Illinois Insights: An Update O’Connor (3/29)

March 29, 2024

ILLINOIS

| AROUND THE STATE

Eileen O’Neill Burke sustains lead over Clayton Harris for state’s attorney as last remaining votes are running short

“With five days to go until vote counting ceases in the Democratic primary race for state’s attorney, the trickle of ballot returns showed retired Appellate Judge Eileen O’Neill Burke sustaining her lead over university lecturer and former prosecutor Clayton Harris III,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Pritzker sends Cook County Democratic Party $250K ‘to turn out voters’ in November

“The funds will help target a big problem for a city opening its doors to President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Convention in August. Just 17.94% of registered voters in suburban Cook County and 25.7% of registered voters in Chicago voted in the March 19 primary,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pritzker reappoints Tate-Nadeau to handle emergencies, but senators concerned over payroll scandal

“State senators tasked with clearing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s appointments are raising concerns over his renomination of Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau after the Sun-Times last year reported an executive assistant accounted for more than $240,000 in billings,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cook County Courts Have Seen ‘Mostly Smooth’ Transition After Elimination of Cash Bail, New Report Finds
“According to findings from the Civic Federation and the League of Women Voters of Cook County, the Pretrial Fairness Act has worked as intended during the first six months of its implementation,” by WTTW.

Mary Flowers planning to return to Springfield following election defeat 

“Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) is planning to return to Springfield and continue serving in the House following her primary election defeat on March 19. The loss will end Flowers’ political career next January following 40 years in the General Assembly,” by The Daily Line.

CHICAGO

Mayor Johnson defends Sigcho-Lopez in flag-burning controversy

Mayor Johnson shrugged off calls yesterday by other City Council members to remove Ald. Sigcho-Lopez (25) as chair of the Housing Committee after he spoke at a rally last week where a veteran burned an American flag in protest of President Joe Biden’s support for Israel. Sigcho-Lopez said he “was not present or a witness to the [flag-burning], nor did he endorse it in any way.”

Since the incident, fifteen alderpeople have called for a special City Council meeting on April 1 to consider a resolution that would force Sigcho-Lopez to resign from his post.

At an unrelated news conference yesterday, Johnson said “do we really want to have a society where someone’s comments or someone else’s comments that happened to be in the presence of someone else, that that becomes a repudiation of that particular person? I would find that to be morally reprehensible and irresponsible.”

He also commented on the importance of the First Amendment, saying “I can be offended by someone’s presentation, and also recognize that they have a fundamental right to express that. I don’t even know why this is being debated, quite frankly. It’s actually quite disturbing that, as a city, we’re having a conversation about protected speech in America.”

| MORE FROM CITY HALL

Migrant eviction statistics need to be more ‘transparent,’ some Chicago City Council members say

“Two weeks after the migrant eviction policy went into effect in Chicago, members of the Council’s Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights said not enough information on migrants exiting the shelter system has been provided,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City of Chicago Ends Interest-Rate Swap Program

“The City of Chicago has announced the successful termination of its last interest rate swaps. By ending the use of these structured financial instruments, the City has reduced risk in the debt portfolio, demonstrating the City’s commitment to financial safety and stability,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

North Chicago alderman facing felony charges wants to discuss matter with City Council, but not in public

“Facing felony charges of official misconduct and criminal damage to government-supported property, North Chicago Ald. Anthony Coleman, 2nd Ward, wants the opportunity to talk about his situation with his colleagues privately but legally,”  by the Chicago Tribune.

FEDERAL

Casting Trump II: The Sequel, Cozen Currents

A second Trump administration would likely include both familiar faces from his first term and newcomers, but a lack of institutional guardrails means that former President Trump’s personnel choices will be particularly consequential.

Like many issues facing President Biden, the decision to support the creation of a more secure critical minerals supply chain requires trade-offs between competing interests, in this case posing China hawks against environmentalists.

Medicare faces heavy but increasingly unavoidable tradeoffs as weight-loss products like Ozempic and Wegovy are on track to become the best-selling drugs of all time.

The Cozen Currents can be read here.


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