MOVING TO MANDATORY VAXES — MILLER ON ‘THE BIG LIE’ AND KINZINGER HAS ‘NO REGRETS’ — VALENCIA SCORES BRICKLAYERS
Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. What a relief that it’s not Illinois in the spotlight for scandal in the governor’s office. Good luck, New York.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Your Playbook host is taking off next week to recharge, so get your tips in before I wrap up Friday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is giving an update on Covid-19 today where he’s expected to announce vaccination mandates for some government workers and new mask rules for school-age children as the Delta variant sends a new wave of people into the hospital.
Whatever Pritzker does will be in line with the CDC, but it’ll be the local school districts that take the brunt of pushback. Exhibit A: Parents in Villa Park were furious at the thought of enforcing a mask rule for K-12 students Tuesday night, according to ABC/7.
Pritzker’s announcement follows New York and California, which have pushed similar mitigation tactics.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has also suggested that Chicago might follow New York City in requiring vaccinations or weekly Covid tests for municipal workers. Such a mandate first has to be negotiated with the unions.
Individual businesses, universities and health care institutions are already writing vaccination mandates.
Vaccination guidelines are “going to spread” because customers are saying, “If you’re not vaccinated, I don’t want to be near you,” Lightfoot said during a WVON-AM (1690) interview. Chicago is recommending that everyone older than 2 wear a mask indoors, WGN/9 explains in its report.
The city’s federal U.S. District Court and bankruptcy court have implemented a vaccine requirement for employees and contractors, according to a press release from the court.
This week the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, among other health care groups, called for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers. And the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require Covid vaccinations for all 115,000 of its frontline health care workers.
Hundreds of colleges nationwide have also told students in recent months they must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before classes begin, according to the AP.
The push for vaccines in the private sector is more challenging.
While New York is mandating vaccines for indoor dining and gyms, Chicago isn’t at the point of making such a requirement, according to the Sun-Times.
Most company mandates so far have been for corporate workers, according to CNN. “It points to a divide that’s emerging in the U.S. workforce. Large employers from tech companies such as Google and Facebook to banks like Morgan Stanley and Jefferies are implementing vaccine requirements for workers in office jobs.”
There’s a fear that mandating vaccines for hourly workers may prompt employees to quit — which puts companies in a bind at a time when it’s already hard to fill jobs. The irony is, though, that hourly workers are more likely than corporate employees to come in contact with the public and need the vaccine more than anyone.
There are some exceptions. Tyson Foods is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated, as the CNN story highlights.
It has several plants and offices in Illinois, including one in Joslin, a corporate office for Tyson-owned Hillshire Brands in Chicago, a research and development center in Downers Grove, a distribution center in Ottawa and The Bruss Company in Chicago, which manufactures steaks and chops for restaurant chains throughout North America, according to Patch.
— Lightfoot: No regrets on Lollapalooza or concerns it will become super-spreader event: “The mayor says her confidence in screening protocols at the music festival are bolstered by the fact that Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s health commissioner, ‘went incognito,’ without valid proof of vaccination, and was denied entry,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Obama significantly scales back 60th birthday party as virus cases rebound: “Hundreds of former Obama administration officials, celebrities and Democratic donors had been planning to attend the huge bash on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday,” reports the New York Times.
— Commentary: “Masks are easy, masks are hard. Masks are political, masks are back,” writes Tribune’s Kevin Williams
THE FIFTY: Chaos and confusion is the scene for school planning a return to class as the Delta variant of coronavirus rages. “Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, there’s no consensus on how to keep students and staff safe,” report POLITICO’s Dan Goldberg, Juan Perez Jr., and Daniel Payne.
State Rep. Chris Miller is continuing to promote the false claim that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
“Make no mistake, Donald J. Trump was overwhelmingly elected in this last election cycle,” Miller said at a political event to promote state Sen. Darren Bailey’s bid for governor. The Effingham Daily News first reported Miller’s comments.
