04/20/2017 07:14 AM EDT
By Natasha Korecki (firstname.lastname@example.org; @natashakorecki) with Kristen East (email@example.com; @kristenicoleast)
Good Thursday morning, Illinois.
THE BUZZ - A group that looks at politics and money, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, examines the repeated contention that spending in Illinois' 2018 governor's race will be "unprecedented." The group found that Illinois already leads the nation in spending and the number of candidates running for the top office. In Illinois, six Democrats have already announced their candidacies and at least one other Republican, state Sen. Sam McCann, may consider a primary run against Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"To provide context on how Illinois compares to other states on this issue, ICPR has gathered fundraising numbers in gubernatorial races in Illinois and six other highly populated states. In California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, at least one candidate has formally announced a bid for the office of Governor. An opposition candidate has not yet declared in some of these states. Illinois has the largest number of candidates who have officially filed their candidacy and started fundraising. Illinois is also the only state to have a budget stalemate that is 657 days old, with no end in sight."
Money raised so far in governor's races, according to the ICPR:
Illinois: $61 million (with Rauner's $50 million and Pritzker's $7 million)
California: $17 million
Texas: $34 million
New York: $23 million
Florida: $1.4 million
IOWA DISSES ILLINOIS -- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, took a clear shot at Illinois in a news conference where he's talking about his own state budget. The Democratic Governors Association says in the context of his remarks, it is a criticism of Rauner.
Branstad's remarks: "We've seen people use one-time money. All you have to do is look at Illinois. They haven't had a budget in more than two years. We don't want to go there. We want to be responsible." Video here
On Tuesday, Rauner said that "A lot of governors around the country, they're friends of mine ... they're impressed."
It isn't clear whether Branstad is referring to Rauner personally, the entirety of the Illinois Legislature, or both. In any case, he doesn't appear to be among those who is "impressed."
Republicans hit Madigan on his birthday: See here
Pritzker camp hits Rauner at GOP Lincoln dinner: See here, then put together this video criticizing Rauner's dinner guests.
** A message from America's Biopharmaceutical Companies: We are in a new era of medicine This week, Axios held an event on innovation in mental health. Check out a recap of the one-on-one interviews with experts and newsmakers here or on Twitter via #GoBoldly. **
Gov. Bruce Rauner was getting it from both sides on Wednesday on the abortion issue. Groups supporting abortion rights blasted him, saying he went back on his word when he vowed he would veto HB40, a bill authorizing state-funded abortion and the right called him out for a $50,000 donation the Rauners made to Planned Parenthood.
Personal PAC took aim at Rauner on Wednesday after revealing a questionnaire in which the governor as a candidate in 2014 marked "yes" when asked if he'd "sign legislation restoring abortion coverage under the state Medicaid plan?" He also answered "yes" when asked if he'd support legislation to overturn a trigger law and allow abortions to be covered under state health care plans. In other words, he said he'd support the major themes that are in HB40, the same bill that on Friday he said he'd veto.
What was surprising from the event: 1) Rauner not only answered yes to the abortion questions but gave a personal statement about giving lower income women equal access to abortion. Emphasis added below in Rauner's response:
"My highest priority in this area will be to ensure effective administration of the laws regarding access to contraception and provide that access regardless of income. I dislike the Illinois law that restricts abortion coverage under the state Medicaid plan and state employees' health insurance because I believe it unfairly restricts access based on income. I would support a legislative effort to reverse that law."
2) That the event went after Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner so personally. In 2014, Diana Rauner was a public face of Rauner's campaign, vouching for her husband, saying he had no social agenda in TV and print ads.
The quote: "So, Diana, did you lie to all your friends, associates, colleagues and supporters or did Bruce lie to you?" -- Personal PAC founder Marcie Love.
Read: Rauner's 2014 Personal PAC questionnaire
Sun-Times' Tina Sfondeles: "It was no surprise when abortion rights activists blasted Gov. Bruce Rauner Wednesday for his vow to veto a bill they support, but they took it a step further, suggesting the governor - and first lady Diana Rauner - are both liars. The head of Personal PAC blasted the first lady for helping pay for a full-page newspaper ad in the last campaign in which she and friends touted her husband's "pro-choice" credentials. During the campaign, Diana Rauner - who heads the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and contributed thousands to Planned Parenthood alongside the governor - became a spokeswoman for her husband." Story here
The other side: Cardinal Blase Cupich thanked Rauner "for this principled stand. Abortion is a controversial issue in this country, but using public money to provide abortions should not be." Other groups, like Illinois Right to Life, also praised Rauner for vowing to veto HB40.
