* I avoided posting this Tribune story today about the editorial board’s GOP gubernatorial candidate interview= because it didn’t look all that enlightening. But, whatevs, here’s an excerpt…
Asked afterward if Bailey agreed with Trump’s false assertion that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, he said, “There was fraud. We know there was fraud.” Pressed on whether he believed that led to Biden’s victory, he said, “I haven’t seen that proven yet, but there was fraud.”
During the editorial board session, Bailey sought to question Irvin’s support for the former president.
“I am a supporter of President Trump, as opposed to what Mr. Irvin wants to say, about (how) he wants to talk about the issues. But it’s interesting because all he really wants to talk about is trashing each one of us around this table.”
Except for Irvin, the candidates — including paving magnate Gary Rabine, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo and attorney Max Solomon of Hazel Crest — explicitly said they voted for Trump in 2020. Irvin, repeating a line he has used in recent days after WTTW Ch.-11 reported on texts in which he called Trump an “idiot” and a “bigoted racist,” said only: “I’m a Republican and in generals (elections), I vote Republican.”
This morning, outsider candidate for governor Jesse Sullivan was joined by Illinois parents and former teachers at a press conference to unveil his latest policy agenda: “Power to the Parents.”
“This isn’t a problem of dollars and cents in Illinois, it’s about power – the radical union bosses have too much, and parents have too little,” Sullivan said. “Schools are injecting sexual and racial ideology into our curriculum, and the teachers’ unions are funding the campaigns of Illinois Democrats then turning around lobbying them to get whatever they want. It’s time to call out the Chicago Teachers Union for what it really is – a radical, extremist wing of the Democratic party.” […]
DELIVER PARENTAL CHOICE BY FUNDING STUDENTS, NOT SYSTEMS
• Universal school choice. Education funding should follow the child. Every parent in Illinois should receive a “Backpack Scholarship” to send their child to the school that best suits their needs: whether public, private, religious or charter.
• Expand the Invest in Kids Opportunity Scholarship Program. Rather than allowing the program to sunset in 2023, we will expand and improve the program to meet the needs of all families seeking access to a quality education for their children. Our plan will:
• Streamline the donation process for investors
• Move from a 75% tax credit to a dollar-for-dollar tax credit
• Allow earmarks for corporate donors
• Advocate for allowing donors to deduct the contribution on federal taxes
• Incentivize workforce training. One of Illinois’ strengths is its diversity. Our manufacturing, information technology, agriculture, and countless others require trained, highly skilled employees. Today, we do not have enough labor to fill the jobs available. Our plan will:
• Expand pathways to post-secondary educational success and open them up to Illinois students. We will end the days of a one-size-fits-all, top-down education system that is failing a significant portion of our students.
• Incentivize industry-driven, proprietary education directly related to available jobs (tying communities that need jobs to available jobs / the jobs of tomorrow). Every child who graduates high school in Illinois should have mastery over at least one skill that will lead to high-wage employment.
DEFUND TEACHERS UNIONS
Self-interested teachers’ union bosses in Illinois prolonged the shutdown of our schools, funded extremist politicians that have made our streets unsafe, protected sexual predators, and have harmed the noble reputation of the teaching profession. The Sullivan administration will:
• Ban political giving from teachers unions: Illinois teachers union bosses give millions of dollars to corrupt Illinois Democrats who sit on the other side of the bargaining table. This is a blatant conflict of interest that has cost Illinois taxpayers billions of dollars.
• Declare the Chicago Teachers Union an extremist hate group: The CTU has openly promoted violence, protected sexual predators and praised murderous, socialist dictatorships abroad. My administration will immediately declare the Chicago Teachers Union an extremist hate group.
PROTECT ILLINOIS SCHOOLCHILDREN FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has refused to provide basic, commonsense protections against sexual abuse in schools, while pushing radical gender curriculum throughout the state. The Sullivan administration will:
• Punish predators in schools: Make it a crime for school employees to have sexual contact with a student, regardless of the student’s age. Teachers unions, Illinois Democrats and Gov. J.B. Pritzker fought against passing a law to do this, despite rampant sexual abuse in Chicago Public Schools uncovered by Chicago Tribune reporters.
