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FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Republican Mark Curran, who lost the U.S. Senate race in 2020 to Sen. Dick Durbin, says God wants him to run for the Illinois Supreme Court, so he’s following the call.
“We are taking on the Establishment, the Party Hacks, the Freemasons and those that could care less that Individual Liberty and Conscience Protection are no longer cherished or protected,” he told supporters in an email that was forwarded to Playbook.
Mark Curran, a former Lake County sheriff who ran for Senate last year, is eyeing a run for the Illinois Supreme Court. | PBS screen shot
Curran served as Lake County sheriff for 12 years and before that was a prosecutor in the state attorney general’s Office. In 2020, Durbin won 55 percent of the vote to Curran’s 39 percent. Willie Wilson, a Republican who ran as an Independent, took 4 percent of the vote.
Curran, who hasn’t yet formally filed to run, would run for the the seat held by Justice Robert Thomas, who retired last year. The Second District encompasses Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall and Dekalb counties. Another Republican, Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes, also is running.
Democrats vying for the seat: Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, Kane County Judge René Cruz, and Lake County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Rochford.
In his note to supporters, Curran wrote: “A Republican should win. There are only 7 spots on the Illinois Supreme Court. There is zero pressure if I/We carry out the plan.”
Claiming he’s “disliked equally by the insiders of both parties,” Curran added: “This is not my dream job nor is it something I ever contemplated running for. I always viewed a Judge as like a Referee and much less fun than a litigator. Yet, I worry about my Judgment and I believe God wants me to make this run.”
The two explosions in Afghanistan that killed 13 American troops and dozens of Afghan civilians in an attack by ISIS yesterday were a chilling reminder of what could be in store for the country.
Biden vowed retribution, saying, “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive.” POLITICO’s Myah Ward reports.
Yesterday was “the darkest day” of his presidency, report POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki and Tina Sfondeles. “As the first reports came in about explosions around Kabul, officials were confronted with a deluge of information, prompting senior officials to remind staffers to ferret out facts from the speculation and chatter. During one staff meeting, sniffles could be heard as various staffers fought back tears when they learned of the U.S. deaths, according to a person close to the situation. One White House official described the pace of the day’s events as overwhelming.”
Illinois’ congressional delegation responded, too: Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin called the attacks “heinous” and said the U.S. should “continue to evacuate Americans and others from Afghanistan. Any delay from the timetable will open us up to more dangers,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-5th), who sits on the influential House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called the attack “devastating” and that the U.S. has a “moral obligation to welcome Afghans who assisted US forces over the past two decades and who now face significant risk,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-10th) called on the U.S. “to expand its operational capabilities and capacities to evacuate all U.S. citizens and their families who desire to leave Afghanistan.”
Rep. Darin LaHood (R-18th), also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the “nightmare events” should be a “wake-up call” to Biden to reverse the “arbitrary deadline” to get Americans out by month’s end, according to a statement.
And Rep. Mary Miller (R-15) said “Pray that we get every American home as soon as possible.”
Biden will meet with governors willing to help Afghan refugees, by the Associated Press.
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At SIU Student Services Building at 8:30 a.m. for the Carbondale Mixer hosted by Southern Illinois University and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce. At 5:30 p.m. he’ll kick off the Du Quoin Illinois State Fair with an official ribbon cutting. And at 6 p.m. he’ll be at the fair for the Twilight Parade.
At John Hancock College Prep High School at 9:30 a.m. for a tour then joining Chicago Public School’s Interim CEO José Torres and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn for a 9:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the school.
At Brookfield Zoo at 10:30 a.m. Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson for his Family Health Day Friday event that provides vaccines and raises awareness of county health and safety services.
— Face facts: Indoor mask mandate back because of those who refuse to get vaccinated, Pritzker says: “Pritzker laid out some grim statistics that led to his decision: From January through July, 98% of the state’s Covid-19 cases, 96 percent of the coronavirus hospitalizations and 95 percent of the deaths are among the unvaccinated,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Making it official: Pritzker mandates vaccines for teachers, college students and health care workers, and imposes indoor mask mandate for all, by Tribune’s Rick Pearson, Lisa Schencker and Joe Mahr.
— Column: The willfully unvaccinated are about to see their world shrink, by Tribune’s Rex Huppke.
— Northwestern Medicine acts; now all major Chicago-area hospital systems have vaccine mandates, reports Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.
— Durbin pushes Debra Shore for appointment over EPA chief’s pick, sources say: “The job overseeing about 1,000 workers at EPA’s Chicago branch does not even require Senate confirmation. But Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) lobbying of administration officials has heightened the drama around an otherwise relatively obscure appointment. EPA Administrator Michael Regan this summer recommended to the White House Micah Ragland, an Obama-era EPA official favored by environmental justice advocates, the officials said. But Durbin in recent weeks lobbied the White House instead to pick Debra Shore, a Chicago water official with whom he has long been allied, they said,” by POLITICO’s Alex Guillén and your Playbook host.
