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*** UPDATED x3 *** Afternoon roundup

Friday, Apr 21, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

*** UPDATE 1 *** I told you Tuesday that the Vallas campaign had paid Chima Enyia’s Ikoro LLC $500,000 during the quarter. $20K of that was for consulting, and the other $480K had the notation “Disputed - not verified.” Well, the Vallas campaign filed a lawsuit against the company yesterday. Here’s Crain’s

After Vallas made it to the runoff election, Enyia — a political operative who had been an aide to Gov. Pat Quinn, former executive director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, former executive of Cresco Labs and brother of 2019 mayoral candidate Amara Enyia — convinced Vallas to hire him as a campaign consultant for $20,000 a month for March and April.

Enyia later told Vallas’ campaign manager he would hire workers from Black Men United to place Vallas yard signs in majority-Black communities and remove signs that had been damaged, as well as unauthorized yard signs connecting Vallas to “MAGA,” an abbreviation for the Donald Trump presidential campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” according to the filing. Enyia told the campaign manager Vallas had approved the idea. […]

“During an independent review of the Vallas for Mayor raise and spend, and as we prepared to file our report with the Illinois State Board of Elections, we flagged a pattern of payments to a vendor, which are now in dispute,” the [Vallas campaign] statement said.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Sun-Times

Veteran Democratic strategist Tom Bowen said the level of fraudulent campaign spending alleged in Vallas’ lawsuit is unprecedented and underscores how desperate Vallas was to make inroads into the Black community. It also shows how little oversight his campaign had over the $18 million avalanche of contributions that came pouring in from the business community after his first-place finish on Feb. 28, Bowen said.

“If he set $700,000 on fire with a very atypical campaign vendor to try to win votes in the Black community like that, that is possibly the stupidest thing anyone in Chicago politics has ever done,” said Bowen, who served as a senior adviser to lame-duck Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign and as political director for former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012.

Bowen said he’s sure former Gov. Bruce Rauner and vanquished Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey “also wasted incredible amounts of money on services like that” in their failed attempts to make inroads into the African-American community.

But in a Chicago mayoral race, it’s “unheard of” to spend that much money so unwisely, Bowen said. After running Lightfoot’s 2019 runoff campaign, Bowen said he “understands the stress” of keeping close tabs on campaign spending when contributions come pouring in.

While that may have been fraud, lots of other folks took full advantage of Vallas’ strong belief that he could win over Black voters. His D-2 report is loaded with payments to South and West Side hucksters. This isn’t new for him. Vallas was fully convinced of his singular popularity with Black voters during the 2002 gubernatorial race as well. Nope.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Tribune

During the campaign, Vallas spoke openly about hiring Chimaobi Enyia for a high level position in his administration had he won.

A high level position including chief of staff.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Reuters

The University of Chicago will become the first school among 17 prominent colleges to settle claims that they conspired for many years to restrict financial aid and overcharged students by billions of dollars in violation of U.S. antitrust law. […]

The plaintiffs have estimated the class size of former and current students at more than 200,000.

The lawsuit accused all of the defendants of having considered prospective students’ financial needs in weighing whether to offer admission, disfavoring students who need aid.

* Gov. Pritzker was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program today. He talked about his involvement in school board races and was asked about how the Republicans are pushing decades-old culture war issues

Joe, you’ve got it exactly right at the heart of it, and I think this is why voters are rejecting it, at the heart of all of these positions is this fundamental cruelty. Focusing on attacking children who are LGBTQ, or teachers that are LGBTQ, or taking on people who are not white, banning Black history from our schools, making sure that certain texts aren’t available to people. They want to rewrite history. There’s a cruelty to it all. And I think that voters see that and they’re showing up and rejecting it.

Pritzker was also asked how he could work with Chicago’s new mayor-elect

Well, we’re already working together. He’s come to Springfield to talk with the legislature and to me about the things that are necessary to lift Chicagoans up. He’s focused on something that I’m focused on too, which is lifting up people who’ve been left out and left behind. We have neighborhoods in Chicago that have been disinvested from. He ran a campaign that focused on that, and he won because, in my opinion, he addressed that. I also want to say that this is a world where people recognize kind of genuineness. You know, authenticity matters. And Brandon Johnson just seems to be, he is who he is. You know, you can see it, you can feel. He’s the son of a preacher. He has kids, you know, family. He lives in Austin, you know, not the easiest neighborhood to live in. There’s public safety issues in that neighborhood. So he kind of represents the challenges and the opportunity for Chicago.

* Darren Bailey ran away from Donald Trump as fast and as far as he could after winning the 2022 Republican primary. But now, he’s cozying up to the former guy again ahead of a likely congressional bid

Darren Bailey, the former Republican candidate for governor, talked to former President Donald Trump on Wednesday about a potential run for Congress against Rep. Mike Bost in Illinois’ downstate 12th District.

Bailey was at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for a fundraiser for Louisiana governor candidate Jeff Landry and was able to buttonhole Trump, according to a person familiar with their meeting.

