Lightfoot, the Daleys and the Irish mystique

Lightfoot, the Daleys and the Irish mystique

Good Monday morning, Illinois. On my must-see list: “Everything, Everywhere.” Oscar winners here and highlights here.

ONLY IN CHICAGO: Enemies and miscreants put down their swords to celebrate being Irish —whether they were or not — at the Irish Fellowship Club’s annual fundraising dinner Friday.

Da mayor: Mayor Lori Lightfoot, head held high, schmoozed after a painful loss in her reelection bid. This is Chicago, after all, where you get back up and move on — even in the face of lurking opponents. Spotted in the corner were Alds. Brian Hopkins and Tom Tunney, who backed Paul Vallas in the mayor’s race.

Former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, center, takes the stage at the Irish Fellowship Club's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, center, takes the stage at the Irish Fellowship Club’s annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner. | POLITICO's Shia Kapos

Like a phoenix: Former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson is back in town after serving some time for a tax offense. “I’m just looking to the future,” he told Playbook before heading to the stage for a presentation on behalf of the Daleys — the epitome of Irish Chicago.

Star couple: Outgoing Ald. Edward Burke and retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke were sought-after guests for selfies at the downtown Hilton event. The corruption charges that hover over the alderman have only added to his Irish mystique.

It’s Lent. Wink, wink: No one seemed to mind that the menu included a braised short rib with Burgundy wine. The Irish Catholic priests in Chicago gave special dispensation to eat the meaty delicacy during this Lenten season.

Head-table honchos: Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch were spotted deep in conversation. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was all smiles. And to her left, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, once public enemies, chortled like Irish drinking buddies. Another page turned. Only in Chicago.

Also spotted: Former Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois AFL-CIO President and St. Pat’s Parade grand marshal Tim Drea, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Chair Jim Coyne, state Senate President Don Harmon, state Rep. Margaret Croke, U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director Mike Cabonargi, Cook County judge ShawnTe Raines-Welch, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Kristina Zahorik, Kane County Democratic Party Chair Mark Guethle, PNC Bank exec and former city CFO Carole Brown, Notre Dame College Prep President Shay Boyle, Thresholds CEO Mark Ishuag and fellow nonprofit leaders and supporters Jack Hartman, Kevin Conlon and Sue Leonis.


Bagpipes, politicians and revelry at St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago’s Loop, by Tribune’s Hank Sanders

Springfield’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought out crowds, too, by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth


— MAYOR’s Race: Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas marched in Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday before running to a women’s forum in the afternoon. CBS 2 has a clip.

— POLL: Tight race with Vallas ahead of Johnson, via NBC 5

— Vallas’ new endorsements: International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, which also committed $1 million; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 9; Plumbers Local 130 and the Ironworkers union, whose members famously sat atop a skyscraper steel skeleton in an iconic 1930s photo.

Also supporting Vallas: Alds. Matt O’Shea and Raymond Lopez.

— Johnson’s new endorsements: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, via Sun-Times; American Federation of Government Employees Local 704; state Sen. Ram Villivalam; state Rep. Theresa Mah (Villivalam and Mah had endorsed Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor.); Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer; state Rep. Hoan Huynh; state Rep. Kevin Olickal; Asian American Midwest Progressives and AFSCME.

Also backing Johnson: Pastor Larry Trotter, “who broke with his friend businessman Willie Wilson, who Trotter had endorsed in the Feb. 28 election. Wilson is backing rival Paul Vallas,” by Sun-Times.

If you are Tim Drea, Playbook would like to know how you managed any political tensions marching in Saturday’s parade. Email [email protected].

STEP INSIDE THE WEST WING: What’s really happening in West Wing offices? Find out who’s up, who’s down, and who really has the president’s ear in our West Wing Playbook newsletter, the insider’s guide to the Biden White House and Cabinet. For buzzy nuggets and details that you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe today.


At the 555 W. Monroe state building to sign bill mandating paid leave for all Illinois workers.


At City Hall to announce gender equity efforts across the city workforce.

Where's Toni

No official public events.

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


5 things to know as the Safe-T Act goes to the Illinois Supreme Court: “On March 14, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments that will determine the future of cash bail in the state,” by WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan.

