THE ‘SCHNEIDER STANDARD’ — DEMS TAKE SWIPES AT REILLY, LIGHTFOOT — HARRIS’ HANGAR TALKApril 8, 2021
Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs
With help from Maria Carrasco
Good Thursday morning, Illinois. It’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the issues of extremism and domestic terrorism feel uncomfortably relevant.
Even with a new president and Twitter ban on Donald Trump still in effect, the 2020 election — and the attack on the U.S. Capitol — still burns brightly in Congress.
Congressman Brad Schneider is telling Republicans he won’t work with them as co-sponsors of his bills if they can’t say they endorse the presidential results.
The Democrat who represents the 10th District in the northeast corner of Illinois is concerned that there are still too many Republicans who question the legitimacy of Joe Biden's presidency.
“It’s not an insignificant number,” he told the New York Times in a story about Democrats being torn about working with Republicans since the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Schneider has already asked Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar to step aside from a bipartisan bill the two lawmakers had been working on. The Parental Bereavement Act would add “death of a child” as a life event that would qualify for unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.
It’s quintessential bipartisan legislation, but Gosar is a particularly vocal Trump supporter whose own siblings say he’s a white nationalist. Gosar’s team didn’t return a request for comment.
Schneider sees it as hypocritical to allow Republicans who don’t recognize the election results to keep their names on bipartisan legislation.
He’s dubbed his metric the “Schneider Standard,” a basic requirement before working with any Republican.
“It’s hard to envision going into an administration with a partner who doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of that administration or is showing a commitment to the truth,” Schneider recently told NBC.
While Gosar isn’t adopting the Schneider Standard, others have been more open to it. Georgia Congressman Jody Hice agreed to embrace Joe Biden as president when Schneider pushed for it in order to move ahead with legislation that addresses carcinogens in the air in their respective districts.
The Cook County Democratic Party voted Wednesday night to support two bills in the state Legislature that would make school board members in Chicago elected officials. It was a move led by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — and seen as a swipe at Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who opposed the legislation.
It was only the third time members of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization have met during the pandemic. And the divide echoes back to the 2019 mayor’s race when Lightfoot bested Preckwinkle, reports the Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
It “definitely feels like Preckwinkle is trying to put the screws to Mayor Lightfoot to take action on an elected school board — or at least show that President Preckwinkle is standing in solidarity with teachers,” Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), who’s been a critic of Lightfoot, told the Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton. Lopez voted against supporting the legislation along with Alds. David Moore (17th), Michael Scott Jr. (24th) and Tom Tunney (44th). Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez, who represents the 33rd Ward, also voted no.
Lopez asked suburban members how they’d feel if Chicago aldermen told them how to run their towns. “People would tell us to stay in our lane, and rightfully so.”
A party spokeswoman insisted “petty rivalry” was not the issue, Hinton reports.
Party leaders in the county also sent a letter of reprimand to Democratic Ald. Brendan Reilly for not backing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx re-election bid last year. Instead, he endorsed former Cook County Judge Pat O’Brien, who was running as a Republican.
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Attending the topping off ceremony for the BMO Tower at Union Station at 9:30 a.m. And she’ll also be on hand for the White Sox home opener this afternoon — though she won’t make it to the mound.
At Forest Park Community Vaccination Site at 10 a.m. to announce that Illinois will move to Phase 2 on Monday.
At Forest Park Community Vaccination Site at 10 a.m. to announce that Illinois will move to Phase 2 on Monday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 28 new deaths and 3,790 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,423 fatalities and 1,265,457 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from March 31 through April 6 is 4.1 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.2 percent.
— Cook County ‘will not hesitate’ to impose further restrictions if suburban case numbers don’t improve: “We are considering tightening up the required mitigations again if the trend continues, but we’re not taking such actions now. Not yet,” Rubin said on a call with reporters. “But if the trend continues in the wrong direction, we will not hesitate to tighten restrictions on gatherings, indoor or outdoors,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health that guides Covid-19 response in most of suburban Cook. Tribune’s Alice Yin, Jenny Whidden and Dan Petrella report.
— Vaccines required at Notre Dame, and Illinois schools may be next: “Notre Dame University said they would accommodate reasonable exemptions but will otherwise require students to be fully vaccinated,” reports Patch’s Eileen O’Gorman.
Before she left town Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris visited with a group of Illinois Democrats in a hangar at Midway Airport. Along with posing for photographs, she offered the Biden administration's pitch about what infrastructure really means.
Sure, it’s about roads, bridges and airports, she said. But there’s also “human infrastructure,” which is about “making it easier to make us more productive — helping working people. People can’t go to work if they have children or elderly relatives” to care for.
Harris drew applause talking about an element of the American Jobs Plan that will target lead pipes in Chicago. It’s “a big part of the proposal,” she said.
In the hangar with Harris: Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who posted a video of her comments, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Reps. Robin Kelly, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Rush, Marie Newman, Lauren Underwood and Chuy Garcia; state Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state Sen. Celina Villanueva, state Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Chicago Clerk Anna Valencia, and Star Jones, the former co-host of “The View” and sorority sister of Harris.
