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Parties snipe ahead of DeSantis visit

Thursday, May 11, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s

With state Democrats and Republicans sniping over another visit from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who’s still reportedly eyeing a 2024 presidential run — the General Assembly approved several bills strengthening LGBTQ+ protections and gender inclusivity. Among the changes: using gender-neutral language in some laws and tracking non-binary employees for the purposes of diversity, according to the Associated Press. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has confirmed he’ll sign the bills into law.

This comes as the Florida Legislature, politically aligned with DeSantis, has passed more bills targeting LGBTQ+ residents, including an expansion of the state’s “Parental Rights in Education,” which critics and pro-LGBTQ+ advocates have labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

* Other recent DeSantis actions, including banning payroll deduction for teachers’ union dues…

* Sun-Times

DeSantis, who is expected to announce his presidential run soon, is also likely to sign a trio of bills passed by the Republican-majority Florida General Assembly that will affect the state’s transgender community, including a bill that will prohibit transgender children from receiving gender-affirming treatments.

Another bill restricts teachers, faculty and students from using the pronouns of their choice in public schools — and another prohibits transgender people from using a bathroom that matches their gender identity while in government buildings.

The Democrat-led Illinois General Assembly is going in the opposite direction, as the state seeks to counteract anti-LGBTQ legislation passed in surrounding Republican-led states.

Pritzker plans to sign a measure that would help affirm LGBTQ youth in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services system by replacing words such as“mother” with “person who gives birth” and “he or she” to “minor.” Another measure awaiting Pritzker’s signature would require state agencies to track employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming.

* More Crain’s

Illinois Democrats are “welcoming” likely GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis to the state, and you might say the greetings are less than cordial. DeSantis allies are responding in kind.

In a press release headlined “Illinoisans reject the DeSantis blueprint,” the Democratic Party of Illinois said the Florida governor will bring “a dangerous agenda” when he speaks to Peoria and Tazewell counties’ Republicans on Friday. […]

“Of course, Illinois Democrats don’t want to talk about the impact of their extremist ‘progressive’ policies on Illinois residents,” [Illinois GOP Chair Don Tracy] said in an email. “They don’t want to talk about the lawlessness and out-of-control crime in Chicago encouraged by their anti-police rhetoric, or that the state of Illinois is poised to spend more than $1 billion on health care for undocumented immigrants — more than we spend on caring for our own veterans.”

* Pantagraph

“Governor Ron DeSantis is one of the preeminent conservative voices in our country, fighting back against the radical left,” U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, said last month, adding that he looked forward “to hearing him share his Florida Blueprint with Central Illinois conservatives.”

LaHood is a rainmaker of sorts for Peoria area Republicans, attracting several high-profile speakers to the dinner in recent years, making it one of the most preeminent annual events in Illinois Republican politics. […]

“He doesn’t seem to be much for freedom, Ron DeSantis,” Pritzker said. “He wants to take away people’s right to read the books that they want to read, wants to take away Black history in our schools, somebody who does not believe in a woman’s right to make decisions for herself about her own body. So, maybe he could learn something when he’s in Illinois (about) what freedom looks like.”

* Like the president, the governor has been using the word “freedom” a lot lately. Here he is yesterday talking about the assault weapons ban…

The purpose of that law is to save lives and we’ve seen just in the last two weeks that entire families have been killed by assault weapons. It is time to end this madness and to save our families’ lives. It is to the freedom of the people of Illinois that we are addressing this law, their freedom to be at the Highland Park parade without getting shot and killed.

* The Democrats and their allies are trying to use this visit to make some political points. Here’s DPI…

On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will bring his regressive agenda to Illinois as a keynote speaker during the joint Peoria and Tazewell County Republicans’ 2023 Lincoln Day Dinner.

Illinoisans have rejected extremists like DeSantis repeatedly. In November, Democrats successfully won every statewide seat on the ballot, and won a record-breaking number of seats in the General Assembly. In school and library board races last month, over 73% of extremists that DPI communicated against lost their elections.

While DeSantis tries to distance himself from “MAGA” Republicans, make no mistake, his agenda follows the same brand of extremism that Illinois voters rejected from Donald Trump in 2020, Darren Bailey in 2022, and school and library board candidates across the state in April.

Ron DeSantis has signed excessively cruel policies that are an affront to Floridians’ freedoms, and his dangerous vision has no place in Illinois.

* Press release…

A rally and demonstration to protest the appearance in Peoria of Florida Governor Ron Desantis at the GOP Lincoln Dinner on Friday, May 12th, 2023 will take place that day from noon to dusk at the Federal Courthouse Plaza, 100 NE Monroe, Peoria.

Several organizations have united to organize this event, including the Peoria chapter of the National Organization for Women. Its co-president Nancy Long said “Governor Desantis’ use of political demagoguery against certain groups and women threatens a vibrant, inclusive representative American democracy. In solidarity with all against his anti-science and patriarchal authoritarian brand of hateful, divisive politics, we invite all people of goodwill to join us in registering opposition by using our constitutional rights of peaceable assembly and freedom of speech.”

