TGIF, Illinois. White Sox clinch, Chicago Sky win playoff opener, and Justin Fields is the Bears’ starting QB. It’s great to be in Chicago today (unless you’re a Cubs fan). President JOE BIDEN is heading to Chicago on Wednesday to spotlight a company that has embraced vaccine mandates in the workplace. The president wants to
TGIF, Illinois. White Sox clinch, Chicago Sky win playoff opener, and Justin Fields is the Bears’ starting QB. It’s great to be in Chicago today (unless you’re a Cubs fan).
President JOE BIDEN is heading to Chicago on Wednesday to spotlight a company that has embraced vaccine mandates in the workplace. The president wants to show that vaccinations and regular Covid testing of employees is good for the economy.
The White House isn’t saying which company will get a presidential shout-out. We don’t even know if he’s leaving the airport, according to a source familiar with Biden’s trip.
Biden wouldn’t have to step outside of O’Hare, given it’s the hub of Chicago-based United Airlines, an outspoken leader in vaccinating employees. United was also the first airliner to mandate masks for employees.
Dan Lynch, United’s VP of government affairs, joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a presser yesterday to promote a new marketing program to gin up support for vaccinations.
The program is called “Protect Chicago 77,” a reference to the goal of getting 77 percent of Chicago residents 12 and older vaccinated with at least one shot by year’s end. Right now the city is averaging a little over 72 percent vaccination rates citywide, and some neighborhoods are as low as 50 percent. “Do it for somebody you love, who depends on you, whose presence in your life makes a meaningful difference,” Lightfoot said.
The mayor thinks 77 percent is attainable. She says polling shows only “a small percentage” of Chicagoans say “never me” to vaccinations. “The vast majority need to make time for it, or still have a question about it. They’re not rigidly against the vaccination,” Lightfoot said, adding, “that’s an opportunity to continue to reach people.”
Lynch of United said “count us in” to help. The airliner announced last month that it would require employees to be vaccinated in an effort to make customers and the “United family” safe. Lunch said as of Wednesday, 97 percent of United’s U.S. employees are vaccinated.
Joe Biden likes city mayors, BTW. “Though he was never one himself, Biden has what longtime aides call a love affair with mayors. And if you need any evidence of it, check out his administration,” West Wing Playbook’s Tina Sfondeles writes, ticking off Pete Buttigieg and Rahm Emanuel among them. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says mayors like Biden right back: “Not only does President Biden understand the importance of cities across the U.S. but he also acknowledges the leadership of mayors and that they know what is best for their own municipalities.”
Heavy load in Comed case: Government attorneys will be delivering a “voluminous” amount of documents in the indictment against Tim Mapes, the former chief of staff and confidante to former state House Speaker Mike Madigan.
In a status report filed yesterday in the corruption probe, the government says it has 90,000 documents and 8,000 recordings that it’s delivering to lawyers representing Mapes.
The Springfield pol has pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury in the bribery-for-favors case involving ComEd.
Mapes was indicted for allegedly lying in a grand jury appearance about Madigan’s relationship to another aide, Michael McClain, who was charged in orchestrating a bribery scheme involving jobs at ComEd.
Mapes maintains federal prosecutors are trying to squeeze him to give up incriminating information — if it exists — on Madigan.
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Online for an 11 a.m. regional press briefing meeting with Deputy Director of the National Economic Council David Kamin talking about Illinois’ Build Back Better efforts.
No official public events.
No official public events.
State’s recovery steers $44M to ailing businesses, the unemployed, at-risk youth: “The individual programs announced Thursday aren’t ‘the goals in and of themselves, but they are the key components of our recovery from the pandemic and our commitment to build a better Illinois for everyone,’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker said,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Illinois plans stronger verification to stop thieves from stealing unemployment benefits: “The “ILogin” system is part of a beefed-up effort to battle fraud that has ripped through the state’s unemployment agency during the pandemic. The system includes safeguards already used by some states and in much of the private sector, such as multifactor authentication,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr.
— Chicago banker, lawyer who served 5 governors rejected for state gambling license: “The Illinois Gaming Board rejected former Illinois Tollway board member James J. Banks for the coveted license, saying his ‘business and social associations . . . would discredit or tend to discredit the Illinois gaming industry,’” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak and Robert Herguth.