• Require parent notification of teacher misconduct: Even if an educator was disciplined by the state for misconduct, Illinois law prohibits ISBE from releasing records related to their misconduct, unless the educator fought against license sanctions. We will require parental notification of all findings of misconduct.
• Close the obscenity loophole for Illinois public schools: We will amend Illinois’ obscenity statute (720 Ill. Comp Stat. Ann, Sections 11-21(c)3) to remove the special protection given to employees of schools, museums and public libraries regarding the distribution of “harmful material” to minors. These employees should be held to the same standards as every other adult in a child’s life. Harmful material is defined as the quality of any description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse, when, taken as a whole it (i) predominantly appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors (ii) is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community in the State as a whole with respect to what is suitable for minors.
END POLITICAL INDOCTRINATION IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS
It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issues of sexual education and pronoun usage in school, you should know who is teaching your kids, and what they’re learning. The Sullivan administration will:
• Reform ISBE to focus on core education, merit and competency, not political indoctrination:
• Increase transparency by passing House Bill 5239, requiring school districts to accept parent or guardian requests to review curriculum and learning material throughout the school year.
• Forbid instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade
• Appoint members of the State Board of Education who value local control, to ensure curriculum decisions are made at the local level wherever possible, rather than mandated by the state.
• Remove racist curriculum from Illinois schools: The Sullivan administration will affirm that no teacher, school official, or student should ever be compelled to teach or affirm any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
• Require curriculum transparency: We will require public schools to post all gender and sexuality education materials online for parents to be able to access.
• Move to parental opt-in for Comprehensive Sexual Education programs. Opt-outs only work in situations where parents know about the curriculum. Opt-in for these sensitive topics will necessitate transparency and accountability to parents.
• Establish an American Civics Bootcamp for teachers to replace Pritzker’s CRT training: Our public education system was founded to teach students how to be productive citizens and engaged members of our representative democracy.
Regrettably, in Illinois schools today, civics and American government are afterthoughts. Our administration will ensure that Illinois teachers have a proper and comprehensive understanding of American civics to teach these core principles to their students.
PASS ILLINOIS’ FIRST PARENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
Trust and collaboration between parents, administrators and teachers is the key to student success. By bringing transparency and accountability to Illinois’ education system, we will restore that trust. The Sullivan administration will:
• Pass a Parents’ Bill of Rights: In the model of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Parents’ Bill of Rights, we will introduce and pass legislation establishing the government cannot infringe upon the fundamental rights of parents and legal guardians to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare, and mental health of their child.
• Restore Parental Notification about a Child’s Physical, Mental or Emotional Health: Our administration will ensure that a school district may not adopt procedures or student support forms that require school district personnel to withhold from a parent information about his or her student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being, unless a reasonable person would believe that such disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Additionally, we will make it so that school district personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.
Lots to unpack there, but CRT is not being taught in schools. My big question (which I have asked) would be what happens if and/or when he can’t pass these bills? Does he try to shut down the government and/or veto the budget, for example?
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today announced the return of more than $43,000 in unclaimed property to St. Andrew Ukrainian Church in Bloomingdale.
The Treasurer’s Office recently found the unclaimed money and reached out to church officials to return it. The gorgeous Ukrainian Orthodox church, which is a cultural and religious center for Chicago’s west suburban Ukrainian community, has stepped up its charity work in Ukraine following the unprovoked and immoral Russian invasion.
Unclaimed property, also known as I-Cash, refers to money or accounts within financial institutions or companies in which there has been no activity for several years. Unclaimed property includes forgotten bank accounts, unpaid life insurance benefits, the contents of safe deposit boxes and other items.
In the case of St. Andrew, the Treasurer’s Office discovered the church was owed the money while conducting unclaimed property compliance audits of companies. The office found that an investment bank was holding 220 shares of a tech stock for the church that had gone unclaimed since 2018. The stock makes up most of the $43,523.15 returned to St. Andrew. Included in that total is more than $3,600 in dividends the Treasurer’s Office also found.
