Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » 2023 » September
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Even Taylor Swift has her limits

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Earlier this summer

Taylor Swift’s Soldier Field shows help set new, ‘all-time’ Chicago hotel record, agency says

* Last week

Taylor Swift fans solve 33 million Google puzzles to unlock new song titles

* Today

The surprise attendance of pop superstar Taylor Swift at Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs game also brought an unexpected surge in sales of Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce’s jersey, according to sports retailer Fanatics.

“Yesterday, Travis Kelce was one of the top five selling NFL players and saw a nearly 400% spike in sales throughout the Fanatics network of sites, including,” said a spokesperson for Fanatics, the NFL’s official e-commerce partner.

* Last week

When Taylor Swift speaks, her fans listen.

On Tuesday morning, the singer posted a short message on Instagram encouraging her 272 million followers to register to vote. Afterward, the website she directed her fans to — the nonpartisan nonprofit — recorded more than 35,000 registrations, according to the organization.

* I reached out to the Illinois State Board of Elections the other day to ask if they’d seen any uptick in voter registration since Taylor Swift encouraged her fans to register. Matt Dietrich…

There’s so much fluctuation in the statewide total that it’s really not possible to attribute changes to any one thing.

The statewide total actually went down a bit from before she did that Instagram post on Tuesday. It was 8,111,267 million on Sept. 13 and 8,038,939 million on Sept. 20. Those reports are run and posted weekly on Wednesdays. As of [Sept. 22] the statewide total is 8,038,367.

* Related…

* Missed Taylor Swift live? No worries, concert film to hit the big screen in Springfield: Swifties unite! “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Concert Film” will hit the Route 66 Twin Drive In, 1700 Knights Recreations Dr., and AMC Theatres in Springfield beginning Oct. 13.


Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Media advisory…

State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, Chair of the House Health Care Licensing Committee, will continue the process of addressing the ongoing delays in licensure processing by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), by holding a public hearing of his committee on Sep. 27 at 10:00 a.m. in room C-600 on the 6th Floor of the Michael A. Bilandic Building on LaSalle St. in downtown Chicago.

The delays have led to many professionals, including nurses and other health care workers, as well as their employers, having to worry about their ability to keep working should their licenses lapse. Morgan and other lawmakers on the Committee will hear from health care providers, representatives of health systems, pharmacies and IDFPR. Hearings of this kind are often among the first steps in crafting policy in response to a given problem, and typically determine the direction that future legislative or regulatory efforts will take.

* AP

Amazon is being sued by U.S. regulators and 17 states over allegations that the company abuses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices on other platforms, overcharge sellers and stifle competition. […]

They allege the company engages in anti-competitive practices through anti-discounting measures that deter sellers from offering lower prices for products on non-Amazon sites, mirroring allegations made in a separate lawsuit last year by the state of California. The complaint says Amazon can bury listings that are offered at lower prices on other sites.

The complaint also says the company degrades the customer experience by replacing relevant search results with paid advertisements, biasing its own brands over other products it knows to be of a better quality and charging heavy fees that forces sellers to pay nearly half of their total revenues to Amazon. […]

Last quarter, Amazon reported $32.3 billion in revenue from third-party services. According to the anti-monopoly organization Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the fees cost U.S. sellers 45% of their revenue in the first half of this year - up from 35% in 2020 and 19% in 2014.


More here and here. Illinois, by the way, is not among the plaintiffs.

* Illinois isn’t on this list, either

Target said Tuesday that it will close nine stores in major cities across the country, citing violence, theft and organized retail crime.

The company will close one store in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, two locations in Seattle, three stores in the San Francisco-Oakland area and three more in Portland, Oregon. The discounter said it will shutter the stores for good on Oct. 21.

Speaking of Target

Theft has been a major problem for a lot of retailers, and the Lowe’s CEO sees a straightforward answer. […]

While Lowe’s uses technology to prevent theft, [Lowe’s Chief Executive Marvin Ellison] made clear that having people on its store floors helping customers leads to less theft. Lowe’s had a roughly 1% shrink rate in its most recent quarter, which is below industry averages. […]

The CEO called his company’s results “a differentiated performance relative to the other major retailers.” But he also quietly placed blame on retailers like Target, Walmart and Walgreens for simply not investing in the people needed to serve customers.

