* Press release…
Marko Sukovic, a Republican running to replace outgoing Rep. Carol Sente, filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking injunctive and other relief in response to certain defamatory statements made in a series of mailers the [House Republican Organization] sent to Republican primary voters on behalf of Sukovic’s primary opponent Karen Feldman.
“The content of these mailers is absolutely ridiculous, and to see that her campaign spent over $12,000 on them is concerning,” Sukovic said.
“If her campaign is willing to waste that kind of money on these mailers, imagine the kind of money she’d be willing to waste in Springfield.”
“The voters of the 59th district have a choice to make, to continue with the tax, spend, and waste policies of a candidate that has voted in two democratic primaries, or a fresh alternative willing to take on the status quo.”
“Given her refusal to denounce these tactics, we felt we had no choice but to seek legal recourse.”
Sukovic’s comments come after Feldman’s campaign reported receiving over $32,000 in contributions from HRO, over $12k of which appears to have been allocated to these mailers.
The complaint was filed with the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County, and can be viewed by visiting Lake County Public Access website. (Case # 18CH198)
Marko Sukovic is a Republican candidate for state representative in Illinois’ 59th district. Sukovic is a resident of Lincolnshire and the former political director for Republican Congressman Bob Dold. He is a fiscal conservative and social moderate, focused on political and economic reforms that will help end the exodus from Illinois.
* His lawsuit is here. And here’s the section that describes the mailers…
Sorry, no comments on this one because I’m about to shut down the blog for the weekend.
- Posted by Rich Miller
|Your moment of Zen
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
During a private, no-press-allowed fundraising lunch Tuesday for Dem gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy, the wife of one his most dedicated volunteers went into labor.
Phelloneice Wade “was just days away from her due date, but the couple rarely missed a campaign event,” said a Kennedy source. “So no one was surprised they were there.”
“I kept thinking the birth would be any day now, but not any minute,” chuckled Phelloneice’s hubby, Claiborne, who lives in the Austin community. “So we rushed to Norwegian American Hospital, where daughter Chloe was born a few hours later weighing in at 6 pounds, six ounces,” he said.
A morning back injury Wednesday kept Kennedy away from Springfield and a visit to see Chloe on doctor’s orders — but he was spotted Thursday bearing flowers and a gift of Kennedy/Joy campaign onesies . . . along with a lecture on getting proper sleep.
“He’s raised four kids and now I have four kids,” said Wade. “So I know all about that sleep business. And I probably won’t get any now.”
* If these pics don’t make you go all gooey I don’t know what will…
- Posted by Rich Miller
* During a higher education funding hearing yesterday, Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorne Woods) complained that his daughter scored a 30 on her ACT and has had scholarship offers from other Big 10 schools, but no offers at all from UIUC…
“I mean, if you have 5,000 students from mainland China paying out-of-state tuition,” [Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Al Bowman] said, “what’s the incentive for them to discount to an in-state youngster in order to land that resident?”
Bowman said Illinois residents make up about 90 percent of the student body at every public college in Illinois except UIUC, where they account for about 70 percent of the student body. He promised to come up with a plan that would encourage prioritization of Illinois students. […]
“I, for one, don’t have a problem with, in effect, making a profit on some students coming in from out of state or out of country,” [Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove)] said, “because they help bring down our costs of educating our own students in Illinois.”
But McConchie said he wants Illinois families to have a shot getting their students into the Big 10 school that’s in Illinois.
“There is no reason why my daughter gets a better deal from a Big 10 school outside the state than a Big 10 school inside the state when I’m paying taxes to support that Big 10 school,” he said.
* The Question: Your thoughts on the in-state student disparity between UIUC (about 70 percent) and the rest of the state’s public universities (about 90 percent)?
*** UPDATE *** Sen. McConchie via text…
I used my personal story only as a method to illustrate a frequent complaint I hear from constituents - that our kids are being poached by out of state schools despite the millions being sent to our universities. Why should taxpayers subsidize state schools who can’t operate competitively with out of state schools in the same conference? What Dusty did not put in her story was some facts I started the questioning with - we send more money on a per student basis to state schools than any other Midwestern state. Yet the tuition at those schools is still significantly higher than every surrounding state. The result is we are retaining fewer kids in Illinois schools than any neighboring state. My experience is the same as many of my constituents and thousands of other Illinois families. It’s a fact that systematic change in higher education is needed to reverse the out-migration.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* This might help change the subject next week…
In the wake of another tragic mass shooting claiming innocent lives at a Florida high school, Speaker Michael J. Madigan and House Democrats will advance a package of legislation next week that includes stricter regulation of gun dealers, restrictions on the purchase of military-style assault rifles, and stronger laws to keep individuals with a history of mental illness from obtaining guns.
