Good Monday morning, Illinois. It’s the 78th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.
Voters wait in line on Election Day on Nov. 3, 2020, at a polling place at a condominium building in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
SCOOP: Officials at the Chicago Board of Elections say 73 precincts throughout the city won’t be operating for the June 28 primary, and officials are clamoring to locate new polling sites for the November General Election.
The precinct vacuum affects 120,000 registered voters across the city, including voters from nine precincts in the 42nd Ward, generally considered a high-voting area. The city has more than 2,000 precincts spread across 50 wards.
A circuit court ruling Friday allows the Elections Board to contact residents in the 73 precincts to inform them about their voting options, including using their Ward Early Vote sites open on Election Day and voting by mail.
Why precincts are closed: Since the pandemic, numerous buildings and restaurants have decided not to serve as polling sites. They don’t want the hassle. “Our polling places division has seen a wave of new opt-outs from traditional precinct polling places during the Covid pandemic over the last two years,” Board of Elections spokesman Max Bever told Playbook.
Other reasons, too: Some polling locations that were used during previous spring primaries aren’t available for the summertime election — this is the first time Illinois has had a late June election. Schools, for example, often serve as voting sites but they don’t all have the staffing to open for polling during the summer. Other locations can’t handle the size of voting equipment. And some locations aren’t properly accessible, according to Bever.
Not a problem in the burbs: Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough says suburban voting districts aren’t having a problem. Some locations backed out “but we were able to replace them,” she told Playbook.
Chicago’s precinct issues are occurring for a primary election already expected to see low voter turnout. Campaigns are gearing up to inform supporters that early voting has never been more important.
“This will create more confusion for anyone used to voting in those particular precincts,” said political consultant Hanah Jubeh, who is managing two campaigns. “They’re going to show up to their regular location only to find out it’s no longer a polling place.”
What’s next: Election Board officials hope to have more polling spots available for the General Election. And everything would change again before the 2023 municipal elections in Chicago.
Fewer precincts will be the norm: A new state law allows for fewer precincts after the new map from redistricting is in place in 2023. With early voting on the rise, there are fewer in-person voters on Election Day — so fewer precincts isn’t seen as being problematic.
WE ARE FAMILY: Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Democratic Party Chair Rep. Robin Kelly are joining forces to bring unity to a party that’s been trying to find its footing after longtime party leader Michael Madigan made his exit last year.
The unity effort may seem a surprise given Pritzker “has given indications he may not support Kelly for a full term as party chair when the Democratic State Central Committee,” reports Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
“Despite ever-present friction ruffling what they view as their big tent, Illinois’ top Democrats have agreed on a coordinated campaign structure for the November general election aimed at keeping Illinois a one-party state,” writes Pearson.
Pritzker is even expected to fund the operation that would include a coordinated campaign involving “sharing data, communication plans, voter engagement, get-out-the-vote and vote-by-mail strategies along with multi-candidate mailings and legal assistance at the polls,” according to Pearson.
Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]
At the Morton Arboretum at 10 a.m. to give remarks commemorating the declaration of the Illinois state stone. At Humboldt Park Health Center at 11:45 .m. to give remarks at the groundbreaking for the hospital’s Wellness Center.
At Chicago State University’s Convocation Center at 10:30 a.m. for the Chicago Public Schools Safe Passage workers end-of-year rally. At Maggiano’s Banquets at noon to introduce Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady for a City Club luncheon event.
No official public events.
— After redistricting, the balance of power on the Illinois Supreme Court is at stake: “If Republicans win those two contested races… that could give Republican viewpoints a chance to take hold on issues that may come before the court ranging from judicial rulemaking and the constitutionality of laws to the state’s ongoing issues with unions and pensions to the potential for the U.S. Supreme Court to kick significant national issues back to the states,” by Steve Johnson for Center for Illinois Politics.
— Casten v. Newman | A bitter and sometimes awkward battle between two incumbent suburban Democrats has them fighting for their political lives: “Casten and Newman are busy hurling barbs at one another over ethics complaints and their stances on abortion and other issues while also not so successfully trying to avoid the unseemly visual the Democratic Party helped create in which caucus mates are dragging each other into the mud,” by Tribune’s John Byrne and Rick Pearson.
… Newman campaign email mischaracterizes group backing rival Casten, by Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau
— Gov. JB Pritzker has endorsed state Sen. Celina Villanueva for reelection to the newly drawn 12th District state Senate seat. Pritzker announced the endorsement at an event Saturday along with Rep. Chuy García.
