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Congressional roundup

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* For whatever reason, a former Trump advisor running for Congress in the Chicago suburbs reached out to the New York Post to announce her campaign

A conservative young Latina from Illinois is running for Congress as the anti-AOC.

Republican Catalina Lauf, 26, who is hoping to snag a Democratic-held seat outside Chicago, supports President Trump’s border wall, cites Ronald Reagan as an idol and hopes to be a counterweight to Rep. Alexandria ­Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional “Squad.”

If Lauf wins the seat, she would break the Bronx-Queens representative’s record as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

“I think it’s time that people step forward who want to unite the country and do it for the right reasons,” Lauf told The Post.

The self-described “lifelong conservative” on Tuesday announced she is running in the state’s 14th Congressional District west of the Windy City — and will be taking on incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood.

Lauf is a former Trump administration adviser from Wood­stock, Ill., who describes herself as “Latina by heart, American first” — born to an American father and Guatemalan mother. […]

Lauf accused the 32-year-old incumbent of not representing the mostly rural, traditionally Republican district that the Democrats narrowly won with 52.5% of the vote in the 2018 midterm election.

Five points is not exactly a narrow win, but whatevs. The president won it by less than 4 points in 2016. Her announcement video

Lauf has to first get by a bevy of Republican primary opponents. She hasn’t yet reported raising any money.

* Not a good look for this PR staffer for Marie Newman’s congressional campaign

Delete your account.

…Adding… From comments…

Rich, the Marie Newman “staffer” is saying he doesn’t work for Marie Newman. He changed his name on twitter to “Hey Rich I’m Not A Staffer”

…Adding… With a hat tip to an eagle-eyed commenter…

* From the DCCC…

A bombshell new report today by NPR uncovered serious potential impropriety at the Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP), a network of political organizations which was co-Chaired by Congressman Rodney Davis during the period in which significant concerns were raised about how millions of dollars of contributions were spent. According to one former GOP lawmaker quoted by NPR: “It just all smelled really bad.”

According to NPR’s report, lawmakers and GOP operatives have questioned the use of hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions by Sarah Chamberlain, the Executive Director of the groups co-led by Davis, and that there’s fear the organization may be “running afoul of campaign finance and tax laws.”

When contacted by NPR, Congressman Davis refused to answer questions, and quietly cut his ties to group, even though NPR reports that “before Election Day, sources said, there was a growing list of questions about Chamberlain’s leadership of RMSP,” meaning that these actions were happening under Davis’ watch.

Even worse? This network’s Super PAC spent $200,000 last year to prop up Rodney Davis’ re-election campaign, raising further questions about spending decisions at the organization, and Rodney’s role in them.

“Rodney Davis needs to come clean with the public about what he knew about potential violation of federal law at the shadowy political network that he helped oversee, and when he knew it” said DCCC spokesperson Mike Gwin. “We already knew that Rodney Davis is a career politician who feels more at home at high-dollar fundraisers in DC than listening to his constituents, but this report raises serious questions about what he’s been doing in the Washington swamp.”

The NPR report is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Cannabis roundup

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* The Illinois Municipal League has taken a very conservative approach to informing its members about the new cannabis legalization law. So, some legislators have taken it upon themselves to provide more information…

The offices of Representative Kelly Cassidy, Senator Heather Steans, Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, and Senator Toi Hutchinson are releasing a Local Government toolkit for the implementation of HB 1438, or the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act. All offices have received requests for assistance and information from governments across the state on the steps they need to take before implementation in their jurisdictions. Within the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act legislators took specific steps to allow local governments to determine whether and how they would allow cannabis businesses and dispensaries within their jurisdiction.

“We are giving local governments the control they have asked for and many have already started making decisions and voting on their ordinances,” said Senator Steans, D-Chicago.

While possession and private consumption will be legal throughout the state, some governments may decide to opt out, while others will seek to go even further than the state law does in terms of social equity and inclusion. This toolkit outlines various ways to go about that process.

“We believe this toolkit will be most useful to smaller local governments that may not have the staff and resources to look into the details of the new law,” said Rep. Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria.

While organizations such as the Illinois Municipal League have compiled recommendations as well, they are focused solely on how to ‘opt out’ rather than offering the full scope of possibilities. The toolkit discusses the wide variety of options available to local governments. They have the ability to establish zoning conditions for placement of cannabis businesses, impose additional taxes, add equity provisions such as fee waivers and loans, and allow social use spaces or ‘lounges’ for consumption.