“Young people and families whose lives have been forever changed by tragic school shootings went to their state capital and to Washington this week to demand their local legislators and President Trump get serious about enacting tougher gun laws. Their voices need to be heard because it’s now clearer than ever that while it’s the politicians who are refusing to act, it’s our children who suffer the consequences,” Madigan said. “Here in Illinois, Democrats will act on their plea. We will pursue legislation that limits access to the military-style assault rifles that were used to make schools in Florida and Newton into war zones. We will take steps to keep firearms out of the hands of people with a history of mental illness. And we will hold gun dealers accountable to ensure they are complying with the law.”
Madigan plans to call for a vote on gun dealer licensing legislation next week. The measure will hold gun dealers to the same standard as many other licensed professions including car dealerships, real estate agencies, and even beauty salons, to ensure gun shops meet basic levels of security and training and are complying with all state and federal laws.
“The tragic loss of life we witness on a daily basis on our streets, in our state and across our nation is a moral crisis that demands action,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich. “We must hear the voices of the children whose lives are forever changed and of the families who mourn and resolve to enact strong commonsense laws to help stop this madness. It is not too much to say that innocent people are dying as much from lack of courage and political will among our leaders as from bullets. Action is overdue and urgent.”
In addition to gun dealer licensing, Madigan plans to call a vote on a measure empowering family members and law enforcement to take steps to protect loved ones and the public. The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act will allow family members or law enforcement officers to ask a court to temporarily intervene and prevent those who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing firearms.
House Democrats will also present legislation preventing people under 21 from purchasing military-style assault rifles, and enhanced screening requirements that will prevent people with a history of mental illness from purchasing firearms.
“Illinois can—and should—enact some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but those laws will only be keeping our children, families and communities safe from gun violence if gun dealers are following them,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Holding gun shops accountable is critical to preventing people with dangerous histories from obtaining guns, tracking lost and stolen firearms, and cracking down on straw purchasers.”
The Senate started dealing with the issue this week. Click here for that story.
* The governor has been asked a couple of times in recent days about what he wants to do about gun laws. Here his response at the Northwest Herald…
“We need to do what we can to keep guns from getting into the hands of the criminals and the mentally ill. We also need to respect our Constitution. And we need to talk together to talk, discuss what we can do.”
* From a Bloomington appearance…
Asked about how the state could better protect students and teachers in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, Rauner said Illinois already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws.
“We need to be respectful of our nation’s Constitution while we work together to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” he said.
“I am certainly open to ideas” on how to better prevent gun violence in schools, he added.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* This was sent to all House members in both parties…
In light of the string of revelations about working conditions on campaigns and in politics generally, we are seeking ways to improve the culture of our industry.
In terms of the outstanding allegations, we believe it’s critically important that all the facts be aired, and that those who were engaged in inappropriate behavior and those who covered up that behavior be held accountable. We will continue to advocate for a process that is truly independent, transparent, and honest.
Meanwhile, we believe it’s important to consider the hard truth: we treat campaign workers poorly and offer them very little legal protection. We often misclassify them as contractors. We demand ceaseless hours of work with meager remuneration. And as we’re discovering, they have very little recourse when they feel they’ve been mistreated on the job.
As a proactive measure to help provide political workers institutional protections on the job, we’ve reached out to the Campaign Workers Guild, a new labor union of campaign staff. CWG has recently worked with the staff of Congressional candidate Randy Bryce in Wisconsin as they have won recognition for their union and ratified a collective bargaining agreement. They are prepared to present to members of the General Assembly, campaign and political staff about their work and the types of workplace protections campaign staff in our state could fight for.
The meeting will be Tuesday February 27th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Red Roof Inn (formerly the State House Inn) at 101 E Adams, in the Gallery Room. We urge you all to join us and to share this invitation with others who may be interested in learning more about the work of CWG. At the meeting, CWG will offer a brief overview of their work. Then, staff and candidates will break out into separate sessions in order for each group to be able to freely discuss their needs and concerns. Refreshments will be available, and limited travel funds may be available for staff outside of the Springfield area interested in attending. Reach out to one of us if that is an issue.
In this moment, it is critically important to focus on the facts of allegations that have been made. We feel it is equally important to take proactive steps to help prevent these kinds of abuses in the future. We hope CWG will provide a vision of how political and campaign workers can come together to work toward solutions to the workplace issues they face, and hope you will join us in hearing from them.
Please RSVP by replying directly to this email.
I know this is serious business, but the prospect of Tim Mapes negotiating with a union is making me chuckle.
Also, Speaker Madigan was asked about a campaign workers union the other day and he kinda laughed it off.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Mary Ann Ahern talked to congressional candidate Chuy Garcia about Speaker Madigan…
Garcia still leads in the polls, but his support of Speaker Mike Madigan has raised concerns as questions arise over the speaker’s handling of sexual harassment allegations within his office.
“If there are more findings that there are violations then I reserve the right to support anyone who is in the race to become the chairman of the Democratic Party,” he said.
