TRUMP CAMP TARGETS DUCKWORTH — KANYE DUMPS TRUMP — PRITZKER TO TESTIFY ON COVID — A BOYCOTT FOR DIVERSITY
Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. Imagine this: Trump drops out. Biden gets sick. Pence is fired. What if 2020 gets really crazy?
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, seen in this file photo, is drawing fire for suggesting “a national dialogue” is needed on statues. | AP photo
President Donald Trump questioned the patriotism of Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army Purple Heart recipient who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq. And Joe Biden responded, calling Trump “disgusting, sickening” and “a reflection of the depravity of what’s going on in the White House.”
The verbal firestorm was sparked by Duckworth’s answer to a reporter about whether monuments of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be torn down since both men owned slaves. “We should have a national dialogue,” Duckworth said.
Fox’s Tucker Carlson was first to pounce on her answer, questioning her love of country. The conservative pundit followed up with a diatribe Tuesday night that all but accused Duckworth of trying to destroy the fabric of our nation. He called her a “coward” and a “fraud.” CNN’s Reliable Sources called Tucker’s comments “reprehensible.”
Trump, maybe seeing a discussion point that could incite his base, retweeted Carlson and his campaign followed up with its own attack.
“Tammy Duckworth is now using her military service to deflect from her support for the left-wing campaign to villainize America’s founding,” Scott O’Grady, co-chair of Veterans For Trump, said in a statement. “If she can’t defend George Washington, our first Commander-in-Chief, those of us who still respect our Founding Fathers’ immense sacrifice and think America is worth fighting for will hold her accountable for cowering to the far-left fascists in the Democratic Party.”
Biden addressed the Trump campaign’s statement during a fundraiser, where he was introduced by Duckworth and praised her for moral and physical courage, saying, “I can’t think of anyone who has shown more courage of both kinds. I really mean it Tammy. I’m grateful for you here with me in this fight.”
Biden continued: “I can’t tell you how I felt today when I heard the president of the United States, Donald Trump, questioning your patriotism. I found it virtually disgusting, sickening…I just think it’s a reflection of the depravity of what’s going on in the White House right now.”
There were 540 people on the call for the American Asian & Pacific Islander virtual fundraising event for Biden. Actor B.D. Wong hosted and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang Zoomed in, too, lauding Duckworth as “One of the first Asian Americans to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. And, if Joe has good advice, our next vice president.” Yang clarified later he wasn’t endorsing Duckworth for VP. He was just being exuberant.
Duckworth is considered a serious contender as Biden’s running mate, and in recent days — incensed by a Pentagon report that Russia may have put bounties out for American soldiers — she has shown some ability to take the heat that comes with running for national office and offer a little clapback.
In an opinion piece in USA Today about the Russian bounties revelation, Duckworth called Trump “incompetent,” a liar and “a grave threat” to the nation’s security.
During the virtual fundraiser, she attacked him for his handling of the coronavirus — and for defending Confederates.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are grieving the loss of their loved ones to Covid-19 and Donald Trump has yet to comfort a single one of them. And now our country’s being hit,” she said.
“Instead of trying to bring our country back together, he spent his time defending dead confederates who took up arms against this nation and engaging in xenophobic and racist language geared towards many Americans, including the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” Duckworth said.
POSTED OVERNIGHT: “Kanye West says he’s done with Trump — Opens up about White House bid, damaging Biden and everything in between,” by Forbes’ Randall Lane: “Kanye West’s Fourth of July declaration, via Tweet, that he was running for president lit the internet on fire, even as pundits were trying to discern how serious he was. Over the course of four rambling hours of interviews on Tuesday, the billionaire rapper turned sneaker mogul revealed: That he’s running for president in 2020 under a new banner — the Birthday Party — with guidance from Elon Musk and an obscure vice presidential candidate he’s already chosen. ‘Like anything I’ve ever done in my life,’ says West, ‘I’m doing to win.’