Brady mulling a run for office: In a Wednesday night phone call with WCIA’s Mark Maxwell, former Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady said he’s considering a potential statewide run for office as secretary of state, governor, or perhaps the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Tammy Duckworth. “I’m interested in public service, and I’m entertaining different ways I can serve,” he said in the phone call en route from Florida, where he’s dealing with a legal squabble.
— Lightfoot expects ‘to see some summer festivals’ this year: “But, the mayor warned, ‘a lot of it’s going to depend on where we are in the arc of this virus,’” Tribune’s Gregory Pratt reports.
— CTU wants a week delay for in-person high school, but mayor says there’s ‘no basis’ for waiting: “CPS has set a target return date of April 19 for high school students, who have been learning remotely for more than a year. That date marks the beginning of the district’s fourth academic quarter and is also when more elementary students will be able to resume in-person classes,” by Tribune’s Hannah Leone and Gregory Pratt.
— Survey: 73% think Chicago is on the wrong track: “Of the issues facing the city, 67 percent of survey respondents said reducing public corruption was essential to focus on in the next two years. 57 percent listed improving the performance of Chicago's schools as essential, while 48 percent of those surveyed listed reforming the Chicago Police Department as essential. Politicians, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, received low marks for job performance by survey respondents,” according to a survey (not a poll) conducted by The Chicago Index, a collaboration between ABC-7, Crain's, and The Daily Line. ABC/7’s Craig Wall reports.
... Critics say the methodology of the survey is flawed because it was emailed to political consultants with vested interests.
... And Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “not surprised” by the results. “We’re living at a time when people are really uncertain, and there’s a lot of anger out there. We see that played out in the toxic swamp of social media,” she said during an unrelated press conference. “What I know is, we've got to keep focused on making sure that we're saving peoples' lives, we're educating people about what they can do to protect themselves from the pandemic, and to continue to work on a robust recovery. That's what I'm focused on.”
— Toddler on ventilator, in coma after apparent road rage shooting on Lake Shore Drive: “The 21-month-old boy’s condition is ‘very critical,’ according to the hospital. No charges had been filed in the shooting as of Wednesday afternoon, police said, but a person of interest was still being questioned,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney, Fran Spielman, and Jermaine Nolen.
... Dramatic story of the Tesla driver who stopped to help, by Tribune’s Rosemary Sobol and Sarah Freishtat
— Removing controversial monuments is ‘akin to erasing history,’ some residents tell review committee: “During recent meetings, members of the public have been most vocal about the potential removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, as well as monuments to the Italian fascist leader Italo Balbo and former U.S. presidents,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
... FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has written the Chicago Park District urging that the city return the Columbus statue to Arrigo Park Columbus Plaza. The group says it has jurisdiction as it pertains to the statues, citing meeting notes, letters, and “a strong enforceable contract” that lists the JCCIA “as being a party to any action” regarding the Arrigo Park Columbus Plaza and statute.
— McFEUD: Scandal, lawsuits, and cultural upheaval at McDonald’s: “Former CEO Steve Easterbrook supersized the company's performance — until he was fired amid a scandal….The company has sued Easterbrook in an attempt to claw back his compensation, alleging that he had sexual relationships with three employees in the year before his departure... Now his successor, Chris Kempczinski, must persuade the company's many stakeholders to reunite,” by Fortune’s Beth Kowitt.
— 98-year-old icon Lou Mitchell’s emerges from indoor dining hiatus: “The iconic morning spot welcomed customers inside its dining room for the first time since October,” by Eater’s Naomi Waxman
Plea deal for Ed Burke’s former precinct captain? “Rudy Acosta Jr., 70, was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, but now will attend a “change of plea” hearing next week, according to the court records in his case. Acosta was charged last week in a criminal information with one count of willfully deceiving the FBI about the criminal activity of others when he was interviewed as part of a sprawling federal corruption investigation,” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner.
— Circuit Court Clerk touts transparency with new bill. Critics say it’s not what she promised: “Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez has walked back a campaign pledge to give the public more access to records from her office under the state’s Freedom of Information Act,” reports Injustice Watch’s Josh McGhee.
— Can a local reparations program undo decades of housing discrimination?: “One expert who studies reparations said something that stuck with me: Reparations, at their core, are about restitution for a past wrong. In the case of Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, the city decided to address its history of discrimination via unfair housing policies, such as ‘redlining,’ a practice in which lenders refused to insure mortgages in and near predominantly Black neighborhoods,” reports FiveThirtyEight’s Alex Samuels.
— ‘Grand, complicated, dark, romantic’: New Ken Burns film explores Ernest Hemingway’s Life: “The renown filmmaker says it took six years to get past the impenetrable mythology of the Oak Park writer,” by WBEZ’s Nereida Moreno, Jason Marck, Jessica Martinaitis, Mary Hall.
— Another bit of normal: Spring Training started this week at Arlington International Racecourse, which released its stakes schedule showcasing three Grade I races carrying the namesake of the Duchossois family, once the biggest shareholder of the park.
