of the legislature. They’re a huge economic driver and a source of pride for the state. So they deserve everything they can get,” said Maisch, whose organization is pushing a bill that would create a new economic incentive program that the Bears and big developers could tap to pay less than the regular amount of property taxes on a given site. […]

The state’s leading business advocacy organization and the Bears are leading a coalition in support of the so-called PILOT financing tool that would allow developers of “mega projects” — those worth at least $500 million — to make negotiated payments to local taxing bodies instead of the full amount of property taxes. Others who have signed onto the plan are the Illinois Road & Transportation Builders Association and Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

* Also from the Daily Herald

Although wrong-way crashes are relatively rare, the results can be catastrophic mainly because they typically occur head-on and at high speeds, experts with the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Highway Administration and AAA have found.

Six in 10 wrong-way collisions involve alcohol impairment, AAA reported. To that point, the McHenry County coroner concluded in November that the driver who crashed into the Dobosz family’s van was intoxicated.

In Illinois, “this is still largely a behavioral driving issue,” IDOT spokeswoman Maria Castaneda explained.

“About two out of three (wrong-way) occurrences involve an impaired driver. Roughly a third of all traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver in Illinois. Drivers are urged to pay close attention and remain focused and alert when driving.”

* As subscribers know, Vallas also received $50,000 from one of Tom DeVore’s top contributors…


* Speaking of money

An outside group hoping to elect City Council candidates it sees as pragmatists geared up its campaign over the weekend, launching ads in five wards. So far, its focus is on helping three appointees of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and going after two candidates who are members of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.

The Get Stuff Done PAC — an independent expenditure committee chaired by Michael Ruemmler, an advisor to former Mayor Rahm Emanuel — has raised $1.2 million since its official formation in early December, according to the state board of elections. The group is launching a series of digital ads and sending out mailers supporting 11th Ward Ald. Nicole Lee, 12th Ward Ald. Anabel Abarca, and 24th Ward Ald. Monique Scott. All are appointees of Lightfoot that were selected to fill City Council vacancies. […]

Another former Emanuel donor and confidant, Michael Sacks of Grosvenor Capital Management, contributed $500,000 to Get Stuff Done PAC, while $200,000 came from the political action committee for the laborer’s union, LiUNA (a group that backed Susana Mendoza for mayor in 2019, then Lightfoot in the runoff).

Henry Crown & Co. heir Lester Crown and his son James Crown each donated $100,000, and Sterling Bay’s Keating Crown, Lester Crown’s grandson, gave $25,000. Duchossois Group CEO Craig Duchossois and the Illinois Restaurant Association PAC both gave $50,000.

Not sure how a committee funded by Sacks, LiUNA, Lester Crown, the Duchossois family and the restaurant association can be described as an “outside group,” but OK.

* Press release…

Following its announcement by city and county officials on Friday, state Rep. Robert “Bob” Rita, D-Blue Island, is promoting awareness of the new 211 social services hotline now available to all residents of Cook County. The hotline is available via phone, text and web chat. Residents can use 211 to be connected with a local Resource Navigator who can assist with finding and accessing assistance and other programs in a wide variety of categories.

“Helping individuals and families to obtain the services they need to live, work and care for their loved ones is one of the most important things government does,” Rita said. “Having all that under one roof, where people can do it all easily and efficiently, just makes sense.”

Categories covered by 211 include Housing, Senior Services, Legal Assistance, Immigration, Veteran Services, Health Care and Utility Assistance. A full list of resource categories as well as additional information can be found at https://211metrochicago.org. To connect with 211 via text message, residents should text their ZIP code to 898211.

“211 is a game-changer,” Rita said. “I hope that, once more people are aware of it, that it helps them and their families to live safer, healthier, better lives.”

* Media advisory…

CHICAGO NATIVE TO BECOME HIGHEST-RANKING MINORITY OFFICER IN ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD HISTORY

WHO:
Illinois National Guard
Brig. Gen. Rodney Boyd, Assistant Adjutant General-Army, Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton

WHAT:
Brigadier General Rodney Boyd, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard and the Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard, will be promoted to Major General making him the highest-ranking minority officer in the nearly 300-year history of the Illinois National Guard. Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton will officiate the ceremony. General Boyd is a native of the South Side of Chicago.

