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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Mar 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Progress report? Election brings mix of cheers and tears for Chicago progressives. Sun-Times

    -In a low-turnout election with thousands of mail ballots that could still be counted, Johnson’s prized “Bring Chicago Home” referendum appears headed for rejection.
    -The CTU-backed Clayton Harris III is narrowly trailing Eileen O’Neill Burke in the still undecided Cook County state’s attorney’s race.
    -Graciela Guzmán knocked out appointed incumbent Natalie Toro with a $2.5 million campaign fund in the 20th District state Senate seat.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

* Tahman Bradley



* Here’s the rest…

    * Capitol News Illinois | For the most part, incumbents beat back challengers amid low primary turnout: Although final numbers won’t be known for several more days, preliminary returns from many of the state’s larger counties showed turnout hovering in the range of 20-25 percent. That compares to a statewide average of 47 percent in 2016, when the White House was an open race, and 28 percent during the pandemic-impacted primaries in 2020.

    * ABC Chicago | Correcting Stateville Correction Center’s critical problems: ‘Decrepit, unsafe, and inhumane’: “It was a little disappointing to hear only rebuilding without any closures announced, given the state of the system,” said Jennifer Vollen-Katz, the Executive Director of the John Howard Association “Our [prison] population is under 30,000. We have a prison system that can hold over 42,000 individuals.”

    * Tribune | Illinois moves to make it easier for schools to get asthma inhalers: Illinois first passed a law in 2018 that allowed schools to keep inhalers on-hand in case a student or staff member without their own inhaler needed it. But until now, if a school wanted an asthma inhaler to keep on-hand for anyone — as opposed to for a specific student with a prescription — it had to find a local physician willing to issue a standing order for the school. The new standing order covers schools statewide.

    * WBEZ | Winner of Cook County state’s attorney primary may not be decided until end of the week — or later: Eleven of the city’s 1,291 precincts still have not reported their totals in the race between Eileen O’Neill Burke and Clayton Harris III after officials announced Wednesday evening that they had added unofficial results from nine more precincts of the 20 that were not immediately available on election night. Election officials said judges in those precincts left before the results were “properly transmitted.”

    * Crain’s | Johnson, defiant after ‘Bring Chicago Home’ loss, vows agenda push will ‘get stronger’: While the supporters have called for all outstanding mail-in ballots to be counted before officially conceding, the lead City Council sponsors of the measure and Johnson spoke in resigned terms about the unlikelihood the outcome will change.

    * Tribune | Founder of employment law firm donates $100,000 toward Chicago’s migrant crisis: Instituto del Progreso Latino, a decades-old nonprofit organization that provides education, training and employment resources to Latino communities, received the donation from David Fish, founder of the law firm Fish Potter Bolaños, P.C. The funds will support the organization’s Asylum Migrant Outreach Response, called Project AMOR.

    * Tribune | Judge’s ruling on Chicago police discipline expected this week after court arguments: A Cook County judge will issue a ruling this week in the lawsuit brought by the city’s largest police union that seeks to enforce an arbitration award that would allow the most serious police misconduct cases to be decided behind closed doors. About two months after the lawsuit was filed, along with hundreds of pages of motions and exhibits, attorneys for the Fraternal Order of Police and the city on Wednesday presented about an hour of oral arguments to Judge Michael Mullen at the Daley Center.

    * Bloomberg | Republicans Call for Retirement Age Hike in Clash With Biden: The Republican Study Committee, which comprises about 80% of House Republicans, called for the Social Security eligibility age to be tied to life expectancy in its fiscal 2025 budget proposal. It also suggests reducing benefits for top earners who aren’t near retirement, including a phase-out of auxiliary benefits for the highest earners. The proposal sets the stage for an election-year fight with Biden, who accused Republicans of going after popular entitlement programs during his State of the Union address.

    * SJ-R | Popular sandwich shop ready to open first Springfield location: Potbelly Sandwich Works first announced plans to bring the Chicago sub shop to the Capital City in 2022. This spring the brand bursts on the scene with the first of three anticipated stores and a food truck. Potbelly Sandwich Works will begin serving up its toasted sub sandwiches Tuesday from the ground floor of the Memorial Learning Center on the Memorial Health campus.

    * NYT | When Cicadas Emerge, Things Might Get a Little Wet: “It’s this beautiful physics-of-life perspective” to see all the data laid out in a single graph, said Saad Bhamla, a bioengineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was a co-author of the study. The jets of urine that cicadas produce, the research shows, have a velocity of up to 3 meters per second — the fastest of all the animals assessed in the new work, including mammals like elephants and horses.

