(Note from Hannah: I changed the title of this post because upon further reflection, Rauner did not commit to not sending any troops if asked, just that he was “not giving that any thought whatsoever.”)
* After a long day of taking arrows from critics calling on Gov. Rauner to rescind his April offer to send Illinois National Guard troops to the Southern U.S. border in light of the child separation policy, the governor this afternoon told reporters he is not thinking about it.
Reporter: “What kind of thought are you giving right now to the idea of sending Illinois National Guard troops to the Texas border?”
Rauner: “I’m not giving that any thought whatsoever. What I am calling on is for us to end the policy of separating families. It is bad policy, it’s wrong, it’s heartbreaking, it’s not the moral thing to do. We need to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration but separating families is not the right answer. I’m strongly against that and I’ve made my views clear to Federal Government.”
Reporter: “What are you doing to that effect? Have you spoken at all to the Trump administration?”
Rauner: “We’ve been in communication with the White House, we’ve been in communication with members of Congress.”
* Earlier in the day and yesterday, the governor’s office had been less direct answering the question, saying only that the governor did not support the policy, but not going as far as committing to not send National Guard troops.
Two Republican governors in Blue states, Gov. Charlie Barker of Massachuetts and Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, announced within the last day that they would pull resources out and not send more National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
We demand that J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois, pay his organizing fellows. Organizing fellows are student workers who spend at least 15 hours a week doing critical organizing work, from recruiting volunteers, to hosting organizing meetings, to knocking on doors. But despite their critical work, J.B. pays them nothing.
J.B. would have no difficulty paying his fellows. He’s now donated over $100,000,000 to his campaign. His net worth, according to Forbes, is $3.5 billion. The race is predicted to be the most expensive governor’s race in history. Top members of management are feeling it: as of March 30th, his campaign manager alone had earned over $207,000 according to campaign disclosures. But the college students who work for J.B.’s campaign as fellows for at least 15 hours a week, who balance performing essential campaign functions with class work and enormous amounts of student debt, make nothing.
“The Pritzker campaign compensates both our interns and fellows, and they are also provided travel compensation and the opportunity for school credit,” Pritzker campaign communications director Galia Slayen said in response.
When I accessed the “Internships” link (https://www.jbpritzker.com/internships/) in the footer of the Pritzker website at around 3 p.m., the text said the positions are paid and that applicants could “receive school credit depending on degree requirements.”
From LaBounty in an email…
1. The campaign’s fellowship posting, as of yesterday, still listed the fellowship as an “unpaid fellowship opportunity.” Screenshot of that attached. The campaign has clearly changed its line here. Today, they’re saying it’s paid; yesterday, they (through their website) said it’s unpaid.
2. Campaigns will sometimes try to make it possible for more students to work as interns or fellows by offering transportation and meals, either on a weekly, monthly, or per diem basis. Even when this is provided as a stipend, it’s not compensation for hours worked: it is material support to allow the fellow or intern to avoid incurring costs while fulfilling the demands of the position. While not having to pay to work is a step in the right direction, it’s simply not being paid to work. Fair compensation would be $15/hour.
My understanding is that, to the extent to the Pritzker campaign has given such material support, it’s been structured as a stipend for transportation and/or mean;s, not as payment for hours worked. I’ve also heard that it is only being made available to a subset of fellows.
LaBounty said the CWG did not attempt to contact the Pritzker campaign directly before posting its petition. The Pritzker campaign has not spoken directly with CWG since the petition was posted.
Perhaps the two sides should, I don’t know, talk to one another before this escalates any further.
* CBS’ morning show aired a full story this a.m. about the possible sale of Lincoln artifacts to cover the $9.7 million the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation still owes on a $23 million loan the museum used to buy Lincoln artifacts in the first place. By full story, I mean CBS even dispatched a reporter to Springfield.
Finke reported last month that the Foundation was considering auctioning off some of the items, including a stovepipe hat that purportedly belonged to Lincoln, gloves that were in his jacket the night he was assassinated, quill pen and a fan that belonged to Mary Todd Lincoln. The Foundation has paid down more than $13 million on the loan so far, but the rest comes due in October 2019.
The CBS reporter asked Foundation CEO Carla Knorowski whether the museum’s public plea for donations is a kind of “bailout.”
“We would encourage them to not to view it as a bailout but rather as an opportunity to give back to the man who’s done so much for us,” Knorowski said.
However, former Foundation board member Tony Leone is quoted as saying, “Somebody’s got some ‘spaining to do.”
“We really don’t have any serious accounting of how much they raise every year and how much they spend,” he added, saying he thinks it’s reached the level of a scandal.
