Court puts Illinois legislative map on holdOctober 20, 2021
Presented by Petland
Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. H/t to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and all the other politicos whose first rough and tumble competitions were on the high school basketball court.
A federal court has intervened in the state's legislative redistricting process and ordered new changes to a map lawmakers unveiled (and scrapped) months ago, creating new procedural hurdles for the 2022 election.
A three-judge federal panel ruled Tuesday that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Illinois Republicans should be able to offer up their own map — and that Democrats need to do more tweaking.
Here’s why: The first map Democrats approved in the spring for state legislative districts used estimated census figures but wasn’t officially repealed after new population data was released and the boundary map was updated. The judges declared the first map unconstitutional (Dems had thrown it out anyway) and said MALDEF and Republicans who are challenging Democrats’ map can now offer up their own district lines. Democrats get another crack at it too.
It’s a victory for MALDEF and Republicans. Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie cheered the decision.
What’s next: MALDEF, Republicans and Democrats will submit their map proposals to the court, which now has jurisdiction over the legislative map. (The court rejected the idea of having an independent commission handle the process.)
But but but... it’s not the end of the world for Democrats. The court still hasn’t ruled on the constitutionality of the second map that the Legislature passed and the governor signed. If that gets thrown out, then it’s a really big deal. So call yesterday’s ruling procedural.
Democrats tried putting a positive spin on it. “I am gratified that the court recognized that the General Assembly... did what we could do in May to fulfill our constitutional obligations, and did what we should do in September to ensure our maps are constitutional,” Senate President Don Harmon said in a statement. “Now the Republicans finally need to put forward their own maps instead of simply complaining about ours.”
The ruling puts MALDEF in a strong position because it is arguing that Latinos are not being fairly represented, which is a federal issue, explained Frank Calabrese, a political strategist and adviser on redistricting. Republicans broadly challenged the state constitutionality of Democrats drawing the map on their own.
“The issue comes down to whether the Democrats drew enough Latino districts. That’s what will be argued next,” Calabrese said.
The case now poses an issue for the 2022 election. Remap proposals must be submitted by Nov. 5, and the court said the current map that state lawmakers approved can't be used for the upcoming election until the case is resolved.
That means candidates can’t circulate their petitions — a process that starts in January — until they know what district they’re running in.
The State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen highlights the most interesting parts of the ruling.
And there’s this: NAACP files lawsuit against new Illinois legislative map, saying it undermines Black voters, by The Associated Press
Today in Springfield, lawmakers will address congressional maps: A House hearing is 9 a.m. (Room 114 in the Capitol if you’re in person.) The Senate hearing is at 2 p.m. (Room 212 in the Capitol.)
ROCKING THE BOAT: An editor once told your Playbook host, “there’s nothing drier than a story about water.” He didn’t know about the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
MWRD is facing a tidal wave of change, in part because longtime Commissioner Debra Shore was just named Midwest regional director for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker may now appoint a replacement and he’s expected to tap someone who will represent either of two important constituencies: African Americans or labor.
Pritzker is likely to appoint Matteson Village Clerk Yumeka Brown or Village of Crestwood Trustee Patricia Theresa Flynn (who was edged out in the 2020 MWRD race). Both have already announced they’re running for the board.
Meanwhile, three other MWRD commissioners along with Shore could be on the way out, too.
Josina Morita is running for Cook County commissioner. Barbara McGowan is retiring. And Kari Steele, the MRWD president, is running for Cook County assessor. Steele’s water board term isn’t up until 2024, so she can run for another office without worrying about losing her current elected position.
How the water board works: Commissioners serve six-year terms that are staggered so that three commissioners are up for election every two years. In 2022, it will be four seats up for grabs.
Commissioners Mariyana Spyropoulos is seeking re-election. She’s a former MWRD president who was nudged out after a vote on Canals Shores Golf Course in Evanston.
Also on the horizon: The Democratic Party must fill its 2022 slate. Insiders expect the party to endorse Spyropoulos, Brown and Flynn (one of whom will have been appointed to fill the vacant seat), and University of Illinois Chicago environmental research associate Rolando Favela, who is backed by Rep. Chuy Garcia.
Given there’s no timeline for Pritzker to appoint, you can bet it will be coordinated with the slating, which happens in December.
Additional MWRD candidates for 2022: LGBTQ activist Rick Garcia, Circuit Court Clerk manager Cristina Nonato, Northwestern University environmental engineer Sharon Waller, administrative assistant for Ald. Chris Taliaferro, Anita Hayes, attorney David Bonner, community leader Flynn Rush (the son of Rep. Bobby Rush), state Treasurer Community Affairs Specialist Dan Pogorzelski, mechanical engineer Andrew Seo (a 2016 candidate for MWRD), and suburban school board member Mark Steen.
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
No official public events.