“We’re so glad to have reunited St. Andrew with this money as the church supports Ukraine at such a crucial time in the country’s history,” Frerichs said. “It’s so important that we do what we can in Illinois to help brave Ukrainians stand against Vladimir Putin’s unjust invasion.”
St. Andrew has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in money and much-needed items to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in late February 2022. On Saturdays, the church sells homemade vareniki (pierogi) and cabbage rolls to raise funds. Church officials say the money has helped Ukrainians to buy tourniquets, diapers and food. In addition, St. Andrew has collected medical supplies, including walkers, crutches and wheelchairs. Church Board President John Jaresko and Pastor Rev. Victor Poliarny have led the way and stressed the importance of rallying around Ukraine and calling for the world to do the same.
Church member Jaroslav “Jerry” Sydorenko said St. Andrew will use the funds to help the people who are suffering in Ukraine.
“We appreciate all the work the Illinois state treasurer’s office did with this project and helping us to receive those funds,” said Sydorenko, of Hoffman Estates. “Ukraine has been in a fight for its life for the last three months. Due to this war, we will be forwarding all of the funds for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine.”
Frerichs this week announced I-Cash reached a historic milestone when it paid its 1 millionth claim since he took office in 2015. The office has returned a record-shattering $1.4 billion to Illinois taxpayers during that time.
Tomorrow, voters across Illinois 6th District begin casting their ballots in the Democratic primary. Yet, Rep. Marie Newman continues to refuse to answer questions or publicly release the details of the settlement at the heart of the US House of Representatives’ investigation into her for promising federal employment to Iymen Chehade in exchange for his political support.
“Today is Rep. Newman’s last chance to provide voters with the transparency and honesty they deserve before they begin to cast their ballots,” said Casten for Congress Spokesman Jacob Vurpillat. “Rep. Newman’s highest-paid campaign staffer is someone who a federal investigation found ‘substantial reason to believe’ she promised a taxpayer-funded job in order to win her election, yet she refuses to provide any transparency on this topic.
“Before they cast their ballots, voters deserve to know the answers to many of the questions Rep. Newman has refused to address. How much of the money entrusted to her by her campaign donors has Rep. Newman promised to pay Iymen Chehade? Has she made any additional promises to pay him with taxpayer-provided funds? Does the settlement provide Mr. Chehade with any input on her policy positions or impact on her votes, as suggested may be the case based on her email exchanges with Mr. Chehade? What did Mr. Chehade commit to provide Rep. Newman in exchange for the cash payments?
“Above all else, why is she refusing to answer these questions? What is she hiding?
“Voters should expect transparency from their representatives. If Rep. Newman respects her voters, she’ll release the details of the secret settlement at the heart of her bribery scandal.”
* The Question: Do you plan to vote early this spring (in-person or by mail)? Why or why not?
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker dropped by Riverside Foods on the morning of May 17 to go grocery shopping with and for a Riverside woman.
No, the billionaire governor is not moonlighting as an Instacart shopper. But he did want to highlight how the recently passed package of tax cuts will help parents struggling with high prices and rapid inflation. […]
Pritzker spent nearly an hour at Riverside Foods. After helping Pfeiffer put her grocery bags in the back of her Chrysler minivan, Pritzker and Zalewski stopped by the Riverside home of John, Gelse and Ethan Tkalec.
Waiting for them was ShawnTe Raines Welch, the wife of Illinois House speaker Chris Welch and a candidate for judge in the 4th Judicial Subcircuit.
Raines-Welch said she was there in her capacity as a member of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission, even though the Tkalecs live in Riverside Township. Pritzker chatted with the Tkalecs for approximately 15 minutes.
A NEW POLL shows Democrats Eric Sorensen and Litesa Wallace are leading in a four-person race for the newly drawn 17th Congressional District seat that Rep. Cheri Bustos now holds. But 51 percent of the 600 likely voters who participated in the Impact Research survey are undecided. Sorensen has an edge in the poll, which his team commissioned, with 20 percent, followed by Wallace, 16 percent; Jonathan Logemann, 5 percent; and Angie Normoyle, 3 percent. Margin of error was +/- 4 percent.
