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Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Shelby County only has two prosecutors? Can’t they just permanently share these expenses and duties?

The soon-to-be vacant position of Shelby County’s state’s attorney is set to be temporarily filled with the help of area state’s attorney’s offices.

The Shelby County Board voted during a special meeting Monday night to request that the resident circuit judge “take necessary action” to fill the position until a new state’s attorney can take this post full time. […]

In response to questions from fellow board members, [Shelby County Board Chair Robert Orman] said this action will involve having state’s attorney’s offices from other counties help fill the Shelby County position starting Wednesday. […]

The current Shelby County state’s attorney, Nichole Kroncke, will leave her office Tuesday, Jan. 31, to become a special prosecutor for the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. Shelby County’s only assistant state’s attorney, Jay Scott, is also set to end his employment on that day.

There has to be a better way.

* ABC 7

A challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban by McHenry County has been transferred up to federal court after a hearing Monday.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally filed the challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban.

Monday morning, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul made the request to remove the case from state court and send it to federal court.

* Press release…

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced that Illinois will receive $424,500 as part of the $45 million multi-state settlement with Nexo Capital, Inc.

Through its Illinois Securities Department, the Secretary of State’s office joined other state security administrators and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the investigation and settlement of $45 million with Nexo Capital, Inc. (Nexo), which was offering and selling unregistered securities in digital asset investments. This is part of a $45 million settlement, $22.5 million which will be distributed to state securities regulators.

“Crypto assets are not exempt from state and federal regulations, and financial services involved with them must comply with those regulations to ensure consumers are protected,” Secretary Giannoulias said. “We will continue to investigate interest-bearing cryptocurrency accounts and take action against firms that offer them without complying with state law. However, this settlement demonstrates why Illinois investors must make sure that any financial advisor they use is properly registered with the state.”

Nexo’s Earn Interest Product (EIP) accounts allowed customers to deposit crypto assets with Nexo. In exchange, customers earned interest rates on their deposited crypto assets. The quoted rates were significantly higher than rates offered for short-term, investment grade, fixed-income securities, or bank savings accounts.

Illinois found that when Nexo offered its EIP, it failed to disclose material information about the investment and did not disclose all the risks associated with the digital assets.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Nexo agreed that it will stop offering its EIP unless properly registered. It also agreed to notify account holders on or before Feb.1, 2023, that investors should withdraw any assets from their accounts before April 1, 2023. The company also agreed to separate U.S. investor assets, recognize that U.S. investors hold legal title to those assets and not use those assets in risky speculative activities.

* Press release…

Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas outlined his Economic Development plan at a speech today at the City Club. Designed to rebuild disadvantaged communities within the city, Vallas’ plan consists of five major planks that collectively would lay the foundation for sustainability and growth.

Vallas’ full Economic Development plan can be found here: https://www.paulvallas2023.com/economic

“For far too long, too little of government has been devoted to holistic and inclusive community development that brings opportunity to the historically disadvantaged and neglected, and as Mayor I will change that course,” said Vallas. “Alongside our key goals of reducing crime and improving public schools, our economic development plan will deliver more opportunity to our city and our residents, helping move Chicago out of the current crisis created by failed leadership and into a brighter future. Our plan isn’t about the same old transactional redistribution of wealth, it is about reactivating the wealth within communities and putting it to work for all Chicagoans.”

Highlights of the Vallas Economic Development plan include:

    • Creating an independent Community Development Authority (CDA) that will operate free from City Hall politics and aldermanic privilege.
    • Establishing a Fair Share Investment Trust to hold and reinvest both public and private monies for second and third generation (re)investment.
    • Implementing a strategy to reclaim and repurpose vacant & idle property across the city’s South and West Sides to support their development into locally owned performing assets like affordable housing.
    • Recognizing that economic development must be supported by an ecosystem of wellness and framework of well-being, by ensuring that all new developments must include an agreement that takes into account cumulative environmental impact and commits funds to social service infrastructure.
    • Elevating and empowering citizens returning from incarceration into full and productive economic and community participation and standing through a blend of alternative educational, workforce development, and prioritization of community development project contractors and vendors who employ returning citizens.

An “independent” development authority and a trust fund. What could possibly go wrong?

