Good Monday morning, Illinois. The tree is up. Dont judge me.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Well be off for the big gobble gobble this Thursday and Friday but back to our normal schedule on Monday, Nov. 29.

LAST NIGHT IN WISCONSIN “A person plowed their SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, leaving five dead and more than 40 injured authorities say,” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinels Bill Glauber, Mary Spicuzza and Molly Beck


In the 2018 Democratic primary, Fritz Kaegi knocked Joe Berrios off his perch as Cook County assessor and a few old-school Democrats have never forgotten. Democrats from the 38th Ward voted in a pre-slating session to endorse Kaegis opponent, Kari Steele, the president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, instead.

Theres a bit of a backstory: The 38th Ward Democratic committeeman is state Sen. Robert Martwick, a Berrios friend and ally who in 2019, a few months after Kaegi was elected, introduced a bill in the General Assembly to change the Cook County assessors job from an elected position to an appointed one. Eyebrows raised at the time because Martwick is also a property tax appeal attorney and was accused of putting his fingers in the pie, trying to change how the system worked.

Martwicks bill might have slipped through if it werent for then-mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot, who brought attention to it when she famously stood up to Martwick (after he crashed one of her campaign events) and called him out for filing the bill. The video is legend


The bill went nowhere. But that hasnt stopped Martwick and other property tax appeals attorneys from pushing back against Kaegi, who has criticized the previous administration for overestimating the value of single-family homes and undervaluing (so they pay less taxes) pricier homes and commercial properties.

Opponents to Kaegi may see a friend in Steele, who is backed by some old-guard Democrats, including Secretary of State Jesse White. His office took in Berrios staffers

after Berrios lost the county assessors race. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough is also backing Steele.

But Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who has in the past counted Martwick as an ally, has endorsed Kaegi and said she believes he will be slated along with other incumbents.

The 38th Dems arent the only ones to turn their back on Kaegi. The 41st Ward Democrats also endorsed Steele. That might be because Joe Cook, the committeeman, is also principal attorney for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District that Steele leads. Gee politics is fun.


POLICE PROTECTION: Illinois lawmakers could make it a hate crime to attack police officers because of their profession under legislation proposed by Democratic Reps. Marty Moylan and Fran Hurley.

Moylans Police Protection Act would increase penalties for assaults on officers and would require states attorneys to report on the number of offenses against officers and how the cases are handled.

Hurleys Police Hate Crime bill, co-sponsored by Moylan, distinguishes harm against an officer or the stalking of an officer as a hate crime and increases penalties for those offenses.

The lawmakers point to a Grant Park protestwhere officers were injured when Molotov cocktails were hurled as an example of the need for tougher punishment.

According to the FBI, 60,105 officers were attacked and more than 60,000 officers were assaulted in 2020, which is up 4,000 from the year before, reports ABC 7s Craig Wall


Moylan is also working on a third piece of legislation that would funnel $100 million for additional safety equipment, training, facility improvements, and personnel.

“There’s an uptick in not only assaults against police officers, but assaults, shootings and killings. It’s our job to try and protect our officers,” Moylan said at a press conference last week. Hes also concerned that the crime in Chicago is bleeding into the suburbs.

Moylan, a Democrat from Des Plaines, wants to see bipartisan support for the bills, which he says address issues of concern to suburban residents who are worried about the ripple effects of crime from Chicago.

He says two Republicans initially expressed interest but backed out at the urging of Republican leadership.

If adopted, Illinois would join states like Louisiana and Texas in enacting a police hate crimes bill.

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No official public events.


At Northwest Side Housing Center at 1:30 p.m. to provide an update on Protect Chicago 77, which encourages Covid vaccinations.

Where’s Toni

No official public events.

Covid-19 Update

Stubborn Covid surges signal bleak winter across the country: We cant afford, literally because lives depend on it, to let this pandemic recede in peoples minds when it hasnt receded in our hospital beds, in our morgues, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told POLITICO.

CDC chief approves Covid-19 boosters for all adults: Her endorsement came just hours after CDCs external advisory committee unanimously backed the approach, by POLITICOs Lauren Gardner.


Will Rittenhouse verdict affect open carry laws in Illinois?Illinois is one of just three states that flatly ban gun owners from openly carrying their weapons, and advocates on both sides of the gun debate don’t expect Friday’s not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case to change that, by Daily Heralds Jake Griffin.

… Rittenhouse verdict exposes America’s divide over who gets to carry a gun,writes Brakkton Booker, the author of POLITICOs newsletter on race and identity, The Recast


… Rittenhouse verdict was message to white youth: If you believe Black lives matter, your life means nothing,writes Dahleen Glanton in the Sun-Times

… Disruptive but nonviolent protesters gather in Loop after Rittenhouse verdict, by Tribunes Stephanie Casanova and Sarah Freishtat

… Jesse Jackson warns verdict sets a dangerous precedent,by Sun-Times Madeline Kenney

Getting rid of potholes can be good politics: With the Land of Lincoln soon to be awash in infrastructure money, expect Pritzker and other Democrats to dangle projects across the state during what could be a potentially treacherous 2022 campaign cycle. It could be one of the best things Democrats have going, by WBEZs Dave McKinney.

