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What shaped Welch’s view – POLITICO

TGIF, Illinois. Sending prayers to Florida, where POLITICO’s bureau there reports: ‘Total destruction’ as residents live through a night of terror.

John Shaw, director of the Paul Simon Institute, interviews Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, right, during a program at Southern Illinois University on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. | POLITICO’s Shia Kapos

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch gave some insight Thursday night into how his view on the world was shaped by his childhood.

It was about overcoming trauma: “Right after my parents bought our first house, I had an aunt who was murdered on the streets of Chicago,” he told John Shaw, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, during a forum at Southern Illinois University. “She had three girls and they were small at the time. And my parents didn’t think [twice] about it. They brought my cousins in, who are now my sisters. And we went from a family of five to a family of eight.” Welch also has two brothers.

Welch’s aunt was shot while sitting in her car in front of the family’s church. Her killer or killers “have never been caught.” It’s a reason Welch carried the witness protection bill that was signed into law a decade ago.

A family forever changed: Welch’s mom was a nurse, and his father was a union factory worker at the time. A year later, his father’s company moved to Georgia, but the family didn’t want to leave the Chicago suburbs. So, they stayed put and his father took on two jobs to make ends meet, Welch said. “He’d work one from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then he’d go to another job just to make the same wages of his other job. It was a struggle.”

Front-row logic: Welch said his goal was to work hard in school because he “was never the smartest one in the class.” He succeeded, he said, by sitting up front in school and, later, in the General Assembly. Welch’s seat in the House is in the front row and has been since he was elected 10 years ago.

How he got the seat: Freshman lawmakers are generally seated in the back because it’s based on seniority. But Welch saw that there was a front-row seat available, so he asked to move up front, he told the students gathered for the Renewing Illinois Summit focusing on careers of political leaders. “I don’t think it’s an accident that I’m sitting here as speaker because I learned so much seeing what goes on on the House floor.”

Speaking today: Comptroller Susana Mendoza, former Illinois Congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Erika Harold, director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism will take the stage.

Answering questions: Before Thursday’s event, Welch told reporters that the No. 1 issue voters are talking about ahead of the midterms is the economy and inflation. So, it was interesting that during the program’s Q&A session, students’ questions focused on another issue: the Safe-T Act.

A message from World Business Chicago:

Chicago has long been heralded as the world’s best transportation, distribution, and logistics, hub. The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Logistics will put this history on display and allow the City and World Business Chicago to show the world how Chicago is leading the way globally in capital investments for logistics tech. Join us for the city’s flagship startup and venture capital conference on October 6. Learn more at ChicagoVentureSummit.com

— Lightfoot cancels pre-election property tax increase: “The mayor announced the ‘good news for Chicago taxpayers’ one day after the Chicago Sun-Times reported some of her closest allies had urged her to avoid risking an embarrassing budget defeat,” writes Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

— Dumping the tax increase will spare her from having to defend it on the campaign trail, by Tribune’s John Byrne

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.

Attending a virtual panel via the White House at 10 a.m. ET to highlight the American Rescue Plan’s investments in the community health workforce.

At the Cook County Building at 10:30 a.m. to call attention to natural gas saving measures that are bringing the county closer to the goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

— Comptroller Susana Mendoza asks to change payment methods for families of fallen first responders: “The way the current law is written, money for benefits could run out before the end of the year, requiring the State Legislature to approve supplemental appropriations,” by KFVS’ Colin Baillie.

— Federal Highway Administration approves plan to build electric vehicle charging network in Illinois, according to Gov. JB Pritzker’s office

— Illinois’ Old State Capitol in Springfield has been accepted to the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, officials announced Thursday.

Nora Daley, left, with her father, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and journalist Albert Hunt at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Nora Daley, left, with her father, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and journalist Albert Hunt at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. | AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Nora Daley, daughter of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, has been named the new chair of the Illinois Arts Council. She replaces interim chair Rhoda Pierce, who will remain on the board and continue to serve as vice chair, according to the governor’s office. “Her vast experience and commitment to the arts will serve our state well,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement announcing her appointment. Daley serves on the board and executive committee of After School Matters, the nonprofit that her late mother built, and she’s headed the board of Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

— BEEFING UP: After donating to Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, Gov. JB Pritzker replenished his own campaign fund, plugging $20 million into his campaign war chest.