That’s the big unknown. What else is out there? Lots and lots of rumors are jetting through the gossip-sphere, but nobody has yet come forward. Madigan has been in power for so long that the odds are pretty darned good that more stories are waiting to be told. But how were those cases handled? And will it matter? Will just the existence of other incidences of harassment, bullying or worse create such a firestorm that he can’t survive? We could be about to find out.
Madigan is now in greater peril than ever before.
* Mark Brown…
The biggest factor in Madigan’s immediate fate — the great unknown hanging over all Illinois Democrats right now — is whether more women will come forward publicly to accuse the veteran speaker or his staff of mishandling sexual harassment complaints involving his underlings.
If that happens, then Madigan quickly will find himself in uncharted waters that could defy his proven ability to stay the course and this columnist’s ability to foresee the outcome.
Four years of close combat with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have left Madigan a wounded leader whose negative public image has become a liability for his party and its candidates.
The question Democratic officials keep asking themselves is whether Madigan’s liabilities outweigh his value to the party as an election-winner who stands as a bulwark against the policies and politics of Rauner.
* Fran Spielman…
“I don’t think it helps us four weeks before an election to take the person who runs the statewide mechanism and say, `You’re out.’ We’re trying to actually win an election across the state,” said [Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th)], a Democratic ward committeeman.
“It would be like taking Eisenhower out as the troops are landing on Normandy. We just need to make sure that we win this primary. Once the primary is over, then we can figure out where we need to be as a party to take on the Republicans moving forward.” […]
O’Connor stopped short of condoning Madigan’s handling of sexual harassment and bullying allegations within his organization.
“There’s gonna be plenty of time to figure out the sequencing and how this thing worked and figure out whether they made mistakes or not and whether those mistakes rise to the level of him [having to] move away,” O’Connor said.
“I just think doing it before a primary election is just a crazy thing. Let’s get the primary over, figure out who’s gonna take the Republicans on in November, then figure out what our best strategy is to win that race.”
Eisenhower? From a top Republican…
Madigan’s allies are resorting to ridiculous metaphors and hyperbole to defend him. Might be more ridiculous than the time John Bradley compared Madigan to Benjamin Franklin and said that Madigan fits Pope Francis’ definition of a public servant.
* From the Illinois News Network, formerly controlled by the Illinois Policy Institute…
With the exception of a few years in the 1990s, Madigan has been speaker since 1983. He’s been the chairman of the state Democratic party since 1998. Steans said it’s best practice to separate the two roles.
“I think [Madigan is] going to have to make his own decision about whether he steps down or not,” Steans said. “I certainly think best practices are that you shouldn’t wear both of those hats.”
Steans said someone like Madigan holding both positions could cause conflicts of interest, noting that no other Senate president or House speaker in the U.S. is also their state’s party chairman.
“You want somebody as party chair who’s looking out for the entire state, all races, not necessarily mixing it in with the policy of what you’re trying to accomplish in one chamber,” Steans said. “I just think there’s some inherent conflict that can come about because of that.”
Steans is a Sentor and DPI is pretty much all about the House. It’s not about party building, it’s about House building.
* These next two items were mentioned in this morning’s subscriber edition. John Kass…
Democratic Boss Madigan has been frantically trying to put out fires over recent allegations that his top political soldiers have harassed women.
And now there’s another fire for Madigan, from an old ember that’s been smoldering for years in Blue Island, and now blazes again:
State Rep. Bob Rita.
Rita, a top ally of Speaker Michael Madigan in the Illinois House, who’s from a Blue Island family that has controlled Democratic politics there for decades, as if Blue Island were a family business, has trouble in his past.
* Derrick Blakley at CBS 2…
“I don’t think Mike Madigan has been sensitive to the issue of sexual harassment,” says Mary Carvlin, Democratic candidate for state representative.
Carvlin, an elementary school teacher and mother of two, is taking on one of Madigan’s strongest allies, state Rep. Bob Rita, alleging that Madigan’s support for Rita shows he’s no friend of women.
“Where was he 16 years ago, when my opponent Bob Rita was on trial for beating a woman?” she asks.
Back in 2002, Rita was charged with domestic battery and criminal trespass for allegedly beating up an ex-girlfriend. A jury found him not guilty, but the trial judge also extended an order of protection for the woman, against Rita, for two years. […]
For two days, Blakley looked around Blue Island, trying to get Rita’s side of the story – to no avail. He also did not return messages.
* From Rita’s spokesperson…
The order of protection expired with the acquittal. The judge left open a possible hearing on extending it, but prosecutors never pursued that.
* While we’re at it…
By all outside appearances, 2016 was the year Revolution Messaging arrived. The upstart political firm, founded by alumni of Barack Obama’s presidential runs, was the mastermind behind the punk-rock vibe of Bernie Sanders’ campaign and helped him raise a staggering $218 million in small donations.
But inside the firm, the staff was in revolt.