SALARY UPDATE:The Better Government Association has updated its salary database. Along with learning how much your neighbors earn, the BGA says, you can even download the raw and cleaned data for your analyses.

DEEP DIVE: Racial covenants, a relic of the past, are still on the books across the country:In Illinois, you can still find them, says Desmond Odugu, chairman of the education department at Lake Forest College in Illinois. Odugu said he has confirmed 220 subdivisions home to thousands of people in Cook County whose records contain the covenants. It only scratches the surface, he said, by NPRs Cheryl Thompson, Cristina Kim, Natalie Moore, Roxana Popescu, Corinne Ruff.

Illinois paid $694M to keep nuclear plants open, showing why greening the grid is so hard, via CNBC.

Measure would change state historian position, sever ties between Lincoln library and foundation: Illinois has had 10 state historians over the decades, Christina Shutt, executive director of Springfields Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, told a Senate committee in October. All were men. All were focused mostly on Abraham Lincoln. Illinois history is far more complex than that. State Journal Registers Dean Olsen reports

Column | Shocking start for electric-vehicle makers stock: Rivians initial stock price of $80 per share skyrocketed from the get-go, jumping to as high as $160 a share. But what goes up can come down, especially when buying is driven by hopeful expectations instead of profits, reports the News-Gazettes Jim Dey.


HOUSE REP APPOINTMENT: The 39th Ward Democratic Committee members have endorsed Michael Rabbitt, one of seven candidates vying to replace Rep. John DAmico

in the 15th District. DAmico stepped down earlier this month, allowing for an appointment that will give the winner a leg up in running for office later this year.

The appointment is scheduled for tomorrowby the Democratic Party leaders

headed by state Sen. Ram Villivalam and Laura Murphy. The 39th Ward Dems said the appointment could end control of the DAmico/Laurino dynasty, a reference to DAmico and his aunt Marge Laurino, the longtime retired 39th Ward city councilmember.

The 39th Ward Dems made their endorsement after interviewing candidates Saturday. Along with Rabbitt, candidates include Triton college professor Christina Brophy, attorney Daniel Cotter, neighborhood activist Judy Kehoe, and Niles economic development director John Melaniphy. Firefighter Michael Kelly (a DAmico ally),and Lexington Group CFO Vince Fattore didnt show up for the 38th Ward interviews.


Food banks prepare for an increase in need over Thanksgiving: This Thanksgiving is expected to be one of the most expensive holidays ever. The American Farm Bureau Federation expects the average cost to be $53.31 thats a 14% increase from last years average of $46.90. The reason for higher costs is largely due to inflation and supply chain issues, by WTTWs Aida Mogos.

O’Hare, Midway, roads expected to be busy ahead of Thanksgiving, by ABC 7s Diane Pathieu.

STEP INSIDE THE WEST WING: What’s really happening in West Wing offices? Find out who’s up, who’s down, and who really has the presidents ear in our West Wing Playbook newsletter, the insider’s guide to the Biden White House and Cabinet. For buzzy nuggets and details that you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe today.


As the Black population continues to drop in Chicago and Illinois, few regret their move:We got what we were looking for in terms of space to raise our family and more of a neighborhood feel. Tribunes William Lee reports.

Behind the dollars | Who has the best hand in the Chicago casino dealing:The citys five bids are full of lofty boasts, but the choice will come down to quick delivery and economic potential, by Sun-Times David Roeder and Fran Spielman.

After Zheng shooting, a search for solutions at U. of C. amid divided opinions on policing: The school operates in a bubble and should be more neighborly by expanding academic program access and by hiring more people of color so theyre not so isolated, said one outsider looking in. by Tribunes Paige Fry and Tatyana Turner.

Sleepless night under Chicago stars affords time to contemplate youth homelessness: Covenant Houses annual Sleep Out Chicago event, held last week, raised nearly $500,000 for a shelter that targets homeless 18- to 24-year-olds, by Sun-Times Mark Brown.

10 CPS staff members to be fired after alleged sex misconduct at Marine Leadership Academy:The behavior uncovered by this investigation represents a stunning betrayal of trust and colossal failure of judgment and character on the part of far too many individuals, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said.

Lightfoots pick to lead COPA offers sincere, heartfelt apology after report recommends suspension for officer slain months later, by WTTWs Heather Cherone

On a cold November night in Chicago, B.B. King cut Live at the Regal, one of blues classic albums:The author of a new book on the guitar great recalls a set that thrilled the Bronzeville crowd and disappointed the band, by Daniel de Visé in the Sun-Times.

Fenwick beats Sycamore, advances to first state-championship football game in school history:Several generations of Fenwick football lined the field at Triton College on Saturday afternoon, by Sun-Times Michael O’Brien.

