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*** UPDATED x1 - Biss: Pritzker and Kennedy “hiding” info from the people *** Pritzker releases three years of tax return “summaries,” Kennedy releases one year

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Pritzker campaign…

Reporters – Attached are the state and federal tax return summaries for JB Pritzker from 2014 to 2016.

In 2014, JB Pritzker paid federal taxes at a rate of 37.3%, in 2015 he paid federal taxes at a rate of 24.3% and in 2016 he paid federal taxes at a rate of 27.7%.

Between 2014 and 2016, trusts benefitting JB Pritzker paid an additional $24.95 million in Illinois taxes and $128.97 million in federal taxes.

JB Pritzker has made $15.3 million in personal charitable donations and his Foundation has made charitable donations of $53.8 million over the same period of time.

The disclosed returns are here.

Pritzker reported an adjusted gross income last year of $14.95 million. He spent that on his campaign in just a few months this year. You’ll recall that Sen. Daniel Biss had demanded that Pritzker release his full returns. That obviously didn’t happen today and he didn’t disclose much of anything related to his trust income. Considering that Pritzker’s income was so low compared to his alleged net worth of $3.4 billion, you can probably expect an uproar in 3… 2…

* Meanwhile, from the Chris Kennedy campaign…

After filing his petitions and statement of financial disclosure today, Chris Kennedy, Democratic candidate for Governor, took the additional step of public disclosure by releasing federal and state tax return information.

His spokeswoman, Rebecca O’Halloran Evans, released the following statement:

“As promised, Chris Kennedy has gone above and beyond the disclosure requirements in this race for governor by providing his state and federal tax return information for review. The people of Illinois deserve openness and integrity in their government.”

Click here and here. Kennedy also just released the top pages and, unlike Pritzker, he only disclosed his 2016 return. Kennedy reported an adjusted gross income of $1.2 million. He paid $174K in federal taxes on that, giving him an effective federal tax rate of 15 percent because Kennedy took $809K in itemized deductions. He didn’t disclose what those deductions were, however.

*** UPDATE ***  Biss campaign…

Today, Daniel Biss released the following statement in response to JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy’s failure to fulfill their pledge to fully release their tax returns:

“Nearly eight months ago, JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy pledged to release their tax returns, acknowledging that voters have a right to know how candidates make their money, what financial entanglements they may have, and how much they pay in taxes. After months of hiding their releases, using the same excuses we hear from Donald Trump, today both failed to live up to their promise. A short summary from only a year or two doesn’t give a full picture - it only raises more questions. Voters deserve an explanation of why it took so long to release so little, and what Pritzker and Kennedy are hiding from the people whose trust they are asking for.”

…Adding… One other thing to note is Kennedy’s family has a trust fund, but Kennedy’s disclosures don’t say if he received any money from them or paid any taxes on that cash.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

This and that from candidate filing day

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* The House Democrats get a big kick out of being first in line every two years. It’s seen as a rite of passage for young staffers to wait for days outside the State Board of Elections office. It’s also meant as a message to everyone else about how tough their organization is. But this is a bit much…

Thanksgiving Day? C’mon, man. People have families.

* A photo op turned on its head…

* The governor’s lone campaign tweet today…

Notice he’s not in the photo.

* A strong symbolic gesture…

* I had dinner with Sen. Biss and a couple of his staffers last night and we talked about how nerve-wracking it must be to shepherd that big stack of petitions to Springfield. A car accident, a theft, a fire in the hotel (I suggested they might want to check the locations of the room’s fire sprinklers) could absolutely ruin weeks of work with just one week for a do-over. Hoo, man, they hated me for saying that stuff. I didn’t mean to jinx them, and I’m glad they made it to the Board today…

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

Uihlein listed as top contributor to pro-Roy Moore super PAC

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Interesting…

* From the story…

The chief financier of a leading pro-Roy Moore super PAC is a deep-pocketed Republican businessman who dropped eight figures on 2016 races alone and is looking to continue propping up the party’s most conservative candidates.

Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein provided $100,000 to the group, Proven Conservatives PAC, since September, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission, making him by far the group’s top donor. That money, which hadn’t been previously disclosed, has financed a host of ads boosting Moore’s candidacy in the face of widespread sexual assault and harassment allegations. The group has also run ads attacking Moore’s primary opponent, Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), and his Democratic general election rival Doug Jones. […]

Uihlein is a far bigger name in GOP politics. The shipping and office supply mogul and his wife donated a combined $26.4 million to federal campaigns, party organs, super PACs, and interest groups during the 2016 election cycle, according to FEC data.

That spending has kept up this year. Uihlein is single-handedly bankrolling a pair of super PACs supporting the Wisconsin Senate campaign of businessman and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson. That spending has led Democrats in the state to accuse Uihlein of trying to buy the Senate seat for his preferred candidate.

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      

A quick look at the first day of petition filing

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Republican Erika Harold and these five Democrats filed petitions for attorney general today

Scott Drury, Renato Mariotti, Pat Quinn, Kwame Raoul and Nancy Rotering

That doesn’t mean all those candidates have enough valid signatures, it just means that they filed their petitions this morning.

Democrats Jesse Ruiz, Sharon Fairley and Aaron Goldstein did not file today. Not a good reflection on them, but they have until December 4th to get their signatures to the Board of Elections.

Info on gubernatorial filings is here.

* Nobody in either party filed to run for comptroller or treasurer today. Officials with the two incumbent Democrats, Susana Mendoza and Michael Frerichs, say they have enough signatures on hand now, but will wait to file until the last day to give Team Rauner less time to examine their sheets. However, they insist their petitions are “pristine.”

The two Republican candidates, Darlene Senger (comptroller) and Jim Dodge (treasurer), were still gathering signatures as of yesterday, according to Erika Harold.

Democrat Jesse White was the only candidate in either party to file for secretary of state today.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin filed his petitions today, but his primary opponent did not.

* Meanwhile

Preckwinkle is trying for a third term despite a public backlash against her pop tax, which the County Board has voted to repeal. Seeking to capitalize on Preckwinkle’s weakened political standing are Stroger and Bob Fioretti, a former Chicago alderman.

Fioretti told the Tribune he’s still collecting the 8,236 signatures needed to run for countywide office and “will be submitting soon,” while Stroger could not be reached for comment on when he’s planning to file to get on the ballot.

Preckwinkle said she is planning to challenge the validity of her opponents’ signatures, a tactic that sometimes results in candidates being removed from the ballot because they didn’t get enough legitimate names.

More Cook County filings are here.

* US Rep. Dan Lipinksi’s Democratic challenger Marie Newman did not file petitions today.

Five Democrats filed petitions to run against Republican US Rep. Peter Roskam (click here).

Democratic US Rep. Cheri Bustos did not file her petitions this morning, but two Republicans did.

Five Democrats filed to run in the uphill battle against GOP Congressman Randy Hultgren (click here).

Three Democrats filed to run against Republican incumbent Rodney Davis (click here).

And three Republicans filed to run against Democratic incumbent Brad Schneider (click here).

* There are a couple of interesting matchups in Democratic state central committeeperson races. For instance, Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin is up against US Rep. Robin Kelly. Sen. Don Harmon is running against US Rep. Danny Davis. More here.

* Related…

* Does ballot position matter?

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* The Kankakee Daily Journal has a couple of campaign finance reform ideas

Here’s proposed rule 1: If you give money to Smith, Smith cannot, in turn, give the money to Jones. This happens all the time. Our feeling is that if you donate to Smith, it does not and should not imply that you support everyone else Smith likes. You can donate, or not donate, to Jones on your own.

Rule 2: Campaign funds donated in 2018 must be spent solely on that election. You are supporting Smith now. Smith cannot “bank” money and build up a war chest so deep that no one ever thinks of challenging him or her. Money not spent must be donated to a registered 501(c)(3) charity.