— WHERE’s THE BEEF: Former Gov. Jim Edgar had thoughts on Pritzker’s big donations: “For the party of the rich, we sure don’t show it sometimes. And the party of the Democrats, who are supposed to be the working man, they seem to have all the money,” Edgar said Thursday in Springfield after Pritzker made donations to Democrats up and down the ballot — including $1 million to secretary for state candidate Alexi Giannoulias. Edgar has endorsed Dan Brady, the Republican in the race. Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Jeremy Gorner report.

— GOP governor candidate Darren Bailey is now comparing Chicago to ‘unruly child’: And he clarified his comments on former President Donald Trump during an endorsement meeting with the Tribune Editorial Board, via Rick Pearson.

— The governor didn’t participate in the Trib’s endorsement session, saying the Tribune Editorial Board has “consistently” been unfair to him, according to Pearson.

— Proft pushes a poll: Conservative political operative Dan Proft has revealed a poll that shows Republican Darren Bailey is in striking distance of Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker. The poll, conducted by Fabrizio Lee, says “Pritzker previously was leading Bailey by 10 points in August, but Bailey has chopped that lead in half to 5 in September.” The full poll is on his Play By The Rules PAC’s Facebook page. The poll comes on the heels of a WGN poll showing Pritzker leading Bailey by double digits.

—  Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Champion American Values PAC (CAVPAC) have endorsed Congressman Darin LaHood for the IL-16 congressional seat. Pompeo called LaHood “a proven champion of freedom, economic prosperity and Midwest values.”

— Lightfoot pokes Bailey: Republican governor candidate Darren Bailey marveled at the “beauty of the Chicago skyline” in a tweet, prompting Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to tweet: “Looks like Chicago isn’t a hellhole anymore.”

— Chicago Police must allow those arrested access to a phone within 3 hours, according to consent decree, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

— Panel convenes at Malcolm X College to look for ways to restore trust between cops, public, by Sun-Times’ Allison Novelo

— The Roux — a ‘gas station with purpose’ — opens on South Side with pumps, store and literacy center for kids, by Sun-Times’ Mohammad Samra

— Runners feel shortchanged after Sunday half-marathon was shortened by a half-mile, by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley

A message from World Business Chicago:

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— MAYOR’s RACE: The reason United Working Families isn’t endorsing Rep. Chuy Garcia: “U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia sent an email asking United Working Families to defer a mayoral endorsement, but the group refused because Garcia was unwilling to give them a timeline for when — or if — he will announce a mayoral run,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

— Mueze Bawany has been endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union in his race to unseat 11-year incumbent Ald. Debra Silverstein in the 50th Ward.

— Lake County Board member to apologize for calling League of Women Voters’ members ‘hags’: “Dick Barr called his use of the term ‘off-color’ and said it was fueled by his anger at the group’s forums, which he claims are politicized and slanted against fellow Republicans,” by Daily Herald’s Doug T. Graham.

— At Navy Pier: First lady of Chicago Amy Eshleman jumped in on the group “Wobble” at the After School Matters fundraiser last night. The unexpected song and dance routine (similar to the electric slide) had onlookers laughing and cheering, according to a source in the room. The gala was held at Navy Pier’s Offshore rooftop and raised more than $2.5 million for the organization that funds programming for teens.

— At  El Jardin’s: Ald. Tom Tunney hosted a fiesta party for aldermanic candidates Kim Walz and Bennett Lawson. Walz is running for the 46th Ward now represented by Ald. James Cappleman, and Lawson is running for Tunney’s 44th Ward seat. Both Tunney and Cappleman aren’t seeking reelection to the council. In the room: state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, Equality Illinois co-founder Art Johnston, Jam Productions’ Jerry Mickelson, Metro Chicago’s Joe Shanahan, Trader Todd’s Virginia Carstarphen, Baton Club’s James Flint, Bittersweet Pastry’s Esther Griego and Third Coast Hospitality Group’s Michael Gonzalez.

— At Gaslight Lincoln Park: Ald. Timmy Knudsen kicked off his campaign last night for the 43rd Ward seat he was just appointed to. In the room: state Rep. Margaret Croke, Ald. James Cappleman, 43rd Ward Committeeman Lucy Moog, former 43rd Ward Ald. Charles Bernardini, former aldermanic candidate Caroline Vickery, state Department of Human Rights director Jim Bennett, city Business Affairs Commissioner Ken Meyer, former Equality Illinois vice chair John Litchfield, former Illinois Human Rights Commissioner Duke Alden and civic leader Roger Simon.