Some of those numbers are more than 5 weeks old.
* Press release…
Today Junaid Ahmed, Democratic candidate for Illinois’ new District 8, asks incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi to join him in refusing corporate-backed campaign donations.
Last week, an article in Politico highlighted ethical concerns over a Krishnamoorthi fundraiser. A pair of lobbyists planned to attend in hopes of discussing an active investigation that the Congressman is leading. Following questions by Politico about the possible conflict of interest, Krishnamoorthi and his campaign decided to cancel the event.
“Representative Krishnamoorthi is quoted in the Daily Herald as saying that he has to play by the rules of a broken political system. I guess those rules say you can break the law so long as the media doesn’t catch wind of it,” Ahmed said. “The congressman was caught with his hand in the corporate cookie jar. He embarrassed himself, his office, and the citizens of District 8. I call on the Congressman to join my pledge to refuse corporate PAC money.”
Ahmed has raised nearly $1 million through individual donations. To date, Rep. Krishnamoorthi has over $11 million cash on hand, more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other high-ranking members of Congress.
“Since Rep. Krishnamoorthi is the chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, he should really be leading the charge for campaign finance reform,” Ahmed said. “His job is to promote policies that address income inequality for the middle class. Fairer elections can happen if we take big money out of the picture.”
* Hackler is up against fellow Republican Jennifer Korte for the right to take on Rep. Katie Stewart (D-Edwardsville)…
Today, Joe Hackler, candidate for State Representative in the 112th district, announced his endorsement from the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police. As Democrats cast votes to make our communities less safe, supporting law enforcement and first responders is more critical than ever before. With this key endorsement, police voiced their support for Hackler as the candidate to represent them in Springfield.
“I am honored to have the support of our policemen and women and will fight every day to support them as they keep our communities safe,” said Hackler. “As crime skyrockets, I will continue to stand with law enforcement and take down the Democrats’ radical pro-criminal, anti-police agenda.”
* The folks at Peoples Fabric are in possession of another potentially huge oppo file: 3,500 emails between Tina Wallace, a candidate running for the Illinois House as a Democrat, and Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez, who is now a candidate for mayor. Some of the email exchanges between the two revolved around Wallace’s efforts to at first keep out and then close down a popular and award-winning local brewery/restaurant. Have a look…
Launching her largely self-funded campaign for 19th District state representative with the slogan “The Change We Need,” Tina Wallace has touted her small business credentials and lack of political insider connections.
But public records show Wallace has already used her government connections to satisfy petty grievances, somewhat reminiscent of another area official. In one case, she set her sights on shuttering a beloved award-winning brewery—and she even enlisted the help of an alderman many wards away in her campaign against the small business. […]
In March 2019, after the extensive renovation—and more than a year after the establishment opened for business—inspectors from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection were dispatched to the site by the alderman whose ward is more than twelve miles away. […]
In a highly unusual move, the south side alderman prompted then-BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno to investigate Eris. The request was entirely based on complaints emailed by Wallace.
Republican candidate for Governor Paul Schimpf released his 2021 Tax Returns, becoming the first Republican candidate to provide Illinois voters and media the opportunity for full transparency ahead of Illinoisans casting their ballots for the Primary Election. Schimpf understands the struggles of working families across the state, and calls on the other candidates for governor to release their tax returns and offer full transparency to the people they are trying to obtain support from.
“Illinois’ history of corruption runs deep, in large part because elected officials decided transparency to the people they were elected to serve wasn’t important,” Schimpf said. “I will bring transparency to our state government, and I’m starting now by releasing my 2021 tax returns so voters can truly know who they’re voting for—and who are they voting for? Someone that understands the daily struggles our working families face. I’m not like some of my other opponents who are lined with millions of dollars. High taxes, rising gas prices, increasing energy costs, record-high grocery prices all impact our low- and middle-class families, and I feel their burden. I call on all my fellow opponents to release their tax returns because Illinois voters deserve full transparency from the people who could be managing their tax dollars and running our state.”
