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Pritzker roundup: Strong endorsement and strong criticism; Exhausting schedule; Another Biss hit

Monday, Feb 26, 2018

* JB Pritzker started off his weekend with a super strong endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times

Among the essential leaders in building Chicago’s vibrant tech industry, which barely existed two decades ago, has been J.B. Pritzker, whom we endorse in the Democratic primary for governor. He bought into the vision of “Silicon Prairie” early on, as a venture capitalist and public servant. He has put his energy, leadership and money behind it ever since.

Pritzker founded 1871, the tech business incubator in the Merchandise Mart credited with creating some 7,000 jobs. This remarkable nonprofit has raised Chicago’s profile nationwide as a high-tech hub. He served as chairman of Chicago’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Committee. He was a founder of Matter, the nonprofit healthcare technology incubator.

This kind of future-focused approach to economic development is precisely what Illinois sorely needs right now. It is also reflective of what seems to be Pritzker’s philosophy for trying to make a difference in this world: work it from the bottom up.

That’s the common thread — start at the beginning — running through Pritzker’s many years of public service, whether he was supporting new technology, working to expand childcare services and early-childhood education, or simply trying to provide every child with a good school breakfast.

Pritzker saw the promise and nurtured it.

That was one of the strongest I’ve ever seen for anyone. Not all, but many of the endorsements received by other candidates in both primaries have been less than full-throated.

* For instance, the News-Gazette’s endorsement of Chris Kennedy focused a lot of its attention on Pritzker

Chicago businessman and former University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy is a relatively easy choice to make among a crowded Democratic field that features three leading candidates — Kennedy, billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker and state Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston.

Pritzker is the favored candidate of party leaders, virtually all of whom fell in line after Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan made it clear that he wanted Pritzker to self-finance his race for governor, allowing Madigan to use his many millions in campaign contributions to re-elect an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature.

Pritzker obviously chose his parents well, but he’s established himself as a businessman of some repute. Nonetheless, when it comes to politics, he gives the impression of a candidate who’s running to become something rather than do something.

Whether he’s on the telephone with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich groveling for appointment to what he hoped would be a vacant state treasurer’s post or toadying for Madigan in his quest to become governor, Pritzker comes across as a hollow man with a passing interest in issues and a surpassing interest in fulfilling his ambition to be more than just another billionaire.

* The Republican Governors Association used that Kennedy endorsement to concern-troll Democratic voters…

It’s become clear that with his numerous scandals and ties to Madigan and Blagojevich, J.B. Pritzker is a general election nightmare for Illinois democrats.

* Meanwhile, I’ve condensed this press release to take out the pics, but Pritzker’s Sunday schedule made me tired just reading it…

Yesterday, JB Pritzker spoke with voters at nine events throughout the Chicagoland area. At the stops, JB highlighted his plans to put Springfield back on the side of working families by creating jobs, expanding healthcare, and investing in education.

JB began the morning at Mount Carmel Bible Church. He continued to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. JB then spoke at Greater Rock Missionary Baptist Church. Afterwards, JB headed over to Greater Garfield Missionary Baptist Church. For his last church stop, JB spoke with congregants at the Greater Open Door Baptist Church.

After the church stops, JB headed to the collar counties to encourage getting out the vote on March 20th. The first stop was in Grayslake to speak with voters at the Lake County Democratic Convention. JB then headed to Aurora to speak at the Kane County Democrats Truman Dinner. For his next stop, JB spoke with volunteers at a JB for governor phone bank in Aurora. And for the final event of the night, JB attended the DuPage County NAACP Freedom Fund Gala.

* One more item of note…

Today, the JB Pritzker campaign released a new digital ad, “Dan’s Record,” highlighting Biss’ votes to cut pensions, increase charter funding at the expense of neighborhood public schools, and garnish wages of those who fall behind on student loans.

At the State Journal-Register/WMAY debate on Wednesday, Dan Biss said “I’m running on my record of seven years in the legislature, passing progressive laws, making tough choices.” But let’s see what that really looks like.