Revolution forced out a female employee in early 2016, just two months after one of the company’s partners ― her supervisor ― had been accused of physically assaulting her at a company holiday function, several people with knowledge of the incident said. The firm had quickly fired the partner. But multiple Revolution employees worried that the woman’s departure was retaliatory ― and symptomatic of a workplace in which some women and people of color felt overlooked or marginalized.
An expenditure search of the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website turned up these results…
* Kennedy for Illinois ($174,429.75 from 3/28/2017 through 11/1/2017)
* Chicago for Rahm Emanuel ($12,500 in 2011)
* Citizens to Elect Karen Lewis Mayor of Chicago ($4,750 in late 2014 through early 2015.
* Chicagoans United for Economic Security PAC ($35,051.25 in 2015)
Remember that any campaign using the firm this quarter wouldn’t show up in that search.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* From the Jeanne Ives campaign…
Greg Hinz, Political Columnist for Crain’s Chicago Business, penned a column addressing the fraudulent claims Governor Rauner makes about Jeanne Ives in recent attack ads and mail pieces. The ads, which have been denounced by a coalition of state legislators, portray Ives, a conservative reform Republicans, as Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan’s lackey.
“The governor is in full Pinocchio mode on this one too. Ives hasn’t defended Madigan, but rather said that it’s stupid of Rauner to insult the man on personal terms every 20 minutes and then wonder why he won’t bargain with you on things such as the budget, taxes and workers compensation reforms. But Rauner apparently has adopted the same approach Donald Trump has to Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: talk big, and wave a really tiny stick.
“Fact is, Ives voted against the tax hike. Rauner vetoed it, but was so incompetent at dealing with the issue that his veto was overridden with help from a dozen legislative Republicans…
“You get the idea, folks. I’m sure that someone in Rauner’s camp thinks it’s really neat and cool to call Ives ‘Madigan’s lackey.’ It might even be effective with some casual voters. But for most voters, all Bruce Rauner has done is raise questions about his own integrity.
The column is here.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* A column published by In These Times earlier this month about the upcoming Janus v. AFSCME decision…
From the earliest court decision dealing with workers’ protest activity—the 1806 Cordwainers Trial in Philadelphia–courts have strenuously avoided applying the First Amendment to unions. Instead, conservative courts treated unions as criminal conspiracies that interfered with employers’ property and contract rights.
I have been arguing that unions and their allies should be challenging the most unequal aspects of labor law as violations of our constitutional rights. Currently, employers in the private sector have a legal right to force employees to attend mandatory anti-union presentations, on penalty of firing. Workers can also be fired for making “disloyal” statements, even in the course of otherwise protected concerted activity. Meanwhile, the government has restricted the scope of issues that unions can legally compel employers to bargain over.
All of these practices are vulnerable to First Amendment challenges as government restrictions of workers’ speech. They become more vulnerable if the Supreme Court rules in Janus that every interaction that a union has with a governmental subdivision is inherently political.
Even more vulnerable are anti-union laws in the public sector. Take Scott Walker’s Act 10, which forbids unions from making bargaining proposals over anything other than wages that don’t exceed the cost of living. Or the New Jersey case law that forbids teachers unions from even proposing restrictions on class size. How are those not explicit restrictions on workers’ speech?
* The columnist also referenced this Operating Engineers Local 150 press release on the First Amendment angle of Janus v. AFSCME…
(P)articipation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Funds (“IMRF”) is mandatory for all IUOE, Local 150 public employees in Illinois. Our members are statutorily required to contribute 4.5% of their wages as a condition of their employment… The IMRF, in turn, uses that money, coupled with taxpayer monies, to make investments in a diversified portfolio that includes domestic and international equities, fixed income, real estate, and alternative investments. The corporations invested in by the IMRF themselves lobby the government, including the state of Illinois. Therefore, if the Janus Court agrees with the petitioner (that union agency fees inflict the same grievous First Amendment injury as would the government forcing individuals to support a mandatory lobbyist or political advocacy group) it follows that the IMRF’s forced participation mandate for public employees, and subsequent use of monies invested by the IMRF with a particular company to fund lobbying, must violate an Illinois public employee’s First Amendment rights.
* Well, Local 150 has begun filing lawsuits. Press release…
Yesterday, Lincolnshire resident Dixon O’Brien filed a federal lawsuit against the Village of Lincolnshire, claiming that his tax dollars were being diverted to organizations which lobby against his beliefs and best interests.
At issue is Lincolnshire’s membership in the Illinois Municipal League (IML), which accepts tax dollars as membership fees to support lobbying efforts to limit collective bargaining rights, reduce pension benefits, and slash wages on publicly funded construction projects. […]
The Liberty Justice Center, which represents the Village, asserted in its Janus v. AFSCME brief that union “agency fees thus inflict the same grievous First Amendment injury as would the government forcing individuals to support a mandatory lobbyist or political advocacy group.” […]
As relief, the plaintiffs request an injunction preventing Lincolnshire from using tax revenue on political or lobbying activities and a judgment that Lincolnshire’s taxpayer-funded support of the IML is unconstitutional. O’Brien is also seeking a refund of any portion of his tax dollars that have been spent on political or lobbying activities through the IML or any other organization.