“Think of everything in the bill as a floor, not a ceiling. This is just the beginning - there is still room for change. We are allowing local governments to work on their equity provisions as they see fit,” said Senator Hutchinson, D-Park Forest.

The toolkit also provides example city ordinances and links to corresponding parts of the law itself. Governments can use ordinances created by cities such as San Francisco, Denver, and Las Vegas to model their own implementation of the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act. The intention is to leave as much as possible up to local governments, while providing them the tools necessary to implement legalization to best suit the needs of their communities.

The toolkit is here.

…Adding… Ryan P. McLaughlin…

Brad Cole, as mayor of Carbondale, decriminalized marijuana 15 years ago.

Nice. Give him a medal and tell him to start leading now.

* Ignorance about the new law abounds. From a member of the Effingham Daily News editorial board

It’s my opinion this state shouldn’t have legalized alcohol’s “leafy cousin” until it had answers for the questions being pondered by the Effingham County Board, et al, such as: What happens when an employee or applicant tests positive for it? What are the employers’ legal rights? What are the rights of the potential hire/employee? And there are other concerns. The fact remains that marijuana in recent times was considered a “gateway” drug. What happened to that theory? Did it just cease to be now that states are legalizing it?

The employer/employee questions can be answered with a quick Google search. For instance

The Act provides employers with strong workplace protections, more than any other state that has legalized marijuana use.

And the theory about cannabis being a gateway drug is still being pushed by some folks. It’s not really a great argument, however. For one, legalization takes weed out of the hands of illegal drug dealers, who likely have other, more potent drugs available for customers. Legal dispensaries will not be selling heroin, cocaine or crack. Again, try the Google.

* Related…

* Weed-bill sponsors worry local governments will get greedy - If municipalities and counties charge the maximum tax of 6 percent, it could cut into legalized sales, legislators warn
* The high road: Cannabis will be legal in Illinois as of Jan. 1 and Beloit police are worried: “You’re talking Madison here,” said South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl. “Like, ‘Oh, my god, Disneyland just moved closer.’” … But with the prospect of a 3% cut of tax revenue from cannabis sales, South Beloit is all in. In a cash-strapped community where property values have remained stagnant for the past decade, it’s a no-brainer for Rehl.

* Chicago ReeferWalk? Marijuana shop eyes river location downtown

* Naperville, after previously leaning toward ban, will consider allowing retail sale of recreational marijuana

* Cannabis growing facility is expanding in Delavan: The company expects to add about 60 new employees once phase 4 is complete, with more jobs on the horizon.

* The growing world of industrial hemp

* Cannabis And Crohn’s Disease

* Vote Favors Starting Zoning Process For St. Charles Pot Retailers

* Rolling Meadows Open To Allowing Recreational Marijuana Sales

* City Council Seeks Clarity On Possible ‘Pot’ Sales: A proposal to allow the retail sale of recreational marijuana in Des Plaines received a major shot-in-the-arm Monday night.

* Plano City Council to soon start recreational marijuana talks: Hausler said he does not know how the full City Council feels about recreational marijuana, but it seems like most are in favor of the city opting in and taxing those sales. He said he also has had discussions with law enforcement about their concerns, including how no one knows for sure how it will affect the city’s police department or calls for service.

* Oswego wants public input on sale of recreational marijuana

* Talks pending in Montgomery on permitting marijuana shops

* Rock Falls officials seek public input on marijuana plans

* Pot in Libertyville: Sound Off at Public Hearing Next Week

* East Peoria public forum presents different views on legal weed

* Bloomington Seeks To Lift Gambling Moratorium, Create Cannabis Plan: Carrillo got a lukewarm response from her colleagues to her request to establish a task force to examine how the city should foster a marijuana industry when its recreational use becomes legal next year. She noted the Town of Normal has already started its own discussion.

* In an informal 4-3 vote, the Highland Park City Council opted to take a “wait and see” approach to recreational cannabis businesses: Although the vote was informal, the opinion expressed by majority means it will be practically impossible for a business to open up in town on Jan. 1 when the first early approval licensees can begin selling recreational cannabis to adults in Illinois.