The return is here. Schimpf reported an adjusted gross income of $56,360, mostly from his pension.
* Government email, but campaign-related…
Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) released the following statement after Governor Pritzker signed HB4383, which makes buying, selling or possessing certain guns illegal in Illinois.
“Governor Pritzker is once again targeting law-abiding gun owners by banning certain firearms when his soft-on-crime policies caused the crime wave in Illinois,” said Miller, who is a member of the House Second Amendment Caucus. “Governor Pritzker cares more about providing “sanctuary state” benefits to non-citizen illegal aliens than defending the Second Amendment rights of the citizens he swore an oath to serve. The crime wave in Illinois is the result of Governor Pritzker using COVID to release inmates and refusing to accept inmate transfers from county prisons, and his work eliminating cash bail to put offenders right back on the street. Governor Pritzker is refusing to work with ICE to deport dangerous illegal immigrants but has no problem violating the Second Amendment rights of the citizens he swore an oath to defend. In Congress, I will always stand up for our Second Amendment. That is why I voted against H.R.8, also known as the “universal” background check bill, which seeks to criminalize the private transfer of firearms. We must protect law-abiding gun owners and our Second Amendment.”
* From the Rodney Davis campaign…
For two weeks, Mary Miller has refused to comment on news reports that a campaign worker of hers served jail time for soliciting sex from a young boy on the internet. Rodney Davis is calling on Miller to break her silence and explain her relationship with the child sex predator.
“Mary Miller needs to stop using the Biden basement strategy and start answering questions about her relationship with a child sex predator. For someone who claims to be an advocate for children and family values, Miller’s silence on this issue speaks volumes about her judgement and character. When you’re a candidate for Congress, you have to answer basic questions about your record. You can’t just hide from the public and hope a bad story blows over like Miller is doing. It’s far past time for Miller to start giving voters some answers.” - Rodney Davis, Republican candidate for Congress in IL-15
A recently conducted survey by Lake Research Partners in IL-01 reveals a competitive Democratic primary race for Congress, and a major opportunity for State Senator Jacqui Collins to take the lead. The race starts out a statistical tie between Collins, Jonathan Jackson, and Pat Dowell, with the undecided vote the clear leader today. However, Collins surges into a commanding 30-point lead once voters learn more about how her background and agenda for the office.
● Despite Jonathan Jackson’s name ID advantage, the race starts out with the top three candidates in a dead heat: 19% for Jackson to 14% for Collins and 14% for Dowell. Karin Norrington-Reaves (5%) and Jonathan Swain (3%) trail behind in the single digits. A 42% plurality of voters are completely undecided, making this contest truly up for grabs at this point in the race.
The polling memo goes on to claim that Sen. Collins’ builds a substantial lead with push questions. But that assumes she’ll have the cash to make her full case to voters. We’ll see.
The annual Paul Simon-Jim Edgar Statesmanship Award is presented to a former or current state or local government official in Illinois who has demonstrated a pattern of public service characterized by vision, courage, compassion, effectiveness, civility, and bipartisanship.
Former Governor Jim Edgar and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute invite you to nominate an Illinois elected official who has displayed this kind of exceptional leadership.
We created the Simon-Edgar Statesmanship Award to shine a spotlight on remarkable public service that is taking place in our state and local communities. Please join us as we celebrate the Prairie State’s best traditions. Nominate an Illinois statesperson by June 1.
Last Saturday in Chicago’s Millennium Park, a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot prompting Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to impose a curfew on unaccompanied minors.
WGN News asked: “If your 19-year-old and your 17-year-old called you up and said, ‘Hey dad, we want to hang out at the Bean on a Saturday night,’ would you be comfortable with them doing that?”
“Well, certainly watching what happened, the traffic, the death 16-year-old in that area gives one pause,” Pritzker said. “It is the responsibility of local law enforcement to do everything that they can to protect their downtown areas – that’s not just in Chicago, that’s in Rockford, it’s in Quincy, it’s in Carbondale, everywhere in the state.”