The Rauner camp was referring to a statement it earlier released: "Governor Rauner is committed to protecting women's reproductive rights under current Illinois law. However, recognizing the sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion, he does not support HB40."
Some of the coverage:
- "Group: Rauner deceived Illinois voters on abortion stance," by AP: "An abortion-rights group says Gov. Bruce Rauner broke a campaign promise when he pledged last week to veto legislation to expand coverage for abortion and ensure the procedure remains legal in Illinois. Personal PAC on Wednesday made public a questionnaire the Republican completed as a candidate for governor in 2014. In it, Rauner said that if elected he would sign legislation to ensure access to abortion if federal law allowing it is overturned." Story here
- "Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner $50K sponsor of Planned Parenthood," by Breitbart's Susan Berry: "Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana are listed as $50,000 sponsors of Planned Parenthood of Illinois for an upcoming fundraiser in Chicago. The Republican governor and his wife are listed as 'Greatest Generation' sponsors for the April 26 event that celebrates the centennial anniversary of the abortion chain ... Rauner's sponsorship of the nation's largest abortion business comes on the heels of his vow to veto a state measure that would allow taxpayer-funded abortions. Story here
BISS FILLING OUT HIS TEAM (Scooplet) -- State Sen. Daniel Biss has hired 270 Strategies - founded by Obama organizers -- to serve as general consultants to his gubernatorial campaign. The 270 team includes: Jeremy Bird: served as the 2012 National Field Director for President Obama and was dubbed 'the Obama campaign's secret weapon' by Rolling Stone.
Hari Sevugan: a DuPage County native and former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee. Among his political feats: helping to elect Governors Kaine and O'Malley.
Rachel Campbell: a Champaign native, has worked on Illinois statewide and local races as well as communications for the Illinois State Senate Democrats.
MORE CELLINI-WAREHOUSE TIES -- "Second warehouse deal under scrutiny," by Mark Maxwell: "State taxpayers are on the hook for a second warehouse whose owners have ties to Bill Cellini. A newly constructed warehouse on the 2100 block of Eastdale Avenue displays a large sign reading 'State of Illinois Department of Transportation.' Just last year, it was an empty lot. Jesse Moats, owner of BJD Properties, Inc., built a 16,000 square foot warehouse and quickly leased it to the state for 5 years at $1.3 million. The new warehouse is less than one-third the size of the old Barney's Furniture warehouse which sits just blocks away at 2410 S Grand Ave East. Both lease deals are under increasing scrutiny for their cost and for their connections to a Republican power broker." Story here.
LAHOOD'S TURN AT TOWN HALL FUROR - "Rep. Darin LaHood keeps cool as constituents bring the heat," by Peoria Journal-Star's Laura Nightengale: "Comments from the crowd were often overwhelmed by applause and occasional groans from the audience. LaHood, who won his first election to a full term in November with 72 percent of the vote, remained composed as constituents shouted, 'You've never been without insurance" and, 'You work for us,' among other interjections. 'Obviously, the crowd was slanted probably against me and probably more on the Democrat side or liberal side, but listen, I represent, again, 710,000 people,' LaHood said. The town hall was one of several over recent months held by Republican members of Congress that have included some that have made headlines for their heated debates. About 750 people nearly filled the lower seating area of the auditorium." Story here
- "Area senior services provider to shutter its personal care program," Skokie Review's Mike Isaacs: "CJE SeniorLife will close its Personal Care Program later this month due to inadequate state funding and the financial crisis in Springfield, officials recently announced. 'For eligible older adults, CJE provides personal care services at home through a subsidized program for low income seniors administered by the Illinois Department on Aging,' CJE SeniorLife says about the program on its website. 'These services, for those who qualify, include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation and respite." Story here
- "Women's Center in Carbondale could close its doors," by WPSD's Logan Gay: "The Women's Center in Carbondale has been putting up a fight to keep its doors open since the Illinois budget impasse began. It has held several fundraisers, but it's not enough to cover the money that needed from the state. Women's Center Assistant Director Martha Shaum said she had never seen it in this kind of financial situation in all of the years she has worked there. 'It could be a June possible closure,' said Shaum." Story here.