    * WMBD | Governor in Peoria: Illinois’ tourism industry is booming: “Last year alone, I think you know Illinois’ hotel industry set a record of $5.5 billion in revenue, for a total tourism industry economic impact of $78 billion, just here in the State of Illinois,” Pritzker told conference attendees. Pritzker – referred to by Discover Peoria’s JD Dalfanso as the “Chief Marketing Officer” of the state – says the new “Illinois: in the Middle of Everything” campaign certainly helped, but local tourism leaders weathered the pandemic storm very well.

    * NYT | Eclipses Injured Their Eyes, and the World Never Looked the Same: When Dr. Deobhakta examined her eyes, he was astonished. He saw a burn on her retina that was exactly the same shape. It was “almost like a branding,” he said. She had looked at the sun during the eclipse without any protection. The burn was an image of the sun’s outer edge.

    * Block Club | The Tomato Man’s Annual Plant Sale Is Back And Bigger Than Ever: Zeni has spent the past decade growing tomato plants in his suburban greenhouse and distributing them throughout the Chicago area. His annual sale has grown each year, with more than 7,000 tomato plants sold in 2023. He expects to sell about 10,000 this year, he told Block Club.

       

31 Comments
  1. - TJ - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 8:31 am:

    Regarding the eclipse, I can only stress this so hard:

    ONLY look at the eclipse with the naked eye if a) you’re in the direct path of totality, and b) during the period of totality. Don’t do it for a second too early or too late or if you’re outside the path of totality!


  2. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 8:57 am:

    Good for Rich G, he deserves better then being in a floundering operation.


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 9:13 am:

    “She had looked at the sun during the eclipse without any protection. The burn was an image of the sun’s outer edge”

    Call/visit your local libraries - many have free eclipse glasses. A group known as “The Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries” gave away millions of glasses to libraries.

    https://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/our-projects/solar-eclipse-activities-libraries-seal/


  4. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 9:14 am:

    Why in the world during an election year would the Republicans come out swinging on cutting Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age? It’s an in-kind contribution to Democrats when it comes to ads. They’ve done it on abortion and they are doing it on Social Security. They apparently have a hard time reading the room.


  5. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 9:30 am:

    Gov. Pritzker learned from and got better after his tax initiative lost. My hope is Mayor Johnson does the same.

    I’m not holding my breath.


  6. - SWSider - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 9:52 am:

    ==Gov. Pritzker learned from and got better after his tax initiative lost==

    How so? I actually hope Johnson doesn’t give up on it the way JBP did on the much needed tax reform.


  7. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 9:57 am:

    Anyone else think Mayor Johnson, on the heels of his failed policy proposal, saying he is going to “punch back” would have been tasteless if it weren’t so clownish?


  8. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:07 am:

    “Why in the world during an election year would the Republicans come out swinging on cutting Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age?”

    Because they don’t think they’re going to need to win any more elections to take and hold power at the federal level.
    How is this not obvious to every adult American?


  9. - Patti - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:14 am:

    A “mix of cheers and tears for progressives” only applies if Eileen can’t hold on to her lead; if she manages to win, that means mostly tears for progressives. IMO, a state Senate race in Logan Square doesn’t reflect the electorate’s feelings about how things are going the way SA and BCH do.

    Regarding the tense SA race: It is frustrating that the Chicago Board of Elections still has 20 precincts uncounted because the election judges inexplicably didn’t send the results over on Election Night; it is also frustrating how long the VBM count will take. I support VBM and making voting as easy as possible, but the city of Chicago has to do better counting quickly in the post-COVID era, especially in extremely close races where nervous voters are watching.


  10. - low level - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:15 am:

    Sounds like Mayor Johnson is digging in and learned nothing.


  11. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:18 am:

    === Sounds like Mayor Johnson is digging in and learned nothing. ===

    That is what happens when you are more concerned with passing your agenda than you are serving the residents you were elected to serve.


  12. - SWSider - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:24 am:

    ==I support VBM and making voting as easy as possible, but==

    I do love when Chicago dems out themselves as conservatives.


  13. - Sue - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:41 am:

    SWsider- likely 90 percent of the people voting against the tax program are democrats. Democrats voting against il
    l advised policy doesn’t convert them into MAGA Trump supporters as you and the mayor suggest. Johnson is doing a lot of damage to the State’s principal financial engine( Chicago) by adhering
    to his boss- Stacy Gates


  14. - Here - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:42 am:

    The referendum failed because voters lack confidence in the fiscal management of the new Johnson Administration and the long term impact of the immigration migrant crisis in Chicago along with tax sour voters. Warning for November - moderation, effective fiscal leadership is what folks want


  15. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:42 am:

    ==How so?==

    He learned you actually have to sell your ideas to voters and counter the oppositions claims, wherever they are appearing.

