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Illinois man arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer, members of news media on January 6th

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Department of Justice press release…

An Illinois man was arrested today for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Shane Jason Woods, 43, of Auburn, is charged with federal offenses that include assault on a law enforcement officer; assault in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, among other charges. Woods will make his initial court appearance in the Central District of Illinois on June 24 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

According to court documents, Woods was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a large crowd of protesters who were congregated on the lower west terrace in the northwest corner of the building. Around 2:10 p.m., a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer was one among several sprayed with bear mace, which obstructed her vision. As the officer tried to pursue the individual who sprayed the bear mace, Woods can be seen in publicly available video running toward her. He then tripped the officer and pushed her to the ground.

At approximately 4:50 p.m., a large crowd made its way to a media staging area that was set up outside the northeast corner of the U.S. Capitol grounds. As individuals stormed past metal barricades, media members were forced to flee the area before recovering all of their cameras and equipment. As depicted in several publicly posted videos and images, Woods gathered in the vicinity of the media staging area around 5 p.m. where several protestors were yelling and spitting at members of the news media near a pushed-over fence next to the staging area. Moments later, Woods climbed over the toppled fence and participated in the assault on the media equipment. Woods can be seen walking around the piled media equipment, as well as picking up and tossing some of it. He was also observed walking closely around a cameraman. As depicted in publicly available video, Woods then ran into and tackled the cameraman, causing him to fall and drop his camera.

More here, including photos.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Because… Pritzker!

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Press release…

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on President Biden’s Gun Crime Prevention Strategy:

“Too many Chicagoans endure the daily stress and fear of gunfire, and too many Monday mornings start with devastating news headlines of the weekend’s toll of shootings in our streets and neighborhoods. This violence is heartbreaking, traumatic, and impacting innocent families and children. Addressing the gun violence epidemic will take community-based efforts and stricter enforcement of gun laws. I agree with President Biden’s approach.

“I’ve asked Governor Pritzker to use American Rescue Plan funds to support targeted violence intervention efforts. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also continue to examine proposals to reduce the unacceptably high levels of shootings, and work to confirm the President’s nominee to lead ATF and enforce the gun laws on the books.

“Senseless violence, and the trauma it leaves behind, fuels the cycle of gun crime in our cities. Congress has to invest in community-based prevention efforts and pass common sense bills that help our cities heal, get illegal guns off the streets, and keep our kids and grandkids safe.”

On Tuesday, Durbin, along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), sent a letter to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker urging him to consider a few key principles to help guide the State’s use of approximately $125 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan for violence prevention and youth employment programs.

The letter is here.

* Durbin’s press release was a bit puzzling to me because I told subscribers about the governor’s plans for spending that very money several days ago. It’s already in the state budget. So, I asked Pritzker’s spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh for a comment on the Durbin release…

We did this.

Um, Senator, maybe pick up the phone before doing that again?

* Meanwhile, from the Kankakee Daily Journal

[Kankakee] County administrator Anita Speckman reported 20 vacancies at Tuesday’s county board executive committee meeting at the county administration building. She said it’s an unheard of problem for the county. That list has been whittled down to nine after the county recently published an ad in the Daily Journal about the openings.

Todd Sirois, board vice chairman, blamed the lack of applicants on the state’s extension of unemployment benefits.

“It would be nice if [Gov. JB Pritzker] would rescind the extra unemployment benefit that is probably causing people not to seek employment because they can make more money by not working than they can by working,” Sirois said. […]

Speckman said her department does salary studies before a job is posted. The $30,000 salary for the grant writer was at the low end for someone with minimal experience.

$30K? Yeah, it’s definitely the governor’s fault.

* On to the Edgar County Watchdogs

Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce has submitted his resignation letter to the Shelby County Board Chairman with an effective date of June 25, 2021.

    “Please allow this letter to serve as my official notification that I will be retiring and resigning my Office as Sheriff of Shelby County on June 25, 2021. This decision was not an easy one for me to make, but reaffirmed by the imminent change in police reform. It is my hope that Illinois legislators dive deep into this reform, and make sweeping changes. The safety of the public is at risk.”