- "DNR director wants to fix Olson Lake at Rock Cut State Park, but has no money," Rockford Register Star's Chuck Sweeny: " Illinois Director of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal visited Olson Lake in Rock Cut State Park today. The DNR unexpectedly closed the popular swimming lake and beach March 20 with the explanation that the lake had collected excessive silt, reducing water quality. After state Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, expressed concern about the lake's status, Rosenthal promised to dredge the lake in order to reopen it for swimming and other beach activities.However, Rosenthal offered no timetable and said his department has an $800 million backlog of deferred maintenance." Story here
- "Editorial: We must make lawmakers accountable to the public ahead of their party leaders," Daily Herald Editorial Board: "The budget impasse is a product of the opposite perception. Experience teaches us to be skeptical about whether a truly viable compromise will emerge from the governor's office's work with the Senate, but if one does, it's greatest hope - and that of all those agencies and citizens hungering for a state budget - will depend on that shift in constituencies from political leaders to the public being served. And, not until we see that shift will we see any change in the way business gets done in Springfield." Story here
- "Rauner to suburban business group: State 'very close' to budget deal," by The Daily Herald's Kerry Lester: "Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner told a suburban business group Wednesday that state lawmakers are 'very close' to a budget deal that would break a two-year stalemate. At the GOA Regional Business Association luncheon in Elk Grove Village, Rauner offered no details but called it 'a big comprehensive package.' He said that after its passage, he will travel to Texas, Arizona, Indiana and other states to recruit businesses to move to Illinois ... State Senate leaders were less hopeful than Rauner. They spent months crafting and pushing a plan they'd hoped would have bipartisan support, but it failed to advance last month. Democrats accused Rauner of pulling Republican votes off the deal at the last minute, which Rauner denied 'We appreciate the governor's optimism,' said John Patterson, a spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat. 'Throughout all of this the Senate president has been working with (Senate Republican) Leader (Christine) Radogno to do what's best for the state, which is restore fiscal stability and stop the bleeding.'" Story here
- "Column: While Rauner picks at workers' comp, 2 grand bargains fade," by Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn: "This year's 'grand bargain' in Springfield attempts to alter, yet again, the grand bargain enshrined 100 years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1917 case of New York Central Railroad Co. v. White, the high court upheld the constitutionality of workers' compensation laws--statutes that provide for no-fault resolutions of disputes between injured employees and their employers. Such laws are good for injured workers because they provide salary and medical benefits comparatively quickly and they provide a financial incentive to employers to create safer workplaces." Story here
- "Race for governor: Daniel Biss on his bid to replace Rauner," by WTTW's Alexandra Silets: "State Sen. Daniel Biss jumped into the crowded field vying for the Democratic nomination for governor a month ago, making his announcement via Facebook Live. Last week he made headlines when he posted his tax returns from the last five years and urged the other candidates to follow suit. According to the most recent financial disclosure filing with the Illinois Board of Elections, Biss has $1.35 million dollars in his campaign coffers." Story here
- "Gov. won't commit to re-election bid," by WREX's Cody Carter: "In an exclusive interview with 13 News, reporter Reuben Jones pressed Rauner on whether he plans to run for governor next year. His answer? 'We're going to deal with that later. Right now my focus is growing the economy,' Rauner said. Rauner recently made a stop in Rockford on a statewide tour to push for a balanced budget. His office says his campaign funds paid for the tour, but Rauner says it was not a campaign kick-off." Story here
- "This Pritzker-backed company is quietly landing government & Fortune 100 customers," by ChicagoInno's Jim Dallke: "A little-known tech company in Naperville is helping companies deal with the increasing complexities of their IT network, and it's landing big-name clients like the State of California and the Department of Defense. InterOptic, a company founded in 2005, sells fiber optic transceivers that connect data center equipment to the internet. For large companies these "data interconnects," as they're called, are a critical part of keeping their IT network running, and they become increasingly important as more and more devices are connected to the web." Story here
IN THE COURTS