Yep. Hire more people. They can help keep an eye on things. The last time I was in a Target a few months ago, it was almost like they had no employees at all.

* Buried deep within this Chicago Tribune story entitled “As migrants clash near high-volume shelters, neighbors and businesses grow alarmed: ‘We don’t feel safe’”

(C)rime stats don’t show a marked difference in and around the areas of high-volume shelters from prior years


* Crain’s

For the third month in a row, home prices grew faster in the Chicago area than in any other major U.S. metro area, according to new data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released this morning. Chicago-area single-family home values rose 4.4% in July compared with the same time last year.

The report echoes one that came from Illinois Realtors last week, showing that Chicago-area home prices are growing at twice the speed of the nation’s. The two reports differ on their timeframe and type of measurement — today’s is an index, while last week’s is a simple mathematical calculation — but the message is similar: Home prices in Chicago are growing fast compared to other big cities.

Chicago had the strongest price growth among 20 major U.S. metros that the Case-Shiller Indices track. Chicago first took the top spot in the index’s report for the month of May, which was released in late July.

* Crain’s

A New York real estate firm is betting $50 million that two of its downtown Chicago office buildings can win over tenants at one of the toughest times on record for landlords.

AmTrust Realty announced it will pour the new equity into renovations at its 41-story office tower at 1 E. Wacker Drive and 25-story building at 33 N. Dearborn St., two of seven office buildings the firm owns in the heart of the city. The investment is a long-delayed first part of a $100 million plan that AmTrust laid out nearly two years ago to reinvest in its local portfolio.

* Letter to the editor…

As President of the Pope County Historical Society, I’d like to address the recent article by Capitol News Illinois regarding Governor Pritzker’s expanding cultural protections for Native Americans and Mandating History Lessons. Our historical society applauds this action especially since our county seat, Golconda, was the first stop where the Cherokee crossed into Illinois on their Trail of Tears. As you know, our history and treatment of our Native American brothers and sisters was not always positive, but this is a step in the right direction to healing that relationship.

I would like to address the Governor’s reference to the significance of the Buel House in his remarks. He is correct that this historic property is rich in history for Native American Nations, the State of Illinois, and our community. Yet, since 1996, we have pleaded for funding to maintain and repair this historic landmark. The building is in disrepair and getting worse with every weather event. At one time, the Buel House was also an important part of education for schools and visitors alike to learn about our local history and the Trail of Tears.

We respectfully ask Governor Pritzker to authorize funding for the repair of this historic site and open the Buel House to the public, again. This will be another important step in expanding cultural awareness and honor to Native Americans while preserving a piece of local history and tourism.


Charles Cossey, President
Pope County Historical Society

* Press release…

This week, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that over 24,000 young people were employed through the One Summer Chicago (OSC) program during the summer of 2023, representing a 19% increase from the previous year. The OSC program is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, City Colleges of Chicago, community-based organizations, corporate partners, and local companies to offer employment and internship opportunities to young people ages 14 to 24.  

“The data from this summer is an encouraging start and a tremendous step forward for youth in our city,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “My administration is committed to investing in our young people, and I am pleased that we were able to reach over 24,000 of them in the first few months of my administration. In the years ahead, we will continue bringing together our City partners, business partners, community organizations, faith, labor and all other stakeholders to significantly expand these programs to create pathways for our young people to thrive, during the summer and beyond.”

The OSC program consists of three interconnected programs:  

    1. Chicago Youth Service Corps (CYSC): Employs youth ages 16-24 year-round through programming focused on leadership development and local/civic engagement.
    2. Chicagobility: Employs youth ages 14-15 through project-based learning and skill-building experiences.  
    3. Summer Youth Employment Program: Employs youth ages 16-24 through job placement or training programs to provide work experiences and develop skills for career pathways.  

