With help from Olivia Olander
Happy Thursday, Illinois. It was rough getting there, but Republicans flipped the House, via POLITICO
Work is back on track at the Obama Presidential Center a week after a noose was found on the site in a construction area where there were no cameras.
It’s not known whether the noose was put up by someone with access to the site or not affiliated with the center. Police are still investigating.
Zeroing in on the problem: In recent days, workers on the site have taken part in anti-bias training, and additional security measures were put in place, according to Lakeside Alliance — the group of construction companies building the Obama Center.
Ongoing investigation: “We will continue to provide assistance to the authorities regarding the ongoing investigation to identify the individual or individuals responsible for this horrific act,” the consortium said in a statement. “While Lakeside Alliance understands that no amount of training will lessen the impact of last week’s heinous act, we will continue to provide anti-bias, inclusion and belonging training on an ongoing basis to help foster an inclusive work environment.”
There’s a reward: The construction group is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to “this shameful act.”
Illinois State Rep. Tony McCombie holds her first press conference as state House minority leader, the first woman to hold the position. | POLITICO’s Shia Kapos
SPRINGFIELD. Ill. — In her first press conference as Illinois House minority leader, State Rep. Tony McCombie said her no. 1 task at hand is to rebuild the GOP caucus.
“We need some numbers, seriously,” she told reporters in a third floor Capitol conference room. “We need to collaborate on our messages. We need to bring our caucus all together to have opinions.”
After brutal Midterm elections that saw Republican numbers dwindle in the House, McCombie said she has already started building a leadership team. She named Rep. Norine Hammond as a deputy minority leader.
“She has been my mentor since I was first elected,” McCombie said of Hammond. “She has been here. She’s been in leadership. She is going to be bringing us knowledge that’s been underutilized.”
Work cut out for her: McCombie, who replaces outgoing Minority Leader Jim Durkin, has a big bench to fill as Republicans have seen their leadership team decimated.
As Capitol News’ Peter Hancock notes: Deputy Minority Leaders Dan Brady and Tom Demmer were both defeated in their bids for statewide offices. Assistant Minority Leader Avery Bourne ran for lieutenant governor with gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin but was defeated in the primary. State Rep. Keith Wheeler, also an assistant minority leader, was defeated for reelection. Minority Conference Chairman David Welter was defeated for reelection in the primary.
There’s more: Minority Floor Leader Mark Batinick didn’t run for reelection. And Assistant Minority Leader Tim Butler is resigning at year’s end for a private sector job. Still up in the air: State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, also on Durkin’s leadership team, is trailing in her election bid.
— New state Senate GOP leader welcomes billionaires’ bucks but warns party must ‘diversify our fundraising’: “We have to broaden that appeal because we’re getting heavily outspent in all our races all across the state,” new state Senate Minority Leader John Curran told Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.
— Rusky vote: The Illinois Senate voted 50 to 0 Wednesday to prohibit the investment of state funds in Russia. In a statement, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon denounced Russia’s “ongoing, unconscionable acts of aggression against the Ukrainian people.” The proposed law would require the state to divest or withdraw any existing investments in Russian banks and companies and prohibit such investments going forward. HB1293 now goes to the house for final action.
— The next chapter for Avery Bourne: “Youngest person to serve in the General Assembly rules out lobbying, law school,” by Illinois Times’ Scott Reeder
— SAFE-T Act sponsors, advocates rally for pretrial fairness, by WGEM’s Mike Miletich, with VIDEO
— Mendoza urges General Assembly to support Rainy Day Fund increase, via WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller.
— Making an exit: Eleni Demertzis, longtime Illinois House Republican spokeswoman, is leaving government to join the Culloton + Bauer Luce public affairs firm, where she’ll be vice president. The firm specializes in crisis communications, which is right up Demertzis’ alley. On a note to staff, she thanked the House GOP comms team for working hard “to get things done. We collaborate on ideas, we pinch hits for each other no matter what the task is, we are always ready for the fight and we have always been in it together. …It’s been a wild ride. … keep having fun!” You, too, Elena.
If you are Tom Demmer, we’d like to know what’s next. E-mail [email protected].
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
No official public events.
At Navy Pier at 10 am for the Chicago Fire Department firefighter, EMT and paramedics graduation ceremony.
At the Cook County Building at 9 am presiding over a special meeting of the Cook County Board to approve the FY23 budget.
— Sarah Garza Resnick has been named president and CEO of Personal PAC, the abortion-rights fundraising organization. Garza Resnick, a political strategist, takes over for current president and CEO Terry Cosgrove, who announced his departure to coincide with the conclusion of the 2022 mid-term elections.
A first: Garza Resnick has managed political campaigns across the country and most recently was chief of staff at the Cook County Assessor’s Office, where she led the office’s transition team and helped execute new reforms. Her appointment to Personal PAC is effective in January. She is the second CEO and will be the first woman of color to lead the organization in its more than 30-year history.
— Mayoral candidates aim to get petition signatures ahead of deadline: “Hopefuls for the 2023 Chicago mayoral election are aiming to get their petition signatures in ahead of the deadline, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot has her own strategy,” reports NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern.