* The Question: Your thoughts on these two ideas? Make sure to explain your answer, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      

Rotheimer has unanswered questions

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* From an e-mail…

Dear Reporters:

I have mentioned that I want to publicize the process that I am going through on my [sexual harassment] complaint against [Sen. Ira Silverstein]. Therefore, I have forwarded you the email I sent the legislative inspector general, Julie Porter addressing my concerns about the process as she explained it to me during our 2-1/2 hour meeting on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. I am requesting a meeting with the 4 leaders who appointed her and the 8 members on the legislative ethics commission to meet my request for full participation and transparency in this process.

I hope that you can expose the process in order to achieve the necessary reforms that will give others some sense of confidence to file their complaints. As you know, not one of the 300 has yet to come forward with a name even after the legislators filled the vacancy, established a hotline, created a task force and prohibited sexual harassment. My letter to Ms. Porter addresses the real issues that I believe are keeping the others silent and continues to silence me in this process.

All my best, Denise Rotheimer

* Rotheimer’s letter to the interim Legislative Inspector General…

Dear Ms. Porter,

I want to make a few observations about my experience with the process that entails my complaint that I filed one year ago and how it compares to my experience in other situations including the criminal legal system and the EEOC.

After my daughter reported the rape to law enforcement which was one year after the incident occurred the detective who interviewed her separate from me, met with me afterward and said, Michael could get at least 15 years then he explained the definition of legal penetration concerning minors under 13 years old. The detective also told me that the reason why he thought the rapist could get a longer sentence than the other sentences that are handed down for this offense is because of how well my daughter articulated the details of the incident. She had no other “evidence” than her testimony and no “witnesses” to offer the detective during her interview. And she was not faulted for reporting a year later.

When we met with the prosecutor she informed me of the sentence she felt the rapist should get and asked me if I believed in second chances that’s when she said he could get 3 years no jail time so he could get therapy. I refused and said the detective said he could get 15 years and asked if I could hire a lawyer for Jasmine. The prosecutor failed to inform me of our rights as crime victims and mislead me about hiring an attorney and said I could only hire a lawyer if I wanted to sue the rapist for money. So I never hired a lawyer but later learned I could hire a lawyer to represent my daughter in the criminal case as though she was a named party which had nothing to do with suing the rapist for money. I was mislead! That is why I made a law to provide crime victims with information on their rights and compensation at the onset of the criminal legal process within 48 hours of notifying law enforcement of a crime. So they would not be uniformed and misled.

The point I am making about this process and the comparison I want to make with the ethics violation process is that:

    1) I knew what the charges were and what the penalties were regarding those violations.
    2) I also knew when the court date was and was prepared to hear what the rapist had to say in front of the judge as well as hear what my daughter would have to say. Both would have a voice–so I believed.

The judge ended up sentencing the rapist to 7-1/2 years even though my daughter was not present in court and I did have the opportunity to speak and object to the 6 year plea deal that the prosecutor offered but the judge agreed with me and gave him a year and one half longer sentence in prison.

With the EEOC I received a Right to Sue letter after I filed my complaint about the manager at MetLife who mocked a rape victim on a rape date drug. I offered to hold off on pursuing litigation if the managing director who was over the offending manager was removed because he did not take the sexual harassment seriously by setting the example for the other employees in the office who continued to make sex jokes and treat the training as nuisance. When the managing director was removed I held my end of the agreement and never acted on litigation. I was fired shortly thereafter because I did not make my quota within the six months I was required and even though I was unable to focus on my sales due to the emotional strain of dealing with the sexual harassment culture in the office I maintained my end of the agreement by not suing MetLife. After my experience with MetLife I didn’t care about the job, my goal was to rid the culture that I had experience within the short time I was there as an insurance agent. And because corporate removed the head manager I felt I had accomplished my goal and moved on.

With this ethics process I am not satisfied that I will not know what specific violations will be looked at or that I have no expectation of having a voice beyond my interview with you. In other words, the legislative ethics commission only hears from you, not me–and I won’t know anything beyond what I tell you which is not how it works in any other process that I am aware of when someone files a complaint. This process completely shuts out the complainant and silences the complainant and does not inform or notify the complainant of what violations are considered, potential punishment or consequences of said violations or a process to have a hearing on the accusation in front of the deciding body–the decision makers. I don’t get to hear “his” side, what is presented in an open forum such as a court about his defenses and I don’t get to rebut his defenses.