“That he no longer supports President Trump. ‘I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.’ That he’s ok with siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee, thus helping Trump. ‘I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.’ That he’s never voted in his life. That he was sick with Covid-19 in February. That he’s suspicious of a coronavirus vaccine, terming vaccines ‘the mark of the beast.’
“That he believes ‘Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.’ That he envisions a White House organizational model based on the secret country of Wakanda in Black Panther.”
By the way, in the fictional nation of Wakanda, T’Challa is king.
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At Buckingham Fountain at 9 a.m. to kick off the Taste of Chicago To-Go.
Before a House committee: The governor will testify at 11 a.m. before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security on “Examining the National Response to the Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic.” Among committee members is Rep. Lauren Underwood. Livestream is available here
At 2 p.m. he’ll visit a mobile testing site at Coles Elementary School. Watch live
At Berwyn City Hall at 11:15 to announce the distribution of CARES Act funding to municipalities in Cook County, including Berwyn. Watch live
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch is calling for a boycott of the 20 largest public companies that do not have Black members on their corporate boards.
“Companies should be leading by example — they should be embracing the voices of communities of color by ensuring that there is equitable leadership,” Welch said in a statement announcing a Thursday press conference to discuss the issue.
Boycotting national corporations — including Procter & Gamble, Adobe, Philip Morris and TJ Maxx — is a heavy lift, and Welch has started an online petition to encourage the effort.
It wouldn’t be the first boycott in Illinois organized by a Black leader. In 1982, the Rev. Jesse Jackson organized a boycott of summertime festivals to protest then-Mayor Jane Byrne’s decision to fill three positions on the Chicago Housing Board with white people.
Welch has also introduced legislation that targets financial institutions, too. House Bill 5806 requires state and local governments to contract only with banks or financial institutions that have boards of directors comprised of at least 20 percent people of color.
It was just a year ago that Welch set out to diversify corporate boards in Illinois. The bill became law and requires Illinois-based companies to go on record reporting the make-up of their boards.
It appears to have set the wheels in motion. Chicago-based Groupon only had two women on its nine-person board and no people of color when it filed its report. It’s since added four women, including of color.
THE LATEST NUMBERS
— The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday announced 37 new deaths to coronavirus and 587 new confirmed cases. That’s 7,063 total deaths and 148,452 cases in 102 counties in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 30 –July 6 is 2.5 percent.
— The United States is set to top 3 million coronavirus cases, a number that would have seemed unfathomable just three months ago, according to POLITICO’s Covid Tracker
— The vaccine race: “Who develops a vaccine first? Who gets to take it first? How much will vaccines cost? And will they be effective enough, or safe enough?” via POLITICO’s Vaccine Hub
— What about moving nursing home residents to hotels?: “A coalition of advocacy groups is calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to move residents from nursing homes and other congregate care settings into community settings, like hotels, to allow for proper social distancing and to stop the spread of Covid-19… In a statement, the Pritzker administration said that ‘moving medically fragile people … into hotels entirely unequipped to care for them, is not something public health experts endorse,’” by WTTW’s Kristen Thometz.
— As violence rages, Brown plans new version of swarming citywide suppression unit: “Following an especially bloody holiday weekend in Chicago that saw dozens wounded and at least 17 killed by gunfire, police Superintendent David Brown has announced plans to create a permanent, specialized citywide unit to stop sudden flare-ups in violence and other crime, officials said late Tuesday…[I]t will be the first time CPD has used such a roving team on a permanent basis since 2011. That’s when two similar citywide units were disbanded amid concerns about their aggressive style and after a previous unit was rocked by a corruption scandal,” reports Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— Chicago isn’t the only big city facing a spike in deadly shootings, including of children, reports the Washington Post.
— Taste of Chicago moves to storefronts and the cloud: “A re-imagined version of the annual summer tradition hopes to continue to expand the palettes of foodies — online, via food trucks and brick-and-mortar locations,” by Sun-Times’ Evan F. Moore.
