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*** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied

Friday, Dec 14, 2018

* Tribune

Over four years, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown reported $72,000 in income from a side business as a motivational and religious speaker. Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot made nearly $1 million last year as a law firm partner and gave $52,000 to charity. And former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas recorded no taxable income in the year before Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed him to an administrative post at Chicago State University. […]

On Nov. 1, the Tribune requested four years of tax returns complete with all schedules and attachments for 16 declared candidates for mayor.

Lightfoot, Brown, Vallas, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza and state Rep. LaShawn Ford all provided full tax returns for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Law firm partner Gery Chico provided only the top sheets of his Form 1040 for those years without the attached schedules and statements, leaving unanswered what investments he might hold and what tax exemptions he claimed, among other things. […]

Joining Daley in not releasing their tax returns: McCarthy, Enyia, wealthy businessman Willie Wilson, tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin, activist Ja’Mal Green, Southwest Side attorney Jerry Joyce and attorney John Kozlar. The Tribune also requested tax returns from former Ald. Bob Fioretti, a late entrant to the race who so far has not complied. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released his complete tax returns dating back to 2005.

* Meanwhile

Chicago Election Board hearing officer Barbara Goodman on Friday ruled three facets of Preckwinkle’s challenge to Mendoza’s nominating petitions can proceed, while agreeing with the Mendoza campaign to dismiss a fourth. […]

Goodman said the Preckwinkle campaign hadn’t established a pattern of fraud by some of those who collected Mendoza’s signatures, and so struck that argument from the challenge.

But she said evidence must be presented before she can rule on Preckwinkle’s allegations that more than 13,000 signatures the Mendoza campaign submitted do not match people registered at those addresses, as well as claims of duplicate signatures and other problems with the names. […]

[Mendoza campaign lawyer Tony Jacob] said Mendoza has been prevailing on the vast majority of the line-by-line signature arguments the campaigns are waging behind the scenes.

* This is small potatoes money-wise, but they need to pay more attention to this stuff over there…

He gave her the contribution in 2016.

* SEIU Local 1 has a long-running grudge against Simon, and the union is backing Toni Preckwinkle, so keep that in mind…

The following is a statement from SEIU Local 1 spokesman Nick Desideri in response to reports Susana Mendoza intends to return a campaign contribution from alleged mob associate and anti-worker United Maintenance head Richard Simon. Both Bill Daley and Gery Chico returned donations from Simon in 2013 and 2010 respectively:

“It speaks volumes about Susana Mendoza that she only returned alleged mob associate Richard Simon’s 2016 donation amid her mayoral run and serious federal scrutiny of her mentor Ed Burke.

“What is Mendoza’s relationship to Simon and Burke that it took her years and the pressure of a federal investigation to return this troubling donation from an alleged mob associate?”

*** UPDATE *** Ouch…

* Related…

* After latest allegations, Preckwinkle says she would strip Ald. Burke of powers

* Skepticism greets Chicago’s $10 billion pension bond plan

* The mayoral housing forum that almost wasn’t

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

*** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary

Friday, Dec 14, 2018

* Craig Wall

Bruce Rauner, in his final month as governor, revealed in an exclusive interview that he tried to convince two men and two women to run in his place this election cycle.

“And I said I’ll step aside, I’ll give you huge financial resources, you run for governor, I’ll support you. You have as good or better chance to get elected than me. All four of them said no, too tough, too unlikely, too difficult,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.

Sources say former state senator Karen McConnaughey was one of them, when reached by phone she declined to comment. Sources also say Cubs part-owner Todd Ricketts was unsuccessfully recruited by Rauner. […]

“When President Trump won the White House, but lost Illinois by 16 points, I think 16 to 17 points, that changed the dynamic from good chance for reelection to very, very difficult chance for reelection,” Rauner said.

* Rick Pearson

Sources said Rauner’s recruitment effort also included Todd Ricketts, a member of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs who is now finance chairman of the Republican National Committee; and Erika Harold, an Urbana attorney who at the time was the GOP nominee for attorney general. She ultimately lost to Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul. A source close to Harold said Rauner contacted her about replacing him on the ticket in August, mere months before the general election. […]

McConnaughay, who retired from the legislature in September, said Rauner’s effort to remove himself from the ticket was “indicative of how he governed” and how he repeatedly sought to avoid blame for failures.

“He tried to take himself out the same way he came in. He never learned the job,” McConnaughay said.

“He really came into office with this belief that he had some sort of mandate to strong-arm his agenda through. But he never understood the process. He didn’t try to understand the process. He didn’t think he needed to understand the process,” she said. “As a result, he demonstrated a lack of respect for the process.”

* Greg Bishop

[Rep. Jeanne Ives] said she was not one of the four asked.

“It was obvious from the beginning that he was not serious about winning the race so he destroyed Republicans up and down the ticket by not bowing out politely and letting someone else take the lead,” Ives said.

She said there’s no doubt in her mind GOP leadership in Illinois knew about this and “let this go on.” She demanded top leadership step down.

“It’s really unfortunate for everybody involved in politics who now completely understand that [Rauner] essentially bought his race and then lied down to the Democrats and was never going to be the watchdog that we need in the face of Pritzker’s tax increase and increased spending that will drive Illinois to the brink of disaster,” Ives said. […]

“Politics is a very tough game,” Ives said. “If you’re heart’s not in it, it will show through and voters will know you’re not authentic and Rauner was not authentic and voters knew it.”

