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Pat Quinn is polling for Chicago mayor- POLITICO


Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. Get out the popcorn. It’s debate night.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins are polling for potential runs for mayor of Chicago.

Quinn gets creative: He asked questions about several “new” types of ideas, including gauging respondents on whether they’d support the city freezing property tax increases, and their thoughts on term limits and the ComEd scandal, according to sources familiar with the poll.

There’s a horse-race question: The former governor who lost to Republican Bruce Rauner four years ago got to the point at question No. 17: “If the election for Mayor was between current Mayor Lori Lighfoot and former Governor Pat Quinn which candidate would you support?”

Hopkins goes cerebral: The 2nd Ward alderman who represents the Streeterville, Old Town, Lincoln Park and Gold Coast neighborhoods mentions the other candidates, but his polling goes even deeper on issues such as crime and education.

There’s a reason: Hopkins told Playbook he’ll be running for office in 2023 but hasn’t decided yet whether it’s for City Council or mayor. “We have serious problems in the city and I want to be part of the conversation next year in looking for solutions either way.”

Illinois could finally be able to move ahead with distributing 185 new cannabis dispensary licenses after a legal motion was filed Monday, potentially clearing the way for the new businesses.

Next, a Cook County Circuit Court judge is expected to lift the stay in the legal case, allowing the state to hand out the licenses in the coming weeks.

High-fives from the governor’s office: “The second that gets lifted we’ll have a cannabis industry that’s reflective of the state of Illinois, where nearly half of the new owners will be people of color. And that’s really exciting,” Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell told Playbook.

Why the holdup: The licenses have been held up since April 2021, when WAH Group filed suit, claiming it had been unfairly excluded from a lottery because of an application mishap, forcing a holdup on the 185 licenses set to be issued. While the resolution of WAH’s claim is unclear, it is no longer seeking to block the issuance of those 185 licenses.

What’s next: Adding 185 more licenses means new dispensaries will get up and running, and customers will have greater access to cannabis products. “It will become, as anticipated when the law passed, an evolving, growing, thriving industry, instead of this fit-and-start, fit-and-start process,” said Pam Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, referring to the numerous legal battles that have put the industry into a slow lurch.

In a related court case, nearly 70 other cannabis company owners who assert that there were errors in the original lottery process will be given a chance to participate in corrective lotteries. If they prevail, they may be in line for additional dispensary licenses because Illinois remains under the 500 dispensary license cap.

Who’s been running dispensaries so far: Large, multi-state cannabis operators that already owned medical marijuana facilities were given the first recreational marijuana licenses after the 2019 law passed. Since then, the legal squabbles have been ongoing and no new dispensary licenses have been awarded.

Cheers from owners: “For the first time there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for opening new dispensaries in Illinois,” said Ryan Holz, an attorney with Greenspoon Marder, a law firm that represents dozens of social equity applicants. “The winners of the lotteries are much more diverse and will finally be able to operate in Illinois. That’s the big take-away.”

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

No official public events.

At Willis Tower at 10:30 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting of its grand reopening.

At South Suburban College at 10 a.m. for a hiring event and the launch of the Cook County Career Connector Program.

Chicago Ald. Michael Scott Jr. is resigning today. Watch for an announcement that he’ll be working in the corporate world.

Here’s his resignation letter.

“Scott was a close Lightfoot ally who endorsed her in the second round of 2019′s mayoral race. Mayor Lori Lightfoot then tapped Scott to head the City Council education committee,” reports Tribune’s Gregory Pratt. His exit means the mayor will be able to appoint someone who’s firmly in her court.

— CARMEN MAKES THE BALLOT: Judge overrules Cook County Electoral Board, says rival to Sheriff Tom Dart should be put back on ballot: “Carmen Navarro Gercone’s successful appeal of a decision by the Cook County Electoral Board comes with little more than a month to go before the June 28 primary. Dart’s campaign had argued that she was ineligible to run under a controversial new state law that requires sheriff’s candidates to be registered law enforcement officers,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.

In a scathing ruling, Judge Nichole Patton called the Election Board’s actions “a clear dereliction of duty.”

