After several blown deadlines — I’m not judging — presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has chosen his running mate and it’s not the hometown finalist, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates. Instead, he picked California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris — a former candidate who famously sparred with the onetime vice president on the debate stage last year.
Biden is making history by picking the first woman of color to run for V.P.
Hours earlier, the speaker list for the Democratic National Convention where Biden will be formally nominated was released — with a big blank spot for Biden’s running mate on Wednesday night, prompting speculation that a number of the finalists, slated to speak on different nights, were out of the running. That included Duckworth, who’s set to address the virtual convention Thursday night.
On a conference call with reporters today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “quite shocked” that President Donald Trump, who likes to hold Chicago up as an example of everything wrong with Democratic-led cities, didn’t weigh in loudly about the city’s looting early yesterday. But then he sort of did during his news conference this afternoon.
After months of speculation, former Vice President Joe Biden settled on a running mate Tuesday and it was not Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth.
Biden instead picked one of Duckworth’s colleagues in Washington, California Sen. Kamala Harris, as his pick for vice president.
The freshman senator from Hoffman Estates was not viewed as well-versed on issues of systemic racism and policing that emerged during the selection process after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Still, her stature as a top contender to become Biden’s running mate elevated her profile nationally. Duckworth was a near-daily fixture on cable TV networks, although she had not made any recent appearances as Biden neared the end of his search. Read the full Tribune story here. — (Bill Ruthhart and Rick Pearson)
Biden, who vowed to pick a woman to be on the ticket, had been expected to pick an African American finalist amid a national reckoning over racial equality, including the executive branch of government. .
The choice went beyond traditional considerations such as tapping a running mate from a battleground state, which California is not, to shore up support. Given his age — he’s 77 — political observers say he needed to find a running mate who is comfortable taking the reins and has enough political muscle of her own to make a run for the White House in 2024.
Remember: Harris courted Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s support while she was running for president, and the two met in Chicago while Harris was still on the campaign trail for president.
Obama weighs in: Former President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, who cut his political teeth in Chicago, lauded his one-time veep Biden for picking Harris. “I’ve known Senator Harris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake,” a nod to her work as a district attorney and California Attorney General. In fact, Obama headlined a fundraiser for Harris in her winning 2010 bid for state AG. Read Obama’s full statement here.
Chicago — represent: Duckworth, along with Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, will be among the prime-time speakers at next week’s Democratic National Convention where Biden will be officially nominated as the party’s presidential candidate. Read the full schedule and where you can tune in here.
Conventional wisdom: It was Obama’s keynote speech during the 2004 convention that put the then-U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois into the national spotlight and on a quick trajectory toward the White House.
Closer to home: The Democratic Party of Illinois, run by embattled Chairman Michael Madigan, who also serves as the powerful Illinois House speaker, is putting together its own virtual programming that will precede the nightly speeches at the national convention.
Women, racial justice: Two of the state events reflect some of the hurdles in society and politics: “Illinois Women Leaders. Women’s Rights” and “Fighting for Economic and Racial Justice.”
The fallout from the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed African American man, has prompted a national reckoning over race, with calls for more diversity in corporate America and politics.
The #MeToo movement nationally and here in Illinois has shone a light on the miles to go for women’s equality. Last year, a former campaign worker reached a $275,000 settlement with four of Speaker Madigan’s political committees over allegations of sexual harassment by one of his top lieutenants and allegations that the speaker’s Democratic team had blackballed her.
That case had some ties to current and former lobbyists for ComEd, the utility recently ensnared in an alleged federal bribery and influence scheme that implicated Madigan.
“Illinois Democrats are excited to elect Vice President Joe Biden and his vice presidential candidate to the White House on November 3 and restore integrity to the office,” Madigan said in a statement.
Biden leads Trump by 5 points among likely voters in Wisconsin: Marquette poll: Read the AP story here.
ICYMI: Kanye West unlikely to appear on Illinois presidential ballot after paperwork review: Read the Tribune story here.
Wisconsin hoping for a smoother election today after chaotic April presidential primary: Read The Associated Press story here.
Aldermen today criticized the Chicago Police Department’s slow movement toward reform and gave preliminary approval of a measure that would require police brass and other officials to answer for their future performance before City Council members.
