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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Sep 11, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * WVIK | Meisel: Mapes Trial Offers Rare Window into How Illinois Government Operates: Hannah Meisel, government and politics reporter for Capitol News Illinois, discusses the recent trial of top Madigan aide Tim Mapes, what the outcome means for Madigan’s upcoming trial, and why the legal proceedings are important for the state and residents.

    * Tribune | ‘Black and brown tension’ evident in Democratic contest for Illinois Supreme Court seat: The brewing battle over one of Cook County’s three seats on the Supreme Court, where Democrats hold a 5-2 majority over Republicans, comes as the county’s Latino population is on the rise and the Black population is declining. It also is yet another example of long-simmering tensions between two key blocs within the Democratic coalition — divisions that historically have been stoked by white politicians to keep either group from gaining too much power or influence.

    * Daily-Journal | Walters running for 79th seat: ntering her 10th and final year as the Kankakee schools superintendent, Genevra Walters was not necessarily looking for something to do when the 2023-24 school year concludes. […] Walters, 54, announced her plans late this week to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 79th Illinois House District, which includes much of Kankakee County as well as portions of Will, Cook and Grundy.

    * WLPO | Local GOP member running for 76th District: A local resident and former GOP Deputy State Central Committeewoman wants to serve in Springfield. According to a release, Liz Bishop of La Salle is running as a Republican to represent the 76th District. Bishop has served as a Republican Precinct Committeewoman and aims to turn the district seat “red” after Representative Lance Yednock’s decision to retire.

    * Vermilion County First | Former State Representative Bill Black Dead at 81: Black is survived by his wife, Sharon, and two children. When he announced he would not be seeking re-election to his House seat in 2010 he said he wanted to spend more time with his family, including his grandchildren. Black had served in the House since 1986.

    * Effingham Daily News | Darren Bailey talks pro-life during Effingham visit: Bailey traveled to El Shaddai Homes in Effingham Sunday for the grand opening fundraiser of the new maternity home that will provide pregnant women and new mothers in need a safe place to stay. Bailey led a prayer during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the maternity home during which he praised El Shaddai Homes for providing women in the area with an alternative to abortion.

    * WSPY | State Rep. wants an open door policy in Springfield: With the conviction of former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s former chief of staff Tim Mapes for lying to a grand jury, Newark State Rep. Jed Davis thinks it’s time for an open door policy in Springfield.

    * Center Square | Ending cash bail could bring ‘chaos,’ increased taxpayer costs, opponents warn: ACLU of Illinois Director of Criminal Justice Policy Benjamin Ruddell advocates for the policy. He says people are innocent until proven guilty and shouldn’t languish in a jail awaiting trial because they can’t afford to get out. Judges will still have discretion about who should remain behind bars pending trial, he said.

    * Sun-Times | Big Democratic convention preview in Chicago this week, VP Kamala Harris to talk to top donors: On Tuesday, the party’s Convention Committee is hosting an event for the state and territory Democratic Party chairs and their executive directors. Democratic convention planners have already assigned hotels to each delegation.

    * Bloomberg | UAW’s Stellantis chief ‘optimistic’ about rebooting Belvidere plant: Boyer said he remains “optimistic” he can hammer out an agreement with Stellantis to place new product at its Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant, which was idled earlier this year. The company offered to transfer the 1,300 workers who lost their jobs as a result. “It’s coming soon,” he said of a deal for the Illinois plant. “The minute I lock that in, which I think will know soon, I’ll scream from the top of the heavens,” Boyer said by phone Friday.

    * Muddy River News | Adams County GOP chair: Congresswoman Miller could “take some lessons” from LaHood, Bost: Adams County Republican Central Committee Chairman Dave Bockhold also supported Davis over Miller and he sent an e-mail to party faithful this week that linked a Tom Kacich column in the Champaign News-Gazette that called out Miller for not bringing home the 15th District’s share of tax dollars.