The total number of participants in this summer’s program marks an increase of over 4,000 young people in comparison to last year’s total. Of the participants engaged in this summer’s programs, 1,771 youth have disabilities, 13,903 are attending Level 2, Level 3, or Option schools, 2,698 are English as a Second Language Learners, 755 are young people who are experiencing homelessness or are unstably housed, 233 are in the foster care system, 219 are justice-involved, and 2,494 are youth who are out of school and out of work. Across all OSC partners, youth completed 2.43 million hours of work experience and project-based learning. Youth earned over $33.9 million in wages.  

* Heh

Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward) violated the First Amendment by blocking six critics from his official Facebook page in 2021, and now faces a trial to determine whether he should pay those critics damages, a federal judge ruled Monday. […]

In response to a request for comment from WTTW News via text message, Gardiner initially responded with a phone call before saying he had called back by mistake “after hitting the wrong button.” He hung up without comment.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…

    * WCIA | Central Illinois counties continue navigating end of cash bail one week after new system takes effect: “We’ve had a slight headcount drop in our jail, we’re down about 295 this morning, which is down about 10 from our average over the last month or so,” Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said. “That’s kind of what we expected.” Campbell said they’ve had about 50 people behind bars ask for their cases to be considered under the new system. Of those 50, nine have had hearings but none of them have been released.

    * WCIA | Scherer calls for drastic measure to crack down on Blue Cross Blue Shield: Scherer and representatives from Springfield Clinic count 92 of the clinic’s doctors that remain on the Blue Cross Blue Shield directory, despite the clinic and the health insurance company splitting more than a year and a half ago. Scherer wants the Department of Insurance to stop Blue Cross Blue Shield from taking on any new clients until they fix the issue.

    * WICS | Forever chemicals found in several Illinois drinking water locations: IEPA put together a study from 2020-2022 that sampled drinking water throughout the state of Illinois. Among those areas, these chemicals showed some kind of detection in Decatur, Lincoln, Athens, and Peoria. According to the most recent study in August of 2023 by the Environmental Working Group, chemicals were detected in several Illinois locations including Macoupin and Christian counties.

    * Sen. Patrick Joyce | Joyce: New energy in 40th Senate District from battery plant announcement: With production beginning next year, Gotion will build state-of-the-art electric vehicle batteries at the new plant. That will help meet the expected demand for electric vehicles across the country, with a focus on lithium-ion battery cells, battery packs, and energy storage system integration. The state of Illinois will fund a new manufacturing training academy near the plant site, and award grants to workforce providers to expand training and prepare employees for their new jobs at the plant directly from our region. This historic investment will create more than 2,6000 new jobs in Manteno.

    * WICS | Champaign and Vermilion counties receive over $800,000 for local revitalization efforts: The Illinois Housing Development Authority recently approved $19 million to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts across Illinois. Awarded under the Strong Communities Program, the initiative will provide funding to 68 units of local governments and land bank authorities for the acquisition, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of abandoned residential properties in their communities.

    * Farm Week | Summer farm visits strengthen rural, urban ties: Heading into fall veto session, state Rep. Mary Beth Canty plans to look for ways to address rural fire protection staffing shortages and maternal care deserts after her experience with Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt-A-Legislator® program. Canty, D-Arlington Heights, who was “adopted” by the Bureau County Farm Bureau, recently spent the day in Bureau County, touring ag facilities, driving a tractor, meeting FFA students, discussing rural EMT services and touring a grocery store to talk about combating food deserts in rural communities. She was joined by Cook County Farm Bureau and state Sen. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City.

    * Rockford Register Star | Freeport sales tax proposal falls short again: The city is a seeking a sales tax increase to raise money to help fix the city’s roads. The council rejected a proposed 1% sales tax hike last week. Aldermen James Monroe and Don Parker proposed a .75% sales tax increase instead and asked for a special council meeting to vote on it.

    * JG-TC | EIU’s Burge a co-lead on largest-of-its-kind national religious research project: Last month, Eastern Illinois University launched a new project titled “Making Meaning in a Post-Religious America,” led by political science professor Ryan Burge and independent scholar Tony Jones. The Making Meaning Project will complete the largest-ever survey of Americans who are not religiously affiliated. The results of that survey will then guide Burge, Jones, and other team members in studying how these American ‘nones’ explore, identify, and embrace meaning, purpose, and transcendence in their daily and collective lives.