— Daily Herald endorses Gil Villegas for IL-03 Dem primary
— Daily Herald endorses Raja Krishnamoorthi for IL-08 Dem primary
— Sun-Times’ overview on the IL-01 race to replace Rep. Bobby Rush, by Andy Grimm
— IL-11 District GOP candidates divided on humans’ climate impact, by Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau
— In IL-05, Mike Quigley and the Republicans who want to unseat him, by NBC 5
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Nikki Budzinski is launching her first TV and radio ads in her congressional bid for IL-13. The TV ad, titled “Rebuild,” focuses on middle-class voters. The radio ads are recorded by state Sen. Chris Belt and Urbana City Councilwoman Chaundra Bishop.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Republican SOS candidate Dan Brady is out with a new ad that will run on TV and social media. His focus: modernizing the office and reducing wait times.
— Mariyana Spyropoulos has been endorsed by Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman Chuy Garcia, Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White in her reelection bid for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
— Profiling David Moore: Chicago ‘not a hellhole,’ by Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg.
— GOP purity test in DuPage County? Pete DiCianni and Greg Hart question each other’s Democratic ties in their campaigns for County Board chair, by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Sam Yingling calls the governor’s endorsement of opponent an ‘attack,’ by Rich Miller in The Pantograph.
— In 43rd state Senate race, Dems address climate change and mental health: “Democrats Eric Mattson and Rachel Ventura have similar viewpoints on issues … but they’ll prioritize the issues differently should they win the upcoming election,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.
— How many Covid deaths are acceptable? Some Biden officials tried to guess: “Conversations about what Americans would tolerate didn’t go too far, underscoring the difficulty of explaining when the pandemic will end,” by POLITICO’s Rachel Levy.
— As Covid warning levels increase across more of Illinois, Pritzker’s briefings don’t: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker hasn’t held a news conference on Covid-19 in three months, but his office says the governor and his public health team remain on top of the situation,” by Sun-Times’ Taylor Avery.
— 19 counties at ‘high’ alert level, according to latest statewide metrics, by NBC 5.
— Pritzker says state now in compliance with a law requiring DNA evidence in rape cases to be tested within six months: “Pritzker said when he took office in 2019, there was a backlog of nearly 2,000 sexual assault cases with DNA evidence that had not been tested within six months,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— Revived Illinois Commission focusing on rising number of hate crimes, by WTTW’s Aida Mogos.
— Superman helps put Metropolis on the tourism map: “The small Illinois town of 6,000 has a giant statue, a museum and an annual celebration linking the Man of Steel with the namesake fictional city where he battled for truth, justice and the American way,” via Governing.
Cardinal Blase Cupich adds his voice to the calls for gun safety legislation: “While some cardinals have sidestepped political discussions, Cupich spoke out against gun violence on Twitter hours after the shooting at Robb Elementary School,” by NPR’s Scott Simon and Rina Torchinsky.
— Handful of West Side alderpersons to stand with Lightfoot as she launches reelection bid Wednesday: “Black Caucus Chair Jason Ervin (28th), Emma Mitts (37th) and Chris Taliaferro (29th) will be on hand for the mayor’s announcement,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— More names are being floated about as possible candidates for mayor, including former Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and Ald. Sophia King (4th).
— Police officer shot in Englewood is the second cop shot in the neighborhood in less than a week: “In a statement posted Sunday on Twitter, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the U.S. Senate to take action to end access to illegal guns. ‘How many officers and residents must be victims of gun violence before we act?’ Lightfoot said,” by Tribune’s William Lee and Tracy Swartz.
— Data shows rise in anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide, but some worry Chicago’s low numbers stem from lack of reporting: “Chicago saw an increase from two to nine reported anti-Asian hate crimes between 2020 and 2021, with another two reported so far this year, according to data from the center. Los Angeles jumped from 15 reported anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020 to 41 in 2021, while New York City went from 30 in 2020 to 133 in 2021,” by Tribune’s Shanzeh Ahmad.
— Lake Michigan levels dropping, revealing how much work is needed to repair Chicago’s eroded beaches: “As Chicago battles erosion intensified by climate change on its 26 miles of public lakefront, officials are scrambling to find more money for repairs, scientists are tracking the disappearing sand and environmental groups are seeking ways to protect the fragile resource,” by Tribune’s Sylvia Goodman.
… Rep. Robin Kelly seeks federal funds for long-awaited Promontory Point preservation study, by Tribune’s Shanzeh Ahmad.
