Anti-Pritzker PAC tries to suppress the Black vote in Chicago, Biden plans visit to Illinois and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Signs distributed by an anti-Gov. J.B. Pritzker political action committee around the South Side. Political operatives say it’s an effort to suppress the Black vote.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a five-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 72 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 52. Tomorrow will also be mostly sunny with a high near 72.

Top story

How anti-Pritzker PAC is trying to suppress the Black vote in Chicago

It’s an old-school political technique — in the days before a vote, put election flyers under car windshield wipers. They are likely to be read since they are hard for a driver to ignore.

In a parking lot in Bronzeville last week outside the Lake Meadows apartments, a multitude of yellow flyers — designed to look like road warning signs — were on cars in this heavily Black and overwhelmingly Democratic community.

“Pritzker failed Black families. He must be punished,” screamed the headline about Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The flyer goes on to slam Pritzker over crime, schools, jobs, taxes and cannabis licenses in Black communities — a conflation of city and state issues that includes distortions of the governor’s overall record. Other yellow signs planted around the city’s other major Black communities on the South and West sides hit Pritzker on crime, saying, “Black kids are dying.”

Though all the messaging is anti-Pritzker, there is no mention of his opponent in next week’s race, Republican nominee Darren Bailey.

The flyers and signs are bankrolled by the People Who Play By the Rules political action committee, launched last March and run by longtime GOP political operative Dan Proft, who is also an AM560 talk show host. Proft’s PAC — an independent expenditure committee — is financed by the Lake Forest mega-donor Richard Uihlein, one of the nation’s top contributors to conservative candidates and causes. As of Sunday, Uihlein has donated $24.8 million to Proft’s PAC. The PAC, under rules governing independent expenditures, is not supposed to communicate and coordinate with any campaign.

One interpretation could be that it’s just an attempt to persuade Black voters to support Bailey.

However, since the fear-mongering flyers and signs do not push Bailey’s candidacy, the strategy appears to be to depress Black voter turnout for Pritzker, political operatives said.

Lynn Sweet and Mariah Rush have more on the signs and the PAC here.

More news you need

  1. Community leaders gathered today near the scene of a Halloween night mass shooting in East Garfield Park, offering messages of perseverance while calling for additional funding to address violence and disinvestment on the West Side. “As a community, we are pressed on every side by troubles. We are not crushed,” said Yolanda Fields, executive director of Breakthrough Urban Ministries.
  2. Newly released videos appear to show a Chicago police officer declining to administer aid to a man he had shot during a foot pursuit in which both parties exchanged fire last month in Old Town. Our Kade Heather has more on the video here.
  3. A Chicago man has been charged with allegedly sending Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey a voicemail threatening to “mutilate and kill” him. The 21-year-old was charged with one felony count each of threatening a public official, telephone harassment and harassment by electronic communications, officials said.
  4. Court records show the ex-wife of Illinois state Sen. Michael Hastings accused him last year of elbowing her in the face in the presence of their children and harassing, intimidating and threatening her during their divorce. The accusations surfaced publicly last week in Will County divorce court files unsealed at the request of WBEZ.
  5. Showing the high-stakes nature of the state’s Supreme Court races, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has dipped into a trust fund to contribute to two Democratic judicial candidates in races that could reshape the Illinois Supreme Court. It’s a decision Republicans say is skirting contribution limits the governor set himself.
  6. Employees at Chicago’s Newberry Library have overwhelmingly voted to unionize, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said today. The union said library employees voted 35-11 to affiliate with AFSCME’s Council 31.
  7. Democrat Karen Yarbrough is seeking reelection after becoming the first African-American and first woman to serve as Cook County clerk. Challenger Tony Peraica is hoping to defeat Yarbrough next week and become the first Republican elected Cook County clerk in well over a century. Our Mohammad Samra looks into the contentious campaign here.
  8. Tucked away in a package of amendments to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.4 billion budget is a proposal to beef up the Office of Climate and Environmental Equity and put those staffers under a director confirmed by the City Council. The proposal sees Lightfoot inch closer to honoring her 2019 campaign promise to resurrect the Department of Environment abolished by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel — but not enough to satisfy those demanding more urgent action.
  9. Chicago’s experiment with allowing additional housing units, such as coach houses or in-law apartments, could go citywide under an ordinance that has drawn support from 15 alderpersons. Currently, additional dwelling units are limited to five pilot areas of Chicago after having been banned since 1957.
  10. President Joe Biden will stump in Illinois on Friday, ahead of Tuesday’s midterm balloting — likely in the Chicago area — while Vice President Kamala Harris is set to hit Chicago on Sunday, the White House confirmed. Our Lynn Sweet has the details of the visits here.

A bright one

Englewood artist C.A.M. talks building community and spreading positivity

Whether Chicago emcee C.A.M. is writing about politics, injustices in the community, real-life experiences or love, he hopes his music pushes his listeners to be the best version of themselves.

“I always want people to believe in themselves and want my listeners to always feel motivated to do whatever they put their minds to,” he stated.

C.A.M.’s newest single “More Than Enough,” added to Vocalo’s on-air rotation for October, is a feel-good song embracing togetherness in love. “More Than Enough” started as a collaboration between C.A.M. and producer Sage, who he connected with through his mentor Add-2’s organization, Haven Studios. To give the song a more soulful sound, C.A.M. and Add-2 also decided to reach out to fellow Chicago artist Sam Thousand, formerly known as Sam Trump.

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“I always want people to believe in themselves and want my listeners to always feel motivated to do whatever they put their minds to,” Englewood-based artist C.A.M. says.

Photo courtesy of the artist, by @kbevphoto.

“I felt I needed somebody to really bring life to the chorus with a soulful voice,” C.A.M. said. “[Add-2] said Sam Thousand and I was like, ‘Yup that’s exactly who I need for this song.’”

C.A.M.’s passion for community, uplifting listeners and spreading positivity is reflected in his music and his performances, whether they be at local festivals or Back-to-School Parades.

“I want all of us to succeed, in some form or fashion,” he declared.

Our colleagues at Vocalo spoke with C.A.M. for a full interview here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What’s something about Chicago that you think is underrated? Explain.

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s something you can only find in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said...

“Really great food, the best steaks, Italian beef, pizza. I firmly believe we have the best-tasting food in the country.” — Diane De Mille

“A city with an attitude. We are the city of big shoulders for a reason. We kinda let stupid stuff get by but never question our integrity. We know how to raise our families.” — T. Thomas

“A river that flows in reverse from its natural direction, all done by engineers. The cities downstream on the Mississippi really loved that!” — Angela Pun

“The world’s largest beer garden, Wrigley Field.” — David Wiegers

“Beef sandwiches. I have never had these sandwiches til I moved to Chicago! Yummy.” — Rebecca Kuntaras

“Construcción in every expressway at the same time.” — Maria Barraza-Ortiz

“Mild sauce. Malört. Pork chops sandwiches.” — Steve Brumfield

“Real deep dish pizza.” — Donald McIntyre Strout

“The theaters. I saw Sweeney Todd at the Chopin Theater last week. The talented voices in that show are remarkable.” — Linda Jena Fisher

“Original House Music!” — Emmanuel McKinstry

“A beautiful lakefront used by all.” — Florence Feeley Mauro

“The one and only Chicago Transit Authority — one of a kind! Never a dull moment! It’s always a wild ride and you’ll get your money’s worth! Let it be said with LOVE!” — Richard T. French

“Old Style beer.” — Maurice Snell

Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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