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Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Aug 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz on the search to replace the late Todd Maisch

Sources close to the matter say the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has hired an executive recruitment firm, Koya Partners, and is getting ready to interview candidates, with a decision likely by sometime this fall.

A Chamber spokesman said only that the search process has begun and is in the opening stages. But sources say the list of applicants includes former state GOP Chairman Pat Brady, now a Springfield lobbyist; Clark Kaericher, the chamber’s senior vice president of government affairs, and former state Rep. Keith Wheeler, an Oswego Republican who lost his seat in the 2022 election after Democrats remapped him into a difficult district.

* Southern Illinois news…

Governor JB Pritzker, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today celebrated Contour Airlines’ “first flight” – the very first flight of a new route established between Chicago and Marion. The new route will make Southern Illinois more accessible for business travel and visiting family and friends, while opening the door to the many tourism gems and attractions throughout each region. […]

The new route will offer daily direct passenger flights between O’Hare in Chicago and Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion, making travel between Southern Illinois and Chicago more seamless, accessible, and affordable. This marks the first time a passenger route between O’Hare and Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois is being offered. […]

In support of the new flight route, the Airport Authority in Marion – which oversees Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois – will receive a $1.4 million grant through DCEO.

* Crain’s

The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board isn’t taking any time off, as evidenced by its sharp critique of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker published over the weekend.

Using the new contract that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and Pritzker recently agreed to as a springboard, the editorial touches on what it considers consequences for “workers in the private economy” as well as Illinois’ pension woes, while labeling the governor a “union boss.”

There’s also a reference to Pritzker’s reported White House aspirations and a bold prediction: “Mark it down: Democrats will demand a federal taxpayer bailout when Illinois pensions become unaffordable.”

2012 called, it wants its pension rhetoric back.

Pritzker’s office responded to the WSJ editorial…

Governor Pritzker is committed to ensuring that every Illinoisan has access to good-paying opportunities while balancing the very real financial needs of a state that went years without labor contracts under the previous administration. This contract represents a negotiated agreement that expands the pool of state employees, attracts top-tier talent to fill vacancies, retains our strong workforce, and provides opportunity for every employee and their families. This contract continues Governor Pritzker’s track record of fiscal responsibility and management, including eight credit upgrades, additional pension payments and a rebuilt Rainy Day fund, after years of failed policies that decimated the state.

* Gotta hand it to the Mendoza crew, this is pretty darned good spin of not-spectacular fundraising

Of all the recent winners of statewide office, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza spent the least per vote, according to figures pulled from the State Board of Elections.

Dollars and sense: Mendoza spent $1.07 per vote. It’s a pittance considering Gov. JB Pritzker spent a whopping $62.68 a vote in the governor’s race.

How she did it: Mendoza, who holds events downstate as well as in Chicago, likely pulled in Republican voters to help her victory. She received 2,331,714 votes, making her the highest vote-getter in 2022, and spent about $2.3 million on her campaign. Sen. Tammy Duckworth came in with a close second after winning 2,329,136 votes and spending more than $15 million on her race, putting the price per vote at $6.82.

Other statewide office holders: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias spent $4.29 per vote; Treasurer Michael Frerichs, $1.53; and Attorney Gen. Kwame Raoul, $1.33.

Her opponent was Shannon Teresi, who barely campaigned at all and who spent just $60,946.81 in the last six months of 2022 (which includes part of the primary). I mean, I had to look up Teresi’s name because I couldn’t remember it. That’s less than 4 cents per vote, by the way.

* Staying with politics…

– U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today announced that his re-election campaign has been endorsed by 22 Republican Central Committee leaders from across the 12th Congressional District. Bost’s coalition of support includes the State Central Committeewoman and Deputy State Central Committeeman for IL-12, as well as 21 Republican county chairs. This newest list of Republican endorsements comes just days after Bost announced support from over 100 local GOP leaders.

“These GOP Central Committee chairs know how much work went into turning Southern Illinois into the Republican stronghold it is today,” said Bost. “And they know we put it all at risk when conservatives start attacking each other rather than taking it to Biden and the liberals who are trying to defeat our values. I appreciate the overwhelming support of our local party leaders and will continue working with them to preserve the strong, unified, conservative movement that has served our region so well.”

The list is here.

* Instead of studying accessibility, can’t they just use best practices and finally get the thing built?…

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and author of the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Danny K. Davis (D-IL-07) and Jonathan L. Jackson (D-IL-01) today announced $778,500 in federal funding for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to develop a modern accessibility strategy in advance of a potential reopening of the Englewood Racine Green Line stop on Chicago’s south side. The Racine El station has been closed since 1996, leaving the surrounding community with fewer public transit options and reduced economic opportunity.

Fittin’ to get ready strikes again.

* Press release…

David Welter will serve as a Member of the Executive Ethics Commission. Welter was first elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2016 and served the residents of District 75 until 2023. Prior to joining the General Assembly, Welter was elected to the Grundy County Board, serving first as Member and then Chairman. He currently serves as a Real Estate Broker and Owner in Morris, Illinois. An active member of his community, he is a member of the Grundy County Chamber, the Grundy County Economic Development Council, and We Care of Grundy County.