WHEN/WHERE:
11:00 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 4
Carver Military Academy Auditorium
13100 South Doty Ave.
Chicago, IL 60827

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Appointed Assistant Adjutant General-Army and Commander, Illinois Army National Guard on July 1, 2021
Graduated from ILNG Officer Candidate School in August, 1990.
Served as Assistant Chief of Staff J4 (Joint Logistics Wartime) for U.S. Forces Korea
Has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait

…Adding… Politico

Christian Mitchell, a deputy governor, is leaving the Pritzker administration. No word yet on his next move. But the announcement sparked talk that Mitchell could move to a political position to help Pritzker in a potential presidential run. “Absolutely not,” said a person familiar with Mitchell’s exit.

Literally everything “sparks” that sort of talk these days.

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Sun-Times | Facing pressure to ban books, suburban libraries ‘becoming a battlefield for the First Amendment: According to the library association, which is based in Chicago, there were 67 attempts to ban books last year in Illinois, up from 41 such efforts in 2021. It says the number of book ban attempts has been on the rise in recent years, with 681 such moves involving more than 1,600 titles throughout the United States in 2021.

    * BGA | Illinois Legislative Oversight is Weak Compared to Other States: Because of this, Illinois’ commission is more easily subject to gridlock, as well as ineffectual oversight, than the commissions in other states. This situation is compounded by having a weak Legislative Inspector General. The commission, being made up of the very people they should be holding accountable, has little incentive to allow the Legislative Inspector General full rein to investigate wrongdoing, and instead is able to keep the legislative watchdog on a short leash.

    * Illinois Newsroom | University of Illinois students caught in financial scams, prompting police outreach: Scammers often target international students and pose as government agencies – threatening to deport students if they don’t send money. University of Illinois Police Department’s Sergeant Robert Murphy says scam cases are difficult to solve, because they often require expensive equipment and technology training.

    * Robin Bertram | Chicago needs to offer homeowners assistance with repairs: Last year, the Pritzker administration set aside $309 million to Illinois homeowners to help pay mortgages and other expenses. In 2023, the administration should offer a different kind of assistance for homeowners: home repairs.

    * ProPublica | Can Community Programs Help Slow the Rise in Violence?: For years, these programs competed with one another for whatever scarce funding was available, passing from one short-lived pilot project to another. Now they are being showered with unprecedented resources: Louisville is getting $24 million; Baltimore will receive $50 million.

    * Daily Beast | The Liberal Case Against Public Unions: Instead of pride, unions enforce a culture of entitlement in many schools and agencies. Employees are ostracized if they strive to do more than the bare minimum. A study by Johns Hopkins University of Providence, Rhode Island, schools found peer pressure against “‘going the extra mile’” which “makes everyone look bad.” The study’s authors also wrote: “Specifically, we heard, ‘Unions discriminate against hard work. They put pressure on those who go above the bare minimum and ask ‘why?’ if you want to do more. This is not only teachers, but secretaries and custodians.”

    * SJ-R | Langfelder, Buscher draw crowd for mayoral forum; tackle Wyndham, partisanship questions: Who Trump was as a candidate compared to his four years as president were not equivalent, she said. “I voted for the candidate who I thought was going to bring new jobs, job creation, corporations back to our states,” Buscher said. “That person did not govern the way I thought they did with that vote.”

    * Fox News | Paul Pelosi attacker David DePape makes chilling call to TV station: ‘I’m so sorry I didn’t get more of them’: Despite saying he didn’t want to jeopardize his case, DePape told KTVU he attacked Pelosi because “liberty isn’t dying, it’s being killed systematically and deliberately.” The “people killing it have names and addresses, so I got their names and addresses so I could pay them a little visit … have a heart-to-heart chat about their bad behavior,” he asserted.

    * WaPo | What if the crisis of democracy is (mostly) in our heads?: To summarize and simplify: Democracy, at least liberal democracy, means both that the winning side must be allowed to govern and that the losing side’s rights must be respected. Sometimes, the two are in tension. When citizens support the party in power, Bryan found, their definition of democracy focuses on that party’s right to govern — or “obeying authority.” When citizens oppose the party in power, their definition of democracy focuses more on the protection of their own rights as a political minority.