- "Prosecutors: Schock shouldn't get more info about informant," by GateHouse Media Illinois' Andy Kravetz: "A federal prosecutor wrote in a 60-page motion submitted Tuesday night that former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock should not receive additional information on the identity of a confidential informant, nor additional material from the grand jury in Springfield that investigated him. Rather, the government claims the Peoria Republican 'engaged in an increasingly aggressive search for some governmental misconduct claim, initially to forestall the indictment, and now to avoid the trial on the merits.'" Story here
- "Tally of Ethics Probes Ties to Emanuel Email Release Hits 14," by BGA's Alejandra Cancino: "City ethics watchdogs have found evidence pointing to at least 14 instances of improper lobbying of Chicago officials that came to light following settlement of a Better Government Association lawsuit over Mayor Rahm Emanuel's personal email accounts. Since the December release of thousands of emails from the mayor's accounts, the Chicago Board of Ethics has voted to send letters of suspected lobbying violations to 14 individuals and the companies whose interests they sought to further with city officials." Story here
- "How these Chicagoans handled the 'worst [expletive] job in Washington,'" by Chicago Magazine's Carol Felsenthal: "White House Chief of Staff: It's often called the toughest job in politics. Some say it's even tougher than being president. Five Chicagoans, most famously Rahm Emanuel, have held it. Rahm stuck with it for 20 months--the average tenure is 18--before he returned to Chicago to run for mayor. He handed the job off to Bill Daley, who kept it for a year before being, in effect, fired. For The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency , documentary filmmaker Chris Whipple, who created a 2013 film on the same topic, interviewed 17 former COS--including all the Chicagoans named above." Story here
- "After party buses called 'rolling cemeteries,' council set to OK crackdown," by DNAinfo's Heather Cherone: "After a City Council member called party buses "rolling cemeteries," the committee she leads Wednesday approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's effort to strengthen a crackdown on the rowdy parties on wheels. If the rules are approved as expected by the full Council later Wednesday, the buses would be required to hire a security guard and install cameras to keep watch on the revelers." Story here
AROUND THE COLLARS
- "McHenry County Board approves plan to cut levy by 10 percent," by Northwest Herald's Kevin P. Craver: "The McHenry County Board has approved a pledge to taxpayers to cut its tax levy starting next year by at least 10 percent. On a 23-1 vote Tuesday, board members set a goal of cutting at least $7.9 million in taxation, based on its $79.3 million tax levy for this year. It also creates an ad hoc Committee on Tax Reduction, comprised of just less than half of the entire board, to develop ways to meet the goal by the end of June." Story here
- "Decision on closing Chicago Public Schools early rests on April 28 court ruling," by WBEZ's Becky Vevea: "A Cook County judge said Wednesday he plans to rule April 28 on Chicago Public Schools' civil rights lawsuit against the state over school funding, a move CPS hopes will clarify whether it can keep schools open until June 21 or whether it will end classes three weeks early. CPS wants Judge Franklin Valderrama to issue a preliminary injunction against the state, which could have the effect of pushing the state to contribute more money to the city schools." Story here
- "Can Legal Marijuana Fund CPS? Lawmakers Learn How It's Done In Colorado," By David Matthews: "Colorado is funding public schools and rehab programs with tax revenue from legalized marijuana - and it's time for Illinois do the same thing, state lawmakers were told Wednesday. Supporters of legalizing marijuana in Illinois addressed a panel of legislators in Chicago Wednesday and brought in a ringer: the chief tax collector in Colorado, who explained how legal weed is helping fund essential state programs." Story here
WHERE'S RAHM? Will cut the ribbon to open the latest addition to Chicago's skyline and riverfront.
WHERE'S RAUNER? No public events.
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** A message from America's Biopharmaceutical Companies: We are in a new era of medicine
Biopharmaceutical science has never been more promising. There are more than 130 medicines currently in development to help the more than 40 million Americans suffering from some form of mental illness. Axios & America's biopharmaceutical companies held an event this week in Chicago on innovation in mental health featuring perspectives from experts in technology, biopharmaceutical innovation, community and public advocacy. New breakthrough science and personalized therapies are transforming the way we diagnose and treat patients. Learn more about this new era of medicine at www.Innovation.org and #GoBoldly. **
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