The lawsuit is here.
* The union also filed this lawsuit…
Local 150 of the Operating Engineers is trying to undo unions’ legal duty to represent all workers in a bargaining unit, whether or not they join up or pay fair-share fees.
At issue is the “duty of fair representation” outlined in the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act.
Local 150 is basically saying: If the Supreme Court ends fair share, unions shouldn’t have to represent workers who won’t pay their dues.
* This is also a First Amendment issue, according to Local 150’s filing…
If, however, it violates the First Amendment right of a non-member to be compelled to pay fees to the union that is required by law to provide representation and services, it equally violates the rights of the union and its members to require them to use their money to speak on behalf of the non-member. This is so because the right to speak and the right not to speak are two sides to the same coin. Hence, the right of freedom of thought protected by the First Amendment against state action includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all. Similarly, freedom of association plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate.
*** UPDATE *** From 150…
Good afternoon Rich-
To clarify what appears to be some confusion in the comments, the Sweeney v. Rauner lawsuit does not seek to relinquish our status as the exclusive bargaining representative, nor does it seek to create multiple bargaining units. It would simply relieve the union of “duty of fair representation” obligations to provide additional services to workers who choose to pay nothing, including grievance processing, legal representation, etc.
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150
- Posted by Rich Miller
* A Politico story about the lack of women at JB Pritzker’s companies from August of last year…
Pritzker Group Private Capital’s web site lists nine individuals with the titles “managing partner”, “investment partner” or “venture partner.” All are male. The investment team lists 22 people in total. Just one, a paralegal, is female. And of 15 senior advisers listed, just one is a woman.
Pritzker Group Venture Capital’s web site lists eight individuals with the titles “founder,” “managing partner”, “partner” or “venture partner.” Again, all are male. There is one woman listed as vice president and another as senior associate.
Asked about the dearth of women in top jobs at Pritzker firms, a spokeswoman referenced an industry-wide problem.
A study of women in venture capital reported in Techcrunch indicates that women make up just 7 percent of partners in the top 100 firms. That’s a low percentage, but Pritzker’s record of having no female partners still manages to fall below it.
But Pritzker’s camp also points to how the venture capital group decides to invest its money. A recent Crain’s article notes that Pritzker Group Venture Capital led the country in investing in women-run ventures. “The firm, started by J.B. Pritzker and his brother, Tony, has backed companies such as Chicago-based Eved, GiveForward, Built In and Sittercity, as well as Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. in Santa Monica, Calif.” Crain’s reported in June.
* A Tribune story about the lack of women at JB Pritzker’s companies from today…
In fact, Pritzker’s investment businesses have underperformed even according to the low diversity standards of the financial services industry, a Tribune review found. He has employed few women in senior positions at the Pritzker Group, a Chicago-based venture capital, private equity and asset management firm he co-founded with his brother.
Excluding the Pritzker brothers, of the 55 employees currently listed on the firm’s online employee rosters, just eight are women. And of the 26 employees with a senior title of vice president or above, three are women.
Pritzker said the lack of women in leadership positions is an industrywide problem for firms like his. […]
The Pritzker Group venture capital website lists 18 people among investment personnel, excluding the Pritzker brothers. Men account for 14, with four women. Among the men, eight hold titles of senior positions, and another two are listed as senior advisers. Among the women, just one holds a senior title, and none is a senior adviser.
In the asset management group, the site lists three employees: two men and a woman, and all hold senior titles.
In the private equity group, 24 team members are listed. Of the 20 men, 13 hold senior titles, while one woman holds a senior title.
Yep. It’s a problem. So far, none of the other campaigns have sent me anything about this piece, so we’ll see if anyone wants to blow this up some more.
Also, not mentioned is that the woman with a senior title at the asset management group is actually the group’s Chief Investment Officer, Terra Fuller, who has quite the resume.
* I’m sure this is merely a coincidence, but the union for a female dominated profession announced its endorsement of Pritzker today…
Today, the Illinois Nurses Association endorsed JB Pritzker for governor. At an announcement event in Chicago, JB discussed his plans to expand healthcare for working families, advocate for better working conditions for nurses, and protect collective bargaining rights for workers. The Illinois Nurses Association joins U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Illinois Education Association in their endorsement of JB for governor.
“Today, I am so incredibly proud to accept the endorsement of the Illinois Nurses Association in this campaign for governor,” said JB Pritzker. “Bruce Rauner came to Springfield and launched attack after attack on hardworking families. He is so determined to take us backwards, he is partnering with Donald Trump and trying to dismantle our labor movement at the Supreme Court. We can’t let them win. We face some enormous challenges in this state and we have a fight ahead of us, but I know we’re ready. We’re going to stand with working families, we’re going to come together as Illinoisans, and we’re going to get our state back on track.”