    * Crain’s | Where will mandated nursing home staff come from?: Newly proposed federal staffing minimums for nursing homes won’t impact Illinois right away. Predictably, unions are already praising the move while the state long-term care association cries “unfunded mandate!”The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued long-awaited proposed mandates last week. CMS estimated that approximately three-quarters of the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding would have to hire more nurses and certified nursing assistants to comply with the rule, Crain’s sister site Modern Healthcare reports.

    * Shaw Local | Criminal trial to begin Monday for former DCFS case manager, supervisor assigned to AJ Freund case: Carlos Acosta, 57, of Woodstock, and Andrew Polovin, 51, of Island Lake, each are charged with two counts of endangering the life of a child and health of a minor, Class 3 felonies, and one count of reckless conduct, a Class 4 felony, related to their handling of the AJ Freund case. If convicted on the more serious Class 3 felony, they each face between two and five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. The offenses also are probational.

    * AP | As sports betting spikes, help for problem gamblers expands in some states: Illinois approved sports betting in 2019 as part of a gambling expansion bill. Lawmakers had planned to require gamblers to register in person at a casino before placing their bets online, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker waived that requirement because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pritzker’s office estimated that gambling could bring in more than $100 million annually, which could be allocated for statewide capital projects.

    * WaPo | 7 state flags still have designs with ties to the Confederacy: Amid the racial justice protests of 2020, when Confederate statues all over the country toppled, Mississippi became the last state to remove the Confederate battle flag from its state flag. It was a moment of reckoning for the Lost Cause mythology about the Civil War that dominated much of the 20th century, but for visual artist Jason Patterson, the work is not done. Patterson, a 38-year-old Black man whose art focuses on African American history, is a self-professed “flag nerd” (more formally, a “vexillophile”), and his obsession with flags has taught him something few Americans realize: A number of state flags still commemorate — in ways both obvious and oblique — the bloody attempt to create a permanent slave society.

    * Shaw Local | Yorkville School District Y115 board removes book from high school English course: Students in Yorkville High School’s English II Rhetorical Analysis class will not be using the book “Just Mercy” as part of their coursework after all. The Yorkville school board has reversed its decision to allow teachers to use the book as an anchor text for the class.

    * SJ-R | Lincoln Library trustees defer on endorsement of Harrison for director: The trustees of Springfield’s Lincoln Library declined to provide an endorsement for director appointee Gwendolyn Harrison prior to Tuesday’s city council committee of the whole meeting. The decision could slow down an eventual vote on Harrison’s appointment to the position.

    * Tribune | Chicago Bears’ search for new stadium continues as a new season begins — with roadblocks in all directions: On Friday, Johnson said the city needs to be more restrictive about using public dollars to subsidize private developments such as potentially, new sports stadiums. Johnson did not rule out public-private economic development but said the city does not have the type of capital available to “ignite” mega-developments.

    * Daily Herald | ‘A horrible hoax’: School swatting takes phony threats to a new, emotional, costly level: Students were just arriving for school when the call came in at Dundee-Crown High School. The male caller, who also contacted Carpentersville village hall, said he was at the school and planned to start shooting. […] By 11:30 a.m., Carpentersville police had cleared the building and confirmed the school was the victim of a swatting call that appeared to have come from an out-of-state number with no ties to Dundee-Crown.


  1. - ??? - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 7:50 am:

    Saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Black. Great man.

  2. - Oldtimer - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 8:16 am:

    Hopefully there will be a Bill Black posting this morning. One of the all-time best.

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 8:59 am:

    I am very, very sad to hear of the passing of Leader Bill Black. My condolences to his family, friends, constituents, and colleagues past.

    He was a staunch and fierce advocate and spokesperson for his party. When Bill Black rose to speak on the floor, he had most everyone’s attention. And unlike the worn-out vaudeville routine of Bruce Rauner and others, when Bill Black talked of being a “simple country gentleman” or “the shade tree mechanics in my district,” we all chuckled a little with him, not at him. He stood up, stood his ground, made his points, did it with the utmost of civility, and moved on.