At Navy Pier at 1:30 p.m. to congratulate new officers at a CPD graduation ceremony.
No official public events.
— Walkouts and strikes hit hospitals in pandemic hot spots: “Thousands of workers are striking in some of the nation’s largest health systems, from Kaiser Permanente on the west coast to Catholic Health in Buffalo, N.Y. On Monday, 250 nurses in Chicago’s Community First Medical Center voted to go on strike,” by POLITICO’s Darius Tahir, Victoria Colliver and Alice Miranda Ollstein.
— Illinois ramping up vaccine booster campaign, by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki
— If Covid cases keep dropping, Pritzker wants to ‘remove certain mask mandates’ in time for the holidays, by Tribune’s Dan Petrella
— SCOOP FROM FRAN: Arne Duncan ‘not interested’ in run for mayor: “The former U.S. Education secretary and CPS CEO didn’t totally rule out a 2023 campaign, but clearly wanted to change the subject from the rampant speculation that he is being urged to challenge Mayor Lori Lightfoot,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Vaughan formally announces campaign for Fifth District Appellate Court: “Justice Barry Vaughan will compete in the Republican primary set for next June with Greenvllle attorney Tom DeVore and Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Michael McHaney,” by the Madison County Record.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is receiving the Global Goals Award at the United Nations Day Celebration, an honor that will be announced by the United Nations Association-Greater Chicago Chapter during a virtual event tonight at 6 p.m. The award recognizes the organizaton's efforts to help pass the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last month.
A Downstate researcher wants to develop heat-tolerant pumpkins as climate change creates more farming challenges: “The leading pumpkin producer in the United States, Illinois harvested 15,900 acres last year, more than twice as many acres as any other state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture... But climate change is a growing concern. ‘If temperatures keep rising, it’s going to be hard to grow pumpkins in southern Illinois,’ Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s Alan Walters said.” By Tribune’s Talia Soglin.
— Championship parade, rally mark turning point for Sky and WNBA in Chicago: “Since 2006 the Sky have fought to gain a foothold in the hearts and minds of Chicago basketball fans, but largely to no avail. Tuesday, Chicago celebrated its first professional basketball championship since 1998, marking a huge leap for the franchise and for women’s sports in the city,” by Sun-Times’ Annie Costabile.
... VIDEO: Interview with Candace Parker of the Sky, via ABC/7
— Chicago Sky owner pays $5,000 ethics fine for lobbying Lightfoot without registering, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— 21 Chicago cops in no-pay status after refusing to tell city if they are vaccinated: “Of the 67.7 percent of police officers and civilians entered into the city’s online health portal, 82 percent are vaccinated, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Tuesday,” by Sun-Times’ Clare Spaulding.
… Suburban police were asked to help city during vax reporting stalemate, but Kane, DuPage and Kendall sheriffs say no: “I don’t feel like the onus is on us to go in there in an emergency situation that was created by poor government and a lack of support the officers receive,” Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said. “These are global issues and law enforcement is blamed for excessive force and high crime rates, but there is a lack of human resources, vocational support programs and addiction treatment like we’ve done here in Kane County.” Tribune’s Alice Yin, Megan Jones, Dan Petrealla, and Gregory Pratt Report.
— Chicago on pace to lose more than 1,000 officers due to resignation, retirement, by WGN/9’s Ben Bradley and Andrew Schroedter
— Black Caucus urges Lightfoot to cancel guaranteed minimum income plan, put $31.5 million toward violence prevention, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— City official should be fired, 2 others punished for coal plant implosion debacle in Little Village, watchdog says: “The discipline recommendations come in a critical report by the outgoing inspector general about the demolition that left a community covered in dust,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Internal investigation of botched police raid stymied by mayor’s launch of parallel probe, former IG says: “Ferguson said his investigators interviewed “almost three dozen people” and reviewed “tens of thousands of pages of emails and other government records.” But with so much information kept from him, he said, he couldn’t recommend any disciplinary action,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— For more than a year, no one warned public someone was stealing mail, checks from Park Ridge post office: “Between June 20, 2020 and Sept. 23, 2021, at least 24 reports of stolen checks, each mailed from the drive-up boxes outside the post office at 333 Busse Highway, were made to Park Ridge police. Word that an investigation into mail thefts was taking place did not surface until mid-September when a television news channel reported [it],” by Pioneer Press’ Jennifer Johnson.
— VIDEO INTERVIEW: U.S. Attorney John Lausch talks about crime in Chicago and the finger-pointing about what causes it, by WTTW’s Paul Caine and Paris Schutz.
— Former City Club president under indictment in ComEd case is fined $75,000 by city for lobbyist violations: Board of Ethics determined Jay Doherty “violated the city’s ethics ordinance on three separate occasions by lobbying city employees. The companies Doherty represented were not named, though ComEd did not appear to be tied to the violations,” by Tribune’s Ray Long and Jason Meisner.