— A new bipartisan bill filed by House Ag member Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and other lawmakers on Thursday aims to support higher blends of biofuels and reduce carbon emissions from vehicles by requiring high octane fuels. Farm and ethanol groups are backing the legislation, although the American Coalition for Ethanol took issue with “faulty carbon accounting” in the bill that would leave out some biofuel producers.
East Moline considering $49M in bonds to pay down pension liability: “City Administrator Doug Maxeiner said the new strategy could save the city $30 million over the next two decades and residents’ taxes would not be affected. The city will hold a public hearing to hear residents’ comments on the proposal at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at City Hall,” by Quad-City Times’ Sarah Watson.
— A future statue could honor Obama’s connection with Springfield: “State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, a member of the task force, said he disagreed with Obama on many issues but would like to see Obama honored with a statue on the Capitol grounds,” by State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen.
— Frerichs says pandemic has ‘forged creativity’: “The Covid-19 pandemic has helped locally-owned businesses learn to adapt — whether it be working from home or going to a more online environment, according to Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs,” by The Telegraph’s Dylan Suttles.
— Du Quoin State Fair ready to welcome guests; masks required in most settings, including Grandstand concerts, by The Southern’s Les O’Dell
— Police union boss slammed for comparing vaccine mandate to Holocaust: “After FOP president John Catanzara compared the vaccine mandate for city employees to Nazi Germany, the mayor, Jewish groups and even a Chicago cop called his comments offensive,” by Sun-Times’ Satchel Price and Tom Schuba.
The Illinois General Assembly’s Jewish Caucus is calling on Catanzara to apologize and resign: “In a long career of inappropriate comments, John Catanzara has truly outdone himself. Leave aside the fact that he’s wrong about vaccine mandates—they’re a vital public health instrument, especially for government workers with whom the public has no choice about interacting. But the comparison of vaccine mandates to the Nazi genocide is despicable,” the caucus said in a statement released this morning.
… Lightfoot rips police union head after he compared vaccine mandate to the Holocaust, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— Plan Commission backs downtown, Goose Island projects: “The panel also approves other proposals that would create multifamily buildings amid debate about affordability levels,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Black Caucus mapmaker wants to preserve 18 majority African-American wards: “In the 2020 Census, Hispanics became Chicago’s largest minority. Their population increased to 819,518. Chicago’s Black population dropped by 86,413 — to 801,195. And the city’s white population dropped by by 226,578, to 986,280,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Supt. Brown moves to fire 4 cops implicated in alleged choking incident: “One of the officers, Louis Garcia, already faces a criminal charge of official misconduct for allegedly placing his hands over a detainee’s neck in the back of a squad car in 2019,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Washington Park beautification project brings flower farm to South Side: “Southside Blooms has turned an empty lot in Washington Park as a flower farm with a solar-powered irrigation system,” by Sun-Times’ Cheyanne M. Daniels.
— Chicago shelters are full again — And struggling to save pets’ lives: “In April 2020, every animal was adopted from Chicago animal control for the first time. Now, shelters and rescue groups are struggling as they’re “inundated” with animals in need,” by Block Club’s Maia McDonald.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office has started its own story-telling project to call attention to the work being done in Chicago’s neighborhoods to curb violence. The first installment, a video that will be showcased on the city’s social media channels starting today, features Norman Kerr, the director of Violence Reduction in the mayor’s office.
Kerr tells his story of immigrating from Jamaica, growing up in Rogers Park and having adults through his youth that cared for him, something that’s missing from so many who are victims of violence today.
The video appears as a news feature with Cesar Rodriguez, a former broadcast journalist who is now the mayor’s press secretary, conducting an interview.
The project is designed to show behind-the-scenes work that Kerr is doing, Rodriguez told Playbook. “They’re the stories that don’t make it into the news about the nuts and bolts of what’s being done in the neighborhoods.” The first episode is in West Garfield Park and upcoming episodes will showcase North Lawndale, Little Village and Back of the Yards.
This isn’t a campaign video, but Kerr does give some props to his boss, saying, “Mayor Lightfoot has already shown that she’s different than any previous mayor. The way she’s talked about street outreach, we’ve never heard any elected official talk about that before. These are proven strategies.”
Judge rules Kim Foxx can’t be called to testify in the Smollett trial: Jussie Smollett’s attorneys “will be able to tell jurors about the guns, including an AR-15, that were found after police searched the home of key witnesses the Osundairo brothers — one of whom has a felony conviction,” reports Tribune’s Megan Crepeau.
