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Kennedy blasts Pritzker for “buying off” black politicians

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018

[Comments are now open on this post.]

* Remember when I told you Friday about how JB Pritzker was spreading around a ton of cash to local political organizations? Well, the Kennedy campaign was working on the same idea at the time and it kind of exploded later in the day

Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy on Friday accused rival J.B. Pritzker of “buying off” elected officials, including local African-American leaders as part of an “apology tour” over 2008 remarks about potential black successors to Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. […]

Kennedy said Pritzker gave the money “in hopes they will help voters forget who he is really is — someone who was caught on FBI wiretap tapes with Rod Blagojevich, asking for political favors and ingratiating himself with the disgraced governor by making comments disrespectful of the African-American leadership in our state.”

“He’s taken pay-to-play politics and amplified the system from pay to play, to fund to forgive and fee to forget. He’s buying off the leadership,” Kennedy said outside the Loop headquarters of the state Democratic Party. […]

Among Kennedy’s major supporters is U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush. The Kennedy campaign has paid $26,354 to the congressman’s brother, Marlon Rush, and $17,120 to a son of the congressman, Jeffrey Rush, state election records showed.

* From a Sun-Times video clip of the Kennedy presser

“He’s buying off the leadership. He’d rather have the ward organizations than the “Indivisible” groups. It’s clear he’d rather hang out with Cook County committeemen than with the People’s Choice Coalition. He’d rather side with the leaders than with the people. This type of leadership has no place in the new Illinois. The reality is voters want people-powered leadership not crammed-down politics that’s survived for too long. That needs to change. And I’m running to change it. We want to be with the people interested in social justice, not people interested in pinstripe patronage and government contracts. We want servant leaders not leaders of servants. Our Democratic Party, many of its incumbents have become stifling forces in our state.”

* Um, just a couple of weeks ago, Kennedy criticized Pritzker during a debate for not contributing to black candidates…


Not sure if you’re following this debate or not, but Chris mentioned JB’s low percentage of contributions to African-American candidates.

When JB Pritzker was caught on tape making disparaging comments about African-American leadership, his only line of defense was that, “I’ve supported a lot of candidates over the years who are people of color…”

The fact is, before JB Pritzker launched his campaign for governor, less than 1/4 of 1 percent of JB’s $2.1 million in political contributions was given to African-American candidates running for statewide and local office in Illinois.

Kennedy’s campaign tried to gin up that topic for several days without success. So, now the Kennedy campaign has changed course.

* The push back was rough

Ald. Rod Sawyer, chairman of the City Council Black caucus and a Pritzker supporter, confirms his 6th ward got money from Pritzker, and he hinted he might not campaign hard for Kennedy if he wins the primary, “Now if that Democratic nominee happens to be Kennedy and he’s disparaging us, how’s that gonna work for him? How’s that work?”

Apparently, Kennedy thinks they’ll either forgive and forget by November or he doesn’t need them. He’d be wrong about the second part, so if he does manage to win he’s going to have to embark on his own apology tour after March 20th.

* Sun-Times

Pritzker’s parade of contributions includes $29,500 to Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, $27,500 to Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), $16,000 to Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) and $15,000 to Ald. Walter Burnett (27th). […]

The always outspoken [Ald. Carrie Austin] was furious when told of Kennedy’s charge.

“I’ve sat quiet long enough. And I’m not gonna sit and die and let Chris Kennedy slander me. The hell with Chris Kennedy. I’m more than insulted by this so and so. Nobody can buy Carrie. Nobody! J.B. didn’t give me a dime when I endorsed him. Not one dime,” Austin said, her voice rising.

“I hope he don’t get nobody’s vote except for Sen. Emil Jones, Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. If they don’t see that they’re trying to divide the black community, they are fools.” […]

Like Austin, Scott said the $16,000 from Pritzker had nothing to do with his endorsement. But it will help “build an organization” in Scott’s West Side ward that has not existed for decades, the alderman said.