“Dan Biss voted to cut pensions for 467,000 state workers, including teachers and nurses, fill charter coffers at the expense of neighborhood public schools, and garnish wages of those struggling to repay student loans,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “That’s not ‘making tough choices,’ that’s Dan Biss abandoning working families at every opportunity.”

* The video

* Script…

Narrator: Dan Biss says he’s a proven progressive.

Biss: I’m running on my record, seven years in the legislature, passing progressive laws, making tough choices.

Narrator: Biss wrote the law that slashed pension benefits owed to teachers, nurses and state workers. The court ruled it unconstitutional.

Biss: I’m running on my record.

Narrator: Biss voted to increase funding for charter schools at the expense of neighborhood public schools, and he’s supported by a pro-charter group who’s fought for school privatization.

Biss: I’m running on my record.

Narrator: Biss has the lowest lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO of any Democratic state Senator.

Biss: I’m running on my record.

Narrator: Biss joined Republicans in Springfield and voted to let the state garnish wages when people fall behind on student loans. Dan Biss, take a look for yourself.

* Other stuff…

* ADDED: Press Release: Unions, State and Community Leaders, and Newspapers Endorse JB for Governor: With 22 days until the primary election, support continues to build for JB and Juliana’s campaign. In the past week alone, the Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Illinois Nurses Association, ATU Local 308, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, State Rep. Mike Halpin, 14 Rock Island County elected officials, 50 suburban mayors, and Chicago City Council’s Veterans Caucus have all announced their support.

* Pritzker pledges support to — and seeks support from — black women: Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker on Friday vowed to a room of more than 600 African-American women that he’d be an “ally,” while calling them the “lifeblood” of a “resistance and grassroots movement.” … “Since January 20th of 2017, we have seen a resistance and a grassroots movement take hold in this country like nothing that any of us have seen in an awfully long time,” Pritzker said. “Women, and specifically black women are the lifeblood of that movement.” … And Preckwinkle once again defended Pritzker regarding the FBI tapes: “First of all it’s hard for me to remember conversations that I had 10 years ago. Secondly, there isn’t anybody who wouldn’t be uncomfortable with something they said on the telephone, wouldn’t want it on the front page of a newspaper,” Preckwinkle said. “So, I think this is kind of a mountain out of a molehill.”

* SJ-R Candidate Questionnaire: J.B. Pritzker

* Zorn: Shameful decision by a Downstate TV station allows Pritzker to cancel a debate: And it’s very common for front-running and well-funded candidates to play it safe and limit — or decline altogether — risky debates that are likely to elevate the profile of their opponents. You’re entitled to be indignant about this tactic only if you have never supported a candidate who has employed it, and unless you’re a new voter, odds are that you have. My indignation is reserved here for the management of WCIA, which announced Monday that, in light of Pritzker’s decision not to appear, the debate was off.

* Spot the differences between the two Jewish candidates for Illinois governor: Both Pritzker and Biss credit their Jewish background for who they are. Pritzker and his relatives are longtime donors to Jewish causes, and Pritzker includes his support of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in his campaign website biography. He also has served on the national board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby. … Biss is descended from an Israeli mother and grandparents who survived the Holocaust. He grew up in a secular, culturally Jewish family. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that his maternal grandparents gave him “a deep sense of Jewish identity” but not “a strong sense of ritual observance or literal belief, necessarily.” His grandparents on the other side “had kind of a Marxist view on religion.”

* Pritzker working to shed Blagojevich baggage: “We’ve got this unusual situation of the Republican incumbent governor is coming after a Democrat in a Democratic primary,” Pritzker said. “Why do you think that is? Because he knows he can’t beat me in the general election, so he’s going to try to beat me in our own Democratic primary. It’s not working. It’s clearly not working.”