* Lightfoot press release excerpt…

As Vallas prepares to rebrand INVEST South/West and sell it as his own, we put together a run down of his less-than-impressive record of financial mismanagement to add some context to his sub-par dupe:

* Politico

The flawed email campaign to recruit student volunteers to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign is now the subject of a negative ad by an independent political action committee.

Cue haunting music: “Politicians have no right to enlist public school students as campaign pawns,” the ad says, referring to emails sent by Lightfoot’s campaign to teachers to rally student volunteers. Lightfoot says the emails were a mistake, and the Chicago Board of Ethics is looking into whether they violated the city’s ethics rules.

Behind the attack: A group called Americans for a Safer and Better Tomorrow PAC is running the digital ad on Facebook and YouTube. It also plans to send texts to likely Chicago Public School parents based on cell numbers on voting records, according to a person familiar with the PAC’s efforts. (Is that different from sending emails to teachers? We’ll defer to the ethics board.)

Connecting the dots: The PAC is the same group behind a poll by M3 pollster in December showing Lightfoot trailing Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Paul Vallas in the mayor’s race.

So far, it appears to be just a YouTube video. No Facebook ads have been booked that I can find. Also, the committee has so far reported raising just $10K from its own dark money not for profit. M3 polling is run by Matt Podgorski.

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Capitol News Illinois | Amid ‘unprecedented’ prolonged revenue boom, Illinois finds budget breathing room: The governor attributed the strong revenue performance at least partially to conservative initial budgeting estimates, changes to corporate tax exemptions and collection of online sales tax. Others have cited such factors as inflation and wage growth, as well as changes in consumer spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    * Fox 2 Now | ‘St. Louis’ Bears? Illinois rep. wonders amid stadium talks: Todd Maisch, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, tells the Chicago Sun Times, “I think it needs to happen by the end of this session. If not, you’re going to start to have other states make their cases on why the Chicago Bears should be the St. Louis Bears.”

    * Crain’s | How Willie Wilson built the fortune that fuels his populist giveaways: His disclosure valued Omar at between $25 million and $50 million. He also reported assets, including his Hazel Crest home (he rents his Wacker Drive penthouse), stock options and bank accounts valued between $2.4 million and $5 million.  … While Wilson says his company does not have any contracts with the city, it was listed as a minority participant, splitting a 30% stake in an up to $30 million contract from the city’s sister agency, Chicago Public Schools, awarded to Office Depot.   

    * Daily Herald | Pritzker helps open CLC’s new $48 million student center in Waukegan: The 62,692-square-foot, six-story building houses support services, a library, a welcome center and a career placement office, as well as adult education classes aimed at connecting nontraditional students to new careers.

    * Press Release | Crypto Lender to Pay Illinois Investors More Than $400,000: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced that Illinois will receive $424,500 as part of the $45 million multi-state settlement with Nexo Capital, Inc.

    * CNN | Prosecutors say Sam Bankman-Fried tried to obscure his crimes with Robinhood’s stock: Prosecutors have since seized the stock and other assets totaling more than $700 million after Bankman-Fried laid claim to the shares saying he legitimately bought them and needed the money to defend against the criminal charges he’s facing.

    * Streets Blog Chicago | Mayoral candidates weigh in on transportation at Safe Streets for All forum: The coalition’s platform calls for investments in pedestrian and biking infrastructure and improvements to CTA service and safety. All candidates except Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended. The event was moderated by Urban Gateways CEO and Elevated Chicago co-chair Leslé Honoré, who posed a set of questions to each mayoral hopeful, curated from queries submitted by pre-registered attendees. Or rather, posed them to candidates who kept their responses concise enough to get through more than one or two.

    * Center Square | Illinois cannabis sales remain strong in 2022: About 113 dispensaries now operate across the state, leading to booming adult use cannabis sales in Illinois. In 2022, legal cannabis sales totaled $1.5 billion, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said.

    * Chalkbeat | Tony Sanders named next Illinois State Superintendent of Education: “Dr. Sanders’ breadth of experience as superintendent of School District U-46 and his entire background have prepared him to take on this role,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “His focus on innovation, social emotional development, and academic excellence make him an extraordinary pick. I can think of no better person to lead the Illinois State Board of Education as we continue to invest in, support, and elevate our students and educators.”

