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Jay Doherty and Anne Pramaggiore

Jay Doherty, a longtime lobbyist for ComEd and president of the City Club of Chicago, introduces Anne Pramaggiore at the City Club in October 2011. Pramaggiore abruptly left her job as chief executive of ComEd’s parent, Exelon Utilities Corp., on Tuesday. A source told WBEZ that federal agents had raided Doherty’s City Club office.

Screen grab from City Club of Chicago

Newsletter: Feds Shine Light On Patronage At Exelon

It’s Friday! And WBEZ had a chili cook-off. Good thing I forgot to bring my lunch. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Feds shining light on ComEd clout

Some breaking news today. WBEZ has learned federal investigators are looking into allegations that Commonwealth Edison hired multiple politically connected employees and consultants in exchange for favorable government actions, including electricity rate increases.

A source involved in the investigation said authorities believe many of the clout hires at the state’s largest electric utility got paid but did little or no work, and some of them have ties to Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan of Chicago. [WBEZ]

2. CPS wants marathon bargaining talks with teachers union leaders

It’s Day Two of the Chicago teachers strike. Today, the key negotiator for Chicago Public Schools asked union leaders to commit to 10-hour-a-day contract talks until an agreement can be hashed out. CPS also wants Chicago Teachers Union leaders to skip a rally slated for today.

The union responded on Twitter, saying they have been trying to hammer out a new contract for 10 months. Check out this live blog from WBEZ for the latest strike news. [WBEZ]

And here’s a look at where each side stands on key issues affecting contract talks. [WBEZ]

3. GOP in a bind over Mulvaney’s quid-pro-quo comments

In case you missed it, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney yesterday said in a televised press conference that U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been withheld over demands that Kiev launch investigations that could benefit President Donald Trump politically.

The comments appear to contradict Trump’s claims that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine, and the fallout is sinking in today.

“You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “Period.” [CNN]

Meanwhile, a career diplomat told House investigators this week that he raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine in 2015 but was rebuffed. [Washington Post]

There’s been a lot of developments this week in the House’s impeachment inquiry. Here’s a handy guide to help you get caught up in case you feel overwhelmed. [NPR]

4. Buttigieg returns campaign funds from attorney who tried blocking Laquan McDonald video

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is returning money he received from Steve Patton, who, as Chicago’s top lawyer under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, unsuccessfully fought against the release of the police dashcam video showing a cop shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times.

The news comes after the Associated Press reported Patton was sponsoring a fundraiser today for Buttigieg. After facing criticism, Buttigieg’s campaign announced Patton had been removed from the event.

Buttigieg has long struggled with issues on race. As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, his handling of race came under scrutiny over the summer when a shooting involving a white officer and a black man highlighted racial divisions in the city. [WBEZ]

5. Taking an Uber or Lyft could be a lot more expensive

Mayor Lightfoot today unveiled a plan to hike taxes on solo ride-share trips in hopes of reducing downtown congestion and raising much needed revenue to close a whopping $838 million budget shortfall.

Lightfoot hopes the plan will raise an extra $40 million a year. The largest increases would affect solo riders going to and from downtown, as fees will jump to $3 a ride from 72 cents between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Taxes on all solo citywide rides would jump to $1.13 per trip. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Federal authorities face a fast approaching deadline to file charges in the alleged cover-up of the Laquan McDonald shooting. [WBEZ]
  • A Chicago cop was fired for a controversial shooting that left two people dead. [WBEZ]
  • Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told Mayor Lightfoot he had “a couple of drinks” before he was found slumped over in his car this week, the mayor said. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Did you know Chicago will be home to the tallest building in the world designed by a woman? [WBEZ]

Oh, and one more thing …

Looking for something to listen to this weekend as you’re trying to appear busy so your significant other doesn’t ask you to walk the dog or take out the trash?

Wow, that’s really specific, but WBEZ has a lot of podcasts out right now.

There’s a new episode of Motive, a true-crime podcast hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank Main of the Chicago Sun-Times. In case you’re just tuning in, Motive is about Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez, who, as a teenager, was convicted for a murder he swore he didn’t commit. He was eventually released, awarded $25 million and started his own gang. [Apple]

The last episode South Side Stories is also out. In the finale, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, the executive producers of Comedy Central’s South Side TV series, meet with local inventors. [Apple]

And this week’s Nerdette looks at how to throw a great dinner party. [Apple]

Tell me something good ...

Halloween can’t come soon enough. I’d like to know what’s your favorite candy, sweets or Halloween snacks?

Norah White writes:

“PEEPS. I look forward to most holidays because Peeps are there. I have seen some individually wrapped Peeps at one time, if you think about giving them to trick or treaters. Not me, of course, mine are gone by the 31st. That’s my b-day, BTW, so I tell myself ‘gift, it’s a gift…’”

Thanks for the responses this week! It’s a pleasure exchanging emails with y’all!

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! I’ll see you on Monday.

— Hunter Clauss

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