    * Chicago Mag | Glenn Poshard: Let’s Emphasize Commonalities Between Chicago and Downstate: Glenn Poshard is one of the great “what ifs” of Illinois politics. If Poshard had won his race for governor in 1998, the state would have been spared the leadership — and the prison terms — of George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. (“I wouldn’t have gone to jail,” Poshard once said.) As Poshard relates in his new memoir Son of Southern Illinois, written with journalist Carl Walworth, he lost that race because he was pro-life on abortion — not a position a Democratic nominee for governor would take today. Poshard swept his native Southern Illinois, but lost the collar counties, and even some socially progressive lakefront wards in Chicago — not an electoral map a Democratic candidate for governor would produce today. We talked to Poshard about the politics of abortion, and what the Democrats can do to win back Southern Illinois.

    * Chicago Reader | Dying while in the county’s care: Tyler Spratt was among 15 people who’ve died this year while detained at the jail. Loved ones of those who lost their lives and advocates who work with people imprisoned in the jail tell the Reader they’ve largely been kept in the dark. In some cases, they say investigations dragged on for months with little or no communication. In others, they say jail officials waited hours before telling them their loved ones had died. And above all, they say there’s no public accountability for the violence and death meted out behind bars.

    * News-Gazette | Five new drones give UI police eyes in the sky: “People think that if law enforcement gets these, there’s going to be clouds of drones hovering over us and always looking at us and watching what we’re doing. That’s not the case,” Lt. Robert Benoit said. “We don’t have the ability, manpower or resources to constantly fly these things just to watch people.” At large events, the drones can be used to monitor traffic patterns and keep an eye out for disturbances in crowds, but even then, they must primarily stick to the edges.

    * Block Club | ‘Merch Cuts’ In Chicago? Outcry Sparks Closer Look Into Venues Taking A Cut Of A Band’s Merchandise Sales: Earlier this month, punk musician Jeff Rosenstock derided the practice in a Twitter thread, and shared a spreadsheet of which venues on his upcoming tour required him to fork over part of his merch profits. […] Then last week, indie musician Tomberlin shared her experience online about being asked to pay 30 percent of t-shirt profits to a venue outside Washington, D.C., where the singer-songwriter opened for Ray LaMontagne.

    * The Southern | The little high school that could: Cobden continues to rack up wins: The small-town school, deep in southwestern Illinois, has faced several challenges over the years, but one of the most recent and the biggest was seeing their historic gym condemned — no more cheering fans filling it to its 800 capacity.

    * Miami Herald | Florida now leads the country in book bans, new PEN report says. How did that happen?: The nonprofit, which advocates for freedom of expression, recorded 3,362 instances of bans in public school classrooms and libraries from July 2022 to June 2023 across the country. Out of these, about 1,400 — or 40% of the national total — took place in Florida.

    * AP | New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?: Roadway deaths in the U.S. are mounting despite government test data showing vehicles have been getting safer. While the number of all car-related fatalities has trended upward over the last decade, pedestrians and cyclists have seen the sharpest rise: over 60% between 2011 and 2022. It coincides with a steep increase in sales of SUVs, pickup trucks and vans, which accounted for 78% of new U.S. vehicle sales in 2022.

    * Bloomberg | Mansueto turns to Messi to boost his struggling bet on the Chicago Fire: From free tickets to see superstar Lionel Messi to synchronized LED bracelets, billionaire Joe Mansueto is pulling all the stops to boost his struggling, multimillion-dollar bet on Chicago soccer. Mansueto’s Major League Soccer team, the Chicago Fire, is counting on an upcoming match against Messi’s Inter Miami to help break with years of stagnant valuations for the club and some of the lowest attendance rates in the US league.


Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The setup

But when it comes to political campaigns and politics, the misuse of artificial intelligence could threaten our very democracy.