My understanding of how this process works is that A) I file a complaint and B) if by chance the office is not vacant the legislative inspector general investigates. Then C) I may or may never hear from the LIG, there are no procedures in place that provides complainants notification or information on the status of the complaint. D) If I do meet the LIG which I have done, then the LIG explains to me that I will not be informed of which witnesses of mine will be contacted, if any, what was said and how the conversations with the witnesses including my self is aiding the investigation to move forward and on what terms. E) what is the LIG looking for? F) What ethics violations are being questioned for an investigation? These questions are not going to be answered for me. Instead they will become part of the report and recommendations of the LIG that is presented to the LEC at which time I am completely absent. I never get to speak with the commissioners, or get to answer any of the questions that they might have, I never get to hear the report or recommendations that will be presented to the commissioners–so I am completely forgotten and excluded in this process and shut out from knowing anything or from having an ability to state facts as I did with the judge when I objected to the plea deal in the rapist’s case because the prosecutor offered a plea deal that was not appropriate which the judge agreed with me.

Why does this process completely deny me a voice? This is my complaint and I should have an ability to know which of my witnesses are contacted and the outcome of those conversations. I should also know the position of the accused when presented with the “charges” and evidence and how he pleads. If we were in open court I would hear how his attorney defends him against the evidence that is presented and any allegations he makes against me, if any. But most importantly I would have a voice in front of the judge–the determining body, decision maker and hear her reasons for the outcome after becoming informed of both sides and knowing that all the evidence was presented and witnesses were interviewed. What reason do I have to believe or trust that the four democrats and four republicans who sit on the LEC will base their decision on the merits of my complaint when I don’t even know what information you are going to summarize and extract from our conversations and the documents I provide you will be? Why don’t I get to know any of this? And why am I not privy to participate in the full process?

I would like this letter sent to the four leaders of both houses who appointed you and the eight commissioners to set a meeting with me so I can get the answers to these questions.

All my best, Denise Rotheimer

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s radio network

Employment lawyer Paula Brantner, senior adviser with the nonprofit Workplace Fairness, wouldn’t suggest a victim of harassment use the process lawmakers put in place to report misconduct, even in light of Madigan’s new law.

“This is not a process that I would recommend going through unless they had no other choice,” Brantner said. “I don’t think anyone could look at this system and feel like this was a system that would protect them if they made a complaint.”

Both Brantner and Rotheimer point to the involvement of the Legislative Ethics Commission, a committee of four Republican and four Democrat lawmakers, as the biggest reason for skepticism of the General Assembly’s changes.

The commission has the final say on whether a complaint investigated by the inspector general should be made public. A four-four split on party lines means the complaint never sees the light of day.

“It puts the fox in charge of the henhouse,” Brantner said. “What incentive would any legislator have for these complaints to move forward when they could be on the chopping block next?”

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

Rick Steves to back legalizing marijuana in Illinois

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* I love his books and his show, so this is interesting to me…

Travel guru Rick Steves will visit Illinois on Tuesday to advocate for legislation to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. Steves will join Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and House Committee on Public Safety and Appropriations Chairwoman Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) for a news conference on Tuesday morning to discuss why Illinois lawmakers should support regulating and taxing marijuana. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT in the James R. Thompson Center Blue Room on the 15th floor.

Directly following the news conference, Steves will testify across the street at a joint hearing of several committees of the Illinois General Assembly regarding economic opportunities following cannabis legalization. This hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in the Michael A. Bilandic Building on the 6th floor in Room C600. […]

SB 316 and HB 2353, introduced by Chairwomen Steans and Cassidy, would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.


- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      

Caption contest!

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Have at it…

…Adding… I like this one better…

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Proft group runs new cable TV ad for Durkin opponent

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Mickey Straub is House GOP Leader Jim Durkin’s GOP primary opponent. The ad is paid for by Liberty Principles PAC


- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker campaign responds *** ILGOP claims Pritzker and Madigan “continue to push for higher taxes on Illinois families”

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Press release…

Today, the Illinois Republican Party released a new digital ad, Tax Hike. The ad highlights the undeniable link between J.B. Pritzker and Mike Madigan and their support for even more tax hikes in Illinois.

