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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Feb 17, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Steven Spearie at the SJ-R

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has restricted the movement of a Springfield man convicted last month for his part in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

In a hearing Thursday, Judge Amit P. Mehta confined Thomas B. Adams Jr. of the 2800 block of Ridge Avenue to his home for 30 days after comments he made to The State Journal-Register about his part in the breach.

Two days after his conviction in a stipulated bench trial, Adams, 41, said he wouldn’t change anything he did that day. […]

According to Thursday’s order, Adams “will be restricted to his residence at all times except for employment; education; religious services; medical, substance abuse, or mental health treatment; attorney visits; court appearances; court-ordered obligations; or other activities approved in advance by the pretrial services office or supervising officer.”

* Press release…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general, today welcomed a recent decision by CVS and Walgreens to offer mifepristone and misoprostol in their stores. Once certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CVS and Walgreens pharmacies can fill prescriptions for mifepristone and misoprostol, which are often referred to as medication abortion, consistent with federal and state law.

In a letter to the companies, Raoul and the attorneys general explained that availability of mifepristone and misoprostol at retail pharmacies would enable millions of individuals to easily access critical, and sometimes lifesaving, reproductive care. Mifepristone and misoprostol have been approved by the FDA for more than 20 years and are also prescribed to treat other common health issues such as miscarriages, life-threatening ectopic pregnancies and gastric ulcers.

“I applaud the decision of CVS and Walgreens to offer accessible reproductive care in their stores. I am proud to collaborate with my colleagues on this letter, not only to support access to medication abortion, but also to share accurate information on the legal availability and medical benefits of mifepristone and misoprostol,” Raoul said. “I will continue to stand up for the rights of women to access reproductive health care both in Illinois and across the country.”


After Walgreens and CVS said they would seek this approval, a group of 20 Republican attorneys general sent a joint letter to executives at both companies warning that they could face legal consequences if they decide to mail and distribute medication abortion in their states.

The Justice Department said earlier this year that abortion pills can be distributed through the mail, but different state laws limit how residents can access the drugs. Arizona, Texas and Arkansas, for example, all ban people from receiving the medication through the mail.

* We talked about the redboxing being done by Mayor Lightfoot’s campaign the other day. Crain’s used the Internet Archive to dig a little deeper

For much of the campaign, the media section for Lightfoot For Chicago website featured an updated list of positive news stories about the first-term mayor. But after an independent expenditure committee was created — run by former campaign advisor Dave Mellet — to support Lightfoot, the section was updated to include language focused on advertising to “Black frequent municipal primary voters.”

First, the website called for voters to be made aware of Wilson’s past support of former President Donald Trump and donations to other Republicans as well as Johnson’s support of a measure to “redirect funds for policing.”

But as Lightfoot polling began to show Johnson rising in the field, and perhaps because Wilson voters have proven to stick by their man, any mention of Wilson was dropped in favor of directing a full assault on Johnson.

The 77 Committee has picked up the hints, spending $116,405 exactly as the Lightfoot campaign had signaled on their website: in mailers and tv ads opposed to Wilson and Johnson.

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker today signed HB0009 into law, authorizing an easier process for individuals seeking to change the gender listed on their birth certificate. Previously, amending a birth certificate’s gender marker required certification from a health care professional that the individual had undergone gender reassignment surgery or other clinical treatment. The updated law allows changes to the birth certificate providing the petitioner signs a statement affirming their gender identity or intersex condition, opening an easier path to legal recognition for transgender Illinoisans.

“Here in Illinois, we recognize that gender transition is a personal journey that doesn’t always follow a prescriptive medical path, but still deserves to be honored legally,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In a time of increasing violence and hateful rhetoric against the trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming community, it is more important than ever to reaffirm our state’s commitment to recognizing the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ Illinoisans.”

Previously, transgender Illinoisans were required to receive documentation from a licensed physician to begin the gender change process. However, many trans individuals do not opt for surgery to address gender dysphoria for personal or financial reasons but would still benefit from legally changing their gender as they transition socially or with the aid of hormone therapy. This bill makes gender-affirming documentation more accessible and recognizes the distinction between biological sex and gender for many transgender individuals.