The fiscal year 2023 budget includes $1.4 billion to reduce crime and violence.
* Pritzker was also asked about that shooting and the mayor’s curfew order earlier in the week…
I’ve had the Illinois State Police reach out to the city and to the CPD to make sure that we’re offering every available service that we have, from the state level, including state troopers if necessary. And so that’s always available, but we just wanted to double down and make sure that they know, in any moment, particularly if there’s a crisis that’s happening in any given hour, we have state police on the front lines available to assist.
And of course, it’s up to each city, they are on the frontlines to do what is necessary to keep order. And to this, I just want to say these killings, particularly of young people, but any sort are just horrific for everybody that lives in Chicago and everybody that lives in Illinois. And so local police have to get their arms around this. We are providing at the state level significant support in other ways, including state police. But I also want to say, violence prevention programs, we put tens of millions of dollars into youth employment programs and making sure that we’re providing services for youth for the entire summer, but also all year long. And so those services are critically important to employ. We want to make sure that those dollars are being used properly. But suffice to say that the state’s engagement in this is significant.
* Also today, the governor signed a bill outlawing ghost guns…
Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4383 into law, banning the sale and possession of so-called ‘ghost guns’ statewide. ‘Ghost guns’ refer to unserialized, privately made firearms that are often sold as a set of parts to be assembled at home, allowing prohibited purchasers to circumvent background checks. Ghost guns cannot be traced by conventional means and can be created on a 3-D printer, leaving no record of their ownership.
“The people creating, selling, and purchasing these firearms know that they’re working to circumvent common-sense gun laws that ensure guns stay out of the hands of traffickers, abusers, and convicted criminals,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We are seeing these unseralized guns being built in basements by those who should never have had access to such dangerous weapons and then used to commit heinous crimes, and it must be stopped to keep Illinoisans safe.”
Illinois is a trailblazer the fight against ghost guns. President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has focused on ghost guns since taking office, recognizing the unprecedented threat these unregulated weapons pose. President Biden’s administration has taken similar steps to Illinois on the national level to reign in ghost guns, requiring serialization and reclassifying these build kits as firearms.
Because ghost guns are cheaper and easier to acquire than conventional firearms, they are more accessible to young people. Already in May of 2022, at least two Illinois teenagers were charged with possession of ghost guns, including one case where a loaded ghost gun was brought to a high school. ISP has worked on 28 cases concerning ghost guns in May of 2022 alone. Using the increased expressway cameras installed under Governor Pritzker, State Police recently brought into custody and arrested individuals associated in connection with multiple armed carjackings who used ghost guns to commit these crimes.
A second male, whose age was not listed in the police report, also was “observed in close proximity to (the 17-year-old) at the time of his arrest.” He also was seen pulling a gun from his waistband, but the police report notes he only took out the weapon after Holliday had been shot. When he saw officers coming toward him he also took off running, the report said, but he was stopped and detained after a brief foot chase.
The gun the second male pulled from his waistband was a ghost gun, meaning it does not have a serial number and can’t be traced, according to the report. It was not immediately clear whether police had filed charges against the male with the ghost gun.
* Saying the locals have to step up more may be partly why Lori Lightfoot elbowed her way in today…
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is crashing the governor’s news conference at St Sabina where he is signing a ghost gun bill that Kam Buckner — one of her opponents — pushed. It is not on her public schedule.
More likely, though, it was because the bill’s sponsor Rep. Kam Buckner was being featured. Buckner is running for mayor and Lightfoot never so much as mentioned his name when she spoke and then maneuvered him to the side of the photo op during the bill-signing…
Tonight, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Rachelle L. Crowe to serve as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement on her confirmation:
“We are pleased that the Senate has confirmed Rachelle Crowe to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois. After seven years without a confirmed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Ms. Crowe has the qualifications, integrity, and judgment to serve with distinction.”
