Illinois officials are now releasing guidance on trick-or-treating in the time of COVID-19. pandemic.
As the hangover from last night’s hurly-burly presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden wears off and the quarterbacking dies down, some are questioning what such political displays accomplish — and if they should continue.
“They’re there, they’re just rituals — but you know there have been times in American history where the electorate wasn’t so polarized, where these faceoffs mattered,” Northwestern University associate professor of political science Alvin Tillery told The Spin on the eve of the debate. Tillery noted Ronald Reagan’s famous debate moment in 1980 when the future Republican president looked into the camera and told voters that when they decided between him and then-President Jimmy Carter, “... it might be well if you would ask yourself, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’”
“You know, he won the presidential election on that,” Tillery said.
Sitting in the pundit’s chair on ABC this morning, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said fellow Democrat Biden may have scored some points by looking into the camera and telling the public the election is about them as Trump talked over him and moderator Chris Wallace. Emanuel called Trump’s comments about far-right extremist group the Proud Boys a "moral stain” on the presidency. He also questioned where GOP members of Congress were to call out Trump.
Later in the day, Trump backpedaled a bit and said he didn’t know who the Proud Boys were; meantime, some Republicans were trying to distance themselves from the president.
As criticism grew louder over the the president’s decision not to condemn white supremacists during the debate, former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an ABC pundit who also helped Trump prepare for the debate, told George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “Good Morning America” today that he believed Trump had done just that. He went on to say that Trump’s debate performance didn’t go to plan and that the president came in “too hot.” Christie also criticized Biden for name-calling (the former VP twice referred to Trump a “clown”) and suggested he seemed weak and unable to finish a thought. Stay tuned for details on whether the next two presidential debates will go on as planned.
During the debate, Trump also held up Chicago’s gun violence as an example of what he calls poorly run Democratic cities, drawing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s ire.
Meanwhile in Springfield, the partisan divide is just as deep. Democrats on a legislative committee investigating House Speaker Michael Madigan’s conduct amid allegations that ComEd carried out an elaborate influence-peddling and bribery scheme to curry favor with the speaker derailed an attempt by Republicans on the panel to subpoena Madigan, who also is chair of the state Democratic Party.
But fellow Democrat, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, suggested today Madigan should climb on the hot seat and field questions during the hearing.
It’s all become a political flashpoint in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.
Welcome to The Spin.
Debate fallout, reaction: Rules of engagement to change at next Biden, Trump faceoff; Lightfoot’s on Trump’s Chicago dis; and GOP Senate candidate holds nose on president’s behavior but still supports him.
Commission on Presidential Debates to make changes after chaotic first debate: The Associated Press has the details here.
From the Tribune’s Gregory Pratt: Mayor Lori Lightfoot quickly fired back at President Donald Trump after he invoked Chicago’s gun violence to criticize Democrats during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, tweeting: ‘Keep Chicago out of your lying mouth.’”
Lightfoot shared her thoughts on Tuesday’s presidential debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a series of tweets. Read the story here.
Republicans distance themselves from Trump after he decided not to denounce white supremacist groups: The New York Times has the details here.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Curran said he didn’t like Trump’s debate tone but is still ‘all in’: “He probably doesn’t need my advice, and what I know about him is he’s not going to take my advice — we’re different people,” the GOP candidate, who’s facing Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, tells The Spin. But he’d probably advise him to tone it down.
Curran, who says he’s “all in” for Trump, said he thinks of his late mother and conservative seniors still living who are watching this and "want to see manners, they don’t like the interrupting.”
Asked about the president’s decision not to denounce white supremacists and his comments from the podium for the extremist group Proud Boys to “stand down and stand by,” Curran said he didn’t know what that meant.
“I think the majority of people that are conservative want nothing to do with that kind of organization. And really, I’m Catholic, so it’s not really a conservative or liberal thing. We (the church and its members) would never approve of people that act that way.”
Early voting begins tomorrow in Chicago: Read the story, which details mail-in ballot requests across the region, here.
Indiana mail-in ballots can be counted through Nov. 13, judge rules: The Post-Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka has the story here.
‘Political propaganda’ or ‘essential public health messages?’ Government-sponsored food boxes include a letter from Trump, and some Chicago food pantries are removing it, the Tribune’s Alexia Elejalde Ruiz writes. Read the full story here.
With just over a month to go before election, will Congress move on new COVID-19 financial relief package? Sounds like it. More here.
Gov. Pritzker said today he’s “very concerned” about Trump not only taking aim at the security of mail-in ballots but now seemingly going after the legitimacy of in-person voting. During last night’s debate, the president called on supporters to “go to the polls” on Election Day and “watch very closely.”
The governor also blasted Trump for not condemning white supremacist groups linked to violence in some American cities this summer, telling the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, to “stand back and stand by.”
Saying the president is “undermining democracy” by making such comments, Pritzker also emphasized that “we’re doing quite a lot to make sure that the polling places are secure,” including calling on people to become election judges and serve as poll watchers.