    * AP | Adult Happy Meals and the McRib feed McDonald’s sales in the fourth quarter: Global same-store sales — or sales at stores open at least a year — rose 12.6% in the October-December period, the Chicago company said Tuesday. That beat Wall Street expectations for an 8.8% increase, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

    * Marketplace Tech | Rural communities are slow to adopt EVs — but a national charging network depends on them: The federal government aims to change that as part of the Joe Biden administration’s larger plan to decarbonize the transportation sector by 2050. It wants to increase the number of public charging stations for electric cars tenfold by the end of this decade. Rural areas play an important role in the broader electrification plan. In the 2021 infrastructure bill, there’s $7.5 billion dedicated to building out EV chargers nationwide, with a special emphasis on rural America.

    * NPR Illinois | Dirksen Driver’s Services facility to close for lengthy period: A temporary facility at 1650 Wabash Ave., which is comparable in size to the Dirksen Pkwy. facility, will be open Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will provide the same services to the public including: the issuance of driver’s licenses, ID cards and instruction permits; license plate sticker renewals; and title and registration services.

    * CNN | ChatGPT creator rolls out ‘imperfect’ tool to help teachers spot potential cheating: OpenAI on Tuesday announced a new feature, called an “AI text classifier,” that allows users to check if an essay was written by a human or AI. But even OpenAI admits it’s “imperfect.”

    * AP | 2 monkeys taken from Dallas Zoo in latest suspicious event: Two monkeys were taken from the Dallas Zoo on Monday, police said, the latest in a string of odd incidents at the attraction being investigated — including fences being cut and the suspicious death of an endangered vulture in the past few weeks.

    * WILL | Hip hop’s history in Illinois and America: Hip hop as a genre is only 50 years old, and its cultural impact in Illinois and America at large is unquestionable. According to Nielsen, hip hop and R&B are the most popular genres in the United States, and it’s the subject of a new documentary. Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World premieres tonight on your local PBS station. It features interviews from some of the most prominent Hip Hop acts of all time, including Run DMC, will.i.am and Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco.

    * NBC Chicago | Country Music Star Maren Morris to Headline 2023 Illinois State Fair: “To kick it all off with Maren Morris who brings hit after hit to our Illinois Lottery Grandstand Stage is a dream come true,” Clark continues. “Whether you are a fan of her hit collaboration “The Middle” with Zedd or her hit country singles such as ‘My Church,’ ‘80’s Mercedes’ or ‘The Bones,’ it is sure to be a concert you are not going to want to miss.”

    * Sun-Times | Sean O’Shea, a South Side native who worked at the White House under Clinton, dies at 46: “I am not exaggerating, the guy walked in our office and I think within the first day we were like ‘Who the —k is this kid?’ He was amazing,” said Kris Balderston, who was Mr. O’Shea’s boss while he worked for a semester as a White House intern in the Office of Cabinet Affairs under former President Bill Clinton.

       

32 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    This is truly a horrific lede, comical even….

    ===CHICAGO – A new suburban stadium could be on the horizon for the Chicago Bears, though it appears some Illinois representatives are not quite on board with that prospect.

    The Bears are highly considering a new home in the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago, one that could pair an NFL stadium with a nearby entertainment complex. A key part of that 326-acre proposal, a PILOT tax incentive, has yet to be discussed among Illinois state lawmakers.===

    “The Bears are highly considering a new home in the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago, one that could pair an NFL stadium with a nearby entertainment complex.”

    LOL… horrific.

    The Bears own the land. The Bears bought the land specifically for a building to play football, The Bears didn’t buy the land because it was a wise investment, “property”

    “Highly considering”, the love of Pete…

    Then there’s Maisch and his foolhardy and silliness to the St. Louis Bears.

    Love this part…

    ===Despite Maisch’s comments, no other reports tied to Illinois officials have suggested that St. Louis could be home to the Bears or any other NFL team in the near future.===

    It’s only in Maisch’s mind, these thoughts.

