Good Monday morning, Illinois. Busy weekend for the Senate: It passed the long-awaited climate, tax and health care bill with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, left, joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of her congressional delegation, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks, right, in Tokyo on Aug. 5, 2022. | AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a high-stakes trip to Taiwan last week, defended the visit even as China ramped up threats toward the island nation and the relationship it has with the United States.
Par for the course: “Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party has engaged in aggressive and rather violent rhetoric and actions long before we visited Taiwan. We have to stand strong with our allies and partners and friends in the region like Taiwan,” Krishnamoorthi told Playbook in an interview. “The situation in Ukraine teaches us that it’s all the more important that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends, especially those places that practice democratic norms to prevent hostilities from breaking out.”
We’re obliged: Krishnamoorthi said the United States has an “obligation” under the Taiwan Relations Act to support the self-defense of Taiwan “and that’s what we intend to do.”
Some other take-aways from our discussion:
How did you come to make the trip with Pelosi? “Speaker Pelosi invited me to join this codel (congressional delegation) months ago. We were scheduled to go in April and then she and I and at least one other person came down with Covid, so it was postponed for four months,” said Krishnamoorthi, who represents the 8th Congressional District in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
What was your itinerary? “We visited Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. … Yes, we met with (former Chicago mayor now envoy) Rahm Emanuel, who arranged our meeting with the new prime minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida.” (Kishida has also condemned the Chinese military drills near Taiwan, calling them “a grave problem.”) “I put on my salesman hat and tried to sell them on doing business in Illinois. Hopefully, that pays off sometime.”
Any anecdotes away from the official meetings you can share? “There was a lot of eating at government-arranged working lunches or dinners with various officials. We also met with American troops wherever we went, including from Illinois. I was thrilled to meet one soldier from my district. A constituent serving in Korea. She gave me a patch signifying her unit in Yakota Air Force Base in Japan, and I’m going to display it with great pride.”
TRIBUNE SCOOP: State Sen. Elgie Sims being approached by the feds about alleged influence peddling by a body-cam company he represents: “Investigators are looking into whether Axon — either directly or through other lobbying entities — improperly tried to influence Sims in his official duties as a member of the Illinois legislature working on criminal justice legislation,” according to the sources who spoke to Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.
The legislation put numerous reforms into effect in Illinois, including having every police officer in the state wear a body camera by 2025.
No charges have been filed against anyone as part of the probe. Sims’ criminal defense attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, told the Tribune his client has done nothing wrong. In a statement, he said Sims’ actions on behalf of his constituents have never “been compromised or otherwise influenced.”
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At the Chicago Urban League at 1:30 p.m. to give remarks about renewable energy for Chicago buildings and operations.
With the governor talking renewable energy.
In Champaign at 1 p.m. to offer remarks and take part in a Q&A session at the 2022 Edgar Fellows Program.
ABORTION FALLS IN INDIANA: Indiana became the first state to pass legislation ending abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned earlier this summer.
And before Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signature could dry on the new law, two major companies lashed out at the legislative move.
Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company that has more than 10,000 employees in Indianapolis, said it will have to look outside of Indiana for future growth possibilities.
ILLINOIS’ GAIN? Watch for Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make a move to encourage businesses to come to Illinois.
Another company, too: Cummins, an engine manufacturing company headquartered in Columbus, Ind., said it opposes the law, too. “Cummins believes that women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of gender equity,” spokesperson Jon Mills told NPR. “The right to make decisions regarding reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in our workforce and that our workforce is diverse.”
— Pritzker wins bid to end Shakman decree: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker moved to vacate the half-century-old Shakman decree, with state lawyers telling the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals that ‘there is no evidence the state is considering political factors in hiring today,’” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.