* Pritzker pushes public option for Illinois health care

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Thomas Zane Stepp - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    Democrats have a lot to worry about in JB. I don’t think this baggage will shake off so easily.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    “Dan Biss voted to cut pensions for 467,000 state workers, including teachers and nurses, fill charter coffers at the expense of neighborhood public schools, and garnish wages of those struggling to repay student loans,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “That’s not ‘making tough choices,’ that’s Dan Biss abandoning working families at every opportunity.”

    “is it really the position of the machine backed Democratic candidate for Governor that every Democrat in the Supermajority Democratic Senate that voted for common sense pension reform that passed the chamber is “abandoning working families at every opportunity”?

    pandering to narrow Democratic special interests is what has led to the decline of Illinois competitiveness over the years and JB will continue these polices


  3. - charlatan - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    Dan Biss is being deceitful. It is unfortunate that the media has let him get away with it.


  4. - Chris Widger - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    ==“is it really the position of the machine backed Democratic candidate for Governor that every Democrat in the Supermajority Democratic Senate that voted for common sense pension reform that passed the chamber is “abandoning working families at every opportunity”?==

    Eh, this argument isn’t great. The pro-union folks who want to see Illinois fall into ruin are correct–the pension clause and contract clause actually demand that outcome, and Biss and others being cute about legislation isn’t a solution. “Common-sense pension reform” entails hiking taxes and other reforms that allow us to pay the obligations that we freely signed onto.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    –The Republican Governors Association used that Kennedy endorsement to concern-troll Democratic voters…–

    Geez, they’re thick. It doesn’t occur to them that likely Dem primary voters would go the opposite way of what they’re pushing?


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    “Lucky Pierre”, lol…

    So Rauner is more in line with leaving pensions now and in the future untouched, or more in line with a past Biss position and a want to diminish pensions and labors’ constitutional guarateees?

    That’s fun. You know the weekend is over, right? It’s Monday.


  7. - Retired Educator - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    It is a fair hit on the voting record of Biss. He wants everyone to forgive and forget. He wrote the pension theft legislation, and now he wants to say I made a mistake. That mistake could have cost retirees thousands of dollars in earned pension benefits. He couldn’t get my vote no matter what he does.


  8. - Back to the Future - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    Congrats to Team Pritzker on Sun Times endorsement.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    ===He (Biss) couldn’t get my vote no matter what he does.===

    Rauner is counting on that, if Biss wins… as Rauner gleefully sits at the Suoreme Court cheering on Janus.

    One election at a time, but…


  10. - Lil Lebowski Urban Achiever - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    So the Sun-Times, which is owned by organizations and individuals who already endorsed JB, endorse JB again. Yawn,

    I was hoping for some editorial board independence, but the Lipinksi and JB endorsements show their endorsements are just another extension of already made union endorsements. Disappointing.


  11. - Generic Drone - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    Did Biss go to D.C. with Rauner? He should have. # working man backstabber


  12. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    This is a post about Pritzker and Biss OW, not Governor Rauner.

    The supermajority Democratic Senate members who understand math voted to reform pensions before the Speaker mothballed their legislation because he, like Pritzker prefers to pander to campaign donors than actually fix Illinois finances.

    Why is JB’s spokesman just condemning his opponent for Governor and not the entire Senate Democratic caucus that voted like he did?


  13. - Shytown - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Champaign News Gazette. All conservative rags using the editorial endorsement process to stop Pritzker’s momentum as the front runner who can beat their guy Rauner. No surprise there.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    ===This is a post about Pritzker and Biss OW, not Governor Rauner.===

    Who is Rauner more in line with… Biss or Pritzker.

    I know you vote in Dem primaries, so you should be voting Biss, as you seem to think Biss is more in line with Rauner.

    Again, get 60 votes on the stairs, then Madigan mothballed something that could pass.


  15. - Ron - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    Just voted for Kennedy.


  16. - Ron - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    I’m in a working family and I wholly support pension reform that Biss proposed.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    So Madigan mothballed legislation to fix pensions he agrees are unsustainable that passed the Senate? What could be the reason for that?