The event begins at noon at the Federal Courthouse Plaza with an informational display from supporting groups on the sidewalk from noon-dusk. We encourage people to support the event outside the Civic Center beginning at 2pm, with Drag performances at 4:30pm. At 4:00, all people are invited to grab their rainbow umbrellas and stand with us in solidarity on the public sidewalk around the Peoria Civic Center to greet those attending the extremist Governor’s speech with signs. At 5:30 pm, we’ll finish at the federal courthouse with “Rally for American Democracy” including a labor-themed sing-along.

Those planning to speak include Laura Welch, President of Illinois NOW; Nancy Long, Co-Chair of Peoria IL NOW; Dr. Merrill Cole, Community Outreach, University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100 and alumnus of New College of Florida; Rev. Jennifer Innis of the Peoria Universalist Unitarian Church; Zoie Roach-King, President, SHE Speaks and student at Bradley University; Labor Bard Musician Kathy McNeil and others.

* Pritzker…



  1. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    =LaHood is a rainmaker of sorts for Peoria area Republicans,=

    This made me laugh out loud. LaHood is only second to the trump children when it comes to nepotism. He is the poster boy for empty shirt and do nothing.

  2. - don the legend - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:39 pm:

    Hopefully DeSantis will be asked what Florida’s LGBTQ citizens did to him that makes him so angry and afraid and maybe a little hateful.

  3. - Out Here In The Middle - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    From the DeSantis post above -

    “IDs issued by sanctuary jurisdictions will be invalidated in the state of Florida”

    Does he mean that Florida will not honor DL’s issued to undocumented individuals? Doesn’t participation in AAMVA require a state to honor all ID’s issued by other states?

  4. - Stones - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    DeSantis’ policies, despite their obvious design to court Trump’s base constituency, have largely fallen flat in Florida. Most of the state congressional delegation has endorsed Trump. In addition, DeSantis’ legal fight with Disney has become a distraction and embarrassment. Many Republicans in Florida wonder why he is attacking the major employer in the state.

  5. - Norseman - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    JS Mill +1

    The son is a stain on the reputation of his father.

  6. - Roadrager - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    DeSantis is a smarmy, hateful garbage scow who is actively harming his state for political media likes, and I feel bad for Floridians who view their fellow state residents as actual people but live under his rule.

    That said, his ability to debase himself and further ruin his career aspirations week after week while pretending to not run for president is hilarious, and I encourage him to continue.

  7. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    I had hope for DeSantis but no longer
    Republicans are looking at DeSantis the definition of the Peter Princple and Trump the definition of no principles

  8. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    It’s fun to take some shots at DeSantis, and perhaps good training for when somebody with an actual chance to be the GOP nominee for President comes to Illinois.

    While I enjoy the Pudding Fingers nickname, he really should be called Reactionary Ron. Everything he does is aimed at responding to events and reinforcing grievances among small minded people. His is not an agenda that is forward looking or inspiring at all.

    I remember when aspiring presidential candidates used to offer a grand vision of the future. Now, the GOP field is only offering competing versions of dystopia. They are the party of dead-enders.

  9. - High Socks - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    Every time I hear about the next big, bad Republican Governor Star, I just fondly remember Scott Walker, Chris Christe, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, etc etc etc

  10. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    I’m pretty sure the Governor of Florida doesn’t have a right to invalidate an ID issued by another state.

    This guy acts like a dictator more and more every day.

  11. - Glengarry - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    I hope Peoria hides the pudding.

  12. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:04 pm:

    “LaHood is a rainmaker of sorts for Peoria area Republicans”

    MR./Ms. We spit out our wheaties on this one because the only rain he might have made is the special deal from Trump for the Confessed Congressman over the bundle from the Nigerian oil baron. Seemed very ungrateful to dis Trump that way.

  13. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    DeSantis has fallen flat in Florida? No

    He was reelected with the largest margin of victory in 40 years- 59% of the vote beating former Governor Charlie Christ by 1.5 million votes and winning 62 of 67 counties last November.

    He won 57% off the Hispanic vote and actually won Miami Dade County

    He even won 52% of women

  14. - Galena Guy - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    Norseman is right. Darrin is the embodiment of an empty suit. Why ANY decent human being would want to be associated with a fascist like DeSatanis is beyond me.

  15. - Chicago Blue - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:21 pm:

    @ Lucky, I think Stones was referencing DeSantis’s aspiration to be President. As of right now, he would not win a primary vote in his home state against Trump. However, a lot can change in a year and he would destroy Biden in Florida if Trump somehow ended up not being the nominee but he’d also do worse than Trump in every Midwestern state.

  16. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    Also, “he was re-elected, so he must be alright” doesn’t seem like a rubric you would apply to at least one other Governor, lol.

  17. - D0 - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    We need new protections now for transgender and non-binary Illinoisans and those seeking care in our state. Cisgender allies need to get their act together on this now. The more laws passed in republican states, the more people are going to die. Adults will be denied routine healthcare. Assaults in bathrooms are going to start rising. Suicides, especially among kids, are going to spike.

