* I posted this story from Center Square a few days ago…
In Minnesota politics, state-level candidates and political action committees have received $95.9 million in total donations between Jan. 1, 2021, and July 18, 2022. The 10 largest donors gave more than $9.4 million, or 10 percent of all contributions.
The contributor list had Gov. JB Pritzker at the very top with more than $2 million. Ballotpedia and Transparency USA compiled this list.
Pritzker was asked about this by Brian Mackey. His response…
Let me correct just a factual error: That report about Minnesota? Not true. I was curious myself when I heard about that — like, no, that’s not something I did, what is that? But it is not a contribution that I made in Minnesota.
So, what the heck is going on? I reached out to Pritzker’s spokesperson…
He gave $2 million to the victory fund, which is headquartered in Minnesota, but is used for all DGA races.
* Meanwhile, when I posted AG Raoul’s first TV ad the other day, some folks wondered what abortion-related case was in the court system “right now,” as Raoul claimed. The case is Illinois Baptist State Association, et al. v. Illinois Department of Insurance. The Thomas More Society filed it…
The Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on June 10, 2020 against the State of Illinois, challenging a 2019 law requiring all health insurance policies sold in the state to provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions, even for churches.
The complaint was filed in the Sangamon County Circuit Court on behalf of the Illinois Baptist State Association, the Southland Smiles dental practice and its owner and a freight company and its owner. The lawsuit charges the state with abuses of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act in relation to the abortion insurance mandate. The lawsuit charges that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, the Department of Insurance, and its director, Robert Muriel, have refused to protect the plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs, which forbid them from funding and providing coverage for elective abortions.
* The thing I like the most about Raoul’s Republican opponent is he’s always so subtle and understated…
*The rest of these excerpts are from Isabel*
* Giannoulias and Brady made their case to the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board…
On Wednesday, Giannoulias said he “respectfully” disagrees with Brady’s plans for improving the office, which prioritize additional staffing and training to cut down in-person wait times at driver’s services facilities.
A former state treasurer, Giannoulias said better technology is needed to improve the office’s online services. He said he would create an app for secretary of state services, build more robust online driver services scheduling options and offer digital driver’s licenses to reduce fraud and make the system more convenient to use. […]
In response, Brady maintained that it’s more immediately realistic for the office to streamline operations through cross-training and additional staffing, which would help “from a budgetary standpoint.”
“And that comes from not just my ideas and people across the state, that comes from listening to people who actually are in the secretary of state’s office saying, ‘You want to help us? You want to help us help the people better? Do these types of things first,’” said Brady, a state representative from Bloomington.
* Capitol News Illinois’ SOS race coverage…
Giannoulias said he’d look to create a mobile app, and by driving many services online he’d cut down foot traffic at facilities “anywhere from 50 to 70 percent.” That would allow the office to retrain some driver services employees to serve as “office advocates” to help individuals through the system, especially seniors and individuals with disabilities. […]
He’d also look to implement a “skip-the-line” program to allow driver services visitors to pre-register, arrive at a specified time and move to the front of the line. He’d also explore digital IDs and driver licenses, creating kiosks at driver facilities, and creating pop-up offices at libraries and community colleges. He’d also consider implementing online vision tests if it’s proven it can be done safely.
Brady has his own long list of initiatives, including moving things online, using libraries and community colleges as satellite sites, maximizing staff training and capabilities, and making the SOS website more user friendly.
“We’re talking about streamlining things that can be done within hours … versus, as I said, the several weeks to months that’s taking right now,” Brady said, later adding, “What we’re missing here is someone who’s going to take the bull by the horns and get the project done.
To gather a sense of the arguments for and against [Amendment 1], the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors convened an online forum with Joe Bowen, communications director for a Vote Yes for Workers Rights, the only organized political committee campaigning on the issue. They also spoke with Mailee Smith, director of labor policy and a staff attorney with the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank that opposes the measure. […]
“The workers’ rights amendment will guarantee your fundamental rights in the workplace to organize and bargain collectively with your coworkers to negotiate for things like better pay, safer working conditions, and crucially, it will also protect Illinois voters from politicians who try to take away their rights in the future,” Bowen said.[…]
Smith, on the other hand, asserted that the amendment would apply only to public-sector workers because private-sector workers are already covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which would supersede any state law or state constitutional provision.
As a result, she argued that it would drive up local property taxes by giving public employee unions power to negotiate a broader range of issues, including “economic welfare,” which isn’t defined in the amendment or other state law. […]
* Scott Holland…
Does it matter that Catalina Lauf believes schools have litter boxes for students who identify as cats? […]
Of course it’s a hoax. Obviously. We know this because we understand basic government operations: litter boxes for humans are unsanitary and would violate public health and building codes. Furthermore, do you know any high school students? The vast majority have smartphones and social media accounts. When some kid pulls a fire alarm the whole town knows within 30 minutes.
Lauf either won’t accept reality and doesn’t grasp the amount of mockery invited by repeating such an absurdity or is willing to endure scorn because of the return on the investment of signaling to her base. She tried to pivot Monday by directing conversation toward other issues where public schools and gender identity overlap, arenas where she might have influence if elected because they involve at least kernels of truth.