In a recent interview, Pritzker made his view on taxes clear: “Illinois may need another tax hike to balance the books and pay for needed public investments, even if the progressive income tax eventually comes about. That was the fiscal bottom line from Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker…”

Pritzker and Madigan have long been advocates for increased taxes. When asked by a reporter if his plan is “just for tax increases,” Madigan laughs and dodges the question, while J.B. Pritzker refuses to admit that people are leaving Illinois because of Madigan’s track record of tax hikes.

Despite a 32% tax hike earlier this year with no reforms to state government, Pritzker and Madigan continue to push for higher taxes on Illinois families. Our state cannot afford more taxes on our citizens.

Now is the time to stop Pritzker and Madigan. No more tax hikes.

* Rate it

…Adding… RGA…

Illinoisans are already reeling from a 32% across-the-board tax hike forced on them by the Democratic majority. Now, one of their leading candidates for governor – billionaire J.B. Pritzker – is reportedly preparing another damaging tax hike if elected.

Over the weekend, The News-Gazette broke down Pritzker’s confusing, contradictory statements at a Crain’s Chicago Business editorial board interview in which he “raised the possibility” of hiking Illinois’ flat income tax yet again.

The News-Gazette writes that Pritzker is “leaving the door open” for the tax hike, and that Pritzker’s big-spending campaign promises mean that Illinoisans will have to pay higher taxes.

“So if a Pritzker administration wants more revenue to spend in 2019 and thereafter, it’s almost a political necessity to use a one-two punch — flat tax hike immediately and progressive income tax constitutional amendment later.”

The News-Gazette is even warning that Illinois Democrats are waiting for a Democrat Governor to sign the tax hike they hope to pass.

“Gov. Rauner certainly isn’t going to suppose an income tax increase. So the Democratic legislature won’t raise the state income tax until a Democratic governor assumes office in January 2019.”

J.B. Pritzker is offering Illinois more of the broken policies that caused it’s fiscal mess – reckless spending and tax hikes that drive families and businesses out of the state.

*** UPDATE ***  Galia Slayen at the Pritzker campaign…

The RGA and the ILGOP are going to need to do a little better than recycled lies to save the most vulnerable governor in the country. As we made clear last week, JB does not want to raise taxes on middle class families. What remains unclear is where Bruce Rauner stands on Donald Trump’s devastating tax plan. Does Rauner support Donald Trump’s attack on middle class families?

- Posted by Rich Miller   64 Comments      

Medicaid managed care contract cost skyrockets more than 50 percent

Monday, Nov 27, 2017


Mere days after the state paid down roughly forty percent of its backlog of overdue bills, the Rauner administration finalized the largest vendor contract in state history.

The $63 billion contract is significantly larger than preliminary estimates, and is roughly fifty percent greater than the estimates the Rauner administration gave out earlier this week.

“These numbers are far, far higher than any previous number I have heard,” Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told WCIA on Wednesday. “This adds more questions to this unaccountable process done with no independent oversight.”

House Republican David McSweeney chimed in too. “I’m very concerned that the Rauner administration’s cost estimates keep increasing,” he said, adding, “There should be an immediate full review of the MCO contracts, including with public hearings, by the House Human Services Appropriations Committee.”

A public hearing is already scheduled for next Thursday, November 30th, in Chicago.

In May, Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Felicia Norwood testified before the House Human Services Committee that the restructuring deal would cost between $30 billion and $40 billion dollars.

* The comptroller wants an investigation..

* Pritzker campaign…

“Bruce Rauner closed this historically massive deal under a shroud of secrecy and has now sent costs skyrocketing overnight,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “This is money that will come from the same hardworking taxpayers that had no input on this deal. Bruce Rauner is either purposefully deceiving Illinois families or once again forcing this state to pay billions to cover the cost of his incompetence. Either way, Illinoisans deserve immediate answers from this failed governor.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

Pritzker, others file petitions

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* This post will be updated as new press releases are received. Pritzker campaign…

Today, after collecting almost 35,000 signatures from voters in 90 counties across the state, JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton formally filed petitions to run for governor and lieutenant governor of Illinois.