* WaPo looked at a growing problem for Democrats: Turnout among Black men

Many Democrats interviewed said they were less worried about Black women, whose voting enthusiasm has historically been more robust than that of Black men. Black women were a huge factor in Biden’s victory in 2020. Advocates expect that trend to continue, particularly with Vice President Harris on the ticket and the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who both made history as the first Black women in their roles. […]

Part of the problem, [Terrance Woodbury, chief executive of HIT Strategies, a polling firm focused on young, non-White voters] argues, is that the party’s focus on Trump and Republican extremism is less likely to motivate younger Black men than arguments focused on policy benefits. The messaging, he has argued, must focus on how Black communities have benefited from specific policies.

His own polling has shown that voters’ belief that their vote doesn’t matter is the greatest barrier to voting among Black Americans. […]

Brittany Smith, the executive director of the Philadelphia-based Black Leadership PAC (BLP), which is working to turn out Black voters, said she has noticed a change in how Black people respond to her get-out-the vote efforts in recent years. In the past, she simply needed to remind people of where and when to vote. Now, she said, many express a cynicism about politics that requires a deeper level of persuasion.

“There’s not a night I don’t go to sleep thinking about what turnout will look like in 2024,” Smith said.

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Illinois Newsroom | Some school districts are using COVID-19 aid to catch up on construction. Is your district one of them?: For many districts, it was a once-in-a-lifetime infusion of cash. “When funding is tight, a lot of things that are put off are bigger projects. It’s a lot harder to come up with $7 million to do something than it is to come up with $30,000 to do something,” said Sullivan Superintendent Ted Walk.

    * Chalkbeat | Pell Grants return to incarcerated people after nearly 30 years. Here’s what that means in Illinois.: Pell Grant eligibility will depend on whether an incarcerated person lives in a prison with a federally-approved program. The U.S. Department of Education opened up applications early this month and will approve higher education institutions on a rolling basis.

    * Illinois Newsroom | Buttigieg visits Savoy to tout infrastructure money for new underpass: Buttigieg’s department awarded Savoy roughly $22.7 million – half of the cost of the project — from a grant within President Biden’s 2021 Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

    * WGEM | Illinois State Police announce new online crash reporting system: “For simple crashes where only one car is involved and no one is injured, the ability to file a report online instead of along the road will make it safer for drivers and our troopers, and eliminate the need to wait for a trooper to make the report,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

    * Crain’s | Hospital mergers are heating up in the Midwest: Since October, at least a dozen hospital transactions have been proposed or completed involving buyers or sellers in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota. Health systems are joining forces with others in adjacent markets and, in some cases, those that operate in other states.

    * Crain’s | Northwestern Memorial, Rush top U.S. News hospital rankings — with a twist: However, unlike in years past, the 2023-2024 Best Hospitals Honor Roll does not call out the 22 top hospitals in order, meaning each of the 22 is essentially equal in the eyes of U.S. News.

    * WTTW | US Attorney’s Office in Chicago Aims to be ‘Force Multiplier’ in Anti-Gang Effort: “The Chicago Police Department has 12,000 officers, the federal U.S. Attorneys and federal agents, we can’t replicate that,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Morris Pasqual in an interview with WTTW News. “What we can do is essentially function as more or less a force multiplier. We can bring added resources, added money, added expertise, added personnel and just added effort to the effort.”

    * SJ-R | Buscher, 85 days in, discusses changes to emergency response: The new mayor went into detail regarding the city’s response to the storm on Friday during a Citizens Club of Springfield forum. Seeing the impact - an estimated $20 million earlier this month - Buscher announced plans to address future bouts of extreme weather.

    * Block Club | Humboldt Park’s Growing Tent City Has Some Neighbors On Edge As Officials Search For Solutions: Before the pandemic, only a few people were living in tents in the sprawling Northwest Side park. But the park’s tent city has since grown to include about 40 people, their bright orange tents visible from North and California avenues.

    * The Southern | Fingers crossed: SIU hoping for enrollment increase: Lane showed the trustees a slide indicating a 19.6% increase in undergraduate applications to SIU compared to last year at the same time, a 4.6% increase in admissions and reported that just over 2,200 new undergraduates had enrolled, an increase of 5.1%.

    * HuffPost | Abortion Funds Are Hanging On By A Thread A Year After Dobbs: Typically, abortion funds operate with some combination of individual donations and grants from larger organizations or, post-Dobbs, from local governments. California, for example, announced late last year that it would put $20 million toward a fund that helps people access abortion in the state, even if they come from other states. And Megan Jeyifo, the executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, said the group was able to meet increased demand — it’s on track to spend $3 million this year, up from around $600,000 last year — thanks in part to support from the city. But other funds are rapidly running dry, even after a spike in donations that followed last summer’s shock court decision.

    * Bloomberg | Caterpillar says China demand slowdown even worse than thought: Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby said during Tuesday’s earnings call that the company anticipates further weakness in sales of the machines most used for Chinese construction projects. The view follows the CEO’s downbeat comments on April 27, when he said the total share of sales from the Asian nation would be below its normal expected range of 5% to 10%.