FBI agent wants Supreme Court to make VA stop shortchanging veterans on GI Bill benefits: “Army vet James Rudisill has enlisted a Chicago lawyer to persuade the Supreme Court to force the VA to provide mandated educational benefits to himself and 2 million other veterans,” by Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann.

Carrie Zalewski, chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission, is stepping down: She’s exiting “just shy of the end of her five-year appointed term” and days before the ComEd federal bribery trial begins. “Zalewski — whose father-in-law, former Ald. Mike Zalewski, plays a role in the trial but has not been charged — said the federal case had nothing to do with her decision to leave her leadership post at the agency that oversees the state’s utility rates, including those of ComEd.” Sun-Times Tina Sfondeles reports.

Pritzker to transfer medical equipment to Turkey, by WMBD’s Sam Godby


‘ComEd Four’ bribery trial to put focus on ex-Speaker Madigan’s power, state’s blurry line between politics and crime: It starts Tuesday in the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, and it’s “one of the biggest political corruption cases the state has ever seen.” Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long report.

How ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore went from rising corporate star to defendant in bombshell corruption case, by Tribune’s Ray Long, Robert Channick and Jason Meisner


— 29th Ward: Write-in ballots could push Ald. Chris Taliaferro into a runoff against CB Johnson. It’s close, by Sun-Times’ Mary Norkol.

— 36th Ward poll: Ald. Gilbert “Gil” Villegas is out with an internal poll that shows him at 54 percent to Lori Torres Whitt’s 25 percent in the upcoming runoff. The poll also shows 22 percent of voters who remain undecided. Villegas has also been endorsed by David Herrera, a former opponent in the first round of the municipal elections.

— 46th Ward: State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is endorsing Kim Walz in her campaign for alderwoman against Angela Clay.

— 48th Ward: The SEIU Illinois State Council is endorsing Joe Dunne for alderman over Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth. While in college, Dunne worked as a union grocery bagger (UFCW).


— Reality bites: Republican Party Chair Don Tracy’s latest message to supporters opened with a line about “the elephant in the room: Vote By Mail.” Tracy said it’s become painfully clear that with each election cycle, “we see that the general public is choosing to vote by mail in increasing numbers.” Tracy’s comments echo a national concern among Republicans that former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about early voting and mail ballots hurt them during the midterms.

— A presidential campaign preview? Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Lake Zurich: “In a nod to the culture wars, Pompeo said there is no room for compromise on what he called the core tenets and beliefs of the nation. ‘Once you start to round those corners, once you soften those edges, once you give just a little bit, they will move from saying, ‘Well, you should be tolerant’ to demanding that you celebrate their way of life,’ he said,” by Daily Herald’s Zack Zalusky.

— IL-17 in GOP sights: The congressional seat held by Democratic Rep. Eric Sorensen is on the target list of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “These House Democrats should be shaking in their boots,” NRCC Chair Richard Hudson said in a statement. Sorensen is also on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s frontline list. Regarding who might challenge Sorensen: It won’t be Esther Joy King. She’s not going to seek another run for the seat.


United Center’s concessions workers reach tentative deal: “If ratified by members of Unite Here Local 1, the new contract would end the threat of a strike at the West Side arena,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

Chicago cops say city owes them more than $165M in overtime dispute: “The massive sum surfaced in a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago by officers whose overtime pay was calculated incorrectly,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

Bogus threats continue to rise, joining real threats as disturbing trend for Chicago-area students: Officials seeing “swatting threats — prank calls that attempt to draw a swarm of police officers to an address or location — and other threats that are linked to something special about the school, or stem from people or former students who have grievances at the school,” by Rosemary Sobol.

‘Bear Down and Out’ documentary explores team’s potential move, via NBC 5

The first completed piece of Lincoln Yards megadevelopment was designed with life sciences companies in mind, by Dennis Rodkin for WBEZ

Juul reaches settlement with Chicago for nearly $24M, via Reuters


— WHERE’s Rahm: Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, now the U.S. ambassador to Japan, is enjoying baseball and keeping tabs on Da Bears, via Twitter.