The campaign enters its next phase with a grassroots, statewide operation that includes opening 15 field offices and counting, endorsements from the statewide AFL-CIO, over 20 individual unions, and statewide leaders like Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.

“I am proud to file my petitions to be the next governor of Illinois and humbled that we collected nearly 35,000 signatures from every region across the state,” said JB Pritzker. “Since announcing in April, our campaign has built a grassroots movement, earned support from leaders and working families across the state, and released detailed policy plans to get this state back on track. After three years of Bruce Rauner creating crisis after crisis, it’s clear that his damage is done. Working families are ready for a governor who listens and fights every day to put Springfield back on their side. That’s exactly the type of leader I will be and I’m excited as we take this next step together.”

“I am honored to join JB Pritzker in filing petitions to be the next lieutenant governor of Illinois,” said State Representative Juliana Stratton. “Since joining the campaign in August, I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support from working families throughout the state as we build our grassroots movement. Together, I’m confident JB and I can beat Bruce Rauner and put this state back on track by expanding healthcare, investing in quality education, and creating jobs. I am thrilled to take the next step as we work to put Springfield back on the side of working families.”

* Excerpt…

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering officially filed in Springfield, IL as a candidate for Attorney General with 10,000 petition signatures circulated by nearly 200 volunteers from across the state. Candidates for this office may file a minimum of 5,000 and a maximum of 10,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot for the March 2018 primary election. Today is the first day to file petitions.

* Erika Harold excerpt…

Erika Harold filed the maximum 10,000 petition signatures to qualify for the Republican nomination for Attorney General. However, volunteers from across the state gathered more than 16,000 signatures for her candidacy. Candidates need to submit a minimum of 5,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

* Hmm…

Progressive Democrat Fritz Kaegi, an Oak Park resident challenging incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios, delivered more than 22,000 petition signatures on the first day of submissions, far surpassing the nearly 8,000 needed to secure a spot on the ballot for the March 2018 primary. The number of petitions submitted, a strong showing for a first time candidate, comes on the heels of a steady increase in public support for Kaegi and his quest to unseat Berrios, who has held the Assessor’s role since 2010.

Flanked by his family, well wishers and campaign staffers, Kaegi stood proud of the progress made in his campaign since tossing his hat in the ring back in May.

“Today is a tremendous day for truth, honesty and transparency for the residents of Cook County,” remarked Kaegi as he greeted supporters after submitting the petition documentation for verification. “We have made great strides since starting our campaign in the spring. We have a great team and we’ve worked hard to get to this point, but we have a long road ahead of us. We need to make sure that the residents of Cook County know that there is someone fighting for them, someone who is not beholden to deep pockets and conflicts of interest.”

* Kennedy…

Democrats Chris Kennedy and Ra Joy took a big step today in the race for governor today by filing nominating petitions to get on the ballot for the March 20, 2018 primary.

About 200 volunteers collected more than 10,000 signatures from all 102 counties in Illinois to secure a spot on the ballot for Kennedy-Joy.

“Today, we take a big step forward in our campaign to change the status quo in Illinois,” Kennedy said. “Ra Joy and I are running to restore opportunity and fairness in our state.”

Joy, Kennedy’s lieutenant governor running mate, traveled to Springfield today to help file the petitions.

“Our state government is rigged for political insiders at the expense of everyone else,” Joy said. “This election is about change or more of the same. We’re the ticket for change.”

* Biss…

Today, Daniel Biss’ campaign submitted the maximum number of verified signatures allowed to the State Board of Elections.

“I’m grateful for the hundreds of volunteers across our state who made today possible,” said Daniel Biss. “Every day for the last three months, our volunteers have inspired me with their dedication to organizing their communities, rain or shine, to get Litesa and me, two middle-class candidates with strong progressive records in government on the ballot.”

* Raoul…

Over 10 thousand signatures were filed in support of IL Sen. Kwame Raoul’s candidacy for attorney general at the IL State Board of Elections today.