— In wake of Highland Park massacre, law on firearms restraining orders in Illinois seen as confusing and underused, police leaders and experts tell Tribune’s Annie Sweeney, Jeremy Gorner and Dan Petrella
— Some Illinois school districts to ditch Covid-19 tests this fall, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta
— INVESTIGATION: Climate change is turning air conditioning into a matter of life and death. But government help is lacking, reports Tribune’s Sarah Macaraeg
— Invasive carp captured in Lake Calumet, just 7 miles from Lake Michigan, by WTTW’s Dan Lambert
— Illinois ranks 5th in Clean Jobs America report
— Darren Bailey spotted chatting with former Gov. George Ryan at a meet-and-greet in Kankakee, via Daily Journal
— Naperville’s Bruzan Taylor to withdraw from 41st District state rep race, citing ‘personal family matters’: “Bruzan Taylor ran unopposed for the House seat in the June Republican primary and would have faced state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, in the November general election,” via Naperville Sun Staff.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Greg Hart has been endorsed by former Gov. Jim Edgar in his bid for chair of the DuPage County Board. “With the nation as divided as it is, and politicians taking such extreme positions on the left and right, it gives me hope that there are still leaders who know how to accomplish great things in government for the people,” Edgar said in a statement backing Hart.
— Independent candidate Mohammed Faheem opts out of challenging Krishnamoorthi, via Daily Herald
— Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who dissented in abortion ruling, accepts award in Chicago: “Breyer, 83, did not directly speak about the abortion ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, nor did he address other controversial decisions the High Court handed down this spring with its sharp turn to the right in recent years,” by Tribune’s Adriana Pérez.
— Meet the billionaire couple pumping their fortune into right-wing politics: “The Uihleins have reported giving $194 million (over the years) to federal candidates and causes, the fourth-most of all billionaires in America,” behind Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and the Adelsons, via Forbes.
— State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, a Democrat from Oswego, has been selected as the Midwest Regional Director of the Women’s Legislative Network by the National Conference of State Legislators’ nominating committee.
— A year after Officer Ella French was killed during a traffic stop, Lightfoot and Pritzker join police officials to honor her memory: “Right here and right now, we take this day back,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said during the ceremony at police headquarters. “We honor Officer French, who lived, and lift up the lives she touched.” Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba reports.
— Police to beef up CTA patrols after 4 homicides in one night, including man slain on Red Line, by Tribune’s Shanzeh Ahmad
— Chicago schools get smaller share of state money after enrollment drop, property wealth bump, Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie and Becky Vevea
— City awards over $200M in airport maintenance, security contracts: “The deals are with ABM Aviation and Lincoln Security Services,” by Crain’s John Pletz.
— Ukrainian community forms ‘human chain’ in Loop to protest Russian invasion, by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo
— MAKING A MOVE: Chicago Ald. Sophia King (4th) has formed a committee allowing her to raise money to run for mayor of Chicago. It doesn’t mean the South Side alderwoman (and chair of the City Council’s progressive caucus) is announcing her candidacy — yet.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: State Rep. Kam Buckner, who’s running for mayor of Chicago, has released his plan to address veterans issues if elected. His goal is to serve “the whole veteran,” he said in a statement. Top of his list: Hire a dedicated director of Veterans Affairs to prioritize veteran support initiatives and work with federal and Cook County governments to obtain funding and resources. Buckner also wants to create a “dedicated transition pipeline” for service members who are moving into civilian life, including education, vocational skill building, and job training. Here’s his full plan
— Watch for Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, a small-business owner in Andersonville and leader of the local Indivisible group to announce her bid for alderwoman in the 48th Ward. Current Ald. Harry Osterman has announced he wouldn’t run for reelection.
