Presented by Chicago Medical Society

Good Thursday morning, Illinois. POLITICOs John Harris examines a phenomenon in other states (New York), certainly not here: Why so many politicians are such aholes.

TOP TALKER

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has spent much of his first term managing the Coronavirus pandemic. | AP photo

A new poll shared with Playbook indicates Illinois residents have a mixed opinion about Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has now spent a third of his term managing the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey, conducted by 1892 Polling, a firm that counted former Gov. Bruce Rauner as a client during his successful 2014 gubernatorial campaign,shows 40.6 percent of Illinois residents view Pritzker favorably, compared to 41.0 percent who don’t and 18 percent who so far have no opinion.

Most of the other questions examine education issues and culture wars. The survey of 800 residents was commissioned by the American Council on Trustees and Alumni, a conservative nonprofit group that advocates for trustees to have a greater role in decision-making on college campuses and pushes against what it sees as liberal ideas related to intolerance. Lynne Cheney, wife of the former Vice President Dick Cheney, previously headed the organization.

Interviews were done Feb. 17 through 21 by cell phones and landlines for the poll that has a ± 3.5 percent margin of error. The poll states 39 percent of respondents identified as Democrats, 25 percent were Republican, and 27 percent Independent and many had mostly favorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement, police officers, teachers unions, and their local school boards.

But multiple questions in the survey address ACTAs interest in culture wars issues, particularly around academia and race.

One question asks if public universities in Illinois are too liberal or conservative (35 percent of respondents said too liberal, 36 percent said fair, and 6 percent said too conservative).

And while 42 percent of those interviewed think Americans are too politically correct, 41 percent think Americans arent politically correct enough or are just right.

Other areas of the poll address culturally responsive education, which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly

last month, and show a slant to the questioning. Republicans have criticized the effort as serving up liberal politics in the classroom and the poll reflects that by asking people whether teachers should “embrace progressive viewpoints” and prioritize “social justice advocacy” (rather than plainly describing what those mean). A statement about whether public universities should combat systemic racism by teaching students about white privilege is set as the sole counterpoint to a more neutral position about whether those schools should teach the nation’s founding principles as “the basis for reasoned debate and civil dialogue.”

Asked whether K-12 schools should institute a new curriculum that teaches that America is “founded on slavery or demonstrates principles for a free and democratic country nothing in between 38 percent chose the new curriculum and 48 chose the old.

Another question on racism touched on an episode that recently came up at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

. It asks if Obstructing Jewish students from expressing support for the State of Israel is a form of anti-Semitism” (50 percent agree, 25 percent disagree, and 25 percent were unsure).

The poll also asks whether the presence of police officers on college campuses does more harm than good: 19 percent said yes, and 66 percent said no. Of course, this question would have been more interesting had it addressed keeping police in public K-12 schools, a debate that has roiled Chicago and many other cities across the country.

THE BUZZ

House and Senate leaders have named Democratic members of the redistricting committees that will be charged with organizing public hearings across the state in advance of the remap.

From the House: Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, who is chair, and Reps. Kelly Burke, JeHan Gordon-Booth, Jay Hoffman, Theresa Mah, and Curtis Tarver II. Republicans have yet to be named.

From the Senate: Among Democrats, Sen. Omar Aquino, chairman; Sen. Elgie Sims Jr., vice chair; and Sens. Scott Bennett, Cristina Castro, Bill Cunningham, Mattie Hunter, Emil Jones III, and Laura Murphy. Republican Sen. Jason Barickman is minority spokesman on the committee. The Senate also has assigned senators from adjoining districts to serve on subcommittees for redistricting.

Political watchers expect the process to be messy. Though there are a few veterans to redistricting on those committees, the House speaker, Senate president and Democratic Party leader are all fairly new to their roles. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, meanwhile, has called for an open process that may have varying interpretations.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin has been through remaps a few times, but he has limited control of the process. His mantra is to make sure maps are fair.

Former House Speaker Michael Madigan is a remap authority, but he says hes not going to help out, not even as an adviser.

Thankfully, former Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, who chaired the 2011 House redistricting committee, left a detailed guide.

Looming over all the discussions is whether the 2022 primary will be delayed. Late-coming census figures affect when the final remap can be done, which can in turn make it difficult to meet deadlines for getting signatures to run for office.

Like we said: messy.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

A message from Chicago Medical Society:

Doctors and hospitals are urging Governor Pritzker to veto a bill that would take millions of dollars away from patient care and put it in legal escrow for future malpractice claims. Members of the Chicago Medical Society are joined by their physician colleagues and hospitals across Illinois urging lawmakers and Pritzker to veto the bill. Now is not the time to punish doctors or take essential financial resources away from patient care in Illinois.