    Adorable


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    This is an interesting lil tidbit;

    ===The Bears have a large backing in northern Illinois, but not allegiance to NFL teams elsewhere in the state varies, according to recent research from VividSeats.com. The Chiefs are considered the most popular team for much of the St. Louis area and Metro East counties, per Vivid Seats.===

    The Missouri folks like a Missouri NFL franchise?

    With Kansas City the largest city in Missouri, it makes sense that the region aligned with all things “St. Louis” would look to Missouri and not She-Caw-Go

    But, whatever anyone does, don’t tell Maisch. We all deserve delusions disguised as policy thoughts


  3. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    Lightfoot clearly sees Vallas as a threat. Her campaign seems to have shifted their sights from Chuy to him for now.

    Man, I wish Chicago had ranked choice voting.


  4. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    =If not, you’re going to start to have other states make their cases on why the Chicago Bears should be the St. Louis Bears.=

    Thanks, Commissioner Maisch. But before you ask the state of Missouri that, please ask them about the team they used to call the St. Louis Rams. Or the football team that played there until 1988 called the St Louis Cardinals. Sheesh.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    –There has to be a better way.–

    There are probably an infinite amount of better ways.

    The most obvious being consolidate the counties. Shelby county barely has a population of 20k in the entire county.

    There is no more compelling reason to consolidate counties, than when one of the counties involved is unable to provide basic government services.


  6. - Homebody - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    We have too many counties, too many villages, too many assorted taxing bodies. How the heck did we end up where a states attorney’s office has a total of two practicing attorneys? Time to merge some counties.


  7. - Publius - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    Fun fact: Over 50 counties have 2 or less State’s Attorneys.


  8. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    These counties need to be consolidated.

    Shelby County has a population of 20k. That is like 1/3 the population of a Chicago ward.

    And the meager population has been decreasing every year since 1900.


  9. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:40 pm:

    RIP Sean - proud to know you and call you friend. We’ve lost one of the good guys. You will be missed.


  10. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    didn’t M3 polling have Matt Podgorski beating Maggie Trevor? she won.


  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:48 pm:

    “These counties need to be consolidated.”

    Fine. Don’t touch the townships, though.


  12. - Anthony - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:49 pm:

    — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul made the request to remove the case from state court and send it to federal court. –

    HUH?? Illinois AG. Illinois bill. But Raoul wants the case to go from state court to federal courts. Am I missing something? How does that make sense?


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    ===Am I missing something?===

    You want to claim it’s a constitutional right, a US constitutional right, correct.

    Try again tomorrow.


  14. - JB13 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    The level of vitriol being displayed toward the state’s premier and historic NFL franchise for daring to desire to relocate from one of the country’s worst pro football stadiums to another community in the SAME COUNTY, to build a state of the art complex that will bring in Super Bowls, Final Fours, and all manner of other top tier national and international events not now possible in Illinois is… remarkable for its pedantic parochial pettiness.

    The Bears are moving. Chicago “lost.” Why should the state government care if City Hall’s feelings are hurt?


  15. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 2:56 pm:

    =Fun fact: Over 50 counties have 2 or less State’s Attorneys=

    And everyones worried about Sheriffs failing to enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act, do you really think the SA in these counties will? Additionally once the Safe-T act is litigated - SA/PD will have to deal with body cameras after Jan. 1, 2025. Every case will then require time-consuming analysis of hours of body-cam video for each criminal case.


  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:00 pm:

    ===daring to desire to relocate ===

    Don’t be so daft. This isn’t about them moving, it’s about the subsidy.


  17. - Regarding Shelby County - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    It has been tough to keep elected officials in Shelby County. The edgar county watchdogs and their disciples have terrorized board meetings and elected officials over there for some time. An abuse of public comments and FOIA are frequent tactics. And the never ending hit pieces on the watchdogs website. Why would any reasonable person want to serve in public office in Shelby County? I guess an axe grinder or stooge for the watchdogs might show some interest.


  18. - Hot Taeks - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    Fully agree with comment above that Chicago needs ranked choice voting. I asked Ald. La Spata about it a month ago and he said that instituting Ranked Choice Voting in Chicago might have to go through Springfield but he wasn’t sure.

    St. Louis Bears idea is complete joke. McCaskey’s would never willingly decrease the value of their franchise by moving to a smaller market.


  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    I’d rather see the rest of the state go with nonpartisan elections than bring ranked choice to Chicago.