    * Sun-Times | Nykia Wright departs as Sun-Times CEO: Nykia Wright, who has had leading executive roles at the Chicago Sun-Times since 2017, managing ownership changes and a shift toward digital operations, is leaving the newspaper. Chicago Public Media, which owns the Sun-Times, announced her departure Monday. Wright issued a message to staff members saying she will announce future plans soon.

    * Crain’s | Drug discovery startup spun out of Northwestern acquired for $50 million: Samdi Tech, a Northwestern University biotech spinout that provides automated screening for early-stage drug invention, has been acquired by pharma services giant Charles River Laboratories.

    * The Atlantic | The narcissism of the angry young men: Some years ago, I got a call from an analyst at the National Counterterrorism Center. After yet another gruesome mass shooting (this time, it was Dylann Roof’s attack on a Bible-study group at a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, that killed nine and wounded one), I had written an article about the young men who perpetrate such crimes. I suggested that an overview of these killers showed them, in general, to be young losers who failed to mature, and whose lives revolved around various grievances, insecurities, and heroic fantasies. I called them “Lost Boys” as a nod to their arrested adolescence.

    * Journal & Topics | Des Plaines Woman Faces Felony Charges After Allegedly Striking State Police Vehicle: At approximately 6:22 p.m., ISP reported that Des Plaines resident Jasmine Solano, 27, was driving a blue 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan westbound. An ISP officer was tending to an existing crash on the left shoulder of the road. Solano allegedly failed to yield to the stationary emergency vehicle and struck the squad car’s rear.

    * Kaiser Health News | A baby spent 36 days at an in-network hospital. Why did her parents get a huge bill?: It took Kearney months of calls to Blue Cross and the two hospitals to find out why Lurie billed more than $14,000 for physician services: The physicians treating her daughter at Prentice Women’s — an in-network hospital under her health plan— actually worked for a separate, out-of-network hospital. Illinois law bars insurers from charging patients out-of-network rates for neonatal care at in-network hospitals.

    * Sun-Times | Two Chicago universities receive millions in federal funding to expand high-speed internet access: St. Augustine College and Dominican University received federal grants to expand access to high-speed internet on their campuses. The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, awarded $2.6 million to St. Augustine and $2.5 million to Dominican, the department announced Monday.

    * Illinois News Bureau | Site of integrated Illinois town founded by former slave is newest national park: Frank McWorter, known as “Free Frank,” platted and registered the town of New Philadelphia in 1836. McWorter hired out for extra work on neighboring plantations while enslaved, and he and his wife, Lucy, bought freedom for themselves and 14 other family members. They acquired land in Pike County, and after platting and registering space for the town, Frank and Lucy sold lots to free African American families and European American families attracted to their vision of a community dedicated to freedom. New Philadelphia – just 25 miles from the slave markets in Hannibal, Missouri, – helped people escaping slavery along the Underground Railroad.

    * KHQA | Documentary about the Old State Capitol to air on TV: The documentary features interviews with two of the original architects who were in charge of dismantling and rebuilding the Old State Capitol.

    * NBC Chicago | Chicago ‘Dibs’ Scene Sparks Big Social Media Debate: “I don’t mind dibs when my neighbor spent time clearing dibspot ( I have a cool neighbor that clears 2-3 spots but claims only 1), but in the weather it’s just petty. May as well start dibs in the summer too,” one commenter wrote.

    * CNN | Puppy Bowl XIX: How to watch the other big game: There will be more puppies playing - 122 from 67 shelters and rescues across 34 states - and, for the first-time, the competition will feature a Native American animal organization and a puppy player from Dominica, West Indies.

    * Block Club | In Englewood, Thousands Of Tulips Are Blooming — During The Winter: Southside Blooms, the flower shop of Englewood-based nonprofit Chicago Eco House, 6250 S. Morgan St., is growing 18,000 tulips indoors for a good cause. The program — which has been featured on TV — is known for creating jobs for at-risk youth and converting vacant lots into community assets.

       

26 Comments
  1. - down and out - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    Mr. Nichols’ family deserves justice. We know very clearly this is about more than a few bad apples.
    This was the chiefs unit she created and took credit for, she needs to be held accountable, no way around it.


  2. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    Maisch was in the Sun Times over the weekend making the claim that the Bears might move to St. Louis. You feeling ok, Todd?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    Todd Maisch is an utter clown in this take. Full stop. Pathetic.

    Is this the same Maisch that said folks should… hang in there?