WHERE’S LORI

No public events but will deliver virtual remarks in the evening at the American Jewish Committee Chicagos annual Diplomatic, Interfaith and Community Leaders Seder.

WHERE’S J.B.

At Baie & Baie in Waterman at 10 a.m. to discuss infrastructure investments

that are part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. Hell be at Shabbona Middle School in Morris at 12:30 p.m. touring a Grundy County vaccination site

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Where’s Toni

At the Cook County Building at 9 a.m. to announce a $73 million emergency rental assistance program.

SPOTLIGHT

TODAY at 9 a.m.: POLITICO is hosting The Fifty: Americas Governors, a series of back-to-back, live conversations with governors from North Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, Washington, Colorado, and Michigan. White House Reporter Natasha Korecki is a moderator. The conversations will cover how governors are confronting the multiple crises that have hit the country within the past year from the global pandemic and ensuing economic recession, sudden shift to remote schooling, racial injustice and police brutality protests and the fallout from the tense presidential election. You can register to watch live here

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THE LATEST NUMBERS

The Illinois Department of Public Health

on Wednesday reported 30 additional deaths and 1,682 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. Thats a total of 20,810 fatalities and 1,202,709 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 3 through 9 is 2.3 percent. Chicagos positivity rate

is at 2.7 percent.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Virus drove record U.S. death rate in 2020, CDC finds:The upcoming report will mark the first time the agency has publicly acknowledged that the national death rate spiked last year and that Covid-19 played a role in the increase. According to CDC data, the 2020 increase is the largest since 1918 when, in the midst of World War I, hundreds of thousands of people died of a flu. By comparison, the death rate decreased in 2019

by 1.2 percent compared to the 2018 toll, by POLITICOs Erin Banco.

…Illinois saw 27% rise in deaths, reports Tribunes Joe Mahr.

State records show Illinois sent $1.1M in Covid relief funds to dissolved companies:Business registration records kept at the Secretary of States office showed at least 72 of the companies that won grant funding were considered dissolved or terminated long before the pandemic began. Terrence McConville, a senior attorney for the Secretary of State and the Department of Business Services, said that means those companies are at least five months late in filing their annual reports with the state, or theyre out of business, or it could be fraud, by WCIAs Mark Maxwell.

Illinois schools can cut social distance from 6 to 3 feet under new rules:The Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools was prompted by the CDCs recently updated guidance that underscores that schools are an important part of community infrastructure, reports Tribunes Karen Ann Cullotta.

Family of Illinois first Covid death reflects on anniversary: I wish you never knew us:On Mar. 16, 2020, Patricia Frieson, 61, sixth daughter in an African American family of nine siblings from the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, became the states first person to die of Covid-19. Tragically, nine days later, her sister, Wanda Bailey, 63, succumbed to the virus that had then claimed 26 lives, writes Sun-Times Maudlyne Ihejirika.

When they realized Covid would be part of everyday life, via the Tribune

Former presidents (but 1) are back with a new video: this one about getting vaccinated,via CNN

SUBSCRIBE TO THE RECAST TO JOIN AN IMPORTANT CONVERSATION: Power dynamics are changing. Influence is changing. More people are demanding a seat at the table, insisting that all politics is personal and not all policy is equitable. The Recast is our new twice-weekly newsletter that breaks down how race and identity are recasting politics, policy and power in America. And POLITICO is recasting how we report on this crucial intersection, bringing you fresh insights, scoops, dispatches from across the country and new voices that challenge business as usual. Dont miss out on this important new newsletter, SUBSCRIBE NOW. Thank you to our sponsor, Intel.

THE STATEWIDES

Pritzker budget plan doesn’t resolve structural deficit, other financial ills, report says:Gov. JB Pritzker was able to come up with a balanced state budget plan for the next fiscal year despite voters turning down a proposed move from a flat to a graduated income tax in November. But that feat, which still requires the General Assembly to eliminate more than $900 million in tax breaks prized by businesses, doesnt hide the fact that Illinois needs structural tax reform and refinancing of its pension debt to stabilize finances and avoid more cuts to education and other state services, according to a Chicago-based tax policy think tank, by State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen.

Harmon backs away from graduated income tax plan, reports WCIAs Mark Maxwell.

Lawmakers revisit data collection privacy laws:State lawmakers are considering changes to an internet privacy law that recently led to a $650 million settlement between Facebook and more than 1 million of the websites users in Illinois, by Capitol News Grace Barbic.

CHICAGO

Lightfoot: Federal relief package not a slush fund:The mayor on Wednesday warned aldermen to keep those wish lists in their back pockets, saying she expects the money is gonna come … through specific grants that have specific requirements on how the money can be spent, by Sun-Times Fran Spielman

HOPEFUL: Lightfoot very optimistic about citys 2021 summer activities:I believe that the summer of 2021 is going to look more like 2019 and less like 2020, but weve got to be driven by and led by what the science and the public health guidance tells us, Lightfoot said during a news conference Wednesday. Tribunes Gregory Pratt and John Byrne report.