— In Lake County, there’s a new Waukegan mayor, and Casey Urlacher waits to hear about his write-ins: “Waukegan Ald. Ann Taylor, 9th Ward, declared victory Tuesday night in her bid to become the city’s first female mayor, while Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher awaits the counting of write-in votes later this week to learn if he can overcome challenger Jess Ray’s 104-vote total, according to unofficial election results,” by Lake County News-Sun’s Steve Sadin.
... Ann Taylor ponders addition of city manager as she prepares to become Waukegan’s first female mayor, by Lake County News-Sun’s Steve Sadin.
— School board incumbents fare well in DuPage County in pandemic election: “Unofficial results indicated voters seemed to favor experience over new blood as many districts shifted to return to in-person learning after spring break while navigating a possible pandemic resurgence in DuPage,” by Daily Herald’s Katlyn Smith.
... Teacher opposition ousts School Board President Krinsky in District 59, via the Daily Herald
— Southland voters weigh in on taxes, libraries, park land purchases and term limits: In Monee, unofficial results showed 54 percent of voters opposing a proposal to create an office of taxpayer advocate to advocate for tax relief and to assist with property tax appeals. Steger voters rejected a tax rate increase for fire department staffing. And in Crestwood, 79 percent of voters supported term limits for the village president, clerk and trustees. The Daily Southtown reports.
— Illinois Supreme Court order expands legal protections for tenants: “The court’s revised order makes clear that landlords challenging a tenant’s eviction moratorium protections have to state the legal and factual basis for such a challenge, said Chief Judge Eugene G. Doherty, of the 17th Judicial Circuit, which spans Boone and Winnebago counties,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— State announces $18.2M in infrastructure grants for 34 rural communities: “The Community Development Block Grant program for 2020, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is estimated to benefit around 113,266 Illinois residents by funding water and sewer upgrades and repairs in low-income, rural communities,” reports Capitol News’ Grace Barbic.
— Advocates rally around early ed bill that would create more bachelor’s degree programs: “Illinois advocates and state legislators are rallying support for Senate Bill 1832. The bill could potentially address multiple problems facing the state: high turnover and low wages in the early education workforce and sagging enrollment at community colleges across the state,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.
— Radio interview with Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz, who oversees education issues for the governor, discussed how federal money will be dispersed to tackle the effects of the pandemic on students, teachers and parents, produced by Illinois Public Media’s Ryan Andrew Wilde and Brian Mackey
Why transportation costs hit low-income people hardest here: “They spend a bigger share of their income getting around, a study finds,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
New state senator proposes $600 tax credit to try to address ‘devastation that this pandemic has brought’: “Simmons’ first bill, which he introduced last month, would provide a $600 state-level child tax credit for individuals who earn $40,000 a year and for those making $60,000 a year who file their taxes jointly. The bill would provide $600 per child,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
Proud Boy present for Capitol riot charged with battery in fight at Schaumburg anti-Biden rally: “Edgar J. Delatorre, 33, of Chicago, was charged with a misdemeanor count of battery in connection with the March 27 altercation in Schaumburg, police in the northwest suburb announced Wednesday. The fight came just two days after the Sun-Times reported that he planned to challenge state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-1st, in next year’s election,” reports Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
Memo reveals DOJ pushback on Durbin’s domestic terrorism bill: “Career officials argue the proposed actions could be ‘harmful’ and ‘counterproductive,’ while a committee aide said DOJ has failed to do enough to combat domestic terror,” by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan.
— Low-income families left waiting for billions in food aid as children go hungry, by POLITICO’s Helena Bottemiller Evich
— Confusion may be Democrats’ friend in drive to raise corporate taxes, by POLITICO’s Brian Faler
— SCOOP: Biden to unveil long-awaited executive action on guns, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— And you though Illinois politics was colorful: Matt Gaetz to headline pro-Trump women's group event, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout in Florida
— What a photo of Trump’s new office reveals about how he wants to be remembered, by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman
— Today at 11 a.m.: Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who leads the state Democratic Party, headlines a City Club of Chicago event.
— Today: The state House Redistricting Committee will hold three different hearings to discuss the upcoming drawing of legislative and congressional maps. The meetings are at 10 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Here’s a list of additional meetings.
— Tonight at 6 p.m. State Sen. Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) , and state Reps. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) and Suzanne Ness (D-Crystal Lake) are co-hosting a virtual information session on how to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. The online event is in response to the federal government’s decision to open a special enrollment period due to Covid-19. Registration required in order to get the link.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to WLS-AM Reporter Bill Cameron and Playbooker Ed Epstein for correctly answering that former Congressman Roman Pucinski’s mom, Lidia Pucinski, was “Chicago’s Polish Sunshine Lady” during her 55-year radio career, including for a time at WEDC-AM, a station owned by her son.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the first building on the Illinois Capitol complex to be named after a woman? Email to [email protected].
Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo, state Commerce Commission director of government affairs Sarah Ryan, former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady, and Playbooker Lisa Muller.