“I hope it’s a wake up call for all these other elected officials who sat on the sidelines while Rauner lied about who I am and what I stand for and they let him get away with it,” Ives said.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider

Neither myself nor the staff at the Illinois Republican Party had any knowledge of the discussions Governor Rauner had regarding his candidacy.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Daily Herald

Karen McConnaughay said Rauner approached her in April about taking his place, but she quickly rebuffed his proposal.

“I was concerned in my conversations that he didn’t really understand that if he really did want to take his name off the ballot, that he couldn’t just pick a replacement,” she said. “He hadn’t sought any counsel about the process, so he couldn’t understand it.” […]

In the end, McConnaughay said the conversation mostly focused on the protocols of replacing him on the ballot and her trying to explain to him that it’s not something he gets to do in a vacuum.

“It was not the kind of conversation you could take seriously, because he had not contemplated the process of how any of that would work,” she said. “To replace a sitting person on the ballot is the work of the party, not a hand-picked choice. I was flattered that he thought of me, but there’s a whole process to this, and I told him to do careful consideration to all of that before you have conversations with people about replacing him on the ballot.”

…Adding… INN

“They knew that Rauner was not in for the fight,” said Ives, R-Wheaton. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they knew he asked others to run. [Schneider] can say what he wants to all day long, I do not believe him.”

McConnaughay said she didn’t know if GOP officials were aware Rauner wanted someone else to take over in the race against Pritzker.

“I only know what I know and I’m not interested in engaging in conspiracy theories, I’ll leave that to Representative Ives,” McConnaughay said.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Cook County Republican Chairman…

Sean Morrison condemns Bruce Rauner;
calls for emergency Illinois GOP Meeting

Chicago, IL – To learn yesterday that Bruce Rauner secretly tried to abdicate his candidacy - on several occasions - is an affront to everyone in the Illinois Republican Party and the entire State of Illinois. It is an egregious betrayal of trust that countless members of the Republican Party placed in him, and that 1.7 Million residents of Illinois had when they cast their vote for him in November.

I personally asked the Governor on two separate occasions before the Primary if he was committed to his re-election. Both times, to my face, he made clear that he was all in – not only for himself but for all Statewide candidates. We now know, by his own admission, that he deceived me and others.

Evidently, the deception didn’t end there. After the primary, Bruce explicitly promised a statewide absentee ballot and early voting program to boost Republican turnout. Was the program ever implemented? No. And his answer to questions about this program’s failure was nothing more than continued excuses.

It is abundantly clear now that Rauner’s lack of commitment to his own campaign for re-election brought about complete failure. But he didn’t just fail himself, he failed each and every Republican candidate across the state, and as a result, we lost in record numbers; many races we might have otherwise won had his commitments been kept.

It saddens me to have to say this, but this private surrender by Bruce Rauner shows a lack of loyalty, integrity, and character. Many good people across our state, including myself, stood with and supported Bruce Rauner over the last four years even in the midst of many horrible policy decisions made by the governor. But we remained loyal, steadfast and committed to the Governor and all Republican Party candidates – from the top to the bottom of the ticket.

Every person that committed their time, effort and money to re-elect the Governor, from the 75 year old retiree making phone calls to the 18 year old high schooler who walked door to door in the rain for the Governor and the entire Republican ticket is owed an apology.

As a Republican elected official and a member of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee, this kind of betrayal and deception is totally unacceptable and has no place within our party. For this reason, I will call for an emergency meeting of the Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee to address this deeply troubling matter and to immediately forge a plan forward to rebuild our party as one that will fight for the working families of Illinois and will challenge Illinois Democratic Party policies that have forced our state into economic peril.

- Posted by Rich Miller   92 Comments      

Feds re-raid Ald. Burke’s office

Friday, Dec 14, 2018

* Carol Marin

This time there was no brown paper covering the entrance to the third floor finance committee office at Chicago’s City Hall, but federal agents returned to the office of Alderman Ed Burke on Thursday, sources tell NBC 5.

According to two sources, six to eight federal agents arrived at the alderman’s City Hall office at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon with a search and seizure warrant.

Just two weeks ago on Nov. 29, agents executed search warrants on both Burke’s 14th Ward office and his finance committee suite.

Like the previous search, there is still no official word on what agents were looking for when they searched the offices.

…Adding… Sun-Times

Former Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans is laying out a bill of particulars against Ald. Edward Burke (14th), alleging that he worked repeatedly behind the scenes to inappropriately pressure her and her staff on airport business. […]

• Burke personally intervened to make sure that the clout-heavy United Maintenance, which held janitorial contracts at O’Hare Airport, got paid promptly.

• Burke pushed to renew or extend a contract with Go Airport, which operates a shuttle service at O’Hare.

• Burke worked to help Clear Channel, the company that controls indoor advertising at O’Hare, when it was upset over a competitor’s actions at the airport.

• When dozens of leases for hangars and aviation support facilities were coming up for renewal, the City was obligated to offer them the same business terms. Those terms required City Council approval. However, Burke insisted that each lease be separately submitted to Council – which delayed and complicated the approvals.

Click here for some background on United Maintenance.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Friday, Dec 14, 2018

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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