October 27, 2022
- We'll host fun and lively conversations about this election cycle from 6-8pm next Wednesday.
🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Chicago member Rainey Wagner!
☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 55.
Today's newsletter is 879 words — a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Rob Reinalda.
1 big thing: Election security
Politicos and city officials are gearing up for a potentially contentious and dangerous midterm election.
Why it matters: Following baseless claims of widespread 2020 election fraud, the Illinois GOP launched an "election integrity" program this year led in part by election deniers.
- The local program involves GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey recruiting poll watchers to monitor what he calls "high-risk precincts."
- Bailey's office later told the Tribune he meant precincts with "ultra-high levels" of turnout.
The intrigue: Despite his election skepticism, Bailey is urging supporters to vote early and by mail — the very method former President Trump has falsely linked to voter fraud.
State of play: State election officials say they're sharing this video with poll workers on how to identify and handle potential violence at election sites.
- It warns workers to look out for people "pacing" around with a "clenched jaw or balled fists" and offers techniques for de-escalation and escaping.
- Plus, 400 off-duty or retired law enforcement officers will serve as "election investigators" to "address security concerns and risks for the safety of our poll workers," Max Bever of the Chicago Board of Elections tells Axios.
How it works: The investigators will work in the city's polling places to "maintain a secure and orderly election process" and "ensure polls close on time," Bever says.
- Other tasks include responding to complaints and removing election judges if instructed by the Board of Elections.
What they're saying: Poll workers had to deal with angry mask-refusing voters in 2020, but Illinois State Board of Elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich tells Axios, "This time around, voters are more likely to display anger rooted in suspicion of election fraud."
Of note: National polls show 25% of Democrats and nearly 40% of Republican voters will probably blame election fraud if their party doesn't win control of Congress this year.
- And mayors are getting warnings that extremist groups will be targeting local elections across the country.
2. Chart of the Day: Cost of an NBA outing
A Bulls home game has long been a hot ticket, but a new analysis shows it's also one of the priciest tickets in the NBA.
Methodology: The study calculates the price of tickets, parking, beer, soda and hot dogs for a family of four.
- They use the cheapest seats available, so expect the Bulls' average of almost $400 to be even pricier if you don't sit in the nosebleeds.
Fun facts: The Celtics lead the league in costs for parking ($57) and a 16-ounce beer ($17).
- It costs less than $9 to park in New Orleans.
- Hot dogs cost under $3 in both Atlanta and San Antonio.
3. Tips and hot links
👮🏼♂️ The city's inspector general says the CPD may have overlooked incriminating evidence when deciding to reinstate an officer with ties to the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys. (Sun-Times)
🏈 The Bears traded linebacker Robert Quinn to the Eagles for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick. Quinn set the franchise record for sacks last season. (NBC Sports)
Hip-hop artist and poet Mykele Deville was recently fired as the booker at The Hideout. He's accusing the club of toxic workplace culture and tokenism, which has led some performers to cancel upcoming shows. The Hideout says his experience doesn't represent the club's values. (Block Club)
🍽 The iconic Tavern on Rush closed its doors for good last night. It was supposed to stay open until New Year's Eve, but owner Phil Stefani moved up the timeline due to contractual issues. (Tribune)
🗳 Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson is expected announce his bid for mayor today, joining nine others already in the race. He is endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union and United Working Families. (ABC7)
4. Food Fight: Halloween candy
A recent study of favorite candy by state declared Illinois a Sour Patch Kids zone.
- And for once, a statewide generalization may be on to something. Both Monica and Justin do harbor a soft — and sour — spot for the chewy treats.
But what are our all-time favorite Chicago Halloween candies?
Monica's pick: When I was a kid and the little old ladies (heck, I'm probably their age now) at church held out a handful of Brach's candies, I always chose the Sundae Neapolitan Coconut — pure chewy, creamy and coconutty deliciousness.
Justin's pick: I love staying local!
- Heath Bars were not only manufactured in downstate Robinson but were also invented there!
- Another local go-to has to be Lemonheads. The sign for Ferrara Pan still hovers over 290 off Harlem Avenue.
Your turn! Tell us your favorite Halloween candy, and we'll put together a definitive list just in time for trick-or-treating.
New jobs to check out
5. Remembering Polish Heritage Month
👋 Hey, it's Monica. If, like me, you're bummed that tonight's virtual tour of Chicago's Polish neighborhoods — including two historic churches — was canceled, you can try scheduling a future tour through Chicago Detours.
- In the meantime, celebrate the city's Polish basilicas with this terrific new print from Ravenswood's amazing Wonder City Studio, which highlights Chicago's architecture and history through art.
6. City of big fall colors
This year's Midwestern fall foliage has emerged as some of the brightest we've seen in ages — and Axios Chicago readers have documented it vividly.
- As always, thanks for brightening our day with your pictures!
🥡 Monica is going to try all five of these Chinatown snacks for under $10, and then she wants to learn how to make videos like this. Maybe she'll ask her kids.
🎸 Justin just sprang a Halloween costume idea on the family: Huey Lewis and the News. All he'd need was skinny ties, sunglasses and a harmonica.
- It got voted down.
Want free Axios swag? Refer your friends to Axios Chicago and get cool merch like stickers, totes, hats, T-shirts and more!