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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Feb 10, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Speaker Welch…

It is tradition for the Governor to deliver his annual State of the State and Budget Address to a joint session in the House Chamber. However, for the past two years, a global pandemic and a dangerous snowstorm forced Governor JB Pritzker to relocate. House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is excited to host the governor for the first time since he was elected to lead the chamber.

“In my first two years as Speaker, we faced unprecedented challenges and I’m thrilled that we are beginning to gain a sense of normalcy again,” said Speaker Welch. “I’m grateful we will be able to host Governor Pritzker and I look forward to hearing more about his priorities for this session.”

* Speaking of a return to normalcy

After three years of pandemic disruption that saw postponements, downsizing and a special outdoor summer edition, the Chicago Auto Show may be hitting on all cylinders for the 2023 edition.

The annual show, which opens Saturday, has expanded back into two halls at McCormick Place, with a full roster of brands, exhibits and test tracks, hoping to draw large crowds of EV-curious and old-school car enthusiasts.


The department is reporting 10,234 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending February 5, and 62 deaths. … As of last night, 834 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 100 patients were in the ICU and 34 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

* Chuy Garcia returns to the 80s… again

* Scott is right (as usual). This isn’t a “loophole”…

From the story

The 77 Committee is run by Dave Mellet, a longtime top political adviser to Lightfoot, who said the committee operates independently of any campaign for mayor, as required by law.

“We do not communicate or coordinate with any of the campaigns for mayor and all decisions on strategy, fundraising and expenditures are made solely by the committee,” Mellet said in a statement to WTTW News.

They didn’t have to communicate with the Lightfoot campaign because the campaign, like most campaigns, has what is known as a “red box” on its website. They’re designed to let independent expenditure committees know what the campaign would like them to focus on, provide oppo, etc. Click the “Media” link on Lightfoot’s homepage and you’ll get this

Voters on the go across Chicago, especially Black frequent municipal primary voters, need to know about Brandon Johnson’s extreme background contrasted with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s progressive accomplishments.

Brandon Johnson wants to defund the police. Johnson introduced a resolution to “redirect funds from policing.”

Brandon Johnson’s tax plan would hit the middle class, drive jobs to the suburbs, and jeopardize Chicago’s tourism and the status of O’Hare.

Now, click here to watch the 77 Committee’s anti-Johnson ad

Johnson wants to defund the police, putting our safety at risk; raise taxes on the middle class and drive jobs away from Chicago.

* Hard to disagree…

* Time for a little oppo dump, since I mentioned this race yesterday. Politico

— 1st Ward: Challenger Sam Royko is endorsed by Congressman Mike Quigley.

From last July

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) released the following statement following the House passage of the Assault Weapons Ban, H.R. 1808:

“Assault weapons are weapons of war designed for one purpose and one purpose only: efficiently killing human beings. There is simply no reason for a civilian to own one of these firearms.”

And here’s Sam Royko on the right…

* Press release…

State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) has been tapped by Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) to serve as the Minority Spokesperson for two House Committees. The committees he was chosen for include State Government Administration and Transportation: Vehicle Safety.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve as Spokesperson on these committees,” said Rosenthal. “My past experience leading the Department of Natural Resources and the men and women of the Illinois National Guard has given me valuable insight to address the issues that will come before these committees as we work to improve state government operations and transportation safety on our roadways.”

Since Rosenthal previously served in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015, it made him eligible to serve as a committee Spokesperson because House Rules require Spokespersons to be in at least their third term of office. In this role, Rosenthal will be responsible for leading the work of his fellow Republican members on the committee and promoting Republican initiatives and legislation.

As the former Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from 2015 to 2019, Rosenthal brings the practical experience of having administered a state agency to the work of the legislature’s committee process. This makes Rosenthal uniquely and highly qualified for the Spokesperson role.

“As I’ve said before, my top priority is providing the best possible service to constituents,” said Rosenthal. “I will bring that same focus to my committee work over the course of this term.”

In addition to serving as Spokesperson on the aforementioned committees, Rosenthal will also serve as a member of the following committees: Agriculture and Conservation, Energy and Environment, Higher Education, and Veterans’ Affairs.

* Isabel’s roundup…

* Crain’s | Rivian’s challenges pile up as new rivals swarm into the EV market: Recent setbacks pummeled Rivian shares to a 52-week low of $15.28 last month. Price cuts by rivals Tesla and Ford weigh on the shares, which peaked at more than $170 following Rivian’s November 2021 IPO. Amid shrinking cash reserves and recession fears, the company announced it was laying off 6% of its workforce, although sparing its primary production facility in Normal. That follows a similar-sized layoff last summer.