  18. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:25 pm:


    *mic drop*

    On of the best rebuttals of that guy ever.

  19. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    De Santis didn’t spend 30 million of his own money meddling in the Democratic primary to pick his opponent.

    He defeated a former Governor and Congressman fair and square.

  20. - RJG - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==“IDs issued by sanctuary jurisdictions will be invalidated in the state of Florida”

    Does he mean that Florida will not honor DL’s issued to undocumented individuals? Doesn’t participation in AAMVA require a state to honor all ID’s issued by other states?==

    More than the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the US Constitution’s full faith and credit clause obliges states to respect the public records (including, say, drivers’ licenses) issued by any other state. In a “normal” world this would be a slam dunk SCOTUS case in constitutional law.

  21. - Stones - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:31 pm:

    LP - that was prior to the Disney fight, his book banning initiatives and gender school policies setting the stage for his presumed Presidential run. Don’t get me wrong - he’s still popular in FL but these policies haven’t done anything for him on the big stage. He’s getting his clock cleaned right now.

  22. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:38 pm:

    ==He defeated a former Governor and Congressman fair and square.==

    In case you were wondering this is an example of the dishonesty and twisted lies Rich spoke of. But apparently you don’t learn lessons very well.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===De Santis didn’t spend 30 million of his own money meddling in the Democratic primary to pick his opponent.===

    My own personal patience is near an end with you.

    The 56% of the voters in the illinois Republican Primary nominated Bailey… in a 6-way race… and… whom you agreed with on EVERY policy thereafter… and agreed EACH AND EVERY TIME that Bailey criticized Pritzker.

    It was a fair and free election, the republicans nominated Bailey, you agreed with Bailey policies each and every time… especially when criticizing Pritzker… so your beef is wholly dishonest, unless you are now an election denier which can be added to your list of ridiculousness.

    Your dishonest trolling is tiresome.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    DeSantis signed an abortion bill in “the middle of the night” hurting women and making DeSantis dangerous to women’s health.

    Democrats should welcome all whom govern like DeSantis to a national stage to defend the governing.

    I know I do.

  25. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:48 pm:

    Pritzker is spot on. DeSantis and other Republicans punch down on the marginalized. But they’re terrified of the Republican leader and allow themselves to be his punching bag. How is that, the party of bravery and bootstrap pulling and attacking “snowflakes” is so full of fear and politically dependent on one person?

  26. - Appears - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    Did Pritzker spend the money in the Republican primary? The answer is yes. Did the Republican faithful applaud this by selecting Bailey? The answer is also yes. The Republican party selected Bailey.

  27. - Suburbs are the key - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    I think the messages to aim at DeSantis that would “play in Peoria” are also jobs and crime — both areas Florida is suffering. His obsession with Mickey Mouse is costing Florida jobs, his obsession with allowing AR-style rifles and high-capacity magazines is costing Florida lives. That’s a message for Peoria.

  28. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==“IDs issued by sanctuary jurisdictions will be invalidated in the state of Florida”==

    (USSC) Article IV Section 1-

    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

    SO Ron Desantis hates our freedoms AND our constitution? I for one will not stand for it (stomps foot).

    LP- any thoughts on that or are you just going to say people really like him as a defense against his anti-business, anti-constitution stances?

    Do you hate our freedoms too? Say it ain’t so.

  29. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 2:04 pm:

    I have some friends in Florida that tell me that DeSatin’s immigration policies are causing an exodus of sorts for undocumented construction workers. This will seriously hit home when the next hurricane strikes and there’s no one to re-roof all of the houses.

  30. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    So it’s factual and not dishonest. Exactly right.

    Only Republican billionaires like Ken Griffith can hoodwink voters with massive spending against the fair tax and other issues.

    Citizens United is a threat to Democracy.

    Democrat billionaires massive spending on elections is pure as wind driven snow.

  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===Citizens United===

    Get back on topic.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 2:16 pm:


    Bailey was happy for the help in the primary

    Bailey was happy because it amplified Bailey’s positions

    Bailey’s positions are positions you and the GOP support

    Those who support those those positions voted for Bailey in a fair and free election.

    So… what are you even babbling about

  33. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 3:00 pm:


    When you aren’t being dishonest you’re playing the victim

  34. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    There was a time when I considered myself a republican, but that time is long over.

    What Desantis is doing under the gop badge cannot be ignored, but it is being ignored by the gop.

    He is openly attacking many of the sacred, or at least used to be sacred, pillars of the party like small government, business friendly, pro constitution, and government staying out of peoples business in general.

    He is an activist big government guy and wants to put government at your dinner table. He openly acts in defiance of the greatest public document ever written.

    It is also very possible that Desantis becomes the single biggest driver of population growth for Illinois.

  35. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    Will LaHood formally endorse soon or is he waiting until signature passing deadline to avoid a Trump-backed primary fight?

  36. - stagefright - Thursday, May 11, 23 @ 5:11 pm:

    JB just upset that he isn’t running for President in 2024.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
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* IVF debate takes a weird political turn
* ComEd Four sentencing will be delayed
* It’s just a bill
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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