— Debra Shore testified before Congress last week, saying, “The EPA has been boots on the ground” in East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment sent a plume of toxic chemicals in the air. Shore is a veteran Chicago environmental figure who is now the EPA’s regional administrator. Testimony starts at 45 minutes

Illinois in the NCAA

— Column: NCAA Tournament brings a fresh start for No. 7 seed Northwestern and No. 9 seed Illinois, by Tribune’s Paul Sullivan

Illinois women seeded 11th in their 1st NCAA Tourney berth since 2003, via Tribune

DOWNLOAD THE POLITICO MOBILE APP: Stay up to speed with the newly updated POLITICO mobile app, featuring timely political news, insights and analysis from the best journalists in the business. The sleek and navigable design offers a convenient way to access POLITICO’s scoops and groundbreaking reporting. Don’t miss out on the app you can rely on for the news you need, reimagined. DOWNLOAD FOR iOS– DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID.

Reader Digest

We asked about the last picture you took on your phone.

Janice Anderson: A congratulatory pic for DuPage County new associate judge Michael Burton, who was sworn in Friday and is “the pride and joy of Proviso East High School, where my father taught.” Pic!

Brian Berg: Springsteen and E Street Band in Milwaukee on March 7. Pic!

Vincent Brandys: Visiting Congressman Jonathan Jackson. Pic!

Cristina Cray: “A dead stingray in the canal behind my condo in Florida. Sent it back to Illinois to show how bad the red tide has gotten.” Pic!

Daniel Goldwin: “Colleague Steve Dishler interviewing Dina Kawar, ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the U.S., at JUF offices.” Pic!

Jerry Harrison: Visitors in the yard. Pic!

Ashvin Lad: “I toured a manufacturing facility in Schaumburg and saw this barrel of brass wire. It looked like Donald Trump trying to hide in there.” Pic!

Kevin Lamm: “Liquid refreshment from Lena Brewery, which is donating a few cases to the Stephenson County Democratic Party St. Patrick’s Day event. Tickets still available.” Pic!

Mark Michaels: Full moon from his apartment. Pic!

Donovan Pepper: Lookout Mountain Golf Club in Phoenix. Pic!

Alison Slovin: “When friends become family.” Pic!

Myk Snider: “Hello from Ghana!” Pic!

Dana Todd: Amaryllis blooming. Pic!

Patricia Ann Watson: “Sharing with my gal pal wonderful protein sources for plant based eaters.” Pic!

Brent Zhorne: “A selfie with Lambeau, named after the stadium for the greatest team in football, the Packers!” Pic!

Phil Zeni: “My Rolex so I could read the fine print.” Pic!

What’s your secret hobby? Email [email protected]


Trump continues to suck the air out of the GOP primary, by POLITICO’s David Siders

Republicans look to end Florida’s abortion-haven legacy, by POLITICO’s Arek Sarkissian

Inside Pence world’s decision to go hard at Trump at the Gridiron, by POLITICO’s Adam Wren

Treasury, regulators unveil rescue for bank depositors, by POLITICO’s Zachary Warmbrodt


— Al Llorens has been elected president of the Illinois Education Association. He has served two terms as its vice president.

— Peter Brosius is stepping down as artistic director of Children’s Theatre Company at the end of the 2023-24 Season next June. Brosius took the helm of CTC in 1997.

— Martin Burciaga is now digital director for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. Burciaga was graphic-design specialist for Cook County Government, having co-designed the new Cook County flag last year.

— Bill Katris is now a partner in Blank Rome LLP’s Chicago office in the commercial litigation group. He previously was with HMB Legal.


FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to John Straus for correctly answering that the Voting Rights lawsuit of 1987 changed Springfield from a commission form of government to an aldermanic form of government in order to allow minorities to be elected to city offices.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What does the RJ stand for in the name of the RJ Grunts restaurant in Chicago? Email [email protected]


State Rep. Jawaharial “Omar” Williams, former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Lieutenant Governor’s Office comms director Yolanda Joe, Illinois Policy Engagement Director Dan Patlak, Andscape Executive Editor Steve Reiss, real estate exec Robert Weil and marketing pro Julie Darling.


( Information from was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

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