“INA proudly endorses JB Pritzker for governor. Society can depend on him to support maintaining healthcare when he is elected governor,” said Lorraine Wade, Director of the Illinois Nurses Association.
“JB understands that the people of Illinois need safe healthcare and he understands that means having enough nurses to provide safe care,” said Doris Carroll, Vice President of the Illinois Nurses Association.
…Adding… The Pritzker campaign sent this earlier today and I forgot about it…
Today, the JB Pritzker campaign released a digital ad “Support,” highlighting JB’s work to lift up diverse Illinois entrepreneurs.
For decades, JB has made it a priority to mentor diverse entrepreneurs and invest in women-owned businesses, identifying and taking concrete steps to address the lack of diversity across the investment and technology industries. In 2012, JB founded 1871, a nonprofit small business incubator, recognized as leading the way to help women entrepreneurs. And JB was proud that Pritzker Group was recently recognized as being the top firm in the nation for investing in women-owned businesses.
“JB is proud of his record of promoting, mentoring, and investing in women in the technology and investment industries,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “In fact, JB’s firm was recently recognized as the top firm in the country for investing in women-owned businesses and 1871 continues to lead the way in creating more diversity in tech. In the technology world, in his business, and in the many organizations he’s involved in throughout Illinois, JB’s record of creating spaces and opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to thrive is clear.”
“When you’re getting a business off the ground, there are always people behind the scenes. Some people are mentors and some people are sponsors,” said Suzanne Muchin, Co-founder and Principal of Mind + Matter Studio. “Mentors offer their opinions and advice, but sponsors back you, bring you into the right rooms, and make sure you have a seat at the right table. JB is a sponsor of women. He’s been a champion of mine, and for women around the country, for years. He plays this role without being asked, without any agenda other than simply wanting good people to have opportunities to succeed.”
“He has influenced my life a lot and in significant ways, but I would say JB’s influenced far more than just myself,” said Neal Sales-Griffin, CEO, CodeNow. “You can go around and talk to any entrepreneur, any aspiring entrepreneur, and they’ll know his name and they’ll know how important his contributions have been to this community, and how important they will be in years to come. JB knows there’s work to do and he’s been a big part of supporting me and others in this business.”
“I’m the CEO of a tech company in which the Pritzker Group has not invested, yet JB and his team have been there for us for years,” said Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision. “Several of his partners have provided mentorship, without any chance of any potential return. I truly think they are trying to just be helpful, and to create more wins for our community. Suffice it to say I’m a fan.”
The video is here.
*** UPDATE *** Chris Kennedy campaign…
We have a governor who thinks drinking chocolate milk proves that he’s committed to diversity and we have a candidate for governor who has proven that he doesn’t have a record of standing with women in the workplace.
JB Pritzker’s false claim that he supports women has been delivered through more than $20 million in scripted TV ads. He points to women who have endorsed him as superficial evidence to back his claims that he supports women. But the reality is, JB Pritzker has done very little to promote and empower women in leadership roles at his company, according to today’s story in the Chicago Tribune.
This reality is in line with the weak response we’ve seen from Pritzker about the allegations of sexual harassment in Speaker Mike Madigan’s political operation. JB Pritzker will put the political establishment in Springfield first, no matter what.
His scripted talking points tell us he’ll fight, but when it comes time to fight for women, JB has proven that he’d rather step to the side. We don’t need more of the same failed politics in Springfield. We need radical change and Chris Kennedy is the only one who can bring that to Illinois. He continues to show voters that he’s the only candidate in this race with integrity and courage to lead our state.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* From May of 2017…
Tech entrepreneur Jimmy Odom, who went to work for Gov. Bruce Rauner to focus on minority entrepreneurship in 2015, said Monday that he’s leaving state government.
In a Medium.com post announcing his resignation as acting assistant director at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, Odom said the state hasn’t given enough attention and resources to minority business development. […]
In an interview Monday, Odom said he’s seen routine inattention to underinvested communities that could be turned around with more economic opportunities — and didn’t put all the blame on Rauner’s administration.
“I think that we can do more. And I believe that a lack of investment has been going on for a long period of time. It’s not just this administration,” he said. “This didn’t just happen when Bruce got into office.”
A budget impasse that has left programs unfunded was also frustrating, he said.
* From his Medium.com post…
Prior to accepting this position, I always stated I would step down in my role if I believed the Illinois’ leadership towards helping the community was no longer a genuine priority. Unfortunately, that day has come. […]
It is my belief that if Illinois had leadership and staff who truly cared about the positive impact these efforts would have on our communities, the proper attention and resources needed would be addressed and we’d experience change.