Police boost website, give update on carjacking task force as city endures spike in the crime:Through March 2 [of this year], there were 348 carjackings in Chicago, more than double the tally at the same time last year and far and away the most the city has seen during the same period since at least 2001, city crime statistics show, by Tribunes Jeremy Gorner.

More Catholic parishes merging, consolidating: The Renew My Church program has been met with opposition from some Chicago area Catholics, who complain their parishes are not truly being renewed but blended and closed regardless of financial and cultural viability in a cash grab. A parishioner group, Saving Our Catholic Churches, has called on [Cardinal Blase] Cupich to halt the process with at least 25 parishes, by Tribunes Charles J. Johnson.

New $80M plan revealed for massive-mixed income project on Near West Side:The next phase of the the Roosevelt Square development will feature three mid-rise featuring fitness centers, dog runs and indoor parking, plus new retail space and apartments inside the proposed National Public Housing Museum, by Sun-Times Manny Ramos.

How the Obama Presidential Center aims to meet its diversity goals:Lets face it, Black Chicagoans have had significant barriers to enter the construction industry for decades, the Obama Foundation’s Michael Strautmanis says. Our goal here is to break down those barriers.” Crains A.D. Quig reports.

Immigration advocates in Chicago celebrate end of Trump era changes to public charge rule:The rule would have allowed officials to deny immigrants permanent residency more commonly known as a green card if the person used public benefits such as food stamps, public housing and some forms of Medicaid, by Sun-Times Elvia Malagón.

Jeff Tweedy backs teachers at Old Town School of Folk Music in contract fight:The teachers want four seats on the schools board of directors, reports Sun-Times Mitch Dudek.

… Disneys State Street, Rosemont stores will close this month, by Tribunes Lauren Zumbach

The annual Consular Corps Gala’s social hour in 2018 drew a crowd. | Photo provided by Chicago Consular Corps

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Chicago Consular Corps Gala

will go live this year, marking another step toward normalcy on the citys civic scene. The annual event honors Chicagos international connections. The Nov. 5 gala will be held at the Chicago Hilton with an option for virtual attendance. The gala is hosted annually by World Business Chicago, Chicago Sister Cities International, and the Chicago Consular Corps. Last year, it was all virtual with 600 in attendance. In a statement to Playbook, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised the Consular Corps work for keeping countries irrevocably interconnected. Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson echoed the mayor, adding We look forward to planning this event and being in person again.

A message from Chicago Medical Society:

IN MEMORIAM

Chicago philanthropist and investment manager Richard Driehaus dies at 78:Driehaus was most known for his various charitable contributions across Chicago, including his commitment to preserving historical architecture. He established the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation in 1983 and provided monetary support to several arts and cultural organizations including Boys and Girls Hope, Boys & Girls Clubs and the Old Town School of Folk Music, to name a few, by Tribunes Jessica Villagomez and Chris Jones.

BIG GIFT

Michael Sacks, a Chicago CEO and political fundraiser, and his wife, Cari Sacks, have donated $5 million toward scholarships for former Chicago Public Schools students attending Northwesterns business and law schools. The gift brings the couples total giving for the schools We Will fundraising campaign to $13.3 million. The couple have long supported CPS students attending Northwestern, where Michael is an alum. So far, 89 students have received a Sacks Family Scholarship, including 41 CPS graduates, according to Northwestern.

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Corruption investigation hangs over mayoral race in Western suburb:Lyons Mayor Chris Getty has spent nearly $100,000 on legal bills tied to a wide-ranging corruption investigation as he runs for a fourth term, by Better Government Associations Casey Tone.

COOK COUNTY AND COLLARS

Head of reform project chosen as Cook Countys next public defender: Sharone Mitchell Jr.s proposed appointment for a six-year term will be presented to the county board for approval at a meeting Friday…Mitchell called it ‘an honor of a lifetime,’ by Tribunes Megan Crepeau.

CAMPAIGN MODE

Schimpf on how to beat Pritzker:Gubernatorial candidate Paul Schimpf says a Republican must do three things to defeat Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2022: Unite the states fractured GOP, give voters a policy and life story contrast, and secure crossover votes from Democrats, according to a report by James Moss in the Republic-Times in southern Illinois.

FIND OUT THE LATEST WHISPERS FROM THE WEST WING: Add Transition Playbook to your daily reads to find out what’s really happening inside the West Wing, who really has the president’s ear, and get the latest scoop from inside cabinet departments and agencies. Track the people, policies and emerging power centers of the Biden administration. Dont miss out. Subscribe today.