    The Bears won’t, can’t, and WON’T leave the largest unshared media market for the NFL, and further… the Chicago Bears value would decrease significantly moving to the 23rd largest media market.

    Only a fool or a phony would conjure up something that financially or logically wouldn’t make sense for this franchise as their option.

    Further, doing a lil digging…

    NY’s market is 20 million… shared.

    LA’s market is 17 million… shared.

    The Chicago market is 9 million.

    Sharing 9 million as a market? Yeah. Ok. That’s like the Giants, Jets, Rams, and Chargers splitting, they’d have, in theory a “Chicago size” market… and folks are saying the Bears could welcome another franchise with a market of 9 million

    The Bay Area market? It’s 2.4 million, they had two full and different cities/identities in San Francisco and Oakland, and with the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, vacating the Bay market, the NFL gained a Las Vegas market where only the NHL exists.

    I feel sad and embarrassed for Maisch.

    I hope he hangs in there.


  4. - Save Ferris - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    Remember when Vallas was the ethical guy in the Dem gubernatorial primary against Blago?


  5. - TNR - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    = “…they deserve everything they can get,” said Maisch ==

    Geez, Todd. I’m a Bears fan too, but isn’t that just a little over the top? I guess corporate welfare really gets his blood pumping.


  6. - Homebody - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    Billionaire team owners don’t “deserve” anything. Discretionary consumer spending will be spent, regardless of where the Bears conduct their business.

    The Bears need the customers more than the customers need the Bears.


  7. - Baloneymous - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    So the Chicago mayoral election officially has a MAGA candidate. who knew?


  8. - Amalia - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rich, thanks for posting that link to the Atlantic article about violence and “lost boys.” thought provoking.


  9. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:38 pm:

    Are you wearing your Green and Gold Packer jersey or is the white one today OW?


  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===Rich===

    Isabel.


  11. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    “Please let me get into a run off with Paul Vallas” says every other mayoral candidate.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    I’m a Bears fan.

    They ain’t leaving. Any foolish legislator or one who’d sign legislation to give corporate welfare to a company that will make $330 million on March 1st because they exist… you’d think you would be against a billion dollar corporation fleecing Illinois…

    Not one nickel.

    According to the Packers, ironically- LP -, and their required public disclosure, each franchise, with TV revenues alone, will be guaranteed $1.1 billion (with a b) in revenues through 2032.

    Not doing a thing. That’s $1.1 billion.

    An utter and embarrassing fool would suggest as Maisch had.

    The Bears and the NFL can get good terms from any bank… with a signature… with that type of monies


  13. - Henry Francis - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    The Bears moving to AH makes too much sense. With or without tax breaks. It’s a fait accompli.

    Public dollars won’t help keep the Bears in the Chicago area. All they will do is further fatten the inheritance due to Pappa Bear’s grandkids when the team is sold in the near future.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    Forbes…

    === The NFL reasserted its dominance over the American sports landscape on Thursday as it announced new media deals with CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABC and Amazon that, according to a source, will net the league $113 billion over 11 years.

    That number is staggering, amounting to $321 million per team a year.===

    Not one nickel.


  15. - Save Ferris - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    I guess I’m the lone wolf on this one. But if AH wants to do a very large 6B, the other local taxing bodies sign off, and it doesn’t cost the rest of the state a penny, I’m OK with it. I do see value in a local tax break that would absorb 327 acres of land in one deal rather than spread out over years.

    But I do agree that no taxpayer outside of Arlington Heights should pay anything.


  16. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:14 pm:

    I don’t understand why entrances to expressways do not have those tire shredders that are used at some parking garages that would not allow a car to go the wrong way on a ramp


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    Missouri seems to be OK with one NFL franchise.

    The Chiefs will be heading to Arizona and the Super Bowl.

    The Bears franchise won the right to draft first, as the worst record dictates.

    But… the Eagles, Chiefs… Bears… each.., $321 million.

    And one wants to pretend STL is an option for relocation for a founding franchise that has the 3rd largest media market… unshared?

    I thought the chamber of commerce understood business.

    Apparently not.


  18. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:33 pm:

    Bears revenue was $431 million last year

    https://www.zoominfo.com/c/chicago-bears/7799599

    Who knows what the payroll for players will be next year but the average for the NFL is $225 million

    That doesn’t include coaches, scouts, employees and other expenses.