— Illinois’ expanded good Samaritan law tested in Crystal Lake drug-induced homicide case: “A change to Illinois’ criminal code long sought by addiction recovery advocates became law, providing immunity against drug-induced homicide charges to those who call 911 when a companion overdoses. At least, that’s how they intended it to work,” writes Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Former NorthShore gynecologist pleads guilty to sexual abuse of women during exams, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker
— State’s attorney says evidence still under review a year after fatal Waukegan police shooting; victim’s mother calls it a cover-up, by Lake County News-Sun’s Clifford Ward
Illinois Supreme Court orders consolidation of lawsuits by applicants challenging cannabis licensing process: “At the request of the Illinois attorney general’s office, the court ordered that several cases be heard together, which could help decide the fate of all 185 new recreational marijuana retail licenses. The awarding of those licenses have been held up indefinitely by Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius while he decides a case involving two applicants,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
We asked what’s the largest outdoor parade or rally you’ve ever attended. Retired lobbyist Andy Raucci remembers marching in the Torchlight Parade in November 1960 from downtown Chicago to the old Chicago Stadium. It was led by Mayor Richard J. Daley and featured Senator John F. Kennedy’s speech. Edwardsville Township Supervisor Kevin Hall says, “Not sure which was larger in Grant Park: the 1997 Bulls NBA title of Obama's 2008 Election Night.” NFP Consulting’s Kelly Kleiman says hands down Obama’s rally was it.
For tomorrow, We’re wondering what you did in high school that led to your career today? Email to [email protected]
THE FIFTY: It’s not just McAuliffe vs. Youngkin. The fight is on for control of Virginia’s House, writes POLITICO’s Liz Crampton. Virginia which might be increasingly blue at the presidential level, but Democrats only flipped the state legislature in 2019. Next month, they could lose the governor’s mansion and the state House.
— Irony of ironies: On seventh anniversary of Laquan McDonald’s murder, Rahm Emanuel faces Senate confirmation hearing for Japan ambassadorship: “The timing had activists expressing outrage Tuesday as they suggested the hearing should be delayed and echoed calls from some high-profile progressive Democrats in the U.S. House for Emanuel’s appointment to be voted down,” by Tribune’s bill Ruthhart.
... Activists keep up the heat: More than 20 activists and progressives are sending a letter this morning to Foreign Relations Committee members urging them to press Emanuel about the case and calling for Biden to withdraw the nomination.
... Even Jen Psaki is pressed about the Laquan McDonald shooting, reports Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
... Emanuel touts support among Black leaders ahead of confirmation hearing. But senators have questions, via the Washington Post.
... Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg has good wishes: “I am rooting for his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Japan to be advanced Wednesday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — and not just because that would plant him about as far from Chicago as he can get without leaving the earth’s magnetic field. A certain generational sympathy is also at work. It’s hard to be a man in your early 60s trying to carve out a new career.”
— Dems edge closer to ditching disarray, by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle and Burgess Everett
— Biden plan pits Hispanic-serving colleges against HBCUs, by POLITICO’s Bianca Quilantan
— Former Trump super PAC official testifies at trial of Giuliani associate, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein
— Thomas Cavanagh, who served three decades in public office, including four terms as Sangamon County treasurer, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie
— Connie Haygood, social worker who loved family — her own and those she aided in 27 years at DCFS, by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika
— Sam Dunklau, capital bureau chief for the NPR affiliate in Harrisburg, Penn., and Rebecca “Becky” Anzel, legal communications coordinator for McNees Wallace & Nurick, have just returned from honeymooning in Iceland. They were married in Philadelphia in a small ceremony that included 10 graduates of the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program and noted Springfield photographer Lee Milner. The couple worked in Springfield before making their move to PA. Pic!
Today at 6 p.m.: The Women’s Justice Institute presents “Look at Me,” a free virtual performance by gender-based violence survivors who are incarcerated at Logan Correctional Center.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to John McCabe, Seth Rosland and Randy Bukas (and all you other folks) for correctly answering that the Chicago Police Department’s intelligence Red Squad, which led unlawful surveillance of political dissenters and their organizations, was disbanded by the courts.
Also correct was Scotland Yard, which Mayor Richard J. Daley ended after his election. It had investigated “the syndicate,” which also helped get him into office. h/t to Elizabeth Taylor and Adam Cohen’s “American Pharaoh.”
TODAY’s QUESTION: Chicago was once home to the most famous detective agency in the country. Which one and what made it famous? Email to [email protected]
Vice President Kamala Harris, former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, former state Rep. Carolyn Krause, former state Rep. Bob Biggins, Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications co-founder Rick Jasculca, Progressive Caucus executive director Rebecca Williams, and Sun-Times Editorial Board member Lee Bey.