DEBATES TONIGHT: GOP governors candidates (and TV stations) never agree to come together for one big debate. So viewers can watch the candidates in two parts. Richard Irvin, Paul Schimpf, and Max Solomon will debate at 6 p.m. on NBC 5 and Telemundo. Darren Bailey, Jesse Sullivan, and Gary Rabine will debate at 7 p.m. on WGN 9 stations.

— FLIP FLOP: Irvin hit by inconsistencies between his political life before and after announcing bid for governor: “From his views about mandates imposed during the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and gun control to his personal voting history and his opinions about Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mayor Irvin often finds himself in conflict with GOP candidate for governor Irvin,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson

Richard Irvin says he’s not hiding behind his TV ads — or Ken Griffin’s millions, by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles.

— Darren Bailey got personal during his interview with Bruce DuMont on Beyond the Beltway. Bailey talks about “the toughest day” in raising his children. … About the governor’s race, Bailey says he wouldn’t support Richard Irvin if he won the Republican primary.

— OPEN SEAT SCRAMBLE: The Democratic group VoteVets is launching a $360,000 buy supporting Chicago Ald. Gil Villegas in the open Democratic primary in IL-03. The ad, which will start airing today, highlights Villegas’ service in the Marines and his work on the city council. It is set to air for two weeks. The district is open after redistricting turned it into a Latino opportunity district in the city.

— NEW POLL: Rep. Sean Casten says his polling shows he’s up 36 percent to 27 percent against fellow Democratic Rep. Marie Newman in the newly shaped IL-06 contest. But 37 percent are undecided in the survey by Garin Hart Yang Research Group. Polling memo here

— Gov. JB Pritzkerhas endorsed Eileen Dordek in her bid for the 13th state House District seat now held by retiring Majority Leader Greg Harris. Four other Democrats, all men, are also in the race.

— BIG NAMES: Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Secretary of State Jesse White headline a new ad supporting Michael Cabonargi’s reelection bid for Cook County Board of Review.

— John Milhiser, a Republican secretary of state candidate, has launched a new ad titled ‘Competence” and it uses images of former House Speaker Michael Madigan to address corruption.

— Steve Kim, the Republican attorney general candidate, has launched a new ad titled “Out of Control,” a reference to corruption with an image of former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

— Mark Carroll has been endorsed by Republican state Rep. Jeff Keicher, Campton Township Republican Party Chairman Andro Lerario, and Illinois Federation for Right to Life (an affiliate of National Right to Life Committee) in his bid for IL-11 GOP primary.

Conservative community activist Regan Deering seeks Republican nomination in IL-13: “Her grandfather was Dwayne Andreas, the man who built Archer-Daniels-Midland Company into the agricultural processing giant that it is today,” by Illinois Times’ Scott Reeder.

— Elizabeth Rochford has been endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council 25 for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Second District.

— Charise Williams has been endorsed by state Rep. Rita Mayfield and Dixmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts in the IL-01 Democratic primary. More endorsements

 — Lauren Beth Gash, the Democratic State Central Committeewoman (10th), has been endorsed by 10th District Congressman Brad Schneider, Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for re-election to the central committee. Statements of support

With Roe v. Wade at risk, Planned Parenthood of Illinois makes abortion pills available by mail for state residents: “The agency said the relatively new means of abortion access will break down ‘unnecessary barriers to health care’ and also expand access to underserved parts of the state,” by Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos.

Rivian superfans awaiting vehicle delivery resort to drones, stakeouts and surveillance: “For those languishing on preorder lists for the company’s coveted electric truck and SUV, obsessing online together is sweet torture,” by Steve Hendershot for WBEZ.

Meet the suburban students helping restore Illinois’ prairie, by WBEZ’s Susie An

Lightfoot asked U.S. attorney to pass along evidence from Ald. Daniel Solis after corruption probe ends: The mayor’s letter, “which was dated April 20 and obtained by the Tribune through an open records request, made clear the information was being sought only after Solis’ cooperation was over, and only ‘if a legal means exists,’” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Gregory Pratt.

Exec of failed Bridgeport bank pleads guilty in fraud case that ensnared ex-Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak.