* WCIA FOIA’d Odom’s resignation letter and ran this story last night…
Achieving diversity and inclusion in state government has proven harder than stirring a glass of chocolate milk for the first term governor. In May of last year, Rauner policy advisor Jimmy Odom submitted a stinging resignation letter citing frustrations with the administration on that precise issue. […]
Odom, who was tasked with improving relations and expanding business opportunities for minority contractors, wrote to his boss at Central Management Services that “needs of the minority business programming for the state isn’t important to the administration.”
Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold responded in an email that “Governor Rauner and this administration are firmly committed to diversity, inclusion and providing opportunities to minority business owners.”
In a phone call, Odom says he harbors no ill will toward Rauner personally, but rather grew disenfranchised with what he described as general apathy and inefficiencies in state government. When a sensible solution presented itself, he said political opposition would routinely interfere to deny the other party a political victory. He described the challenges as petty differences born out of little more than spite.
The full letter is here.
*** UPDATE *** From the governor’s office…
Governor Rauner and this administration are firmly committed to diversity, inclusion and providing opportunities to minority business owners.
In 2016 the Governor signed Executive Order 2016-08 which expanded opportunities for minorities contracting with the state. It established the first sheltered market in the state of Illinois, which has been lauded as a major step forward for minority participation in state contracting.
You can find the executive order here:
Office of Governor Bruce Rauner
- Posted by Rich Miller
* DGA from last night…
This afternoon, Governor Eric Greitens of Missouri was indicted stemming from an alleged sexual blackmail scandal. Governor Bruce Rauner was featuring Greitens in his campaign ads when these allegations first became public and refused to call for Greitens to step down before an investigation was complete. Rauner did remove the ads, but only for scheduling purposes.
Now, a City of St. Louis Grand Jury has formally indicted Greitens on a Felony Invasion of Privacy charge.
“Governor Bruce Rauner stood by Governor Eric Greitens even as these disturbing allegations became public,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “But now that Governor Greitens has been criminally indicted, Governor Rauner must call on him to resign immediately.”
* Pritzker campaign this morning…
Bruce Rauner-ally Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted yesterday for felony invasion of privacy related to a sex scandal, but Rauner has remained silent.
Last year, Rauner spent $1.3 million airing ads starring the Missouri governor badmouthing Illinois, and Rauner pumped $100,000 into Greitens’ campaign coffers. But now that he’s headed behind bars, will Bruce Rauner finally speak out against his pal Eric Greitens?
“After putting his face on televisions across Illinois and writing him a six-figure check, Bruce Rauner is now afraid to say Eric Greitens name,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “It is time for Bruce Rauner to break his silence on his favorite TV star and make it clear where he stands.”
* DGA this morning…
Flashback Friday: Rauner Donated $100,000 to Gubernatorial Candidate Eric Greitens
Since Then, Rauner Spent $1.3 Million on Ads Boosting Greitens’ Profile
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has still not called for Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to resign following news he was indicted by a St. Louis Grand Jury. Greitens’ has been indicted on a Felony Invasion of Privacy charge for “taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of his partly-nude lover.”
Rauner has long been a fan of Greitens and very generously helped out his neighbor. In 2016, Rauner was one of Greitens biggest individual donors to Greitens when he and his wife cut a $100,000 check. And Rauner’s put $1.3 million behind ads profiling Greitens and Missouri’s economic growth.
* And speaking of Missouri…
An Illinois megadonor is contributing $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a right-to-work state.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Richard Uihlein donated the money Tuesday to a political action committee named “Freedom to Work.” It’s raising cash to fend off a union-led attempt to kill efforts to change state labor laws.
Last year, lawmakers passed a right-to-work law barring mandatory union fees in workplace contracts. But labor unions gathered enough petition signatures to put the law on hold until a statewide referendum can be held in 2018.
Uihlein is a wealthy packaging company executive from Lake Forest who is also helping to bankroll Attorney General Josh Hawley’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Uihlein also contributed $360,000 to Gov. Eric Greitens’ maiden bid for statewide office in 2016.
- Posted by Rich Miller
Jeanne Ives (Direct) placed $8,000 on radio from 2/22-3/7. Total for the election: $1.92 million.
Bruce Rauner (Target Enterprises) revised on broadcast from 2/19-2/25 for $1.47 million in Illinois statewide. Total for the election: $15.07 million.
Chris Kennedy (A|L Media) placed $132k on broadcast from 2/19-2/25, with all of it placed in Chicago. Total for the election: $1.11 million.
Daniel Biss (Canal Partners Media) has placed $686k on broadcast from 2/21-2/27, and cable from 2/21-2/27. Total for the election: $2.64 million.
J.B. Pritzker (Shorr Johnson Magnus) placed $1.18M on broadcast from 2/20-2/26, cable from 2/20-2/26, and satellite from 2/20-3/5. Total for the election: $27.47 million.
