10/11/2017 07:02 AM EDT

By Natasha Korecki (nkorecki@politico.com; @natashakorecki) and Kristen East (keast@politico.com; @kristenicoleast)

Good Wednesday morning, Illinois.

THE BUZZ: The backlash over Cook County's wildly unpopular soda tax has pushed the effort into reverse - and it's now on the verge of a full repeal.

Even before today's final vote, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was waving the white flag:
"It is up to the commissioners to choose our direction on revenue, and I respect their authority to do so. Now, together, we must chart a new course toward the eighth consecutive balanced budget of my tenure as board president," Preckwinkle said in a statement. "While I am disappointed in today's outcome, I am grateful to the dedicated public health advocates at the American Heart Association and the Illinois Public Health Institute who have supported us every step of the way. And I am thankful for the talented professionals at the Cook County Health and Hospitals System who are committed to promoting better health outcomes for residents across the County, especially in our vulnerable communities."

Big Soda's win 'remarkable' - "Cook County pop tax one step away from repeal after 15-1 test vote," by Chicago Tribune's Hal Dardick: "County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who pushed hard to keep the pop tax, conceded defeat, even as she challenged commissioners to come up with a way to make up the estimated $200 million hole about to be blown in the 2018 budget ... The pop tax won't go away until Dec. 1 under a deal reached to avoid more spending cuts during the county's current budget year. Even so, the penny-an-ounce soda tax stands to be one of the shortest-lived in Illinois history at only four months. Delayed by a month due to an Illinois Retail Merchants Association lawsuit, the tax didn't take effect until Aug. 2. Big Soda's win here is remarkable, both because Cook County is by far the largest jurisdiction in the country where such a tax was enacted and that it comes after a series of defeats elsewhere." Story here

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Game 4: Today at 3:08 p.m. - "Rain washes out NLDS Game 4 between Cubs, Nationals; rescheduled to Wednesday," by Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales: "Tuesday's National League Division Series Game 4 between the Cubs and Nationals at Wrigley Field was postponed due to rain. The game was rescheduled for Wednesday at 3:08 p.m. The game was officially delayed at 3:50 p.m., and the tarp was placed on the infield about 20 minutes later despite no precipitation. Officials from Major League Baseball, the Cubs and Nationals met twice before the game was postponed." Story here

"Eddie Vedder throws guitar picks to Cubs fans from Murphy's Bleachers roof," by DNAinfo's Jessica Cabe: "Cubs fans might have been bummed about the rain delay on Tuesday's Game 4, but they certainly were not bummed about the handful of guitar picks raining down from Pearl Jam frontman and Chicago native Eddie Vedder. Vedder, famously a huge Cubs fan who even joined local street musicians for a jam session on Sheffield and Waveland last month, was on the rooftop of Murphy's Bleachers when he was caught on video throwing guitar picks to fans below." Story here

Video - "How the Cubs kept fans loyal during the hard times," by E.J. Schultz for Crain's Chicago Business: "Before heading to Washington, D.C., for last week's playoff opener against the Nationals, Chicago Cubs President for Business Operations Crane Kenney was in Orlando at the Association of National Advertisers "Masters of Marketing" event last week. Ad Age caught up with him to learn how the ball club, forever endeared as lovable losers, kept fans engaged in the lean years. And now that the team is winning, how can the Cubs maintain their charm? "Other than the Harlem Globetrotters there's not often a team that wins all the time that everyone loves," he conceded." Story here

Then this happened: U.S. Men's national soccer team fails to qualify for World Cup: by SI's Daniel Rapaport: "After a disastrous loss to Trinidad and Tobago and wins by Panama and Honduras, the United States men's national team will miss a World Cup for the first time since 1986. For a team that should qualify easily based on talent and funding, it's an utter catastrophe. Former USMNT players took to social media to react to the shocking outcome, and they conveyed feelings ranging from shock to sadness to anger, as well as everything in between." Story here


Jesse White cuts ad for J.B. Pritzker, first look: "J.B.'s the one I trust for governor," Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White proclaims in a new TV ad called, "Commitment." White By joining forces with White on a TV ad now, Pritzker is hoping to capitalize on one of the state's most popular politicians. "JB has spent his life standing up for what's right, fighting against discrimination, working for criminal justice reform, and being a national leader for early childhood education," White says in the ad. Watch ad here

Republicans rip Pritzker on Madigan response - The Illinois GOP rips Pritzker's response during Sunday candidate forum: "The candidates may not have agreed on everything, but they all came together behind one clear fact - J.B. Pritzker is Mike Madigan's candidate for governor. Pritzker was asked point blank about his relationship with Madigan, and he completely dodged the question, refusing to criticize Madigan. Other candidates like Chris Kennedy took the Madigan question as an opportunity to highlight Madigan's stunning conflict of interest - serving simultaneously as a property tax appeals attorney and state representative who influences property tax law."

