Gov. Bruce Rauner says there is potential for “superstar” talent to join the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
The Republican governor is tasked with filling the seats for three trustee terms that expired this month. Rauner said he is interviewing a number of high-caliber candidates.
“If we could land one or two of the individuals we are talking with, it would be national or international headlines,” Rauner said while on a visit to Champaign’s Franklin Middle School on Wednesday. He indicated the candidates care about the UI and already have connections to the school.
As the board prepares to elect new officers Thursday in Chicago, Gov. Bruce Rauner has yet to choose an appointee for the ninth statewide seat vacated last January.
“Our administration is still in the process of considering candidates for this vacancy,” Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold said Tuesday.
Last January, three members’ terms expired: Democrats Patricia Brown-Holmes and Ricardo Estrada and Republican Karen Hasara. At the time, the governor said he hoped to fill those vacancies with “superstar” talent.
“If we could land one or two of the individuals we are talking with,” he said 11 months ago, “it would be national or international headlines.”
Bold did not respond to questions about whether those individuals were still in the mix.
Amazon today announced that it has picked 20 metro areas “to move to the next phase of the process” as it looks for a home for a second headquarters. The 20 areas in alphabetical order:
Montgomery County, Md.
New York City
The list is a broad mix of cities big and small, ranging from Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis to Los Angeles and New York. It includes many of the early favorites, including Austin, Denver, Boston, Toronto and Washington, D.C. Three of the 20 finalists are near the nation’s capital, where Amazon has 2,500 employees.
Chicago was seen as a likely contender, based on Amazon’s criteria of wanting to be in an urban area with more than 1 million people within 45 minutes of an international airport and preferably have direct access to mass transit.
Today, Citizens for Rauner is launching an extended television ad featuring all 11 minutes of the FBI wiretap between JB Pritzker and disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich. It will air in every major media market in Illinois on Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21.
It is in response to JB Pritzker’s claim that last week’s ad featuring his conversation with Blagojevich, in which his insider dealings were exposed, was “selectively edited.” That ad highlighted 60 unedited seconds taken straight from the Chicago Tribune reporting of the FBI wiretaps.
JB Pritzker cannot simply dismiss his conversations with a convicted former governor in which he lobbied for his own appointment to statewide political office and encouraged him to engage in a quid pro quo — especially in light of their well-documented, decades-long, cozy political friendship. JB Pritzker is part of the corruption and cronyism that has plagued Illinois for decades. The people of Illinois deserve better.
As far as the Blagojevich tape making Pritzker unelectable, the evidence would indicate even Rauner doesn’t necessarily believe so.
If he did, why would he be trying so hard to blow up Pritzker’s candidacy at this early stage before Pritzker is even the Democratic nominee?
At the very least, though, the recording is a significant problem for Pritzker, one that he keeps trying to shrug off in the affable style that is nearly as responsible for his popularity with Democratic insiders as his very deep pockets.
In an otherwise strong presentation to the Sun-Times’ Editorial Board, Pritzker stuck to his usual talking points when asked about his relationship with Blagojevich.
“Gov. Blagojevich broke the trust with the people of the state of Illinois, and he’s in prison where he belongs,” Pritzker said. “Sadly, we have a government and once again a governor that’s focused on themselves and not on doing what’s right for the people of the state of Illinois. I’m proud about doing public service. Any conversations I had were about doing public service, and any suggestion by Gov. Blagojevich of any contribution I rebuffed.” […]
My own take is that it’s less damning in its entirety than portrayed, though hardly reassuring.
Today, Daniel Biss announced the endorsement of former United States Senator Adlai Stevenson III.
“Daniel is the only Democratic candidate for governor with legislative experience, having served with distinction in both the House and Senate,” said Adlai Stevenson. “He knows state government—its structure, its processes, and how to pass the policies he believes in. He’s a reformer and a unifier with unparalleled intelligence and integrity. He’s not a billionaire—but the people of Illinois want elections, not auctions. After years of following Daniel’s career, I know he’s the leader we need to get Illinois back on track, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse him today.”
“It’s an honor to receive Adlai’s endorsement,” said Daniel Biss. “A dedicated public servant, long-standing advocate of good government reforms, and expert on all things Illinois politics, Adlai is a trusted friend and advisor. I look forward to having him on our team and to drawing on his experience and ideas as we fight for our shared values in this election cycle and beyond.”
In endorsing Daniel Biss, Adlai Stevenson III joins other progressive leaders and organizations including U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, former Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, State Representatives Kelly Cassidy, Carol Ammons and Will Guzzardi, and many more.