Koonce cites police reform as his reaffirmation to retire, however, Koonce faced a criminal investigation by the Illinois State Police regarding illegal gun sales and alleged payroll fraud. That investigation was completed and turned over to the Attorney General for a charging decision in December of 2020.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Postponement Of Care Leads To Public Health Risk

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

More than two-thirds of Americans surveyed in July 2020 by the Harris Poll on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies say they or someone in their household delayed or canceled healthcare services due to COVID-19. Delayed care is even more prevalent among communities of color. In fact, Black and Hispanic adults, people with disabilities, and those with two or more underlying conditions are putting off medical care at higher rates than others. That’s why Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies introduced My Health Can’t Wait Illinois, a public information effort and resource hub designed to help Illinois residents get the information they need to prioritize their health and seek needed care. Learn more at

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Illinois accounted for half of the net national decrease in unemployment applications last week

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Reuters

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 411,000 for the week ended June 19, the Labor Department said. Data for the prior week was revised to show 6,000 more applications received than previously reported. The first increase since late April was blamed by economists on volatility in the aftermath of the May 31 Memorial Day holiday. […]

There were sizeable declines in California, Florida and Illinois.

Illinois’ weekly application number dropped by 3,605, which, as the headline states, was more than half of the net national decrease. Insured weekly unemployment, however, dropped only slightly from 202,222 to 200,037.

* Related…

* IDES: Unemployment Rates Down, Jobs Up in Every Metro Area Compared to May 2020: Over-the-year, the unemployment rate decreased in all 14 metropolitan areas; the areas with the largest unemployment rate decreases were the Rockford MSA (-11.9 points to 8.4%), the Carbondale-Marion MSA (-11.0 points to 5.1%) and the Elgin Metropolitan Division (-10.3 points to 5.3%). The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division unemployment rate fell -7.9 points to 7.9%. The unemployment rate also decreased over-the-year in all 102 counties.

* Economic Policy Institute: Reforming unemployment insurance

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      

It Is Time To Protect The Health And Safety Of Young People

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Click here and here for background if you need it. The Democratic Party of Illinois’ attorney Samuel Brown said this at today’s FEC hearing about a proposed special committee designed to insulate DPI Chair Robin Kelly from having any involvement in non-federal fundraising and spending

[US Rep. Kelly] is not going to have anything to do with soliciting non-federal dollars. She won’t be involved in interacting with donors who are giving non-federal funds. She won’t be involved in spending non-federal funds.

So all of the decisions regarding making contributions out of the non-federal account, relating to spending in state races from the non-federal account. Advertising. Regarding terminating someone who does a bad job on that sort of non-federal spending. All of those things are the sole and exclusive province of the special committee. And the chair is both insulated from those activities and she’s subject to a detailed governance regime to make sure that she abides by the restriction.

This now-admitted and very limited role is precisely what Kelly’s opponents warned about during the election process.

The special committee’s membership is not yet completely defined, other than the majority would be automatically appointed based on holding a specific office. Two such offices, House Speaker and Senate President, have been offered as examples.

* The Question: In your mind, is this a workable solution? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

bike tracks

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      

After meeting with Lightfoot, sponsor says elected school board bill “will be sent to the Governor’s desk in the coming days”

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* From Assistant House Majority Leader Delia Ramirez, the House sponsor of the elected Chicago school board bill…

This morning a small group of legislators and I met with Mayor Lightfoot to discuss a trailer bill on the Elected School Board. As I have done for the last two years, I will continue to work with all stakeholders to address issues as we transition to a fully elected board.

HB2908, my bill with Senator Martwick to create a fully elected school board, will be sent to the Governor’s desk in the coming days.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

Thompson Center protesters met with counter-protesters: “Tear it down”

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Maggie Prosser at the Tribune

About two dozen people gathered outside the James R. Thompson Center on Wednesday to protest the state’s ongoing efforts to sell the glassy state office building, which preservation groups call an iconic and integral component to Chicago’s downtown.