Meantime, the DGA focused on this exchange between Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson and Gov. Bruce Rauner: Rauner was questioned why he had not spoken in "specifics" on matters like tax reform, mass shootings, and Obamacare. Rauner ended up saying that he, as the state's highest elected executive, had "no obligation" to weigh in on federal matters:
Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson: "Don't you owe the public and voters an obligation to say where you stand on these things? Where do you stand on eliminating the state and local tax deduction with Peter Roskam, your Republican colleague, and Republicans in Washington?
Governor Bruce Rauner: "I have no obligation to comment on every possible policy change in Washington DC. I never have and never will. So, I appreciate your advocacy on that."

Then there's Rauner's reaction to the possibility that state Rep. Jeanne Ives may run against him in the Republican primary: Video

Will Illinois Democrats pay the price for backing billionaire Pritzker? New Republic's take on the governor's race -- "Battle of the Plutocrats," by New Republic's Justin Miller: "For Democrats, one of the most important races for governor next year is taking shape in Illinois. Bruce Rauner, the state's venture-capitalist-turned-governor, is a union-busting, Scott Walker wannabe whose approval ratings have been wrecked by his obsession with spending cuts and his failure to pass a budget for more than two years ... But by backing one of the wealthiest candidates ever to run for governor, the Democratic establishment is ignoring the rising tide of populism that has upended American politics, setting up a battle between two private-equity plutocrats. 'Voters need to know there is a clear distinction between what they have and what they need," says Stacy Davis Gates, political and legislative director for the Chicago Teachers Union. "I don't know how that happens with Pritzker and Rauner. They're both billionaires and white guys.'" Story here

- "J.B. Pritzker opens up about his late mom," by Shia Kapos: "J.B. Pritzker's bio is widely-known. Billionaire. Hyatt Hotels heir. Entrepreneur. Venture capitalist. Philanthropist. Candidate for governor. The story of his youth, though, is seldom shared. In his latest political ad, Pritzker opens up about how his mother, Sue Pritzker, coped with the death of Pritzker's father and how it shaped his own life. Pritzker was 7 when Donald Pritzker died of a sudden heart attack. 'My mother was left with three young children. She lost her job as my father's partner in business. She lost her life partner. And she was afflicted with alcoholism. She struggled valiantly to overcome the disease so she could care for her own kids,' Pritzker says in the ad, referring to siblings and business leaders Tony Pritzker and Penny Sue Pritzker. 'Even though she lost the battle, she ultimately won. Because although she passed away, all three of us survived,' Pritzker continues. His mom died in a car crash when Pritzker was 17." Story here


- "The real reason Foxconn picked Wisconsin," by Wiscontext's Scott Gordon for Crain's Chicago Business: "As Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn scouted out potential locations for a LCD manufacturing complex in southeastern Wisconsin - eventually selecting a site in Mount Pleasant that's 20 million square feet in size - the company was also thinking about water. Manufacturing electronics on a large scale requires copious amounts of water, and the factory would likely use millions of gallons of it per day if it gets built as planned. That water will almost certainly come from Lake Michigan, and the location of the facility will govern how Foxconn goes about acquiring this resource." Story here

-- "What Trump's clean power plan rollback means for Illinois," by WBEZ's Daniel Tucker and Tony Sarabia: "Declaring "the war against coal is over," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday a rollback of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama-era rules that set national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. "This announcement is very unfortunate and we're deeply saddened by it," said Jessica Collingsworth, a Midwest energy policy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Collingsworth also said the Clean Power Plan - which was finalized in 2015, put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, and had yet to be implemented - would have provided public health and economic benefits across the U.S., according to an EPA analysis in 2015. "Thankfully, Illinois is already well-positioned to reduce carbon emissions with or without the Clean Power Plan," Collingsworth said Tuesday on Morning Shift." Story here


A warm welcome to ProPublica Illinois, which launched on Tuesday with a piece by Mick Dumke, published in the Sun-Times as well as with an on-air story on WBEZ.