“Deepfakes” use AI to create images, sound clips and videos that appear very real but are simply manufactured. They aren’t the Photoshop photos that swap out one person’s face for another in a photo, but technology that can take anyone’s likeness and voice and create virtually any video the creator wants.

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, which would ban the distribution of “materially deceptive” AI-generated political ads relating to federal candidates or certain issues that seek to influence a federal election or fundraise.

It’s a good start but doesn’t go far enough. AI has become easy to use and available to anyone, including state and local politicians and their staff.

Congress should require any political ad or politically related content that uses AI to be clearly labeled as being AI generated, whether they are deceptive or not.

* The Question: Should the Illinois legislature vote to require any political ad that uses AI to be clearly labeled as being AI generated? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


*** UPDATED x1 *** After calling on Al Franken, Mike Madigan and Mary Miller to resign, Duckworth remains silent on Menendez

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

*** UPDATE *** Sun-Times…

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* We did a similar post on Sen. Durbin yesterday. Now it’s Sen. Duckworth’s turn. December of 2017

Both of Illinois’ Democratic senators on Wednesday joined the list of lawmakers calling on U.S. Sen. Al Franken to quit. […]

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, in a statement Wednesday afternoon, said she was “deeply disappointed” by the Minnesota senator’s behavior.

“I am deeply disappointed by Sen. Franken’s behavior. He must step aside,” she said. “To all those across America who have come forward to share their stories over the past few months: thank you. Your courage and strength in driving this long-overdue national conversation is awe-inspiring.”

* November of 2020

Hours later, Sen. Tammy Duckworth echoed Durbin’s and Pritzker’s concerns — and took it a step further — in calling for Madigan to step down from his two leadership roles, party chair and House speaker.

Illinois’ junior U.S. senator said the federal investigation swirling around the Southwest Side Democrat is an “unnecessary distraction” and the party should “consider new leadership.”

* January of 2021

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today is calling for the resignation of U.S. Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL-15) after Miller said at a rally yesterday that “Hitler was right on one thing” in reference to the genocidal Nazi leader’s influence on youths.

“It is absolutely repugnant, obscene and unacceptable for any American – let alone a supposed ‘leader’ serving in Congress – to claim Adolf Hitler was right about anything,” Duckworth said. “To say that the perpetrator of the worst genocide in world history should be a model for any type of behavior, much less the indoctrination of children with hatred, racism and fascist ideals, is disqualifying for an American elected official. I cannot condemn in harsher terms Mary Miller’s despicable comments in the run-up to yesterday’s coup attempt, and I call on her to resign immediately so that someone who better understands the sacrifices our brave service members made during World War II can more effectively represent our state.”

* Today

Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown joined a growing number of Democrats calling for a member of their own party, New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, to resign.

“Senator Menendez has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate,” said Brown, a Democrat from Cleveland, in a one-sentence statement Monday.

A federal grand jury in New York on Friday indicted Menendez on charges of corruption, alleging he and his wife accepted bribes of cash, gold, mortgage payments and a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for enriching the Egyptian government. Menendez has said he will be exonerated. […]

At least seven Senate Democrats have called for Menendez resignation by noon on Tuesday. In addition to Brown and [John] Fetterman, the others include Sens. Liz Warren of Massachusetts; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Peter Welch of Vermont; Jon Tester of Montana; and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Sens. Ed Markey and Mazie Hirono have since called on Menendez to resign.

* I have reached out to Sen. Duckworth’s office twice today about why she hasn’t yet called for Sen. Menendez to resign. I’ve heard nothing back.



Fittin’ to get ready

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Analysis paralysis is, indeed, all too real and, unfortunately, not confined to transit or Chicago…

We plan ourselves to death and then make more plans for the funeral. /s


Better late than never: NIU student paper apologizes for spreading (and plagiarizing) 1969 ‘Paul is dead’ rumor

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From a Northern Star article in September of 2014

The ghost of Paul McCartney may one day haunt — or maybe it’s already haunting — the Northern Star office.