* Sun-Times | Will Bridgeport bank failure trial reveal more secrets about clout bank linked to Patrick Daley Thompson?: This time, it will be centerstage when Robert M. Kowalski, a lawyer and developer — he has called himself “Bob the Builder” in court filings — who got millions of dollars in loans from the bank, goes on trial Monday. He’s the first to face trial of 14 people charged with having a role in what federal authorities have said was an embezzlement scheme that involved top executives of the bank.

* Beacon-News | City Council eyes $500 million data center project in Aurora: The proposed development at the southwest corner of Bilter and Eola roads would eventually feature three buildings, being developed by Seefried Properties to eventually be owned by Endeavour Edged, an international company known for data center development around the world using 100% renewable energy and a zero-water cooling system, officials said.

* Axios | Illinois colleges get more funds to upgrade mental health services: It requires colleges to improve mental health training, screening, treatment and other support tools on campus. Allocations were based on each school’s self-assessed need.

* Center Square | Illinois sports bettors expected to contribute to record breaking numbers on Super Bowl: “By my math this is going to be the first billion dollar event for a sports book,” said PlayIllinois marketing analyst Eric Ramsey. “It looks like we were just short of a billion last year, and it looks like we are going to clear that number fairly comfortably this time around.”

* Fox Chicago | Polar plunging raises funds for Special Olympics of Illinois: Polar plunging has been gaining attention with some research saying it’s good for your health. It can also help raise money for the Special Olympics of Illinois. One brave plunger demonstrates “cold exposure therapy” in Lake Michigan live on Good Day Chicago.

* Sun-Times | After taking a pass on mayor’s race, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley endorses Garcia: Earlier this week, he was endorsed by former Gov. Pat Quinn, who circulated nominating petitions for mayor before deciding not to join the crowded field. Quinn chose Garcia over Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whom he supported four years ago, and Paul Vallas, whom he chose in 2014 as his running mate for lieutenant governor.

* WBEZ | Right after landing a big deal with the CTA, businessman helps Lightfoot’s reelection effort: Less than a month ago, the Chicago Transit Authority — whose leaders are appointed by the mayor — announced a lucrative new contract with a company founded by prominent real-estate magnate Elzie Higginbottom. Just a few weeks later, another company tied to Higginbottom gave a $50,000 contribution to a new political fund created by a close ally of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

* Forbes | R. Kelly—Already Facing 30 Years In Prison—Asks For Lighter Sentence For Porn Conviction: It comes eight months after Kelly was sentenced in New York City to 30 years after he was found guilty of violating the federal Mann Act, for trafficking women across state lines, with one victim saying she hopes he is imprisoned for “the rest of his life.”

* Chalkbeat | COVID prompted many Chicago principals to leave. What will it take to help them stay?: Before the pandemic, the district’s principal turnover was slowing, dipping to a rate below the national average. Still, about half of elementary school principals and more than two-thirds of high school principals were leaving their jobs within five years, according to a pair of new University of Chicago reports based on eight years of staffing data and interviews with local principals.

* WaPo | Rick Steves: Don’t skip Europe’s second cities: While lacking the popularity and the bucket-list sights, Europe’s second cities tend to enjoy a creative edge, a strong civic spirit, a Rust Belt toughness, fun-loving eateries with cutting-edge menus, entertaining street art … and far fewer tourists, which also means lower prices, a more authentic welcome and arguably a more honest cultural experience.


  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Feb 10, 23 @ 2:24 pm:

    The part above the bullet points is even more explicit

    “Voters on the go across Chicago, especially Black frequent municipal primary voters, need to know about Brandon Johnson’s extreme background contrasted with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s progressive accomplishments.”

    Are you a Black frequent municipal primary voter?

    Aren’t campaigns worried some actual voters will read their websites and conclude the candidate is a robot?

  2. - Old time Independent - Friday, Feb 10, 23 @ 3:48 pm:

    Was surprised it took this long for her or one of the others to hammer Johnson on this. His interview on WGN during the riots was shocking to say the least. The news anchor asked him twice what he said just to clarify it. But he doubled done saying he understood why they were rioting and looting and saw nothing wrong with it.

  3. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Feb 10, 23 @ 3:49 pm:

    “I nominate beer.”

    I rise to second that nomination. 🍻

    – MrJM

  4. - ZC - Friday, Feb 10, 23 @ 4:08 pm:

    That looks like a shooting range Royko is at. I’m not sure there is anything here (might be, of course).

    I have no objections to anyone who wants to have fun going to a designated shooting range to pop off these things, so long as they keep them there.

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