    * Bloomberg | Miami’s overflowing septic tanks and trash piles test the city’s appeal to the rich: Some of greater Miami’s massive landfills, known by clever names like Mount Trashmore, will run out of space by 2026, according to a report from Cava’s office. More urgent are the septic systems that serve the city’s 2.7 million residents. Many of those front-yard sewage tanks overflow when it rains, releasing fecal bacteria and other contaminants that transform patches of tropical paradise into toxic swamps that kill fish and sicken people.

    * The Atlantic | Enough About Ken: I know a lot of impressive women married to men. Maybe the men are impressive too. I don’t give them much thought, to be honest. By the time I catch up with these women on all they are doing, and commiserate on the state of the world, we rarely have time to talk about their husbands. Sometimes, to be polite, I ask, but they normally don’t come up unless some conflict is brewing. This doesn’t mean that my friends don’t love their partners—just that, when given room to talk about their lives, that’s what they want to talk about: their lives.

    * Michigan Advance | In Flint, every pregnant person is about to receive cash through Rx Kids: Beginning in January 2024, every pregnant person in Flint is poised to receive a one-time payment of $1,500 followed by $500 payments per month for the first year of their child’s life. Made through a new program called Rx Kids, these funds could mean the difference between being able to make rent or pay for utilities, Hurt explained.

    * Herald-Whig | Cattle judging, bags tournament and country concert highlight Saturday at the Fair: On the other side of the fairgrounds, adult co-ed volleyball and the County Fair Bags Tournament filled out the roster of events for early fairgoers. By noon, the temperature at the fairgrounds was already over 90 degrees, but it didn’t slow down either the participants or the spectators.

    * WGN | Beyoncé vs Taylor Swift vs NASCAR: Who’s been the biggest boon to Chicago?: Downtown hotel occupancy peaked at 97% on the early June weekend of Taylor Swift’s concert, according to numbers shared with WGN Investigates by data analytics firm CoStar. That was followed closely by the 95% occupancy rate of central business district hotels on the opening night of Beyoncé’s Chicago concert.

    * Tribune | Shedd Aquarium announces 40-foot Caribbean tunnel, new learning studio as part of ongoing $500 million plan: The Shedd Aquarium released plans on Tuesday for upgrading many of its exhibits, gardens and learning spaces by 2027. Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO, said instead of the current geographical-based setup at the aquarium, they will shift toward highlighting animal biology and behavior. She hopes it will encourage visitors to take action on sustainability and climate change.

       

13 Comments
  1. - SAP - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==2012 called, it wants its pension rhetoric back.==

    I think the General Assembly is to be commended for responsible budgeting during the past 5 years as it relates to pension funding.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===But sources say the list of applicants includes..===

    Nothing… Nothing happens in Illinois until Oswego has her say #WheelerAndDealer


  3. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    Good god, Pat Brady to head the Chamber? That job requires someone with considerably more impulse control than him.


  4. - Eastsider - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 3:51 pm:

    Brady is a clear choice. He has deep connections statewide; he’s a proven fundraiser; and he’s respected on both sides of the aisle - if you read the article that’s exactly what they claim to be looking for.


  5. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    Wheeler is the kind of person everyone likes to see. He listens well and is much more a problem-solver than a partisan.

    And yes that is in comparison to Brady.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    Apparently everyone except those who drew the partisan maps


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    The thing about Brady?

    Easy.

    Go back to his very public, on stage, screaming match with Proft.

    That’s the thing with Brady.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===Apparently everyone except those who drew the partisan maps===

    Meh.

    Get a national fair map law, then let’s talk.

    If the GOP got the map you’d crow, so… disingenuous per usual.


  9. - Benniefly2 - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:34 pm:

    $778,500 seems like a lot to pay for someone to write that they need a couple of elevators. I could spec out some basic ADA requirements and mention elevators for a lot less than that.


  10. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 4:57 pm:

    ===How she did it: Mendoza, who holds events downstate as well as in Chicago===

    Mendoza’s earned media strategy as a state wide official is impressive and on going. At times her office’s connection to what she is there to talk about might be flimsy, but she is taking the idea of being a statewide elected official to heart.


  11. - Big Tent - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 5:15 pm:

    ~~~Go back to his very public, on stage, screaming match with Proft.~~~
    Like dropping an F-bomb during their debate was such an intelligent strategy.
    Tells you all you need to know about Proft….whose perfect record is still intact.


  12. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Aug 1, 23 @ 7:49 pm:

    There’s also a reference to Pritzker’s reported White House aspirations and a bold prediction: “Mark it down: Democrats will demand a federal taxpayer bailout when Illinois pensions become unaffordable.”

    Okay. I know I shouldn’t let this stuff bother me. But I am an Illinois Democrat. And I am also a federal taxpayer. Given that Illinois is a “donor state” — meaning we send more to DC than we get back in federal dollars — I’m okay with “federal taxpayers” giving us some of our own money back.


  13. - Eire17 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 23 @ 6:51 am:

    Would like to see Clark get it


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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