— FACT CHECK | Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claims Chicago’s ‘tougher’ gun laws fail to prevent gun violence: “Chicago is frequently targeted as a city with ineffective, strict gun laws. While the city has a history of implementing tougher laws in comparison to other cities, Supreme Court decisions drastically loosened some restrictions,” by Better Government Association’s Analisa Trofimuk.
— More cameras coming to Cook County expressways, DuSable Lake Shore Drive under new law, by WTTW’s Matt Masterson.
— Episcopal Diocese needs property sale for fiscal salvation, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Old Town School of Folk Music teachers announce tentative contract agreement, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin
— What happened to Fritz Kaegi’s records transparency pledge? “Some requestors waited an average of 80 days to get public records requests filled or didn’t hear back, frustrating property tax insiders,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig.
— Lake County launches violence interrupter program: State, federal money will support program to target violence “hot spots,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm.
— Controversy in Joliet highlights difficulty of housing sex offenders who have completed their sentences, by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.
— Glenview to annex Allstate campus under agreement with Prospect Heights, by Daily Herald’s Dave Oberhelman.
— Joliet preservationists seek a stay of execution for ‘World’s Ugliest Courthouse’, by Sun-Times’ Lee Bey.
— Ex-Bloomingdale Township official says couple paid him off, but defense warns jury not to trust him: “Debra Fazio and Mario Giannini were charged along with Robert Czernek back in August 2020 and accused of an eight-year scheme in which Bloomingdale Township improperly paid more than $700,000 to Bulldog Earth Movers, an excavation company owned by Fazio, by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.
— Feds want nearly 34 years for producer who pleaded guilty to trafficking young Indian actresses in Chicago, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
We asked which politician you liked so much that you’d also vote for their children. We received more than a few comments criticizing nepotism, but for a few who played along… John Straus said he’d vote for the children of Adlai Stevenson, “one and two,” and Sharon Rosenblum would consider voting for former President Jimmy Carter’s children.
What was your first summer job? Email [email protected]
— Former suburban Congressman John E. Porter dies: “The whole rough-and-tumble of classless politics was anathema to his character,” said Mark Kirk, who succeeded Porter in the U.S. House before being elected U.S. Senator in 2010. “He was representing the best-educated district in the country. The district wanted an independent leader, and he was that independent leader.”
— Ken Maraballa, a foundation of the village of Mundelein, has died, by Daily Herald’s Dave Oberhelman
— John J. Lanzendorf, hairstylist to the stars, renowned collector of dinosaur art, dead at 76, by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell
— Biden wants to get out more, seething that his standing is now worse than Trump’s, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Lemire
— How Biden plans to handle the Jan. 6 hearings, by POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López
— Exclusive | Trump’s ‘deception…exceeded even Nixon’s imagination,’ write Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the Washington Post
— Whitmer, McConnell, Evers reportedly on Wisconsin gunman’s list, via The Associated Press
— Does a foundation’s $1M gift to Tulsa Massacre survivors count as reparations? Andscape’s Jesse Washington reports
— MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Janes’ details how brave Chicago women offered safe abortions before they were legal, by Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper.
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock was in Chicago on Thursday for a fundraiser on his behalf at the home of attorney Stephen Tillery. Spotted: Rep. Sean Casten, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Helene Gayle, IL-01 candidate Jonathan Jackson, IL-01 candidate Jonathan Swain, political consultant Katelynd Duncan, women’s activist Hedy Ratner, political strategist Marilyn Katz, nonprofits consultant Kevin Conlon, Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug, Dem political players Pete Giangreco and Laura Tucker, former Ambassadors LouisSusman, Ertharin Cousin, and David Jacobson, and Warnock campaign manager Quentin Fulks, a former political adviser to Gov. JB Pritzker.
— Miguel Ayala will be comms director for Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.). He previously was comms director for Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
— Fernando Vinzons has been named chief investment officer of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, where he’ll manage a $13.1 billion investment portfolio. Vinzons’ appointment is effective July 11. He previously was director of investments for the Cook County Pension Fund.
— Andrea Magaña is joining Stomping Ground Strategies as senior account executive, providing project management and comms support. She previously worked as a market research analyst and is a U. of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy graduate.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Actor Peter Falk lived in the Lambert Tree Studio Building on State Street when he was studying in Chicago.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Illinois native involved in some of Richard Nixon’s most important phone calls when he was president?Email [email protected]
Pritzker Organization Chairman and CEO Thomas Pritzker, CPS CFO Miroslava Krug, Schuld Bushnell Tank’s Dave Stuaan, Cook County graphic designer Martin Burciaga, comms strategist Sally Duros, and Rev. Brian Smith of Chicago Theological Seminary.