… That means state Rep. Jeff Keicher is on the hook for Italian beefs

in his friendly wager with House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

Bears blow a late lead and lose to the Baltimore Ravens 16-13, by Tribunes Colleen Kane


Proud Boys join effort to ban Gender Queer book from school library rattling students in suburban Chicago:Members of the far-right group attended a school board meeting in Downers Grove last week. One allegedly called a student who spoke in favor of the book a pedophile, by Sun-Times Tom Schuba and Nader Issa.

District 65 superintendent cancels 2 days of school in Evanston, Skokie citing staffing shortages:We recognize this news is difficult and may put working families in a bind, says Devon Horton. Tribunes Talia Soglin reports.

Cook County launches census demographics app:The interactive map allows the user to identify population shifts and demographic changes between 2010 and 2020 in Cook County.


Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootsWomens Spotlight Luncheon,

which benefits her Light PAC political organization, will be held Dec. 14 at noon at Theater on the Lake. The event will also be available virtually.

A Women for Pat Dowellfundraiser in her bid for Illinois secretary of state was held at Truth Italian Restaurant. State Sen. Mattie Hunter hosted. SPOTTED: Ald. Stephanie Coleman, business owner Nikki Hayes, former Illinois Commerce Commissioner Lula Ford, and Truth Italian owner Peytyn Willborn.A few men joined the event, too, including Ald. Jason Ervin and state Rep. Lamont Robinson.


Durbin gives endorsement to Nikki Budzinski in congressional primary:The announcement came Sunday at Durbin’s Springfield home, reports State Journal-Registers Steven Spearie

Column | Get ready, Chicago, for John Catanzaras slash-and-burn campaign:This kindred spirit of former President Donald J. Trump will fan the flames of racism, bigotry and fear. Sadly, thats a campaign that may appeal in some quarters of this divided and divisive city, by Sun-Times Laura Washington.


Column | Hulus Being Blago charts the rise, fall and next chapter of Illinois disgraced ex-governor:Hes a more interesting guy than you may think, writes Tribunes Michael Phillips.


Dispensary 33 selling pot shops to publicly traded weed giant in $55 million deal: The stores in Uptown and West Town are being sold to Miami-based Ayr Wellness, which grows and sells cannabis across multiple states, by Sun-Times Tom Schuba.


Billionaire Ken Griffin pays $43.2M for rare first printing of U.S. Constitution:Griffin, the founder and CEO of multinational hedge fund Citadel, headquartered in Chicago, outbid a group of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts from around the world who had crowdfunded to buy it over the last week, by the Associated Press.

Comptroller Mendoza visits Arcola mayor:Susana Mendoza paid a visit to Arcola Thursday night. She met with Mayor Jesus Garza, the citys first Latino mayor. The pair talked about how he got to where he is now. Mendoza also asked if there was anything she could help with, by WCIAs Bradley Swank.

Reader Digest

We asked if you could mentor your younger self, what would you say: Political observer Timothy Thomas Jr. reminds us to Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. Radio reporter Dave Dahl says Shut up and listen. Prairie Group Consulting CEO Fred Lebed: Show up 15 minutes earlier to everything. Do what you say. And use your ears more than your mouth. John Straus, former head of the state Science & Technology Commission: Take the leap and the net will appear. Lobbyist Mark Peysakhovich: Don’t attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. I use this mantra all the time in Springfield to remind myself that this is not personal. And Aaron Lawlor: Being your authentic self will cause you a lot less pain than hiding who you are.

For tomorrow, whos a political figure youd like to join your Thanksgiving celebration? Email to [email protected]


Senate’s Jan. 6 ethics probe into Cruz, Hawley drags on,by POLITICOs Burgess Everett

How Athens became the unexpected hub for Afghan women,by Nektaria Stamouli for POLITICO Europe

M.L.B. finalizes plan to provide housing for minor leaguers,via The New York Times


Destiny Lee is policy analyst and legislative liaison for Health Care Council of Illinois. Before joining HCCI, Lee was a policy and budget analyst in the Office of the Illinois Senate president, where she staffed the Senate Health Committee and its subcommittees. She previously was a program and facility coordinator for the Village of Glendale Heights.

Amy Barry is now VP of corporate comms and marketing at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. She previously was director of government relations in IHAs Springfield office. Prior to IHA, Barry directed the legislative research unit at the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and also was comms director for the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus.

John Byron will be promoted to partner status at Steptoe & Johnson LLPs Chicago office effective Jan. 1. He works as of counsel. Byron is part of the firms litigation practice and has experience in securities litigation and enforcement matters, internal and government investigations.


FRIDAYs ANSWER: Congrats to Scott A. Ziomek, VP of external affairs at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, for correctly answering that John Bartlow Martin of Highland Park served as ambassador to the Dominican Republic under President John Kennedy.

TODAYs QUESTION: Which former Illinois state rep was also the younger brother of a U.S. president? Email to [email protected]


Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Illinois Cannabis Business Associations Pam Althoff, G-PAC Illinois advocacy and engagement director John Gruber, Metropolitan Family Services Bridget Hatch, Boxless Medias Jason Baumann, and Young Invincibles Jorge Arteaga.