- "How Chicago gets its guns," by ProPublica's Mick Dumke: "Amid Chicago's ongoing epidemic of gun violence - with 494 fatal shootings and 2,866 people shot this year through the end of September - the availability of guns has been blamed as a root cause and become a defining political and public safety issue. Chicago police say they've seized nearly 7,000 illegal firearms this year, and federal authorities have stepped up efforts to take down dealers. ... Most of the guns police seize in Chicago come from Indiana and other states where firearms laws are more lax, police and researchers have found. After they were purchased legally, most were sold or loaned or stolen. Typically, individuals or small groups are involved in the dealing, not organized trafficking rings, experts say." Story here

- "Chicago hotels would be responsible for securing freezers under council plan," by Chicago Tribune's John Byrne: "Chicago hotels would be responsible for monitoring and restricting access to off-limits areas under a measure aldermen advanced Tuesday in response to the death of Kenneka Jenkins in a walk-in freezer at a Rosemont hotel. Hotels would need to install signs warning guests to keep out of "non-guest areas," including kitchens, laundry rooms, stockrooms, loading docks, unoccupied ballrooms, closed pools and other parts of the facilities under the ordinance, which passed the Finance Committee Tuesday. Hotels also would need to install alarms or emergency release mechanisms on the exits of off-limits enclosures like freezers where someone could get locked in." Story here

- "Chance: Take Lyft, round up fare and donate difference to CPS," by DNAinfo's Andrea V. Watson: "Lyft announced a partnership with Chance the Rapper to help support Chicago Public Schools Tuesday. Riders will now be able to use the app to round up fares to the nearest dollar amount, and the extra money will be donated to Chance's Art & Literature Fund, which aids CPS. Chance encouraged residents to ride Lyft as often as possible." Story here

- "18 overdoses per day in Chicago draw support for officer-equipped remedy," by DNAinfo's Heather Cherone: "All Chicago police officers should be equipped with nasal spray that could reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, city officials agreed Friday. Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago said he supported efforts to equip every patrol officer and sergeant with naloxone nasal spray that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. The Fire Department opposed an effort to allow officers to inject those suffering from overdoses, Santiago said." Story here

- "Cubs, White Sox urged to extend safety net to protect fans," by Chicago Sun-Times' Fran Spielman: "If Chicago aldermen have their way, the Cubs and Sox will "lead the league in spectator safety" - by installing protective netting that covers the area behind the home and visitors dugouts at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. Last year, Chicago became the fourth big-league city in the nation to ban chewing tobacco at baseball stadiums. On Tuesday, the City Council's Finance Committee approved a resolution urging the Cubs and Sox to "not only abide by the MLB standards for protective netting, but to exceed such minimum guidelines and lead the league in spectator safety." The ordinance was championed by Finance Chairman Edward Burke (14th), who said his original intention was to change the municipal code to require additional protective netting." Story here

- "Mike Ditka: 'No oppression in last 100 years,'" by Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal: "Former Bears star and coach Mike Ditka, an adamant critic of National Football League players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination, said Monday in a national radio interview that this country has been free of oppression for at least a century. 'All of a sudden, it's become a big deal now, about oppression,' Ditka told Jim Gray on Westwood One's pregame show ahead of the Bears' "Monday Night Football" loss to the Vikings. "There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I'm not watching it as carefully as other people." Setting aside what's going on today, the discrimination and bigotry Ditka's Bears teammates faced in the mid-1960s was memorably depicted in the much-beloved 1971 TV movie "Brian's Song," starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers, the team's first interracial roommates." Story here

- "Steinberg: Mike Ditka is not a Chicagoan," by Chicago Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg: "First, Mike Ditka isn't manly - it isn't macho to ignore the suffering of others, nor masculine to be hard-hearted and a fool. He doesn't care about black people, but then, he doesn't care about people. He certainly didn't care about his players. "Mike was not one who gave a damn about the players or their injuries when he was coaching," the late Dave Duerson said. And second, he's not a Chicagoan. Not because he was born in Pennsylvania - I was born in Ohio and live in Northbrook; we all have our woes. Rather, because he denies the essence of the city." Story here


- "Illinois keeping tax incentives close to the vest in race for Amazon's HQ2," by Belleville News-Democrat's Casey Bischel: "As states compete to attract 50,000 high-paying jobs promised at Amazon's second headquarters, one thing is all but certain: the windfall won't be cheap. The company's announcement induced a frenzy among states vying for sustained economic development and tax revenue, but they may have to give steep tax breaks in return. "The initial cost and ongoing cost of doing business are critical decision drivers," Amazon's request for proposals states. So far, incentive deals are being kept close to the vest as Illinois puts together its final plans for Chicago and the metro-east." Story here

- "Illinois Circling the Toilet Bowl? This town begs to differ," by BGA's Tim Jones: "Tiny Rochelle, 80 miles west of Chicago at the intersection of Interstates 88 and 39, is on an industrial roll, blissfully ignoring a common narrative among political and business elites that economically maligned Illinois is circling the toilet bowl. That list of Illinois naysayers has even included Governor Bruce Rauner, who has openly complained his state is "slowly, slowly starting to become southeast Michigan," and that Chicago, the state's economic engine, is in "deep, deep yogurt."