DAY IN COURT

Chicago twins who helped convict El Chapo face new probe after ending prison terms:A court filing reveals a new investigation against Pedro Flores and Margarito Flores, brothers convicted of importing a ton of cocaine a month into Chicago and other cities, by Sun-Times Jon Seidel and Frank Main.

Former chemistry teacher found guilty of reckless conduct for pouring liquid nitrogen on student in science demo:Garry Brodersen was performing a science demonstration in front of the class in May 2018 when, according to prosecutors, he poured liquid nitrogen on a students chest and groin area. The chemical caused burn injuries to the students groin and finger, according to a statement from the states attorneys office. The student has since fully recovered, the spokesman said, by Tribunes Angie Leventis Lourgos.

Former Rochelle employee pleads guilty to fraud:Scott Koteski enters guilty plea for fraudulently obtaining at least $150,000 form a nonprofit business association, according to the Justice Department.

THE NATIONAL TAKE

Democratic centrists balk at more red ink after Covid spending spree,by POLITICOs Sarah Ferris and Burgess Everett

Collins-Schumer rift shocks Senate,by POLITICOs Burgess Everett

Michelle Obamas Covid year: Unexpected blessings, quarantine hobbies & depression, and whats next,via People magazine

TRANSITIONS

Haleigh Hoff has joined the fundraising and communication firm P2 Consulting as VP of Special Projects. Previously, Hoff was a principal at her own firm, Blue Antler Consulting, where she handled campaigns and fundraising. She previously directed political operations for Congresswoman and former DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos. Hoff’s primary responsibility at P2 will be to help manage the firm’s expansion plans for 2022.

EVENTS

Today at 10 a.m.: The Chicago City Council holds a virtual hearing on Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot. Members of the Committee on Economic Development and Technology will discuss the pilot program. Resolution Sponsors: Chairman Gilbert Villegas, Ald. Maria Hadden, and Ald. Sofia King. Among witnesses: University of Chicago Associate Professor and Biden transition member Damon Jones, Economic Security of Illinois exec Harish I. Patel, former Stockton, Calif., Mayor Michael Tubbs, and St. Paul Financial Empowerment Office Director Muneer Karcher-Ramos.

Friday at 10 a.m.: A town hall discussion on how the federal Covid relief funding will help small businesses in the hospitality, retail and restaurant sectors will be held. On the panel: Congresswoman Robin Kelly, state Rep. Lamont Robinson, state Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Acting Director Sylvia Garcia, Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and officials with the various industries involved. Email [email protected] to register.

TRIVIA

WEDNESDAYs ANSWER: Congrats to former Ald. Joe Moore, Prairie Group Consultings Fred Lebed, political consultant Kevin Conlon, and attorney and retired campaign operative Stephen Rosenblat, for correctly answering that Mayor Jane Byrne endorsed both Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy in 1980.

Background: In what Carter called a “rare event in politics when somebody deliberately lies,” Byrne endorsed Carter in October 1979, but with Kennedy gaining momentum ahead of Illinois’ March 18 primary, she switched her endorsement to Kennedy. Ironically, that endorsement backfired for Kennedy as Byrne had become increasingly unpopular to the point that Kennedy tried to avoid her during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade so as not to have their picture taken together. Carter ended up winning the primary, beating Kennedy by 35 points. Source: “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life” by Jonathan Alter (page 553). H/T Carl Gutierrez.

Kathy Byrne, the late mayor’s daughter, remembers it this way in an email to Playbook: “Carter came to her fundraiser that fall and Teddy hadnt declared [yet]. So my mom thanked Carter and very carefully said ‘if the election were held tonight my vote would be for this president.’ Teddy announced about 10 days later and my mom was at Faneuil Hall in Boston for the announcement. No one was surprised, including Jimmy Carter!”

TODAYs QUESTION: Which father of a future FLOTUS ran for Chicago alderman? Email to [email protected]

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A message from Chicago Medical Society:

Doctors and hospitals are urging Governor Pritzker to veto a bill that would take millions of dollars away from patient care and put it in legal escrow for future malpractice claims. Members of the Chicago Medical Society are joined by their physician colleagues and hospitals across Illinois urging lawmakers and Pritzker to veto the bill. Now is not the time to punish doctors or take essential financial resources away from patient care in Illinois.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, White House Office of Management and Budget chief of staff Nikki Budzinski, Springfield Ald. Kristin DiCenso, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., former state Sen. Dan Duffy, former legislator andMac Strategies Group Senior Director Matt Murphy, Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding, consultant and former Chicago Treasurers Office COO Tripp Wellde, and Flower and Garden Show owner Tony Abruscato.

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