— What do Lightfoot’s ads tell us about the state of the mayoral race? “Rolling out three video ads in two days, it’s a sign that Mayor Lightfoot has some money to spend—and quite probably it’s an indication that she has reason for political worry,” writes Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Kam Buckner favors preserving Promontory Point limestone, would create city Environment Department, by Hyde Park Herald’s Aaron Gettinger
— Lightfoot launches lobbying campaign to win City Council approval for Red Line South TIF: “The mayor pressured alderpersons to hurry and approve her plan to qualify for federal matching funds needed to build the 5.6-mile extension and four new stations,” by Sun- Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Large events like Riot Fest now require approval of Park District Board: “Any event with an anticipated 10,000 attendees per day will now have its permit application reviewed by the board of commissioners. The Park District’s general superintendent will not be allowed to overrule the board’s decision,” by WTTW’s Patty Wetli.
— Lightfoot agrees to allow heads of Chicago Public Schools, CTA to testify at City Council meetings, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— Pilsen residents call for broader study, push city to ‘close the door’ on polluters on the Southwest Side, by Tribune’s Maddie Ellis
— Ozingas still trying to sway Southeast Siders on massive underground warehouse, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase
— Whole Foods ‘not a good partner’ for shutting Englewood store, Lightfoot says as aldermen OK $13M to reopen Save-a-Lots, by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Talia Soglin
— Records show work at vacant Woodlawn school was done to turn it into migrant shelter, despite city’s denial, by CBS 2’s Lauren Victory
— Will private lot booting expand citywide? Aldermen could decide, after collecting cash from booting company, by Block Club’s Quinn Myers
— Lightfoot chastises security detail for parking in a bike lane while she picked up donuts, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt
— Lincoln Park Zoo’s new lion habitat wins Chicago Innovation Award for development and features, by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot, city treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and City Council members welcomed 85 members of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority to City Hall on Wednesday. The Black sorority and service organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Lightfoot and all presented the group with a resolution recognizing their service. Conyears-Ervin and Ald. Pat Dowell are members.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution honoring Elise Malary, a community leader with Chicago Therapy Collective who died in March. The resolution recognizes Transgender Day of Resilience and supports Hire Trans Now, an initiative Malary led.
— Village of Oak Lawn approves $10M settlement in 2019 hit-and-run accident involving then-village manager, by Sun-Times’ Mary Norkol
— Elk Grove Village unveils biggest — and most expensive — summer concert series bill, by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek
— Trial beginning for man who allegedly was with 13-year-old Adam Toledo on morning teen was fatally shot by police officer, by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley
— Many on house arrest bombed with texts from sheriff’s contractor, by Matt Chapman, via The TRiiBE
— Skokie woman ‘was happy’ days before fatal crash involving Jan. 6 defendant, who is now charged with murder, by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel
— Hoffman Estates man arrested on charges he entered US Capitol on Jan. 6, fought with officer, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner
— Weed dispensary Green Rose, owned by Phil Stefani, former police commander, opens in River North, by Block Club’s Melody Mercado
We asked what small thing gives you pleasure on a daily basis:
Clark Chaplin: “A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Savoring that each day makes everything seem more manageable.”
Roberto A. Cornelio: “Looking at photographs and videos of my greatest gift: my 4-year old granddaughter. Immediate rush of joy and energy.”
Dave Dahl: “Coffee. I am a home roaster.”
Mike Gascoigne: “Coffee. I look forward to that first sip every day.”
Bryce C. Harris: “A hand-rolled cigarette with black coffee in the morning while watching the sunrise, and a hand-rolled cigarette alongside a nice bourbon before turning in for the night.”
Justin Kulovsek: “My morning coffee while reading Playbook, of course!” (Thank you, Justin, and to all the other good readers who mentioned Playbook!)
Janet Mathis: “A cup of hot tea in the morning.”
Marilynn Miller: “Sitting down early mornings with my newspaper and a pot of black coffee.”
Sharon Rosenblum: “Jeopardy is must-see TV for me. In a car, in a bar, in the house-u BETTER be quiet like a mouse. If only I were better at geography.”
What life experience taught you the most? E-mail [email protected]
— GOP civil war spreads to Georgia runoff, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison and Brittany Gibson
— Sen. Durbin: Time running out for Senate to pass “dreamer” legislation, by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet
— Bass elected mayor of LA over billionaire rival in historic win, by POLITICO’s Alexander Nieves and Lara Korte
— Opinion: Gun violence plagues America, but tougher policing isn’t the best answer, write Sara B. Heller and Max Kapustin in Market
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Liz Heffernan for correctly answering that the Deluxe on Green Street in Champaign that was known for its Friday fish sandwiches.
TODAY’S QUESTION: How did young Marshall Field save up enough money to start his business? E-mail [email protected]
Rita Forden, CEO at the American Osteopathic Foundation, and Channing Lenert, program officer for Polk Bros. Foundation.