A spokesman for the Illinois GOP declined to comment but reiterated, “we recognize that Joe Biden won in November 2020.” And House Minority Leader Jim Durkin texted, simply, “Trump lost.”
Get used to the mixed messages as the Illinois GOP tries to unite a party still divided over basic facts nine months after the election.
Miller didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
This isn’t the first time Miller has pushed the so-called big lie. He’s already had his hand slapped for Trumpian rhetoric and actions.
Miller was rebuked by Illinois House Democrats, who adopted a resolution in March to condemn him for displaying extremist militia stickers on his truck at a Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., immediately preceding the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
And Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope said comments Miller made that day were “intemperate… distasteful and not excusable.” Though she did not go so far as to say his comments could be characterized as “conduct unbecoming” a legislator.
Miller said Trump’s supporters were “engaged in a great cultural war to see which worldview will survive. Whether we will remain a free people under free market capitalism or whether they will put us under the tyranny of socialism and communism and dangerous Democrat terrorists.”
Miller is the husband of Congresswoman Mary Miller who also attended the pre-insurrection rally.
— ‘No regrets’: Kinzinger, back in Illinois, defends joining Jan. 6 committee: “In fact, I’ve had no regrets on the vote to impeach, no regrets on anything related to that since, because, you know, yes, politically, it’s tough and it’s much easier to survive if you just come back and tell people what they want to hear,” he said on his first trip back to his district since participating on the committee. ABC/7’s Craig Wall reports
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At the Thompson Center at 2:30 p.m. to give a Covid-19 update.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office at 9:30 a.m. to mark the county’s 11,000th Covid-19 death.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Democratic Illinois Secretary of State candidate Anna Valencia has secured the endorsement of the Bricklayers Union, District Council 1 of Illinois, which represents 6,300 union trades workers, including bricklayers, caulkers, tile layers, and marble employees. As with any union endorsement, support will show in fundraising and volunteers who can help promote Valencia in the competitive 2022 primary. “The Bricklayers never endorsed this early in a race, but our executive board was clearly united behind Anna,” Mike Volpentesta, president of District Council 1 of Illinois, said in a statement.
— Kane County Circuit Court Judge Susan Clancy Boles is running for the 2nd District Appellate Court seat in 2022. This newly redrawn district encompasses DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. Boles was appointed as associate judge in 2007 and then to circuit court judge soon after. She was elected as circuit court judge by Kane County voters in 2010.
— Three running as Republicans for Overstreet’s seat at the Fifth District: “Greenville attorney Tom DeVore has announced he will seek a seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court in the 2022 general election. DeVore’s profile was heightened last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as he led many attempts to curtail Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s use of emergency powers, though unsuccessfully. He will compete in the Republican primary with Justice Barry Vaughan, who was seated by appointment to the Fifth District in January, and Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Michael McHaney,” by Madison-St. Clair Record’s ann Maher.
Team Biden reaches out to Chicago Latinos: “A small Latino policy organization in Chicago — with a staff of under 20 — is getting bi-weekly email invitations to join talks with the White House. The emails from Ernesto Apreza, senior adviser for public engagement, which go out to multiple Latino stakeholders, were a surprise to Sylvia Puente,who has run the Latino Policy Forum for more than ten years. ‘That is obviously not something that existed under Obama, didn’t exist under Trump,’ Puente said. Latino outreach has been a key focus for Team Biden ever since they were hit hard by disappointing results with Latino voters during the 2020 elections,” writes POLITICO’s Tina Sfondeles in West Wing Playbook.
— New data show how far Chicago fell behind on plans for students with disabilities: It’s the first public look at the numbers of Chicago children with disabilities impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. To get this data, Chalkbeat appealed to the Illinois Attorney General and ultimately had to file a lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools, reports Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie.
— Families in Little Village face utility disconnections as they await financial relief: “Chicago’s Department of Housing said it was processing applications for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program as quickly as possible,” by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón.