— Aurora hears comments on proposed redistricting maps for city’s wards, by Aurora Beacon-News’ Steve Lord
— After weeks of controversy, drag show brunch finally takes place at Lake in the Hills bakery, by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek
— Man who fired gun at Englewood park had AR-15, massive ammo supply and notes about mass shootings, according to police: “Woodridge resident Alexander Podgorny faces five felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon after the South Side encounter, which ended early Thursday without any injuries,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Party bus sideswipes 13 cars in Lakeview, CPD says; driver arrested, by ABC 7’s Michelle Gallardo
As new Illinois cannabis dispensary licenses are issued, focus turns to industry equity: “Pritzker administration officials say these licenses, along with efforts to expunge the records of anyone arrested or convicted of cannabis violations in Illinois, are steps toward making the fledgling cannabis industry a more equitable enterprise.” … Others say, “There’s still more to be done.” WTTW’s Brandis Friedman and Erica Gunderson report
We asked tent vacation or hotel:
Warren Silver, an attorney, “A law school classmate of mine once said to me that her idea of ‘roughing it’ was ‘plain white toilet paper.’ I’m only a bit more adaptable.”
Patti Davis, editor and writer: “If there isn’t a mint on my pillow at night, I’m not interested!”
Christine Walker, a member of the Public Policy faculty at Lake Forest College: “Tent vacation is an oxymoron.”
And for JR Patton of 1833 group, it was a mix. “This summer we took our kids to Disney on our first ever trip in our pop-up camper (no A/C!).”
Triangle, square, rectangle: Does the kind of pizza slice matter? Email [email protected]
EPIC TALE: The secret history of the U.S. government’s family-separation policy: “We need to take away children,” former attorney Jeff Sessions said, according to the Atlantic. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin had consented that “some parents” should be prosecuted for serious crimes. But he felt “bamboozled” when he learned that the Border Patrol’s policy “was not intended to punish hard-core criminals who might have been using children to gain entry to the United States, but was instead a strategy to deter families seeking asylum.”
— President Joe Biden’s out of quarantine and back in the saddle, according to his doctor
— Georgia braces for runoff — again, by POLITICO’s Brittany Gibson
— Historic climate bill to supercharge clean energy industry, by POLITICO’s Ben Lefebvre, Kelsey Tamborrino and Josh Siegel
— RNC approves Milwaukee as 2024 convention host, by POLITICO’s Kelly Hooper
— Mara Kelly has been promoted to be communications director for Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.). She previously was digital director.
— Hawthorne Strategy Group has made three new hires: Alexis Merz is an account manager. She previously led comms at Feeding America in Las Vegas. Jonathon Sadowski is a senior account executive. He was managing editor of Up North News in Wisconsin. And Anahi Levya is an assistant account executive after working as a client relations specialist at a multinational industrial conglomerate.
Lauryn Higgins, a freelance journalist covering public health and a stringer for The New York Times covering the Midwest, recently married Sam Huss, a sales director for the consumer insights brand Numerator. The two met at a bar in Lincoln, Neb., when he told her he had season tickets to Nebraska football games. So, she asked for his number. The couple married in Lincoln. Pic
Bart Marchant, chief development officer at Chicago Hope Academy, recently proposed to Alyssa Grabfield, a life sciences business strategy consultant at Accenture. The couple met on a study abroad program in Madrid in 2009 before finally reconnecting last summer. He proposed on a peer off Ohio Street Beach before they celebrated with a picnic complete with family-made maple syrup. Pic … Another pic
Mary Pearl Croke was born Sunday at 4:45 a.m. at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. Mama state Rep. Margaret Croke is doing great, and dad Patrick Croke, an attorney, is too. Pic
Sam Gooden, founding member of Chicago soul group The Impressions, dies 87, via The Associated Press
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Justin A. Kulovsek, a national trustee with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, for correctly answering that Jean Dubuffet is the sculptor of Monument with Standing Beast in front of the Thompson Center.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who’s the Illinois member of Congress who got their political start as an aide to the late Ald. Bernie Hansen? Email [email protected]
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Marian Perkins, former state Sen. Bill Haine, election attorney Michael Dorf, Chicago Cubs assistant GM Craig Breslow, Chicago Public Library Foundation President Brenda Langstraat, attorney Antonio Romanucci and nonprofit leader Zachary Pellish.