Ives ended the fourth quarter with $404K and has reported raising about $2.7 million since then. She appears to have an ad burn rate of about $633K per week. She has overhead costs as well, so at this spending rate she doesn’t have nearly enough gas left in the tank to make it to primary day. She needs another Uihlein check within the next, let’s say, 3-10 days.
Check out how Rauner has upped his spending rate this week. At that rate, he’ll spend another $5 million or so by primary day.
Kennedy. Sheesh. He’s spent less than a Tier One state Senate candidate. And yet he’s still in the hunt.
Biss’ current spending rate means he’ll spend another $2 million or so after the end of this month. His 12/31 cash on hand plus reported contributions this year equal $4.3 million. Add in the small, unreported contributions this year, which (judging from the past rate of 10 percent) could be $100K or so. That works out to about $1.76 million available minus his overhead, which he’s kept pretty low. He’s gonna need a bigger boat if he wants to remain at this pace, but contributions tend to pick up as election day nears.
If you average all the polls taken since January, Pritzker is at about 35 percent. So, his advertisement spending equals $785,000 per percentage point. And that doesn’t count all the rest of his spending. He’s way over a million bucks per poll point.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* This system has to be changed…
Folks who tried to cast Democratic ballots Thursday at the city’s sole early-voting location were turned away if they lived in the Southwest Side 7th County Board district, which covers about one-tenth of Chicago.
That’s because a Circuit Court judge restored Raul Montes Jr. to the 7th District ballot for now. Election officials knocked him off, but an appeal continues.
Chicago Board of Elections officials said they were reprogramming the touch screens being used at 16 W. Adams St. so they’d be ready to go again Friday morning.
I mean, Cook County already has an assessor candidate on the ballot who was kicked off and now this.
*** UPDATE *** Sarah Brune of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform in comments…
Here is some background research ICPR did on this topic: https://mailchi.mp/ilcampaign/illinois-must-make-changes-to-protect-early-voting.
There are a few options as we see it (RNUG outlines them well):
- Move up the candidate filing deadline to early November so that there is more time for petition challenges to play out
- Shorten the initial 30-day judicial review for petition challenges (this would help, but not completely solve the problem)
- Determine a statewide protocol for proceeding with ballot certification when challenges are ongoing. This is something that can be discussed among election officials, but there should be just one way of handling it. Right now, some jurisdictions proceed with voting, but let voters know that their choices may not count if the ballot changes, while others turn voters away and ask them to vote later. In other jurisdictions, voters will be asked to come re-cast ballots if changes are made.
The calendar right now is set up to fail, and needs to be changed to accommodate early voting and longer petition challenges. Otherwise, this will continue to happen for every Primary and Consolidated Election in the future.
- Posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
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- Posted by Advertising Department
* Not the strongest endorsement I’ve ever seen, to say the least. Here’s Crain’s…
In the March 20 primary, Republican voters face a stark choice. Rauner’s mulish stewardship of the state has been very nearly disastrous, a four-year-long display of brinkmanship and ineffectual trash-talking that’s caused maximum pain for minimum gain. He’s being challenged on his right by state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a DuPage County conservative whose campaign seems largely animated by outrage over so-called sanctuary cities as well as Rauner’s decision to sign into law a controversial measure to expand taxpayer-subsidized abortions—though he’s certainly provided her with plenty of additional opportunities to heap scorn on him and his record. With backing from at least one deep-pocketed megadonor, Uline founder Richard Uihlein, Ives proves to be a real threat to the incumbent. Nevertheless, she has disqualified herself from serious consideration first by essentially arguing that the rest of the state doesn’t need Chicago and then by airing what easily are among the most appalling campaign spots in the history of political advertising.
For all his faults—and there are many—the governor deserves an up-or-down vote on his record so far. The best that voters pulling a Republican ballot this year can hope for is that Rauner can somehow do better this time around than last time, and because he’s the only reasonable option in the GOP field, he gets our endorsement.
* Same goes for Pritzker…
Rauner made the dual mistakes of underestimating Madigan while also failing to acknowledge that the man represents a constituency and must be dealt with, like him or not. Pritzker risks overlearning those lessons, striking too deferential a posture toward a pol who bears as much blame as Rauner does for Illinois’ current shambolic state, if not more. If voters are to risk handing the governor’s mansion to the same party that currently controls the House and the Senate, they must be assured the chief executive is capable of acting independently with the best interests of the entire state at heart, not just those of Madigan and his minions. Between now and the general election, Pritzker must prove he’s not just another cog in the Democratic machine.
Crain’s has covered Pritzker for years, and the man we’ve gotten to know in that time is a smart and pragmatic leader. Based on that record, we’re endorsing him in the Democratic primary. It’s something of a leap of faith, especially after our failed experiment with another rich businessman who brought no political experience to the job. But among the Democratic options, Pritzker is the best choice for Chicago business.
- Posted by Rich Miller
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