Members of the council’s Committee on Public Safety voiced dissatisfaction during an online meeting that the city missed more than 70% of its deadlines in the first year under the consent decree, a broad court order calling for changes to the way the troubled police force treats people.
The ordinance would compel police Superintendent David Brown or his staff, as well as other city officials, to go before the committee following future progress reports from the independent monitor overseeing reforms.
So far, those reports have painted a picture of a department struggling to meet its court-enforceable obligations to overhaul training, supervision and discipline. Read the full Tribune story here.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city shouldn’t be sending Chicago police officers on the street without body-worn cameras but defended the department’s account of a shooting in Englewood that reportedly generated looting and civil unrest.
Lightfoot acknowledged the officer who shot 20-year-old Latrell Allen in Englewood did not have a body camera and blamed it on an issue with the city’s contract for camera purchases as well as the Police Department’s recent reorganization.
She said the Police Department has made a concerted effort to redeploy officers to districts, including sending people who were formerly in plainclothes.
After Biden picks one-time prosecutor as running mate, Trump trots out law-and-order refrain during White House news conference: “Shortly after presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, President Donald Trump again invoked the law and order theme he’s campaigning on to rip Chicago and other big cities.
He repeated Tuesday his previous offer to send in federal troops to help quell local violence in Chicago and elsewhere, and noted that it’s up to mayors and governors to make the request for assistance.
“‘I’m offering all available federal support requested to stop the violence and arrest the criminals,’ Trump said. ‘We have to be asked by the governors or the mayors and we’ll be there very rapidly. It’s ready willing and able. We’re all ready, willing and able to go these jurisdictions and take care of them. We’ll do them very quickly.‘”
Earlier, the mayor said she was “quite shocked” that Trump hadn’t weighed in loudly about the city’s looting. Read more from Pratt here.
Related: Chicago firefighters, Lightfoot agree on tentative short-term contract with $95 million in back pay: The Tribune’s Gregory Pratt also has that story.
A bipartisan panel of state lawmakers on Tuesday let stand Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency rule that would penalize businesses with fines of up to $2,500 for not enforcing mandatory face mask rules.
A move to suspend the rule was voted down 6-5 by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules after Republican lawmakers detailed their concerns and contended the issue should be handled legislatively, rather than through the rule-making process.
That motion would have needed eight “yes” votes to pass. The divided legislative panel ultimately adopted a certification of no objection to the emergency rule Pritzker’s administration filed on Friday. Read the full Tribune story here.
Illinois Supreme Court consolidates lawsuits challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus orders: The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday moved to transfer a downstate legal challenge to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus-related orders by Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey to Sangamon County and consolidate it with other cases challenging Pritzker’s authority.
In moving to transfer and consolidate the lawsuit with other cases, the state’s highest court also declined the governor’s request that it weigh in on whether he has the power to issue continued emergency orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving that to the lower court to decide. Read the rest of the Tribune’s Jamie Munks’ story here.
3 states removed from Chicago’s travel quarantine list: The Chicago Department of Public Health today removed Iowa, Kansas and Utah from the city’s travel quarantine list. Currently, visitors or residents returning from 20 states and territories are ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in the city to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Former Country Club Hills school administrator claims district rescinded employment offer as she battled COVID-19: lawsuit — Read the Daily Southtown story here.
New Trier High alumni ask school to move to remote learning, say in-person classes are ‘too great a gamble’ given COVID-19 risk: Read the Winnetka Talk story here.
The Cook County Republican Party filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block the state’s new enhanced vote-by-mail law, contending the measure was a scheme by Democrats under Gov. J.B. Pritzker to amplify their vote totals and dilute GOP ballots in the Nov. 3 general election.
The sponsor of the new law, state Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield, called the lawsuit’s allegations “totally unfounded” and said it was aimed at providing voters with a greater opportunity to avoid casting in-person ballots in response to the pandemic.
The suit alleges that while “voting is a fundamental, constitutional right that is central to our democracy,” Pritzker “violated this right by signing into law a partisan voting scheme that is designed to harvest Democratic ballots, dilute Republican ballots, and, if the election still doesn’t turn out the way he wants it, to generate enough Democratic ballots after election day to sway the result.” Read the full story here. (Rick Pearson)
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