— Former state official reviewing Trump Tower tax appeal violated law by deleting records during investigation, watchdog says: “Mauro Glorioso, then executive director of Illinois’ Property Tax Appeal Board, was informed in late September 2020 that Gov. J.B. Pritzker planned to replace him as head of the agency, records show. At the time, Glorioso was under investigation by the Office of Executive Inspector General regarding a case before the board.” A source says it was Trump’s tax appeal case, reports Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
— Back to high school: Latino Coalition’s Equity in Construction Jobs Committee tours suburban vocational program: Elected officials visited with students in the nanotechnology and manufacturing labs, where they were working to create robotics, and high-mileage vehicles at Wheeling High School.
— Lightfoot stalled universal basic income pilot to use it as budget sweetener, former floor leader says: “Ald. Gilbert Villegas said 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families could have been getting $500 monthly checks since spring had the mayor not dragged her feet. Dozens of U.S. cities and towns already have such programs,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— NATIONAL TAKE: Chicago wants to sue gang members for their assets. Criminal experts say it won’t quell gun violence: “It’s using gangs as scapegoats, which for many people means young Black and brown people, as the root cause, as opposed to historic disinvestment from our neighborhood,” via NBC News.
— Arrest made after CPS schools, including Simeon, were targeted with online threats of gun violence: “The threats came as the Simeon community reeled from a pair of shootings Tuesday that left two students dead,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Nothing short of new stadium along the lake will keep Bears in Chicago, consultant says: “Chicagoan Marc Ganis has advised numerous NFL teams on their stadium financing and has closely followed the Bears stadium saga for decades, including past team flirtations with in Hoffman Estates and Gary, Ind.,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Reinsdorf was always all in with White Sox rebuild, which is beginning to bear fruit: “AL Central title “means a lot,” Reinsdorf said, ‘but now there’s a bigger prize and we hope we can bring that home to [our fans],’” by Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen.
— Teens protesting ‘sexist’ dress codes as they return to in-person learning: “Some Chicago Public Schools students feel targeted by dress codes they say focus on censoring their style and policing their bodies,” by WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad.
— West Monroe continues acquisition spree as it beefs up tech talent: “After allocating $250 million earlier this month for mergers and acquisitions, the tech consulting company has purchased Verys, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based product engineering services firm,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.
NOT JUST A CHICAGO PROBLEM: Murder rose by almost 30% in 2020 nationwide. It’s rising at a slower rate in 2021: “Some cities like Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas are seeing big increases relative to last year; some big cities like Chicago and New York are seeing flat numbers after sizable increases in 2020; and some places like St. Louis [which had the nation’s highest murder rate in 2020] are seeing sizable declines,” writes AH Datalytics’ Jeff Asher in the New York Times.
— With Arlington Park’s closure, Hawthorne awarded all 2022 race dates: “Hawthorne will change over its track four times to accommodate the schedule, with harness racing in January, February and March; thoroughbred racing in April, May and June; the return of harness in July, August and early September; and thoroughbreds finishing the year in late September, October, November and December,” by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.
— Eyes to the Skies ending after two years of COVID-19 cancellations, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit
— Meanwhile, the city’s ward map is still in flux: “As Chicago aldermen get down to redrawing the 50 wards, an independent group releases its latest map and City Council factions jockey for support in the battle to survive,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
ENDORSEMENTS: Democrat Rachel Ventura has snagged four new endorsements for her campaign in the state Senate District 43 race. West Suburban Illinois Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Southland Black Business PAC, Southland Black Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and the Working Families of Joliet have endorsed Ventura’s bid to become the next candidate the revamped 43rd District that’s now represented by Democrat John Connor, who isn’t seeking reelection (he’s running for judge).
— Chris Butler officially kicked off his bid for the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Bobby Rush. We featured Butler back in July talking about why he wants to run.
— State Supreme Court to consider if ex-Bear Richard Dent has right to learn accuser’s identity: The case centers on whether the former Super Bowl MVP has a right to learn the identity of a woman “who accused him of sexual harassment, allegedly leading to the termination of contracts between his energy services company and a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.
— Former Illinois State Police Merit Board financial officer accused of filing false overtime reports: “Jenny Thornley, 41, a political activist whose campaign work has included Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2018 run for governor, is accused in an indictment issued Wednesday of stealing between $10,000 and $100,000 by allegedly forging documents purportedly signed by Jack Garcia, the merit board’s executive director,” by Tribune’s Ray Long.