Despite a narrow window, Raoul’s campaign collected the petitions from areas across the state in support of his candidacy.

“The petition process allowed our campaign to directly engage voters about their vision for the attorney general’s office. I’m proud to have the support of so many voters who want an attorney general to not just advocate to improve their lives but fight for them against Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump. We’ve been able to build this movement because of my history of getting things done, and I’ll be telling that record to more and more Illinoisans in the months ahead.”

* More…

Does that Paterakis dude even have a running mate?

* Sen. Ira Silverstein’s primary…

Alison Leipsiger, Democratic candidate for the 8th State Senate district, announces today that she will not file her petitions to run in the 2018 primary election. Leipsiger, a social worker and the executive director of a new nonprofit, Reimagine Illinois, decided to run for the legislature in early November. Leipsiger endorses Caroline McAteer-Fournier, a progressive health care advocate.

“Today I am proud to step aside and unite behind another strong woman,” Leipsiger said. “If we want to change the culture in Springfield, we need to put more smart women in office. Caroline has been a tireless, progressive advocate for women and families, fighting for affordable health care, access to social services and high-quality schools. I know she will work to create a culture that supports and empowers all women in Springfield.”

* We now have a complete list…

* Another one…

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today filed for re-election to represent Illinois’ 13th Congressional District and his campaign launched its first web ad for the 2018 election cycle.

The ad titled “Solutions” focuses on Davis’ work to cut through the political rhetoric and noise in Washington and instead, fight for solutions to the issues working families in Central and Southwest Illinois care about. The ad highlights Davis’ work to deliver solutions on tax reform, government overreach, health care, VA reform, and more.

The ad is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

Rutherford harassment suit dismissed

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Tribune

A sexual harassment lawsuit that tanked the political career of former state Treasurer Dan Rutherford was dismissed Wednesday in federal court in Chicago.

Court records show both sides agreed to end the 3½-year-old action. U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow dismissed the case “without prejudice” — meaning the plaintiff, former Rutherford employee Edmund Michalowski, can return to court with a fresh complaint.

Filed just weeks before the 2014 Republican primary for governor, the lawsuit sent Rutherford spiraling from leading contender against the independently wealthy Bruce Rauner — now governor — to an also-ran in a field of four. […]

In May 2016, Rutherford’s successor, Democrat Michael Frerichs, released to The Associated Press a previously confidential investigation into the allegations. The report by Ron Braver & Associates, hired by Rutherford when he was made aware of Michalowski’s allegations, found no evidence of harassment or retaliation.

The Braver report contended that “rumors that Mr. Michalowski may be let go from the treasurer’s office after the primary elections play a role in coming forward with these serious allegations and the allegations appear to be released to influence his current election.”

* Sun-Times

Michalowski’s attorney, Dana Kurtz, condemned the review, saying it “leaves out substantial information.” She said her client sued because he and other young men were being harassed by Rutherford, and he wanted it to stop.

Three other former Rutherford employees sued him in 2015 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging they were fired because they backed up Michalowski’s story. That suit was dismissed in Rutherford’s favor last August.

The Chicago Sun-Times previously reported that the two lawsuits against Rutherford had cost Illinois taxpayers more than $500,000.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Ives says she won’t file petitions today

Monday, Nov 27, 2017

* Today is the first day candidates can file nominating petitions. Rep. Jeanne Ives will wait, however…

* Related…

* Ives calls Southern Poverty Law Center a ‘hate group’: “The Illinois Family Institute is a remarkable institute and they serve families well in the state of Illinois,” Ives said. “But if you think I’m going to stand here and come up with a defense against something that the Southern Poverty Law Center put out, which themselves should be deemed a hate group, is just nonsense. I thought we came here to talk about economics, because that’s what we should be talking about.”

* Ives wouldn’t commit more to higher education in Illinois: “No, I’m not willing to devote more money to higher education at this time,” Ives said. “There’s been administrative bloat from the get-go. … Not even teachers so much, but administrative bloat. … We have a lot of work to do in higher ed, but it’s not any more money there.”

* Kent Redfield: “Will Bruce Rauner get a credible challenger?”

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      

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