— Lender halts funding for Helmut Jahn-designed skyscraper on Michigan Avenue, putting project in doubt: “The latest delay, resulting from economic concerns tied to the coronavirus pandemic, raises questions about the viability of the biggest condo project to break ground in Chicago in more than a decade,” by Tribune’s Ryan Ori.
— General Iron partially reopens in Lincoln Park: “The city approved the resumed operations following two explosions at the controversial metal-shredder’s North Side site,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Demand escalates for pet food pantries during Covid-19 crisis: “Chicago animal shelters and pet food pantries have scrambled to provide enough resources for pet owners as demand has escalated as people have lost their jobs and suffered financial strain during the COVID-19 pandemic,” by Tribune’s Kelli Smith.
— Ordinance to require more Covid-19 help for residents of large senior buildings sent to City Council for vote, by Tribune’s Sydney Czyzon.
— Lightfoot expands debt relief to help Chicagoans struggling to pay water bills, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— How to Love a City That Doesn’t Love You Back: Acclaimed author and activist Mikki Kendall on why Chicago keeps breaking her heart, via Chicago magazine.
COOK COUNTY AND COLLARS
Waukegan protesters call on Congress to protect women in the military following death of Vanessa Guillen: “In solidarity with the family of a female soldier who authorities say was killed by a south suburban soldier, activists called an impromptu protest in Waukegan Monday to urge Congress to take action. Protesters called on Congress to pass a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault in the Armed Forces, which organizers said might have prevented the death of 20-year-old Army specialist Vanessa Guillen. She was killed and dismembered by Army Spc. Aaron David Robinson, 20, of Calumet City, who shot himself to death July 1 as police were about to arrest him for Guillen’s murder, federal and military authorities have said.” by Lake County News-Sun’s Yadira Sanchez.
— Fight over graduated-rate income tax plan intensifies: “A coalition of Illinois organizations that represent businesses launched an effort Tuesday to beat back the proposal, a move that follows Pritzker’s recent $51.5 million contribution to the ballot initiative committee that’s backing a shift from a flat state income tax to one that would impose higher rates on the highest earners,” by Tribune’s Jamie Munks.
— ‘ONCE IN A LIFETIME’: In 2010, Republicans won state houses across the country and redrew electoral maps to their advantage. Now, as Trump trails in the polls, Democrats see an opportunity to take back power. In the latest POLITICO Dispatch , national correspondent Natasha Korecki explains why the party is starting to think bigger than just beating Trump — and what message Biden needs to send to help Democrats in down-ballot races.
— Elections Board wants to continue challenge of third-party ballot access: “Illinois’ chief election authority told a federal appeals court Monday it wants to continue its appeal of looser election rules for third-party candidates. If an appeals court agrees, the matter is unlikely to be settled before the July 20 petition filing deadline granted by Rebecca Pallmeyer, chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois. She extended the cutoff established by statute in response to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s election rules during Covid-19,” by Capitol News’ Rebecca Anzel.
— VEEP CONTEST: The 43rd Ward Democratic Committee is sponsoring a Veepstakes Pool to guess who Joe Biden will name as his running mate. Winners will receive Biden swag and a $43 donation to his campaign in each winner’s name. You may enter as many times as you like, says Ward Committeeperson Lucy Moog. Cost is a $5 donation to Chicago Votes, Mikva Challenge, MASK or Postcards to Swing States — links and sign-up here . Residents outside of the 43rd Ward can enter, too. The contest closes Aug. 1. “I promise I will have enough prizes and bragging rights for all the winners,” Moog told Playbook.
— Dani Brzozowski, a Democrat running in the 16th Congressional District, has been endorsed by Rep. Lauren Underwood. Brzozowski faces Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
— Laura Hois, the Republican nominee for the state House of Representatives District 81 seat, has been endorsed by DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin. Hois faces incumbent Democrat Rep. Anne Stava-Murray.