    One more example of putting politics above good policy and refusing to lead the Democratic party he controls to govern in a fiscally responsible manner because it would alienate a key special interest.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    ===So Madigan mothballed legislation to fix pensions he agrees are unsustainable that passed the Senate? What could be the reason for that?===

    There was 60 or 71 votes to pass it?

    For the 9,658th time, unless you can show it has the numbers to pass, your argument holds no honesty to the discussion.

    ===One more example of putting politics above good policy and refusing to lead the Democratic party he controls to govern in a fiscally responsible manner because it would alienate a key special interest.===

    lol

    Either Madigan held back… and mothballed something that would’ve passed… or Madigan must work to get the votes… to get it TO pass.

    Can’t be both. Good try.


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    So are you saying the most powerful Democrat in Illinois, the leader of the Democratic party and Speaker of the House is “not in charge” of what bills leave the rules committee?

    How hard do you think the man that runs the pursestrings in the Democratic party has to work to get the votes of must pass legislation?

    You are being intentionally dishonest, the tail does not wag to dog in the GA.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    To this…

    ===“Dan Biss voted to cut pensions for 467,000 state workers, including teachers and nurses, fill charter coffers at the expense of neighborhood public schools, and garnish wages of those struggling to repay student loans,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “That’s not ‘making tough choices,’ that’s Dan Biss abandoning working families at every opportunity.”===

    This quote, this line of attack is pitting Biss and labor at odds in a Democratic Primary, while also seeing the failed sitting governor and his own attacks on labor as Janus is heard today.

    Even Rauner attempts this “I’m not anti-union” thingy, knowing that attacking the actual members versus the “institution” of organized labor is Rauner’s positions in policy and the politics of it.

    To allegedly agree with Biss, in this narrow instance of rhetoric and political fact tied to it in a narrative is the Rauner stance too, making Biss and Rauner the anti-labor candidates, and hurting people could be the result.


  21. - Arsen - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Why is JB’s spokesman just condemning his opponent for Governor and not the entire Senate Democratic caucus that voted like he did?==

    Because JB isn’t running against the entire Senate Democratic caucus.

    But I agree with you that JB has demonstrated that he will be much more of a break from pre-2014 Democratic thinking than his opponents would like to admit.


  22. - JackD - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    Didn’t Pritzker contribute money to a PAC supporting pension changing legislation? As others have noted, there seemed to have been an anti pension “hysteria” generally within the Democratic Party at the time.


  23. - Anon0091 - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    To me that Sun-Times endorsement is notable not because it happened (I still believe endorsements at that level don’t matter), but that the people who wrote really seemed to understand JB in a way nobody else has written.

    “This kind of future-focused approach to economic development is precisely what Illinois sorely needs right now. It is also reflective of what seems to be Pritzker’s philosophy for trying to make a difference in this world: work it from the bottom up.”

    As Rich and others who have met him and know him have noted, he’s not just a check writer - his activism is always very personal. And the message about a “future-focused approach to economic development” is a very optimistic message for moving Illinois forward that will contrast sharply with Rauner in the general.


  24. - dbk - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    –JB began the morning at Mount Carmel Bible Church. He continued to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. JB then spoke at Greater Rock Missionary Baptist Church. Afterwards, JB headed over to Greater Garfield Missionary Baptist Church. For his last church stop, JB spoke with congregants at the Greater Open Door Baptist Church.–

    And that’s just the churches; yep, an exhausting day indeed.

    I can’t help myself: Was yesterday “Baptist Day?”

    Could JB be persuaded to have a “Methodist Day”, perhaps? In Peoria?

    (note to fellow-commenters: yeah, I looked them all up and understand the significance. Impressive, still.)


  25. - lake county democrat - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    About the “very personal” nature of his check writing: https://capitolfax.com/2018/02/08/bga-looks-at-pritzkers-charitable-giving/


  26. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Big shocker that a newspaper owned by labor unions would endorse the Madigan candidate for Governor and mention Dan Biss is passing but not Chris Kennedy in the endorsement.