    But it was his great spirit of bipartisanship, so evident even in a party leader, that most set Bill Black apart.

    Bill Black fought tirelessly for fair and full funding for downstate schools, often putting himself at odds with entrenched suburban interests within his own party. And working hand-in-hand with Democrats who shared his goals.

    When Madigan was elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, Leader Black rose to congratulate him on the floor, showering him with lauditory praise, calling him “the most powerful Democrat in Illinois” as I recall. Amdor can tell me if I am wrong.

    When State Rep. Connie Howard passed her landmark expungement bill by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, laying the groundwork for future criminal justice reforms including the SAFE-T Act, Leader Black came over afterward and apologized to her that someone had voted No on his switch while he was away from his chair, and praised the bill.

    I am sure those who were lucky enough to work with him regularly have their own stories to tell. I saw only a slimmer of the man, and what I saw was greatness.

    Black believed in, nurtured, and protected the institution of the Illinois House of Representatives, as “the people’s House,” where real democracy happens. He would occasionally refer to the Illinois Senate as the “House of Lords” if they attempted to assert authority or dominion over the House, and likewise crossed swords with governors of either party when they attempted to tilt the balance of power between the co-equal branches.

    I think his advocacy for the House of Representatives sprang not from some lofty constitutional convictions, but from a deep, true love of the people he represented, in all their diversity.

    But as a pragmatist in both lawmaking and politics, he also seemed to understand that democracy demands bipartisanship to get big things done. And that true bipartisanship requires people on both sides of the aisle who are joined by the bonds of trust, shared values, and the shared goal of advancing the common good of the state.

    I have known many great Republicans, but Bill Black was among the very best in my eyes.

  4. - ??? - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 9:39 am:

    Yellow Dog, thank you for sharing those stories. I worked on House GOP staff in the early 90s, and while no specific stories are coming to mind right now, I will always remember how kind and respectful he was to the staff. We all had dealt with our share of arrogant, rude legislators, but he was definitely not one of them.

    They don’t make ‘em like Bill Black anymore, and we are worse off for it.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    My hope is there will be a Bill Black post.

    Thanks to all already sharing, your words, they are special and welcoming to read as we all are thinking of Bill Black.

  6. - H-W - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 9:48 am:

    Re: Effingham News on Bailey

    === will provide pregnant women and new mothers in need a safe place to stay ===

    What does that even mean? Unless this is a traditional domestic violence shelter, or we are talking about teenage girls being forced to have abortions by ogre parents, I am having troubles figuring out why pregnant women are in need of a safe place to stay.

  7. - Gravitas - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 9:51 am:

    On the issue of state flags, one could just as easily argue that the flags in question also have ties to Scotland. The St. Andrew’s Cross (the familiar “X” shape found in so many flags) was that of the patron saint of the Scots. Many Southern states and the Confederacy adopted this symbol when creating their flags.

    There are still older buildings where swastika shapes are a part of the decorative tile pattern found in many restrooms. In other buildings, bricks used the same design. It is an archaic practice, but should these tile floors be removed because the Nazis adopted the swastika emblem?

  8. - clec dcn - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    I am not Darren Bailey fan, but I do agree with his stance and actions on abortion. He is there supporting groups that would like to see all children has the chance for life.

  9. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    re the Supreme Court race, one key is to pick a candidate whose intellect is respected. That’s gonna shine through as this primary race continues.

  10. - Big Dipper - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==Ending cash bail could bring ‘chaos,’ increased taxpayer costs, opponents warn==

    Chicken Littles can see potential chaos in anything.

  11. - SAP - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 12:31 pm:

    Bill Black was a true gentleman. I am sorry to learn of his passing. Condolences to the Black family.

  12. - Stix Hix - Monday, Sep 11, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    Thank you for calling attention to the controversy over the book “Just Mercy”. I subbed today in our HS library, pulled it off the shelf, and just finished reading the young adult version. I am mystified by any objection to it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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