Rumors of McCartney’s death began in 1966 after the Beatles’ bassist was supposedly in a fatal accident and was replaced by a lookalike. Several journalists, including the Star’s Barb Ulvilden, wrote about the rumors in September 1969, causing international controversy. The rumors spread to the point that Life magazine sent reporters to Scotland to interview and take a photo of McCartney.

Ulvilden’s column, which was published 45 years ago today, spiked popularity about the topic and has been cited by conspiracy theorists and authors when perpetuating the urban legend.

Ulvilden’s column describe how the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” featured a left-handed guitar (McCartney was the only lefty in the band) on a grave in front of the Beatles. She also said three of The Beatles attended a Bob Dylan concert but “Paul was conspicuously absent” and playing “Revolution 9” allowed listeners to hear someone saying, “Turn on, dead man.”

It was “Turn me on, dead man,” but whatevs.

* From a Northern Star editorial a couple of days ago

The Northern Star Editorial Board would like to sincerely apologize to Paul McCartney, a musical icon, for our false Sept. 23, 1969, print issue that unethically speculated that he was dead.

In 2004, the Star finally decided to yield to the truth that McCartney is not dead in an article covering the sordid history of the “Paul is dead” rumors.

However, it has recently come to light that our infamous 1969 article was plagiarized from a Times-Delphic article written a week prior to our article. The Times-Delphic is the student-run newspaper of Drake University.

To the Times-Delphic, we sincerely apologize for plagiarizing your journalistic efforts.

With our 1969 publication, we helped support the untrue, international conspiracy theory that McCartney had been replaced by a lookalike. For that, the Northern Star would like to apologize – even if it comes 54 years late.

We understand the annoyance that McCartney reported in multiple interviews regarding the rumor. We truly apologize for our contribution to supporting an unfounded conspiracy theory.


Circus comes to town

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times

Chicago Democrats on Monday lambasted Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee for planning a crime forum in Chicago on Tuesday, rather than working to avoid a federal government shutdown.

Republican members of the committee plan to blame Chicago’s violent crime on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and what they say are her “pro-crime and anti-victim policies” at the forum Tuesday at the city’s Fraternal Order of Police office on the Near West Side, according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s office.

Jordan went on social media Monday to criticize Chicago’s handling of violent crime, writing on the platform X that a string of armed robberies in Chicago is “what happens when Democrats run your city.” In another post, he wrote, “30 shot. 3 killed. One weekend. Democrat-run Chicago.” […]

Legislation that funds the federal government expires this weekend. Without intervention from lawmakers, the government will shut down Sunday. Federal agencies would have to stop all nonessential work, and would not be able to issue paychecks as long as the shutdown lasts. The impact would hit roughly 2 million military personnel and more than 2 million civilian workers across the nation.

Jordan isn’t looking for ideas to make things better. He’s coming here to troll Chicago. That’s it. Don’t fall for the goofy “smackdown” hype promoted elsewhere. It’ll be forgotten as soon as he leaves town.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a story from Isabel

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

  Comments Off      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

  Comments Off      

Open thread

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* What’s going on? Keep it Illinois-centric please…


Isabel’s morning briefing

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * WBEZ | Chicago’s migrant crisis tied to U.S. foreign policy: First of all, you have the inability of the local governments to deal with what is essentially a federal problem: The Congress and the federal government, since 2006, have been unable to reach a new immigration policy for the United States. […] For instance, as many Ukrainians roughly have come to the United States in the last couple of years, as have Venezuelans. There is no narrative in the media that the Ukrainians are creating a crisis. Why not? Because the government is quietly integrating them into the society, giving them work permits, giving them social benefits, and they’re in essence melting into the U.S. population. There are more Ukrainians that have come to Chicago in the last year than Venezuelans. But somehow we see the Venezuelans in the police precincts, we see them in the shelters, we see the government claiming it has no ability to deal with them.

    * Tribune | As migrants clash near high-volume shelters, neighbors and businesses grow alarmed: ‘We don’t feel safe’: With the city buckling under the growing number of migrants — 12 buses carrying 560 more asylum hopefuls arrived this weekend — and no sign of the influx slowing down, tensions among migrants, residents and business owners are reaching a boiling point. The neighbors say they’ve witnessed frequent fights, loitering and other misconduct.

