Daily Political Highlights
Monday 13, 2023
Monday 13, 2023
* Tribune | ‘ComEd Four’ bribery trial to put focus on ex-Speaker Madigan’s power, state’s blurry line between politics and crime: According to federal prosecutors, at the time Pramaggiore and Hooker were being lauded by Doherty at the City Club, the three were secretly conspiring with McClain to funnel as much as $1.2 million in illicit payments and other perks to Madigan’s associates to advance the company’s interests in the state capital.
* Sun-Times | It’s not Madigan’s trial, but the feds’ big upcoming case is all about the former speaker: The trial will give jurors a close-up view of how Springfield operated in the last decade. They’ll hear talk of an “old-fashioned patronage system.” And they’ll learn how an apparent obsession with pleasing Madigan might have prompted four officials to cross a legal line as ComEd sought to pass legislation it valued at more than $150 million.
* NBC Chicago | Gov. Pritzker to Sign Bill Mandating Paid Leave For Nearly All Illinois Workers: The “Paid Leave for All Workers Act” states that employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked up to 40 hours total, although the employer may offer more. Employees can start using the time once they have worked for 90 days, the legislation says.
* Jeff Epton | An open letter to Paul Vallas: Learn from my dad, Bernard Epton, and pivot to a different message: In 1950, my father ran for Congress in the Republican primary against Richard Vail, then a former congressman and a red-baiting, race-baiting echo of the notorious Wisconsin senator, Joseph McCarthy. Among Bernie’s supporters in that race were leading South Side Black ministers such as Archibald Carey Sr.. Dad also received the endorsement of the Chicago Defender, perhaps the country’s most prominent Black newspaper at the time. But he lost that race.
* WBEZ | Five things to know as the Safe-T Act goes to the Illinois Supreme Court: The state’s attorneys who are trying to overturn portions of the Safe-T act argue that when the constitution says people “shall be bailable by sufficient sureties”— that includes cash bail. So lawmakers can’t get rid of monetary bail without going through the difficult and cumbersome process of changing the constitution first.
* WBEZ | Chicago cops say the city owes them more than $165 million in overtime dispute: The massive sum surfaced in a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago by officers whose overtime pay was calculated incorrectly.
* Tribune | Mayoral rivals keep their differences mostly issue-focused as they disagree over taxes, vouchers and charter schools at women’s forum: Perhaps the most spirited exchanges between the two were over how to raise money to fund programs and the fallout over governments privatizing services.
* WTTW | Bulldozers Arrived at Bell Bowl at Dawn: At 6 a.m. Thursday, bulldozer headlights appeared at the top of a small hill and in that moment, the 18-month fight to save ancient Bell Bowl Prairie ended.
* Sun-Times | Write-in ballots could threaten 29th Ward Ald. Chris Taliaferro’s bid for reelection: The votes released Sunday showed Taliaferro’s total number of votes at 4,868, but added six write-in votes for Walter Adamczyk and 106 for Lisa Ann Brown Newman. Taliaferro holds 49.76% of the vote and could be headed for a runoff with second-place finisher CB Johnson unless mail-in ballots counted in the next few days shift the results yet again.
* WTTW | Englewood Residents Overwhelmingly Back Reopening Racine Green Line Station. CTA Says It’s ‘Fully Committed’ to the Idea: After years of efforts to reopen the shuttered stop, there’s been momentum in recent months — including an outpouring of support at the ballot box last week, with 93% of area voters calling on the CTA to get Racine back up and running.
* Kam Buckner | Next police superintendent should have 21st century view of policing: There has been a lot of talk about noncompliance with the court-mandated consent decree, but the truth is that while consent decree compliance is a requirement, it should be the floor and not the ceiling. True reform has to be the goal of the next superintendent.
* Tribune | ‘Hoax threats,’ ‘swattings’ continue to rise, joining real threats as disturbing trend for Chicago-area students: The FBI’s Chicago office received about 84 reports of “incidents,” meaning reports of some type of school-centric threat, whether founded or unfounded, between October 2021 and September 2022, said FBI spokesperson Siobhan Johnson. Between January 2023 and March 3, they have received approximately 10 incident reports per month, Johnson said.
* Tribune | St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago’s Loop wraps up after bagpipes, politicians and revelry: The theme of the 68th annual parade — sponsored by Chicago Plumbers Local 130 UA — was “Recognizing Workers Rights.” Union groups, high schools, and corporations made up a majority of the floats and displays, but the tiny ponies, Big Idaho Potato, and Oscar Meyer Wiener car garnered the biggest applause.
* Center Square | As Illinois gaming hits highs, so has gambling debt: In Illinois, 400,000 people have a gambling problem and another 700,000 are at risk for developing a problem. It is almost too easy to gamble these days, Miller said. People play the lottery on their phones. People bet on video games like “Call of Duty.”
* Tribune | Plan for south suburban airport near Peotone rises again, now focused on cargo: Proponents envision an airport that could take advantage of demand for quick delivery and the proliferation of Amazon warehouses, train facilities and highways in Will County. At least one developer is already interested in building out the airport and nearby warehouses, a project that would mark the culmination of the decadeslong effort to get an airport built near Peotone.
* SJ-R | Crowds turn out for St. Patrick’s Day Parade through downtown Springfield: The 37th edition of one of the city’s most famed traditions brought out families and others of all ages and backgrounds to watch 94 different groups wind their way through the parade route that stretched from Jefferson Street and eventually ended at Ninth Street.
* Naperville Sun | Naperville moving forward with elimination of permit parking at city’s two Metra commuter stations: The Naperville City Council Tuesday voted to eliminate the parking permit system at the Route 59 and Naperville/Fourth Avenue Metra rail stations and require commuters to pay only for the days they park.
* WTTW | The ‘Birthplace’ of House Music Makes Preservation Chicago’s Most Endangered Buildings List for 2023: Today, in a revitalized West Loop, the building is ripe for teardown and redevelopment, which is why Preservation Chicago has included the Warehouse on its 2023 “Most Endangered” list, announced Wednesday.
* USA Today | ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ rules at Oscars: The multiverse-hopping sensation, “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” ruled the night at Sunday’s Academy Awards, winning seven honors including best picture, best actress (Michelle Yeoh), supporting actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), supporting actor (Ke Huy Quan), directing and original screenplay.
* Sun-Times | On the frontlines for 75 years of blizzards, heat waves, floods and other calamities: Throughout our history, Chicago Sun-Times photographers, reporters and editors have worked hard to capture our icebound, storm-tossed, sun-baked city.