Ms. Crowe’s biography from the White House is included below:
Rachelle L. Crowe: United States Attorney Nominee for the Southern District of Illinois
Rachelle L. Crowe has served as the State Senator for Illinois’s 56th District since 2019. From 2006 to 2018, she served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Violent Crimes, General Felony and Juvenile Abuse units. She was previously an associate at three law firms: Carmody MacDonald P.C. from 2004 to 2006, Riezman Berger from 2002 to 2004, and Hoagland, Fitzgerald, Smith & Praintis from 2000 to 2002. Ms. Crowe received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from the University of Missouri in St. Louis in 1996.
No word yet on when she will resign her Senate seat. The GOP has targeted the district. Subscribers know a bit more.
Weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court announces a major decision that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democratic Secretary of State Anna Valencia today has launched her first TV ad, “Consequences,” that highlights her staunch advocacy for reproductive rights.
The ad contrasts her record with Alexi Giannoulias’ support for Republican Tom Cross, who sponsored anti-choice legislation in Springfield and specifically changed the language of the ban on partial-birth abortions to limit the exemption to instances where the procedure was necessary to save the life of the mother, instead of the life of a mother. The bill was intended to maintain a limit on choice for persons in Illinois, and continued to lack an exemption for rape or incest under the amended language that Cross sponsored.
The ad also highlights Giannoulias’ 2016 op-ed urging Illinoisans to unite behind Donald Trump – whose Supreme Court picks are the reason why abortion rights are about to be rolled back. The ad will run on Chicago broadcast and cable TV, as well as on digital platforms throughout the state.
“After 50 years, a women’s right to choose is being torn away.
“My opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, has supported an anti-choice candidate and even lectured us to unite behind Donald Trump.
“Trump’s the reason we are facing this crisis today.
“Elections have consequences. That’s why Democrats statewide are standing with me.
“No woman should face jail time for seeking an abortion. And no politician should make medical decisions for us.
In her ad, Valencia is referring to Giannoulias’ endorsement of former Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross, who ran for state treasurer four years after Giannoulias had left the office.Cross, a moderate Republican from Oswego, however, has a history of endorsements that show he supported abortion rights and also same-sex marriage.
He also ran a 2014 television ad in which he said, “I’m pro-choice.” Cross was endorsed by Personal PAC in 2008 and by Equality Illinois in 2014. He was also just one of three House Republicans who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2014.
Valencia’s campaign also referenced a bill sponsored by Cross, as House GOP leader, in 2003, describing it as an “anti-choice” bill.
The legislation, a so-called “shell bill,” was designed to amend “the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act,” according to its synopsis, making “a technical change to a Section prohibiting partial-birth abortions.” Shell bills are typically filed as a way to move legislation often on unrelated issues along more quickly. Budget bills are often moved through shell bills that have already been introduced. […]
Valencia’s ad also features a Chicago Tribune op-ed that Giannoulias wrote in 2016. The words on the screen read, “Alexi Giannoulias ‘Let’s All Help’ Trump.” The op-ed, however, ran two days before the election was called for Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, and the headline actually read, “Let’s all help our president-elect unify a divided America.”
Nobody was gonna use that shell bill to move something unrelated because the topic was just too hot and the title couldn’t be changed, and it also wasn’t an approp bill. He did what he did, but his endorsement by Personal PAC does say quite a lot. And Cross was also endorsed by Personal PAC in 2010 and in 2012. Tough to call him anti-choice after that.
The hatred and vitriol in this presidential campaign are unparalleled, and our country is deeply and dangerously divided. Hillary Clinton supporters contend they will leave the country if Trump wins (which is the same exasperated refrain we heard when George W. Bush was elected). Some Trump supporters are actually dangerous in their rhetoric, even threatening to take up arms against a Clinton administration.
As it turned out, a few loudmouths threatened to leave and didn’t, but some Trump supporters did, in fact, take up arms after the 2020 election and stormed the United States Capitol Building. He was calling for calm, but used himself as some sort of shining light because he had a drink with Mark Kirk after getting thumped. And the same people who ran Kirk’s race, who went on to run Bruce Rauner’s first race are now running the Griffin slate and salivating at a repeat Giannoulias performance this fall (although, to be fair, they’re also quite pleased with the oppo that has emerged from Valencia’s recent past).