    * Crain’s | Manteno battery plant is first coup in Illinois EV ambitions: The auto industry is set to make a massive and abrupt shift to battery-powered vehicles over the next decade. Any state with a piece of the auto industry has to make that shift, too. In the past two years, companies have announced plans to invest roughly $140 billion in EV and battery plants, compared with $20 billion in the previous two years, estimates Dave Gohlke, an energy and environmental analyst at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont.

    * WTAX | State legislators turn to Illinois Dept. of Insurance in BCBS/Springfield Clinic standoff: The standoff between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Springfield Clinic continues, and now state legislators are getting involved. Springfield Clinic’s Chief Brand and Advocacy Officer Zack Kerker, appearing on the WTAX Morning Newswatch, says Illinois Senators Doris Turner and Steve McClure and Representatives Sue Scherer and Mike Coffey sent a request to the Illinois Department of Insurance asking the government to do more. He adds that Scherer and Turner have asked the IDOI to consider stopping the sale of the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan.

    * WTTW | Federal Judge: Ald. Jim Gardiner Violated First Amendment by Blocking Critics from Official Facebook Page: “The record is clear that Gardiner engaged in both content-based and speaker-based restrictions on his Facebook page, according to the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. “He deleted and hid comments from disfavored constituents voicing opposing political beliefs and even went as far as to block some of those constituents. The Court thus finds Gardiner in violation of the First Amendment.”

    * Daily Herald | Where local members of Congress went on lobbyist-funded trips: Six members of the congressional delegation serving the North, West and Northwest suburbs took trips abroad last year funded by special interest groups, federal documents show. Destinations included Honduras, Israel, Spain and Egypt. The hosts included groups that oppose U.S. activities in Central America, two that promote pro-Jewish policies in Congress and others focused on different domestic and global issues.

    * Daily Herald | Duckworth has earned more than $1.6 million from memoir sales, documents show: Last year alone, the book — titled “Every Day Is a Gift: A Memoir” — netted Duckworth $462,500 in royalties — more than double the $174,000 annual salary she receives as a senator. The income was detailed in Duckworth’s latest annual financial disclosure report, which she filed with the Senate in early August. Illinois’ other senator, Springfield Democrat Dick Durbin, disclosed he owns stock in Pfizer — the pharmaceutical giant that makes a COVID-19 vaccine, Viagra and other popular drugs — and has money in mutual funds, retirement accounts and other types of investments.

    * WTAX | Dillard: GOP is right of me: Out of the Capitol for more than eight years, former longtime State Sen. Kirk Dillard doesn’t miss the process. “It’s a people business to be in politics and government, and I miss my colleagues,” said Dillard during a visit to Springfield last week. But today’s Republican Party, particularly in Illinois, may not have room for a moderate such as he.

    * BGA | Growth of “Finance General” Category in Chicago’s Budgets Obscures Departmental Costs; Reflects Rising Pension and Borrowing Expenses: As they are each year, these hearings are designed to hold each department accountable for its budgeted expenditures. But one pot of city money isn’t held to the same scrutiny: a catch-all category called “finance general” for budgeted expenditures not assigned to a specific department. A Better Government Association policy team analysis has found that over the past three administrations, an increasing number of appropriation items has been added to this category, significantly growing the portion of the city budget without direct departmental accountability from about one-third to nearly half of the overall city budget.

    * Sun-Times | Democrats blast House Republicans for planned forum on Chicago crime instead of working to avert a government shutdown: Foxx — who is not seeking reelection — told the Sun-Times Jordan is coming to Chicago rather than fulfilling his obligations to his constituents as the nation is on the verge of a “Republican sponsored government shutdown.” She also took aim at Chicago FOP President John Catanzara, who last year apologized for comments he initially made in defense of Jan. 6 insurrectionists. […] Speaking at Ald. Emma Mitts’ West Side office, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., called the GOP forum “unbelievable” and a distraction from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s struggles to gather enough votes to pass a short-term spending plan.