* NEIU Independent

The University Professionals of Illinois (UPI), the union representing faculty, librarians, and advisors at NEIU, has voted to authorize a strike. A mediator will work with the union and the administration to attempt to reach an agreement according to Nancy Matthews, the president of the UPI chapter at NEIU. UPI has announced that the earliest they will strike is Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

If mediation is unsuccessful the faculty will go on strike. Depending on how long the strike lasts, coursework, final exams, and projects may be disrupted. Professors will make individual policies for class work in the event of a strike. Union spokespeople have stressed that students will get their grades and be able to graduate.

In a press release from UPI-NEIU, issued on April 13th, “the last two days, NEIU faculty and staff who are members of NEIU’s University Professionals of Illinois (NEIU UPI, IFT Local 4100) overwhelmingly voted to strike, with 95% of voting members asserting their willingness to do so if an agreement can’t be reached at the table.”

* Press release…

The State Treasurer’s Office made a record $98.7 million in investment earnings from the state investment portfolio in March, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced today.

Another $75 million in gross investment earnings was earned for cities, villages, school districts, counties and other units of local government that take part in the highly rated Illinois Funds local government investment pool operated by the State Treasurer’s Office.

These key monthly metrics and more are available at The Vault, the transparency website that allows Illinois residents to see how the State Treasurer’s Office is working for them. The site is at iltreasurervault.com.

“Every dollar my office makes through smart, safe investing is a dollar that does not need to be raised in taxes,” Frerichs said. “The State Treasurer’s Office really is an economic engine, and we invest money in a safe and responsible manner.”

* IDPH…

IDPH has recorded a total of 4,127,625 cases and 36,735 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 5,278 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending April 9, and 9 deaths.

Both IDPH and the Illinois Department on Aging have endorsed action this week by both the FDA and the CDC to simplify their recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations. The two federal agencies approved an optional additional updated bivalent vaccine dose for adults ages 65 years and older and optional additional doses for people who are immunocompromised. The bivalent booster is designed to offer better protection against newer strains of the virus. […]

As of last night, 558 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 65 patients were in the ICU and 22 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 44 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

* The mystery surrounding Illinois’ official state fossil may have been solved

However, new research by a team from the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University may have finally brought an end to the debate.

“We believe that the mystery of it being an invertebrate or vertebrate has been solved,” said Tomoyuki Mikami, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo at the time of the study and currently a researcher at the National Museum of Nature and Science. “Based on multiple lines of evidence, the vertebrate hypothesis of the Tully monster is untenable. The most important point is that the Tully monster had segmentation in its head region that extended from its body. This characteristic is not known in any vertebrate lineage, suggesting a nonvertebrate affinity.”

* Isabel’s roundup…

       

14 Comments
  1. - Steve - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 2:50 pm:

    I’m taken by the University of Chicago story. An institution that doesn’t pay property taxes on their real estate holdings.


  2. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 2:50 pm:

    =Bailey was at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for a fundraiser for Louisiana governor candidate Jeff Landry=

    How elite for a “farmer”.

    =and was able to buttonhole Trump=

    Ick, what does that mean?


  3. - Jibba - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 2:56 pm:

    Having read the links (and follow on links from that article), I am having difficulty identifying the crime of a private university admitting more of the students who can pay, as opposed to students it has to give discounts to. Maybe someone with more legal training can explain.


  4. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 2:58 pm:

    just heard about a Vallas lawsuit against a big vendor he may have been ready to hire for city hall. gotta get the court doc link. but finding that very amusing.


  5. - JoanP - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    = Did you know the vote to make us a city happened in a bar? =

    That should come as no surprise.


  6. - Roadrager - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    Vallas was fine with throwing money out the window during the campaign, because he was certain he’d make it up on the back end through sweetheart deals selling city assets. Oops.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===convinced Vallas to hire him as a campaign consultant for $20,000 a month for March and April===

    The grift only works if you can also convince the mark they ain’t getting scammed.

    Amateurs fail at that


  8. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    who made the decision to hire the Vallas campaign consultant? who managed the consultant? who were all the genius political minds who thought this was a good consultant to hire and how were those genius minds involved in the work?


  9. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    Lol didn’t the Lightfoot campaign hire Gator Bradley? They’re no authority on this subject after failing to make the runoff.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===didn’t the Lightfoot campaign hire Gator Bradley?===

    Yeah, but not for 700 large. lol


  11. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    think about your management experiences, campaign or otherwise. how do you manage contracts? do you check on them? do you manage staff who manage contracts? who screws up nearly $700k worth of work? or, are you filing a lawsuit because you did not like the results from the precincts. and the candidate wanted to run the city…..


  12. - Bill Baar - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 4:22 pm:

    re: who made the decision to hire the Vallas campaign consultant?

    Joe Trippi? Who maybe didn’t know much about Chicago?


  13. - /s - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 4:23 pm:

    @Jibba my understanding is that considering financial aid needs is not the issue; however, by considering financial aid needs in admittance, the universities in question cannot claim immunity. Check out this Reuters article on the case: https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/major-universities-assert-antitrust-immunity-financial-aid-case-2022-04-18/


  14. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Apr 21, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    One thing the campaign taught me, was don’t believe much of what Vallas says. He didn’t know what AWAKE was, he didn’t send the racist text messages, he didn’t cozy up to the far right with Proft and Ives… and now I guess that his desperate effort to turn all that around didn’t really happen… sure Paul. Whatever you say.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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