— Illinois, regional economies shrink in first quarter: “The Illinois economy shrank at an annual rate of 5.4 percent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter, according to federal data released Tuesday, an indicator of just how severely the COVID-19 pandemic affected commercial activity,” reports Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— As Tollway transactions dive nearly 28 percent, drivers given latitude on skipped tolls: “We were up the first two months of the year,” spokesman Richard Bossert told WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky. “Then March hit.”
— Pandemic brings new urgency to problem of holding prisoners long after they’ve served their time: “Criminal justice reform organizations are calling on Gov. Pritzker to ease conviction-based housing restrictions so hundreds of people can finally be released,” by WBEZ’s Jessica Pupovac
— State Rep. Arthur Turner retired from the General Assembly on July 3 after serving the 9th District on Chicago’s West Side for 10 years. Turner, who isn’t seeking re-election, is resigning six months before his term is up. Democratic Party officials are considering who to appoint to succeed him before the fall veto session. Lakesia Collins, a Chicago Democrat, won a crowded primary as the Democrat on the November ballot. She bested seven other candidates, including Turner’s brother Aaron Turner.
— Illinois ends license suspension for non-moving violations, more penalties for texting while driving: “Suspensions will be lifted for drivers whose license is suspended for ten or more parking tickets, providing they don’t have other serious driving convictions,” by NPR Illinois’ Olivia Mitchell.
— New Trump rule on foreign students leaves Illinois universities scrambling: ‘It hurts us … it hurts our students’: “Even as many colleges plan to offer many online-only courses this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government says students could be deported if they don’t take in-person classes,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos and Jade Yan.
— International college students face a ‘cruel choice’ with new ICE rule mandating in-person classes: “University leaders in Illinois are grappling with how they can ensure international students will be able to continue their studies this fall after new federal guidance released Monday said they cannot remain in the United States if they take all their courses online,” reports WBEZ’s Kate McGee.
— June was the best month yet for Illinois marijuana dispensaries: “Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold more than $47.6 million worth of products in June, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation,” by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin.
— Oakton Community College kicks-off new cannabis certification program for students this fall: “Oakton’s Cannabis Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Certificate classes start Aug. 24, and interested students will be offered in-district rates for the online classes, regardless of their residency, said Marc Battista, Oakton’s associate vice president for workforce education and dean of business and career technologies,” writes Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta.
— Psychological disorders and family squabbles: 9 details from the book by Trump’s niece, by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman
— Trump veterans flock to K Street despite ‘drain the swamp’ vow, by POLITICO’s Theodoric Meyer and Debra Kahn
— Why Mexico’s president is buddies with Trump despite years of insults, by POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodriguez
FROM THE DELEGATION
Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Darin LaHood (IL-18) are leading a bipartisan call for the Air Force to provide a long-term fleet management plan of C-130 aircraft. Bustos, a Dem, and LaHood, a Republican, lead a letter to the House Committee on Armed Services as the Committee works on this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. For Fiscal Year 2021, the Air Force has proposed to reduce the C-130H fleet, which could put the Peoria 182nd Airlift Wing’s mission readiness at risk and reduce combat efficiency.
Today: Jahmal Cole, CEO of My Block, My Hood, My City nonprofit, headlines a City Club event at 11 a.m. The event is free but you’re encouraged to register here
Thursday: The Chicago Central Area Committee is hosting a discussion about “Moving Forward Amid a Pandemic, Social Unrest and Economic Meltdown.” Your Playbook host is the guest speaker. I’ll also take questions. Sign up here
Matt Fried has been named comms director for Rep. Brad Schneider. Fried previously was comms director for Democrat Dan McCready’s congressional campaign in North Carolina and is an alum of Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s office.
Ald. Patrick Thompson (11th), Wall Street Journal higher education reporter Doug Belkin, Razorfish VP Jerry Lawrence, Cubs Community Affairs VP Michael Lufrano, SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana President Keith Kelleher, and WBEZ political reporter Dave McKinney.
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