“Those who try to disrupt the vote, they will be held accountable for their actions and we will not let that interfere with voting on Election Day or in the, you know, (34) days roughly before Election Day when people can early vote and send in their ballots.”
From the Associated Press: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an “extensive conversation” Wednesday on a huge COVID-19 rescue package, meeting face to face for the first time in more than a month in a last-ditch effort to seal a tentative accord on an additional round of coronavirus relief.
After a 90-minute meeting in the Capitol, Pelosi issued a statement saying the two would continue to talk. “We found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” she said.
“We made a lot of progress over the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement,” Mnuchin said after meeting with More here.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,273 new known COVID-19 cases and 35 additional deaths reported: My Tribune colleagues have more details here.
Champaign region could see stricter rules: Read the full story here.
Wisconsin hospitals filling with COVID-19 patients as cases surge: Read the AP story here.
The Tribune’s Dan Petrella writes: “The Democratic chairman of the Illinois House special committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan’s conduct in connection with an alleged Commonwealth Edison bribery scheme blocked an effort by Republicans to legally compel the powerful Democrat and others to testify.
“State Rep. Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch of Hillside ruled Tuesday that a motion by Republicans to subpoena witnesses was out of order and didn’t allow a vote. The move comes after Madigan and several other potential witnesses declined invitations to appear voluntarily.”
The partisan spat capped a lengthy hearing in Springfield that featured testimony from David Glockner, ComEd parent Exelon’s executive vice president for compliance and audit, who testified that the state’s largest utility agreed to make payments to Madigan associates in an effort to influence the speaker. Read the rest of Petrella’s story here, an excellent explainer on the hearing and the political posturing on both sides of the aisle at play.
“State lax in enforcing law meant to track, support minority-owned businesses”: The Better Government Association’s Alex Ruppenthal writes, “In an effort to promote diverse businesses, Illinois three years ago passed a law that required companies receiving state tax breaks to report how much work they did with minority- and women-owned vendors. But since the law went into effect, 119 companies that had more than $150 million shaved from their tax bills have not submitted any such reports, a Better Government Association examination has found. And of the 61 firms that did file the required reports, nearly three-quarters reported none of the data the law was intended to gather.”
The legislative sponsors point the finger at Pritzker and Republican predecessor Bruce Rauner for thing to enforce the law. Read the full story here.
Other statewide news: Texas company to close all of its Illinois coal-fired power plants, another sign the global transition to clean energy is accelerating — The Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne has the details here.
Mayor Lightfoot wants to hammer out a plan with the City Council for civilian oversight of police after negotiations on the matter with a community group came to a standstill, the Tribune’s Gregory Pratt writes.
“Lightfoot has long been a proponent of civilian oversight but as mayor has disagreed with activists over how it would work,” Pratt notes. “Negotiations between Lightfoot and community groups stalled in March over who would ultimately approve Police Department policy. Activists want as much say-so as they can get on policies, while police officials want to keep that power in-house.” Lightfoot’s goal is to introduce a plan at the City Council in the next two months.
Lightfoot’s comments drew criticism from some aldermen, including allies, Pratt notes, writing: “North Side Ald. Harry Osterman, 48th, and South Side Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, released a joint statement saying they are ‘disappointed in Mayor Lightfoot’s comments regarding “moving on” from the GAPA ordinance.’” Read the full story here.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio challenges Lightfoot in race to census finish line as new deadline to complete head count sows confusion: The New York mayor went on Twitter and challenged Mayor Lightfoot to a little competition over which city would see a higher response rate.
De Blasio wrote on Twitter, “we won’t be blown away by the windy city.” Lightfoot responded on social media with a bet of her own: The loser must post why the other city is the best, predicting Chicago would win the contest. An equally confident de Blasio took the bet, saying on Twitter: “When WE win, I look forward to you singing our city’s praises louder than Lizzo and Sinatra combined.”
Data points: The Tribune’s Sophie Sherry reports: Chicago’s self-response rate hovers around 60%, with some neighborhoods reporting rates as low as 30%. Meantime, there are reports from New York City that response rates are just over 60%.
As shifting deadlines create confusion over census count, Chicago officials warn communities of color: ‘Our future is in jeopardy’: Last week, a judge scrapped the Sept. 30 deadline — today, Tribune reporter Sophie Sherry reminds. “But then early this week, the Trump administration announced without explanation that it would end the count on Oct. 5, arguing the judge did not explicitly set a new deadline in her ruling,” Read the rest of the story here.
Mayor hires Martina (Tina) Hone as Chief Engagement Officer: She most recently served as Chief Equity officer at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago but had a career in D.C. politics spanning 20 years. There she worked on social justice and civil rights issues as the Education Policy Director on the Education & Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the mayor’s office. Before that she was an Associate Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce overseeing national outreach for the census.
As Chief Engagement Officer, Hone will work on the mayor’s agenda “to ensure community voices inform the administration’s focus on advancing substantive outreach with Chicagoans through the development and implementation of city policies and programs,” the mayor’s office notes in a news release.
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