— Video of brawl shows how timid cops have become, alderman says: “The video tweeted by Ald. Ray Lopez shows an officer struggling to handcuff a man on the ground as two other officers hold at bay another man trying to help the man on the ground, egged on by the person recording the video,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— The good, bad and ugly in the proposed police contract: Paul Vallas, who represented the FOP, “argued that the future hikes are manageable, amounting to an incremental $38 million a year. City revenues will rise in that period too, he says. But an incremental $38 million a year adds up to more than $150 million by the fourth year of the contract. ‘I can’t predict’ how easy or hard it will be to come up with that money later, he conceded,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— International artist promotes peace with new mural in Logan Square. “I know about the pain that people feel.” Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova reports.
Cole Stallard has been named commissioner of the Chicaago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), according to a statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office. Stallard, who began working with the city in 2001, will take over the lead role in the department after serving as acting commissioner since last month. DSS is one of the largest city departments and the largest non-emergency department with a team of over 2,000 employees and a $283 million annual budget. It responds to an average of 1 million service requests per year, according to the mayor’s office.
— Former Ald. Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno pleads guilty in DUI case: “As part of the plea agreement, Moreno must undergo 18 months of court supervision and do 125 hours of community service, Cook County Judge Jill Rose Quinn said in a videoconferenced traffic court hearing,” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau.
— R. Kelly attorney to remain on federal case in New York after medical issue prompts travel concern: And another Kelly lawyer informed the judge during the hearing that “Kelly needs to be measured for new clothing because he’s gained so much weight in jail. And he asked that court transcripts be provided at no cost because Kelly has been unable to work for two years,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
Small Illinois cities can now apply for share of $742M in federal funds: “Cities with populations larger than 50,000 already received the first allotment of their share of $2.7 billion directly from the federal government. Chicago is getting most of that. The Illinois Municipal League notified smaller cities they can now apply through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,” by Center Square’s Greg Bishop.
New cannabis licensees in Illinois face David vs. Goliath fight against industry giants: “Entry-level entrepreneurs will have, in many cases, one dispensary to compete with companies that control up to 10 stores across the state. New craft growers will be limited to 5,000 square feet, compared with behemoth cultivators in cavernous warehouses up to 221,000 square feet,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— CDC announces new eviction ban, despite Supreme Court threat, by POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell, Laura Barron-Lopez and Heather Caygle
… Cori Bush steers progressives to win on eviction crisis, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu, Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris
— Gov. Andrew Cuomo denies report findings that he sexually harassed women, by POLITICO’s Maeve Sheehey
… Biden joins barrage of new calls for Cuomo to resign, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin
— Trump-backed Carey wins GOP nod in Ohio special election, by POLITICO’s Marissa Martinez
… Dem establishment prevails as Brown beats Turner in Ohio special election, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick
— Missouri governor pardons gun-waving St. Louis lawyer couple, by The Associated Press
House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch speaking to this year’s Edgar fellows, up-and-coming politicos looking to glean insight from former Gov. Jim Edgar and other high-profile speakers. “Just five years ago, I was sitting in the audience as a fellow myself, and today I returned to tell my story about becoming the 70th Speaker of the Illinois House. So honored!” Welch tweeted.
James ‘Jim’ Stricklin, pioneering Black news photographer at WMAQ-TV, dead at 88: “The Hyde Park resident became ill despite having been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Marita Joyce Stricklin, his wife of 57 years,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
Today at 5 p.m.: Timothy Evans, the chief judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, will be feted at Freemont Chicago restaurant. The event benefits the Chicago Bar Association.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to entrepreneur Ashvin Lad for correctly answering that 2222 South Wabash was the address of Al Capone’s early “nightclub” operations, named the Four Deuces.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What historic district in Chicago features homes that are the diagonal mirror image of each other? Email to [email protected]
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, former President Barack Obama, minister and former state Sen. James Meeks, former Cook County Judge Larry Axelrood.