    Name one loss he’s suffered since?


  16. - Patti - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:43 am:

    === - SWSider - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:24 am:

    I do love when Chicago dems out themselves as conservatives. ===

    No need to smear me just because I think Chicago/Illinois needs a more efficient system of counting VBMs. Florida and other states are able to do it in a day; there’s no reason we can’t as well. The fact that you hope Brandon “doesn’t give up” on BCH, though, tells me everything I need to know about why you threw that comment at me.


  17. - Stephanie Kollmann - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 10:57 am:

    ==Warning for November - moderation, effective fiscal leadership is what folks want==

    LOL. Democrats who think election results indicate that voters want moderation rather than reliable follow-through on the progressive platform voters endorsed less than a year ago are setting themselves up for disaster.


  18. - SWSider - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:00 am:

    ==Name one loss he’s suffered since?==

    I don’t care about his personal political success. I care about the state. We need to and have needed to reform our state tax code.

    He’s saving his political capital for something… mysterious instead.


  19. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:01 am:

    ==are able to do it in a day; there’s no reason we can’t as well==

    Sounds like you’re right on the edge of being one of the election conspiracy MAGA wackos.


  20. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:15 am:

    Marlene Hopkins promoted at City Hall to Buildings dept. Comm. She of approving the botched demolition of the plant in Little Village. believe folks will refer to her in a shorthand…Smokestack.


  21. - JoanP - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:16 am:

    = counting VBMs. Florida and other states are able to do it in a day; there’s no reason we can’t as well. =

    Florida requires mail-in ballots be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Illinois counts ballots received up to two weeks after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked on or before that day.

    So there’s that.


  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:19 am:

    What JoanP said.

    Either learn to use Google or go back to Facebook.


  23. - low level - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:30 am:

    ==rather than reliable follow-through on the progressive platform voters endorsed less than a year ago are setting themselves up for disaster.==

    How do you explain the very poor showing of BCH in wards like 10,13 and 23 where you could purchase entire blocks for $1MM? I can understand its failure in high home value neighborhoods lime you find in wards 2 and 42.

    The fact it failed in low home value areas shows the progressive agenda isn’t selling very well less than a year into the administration.


  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:37 am:

    ===shows the progressive agenda isn’t selling very well===

    Or that Brandon Johnson is hugely unpopular there.


  25. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 11:53 am:

    I hear coaches use the term “well their team punched us in the mouth, but we held it together and punched back”. But when a politician uses “we’re gonna punch back” it shows a lack of class. Collaborate, compromise and come back with a proposal that can get 50% +1, and not show why you are right and they are wrong.


  26. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 12:16 pm:

    =Democrats who think election results indicate that voters want moderation rather than reliable follow-through on the progressive platform voters endorsed less than a year ago are setting themselves up for disaster.=

    Perhaps. But I believe the comment was prefaced as “voters” and not necessarily the progressive base of the Democratic Party. Both parties need to realize that simply appealing to their base isn’t enough. Democrats are not monolithic as this week has revealed. November will be won or lost based on what Independents and independent minded voters do.


  27. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 12:26 pm:

    === How do you explain the very poor showing of BCH in wards like 10,13 and 23 where you could purchase entire blocks for $1MM? ===

    You think you can buy an entire block in the 13th or 23rd Wards for a million bucks? Let me know where you get your Devil’s lettuce from bc I would love to get some.


  28. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 12:32 pm:

    Following up on my previous comment - maybe that’s where the disconnect is. The proponents of BCH think that in neighborhoods outside of the “wealthier” wards, that all of the homes can be sold for $50k or less.

    Another thought. There are a lot of apartment buildings in these Wards that are likely valued at over $1m. With the BCH proposal, opponents argued that if it passes, rents would go up for renters. That kind of argument can really resonate with voters.


  29. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 12:53 pm:

    I don’t understand the praise for Rich Guidice, but his exit makes the “take me seriously or we’ll ruin the DNC” threats more likely.


  30. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 1:48 pm:

    I think some folks are reading too much into the defeat of the BCH vote. People tend to vote “no” on any tax measure.


  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 21, 24 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===People tend to vote “no” on any tax measure===

    Fair Tax got 71 percent in Chicago. Lost everywhere else.


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