* Last month the Foundation said it was in talks with Gov. Rauner’s office to secure some state funds to cover the museum’s debt. However, I’m told nothing came of it, and a Ctrl+F search of the enacted budget shows only basic maintenance spending for “ordinary and contingent expenses.”
A GoFundMe page the Foundation started last month has raised $8,814 as of this afternoon, up from the $7,000 mentioned on-air this morning.
* Gov. Rauner was on Maze Jackson and Charles Thomas’ WVON morning show this a.m. Today is June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, the day slavery formally ended. Jackson posted video of the morning show on his YouTube channel, labeling it “Juneteenth, but are we free though?” Rauner is officially recognizing today as Juneteenth Day.
The group started out asking Rauner about the new Pritzker campaign ad, “Porcelain Prince,” and Thomas mentioned that Pritzker in turn repeatedly hammers Rauner as a “failed governor.”
Charles Thomas: Tell us why you’re not a failure.
Rauner: …We’ve done historic things for the Black community, I would argue more than any other governor. Creating economic opportunity, making more equality in contracting. We’ve done historic things and we’re going to keep on fighting —
Maze Jackson: Hold on, Governor. You said you did more than any other governor for Black folks?
Jackson: I don’t know, man. I’m going to tell you — Rod Blagojevich. Man, right now we did a poll and we said if Rod Blagojevich got out of jail right now, he could beat Rahm Emanuel in an election.
Jackson then asked if Rauner wouldn’t be the least bit happy if Blagojevich got out of jail, if only for an election boost for himself.
Thomas got the conversation back on track, asking Rauner about a recent executive order targeted at making state contractors within a certain community reflect the actual business ownership. It’s specific to Black-owned business owners and will hold state employees responsible for contracting accountable for awarding contracts to Black-owned businesses when possible.
Rauner: That’s one of the reasons I say I’m fighting — you know, it’s one thing to promote social spending, human services programs. That’s fine. Blagojevich did a lot of that. Okay, great. I respect that and I support a lot of that too.
I support a lot of that too. But I’ve done more for Black business, for Black economic opportunity and Black education opportunity than anybody.
Thomas: As opposed to minorities?
Rauner: I’ve helped all minorities. But especially, I’ve been great for Black businesses and African American schools. No governor’s done more than me.
* Last week’s employment numbers revealed that while statewide unemployment is down, unemployment among African Americans in Illinois is the highest in the nation.
* More context for the EO the Governor is referring to. A WCIA story from last month reported the Black Caucus was blaming Rauner for shrinking state contracts among Black-owned businesses.
The Illinois Black Legislative Caucus accuses him of showboating for political gain. They say, in reality, his administration only made this problem worse by failing to enforce laws they’ve already passed.
At a press conference Thursday morning, the caucus shared data from the Business Enterprise Program (BEP), a state program designed to help women, minorities and disabled business owners partner with the state. While participation has grown, it shows over the last two years, the amount of money spent on black vendors has dropped 22%.
“All we’re trying to do is ask him to be fair and honest instead of playing lip service with these very important issues and pay attention to a lot of things we put into that bill,“ says Rep. Al Riley (D- Chicago).
Rauner’s office pushed back on the notion he’s hurt black business since taking office. They say compared to Gov. Quinn’s administration, the state is spending $32.7 million more on African-American vendors.
“I want equal opportunity and government that plays fair,” says Gov. Rauner.
*** UPDATE 1***
* Responses from Twitter…
Every single unbalanced budget @BruceRauner proposed had targeted cuts to programs that disproportionately affect our community.
What @GovRauner has done for black ppl: blow up hundreds of black owned child care businesses; have a cabinet w/ less diversity than a country club; refuse to comment on a racist cartoon; called our schools crumbling prisons; cut Ceasefire causing more shootings. You’ve lost it. https://t.co/p3DyEDBvhP
2016: Trump asks Black people what we have to lose. 2018: IL Black unemployment highest in the nation, investment in Black business & contracting down & social services decimated. At every turn, our Prez and Gov use Black people as props for political gain. It's exhausting.
* Was forwarded a newsletter from the National Black Chamber of Commerce, which praised Rauner in its May 21st edition of the newsletter…
There is no elected official in our nation who is showing the commitment of Governor Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois. His recent Executive Order should be used as an example for all mayors, county executives and governors throughout our nation. We, the federation of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, should show our appreciation and recognize his wisdom. We are preparing a thank you letter and, hereby, ask for all NBCC chapters and other business associations to join in.
*** UPDATE 3***
* Statements from both JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. candidate Rep. Juliana Stratton…
“Bruce Rauner fabricated a track record of standing up for the black community when he’s been nothing short of a failure,” said JB Pritzker. “While Rauner pays lip service, Illinois’ black unemployment rate is the highest in the nation. That’s after Rauner’s budget crisis crushed small businesses, decimated social services, reduced access to child care assistance for working families, and forced anti-violence programs to freeze operations. Rauner tried to exploit divisions between Chicago and downstate with racially charged language and even refused to call KKK leader David Duke a racist. There’s nothing more shameful than a failed governor using a day that commemorates freedom and the fight for justice to grandstand and spread lies.”