    Who do you think the top two finishers would be from a statewide primary between Pritzker, Irvin, Bailey, Sullivan, Rabine, Miles, Schimpf and Solomon? That would be fun.

    Also, there is no point in having taxpayers fund partisan primary elections.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    Ranked voting *only* helps the GOP by trying to stave off the crazy without condemning the craziness…

    Nope. No ranked voting. Let the GOP figure it out without a crutch.


  21. - Hot Taeks - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    @OswegoWilly I’m referring to ranked choice voting only for municipal elections like Chicago which are ‘non-partisan’. Evanston has instituted it already.


  22. - Red Ketcher - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 3:40 pm:

    Regarding Shelby County is right.
    Losing SA/ASA because of governmental chaos.
    Not just watchdogs but some far out board members.
    No rational lawyer is likely to want the job.


  23. - Homebody - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    == I’d rather see the rest of the state go with nonpartisan elections than bring ranked choice to Chicago. ==

    That would just make things worse, rather than better. One of the side effects of the current non-partisan jungle primary approach in Chicago (and also seen sometimes in California) is that if you have multiple similar candidates that split the votes of the majority of the voters, the candidates that represent the minority of the voters can become the top 2 finishers, despite neither being of interest to the bulk of the electorate.

    Ranked choice fixes this.

    If anything, non-partisan PLUS ranked choice is the way to go, if you don’t want to waste money on primaries. Frankly it would also reduce the amount of wasteful, pointless political ads, and we’d have less “oh he will tack to the (left/right/center) in the general election” type bs.


  24. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    == A temporary facility at 1650 Wabash Ave … ===

    Wasn’t clear in the stories I read if the temporary facilities would have a drive-up window. That was the major feature I used at Dirksen.


  25. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===the current non-partisan jungle primary approach in Chicago (and also seen sometimes in California) is that if you have multiple similar candidates that split the votes of the majority of the voters, the candidates that represent the minority of the voters can become the top 2 finishers, despite neither being of interest to the bulk of the electorate.===

    That’s possible, sure. But what we have now are extreme candidates winning primaries by being extreme. The jungle primary rewards centrists, which I’d like to see more of. Center right, center left, and end the polarization that partisan primaries seem doomed to perpetuate.


  26. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:26 pm:

    Publius, I was wondering how many counties had 1 or 2 attorneys in the State’s Attorney Office, so thanks. I’m not surprised by that number at all. But this did lead me to learn something interesting. The Illinois Constitution, Article VI, Section 19, says that State’s Attorneys can be elected to serve 2 or more counties if the county boards of each county approve and it passes by a majority vote in each county. So constitutionally, Illinois could establish a system of larger State’s Attorney offices serving multiple counties, and this might be a good idea, particularly in areas with multiple smaller counties close to each other. 1 State’s Attorney, an assistant state’s attorney for each county, and additional assistants centrally located to move between counties as needed wouldn’t be a bad system.


  27. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:41 pm:

    Lori can certainly sling mud with the best of them. Too bad that’s one of the only things she is good at.


  28. - very old soil - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:50 pm:

    My two cents. Great idea


  29. - The Ford Lawyer - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 4:54 pm:

    Publius et al. there may be some merit in the idea of having “Circuit Attorneys” similarly to Circuit Judges. There would be a resident assitant in each county (because trust me, you need at least one) a Circuit Attorney in charge of the Circuit, and perhaps other traveling assistant circuit attorneys as needed, like associate circuit judges. Problem is, for example Coles County, can’t keep assistant state’s attorneys. They had two vacancies out of four positions last time I checked, and desperately needed both of them. PD office is the same way.


  30. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 5:17 pm:

    -==Lori can certainly sling mud with the best of them==

    Is it mud if it’s true?


  31. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 6:22 pm:

    “The jungle primary rewards centrists, which I’d like to see more of. Center right, center left, and end the polarization that partisan primaries seem doomed to perpetuate.”

    Oh, is that why Louisiana is the gold standard for effective state government?

    – MrJM


  32. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 7:26 pm:

    I think that’s a leap MrJM, but OK. Does that mean you think it’s fine for taxpayers to pay for partisan primaries? How’s that working out for everybody?


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