Preservation Chicago and other advocacy groups held the rally in response to what they call recent action by state officials to “deliberately sabotage” the building at 100 W. Randolph St., ahead of an upcoming meeting to decide whether the building receives historical designation, a spokeswoman said. […]

State agencies are expected to meet on Friday to oppose adding the Thompson Center to the National Register of Historic Places, which preservationists think would save the 36-year-old state office building. […]

The preservationists were met with a few counterprotesters who yelled back, “tear it down” and “you buy it then.” Passersby also commented on the building’s deteriorating condition, alleged cockroach infestation, and poor heating and air conditioning systems.

* Unlike the protesters, Eleni actually works at the Thompson Center and was one of the counter-protesters…

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

The LaSalle County GOP dumpster fire continues with pending sanctions over election lawsuit

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* November of 2020

The LaSalle County Republican Central Committee filed a lawsuit last week against Democratic LaSalle County Clerk Lori Bongartz. The lawsuit alleges that Bongartz’s office mishandled vote-by-mail ballots and asked a judge for a temporary restraining order to prevent the election results from being certified.

* January of this year

The LaSalle County Republican Central Committee held a rally Saturday afternoon in Ottawa to re-affirm their followers of their platform. Part of which is continuing to spread the message of election fraud.

* February of this year

Eighty-eight percent of precinct committeemen of the LaSalle County Republican Central Committee voted in favor of censuring U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Tuesday, according to a Wednesday press release from Chairman Larry Smith.

* Earlier this month

Judge Scott Belt scheduled a June 25th hearing at which he’ll determine how much the plaintiff’s side will pay in a court case over the November election results. The judge dismissed LaSalle County Republican Party Chairman Larry Smith’s case this week. Smith had claimed the County Clerk’s Office mishandled mail-in ballots, wrongly making Todd Martin the State’s Attorney’s race winner and Lance Yednock a reelected Illinois House member. Martin and Yednock are Democrats.

Belt wrote that accusing County Clerk Lori Bongartz of committing felonies by darkening ovals on ballots is vexatious, prejudicial, and harassing in the absence of facts to support the claim. It would be defamatory if not for Bongartz being a public official.

He also wrote that Illinois law is clear that when an election’s outcome is challenged in court, all of the candidates must be named as defendants, because the case’s outcome could affect them. Omitting them is fatal to the case, and Smith didn’t name State’s Attorney Martin as a defendant. He tried to with a court filing last week, but that’s too late in Belt’s view.

And the judge found that the claim didn’t spell out a positive and clear assertion that there’s a reasonable likelihood that dismissing mail-in ballots would change the election’s outcome. Smith’s claim alleged that mishandling of mail-in ballots was so bad, the only fair thing to do was to remove all of them from the final count. Election night results posted before the mail-in ballots were counted showed Republican candidates, former State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly and Illinois House 76th District challenger Travis Breeden, winning.

Did the party retain Rudy Giuliani or something?

* Shaw Media yesterday

A judge decided La Salle County Clerk Lori Bongartz was entitled to get back some of her legal fees after an eight-month dispute over mail-in ballots. Bongartz’s lawyer says now that total is $3,570.50.

More tomorrow after the hearing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      

FEC punts DPI issue to next meeting

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Background is here if you need it. The Federal Elections Commission decided today to postpone making a decision on what restrictions US Rep. Robin Kelly must operate under as Illinois Democratic Party chair. Commissioner Trey Trainor asked for more time to try and “tweak” the two drafts in front of the commission and reach some sort of consensus.

The FEC’s next public meeting is July 15th.

This post may be updated, so stay tuned.

…Adding… Tribune…

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Rodney Davis spokesperson says decision on bid for governor “dependent on redistricting”

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Brenden Moore looks at a potential Rodney Davis gubernatorial bid

There is a purpose for Davis wading into Illinois state politics — it’s a trial balloon as he explores a possible run for governor in 2022 against Pritzker, who has all but declared his intent to seek a second term.