“Juneteenth is about freedom and our fight for economic justice,” said State Representative Juliana Stratton. “For Bruce Rauner to take this day and pretend to be a champion for the black community, when he has done nothing but turn the clock back for our communities, is appalling and deeply insulting. This is the same Bruce Rauner who vetoed a $15 minimum wage, disinvested in our small businesses, and drove our state to the highest black unemployment rate in the nation. Illinois deserves a leader who ensures no community is left behind and that is not and never will be Bruce Rauner.”
*** UPDATE 3***
Got a response from the Sen. Kim Lightford (D-Maywood), Black Caucus Chair…
“And here I thought Bruce Rauner, as a white man, wasn’t going to have anything else to say about race. Well, since he brought it up, a true friend of the black community wouldn’t have slashed funding for Chicago State University, wiped out childcare assistance, grossly underfunded Teen REACH, waged a war against the students and teachers in Chicago Public Schools and vetoed an increase in the minimum wage.
Perhaps the self-proclaimed protector of the black community forgot that black-owned businesses didn’t get paid during his impasse.
Maybe he needs to be reminded that African American women get breast cancer, too, and benefit from the screenings he tried to eliminate.
And in the midst of all this exaggeration let’s not forget that under Bruce Rauner’s watch the African American unemployment rate in Illinois is the highest in the nation.
Some friend he is.
Next, he’s probably going to tell us he really liked Black Panther, too.
That movie contains less fiction than Rauner’s claims.”
“We have a very deep pipeline of interested tenants but someone had to be the first,” said Brian Whiting, founder and president of the Telos Group, which is representing 601W in leasing the building.
“It gives us momentum and it gives us credibility, and we are confident that we will be announcing additional commitments in the very near future,” Whiting said in an email.
Walgreens and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday discussed details of the deal and unveiled renderings of the planned space in a news conference in the historic building’s lobby. The Tribune last week reported Walgreens’ plans to move into the building, and the company later confirmed plans to move 1,800 corporate employees there — 500 from a Loop office in the Sullivan Center and 1,300 from the company’s north suburban campus.
“We’re comfortable that we’re not going to be the only tenant here (in the Old Post Office),” said Joe Brady, vice president of real estate at Walgreens. “Frankly, we’re proud to be a catalyst to help this project go even faster.”
The mayor is trying to play things close to his vest so as not to anger Amazon as he and mayors across the U.S. wait for the company to conclude its lengthy, secretive process to decide where to locate its second headquarters and as many as 50,000 employees.
But asked Monday whether Walgreens’ decision to locate 1,800 employees at the old post office in the South Loop takes that building off the table for Amazon, Emanuel offered some insights.
“I don’t want to violate anything with Amazon, so I think when you — know this, let me do it this way so I’m not (violating), I want to be careful,” Emanuel said. “On our original proposal to Amazon we had 10 sites. When they came, they saw five sites. It is our understanding they like, really like, two sites. So let me say that.”
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said she is concerned that they haven’t seen any sort of stormwater management plan for the project, which is set to break ground later this month.
Kovarik said the project will turn hundreds or thousands of acres of farmland into impermeable surface that if not properly managed could increase the amount of rain that runs down the Des Plaines River.
“When that water comes out of Wisconsin, we’re the first community it really hits,” Kovarik said. “We’re built right on the river. We have major arteries that get shut down from flooding.”
* The President is scheduled to meet with Congressional Republicans later today as public pressure mounts to end the Dept. of Homeland Security’s policy of separating migrant children from their families.
The Governor’s Office is responding to requests for comment on whether Rauner supports the policy or not with this statement…
“Governor Rauner does not support this policy. He believes we need to secure our border and end illegal immigration,” spokeswoman Rachel Bold said. “But separating children from their parents is bad policy and heartbreaking. We can and should do better as a nation.”
In April, Rauner had said he would send Illinois National Guard troops to the border, if asked. The governor’s office did not respond to a question if Rauner would follow Baker in reversing that decision.
*** UPDATE 1 *** - The Pritzker campaign has launched a $1 million Facebook ad buy providing people the means to call Gov. Rauner’s office and encouraging him to rescind his position of sending National Guard troops if they are called upon. Per Natasha Korecki…
*** UPDATE 1:32 p.m. ***
* Need to do a correction here. I should have also made sure of this figure. -HM.