* NBC 5

“The way it works now is in order for committemen to operate, and just to open our doors on Election Day, it costs $10,000,” Alderman Walter Burnett said. “We all need help in order to run elections.”

* Three aldermen, including Ald. Burnett, held a press conference to blast Kennedy and defend Pritzker

* Here’s part of what Ald. Burnett said..

“They can try to pull all the desperate BS stuff that they’re trying to pull up, trying to play the race card, trying to play the Blago thing. It’s all BS. It’s a sign of desperation because they know that they are going to lose. And they know that JB got the right guys working for them and we’re gonna kick their butts. That’s what it’s all about.”

* Ald. Michael Scott Jr. made some harsh accusations about Kennedy’s non-involvement with his ward

“I went through a process of trying to figure out who was going to be the best person for my community and by far that has been JB. JB has been out to my community at least four or five times. I reached out to other candidates to come out and see if they would broach the issues that affect North Lawndale, broach the issues that affect East and West Garfield and I have yet to receive a phone call back from any one of those.”

Scott said he reached out to Kennedy “several times myself,” but Kennedy has “yet to call me back.

“He may call me back now, but now I don’t want the call,” Scott said. “When you’re desperate and things aren’t going your way, you start throwing and slinging mud and see what sticks.”

* Sen. Biss gets the last word

While Kennedy criticized Pritzker for his spending, candidate Daniel Biss attempted to distance himself from the other two candidates.

“There’s the Madigan-Pritzker wing of the Democratic Party, and the progressive-independent wing, which I’m a part of,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

Sunday Jeanne Ives roundup

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018

[Comments are now open on this post.]

* From a letter to the editor of the Champaign News-Gazette

I do not believe in, nor trust, Ives to become our next governor when she supports and backs people like Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Can’t she see that the state of lllinois is in the financial mess it is because of Madigan and his followers? We’ve had enough of that type leadership in Illinois. So no, I will not support nor will I back Ives.

I had my traditional pre-primary discussion with a family member who doesn’t follow politics and gets most of his information on campaigns from TV news and advertising. He is a lifelong Republican who despises Gov. Bruce Rauner (retired AFSCME), but he said he can’t vote for Ives because she’s controlled by Madigan.

And he’s not the only one. I’m getting reports from the doors of average voters saying the same thing. That “Who’s really behind Jeanne Ives?” ad of Rauner’s is doing its job. Ives doesn’t have the cash to effectively counter it, so she’s getting buried by it.

* Meanwhile, the Rockford Register-Star endorsed Ives

Passion, energy and an “I’m-mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” attitude make Jeanne Ives our choice in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Ives has legislative experience, unlike Gov. Bruce Rauner, and knows how to get things done in Springfield.

Um, of all the bills she herself introduced since January of 2017, precisely one has become the law of the land

Amends the Public Water District Act. Provides that a general manager of a public water district may be discharged at a meeting of the board of trustees upon a majority vote of the members

The only other Ives bill to get a floor vote in that same time period lost on 3rd Reading by a vote of 43-70.

* Back to the editorial board endorsement

Many newspapers across the state back Rauner because of school financing and criminal justice reforms and because their editorial boards were disgusted by Ives’ television commercial playing off stereotypes of immigrants, the LGBTQ community, union workers and people on public assistance.

We were disgusted by the ad as well, but it was not enough for us to withdraw our support for Ives.

* Related…

* Gov. Rauner debates his ads about Jeanne Ives w/Berkowitz: Truthful or gross distortions?: Ives said, to the Crain’s editorial board on Jan. 22, 2018 she’d start by working to repeal the income tax hike that was approved over Rauner’s veto. But “I wouldn’t do that immediately,” she said. “I suspect that, within two years, we could set that out as a goal.” The Citizens for Rauner mailer states: “Jeanne Ives wants to keep Mike Madigan’s 32% income tax hike,” and it refers to Jeanne Ives as “Mike Madigan’s favorite candidate.” … Ives said she couldn’t get the $5 billion tax bill repealed NOW—but Rauner couldn’t even sustain his 2017 veto of that bill, w many Republicans jumping ship.