— Former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta ordered released early from federal prison due to health concerns: Presta, who turns 72 on Sunday, “was sentenced in April after pleading guilty to taking what he thought was a $5,000 bribe from a red-light camera company executive during an FBI sting,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.

— With property taxes late, Cook County offered suburban communities millions in interest-free loans: “Of the roughly 500 local governmental bodies across the suburbs that county officials estimated were eligible, however, only 49 applied, with a total ask of $104 million, according to county data received through an open records request,” by Tribune’s A.D. Quig.

— Lurie plans $56M Schaumburg outpost: “Lurie Children’s Hospital seeks state approval to open a 70,000-square-foot outpatient center in the northwest suburb,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.

We asked for favorite stops along I-57:

Randy J. Bukas, Freeport city manager: “It’s always nice to stop in Marion and watch a Miners’ minor league baseball game.”

Ted Cox, a policy adviser: “Li’l Porgy’s in Champaign right off the highway and 17th Street BBQ in Marion.”

Brian Munoz of St. Louis Public Radio: The Custard Stand in Sesser, where a replica of the Statue of Liberty greets you.

Wayne Williams, Cunningham Township assessor: Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse in Effingham.

What do you use as a guide when filling out your ballot (‘cuz early voting has started, folks!)? Email [email protected]

— ‘It’s My Curse and My Salvation’: For Maggie Haberman, owning the Trump beat has defined her career for better and worse, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse

— Justices shield spouses’ work from potential conflict of interest disclosures, by POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs, Josh Gerstein and Peter S. Canellos

— $80M in development as Field of Dreams kicks off with ballfield construction, via Telegraph Herald

A message from World Business Chicago:

Chicago has long been heralded as the world’s best transportation, distribution, and logistics, hub. The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Logistics will put this history on display showing the world how Chicago is leading the way globally in capital investments for logistics tech.

“Chicago is the country’s leading transportation and logistics hub. From a central location to our diverse talent pipeline and rapidly expanding tech and innovation, logistics tech companies and startups are well positioned for success here,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO of World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. “With an 802% increase in growth capital between 2019 and 2021, we’re excited to host investors, corporate innovators, and founders from around the world at the inaugural Chicago Venture Summit, Future of Logistics.”

Join us for the city’s flagship startup and venture capital conference on October 6. Learn more at ChicagoVentureSummit.com

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to political consultant Clement Balanoff for correctly answering that Dred Scott lived in Fort Armstrong, near Rock Island, from 1833 to 1836. He was an enslaved person whose residence in Illinois, a free state, was the basis for the lawsuit he filed in Missouri in 1846 seeking his freedom.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Why did the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union march to Chicago’s City Hall in the early 1900s? Email [email protected] 

Today: Attorney General Kwame Raoul, governor’s office public engagement director Allison Flood, Bully Pulpit Interactive partner Bradley Akubuiro, Kindle Communications VP of comms strategy Kelly Drinkwine, ASPC policy director James Lewis, Joyce Foundation executive VP of strategy Whitney Smith, CVS Health’s Kelsey Miller and Notre Dame College Prep assistant director of enrollment Tim Heneghan.

Saturday: former state Rep. Dave McSweeney, state Rep. candidate Laura Faver Dias, Republican operative Jesse Johnson, Cook County Dems’ digital director Brady Chalmers, NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, Raise the Floor Alliance’s Sophia Olazaba and McDonald’s Corp’s Alisa La.

Sunday: state Rep. Bob Rita, former state Rep. Jack Franks, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Ald. Willie Cochran, former Cook County Commission candidate Patricia Joan Murphy, CDC Foundation program manager John Arenas, attorney and Grant Park Music Festival supporter Peter Baugher, public affairs consultant David Stricklin, Democratic political operative Caroline Pokrzywinski, The Associated Press’ Tom Krisher, comms consultant Michelle Damico, PR pro Lisa Spathis, Evelo Biosciences comms leader Marlena Baldacci and Chicago mayoral policy adviser Jake Mikva, grandson of THE Ab Mikva.


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