"The hyperbole distorts a far more complicated economic picture for Illinois in which communities like Rochelle play a starring role. Federal data indeed show the state lags others in the region in some key economic metrics, yet the numbers also portray Illinois as a business creation superstar compared to neighbors.The hyperbole distorts a far more complicated economic picture for Illinois in which communities like Rochelle play a starring role. Federal data indeed show the state lags others in the region in some key economic metrics, yet the numbers also portray Illinois as a business creation superstar compared to neighbors. The sheer number of businesses calling Illinois home is up 28 percent since 2001, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to 17 percent for Wisconsin, 8 percent for Indiana and 4 percent for Ohio. Michigan is down 9 percent." Story here


- "Sen. Durbin talks housing crisis with Cairo, Illinois, students," by WPSD's Rachael Krause: "A way to help families: That's what U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says needs to be a priority when it comes to tackling the housing crisis in Cairo, Illinois. The senator spoke about the housing issues with students at Cairo Junior and Senior High School Tuesday morning. The seventh grade class had written letters to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, pleading with him to save the town's public housing units from coming down." Story here

RAJA's BIG BUCKS - U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) raised more than $700,000 in the last three months. His campaign reports that he launches his re-election with more than $2.85 million cash on hand. "These resources will help spread our message of growing and strengthening the middle class all across America," Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. "My mission in Congress is to get as many people as possible on the up-escalator of the economy."


- "McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks says he won't run for Illinois attorney general," by Northwest Herald's Ed Komenda: "McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks announced Tuesday that he will not run for Illinois attorney general and instead will focus on reforming county government. In a statement released Tuesday - less than one month after the County Board chairman claimed that he was "seriously considering" running for attorney general - Franks said he'd rather focus on his work in McHenry County." Story here


- "Mark Kelly to lawmakers opposing gun laws: 'You should quit,'" by POLITICO Magazine's Edward-Isaac Dovere: Story here

- "Wildfires burn out of control across northern California; 15 are dead," by The New York Times' Thomas Fuller, Richard Perez-Pena and Jonah Engel Bromwich: Story here

- "Wall Street Journal reporter sentenced to prison by Turkish court," by The Wall Street Journal's Thomas Grove: Story here

- "Climate change threatens Midwest infrastructure, report says," by Chicago Tribune's Mary Wisniewski: Story here


Courtesy of IntelligentEvent (@Chi_Intellevent)

TODAY - BGA Luncheon w/ John Dickerson - BGA - Support the BGA and hear from CBS' John Dickerson. Dickerson is the political director at CBS News and anchor of "Face the Nation." During the 2016 presidential campaign he moderated two presidential debates and interviewed each of the major candidates multiple times. Dickerson has been a reporter in Washington since 1995, covering the White House, Congress and economics.

- Combatting Human Trafficking - Chicago Council on Global Affairs - Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry, and is the fastest growing criminal enterprise globally. Chicago currently ranks third in the country for the highest levels of human trafficking. Panel discussion with Senator Dick Durbin, Marian Hatcher, Rochelle Keyhan, Brenda Myers-Powell, Laura Ng.

- When Women Lead, Women Win: a Conversation with Rebecca Sive - EverThrive Illinois - This evening will feature a conversation with Rebecca Sive, author of Every Day is Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House, about what it takes to win an election.

THURSDAY -- Former Chicago Bear Desmond Clark will headline a special event at the Chicago Bar Association Thursday to discuss his personal "Principles of Winning," a moving compilation of narratives that spans his childhood, his 13-year career in the National Football League, and his trip to the 2006 Super Bowl. Thursday noon at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago.

-- National Louis University is holding a forum with Juliana Stratton, running mate to gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, along with the Applied Behavioral Sciences faculty to discuss ways to bring healing to Chicago and communities. Stratton has done extensive work with restorative justice and serves as the director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice (CPSJ) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Thursday; National Louis University Chicago Campus (122 S. Michigan Ave. -- 2nd floor atrium) More information here

WHERE's RAHM? Presides over City Council then delivers remarks at the Chicago Public Library Foundation's Annual Sandburg Dinner.

WHERE'S RAUNER? attends the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitor Bureau's Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon; attends the Chicago Public Library Literacy Awards Dinner; then welcomes Chicago Honor Flight.

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