Great recommendations from yesterday’s question asking for favorite books on Illinois politics:
“Boss” by Mike Royko, thanks to Lake County Assistant Public Defender Joseph Steinfels, former executive director of the State Board of Elections Ron Michaelson and Playbooker Sharon Duffy.
“Our Culture of Pandering,” by Paul Simon, is a favorite read of River Radio of Southern Illinois’ Robert Thies.
“We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent,” by Milton Rakove, recommended by former state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg.
“Don’t Make No Waves, Don’t back No Losers,” by Milton Rakove, recommended by journalist Bob Skolnik.
And for laughs, “You Can’t Write City Hall: What Happened When a Stand-Up Comedian Got Elected Mayor,” by former Dawson Mayor Jeremy Nunes and recommended by Village of Chatham President Dave Kimsey.
Question for Monday: How can you tell the election season is kicking in? Email at [email protected].
Speaking of Illinois politics, Blagojevich offers his take: “Was the patronage system abused? Of course it was. And were people hired, who were not qualified. I’m sure that was always a common practice with all the different political bosses. Whether it’s Madigan, you know, my father in law, who was one of them, Rostenkowski, his dad was one Mayor Daley’s dad, who was the ultimate political boss. And then there were, you know, the days where these guys would be city workers and wouldn’t even have to show up to work.
They would just work their precincts. [Mike] Madigan had some of these, some of these guys were such good precinct captains, that when I was governor, I knew who they were, I knew their names, they had a reputation in that political world, for being so good. And Madigan would protect them, and they wouldn’t have to even go to work. And that’s wrong. …. But I do wish…just everyday people can be connected to government through an emissary from the neighborhood who knows them and understands their concerns,” the former governor (who served time for corruption) said in an extended interview released Thursday with a host of the leftist podcast, Chapo Trap House.
Roland Burris, the former senator and state comptroller, was honored by his home town of Centralia
Ashvin Lad is now director of Strategic Initiatives for Indianapolis-based PSG Energy Group, part of Envelop Group. Lad will be based in Chicago and work with Midwestern municipalities and businesses to promote solar, renewable, and sustainability programs. “It’s a combination of business development, client strategy, and advocacy,” says. Lad, an entrepreneur who’s owned his own business, is a familiar name in Playbook — he loves Trivia!
— Jan. 6 committee subpoenas 4 from Trump’s inner circle, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu
— McConnell warms to Herschel Walker as primary war with Trump fizzles, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Why 15,000 migrants ended up in one spot on the U.S.-Mexico border, by POLITICO’s Jack Herrera
— The complete history of signature sneakers in the WNBA, by The Undefeated’s Aaron Dodson and Nick DePaula
— Saturday at 11 a.m.: Live discussion examining “Who Owns the Waters of the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes?” Chicago Humanities Festival hosting the conversation at Columbia college.
— Saturdays starting tomorrow: State Rep. La Shawn Ford returns to WVON 1690 AM for an hour-long radio discussion titled “Chicago Heal,” about the mental health of the city. Co-host is Meleika Gardner.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to F4 Consulting President John Fritchey for correctly answering that former Gov. John Wood founded the town of Quincy, which was first known as Bluffs but was renamed when President John Quincy Adams was inaugurated.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the U.S. president with Illinois roots who developed a patent — and what was it? Email to [email protected]
Today: Will County Board member Jackie Traynere, governor’s speechwriter Darby Hopper, N’Digo publisher Hermene Hartman, attorney Michael Kreloff, former Cook County Recorder of Deeds Ed Moody, intellectual property attorney John Munger and former aldermanic candidate Tanya Patino.
Saturday: U.S. Small Business Administration head of comms Han Nguyen, former Rep. Jerry Costello, former state Sen. Rick Winkel, Deputy Chief to Rep. Lauren Underwood Kirsten Hartman, Culloton Bauer Luce executive VP Natalie Bauer Luce, former ABC/7 reporter Paul Meincke (Go Sox!), Chicago City Clerk deputy chief of comms Alyssa Goodstein, sportswriter Ed Sherman, and broadcast journalist Jack Zahora.
Sunday: Former state Rep. Tim Schmitz, campaign manager to Rep. Rodney Davis Matt Butcher, PR pro Debra Baum, and Ipsos Research analyst Charlie Rollason.
- Shia Kapos @shiakapos