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Morning Spin: Chicago Bears owner to help Rauner primary opponent raise money

Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, November 14, 2017  |  Editorial  |  Editorial Board

Candidates--Statewide (12)

As she gathers signatures for a potential primary challenge to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, state Rep. Jeanne Ives is preparing her first big-dollar fundraiser with added help from the matriarch of the Chicago Bears’ ownership family, Virginia McCaskey.

 

McCaskey is listed among the “hosts” for an Ives fundraiser next Monday night at a Downers Grove restaurant. A “host” designation means a contribution of $10,000, according to a fundraising poster.

 

Also on the list of sponsors: Event chairman and twice unsuccessful congressional candidate Vince Kolber and Peter Huizenga, chairman of his own suburban capital management firm. Huizenga is listed as an “underwriter” at a cost of $25,000. A co-chair goes for $50,000.

 

McCaskey has not been very politically active in the past, having given a total of $43,700 in political donations to state candidates during the last two decades, according to the State Board of Elections.

 

But a review of those contributions shows helping Ives is consistent with McCaskey’s past giving. She has given $18,700 to Family PAC, which opposes abortion rights. Ives has said she was motivated to challenge Rauner over the governor’s signature on a measure expanding taxpayer-subsidized abortions. Family PAC has said it will not back Rauner for re-election.

 

McCaskey also has given $8,000 to state Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine and $3,500 to state Rep. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods, who are both opposed to abortion rights.

Ives has been using Bears’ games at Soldier Field as tailgating events to gather signatures to get onto the March primary ballot. (Rick Pearson)

 

What's on tap

 

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will appear at a police graduation and promotion ceremony at Navy Pier, then later have an event at a tower crane and attend a Public Building Commission meeting.

 

*Gov. Rauner will make campaign stops in Peoria, Rockford and Moline.

 

*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will preside over approval of the consent calendar, which honors former board President Bobbie Steele for her 80th birthday. The board's technology and pension committees will meet, too.

 

*The Chicago City Council Zoning Committee meets.

 

*City Clerk Anna Valencia will appear at an event to tout the “Hands Off, Pants On” ordinance meant to prevent sexual harassment of hotel workers.

 

*City Treasurer Kurt Summers will hold a call about the Chicago's third-quarter earnings.

 

*Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn will speak to the City Club of Chicago.

 

From the notebook

 

*Kennedy's first TV ad: “Stop the slaughter”: Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy’s campaign said it is launching its first TV ads on Tuesday, after months of ceding the airwaves to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker.

 

Both a broadcast ad in the Chicago market and a digital ad throughout the state focus on gun violence and the effect it has had on Kennedy's family and that of his running mate, Ra Joy.

 

Kennedy's father, U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, and uncle, President John F. Kennedy, were both slain by assassins. Joy’s 23-year-old son was killed blocks from his Kenwood home in June, apparently by someone trying to steal his phone.

 

“Violence which can touch our society anywhere will eventually touch our society everywhere, just as it did to my family,” Kennedy says in the broadcast ad. “No one action will prevent the next deadly night but together we can, we must, we will, rise up and stop the slaughter.”

 

The campaign would not describe the size of the ad buy in the expensive Chicago media market. While Kennedy bills himself as a successful businessman, his campaign funding has lagged the largely self-funded efforts of Rauner and Pritzker. Both already have spent millions of dollars on TV ads.

 

In the digital ad, Joy says: “We lost our son to gun violence this summer. That is the most excruciating experience you can ever have. Chris’ family has experienced tragic loss because of senseless gun violence. We are determined to transform our pain into purpose.” (Rick Pearson)

 

*Will Rauner's next budget proposal feel the love?: A newly released 2018 schedule shows the Illinois House won't be back in Springfield until Jan. 23.

 

Among the nuggets of information tucked into the calendar is that Gov. Rauner is scheduled to present lawmakers with his next budget proposal on Feb. 14 — Valentine's Day.

 

That means he'll be out with his next spending plan with about a month to go before the March 20 primary, providing a topic for debate if he faces a primary challenge.

 

On Valentine's Day this year, Rauner took to Facebook Live, when a hot microphone picked up his compliment of an aide's red dress. The off-camera aide encouraged the governor to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day in the live video because "it's humanizing."

 

What we're writing

 

*After pop tax loss, Preckwinkle headed for fight over budget cuts to Sheriff Dart, Chief Judge Evans.

 

*Emanuel's 911, Uber, concert ticket tax hikes get preliminary OK.

 

*Back on the trail, Rauner recycles campaign themes with Madigan attacks.

 

*Illinois GOP lawmaker: 'Republican Party ought to disown every aspect' of Roy Moore.

 

*Vrdolyak claimed to make $1 million in cash payments as part of tobacco litigation: feds.

*Former Ald. Fioretti announces Preckwinkle challenge.

 

*Indicted Ald. Willie Cochran says he won't run for re-election.

 

*Feds investigating Cook County Health and Hospitals System exposure of patient data.

 

What we're reading

 

*Group pushes landmark status for Emmett Till's Woodlawn home, nearby school.

 

*The fastest-growing jobs in America pay about $22,000 a year.

 

*Budweiser's ex-marketing chief sees weed as the new craft beer.

 

Follow the money

 

*Kennedy reported $59,100 in contributions.

 

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.

 

Beyond Chicago

 

*McConnell says Moore should get out of the Senate race as the candidate is accused by another woman.

 

*Trump picks drug company executive to lead Health and Human Services.

 

*Menendez jury says they're deadlocked.

 

*More than 400 dead following earthquake in Iran, Iraq.