* After the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association endorsed JB Pritzker, the candidate and some members of the group held a joint press conference.
A reporter pointed out that a lot of Republican legislators are grumbling these days about how Gov. Rauner has been “dictating how they vote.” He also noted that some Democrats are worried that having a billionaire leading their party may not be a good thing. “Will you pledge to allow Democrats to vote their conscience, vote their district?” Pritzker was asked.
“Of course,” Pritzker said.
The candidate referenced the old Will Rogers quote “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” And then said…
I believe that people ought to vote their conscience. Always. Always vote their conscience. I also believe we ought to elect progressive Democrats to the Legislature. But I also believe that we have a big tent in this party. That this party always has been about three really core issues: Jobs, healthcare, education. And we need to stick to that, we need to win this election based upon plans for making working families’ lives better.
Democrat Chris Kennedy isn’t saying directly whether he would support an assault weapons ban proposed by several Democratic lawmakers. In an interview for the WMAY News Feed, Kennedy was asked multiple times if he supported the ban on certain types of firearms.
He would only say that the issue of gun violence needs more study but federal regulations limit the ability to conduct such studies.
He did have some thoughtful responses. Click here to listen.
*** UPDATE *** Kennedy just called to say he fully supports an assault weapons ban and wasn’t trying to get around the topic.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* Meanwhile, despite the delay, the Bustos endorsement did receive a lot of news coverage…
Illinois’ 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos endorsed Democratic candidate JB Pritzker in his run for Governor, Mon. His appearance at the AFL-CIO Labor Temple started 90 minutes later than scheduled, due to unfavorable flight conditions.
Dense fog enveloped Peoria Monday morning. A member of Pritzker’s campaign team says his plane circled the area for 30 minutes, then rerouted to Galesburg. Pritzker apologized for the delay and said the flight was “a lil’ dicey.”
About 20 people, mostly with labor union ties, stuck around to hear the endorsement from Rep. Bustos. The Congresswoman says JB Pritzker is taking a different approach, by focusing on downstate Illinois.
“This is a guy who’s going to be our next governor, who’s not going to have to understand how you get to Peoria, how you get to Pekin, how you get to Monmouth,” Bustos said. “He’s going to know the way, and that was a critical part of my decision making as to who I was going to endorse in this race.”
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, endorsed gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker when he opened his Quad-Cities campaign office — his eighth in the state — Monday afternoon.
Rep. Bustos said voters should vote for Mr. Pritzker for governor because he will represent working families across the entire state, not just in Chicago and Cook County.
“He understands that the state of Illinois has 102 counties, with 101 of them outside Cook County,” Rep. Bustos said. “When we elect our next governor, we want to make sure they know how to find a place like the Quad-Cities.”
On Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner’s habit of dodging questions relating to federal matters came under tough scrutiny from the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson. 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.”
Rauner has been inexplicably silent on President Trump’s decision to end DACA, which puts at least 42,000 children and young adults at risk of deportation. Just a few years ago, candidate Bruce Rauner indeed felt an obligation to speak out in support of these children. This morning, Bruce Rauner attended the Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast and again refused to stand up for DACA beneficiaries.
“Watch out Illinois – Bruce Rauner does not have your back,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Illinois voters elected Rauner to be a leader but he admitted that felt no obligation to protect them against the bad ideas coming out of Washington. Instead, Rauner said he was focused on his political ambitions. This is just another example of Rauner’s failed leadership in action.”
* In other news, Jack Franks won’t run for AG…
Last November, McHenry County’s voters gave me the great honor of becoming the first popularly elected County Board chairman. I have been an outspoken advocate for government reform and tax cuts during my entire political career. Since voters elected me in 1998 to my first of nine terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, I have given my all to help those most in need while always putting the financial interests of the taxpayers first.
My experience as a lawyer, businessman and reform-minded lawmaker makes me uniquely qualified to be a candidate for the office of Illinois attorney general. I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support for this possibility, and I was very tempted to enter the race.
But something really special is beginning to happen in McHenry County. In a bipartisan manner, we are reducing the tax levy and bringing substantial reform and efficiency to government. The tax reductions are real but they are not complete. I have therefore decided to pass on the opportunity to run for attorney general in favor of fulfilling my commitment to the taxpayers of McHenry County to reduce their property taxes and reform county government.
Democrats can reduce taxes and reform government, and I am proving that in McHenry County. Working together with my Republican colleagues, we can make McHenry County the best run, most efficient and transparent county in the nation. This battle is too important to stop.
* How Chicago gets its guns