* Frankfort Prohibits Recreational Cannabis Businesses

* Park Ridge leaning toward ban on recreational marijuana sales

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Two state troopers shot in a week while serving warrants

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* Last week

An Illinois State Police trooper was shot while serving a search warrant in Wheeling Thursday evening, police said.

State Police said officers were serving the warrant at a resident at about 6:30 p.m. when someone inside the home opened fire.

The trooper was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He sustained non-life threatening injuries, state police said.

A person was taken into custody at the scene.

* Today

An Illinois State Police officer was shot while serving a search warrant near Washington Park.

Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX helicopter was over 1426 North 42nd Street and Caseyville Ave. Images show several police departments such as the Illinois State Police, East St. Louis Police and tactical units are on scene.

Illinois State Police confirm that an officer was shot serving a warrant at the home. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound. His condition is not known at this time.

A police source tells FOX 2 that there are three people under arrest. One person is still barricaded in the home.

No comments on this one. Just keep the troopers - all troopers - in your thoughts. And let’s all hope everything goes smoothly for the Executive Protection Unit at the Du Quoin State Fair.

*** UPDATE *** The ISP has released a statement calling the trooper’s injuries “life-threatening”…

llinois State Police (ISP) officials announce an Illinois State Police Trooper has been shot during the execution of a search warrant in the 1400 block of North 42nd Street in East St. Louis in the early morning hours of Friday, August 23, 2019.

At 5:26 A.M., during the execution of the search warrant, there was an exchange of gunfire at the residence and the Trooper was struck. The ISP Trooper received life-threatening injuries and has been transported to a regional hospital. The Trooper is 33 years old and is a 10-year veteran of the ISP.

This is an open and ongoing investigation with an active scene. Additional information will be available at a later time.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

State Fair attendance said to be up 37 percent from last year

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* Press release…

The numbers for this year’s Illinois State Fair continue to demonstrate a historically successful event. While records for both revenue and ticket sales were broken for the grandstand lineup, high marks from parking, attendance and vendors were also achieved.

Estimated attendance totals of nearly 509,000 are 37% higher than 2018’s projection of just over 370,000 making it the largest estimated total attendance since 2014. Despite a reduction in admissions for Sunday through Thursday, gate revenue was up over last year’s fair. More parking passes were sold this year than the previous 17 years that this information was recorded. This year’s fair also saw an increase of vendors over last year by nearly 50.

“This year’s fair took an already wonderful event to new heights, breaking records at the grandstand and bringing Illinoisans from all across the state together to celebrate everything that makes Illinois so special,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “From barns packed with all that our agriculture industry has to offer to entertainment for Illinoisans of all ages, I’m thrilled my first state fair as governor was such a success.”

“No matter the metric, this year’s fair was undoubtedly a success,” said Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. “Our goal was to bring families back to the fair during the week. I feel our decision to reduce admission during the week was rewarded by the attendance of the public. The weather was wonderful, our promotions were well received, our grandstand lineup was historic and I spoke with many vendors and concessionaires pleased with the crowds and their revenues. I’m excited to see what this means for our total revenues once those numbers are finalized.”

…Adding… Some commenters have asked about 2018 fair attendance. The drop was not weather-related

The Illinois State Fair in Springfield saw 369,144 people walk or drive through its gates last month, an 8 percent drop compared to last year’s fair, state officials reported Friday.

Officials noted, however, that fairgoers this year appeared to spend more money than in 2017, according to an early look at vendors’ sales receipts.

This year’s attendance total was lower than the 401,648 who attended the 2017 fair but higher than the 347,855 who passed through the gates during the 2016 event that was plagued by flooding rains, extreme heat and power outages. The 2015 state fair, the first to be counted using a different formula, attracted 411,547.

Fair officials noted this year’s milder weather and limited rain helped the numbers.

…Adding… Historical data…

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

* Exelon chief lobbyist given "final warning" on conduct
* Ald. Ed Burke is no longer a partner at Klafter & Burke
* The trouble with Harry
* Today's quotable
* Question of the day
* Congressional roundup
* Caption contest!
* Cannabis roundup
* Another lousy audit report for DCFS
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Rockford airport finally gets its state money
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Two state troopers shot in a week while serving warrants
* Fixes ain't free
* State Fair attendance said to be up 37 percent from last year
* *** UPDATED x2 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign updates
* Yesterday's stories

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