    * Tribune | Even as Chicago Bears open season with losses, Arlington Heights Village Board working to bring stadium to suburb: Trustees identified nine strategic priorities for the village over the next two years during a goal-setting session late last month. That was used by village staff to help create the 2024-2025 strategic priority list that was presented for approval at the Sept. 5 Village Board meeting.

    * Sun-Times | As Red Line extension advances, a cheaper way hides in plain sight: “The oft-stated goal of the Red Line extension is to do right by the underserved residents of the Far South Side. At some point the realization ought to have dawned: There’s already a railroad down here!” Zotti wrote. “We don’t have to build another one! We could massively improve service without waiting 20 years!”

    * The Climate Brink | Visualizing a summer of extremes in 7 charts: Global surface temperatures have dramatically spiked since the start of June, with the past four months (June-September) breaking prior monthly records by a large margin. This extreme global heat has made it virtually certain that 2023 will rank as the warmest year on record, and means that there is a chance it will emerge as the first year exceeding 1.5C above preindustrial levels – at least in some datasets.

    * NYT | America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow: Groundwater loss is hurting breadbasket states like Kansas, where the major aquifer beneath 2.6 million acres of land can no longer support industrial-scale agriculture. Corn yields have plummeted. If that decline were to spread, it could threaten America’s status as a food superpower. Fifteen hundred miles to the east, in New York State, overpumping is threatening drinking-water wells on Long Island, birthplace of the modern American suburb and home to working class towns as well as the Hamptons and their beachfront mansions.

    * NYT | ‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.: Along a parched stretch of La Salle County, Texas, workers last year dug some 700 feet deep into the ground, seeking freshwater. Millions of gallons of it. The water wouldn’t supply homes or irrigate farms. It was being used by the petroleum giant BP to frack for fossil fuels. The water would be mixed with sand and toxic chemicals and pumped right back underground — forcing oil and gas from the bedrock.

    * Crain’s | Mayors press Congress for big expansion of affordable housing tax credits: Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and several other local and state leaders are urging Congress to pass legislation that would turbocharge a tax credit that spurs affordable housing development nationwide. They say changes in the tax credit program could lead to an additional 2 million affordable rental units coming online nationwide in the next decade, on top of the roughly 1.25 million units that would get built without the changes.

    * AP | Joe Biden will join the UAW strike picket line. Experts can’t recall the last time a president did that: Biden’s trip to join a picket line in the suburbs of Detroit is the most significant demonstration of his pro-union bona fides, a record that includes vocal support for unionization efforts at facilities and executive actions that promoted worker organizing. He also earned a joint endorsement of the major unions earlier this year and has avoided southern California for high-dollar fundraisers amid the writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood.

    * Crain’s | Instant Pot and Pyrex maker draws interest from Citadel, Centre Lane: Citadel has offered to purchase loan holdings from existing lenders at around 7 cents on the dollar, said the people who asked not to be named because the details of the matter are private. It’s asking those who don’t want to sell to team up in a potential bid for certain assets, such as the housewares business, some of the people said. That would allow lenders to use debt they’re owed toward purchasing the company’s assets out of bankruptcy.

    * WAND | Illinois’ first lady to speak at Lincoln Presidential Library about Gov.’s mansion: The first lady will share stories about some of the mansion’s renowned residents and visitors – including Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt – and explain how the building has changed with the culture and style of the times.

    * The Atlantic | Lincoln’s Lessons: It’s not that he greatly changed his critics’ beliefs, nor that they greatly changed his. Rather, he learned how to make his beliefs actionable.


Live coverage

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ScribbleLive is still down. Twitter has stopped allowing people to embed list feeds on websites. So, click here or here to follow breaking news.


* Even Taylor Swift has her limits
* Afternoon roundup
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** After calling on Al Franken, Mike Madigan and Mary Miller to resign, Duckworth remains silent on Menendez
* Fittin' to get ready
* Better late than never: NIU student paper apologizes for spreading (and plagiarizing) 1969 'Paul is dead' rumor
* Circus comes to town
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition and a story from Isabel
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...




Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller