Chicago’s chances of getting Democratic National Convention looking better and better, top source says
SNEED: The decision is likely between the Windy City and the Big Apple, with crime and fundraising a factor for both
Sneed hears via a top source the likely site for the 2024 Democratic National Convention is becoming a battle between Chicago and New York.
And it’s looking more and more likely the event will come to Chicago, according to the Sneed source.
The mega cash trove of wealthy Gov. J.B. Pritzker is considered a big factor in Chicago snagging the convention site, according to a source familiar with DNC planning in both blue cities.
Pritzker’s rumored desire to one day run for president is grist for convention tryst.
∞ To wit: Although Atlanta and Houston have also been vying as Dem convention sites, the worry is both southern cities don’t have the cash stash — and Atlanta may have elected a Republican governor by then. And neither is in a blue state.
“It’s hard to raise money and it’s going to cost mega mega millions to put on a huge national political convention, big chunks of it for security and police costs,” said the source who is privy to DNC planning in both blue cities.
“Bipartisan money will also be a key because this is a big deal for the city,” added the source. “But Pritzker also has money he is willing to use; and it looks like Chicago, located in a solid blue state which hosted a hugely successful Dem National Convention in 1996 at the United Center, has the edge.”
The Buckshot: The big problem overshadowing Chicago and New York: public safety and mayors who have been unable to tamp crime down!
“Crime may be increasing in New York; but Chicago’s crime has had the biggest national impact news-wise,” said the source with both feet in DNC doings in both cities. “It’s the proverbial fly in the ointment,” the source added.
For Chicago’s sake, will someone please summon the fly swatter?
The Queen’s way…
Photo fantastic: Many thanks to Dia Weil, for sending back beautiful photos from London’s historic Green Park, a 30-acre park with no formal flower beds — which has NOW been somewhat transformed into a bed of lovingly placed mementos and flowers in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II, who will be buried Monday at Westminster Abbey.
“It is now a quiet and reverent place, where all the flowers will be composted by the Royal Park gardeners for use elsewhere,” said Weil.
(Ironically, according to tradition, the wife of King Charles II, the new King Charles III’s namesake, had all the formal flower gardens in Green park removed back in the mid-1600s, when she found the king picking flowers there for a milkmaid whom he had his eye on.)
The Webb net…
A night to memorialize former Gov. Jim Thompson, the state’s longest-serving gubernatorial powerhouse who died in 2020, drew cheers and tears Sept. 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel.
That was when those closest to “Big Jim” gathered to honor “the man who was never afraid to do what was right.”
Among the 300-plus “notable” crowd hosted by Thompson’s wife, Jayne, (accompanied by their daughter, Samantha) and legal powerhouse Dan K. Webb were former Mayor Rich Daley; former White House chief of staff Sam Skinner; former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner; Ald. Ed Burke and retiring State Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke; former Gov. George Ryan; former U.S. Attorney Fred Foreman; former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ron Gidwitz and wife Christina; former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas; and retired 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bill Bauer, the man who preceded Thompson as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
“I channel his manner, leadership and empathy,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker, accompanied by wife, M.K. “I always ask, ‘What would Jim do?’ ” he added.
“It was the days of giants,” said Webb, a former U.S. attorney, referring to Bauer and Thompson’s tenure as tandem U.S. attorneys.
“The stats are amazing on how many of their assistant U.S. attorneys were to become the absolute leaders of the Chicago and national legal communities,” said Webb.
∞Webb’s proof: Seven became federal district court judges in Chicago; three became federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges; four became the U.S. attorney for Chicago; one became the attorney general of Illinois; one became an Illinois U.S. senator; one became the secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation; one became the chief of staff for the president of the United States; two became the director of the Illinois State Police; six became the chairman or managing partner of six of Chicago’s largest law firms — and some of those became international law firms; several others became Illinois state court or appeals judges, he said.
You do the math … and fill in the names while you are at it.
The Kelly file…
Hmmm: Now that singer R. Kelly’s sensational child pornography trial has concluded with a guilty verdict — 14 years after his acquittal on similar charges in Cook County — here’s a question.
Is Kelly really illiterate?
Apparently, no longer.
Backshot: Kelly’s former Chicago lawyers insisted the singer, who was awaiting a new trial on sex charges during his stay at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, was unable to read.
Upshot: Kelly was spotted using a computer and taking notes during his jury trial this month before Federal Court Judge Harry “Hang ’em High” Leinenweber.
Kelly’s former attorneys also claimed the only book he had in his possession was the Bible.
Be still my tongue.
Blimey! Calum MacLeod, who did the televised service at St. Giles church in Edinburgh, Scotland, when the Queen Elizabeth II funeral bier arrived earlier this week, once worked at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue. Described as a “man of charm and good humor, a great storyteller about Scots and Scotland, who possessed a great understanding of history and religion, and loved a wee dram of the whiskey,” MacLeod sounds like he and the Queen would have been a match. … Spotted at RL’s eatery, insurance czar Pat Ryan and wife Shirley, founder of Northwestern Hospital’s renowned Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, who were honored Tuesday night by the Navy Seal Foundation with their 2022 Patriot Award. The event, where former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the featured speaker, had to be moved from the Hilton Hotel to Navy Pier to accommodate an overflow crowd. … Saturday birthdays: NFL star Patrick Mahomes, 27, and actor Danny Ramirez, 30. Sunday birthdays: actor James Marsden, 49; actress Jada Pinkett Smith, 51, and Dr. Ben Carson, 71.