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Property tax consultant Andrea Raila’s name will appear on ballots in the Democratic primary for Cook County assessor, election officials say, in a development that could improve the re-election prospects of incumbent Joe Berrios.
County and city election officials said Tuesday they were sending the ballots to print with Raila’s name on them, even though the election officials last week voted to kick her off and asset manager Fritz Kaegi asked the court to keep her off.
That’s because she appealed that decision in court earlier Tuesday, leaving her status as a candidate uncertain for now.
“We’ve run out of time” to wait any longer, said Nick Shields, spokesman for county Clerk David Orr, who is in charge of suburban Cook elections and certifies the county candidates. “It’s unfortunately about deadlines.”
Kaegi wants a one-on-one matchup against Berrios, and so Kaegi’s lawyers filed a legal motion late Tuesday to keep Raila’s name off the ballot, saying otherwise “voters might be fooled into casting votes which will not be counted.
Absent a Kaegi court win, Raila’s name also will appear on touch-screen voting machines, because there wouldn’t be enough time to reprogram them even if the courts ultimately agree with the Electoral Board, election officials said. If the courts say she’s off the ballot, voters will be handed notices telling them a vote for Raila would be wasted and not counted, the officials said. Even so, people still would be able to punch Raila’s name, which could drain votes from Kaegi.
“Kaegi and his inside team may have counted Andrea Raila out, but SHE PERSISTS!” a statement from her campaign reads.
In addition to Raila, the name of Jan Kowalski McDonald will be on the ballot for county clerk, a seat also being sought by current county Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough. The Electoral Board knocked McDonald off the ballot, but she, too, is expected to appeal.
On Wednesday, early voting starts for city dwellers at only one downtown location, 16 W. Adams St., and for suburban voters at only suburban courthouses and 69 W. Washington St. Early voting expands to more than 100 county and city locations on March 5. Election Day is March 20. (Hal Dardick)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still in Boston.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner will have a Black History Month event at the Thompson Center.
*Republican governor challenger Jeanne Ives will hold a Chicago news conference to discuss problems at the veterans home in Quincy.
*The Illinois Senate is in session.
*Three City council Committees meet.
*The Democratic governor candidates will debate on Springfield radio station WMAY at 7 p.m. (More on that below.)
*Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski and primary challenger Marie Newman will meet for a League of Women Voters Candidate Forum in Palos Hills. (More on that below too.)
*The City Club of Chicago hosts the presidents of Millikin University and Knox College.
From the notebook
*Burke plan might remain in “purgatory:” A proposal at the heart of an ethics complaint against longtime 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke isn’t likely to see the light of day anytime soon, an influential alderman indicated Tuesday.
The ordinance seeks to raise property taxes paid by the owners of seven downtown commercial buildings, two of which are represented by Burke’s property tax-appeals law firm. Last month, he sidelined the effort through a council maneuver that sent it to the Rules Committee. Known as “purgatory” at City Hall, that’s the place where controversial legislation often withers on the vine.
And its chair, Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th, said she has no plans to release the matter before next week’s City Council meeting.
Sponsoring Ald. Ricardo Munoz, 22nd, and ethics experts have questioned whether Burke’s maneuver violated city conflict-of-interest rules, a question the Board of Ethics is expected to take up at its meeting next week. Burke on Tuesday ignored reporters’ questions about his firm’s property tax appeals work as he left an unrelated meeting. (Hal Dardick)
*Democratic governor debate Wednesday: The Democratic governor candidates meet for a debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Springfield’s WMAY radio, which streams live here.
The Downstate event comes a day after the candidates argued over a March 5 Champaign TV debate that was canceled after billionaire entrepreneur J.B. Pritzker declined to attend.
Pritzker’s campaign confirmed he’ll be at Wednesday’s Springfield event.
In recent days, Kenilworth developer Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston have ramped up their criticism of House Speaker Michael Madigan, who faces increasing pressure over harassment complaints in his political organization.
Biss and Kennedy have called for Madigan to step aside as state party chairman, while Pritzker has called more generally for an independent investigation.
The Springfield State-Journal register will stream the video live on its website, sj-r.com.
*Lipinski and Newman at forum: U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski announced the endorsement of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police on Tuesday in his primary race against political newcomer Marie Newman.
“Police officers put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” Lipinski said in a statement. “I am honored by their endorsement as it reflects my strong support for police officers and my fight for labor rights, fair and safe workplaces, and middle-class families.”
Newman’s campaign will get a boost from progressive groups like MoveOn and the Service Employees International Union’s state council creating a political committee to air TV ads and send out mailers.
“Congressman Dan Lipinski’s record is dangerous. And it’s closely aligned with the hateful and harmful policies backed by the Trump-Pence administration,” SEIU Illinois State Council Executive Director Beniamino Capellupo said in a statement.
The two candidates will meet at a League of Women Voters candidate forum in Palos Hills on Wednesday evening, perhaps their only joint appearance of the race.
*Quick spin: Democrat Kelly Mazeski announced she’s airing TV ads in her primary bid to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam. She has to defeat a field of six other Democrats to get that chance, and the ad focuses squarely on Trump and health care. “Last year, Donald Trump showed us, that when it comes to health care, he’s nobody’s friend,” she says in the spot.
What we’re writing
*Madigan’s leadership becomes Democratic primary litmus test amid harassment complaints.
*Report of 4th recent Legionnaires’ case at veterans home comes soon after Democrats call for more action.
*Ford Chicago plant, hospitality workers air sexual harassment concerns at City Council hearing.
*Wife of slain police commander writes letter thanking Chicago for “outpouring of love and support.”
*Appeals court reinstates $3.5 million jury verdict against the city in fatal Chicago police shooting.
What we’re reading
*Amazon wristbands could track workers’ hand movements.
*State Farm cutting IT workers at Bloomington headquarters.
*Chicago Reader casts “broad net” in editor search following Mark Konkol’s ouster after one issue.
Follow the money
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Trump: Ban “bump stocks.”
*Shooting survivors go to Tallahasse.
*Gates attorney pleads guilty to lying.
*More than 100 dead in Damascus bombing.