Mike Madigan quipped ‘maybe I’ll take the appointment’ while pushing for ally to join ComEd board: “Madigan’s comments may not exactly find a place in the Chicago corruption lexicon, but most of the words previously attributed by the feds to Madigan are far more flat,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Tina Sfondeles.

— CITY COUNCIL ACTION: $1.7B Bally’s Chicago casino clears key hurdle: “Thanks to a push from organized labor, a special City Council committee approved an ordinance authorizing Bally’s to build a $1.7 billion permanent casino in River West, preceded by a temporary home at Medinah Temple,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and David Roeder.

Curfew vote delayed: “Northwest Side Ald. Nick Sposato, 38th, used a parliamentary procedure Monday to postpone a vote on Lightfoot’s curfew change until Wednesday’s council meeting, when he expects the legislation to pass comfortably. Sposato, who supports the curfew change, said the support is there but he and others want to prevent opponents from delaying the vote themselves,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.

Council members call special meeting to pressure Lightfoot on crime spike, summer violence, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

Willis Tower owners wrap up $500M makeover that includes new retail hub, enhanced amenities, by Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal

Naperville mayor calls for updated code of conduct for board members and commissioners: The request follows two recent nominations that prompted some community members’ to protest “based on social media posts they believe went against the city’s message of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

— Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is playing host this week to representatives from 14 countries. They will get a behind-the-scenes view of some of the office’s property tax technology. The demonstration follows Pappas’ recent visits to the Dominican Republic and Spain talking about the county’s tax system. Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes and Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez will talk to the visiting delegation, too.

Schaumburg considering unprecedented residential development right by Woodfield Mall, by Daily Herald’s Eric Peterson

Camping World announces its largest acquisition, via Daily Herald

We asked for the best argument Illinois Dems have for wanting an earlier presidential primary: Public policy professor Shawn Healy wrote: “Illinois is among the most demographically and geographically representative states in the country, especially of the heterogeneous coalition that is the Democratic Party.” Consultant Bill Velazquez: “Given the four ‘opening’ primary states are usually worked by top line presidential candidates for eight to 12 months prior to the primary, that’s an extra eight to 12 months of organizing, canvassing, and voter registration in the state.”

Political observer Tim Thomas: “Illinois represents all of the demographics that reflect our great nation: Urban, suburban and rural; racial and religious; economic; geographic; and a mix of business mix of large corporations, small businesses and manufacturing — all in a manner that the current front running primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) do not.” 

How have your views on weed changed since Illinois legalized cannabis? Email [email protected]

Lawmakers led by Rep. Lauren Underwood are asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to use reconciliation to fast-track legislation extending subsidies used to offset costs of insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace. The credits were passed about a year ago through Democrats’ initial pandemic relief package, the American Rescue Plan, and lowered premium costs significantly, leading to a whopping 2.5 million new enrollees in a single year and setting a record with 14.5 million people signing up.

Trump sparked a GOP war in Georgia. Some aren’t ready to forgive and forget, by POLITICO’s Brittany Gibson

Kellyanne Conway: Yes. Trump lost, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw

Biden’s Taiwan defense pledge inflames U.S.-China relations, by POLITICO’s Phelim Kine

Katy Broom is joining the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago as director of public relations and communications. She held a similar title at the Civic Federation.

— Tonight at 6 p.m.: GOP governor candidates Richard Irvin, Paul Schimpf, and Max Solomon will participate in a debate on NBC 5.

— Tonight at 7 p.m.: GOP governor candidates Darren Bailey, Jesse Sullivan, and Gary Rabine will participate in a debate on WGN 9.

— Today at 11:30: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi headlines a City Club discussion. Details here

— Thursday: Secretary of State Jesse White and broadcaster Bob Sirott will be honored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. Reservations here 

— June 2: Sen. Raphael Warnock headlines a fundraiser in Chicago. Details here

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to retired Pastor Randall Doubet-King for correctly answering that the late Dan Walker was an Illinois governor who served time for bank fraud and also wrote Assassin’s Game.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Chicago mayor and Bears owner were pals in part because they lived in the same apartment building (name the building)? Email [email protected]

Restaurateur Jimmy Bannos and political insider and lobbyist Shaw Decremer.

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