Flagging a correction to today's IL Playbook on Pritzker Facebook ads hitting Rauner on immigration: Pritzker campaign is spending enough to reach 1M people (not spending $1M) –> https://t.co/lNuJKpJg0Q
The social media campaign allows readers to call Rauner’s office to complain with one click.
“Months ago, this governor offered the Illinois National Guard to this racist, bigoted president and now refuses to call on Trump to end this horrific policy,” Pritzker said in a statement. “By not rescinding his offer, Rauner is helping Trump enforce a policy that goes against the same values our nation was founded on. He’s carrying on in complicit silence while Trump forces families to live in fear.”
It is the responsibility of every single one of us now — descendants of immigrants and keepers of American values — to speak out. That includes the governor of our state. I’m calling on Bruce Rauner to stand with bipartisan leaders in Illinois to fight against this horrific policy. This is a time for leadership and a moment for all of us who seek to serve the public to truly serve.
The world is watching and history is being written. It isn’t often that we are faced with absolute rights and wrongs, and this is an absolute wrong that goes to the heart of who we are as Americans.
His office on Monday would only say that Rauner wants to end illegal immigration but doesn’t support the controversial policy.
Asked by the Sun-Times whether Rauner believes the policy is in place because of the Trump administration, or Democrats, as Trump has suggested, the governor’s office did not respond.
As President Donald Trump defended new procedures at the southern border, Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton said the administration needs “to reverse course immediately.”
Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano said he is “troubled by the situation at the border” and that he would support legislation to remedy it.
Roskam hopes Republican legislation that includes increased border security and a compromise on students brought into the U.S. illegally when they were children will also keep migrant families together.
“There’s an urgency to make sure this happens, either by the administration, and if doesn’t happen by the administration, then it happens by a change in the law,” Roskam said.
A Hultgren aide said the congressman would look closely at whatever legislation comes to the House floor but wants to see it first before deciding.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, during a stop in Decatur Monday, said the Department of Homeland Security should “absolutely not” be separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“That is going to be part of one of the bills that we are going to debate and hopefully vote on this week. The president is going to speak with the House tomorrow, and I look forward to hearing from him which solution (is) going to get the votes to pass.”
*** UPDATE 11:55 a.m. ***
* Got a response from Rauner campaign spokesman Alex Browning:
“Pritzker is lying. Governor Rauner has already stated that he does not support separating children from their parents.”
* Also got a statement from the Kwame Raoul AG campaign:
“If reading about Donald Trump’s policy to rip innocent children out of the outstretched arms of their parents isn’t convincing enough, I challenge anyone to listen to recently released audio from inside a border facility. Listen to the children’s cries as agents crack jokes and tell me this is what America should sound like. Listen to their fear and their sobbing pleas, and tell me how this is making us safer. This is almost too painful for me as a father to bear, but we can’t look away. We have a responsibility to stand up and declare firmly: This is wrong. This is not who we are, and it must stop.
As the son of Haitian immigrants, I keenly understand how our identity as a nation has been shaped by how we treat those who come to our borders. And as attorney general, I’ll do everything I can to fight Trump’s harmful policies. These children’s cries only sharpen my resolve.”
The Rauner campaign has a new ad hitting the airwaves today, dubbed “Porcelain Prince,” hitting JB Pritzker on the disconnection of toilets in a Gold Coast mansion Prizker owns, which were the basis of a claim to Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios that the home was uninhabitable. The move led to an estimated $230,000 in property tax savings, as the Sun-Times found last spring.
We’re told it’s a seven-figure ad buy on broadcast, cable and digital. The 30-second ad opens with a shot of a toilet with a crown on its seat under a portrait of Pritzker. A narrator tells the abbreviated version of the story over shots of men taking out toilets from a mansion. The ad ends with a man in a suit sitting on a toilet, reading a newspaper on the lawn, surrounded by toilets.
Chicago’s Porcelain Prince of tax avoidance: JB Pritzker.
Pritkzer spent millions on his second Gold Coast mansion, then took out the toilets.
To dodge hundreds of thousands of property taxes, Pritzker removed every single toilet from his multi-million dollar second home and claimed it as uninhabitable.
A royal flush of tax avoidance.
Porcelain Prince JB Pritkzer: Lower taxes for him, higher taxes for you.
Notable that it’s a totally separate issue from months’ worth of recent ads tying Pritzker to Blagojevich. Another place the Rauner campaign uses the toilet issue? On its 404 error page, which I discovered while trying to access a 2014 document last month.
*** 10:27 a.m. (by Barton) ***It’s almost like the Pritzker camp expected this line of attack.
Pritzker is up with an ad that hits Rauner for having nine homes, filing his own property tax appeals, and then claims the Governor wants to raise property taxes. It does not address the uninhabitable declaration in the Rauner spot. Have a look…