“He is kicking the tires as being a very political person,” said one longtime Illinois GOP political operative regarding Davis. “But, I think, as with everybody in the Republican Party, they’re looking to see what Ken Griffin is going to do. And Ken Griffin is obviously invested in the outcome of this race.”

Many believe Griffin is looking to carry over his 2020 success to the 2022 governor’s race, where any candidate challenging billionaire Pritzker would be at an immediate financial disadvantage. […]

“His decision on what he would run for is kind of, dependent on redistricting and the timetable for that,” said Davis spokesman Aaron DeGroot. “So, I guess it’s just kind of a wait and see at this point.”

Seems sorta crass. “I need a job” isn’t a great reason for running for something.

Go read the rest.

- Posted by Rich Miller   61 Comments      

Sen. Rachelle Crowe among three recommended for US Attorney by Durbin and Duckworth

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Illinois Business Journal

Ann Callis and Rachelle Crowe, both prominent Metro East Democrats, are among those being recommended as United States attorney by the state’s two U.S. senators.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, sent a list of names to the White House on Wednesday to be considered for two U.S. attorney positions in the Central District and Southern District of Illinois and for three U.S. Marshal positions in the Northern District, Central District, and Southern District of Illinois.

Based on recommendations made by screening committees the Senators established in each district, Durbin and Duckworth have forwarded the names of the following nine individuals to President Biden for consideration:

    • Southern District of Illinois United States Attorney: Ann Callis; Rachelle Crowe; Brandon Zanotti
    • Southern District of Illinois United States Marshal: David Davis; Brad Maxwell
    • Northern District of Illinois United States Marshal: LaDon Reynolds
    • Central District of Illinois United States Attorney: Gregory Harris; Michael Havera
    • Central District of Illinois United States Marshal: Brendan Heffner

More here and here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Remember: Fossil Fuel Companies Prefer The Status Quo, Don’t Want An Energy Bill To Pass

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Last week, a comprehensive climate and equity deal was within reach.

Then, fossil fuel companies tried to kill it. Again.

The truth is, fossil fuel companies don’t want any climate legislation. They like the status quo, which lets them pollute our planet, harm our communities, and pad their profits.

The stakes are clear. Without action, thousands of union workers and solar installers may lose their jobs, while the climate crisis worsens and BIPOC communities continue to have limited access to clean energy opportunities and the jobs they create. That’s why it’s so important for legislators to stand with the people, not fossil fuel companies.

At a press conference last week, Governor Pritzker made it clear that he “will not sign a bill that doesn’t meet the gravity of the moment.” The legislature should take this opportunity to return to Springfield and pass the most comprehensive and equitable climate and energy bill in the country as soon as possible.

Learn more at

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Open thread

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Keep it Illinois-centric and be polite to each other, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Today’s post is sponsored by the Electrification Coalition. Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      

* Illinois man arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer, members of news media on January 6th
* Because... Pritzker!
* Postponement Of Care Leads To Public Health Risk
* Illinois accounted for half of the net national decrease in unemployment applications last week
* It Is Time To Protect The Health And Safety Of Young People
* Question of the day
* After meeting with Lightfoot, sponsor says elected school board bill "will be sent to the Governor’s desk in the coming days"
* Thompson Center protesters met with counter-protesters: "Tear it down"
* The LaSalle County GOP dumpster fire continues with pending sanctions over election lawsuit
* FEC punts DPI issue to next meeting
* Rodney Davis spokesperson says decision on bid for governor "dependent on redistricting"
* Sen. Rachelle Crowe among three recommended for US Attorney by Durbin and Duckworth
* Remember: Fossil Fuel Companies Prefer The Status Quo, Don’t Want An Energy Bill To Pass
* Open thread
* Congressional Black Caucus PAC weighs in for DPI Chair Robin Kelly with FEC
* Yesterday's stories

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