But this type of language most certainly does matter. We have either someone willing to lie to get elected or someone who speaks before confirming the truth. Neither bodes well for long-term governance, but also consider the rhetorical implications. The credibility of the candidate is at stake, and by extension her supporters. When you go banging about on something so demonstrably false, why should any of your other concerns be taken seriously?
* The Center Square…
The major party candidates for Illinois treasurer are sounding off on public investments in so-called ESG rated companies. […]
Incumbent Democratic Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs, who controls $52 billion in public investments for the state, said such companies are worth investing in. […]
Republican treasurer candidate state Rep. Tom Demmer said such investment strategies bring unnecessary risks. […]
Illinois law Freichs championed and Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed in 2019 that took effect in 2020 encourages public investments in ESG companies.
* Press release from Sen. Laura Ellman, and Reps. Yang Rohr and Costa Howard…
Today, Moms Demand Action and Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) attended a rally with elected officials, community members and activists reinforcing the need for elected officials who will keep the suburbs safe.
The groups demonstrated their support of state Sen. Laura Ellman (D-Naperville), state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr (D-Naperville) and state Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) during the event, citing the fact that guns are a public health and safety issue in Illinois, where guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens and where 61% of gun related deaths are homicides.
“Gun violence has had a tragic toll on communities across Illinois, from what feels like everyday violence on Chicago’s South and West sides and other urban communities to mass shootings in Highland Park, Aurora and more. This November, we must take a stand and vote for candidates that will prioritize protecting public safety and reducing gun violence,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of G-PAC. “We are confident that our endorsed candidates like Sen. Ellman, Rep. Yang Rohr and Rep. Costa Howard will work to advance our mission of creating a safer Illinois.”
Ellman, Yang Rohr and Costa Howard helped pass legislation that bans ghost guns in Illinois and expands background checks on all gun sales through changes to the firearm owners identification (FOID) card application process. These laws are meant to curtail illegal gun sales and ownership while reducing gun violence.
“Voters must elect candidates this November who will prioritize our safety and who are willing to make an unwavering commitment to getting guns off of our streets,” said Leslie Ruffing, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. “Sen. Ellman, Rep. Yang Rohr and Rep. Costa Howard are candidates that have consistently demonstrated their support of gun reform legislation and investing in public safety.”
Sen. Ellman, Rep. Yang Rohr and Rep. Costa Howard have helped secure over $250 million for public safety, violence prevention, victim protections, and mental health resources. All three candidates have received an A+ rating on the Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee’s 2021 Gun Safety Report Card and support common sense and life-saving policies like a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, which a majority of suburban voters approve of (according to a recent WGN poll) and are central tenets of the gun violence prevention movement’s 2023 legislative agenda.
“We must take a comprehensive approach to combat gun violence in our neighborhoods by focusing on legislation that discourages gun ownership and investing in mental health and early intervention programs that will make our communities safer,” Ellman said. “I have supported and will continue to support efforts to reduce gun violence.”
“Gun violence is unnecessary and preventable,” Yang Rohr said. “As a state representative, I will continue to introduce and support legislation that will reduce gun violence and irresponsible gun ownership.”
“I have voted for every bill that could help to reduce gun violence in Illinois – even when my support for reasonable gun laws has made me a target for extremist gun owners across the country,” said Costa Howard. “I believe that reasonable, responsible gun safety laws can save lives, and I will keep on standing up for every person’s right to live without fear of gun violence. It’s time to make our voices heard.”
Ellman, Costa Howard and Yang Rohr are endorsed by G-PAC and have earned the Gun Sense Candidate distinction from Moms Demand Action. State Sen. Laura Ellman is running for re-election in Illinois’ 21st State Senate District. State Rep. Yang Rohr is running for re-election in Illinois House District 41, and State Rep. Terra Costa Howard is running for re-election in Illinois House District 42.
* Gubernatorial debate at Illinois State needed many hands to come together: Months of planning and coordinating logistics, from building a stage to feeding workers, will culminate Thursday night at Illinois State University as the state’s two gubernatorial candidates meet for their first debate.
* Sen. Glowiak Hilton invites young women to apply for legislative opportunity: State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton is encouraging high-school aged girls to apply to the 2022 Illinois Council on Women and Girls. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the legislative process firsthand. “Young women today are growing up in a different world. It’s important for legislators to listen to the voices and concerns of these girls as we make our way forward in these new times,” said Sen. Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “This is a wonderful opportunity for high-schoolers who have a passion for civic engagement and want their voices to be heard.”
* Parties Invest Less In Elmhurst State Lawmaker Race: In 2020, hundreds of thousands in donations poured into the campaigns of Republican state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi and her Democratic opponent, Jennifer Zordani. The Elmhurst-based district was seen as a battleground. Then, Mazzochi received 54 percent of the vote. For the 2022 election, the two parties have invested less in the local race. has received her usual donations from business-related political action committees, with the state Realtors group topping the others with $10,000, according to state Board of Elections reports. The House Republican Majority has contributed $2,500 to Mazzochi in the last couple of months, a low number that indicates the party’s confidence in her.