    The franchise is worth billions but the revenue is ranked 14th in the NFL

    The value is in the prestige of franchise not in the income it produces

    By no means are the Bears a cash cow


  19. - TNR - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:41 pm:

    - Save Ferris -

    You make some legit points. I see some benefit to the PILOT idea. However, I have two concerns with allowing the Bears to use it AH:

    1. Generally speaking, the state shouldn’t create tax policy that might pit one Illinois town against another in the name of business development. Do it to lure out-of-state businesses to Illinois or create new businesses.

    2. Arlington Heights shouldn’t need to offer big tax breaks to spark development. It’s an economically thriving community. Won’t that land develop on it’s own?


  20. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:45 pm:

    Packers revenue was 578 million

    Expenses were 501 million

    Think that operating income would finance a 2-5 billion dollar stadium?

    https://shareholder.broadridge.com/pdf/2022-packers-annual-report.pdf


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:52 pm:

    Oh - LP -….

    LOL

    === Who knows what the payroll for players will be next year but the average for the NFL is $225 million===

    Wholly ignorant to NFL payroll, as the league and franchises set what is called, I dunno you seem quite ignorant to it, a salary cap, formulated from the shared revenues each and every franchise equally receives, and a percentage required to pay players… to ensure… profits.

    Not equilibrium, not break even… profits.

    === The franchise is worth billions but the revenue is ranked 14th in the NFL===

    If they owned outright their own building… all parking, naming rights… any and all revenues from the building… oh, and it’s all profit as the NFL business model also includes…

    === That doesn’t include coaches, scouts, employees and other expenses.===

    … as each franchise, by charter, is profitable upon the beginning of what is called the “NFL New Year” turning over.

    The Bears franchise and NFL could get financing on a signature for the building, the $100 million in naming rights as a down payment.

    === The value is in the prestige of franchise not in the income it produces===

    Then what a grossly ignorant thought Maisch had, that the STL Bears are nowhere as prestigious, lol

    The media market, history, monetary revenues yet tapped… and Maisch says STL is a possibility… you can’t tell me STL would make the Bears MORE prestigious.

    Not one nickel.

    Get the NFL to co-sign the loan. They both are good for it.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:56 pm:

    === Packers revenue was 578 million

    Expenses were 501 million===

    The Packers, a publicly held team… made $77 million… with a newly renovated building in one of the bottom 5 markets in football.

    Try again, you failed to make an argument.

    They made $77 million. With construction. In that market.

    Why?

    The NFL business model is created to make money off media money, before any game is ever played, every season.

    Not one nickel.


  23. - Blue Dog - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:06 pm:

    OW is spot on. not one nickel.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:08 pm:

    - LP -

    You forgot radio rights, pre and post game television rights, merchandising, corporate sponsors, corporate “partners”, the Halas Hall monetary valuation…

    How can the Bears and the word “poor” be uttered together?

    It’s a fail safe business model, the profits are the only question to maximization… owning their own building outright gives that revenue boost.


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:14 pm:

    Each NFL franchise is not profitable every year

    It’s right there on the Packers report

    2019 operating income was 700K. That season was before Covid affected all sports in 2020

    2020 70 million profit
    2021 loss was 38 million
    2022 rebounded nicely to 77 million profit

    Do you somehow think the Packers aren’t a valuable franchise?

    The estimate in 4.2 billion outside the top 10 but nowhere near the bottom


  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 6:17 pm:

    ===2020 70 million profit
    2021 loss was 38 million
    2022 rebounded nicely to 77 million profit===

    1) Covid
    2) After Covid, the NFL, needing/wanting to generate more revenue… yep, media rights… sold to Amazon.

    Not one franchise isn’t profitable.

    ===Do you somehow think the Packers aren’t a valuable franchise?===

    If they were the St. Louis Packers, they’d be less valuable.

    As an original franchise, the nostalgia is part of the branding.

    ===The estimate in 4.2 billion outside the top 10 but nowhere near the bottom===

    Narrator: the discussion was media market, which was ignored.

    If the Packers are so valuable and able to turn profits while renovating their building and getting more revenue (after Covid) to stabilize ongoing profits…

    … How in any way do the Bears need a dime worth of monies?

    They don’t.

    Thanks.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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