* Jeanne Ives’ GOP insurgency: “People keep asking, ‘Can I win?’ I like to ask, ‘Should I win?” Ives said. Jim Nowlan, a Republican and retired political science researcher for the University of Illinois, is dismissive of Ives’ chance. “Bruce Rauner is an unpopular governor. I think Jeanne Ives has the potential to embarrass the governor by doing well in the primary,” he said. “I could see her getting 40 percent of the vote. But I can’t see her winning. Bruce Rauner is an incumbent and he has far more resources.”

* Gun Confiscation Begins in Illinois: Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives voted no on the measure, and expressed her concern about the issue earlier this week when Illinois Review asked her about raising the age buying a gun to age 21. “What other rights are we going to raise to age 21?” Ives answered. “The age is arbitrary. The average age of a mass shooter is somewhere in the 30s.”

* Five Republican Incumbents Facing Challengers From the Far Right: In fact, Governor Rauner is leading her by about 20 points in primary polling. Which makes a person wonder — if Rauner is already so unpopular and he’s still trouncing Ives, how bad must she really be?

* The John Williams Show: Gubernatorial Candidate Jeanne Ives joins the conversation to explain her belief that the CityKey allows undocumented immigrants to vote

* Illinois Governor Candidates at Odds on Marijuana Use: Gov. Bruce Rauner implemented the pilot program in 2015, but he has recently fought in court attempts to expand the list of qualifying conditions. He is against legalization for recreational purposes. His primary competitor, Rep. Jeanne Ives, has consistently railed against any type of legalization.

* Rauner pledges support for Q-C rail project: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged support Friday for passenger rail service in the Quad-Cities, providing a counter to primary rival, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who last week voiced her opposition during a visit to the area. Rauner toured Kone in Moline and, during remarks to employees, pointed to his support for rail service, along with getting the new Interstate-74 bridge over the Mississippi River built. “I’m all about investing in infrastructure,” Rauner said. “I want to get the Amtrak high-speed train coming over here. I want to invest more in the highway system. We’re going to get the bridge built over here.”

* Illinois lieutenant gubernatorial candidate ‘dubious’ of Amtrak project: Meanwhile, Lieutenant Gubernatorial Candidate and Rock Island County Board Member Rich Morthland has many questions about the project. “Of course I want Amtrak to come to the Quad Cities…but purely for nostalgic reasons,” Morthland said. “That doesn’t mean it’s the right reason.” Morthland recently called the project a ‘boondoggle,’ and he says his running mate, State Representative Jeanne Ives, is not a big fan of the project either. “We are dubious of the situation with Amtrak,” Morthland said. “A private company, publicly funded…that just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Mailboxes “jammed” in Silverstein district

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More on Friday night’s “Extra”

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018

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* More shenanigans!
* Saturday campaign money report
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Shenanigans!
* Tribune drops bombshell on Biss running mate
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner: "Madigan has rigged the Democratic primary for Pritzker"
* New Ives radio ad claims Democrats are trying to help Rauner, while Brady does Rauner robocall
* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA responds *** Elections board says DGA should file disclosure for Ives ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Jones; IEA/IFT; Reis; Mitchell; Edgar
* ISRA, Drury both try to claim Raoul inserted "poison pill" into gun bill
* Pro-life group launches GOTV effort for Lipinski
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner opens new online track against Ives
* Erika Harold still can't remember comments, but says "I was wrong"
* Rauner calls Madigan "a unified force of bad, of evil"
* Sen. Duckworth gets involved in another state central committee race
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Has Pritzker gone to ground?
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 Wastes Government Resources
* McCann, barred from SGOP caucus meeting, claims Rauner threatened to "destroy you and your family"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Caption contest!
* Obama mailer kerfuffle in Lipinski district
* Rauner attended Quincy campaign event after Quincy veterans' home presser
* After spending millions in Dem primary, Rauner accuses "Washington liberals" of "hijacking" the GOP primary
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