Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (11/2)

November 2, 2022


Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Loss of Smell as a COVID Symptom, Side Effects of Flu, COVID Shots, by NBC 5 Chicago.


Governor J.B. Pritzker uses trust fund to avoid contribution limits in Illinois Supreme Court races

Earlier this year, Gov. JB Pritzker (D) signed Public Act 102-0909 into law, limiting contributions to a judicial candidate from ‘any single person’ to $500,000.

Having already contributed $500,000 each to the campaigns of Democratic judges Elizabeth Rochford and Mary Kay O’Brien in September, Pritzker is now using his personal trust fund to circumvent this measure, donating an additional $500,000 last week to both campaigns.

A recent analysis by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found that Illinois has seen the most spending so far among the 28 states where voters are electing justices to their high courts this November, in an election that could shift the 4-3 majority Democrats currently hold on the court.

In Illinois’ 2nd Judicial District, comprising McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, and Kendall counties, former prosecutor and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran (R) is challenging Democrat Elizabeth Rochford, who currently serves as a circuit court judge in Lake County.

In the 3rd District, encompassing DuPage, Will, Kankakee, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle and Bureau counties, incumbent Republican Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke is facing a challenge from Appellate Court Justice Mary Kay O’Brien, who is a Democrat.


Pappas promises more studies into property tax system’s ‘inequities’ after sale-in-error study: “Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas was lauded by county commissioners during a Board of Commissioners Finance Committee meeting on her office’s budget Oct. 25, nearly one week after her office released a study which showed hedge funds, private equity firms and similar entities had taken advantage of a state property tax law loophole they helped craft to profit off administrative mistakes, with the effects largely felt by communities of color,” by The Daily Line.

Shakman decree lifted from Cook County Assessor’s Office after 10 years: “U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang granted a motion Tuesday to dismiss a federal monitor over the Cook County Assessor’s Office which oversaw hiring practices for a decade, affirming the office had achieved “substantial compliance” with court-ordered reforms. The so-called Shakman decree, its namesake derived from the lawyer who initiated a lawsuit against the county more than 50 years ago for politically motivated hiring practices, was first imposed on the assessor’s office in 2012 under then-Assessor Joseph Berrios,” by The Daily Line.

Preckwinkle, Fioretti face off again in race for Cook County Board president with divergent views on finances, crime: “After waging several unsuccessful campaigns as a Democrat, former Chicago alderman and attorney Bob Fioretti’s latest attempt to return to the political stage is on the Republican side. It’s a rematch against Toni Preckwinkle, three-term president of the Cook County Board,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Despite doubts, Illinois’ election process filled with safeguards to prevent fraud: “Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign manager, Mike Ollen, sent a letter to Bailey’s campaign manager Jose Durbin Tuesday asking Bailey’s campaign to publicly commit to accepting the results of the election, no matter the outcome. Ollen said Pritzker’s campaign was making that commitment. Bailey’s campaign shot back with a public statement committing to accepting the results but bashing Pritzker in the process.”

Gov. Pritzker Announces Eight Appointments to Boards and Commissions, from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Launches Effort to Strengthen Children’s Mental Health Care: “The Administration of Governor JB Pritzker announced Tuesday it is launching a new state program designed to help pediatricians and other providers meet children’s mental health needs by strengthening mental health services in emergency departments and schools,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Opens Second Round of Electric Vehicle Rebate Program for Illinois Residents: “Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director John J. Kim Tuesday announced the opening of the second round of funding through the Illinois Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program,” from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.


Cardenas to leave City Council Nov. 30, allowing Lightfoot’s 4th aldermanic appointment

On Tuesday, Ald. George Cardenas (12) – who is running unopposed as a Democrat for the Cook County Board of Review in the Nov. 8 election – submitted his letter of resignation from the Chicago City Council effective Nov. 30.

Although Cardenas is not slated to take his seat on the Board of Review until January, his early resignation gives Mayor Lightfoot the chance to conduct a “thorough search for his replacement.”

Lightfoot’s pick will mark her fourth aldermanic appointment to City Council as well as provide the selected candidate with an incumbency advantage heading into 2023’s municipal elections.

Cardenas has represented the 12th Ward – which includes McKinley Park, Brighton Park and part of Little Village – since 2003. As Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s deputy floor leader and chair of the City Council’s Environmental Protection and Energy, Cardenas has been a reliable mayoral ally through the Richard M. Daley, Rahm Emmanuel, and Lightfoot administrations.

Cardenas has endorsed Anabel Abarca, his former chief of staff and previous aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Quigly, to replace him. Starting today through November 16, 2022, interested candidates can submit applications.


Black and Latino Caucuses make pitches for changes to the city’s 2023 budget: “As of Monday evening, Lightfoot had not herself sat down with either the Latino Caucus or Black Caucus to negotiate her budget, although aldermen insist the mayor and her budget team have engaged in smaller group discussions to secure the necessary 26 votes for passage,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Key vote on revenue ordinance delayed amid questions about required cut in fines for blocking bikes lanes, covered license plates: “A vote on the ordinance that sets how the city will collect revenue as part of the 2023 budget was delayed Tuesday after confusion over certain fines that need to be chopped in half due to a recent court ruling. The City Council Committee on Finance met Tuesday to consider the funding portions of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.4 billion budget proposal for 2023,” by The Daily Line.

Aldermen set to vote on 2023 spending measures including annual CPI increases for mayor, treasurer, clerk: “After approving only a portion of the funding-related ordinances for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed 2023 budget on Tuesday, aldermen on Wednesday are set to vote on the spending plan proposed in the mayor’s budget. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the annual appropriation ordinance (O2022-3025) which sets spending for the next year. The management ordinance (O2022-3580) is also up for a vote on Wednesday,” by The Daily Line.

Garcia poll shows him beating Lightfoot in two-way race: “U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.) would easily defeat Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a runoff — and he’s the only top challenger who’d win a head-to-head match-up, according to a new poll, bankrolled by Garcia, that could make it more likely he will join the race,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago’s no magnet for real estate investors, but it doesn’t repel them either: “An annual survey of real estate investors placed the Chicago metropolitan area in the middle of the pack in an 80-city ranking, far below booming markets like Nashville, Dallas and Miami,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Beltway Briefing Special Edition: On Location in Tel Aviv

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer and Mark Alderman discuss Israeli business and politics directly from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Midterm Elections – Do the Issues or Candidates Matter More?

  • It’s one week until the midterm elections and the biggest battle to determine congressional control is a tug of war between national issues and individual candidate qualities.
  • Ticket splitting has declined in recent years, but it could tip the balance of the Senate this cycle.
  • Though the midterm elections will likely usher in divided government in Washington, DC, voters could put several states under unified control of a single party while also making key decisions on a range of issues via ballot measures that gridlocked politicians have been unable to resolve.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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