IDPH has recorded a total of 4,050,952 cases and 36,297 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 10,813 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending February 12, and 68 deaths.

“We are happy to report no counties are at a high COVID-19 community level this week,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said. […]

As of last night, 979 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 131 patients were in the ICU and 39 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

* This is troubling…

While we’re on the topic, Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Pat Devaney was a firefighter for years and served as the firefighters’ union president as well. During the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation’s Black History Month Soirée Wednesday night, a guest collapsed. Another guest began giving the person CPR even though he was breathing regularly. Devaney stepped in, diplomatically stopped the unnecessary CPR and helped the man until an ambulance arrived.

The next time you see Pat, give him an attaboy.

* Press release…

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – the chief sponsor of the SAFE-T Act – will serve as chair of the newly established Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety.

“Our number one priority as a General Assembly is to center public safety by and for the people,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Our collective efforts have allowed us to reimagine public safety and provide historically marginalized communities with access to the resources they need to address the challenges plaguing our communities. However, our work is not done. This committee will give us an opportunity to continue maintaining public safety for all, not just a few.”

Since first entering the legislature, Sims has served as a leading voice in the effort to reform our state’s criminal justice system. Sims most recently spearheaded efforts to pass a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that changes current use of force policy, how courts impose bail and sentences people convicted of crimes, and advance rights to all Illinois citizens, including detainees and prisoners, to better improve interactions with law enforcement professionals.

The Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety will prioritize violence prevention, focusing on deterrence from the criminal justice system and approaching criminal justice reform through a community-based approach.

“Until systemic racism in our criminal justice system is fully eradicated, our work is not done,” said Sims. “The special committee will allow us to focus on ensuring all people – regardless of their ZIP code or the color of their skin – have the same fair and just chance at safety and success.”

Sims will serve as chair of the 10-person committee throughout the 103rd General Assembly.

* You really gotta wonder whether CTA President Dorval Carter wants Mayor Lightfoot to lose…

* INCS Action PAC, which is run by the charter school industry and often spars with the Chicago Teachers Union, is now spending some money in the mayor’s race, dumping $63K into digital ads attacking Brandon Johnson, a CTU staffer.

* And…

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - Witness Number 1 - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    Pat was very professional. And even though he had the other bystander stop CPR he did ask for the defibrillator that was on the wall just to have it just in case it was needed. Amazing how the professionals can stay calm during events like that.

  2. - WestBurbs - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:10 pm:

    As a “moderate,” “center/left” centrist type, I find the Vallas denouncement of DeSantis/FOP is interesting. But which is the real PV — the guy keynoting Awake Illinois or the guy ripping on DeSantis? Not sure those two positions are reconcilable.

  3. - twowaystreet - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==We talked about the redboxing being done by Mayor Lightfoot’s campaign the other day. ==

    I like to imagine there was some clueless campaign staffer who kept asking about the redbox content and no one could tell them what its’ true purpose was so they just kept bringing it up at weekly staff meetings for months.

  4. - Big Dipper - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:15 pm:

    Catanzara has said so many worse things than DeSantis so it seems like an odd issue for Vallas to break with the FOP over. Maybe he thinks his right wing base has nowhere else to go so he can afford to poke them.

  5. - Back to the Future - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:18 pm:

    The WBEZ story was a great read.
    David McKinney did his usual exceptional job at researching and reporting on example of how our state government works.

  6. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    I don’t understand what the problem is with CTA. Bus and Train Operators is a pretty decent job if you don’t have a college degree. Decent salary and a pension and health insurance.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:22 pm:

    MJM has drawn over 200K in pension $; GARS Board which is made up of state reps/senators is not the group that should be deciding when pensions are forfeited. This begs the question if/when MJM is found guilty for what are clearly crimes committed in his official capacity while still in office - can that cash be clawed back?

  8. - Big Dipper - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    Three, there is considerable training required before you can drive an L train or bus. Plus I read that the CTA requires potential drivers to work for a year as a rail flagger or station attendant before being eligible for training. Not sure if that is in the CBA or if not why they don’t waive/change it.