— Cook County court website still down after breach caused visitors to be rerouted to an ‘NFL-related’ page: “In a statement, Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez said authorities were still investigating the Aug. 13 “unauthorized activity” … She added that there was no ransomware request suspected and no personal information or court records were affected because those are on a separate server,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Special prosecutor to take over cases involving alleged misconduct by ex-Chicago detective: “Cook County’s top criminal judge has already recused herself and her peers from the cases, in which a retired CPD detective — the spouse of another judge — is accused of framing defendants,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm.
— Gunfight outside Kankakee courthouse leaves 2 dead, 1 seriously wounded. One man is charged with murder: “It’s shocking for us to see that,” Kankakee Police Chief Robin Passwater said of a shooting occurring so close to an area with a heavy police presence. “It just shows what’s going on nationwide … there’s no respect for others’ lives.” Tribune’s Mariah Rush, Stacy St. Clair and Paige Fry report.
— Illinois Supreme Court Rules Markham Mayor Roger Agpawa May Remain In Office Despite Felony Conviction: “Agpawa ran and won office in 2017 but spent half his time fighting to get sworn in. Then-Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped in and restored his citizen’s rights,” via CBS/2.
Illinois Republicans have reason for concern, optimism heading into 2022: “[D]efeat in 2022 isn’t inevitable, with some arguing that the right candidate with the right message and enough financial support can defeat a Democratic governor in a year where Republicans are poised to do well nationally,” writes Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore. WITH VIDEO FROM THE FAIR.
Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen resigns in wake of Cuomo scandal: Tchen, an attorney in Chicago, was “target of ire from Time’s Up supporters” over the idea she had offered possible help to the former New York governor, who resigned Monday, three weeks after an investigation overseen by New York’s attorney general concluded he sexually harassed at least 11 women, by the Associated Press
— Supreme Court halts Biden eviction moratorium, by POLITICO’s- Katy O’Donnell and Josh Gerstein.
…The move comes a day after Pritzker extended an eviction moratorium to mid-September or later, reports the Sun-Times Rachel Hinton.
— Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd speaks out on fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu Katherine Tully-McManus.
— ‘It nearly killed me:’ Michael Caputo’s Life After Years Fighting for Trump, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse.
Tonantzin Carmona is joining the Brookings Institution as a David M. Rubenstein fellow. The two-year fellowship is awarded to 10 early-and mid-career scholars to study local, national, and global policy issues. Carmona recently graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and worked in the offices of Chicago’s Mayor and City Clerk, as well as in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jimmy Dean, the former mayor of Johnston City, for correctly answering that William Rodriguez was the first Latino elected to the Chicago City Council. It was 1914.
TODAY’s QUESTION: How was Daniel Boone connected to Chicago politics? Email to [email protected]
Today: Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss, DuPage County Board member Greg Hart, lobbyist John R. Daley, FDD’s Rich Goldberg, Illinois Health and Hospital Association Government Relations Director Amy Barry, and POLITICO Associate Editor for States and Editor of Illinois Playbook Darius DIxon.
Saturday: Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), and PR pro Marilyn Katz.
Sunday: state Sen. Dale Fowler (59th), former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (now Technology and Manufacturing Association president), women’s activist Hedy Ratner, Chuy Garcia campaign manager Roberto Sepulveda, and Mario Treto Jr. of the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Aug. 30: former Lake County Board member Adam Didech.
Aug 31: Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd), and Clayco Economic Development director Dan Gibbons.
Sept. 1: McDonald’s Global Impact Director Ashli Nelson, and Miramar Group president and CEO Juan Ochoa.
Sept. 2: state Rep. Curtis Tarver II (25th), Real Property Consultants president Stella Black, attorney Maura Georges, journalist Jim DeRogatis, and Block Club co-founder Shamus Toomey.
Sept. 3: SEIU Political Director Candis Castillo, former Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, Strategic Energy Management’s Marianne Lalonde, Jewish United Fund Chicago’s Jason Rothstein, and journalist and historian Rick Perlstein.
Sept. 4: Former Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown, Chicago Plan Commission member Fran Grossman, and Diversity MBA CEO Pamela McElvane.
Sept. 5: former state Comptroller Leslie Munger, Development Specialists CEO William A. Brandt Jr., Chicago State University Government Relations Director Monica Gordon, M. Harris & Co. CEO and former Tribune columnist Melissa Harris, U.S. House press secretary/digital manager Courtney Neale, and Winston Strawn Co-Executive chairman Dan Webb.
Sept. 6: Congressman Danny Davis; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen; political data consultant Harold Moore; former Cook County Judge Jessica Arong O’Brien, and orchestra leader Stanley Paul, and Mercy Home for Boys & Girls Comms Director Mark Schmeltzer.