    Pretty telling who the Democrats fear the most as a threat to JB


  27. - Frankly - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    Re: Pritzker’s schedule, it must be nice not to have to spend a single minute raising money and using all that extra time for voter contact.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===…it must be nice not to have to spend a single minute raising money and using all that extra time for voter contact.===

    The price Pritzker, and his Crew, is paying is the continued “buying the election, billionaire” narrative that has in of itself a cost to be paid.

    There are no free rides.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===So are you saying the most powerful Democrat in Illinois, the leader of the Democratic party and Speaker of the House is “not in charge” of what bills leave the rules committee?===

    Same schtick with you…

    You’d think you’d want to embarrass Madugan by putting 60 or 71 on stairs with Rauner to embarrass Madigan.

    Further, if the bill is so “great” there should be no compelling reason to wrangle 60 or 71 votes.

    If Rauner wants it passed, he should find these embarrassing numbers.

    ===How hard do you think the man that runs the pursestrings in the Democratic party has to work to get the votes of must pass legislation?===

    LOL, I guess you explained why Raunerites do what Rauner asks, even if it means voting against their districts.

    Is Rauner so inept he can’t find votes to embarrass Madigan… or is it the votes just don’t exist.

    Where are these 60 or 71 votes? Their silence is deafening.

    ===You are being intentionally dishonest, the tail does not wag to dog in the GA.===

    LOL

    Explain Ken Dunkin, the phony “super majority” and Rauner’s uncanny way to defeat 60+ overrides.

    The tail wagged “a lot” to the vast majority, but not veto proof majority vote totals.

    Rauner wagged that tail to hold a state hostage, so there’s that.

    “Lucky Pierre”, you’re not very good at this… time for a reboot.


  30. - Anon0091 - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    “About the “very personal” nature of his check writing: https://capitolfax.com/2018/02/08/bga-looks-at-pritzkers-charitable-giving/”

    Oh please. That was an idiotic story that even some folks at the BGA are self-flagellating over.
    But since you mentioned it, yea, Pritzker spent two decades supporting early childhood education personally and with his money just so he could use Barbara Bowman in a web video. He also spent about twenty years supporting the new Holocaust Museum so he could use two survivors in a web video. As I said, it was an idiotic story.

    And the point of the Sun-Times endorsement (and my point) was that it’s not just about his check-writing. It’s about his personal involvement in making things like 1871 and the Holocaust Museum happen, working to build support and consensus…or as the Sun-Times said, “work it from the bottom up.”


  31. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    The ol’ News-Gazoo needed to talk about JB to fill up space in that weak sauce endorsement of Kennedy. Tronc-level hypocrisy there in ignoring years of their own reporting on his miserable tenure as UI Board Chair.


  32. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 5:18 pm:

    ==Re: Pritzker’s schedule, it must be nice not to have to spend a single minute raising money and using all that extra time for voter contact.==

    Indeed, it must be, and that that is the case is frankly a point in his favor.


  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 8:26 am:

    now he’s switched over from attacking biss to Kennedy


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* Unemployment Rate Continues Falling in All Metro Areas

  
* The Meizu 16 will cost less than $615
* Microsoft unexpectedly drops Windows 7 support for some ancient CPUs
* Nokia 7 Plus ARCore support is now live
* Smartphone World Cup: Round of 16, part 1
* Walmart will begin selling an exclusive monthly DC comic anthology in July
* Xiaomi posts Redmi 6 Pro camera samples online
* Pay as little as $1 to conquer full stack coding

* White Sox can't hold early lead as Covey exits
* Sox shaken and stirred in loss
* Anderson celebrates birthday with 13th homer
* White Sox pitcher Dylan Covey discusses the groin injury tha...
* Anderson hits 13th homer as Athletics top White Sox 7-6
* Yolmer Sanchez made a heads-up play to catch Dustin Fowler off base...
* Sanchez makes heads-up play to catch Fowler


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