  9. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    Paul Vallas, you ignored things before with FOP. Who are you? No one can tell. Illinois will be deeply affected by the choice of Chicago mayor. you are a disturbing puzzle.

  10. - Stix Hix - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    Three Dimension at 2:19:

    –Bus and Train Operators is a pretty decent job–

    What has been your experience?

  11. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:41 pm:

    It’s one thing to be “disappointed.” It’s another to denounce the union itself and return all contributions.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:47 pm:

    Unless Vallas denounces or now refuses the FOP endorsement…

    Vallas is a phony who hopes people forget who he counts as allies.

    Vote accordingly

  13. - Annonin' - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    Opps FOP invite to DeSantis may harm the efforts to put their guy in the 5th Floor Chair. Timing, timing, timing.

  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    This Vallas campaign is a strange one for many reasons.

    Not the least of which is there is a yard just down the street filled with dozens of “Vallas for Mayor” signs - here in western unincorporated Will County.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    - Annonin‘ -

    There’s all kinds of elections going on. I dunno if they are “big picture” folks, more like “I’ll worry about you after” folks.

  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===What has been your experience?===

    I worked for CTA in a white collar position for a bit, and I ride it almost every day. I am sure the safety issue do not help recruiting. It is a good opportunity for a lot of people. They really need a plan to increase recruiting. What they are doing is not working, and it is one of the most important parts of Chicago. It makes Chicago different than a lot of the non-NYC cities.

  17. - WestBurbs - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:05 pm:

    Amalie, Oswego - agree with your takes on Vallas. But who, in your respective opinion, is the better alternative?

  18. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:06 pm:

    30,000 cannabis jobs…but not one in Decatur…The Footloose City?

  19. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    “Unless Vallas denounces or now refuses the FOP endorsement…”

    Vallas is leading in most polls. Vallas has already addressed this “he wants to “build trust between all of Chicago’s communities and the police”. There are 14,058 employees at CPD. Schrewed move, particularly in a crowded field where no one else is courting the CPD vote.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===one else is courting the CPD vote.===

    See, if one claims to be a Dem in ads but seemingly thinks courting the worst elements of the FOP… and the folks who embrace DeSantis… it’s like saying David Duke is your kind of candidate… “I mean besides all that…”

    Vallas is hoping Dems don’t realize he’s not one of them… yet.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    - WestBurbs -

    With humbling respect, I may show disfavor with candidate(s), there’s not a single candidate any any level of “elected” in this entire state that wants *me* to endorse their candidacy for any office.

    With Vallas, “vote accordingly”

    Be well, have a great weekend.

  22. - Big Dipper - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:28 pm:

    ==Schrewed move, particularly in a crowded field where no one else is courting the CPD vote.==

    Wilson is but I think I know why you are overlooking him.

  23. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:30 pm:

    @WestBurbs, great question. I guess you think that Lightfoot is not an alternative, but there’s that. Chuy would be better than Vallas.

  24. - Techie - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    Who’s better than Vallas? Most of the alternatives.

    If I lived in the city, I’d probably vote for Chuy. Of all the candidates who are polling in the top tier, he seems to be the most reasonable person who cares about the wellbeing of the city’s residents. He also doesn’t have a track record of blowing holes in budgets, something Vallas cannot claim.

  25. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==Vallas is leading in most polls.==

    Of the first round. But there’s a reason MLL wants to face him in the runoff.

  26. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==Catanzara has said so many worse things than DeSantis so it seems like an odd issue for Vallas to break with the FOP over. ==

    It’s a timing thing.

  27. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 4:05 pm:

    “But there’s a reason MLL wants to face him in the runoff”

    WBEZ…”Voters were asked about seven potential runoff matchups — and Lightfoot fared poorly in the scenarios that included her.In a hypothetical Vallas-Lightfoot contest, the former CPS chief led the mayor 48% to 35%”

  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===the former CPS chief led===

    The Vallas oppo has been almost 100 percent confined to social and news media. His numbers could very well change when that hits the TV.

    …and not all of it has come out. Not by a long shot.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Feds to provide more migrant funding... Just $19.3 million for Illinois
* Question of the day
* It’s just a bill
* Bill to expand IVF/infertility insurance coverage overwhelmingly passes Senate
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
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