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Morning Spin

Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, December 5, 2017  |  Editorial  |  Editorial Board

Rauner, Bruce

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the Republican attempt to overhaul the federal tax code “has a ways to go,” but it might not have as far to go as he thinks.

“I think they’re not there,” Rauner said during a question-and-answer session with reporters Monday. “I think there’s a lot of wood to chop on the tax policy reform, and I hope they get it done in a good way.”

The governor, however, was a few days behind on his news. Over a packed weekend welcoming Illinois National Guard troops home from Puerto Rico, riding his Harley in a Toys for Tots motorcycle run and attending the Illinois Bicentennial bash at Navy Pier, Rauner might have missed that Republican senators had voted for a sweeping tax bill early Saturday morning.

“First of all, the Senate hasn’t passed anything,” Rauner said on Monday when asked to explain what he thought Congress needed to do to get the tax code right. “And what the Senate is talking about is very different than what the House is working on. They have a long, long way to go.”

Indeed, distance remains between the House and Senate tax bills. But Senate Republicans' approval of their own version was a big step forward and a sign they are willing to approve a tax overhaul even if it adds to the deficit.

Rauner often has avoided talking about national issues, dismissing questions about activity in Congress as not relevant to his role as governor. And Monday wasn’t the first time that Rauner appeared out of the loop on the news.

In August, on the Monday following a violent clash of white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Rauner was asked about an Illinois Senate resolution passed the day before urging law enforcement officials to recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations.

“I’m not so focused on day-to-day in Congress,” he said.

When the reporter informed him that the resolution was in the Illinois Senate, he said, “OK. Well, you know what, great. Whatever fights against this kind of vicious racism and hatred and violence, I support.” (Kim Geiger)

 

What's on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will participate in North American Climate Summit events, including giving welcome remarks in the morning.

*Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti plan to announce an opioid initiative at the Thompson Center. Later, he'll speak at a Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce event and tour a hospital in Rockford.

*Former President Barack Obama will speak at Emanuel's climate event.

*Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs will have a news conference on the federal tax proposals.

*Illinois House committee will hold a hearing about safety in the corrections system.

*The City Council Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee will meet. 

 

From the notebook 

*History foretells a tough road: State Rep. Jeanne Ives' decision to take on an incumbent governor in the March primary is unusual but not uncommon.

In 2014, then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn bested anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, 72 percent to 28 percent. In 2006, then-Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich defeated former Ald. Edwin Eisendrath 71 percent to 29 percent. And in 1994, then-Republican Gov. Jim Edgar won over the late-conservative businessman Jack Roeser, 75 percent to 25 percent. (Rick Pearson)

*Roskam on sidelines in governor race: Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam hasn't taken sides in the GOP primary for governor.

Asked by Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board Monday if he eventually would, the Wheaton Republican said: “We’ll see.”

Roskam lives in state Rep. Ives' district and had signed a letter from Illinois' Republican congressmen slamming Rauner for signing legislation expanding taxpayer-subsidized abortions for women covered by Medicaid or state employee health insurance. 

Roskam said there’s a parallel between the governor and Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Donald Trump. The two presidents came to Washington with “massive personalities” they thought were enough to get their agendas through, Roskam said. Likewise, Rauner, based on “incredible success in the private sector,” has run into roadblocks with the Illinois legislature, he said.

“It’s a hard lesson for anybody to learn, particularly people who have been very successful in other walks of life,” he said. (Katherine Skiba)

*Shortest campaign ever?: Monday brought some last-day surprises among the filings for Cook County office, making this election season even more unusual.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came from 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz. He filed to try to succeed his mentor, Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is running for Congress. Later Monday, Munoz withdrew his petitions to back Garcia aide Alma Anaya for the post.

“Chuy and I agreed that we hoped to throw the full force of the 22nd Ward organization behind a young progressive woman for this seat,” Munoz said in a statement, adding that his effort to run was merely an "insurance policy, of sorts, to guarantee that we’d have a strong progressive candidate on the ballot no matter what.”

But insiders knew for years Munoz was interested in Garcia’s seat, and Garcia last week even endorsed Munoz. So it was more fodder for those who have raised questions about political machinations this year, given how U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez last week quickly endorsed Garcia.

Also filing for Garcia’s seat: Alex Acevedo, a registered nurse whose father is former state Rep. Edward “Eddie” Acevedo, and Angeles Sandoval, the daughter of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. (Hal Dardick)

*In other county news: Robert Shaw, a former alderman and Cook County Board of (Tax) Review commissioner, filed for a six-year seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, making him one of eight candidates vying for three spots.

The elder Acevedo filed for sheriff, taking on incumbent Tom Dart, although that was not unexpected.

And Cook County Clerk David Orr's communications director is running to replace him. Nick Shields will take on Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, the county party-endorsed candidate whose office is being merged with Orr’s in 2020. Orr is not running. Also in the race are Stephanie Joy Jackson-Rowe and Jan Kowalski McDonald.

Property tax consultant Andrea Raila filed for county assessor, joining a primary race that already featured incumbent Joe Berrios and asset manager Fritz Kaegi, who’s backed by many self-styled progressives. (Hal Dardick)

*Rush takes his time: U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush filed to run for re-election on the final day to do so. Ald. Howard Brookins signed up to run for the 1st Congressional District too.

Last election, Brookins got less than 20 percent of the vote in his primary challenge to Rush.

*Silverstein accuser gets into House race: The only person to publicly accuse a sitting state lawmaker of sexual harassment amid the ongoing scandal in Springfield filed to run for Illinois House on Monday.

Denise Rotheimer filed as a Republican to run for a central Lake County seat now held by Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling of Grayslake.

Rotheimer accused Democratic state Sen. Ira Silverstein of sexual harassment at a public hearing. He has disputed the allegations and said he apologized "if I made her uncomfortable." He has since resigned his leadership post and filed to seek re-election. 

For his part, four challengers have filed against Silverstein in the 8th Senate District Democratic primary. They are Ram Villivalam, former political director for U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider; Zehra Quadri, who founded a Rogers Park social services agency; David Zulkey, an attorney who's on the board of the Sauganash Community Association; and Caroline McAteer-Fournier, a DePaul University administrator and abortion rights advocate.

 

What we're writing (busy news day edition)

*Rauner faces war on two fronts as Republican challenger Ives attacks.

*Rauner: I'm "not in charge," Speaker Madigan is.

*Three aldermen join crowded field to replace Rep. Luis Gutierrez in Congress.

*Stroger won't run for Cook County Board president against Preckwinkle.

*Roskam: Republicans have "crossed the Rubicon" with tax overhaul plans.

*Obama to address Emanuel's climate meeting Tuesday.

*Millions of dollars fail to brighten dismal academic picture at troubled Chicago high schools.

*Attorney General Madigan launches civil rights inquiry into bus company.

*Cook County judge who allowed clerk to rule on cases is forced to retire.

*Vote coming for O'Hare Fly Quiet plan that could last two years.

 

What we're reading

*Illinois Republican John Anderson, third-party candidate for president in 1980, dies at 95.

*Advocate plans to merge with Wisconsin hospital giant Aurora.

*Revolution Brewing steps up with two more barrel-aged releases.

 

Follow the money

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

 

Beyond Chicago

*SCOTUS allows Trump travel ban to be enforced pending challenges.

*Lawmakers try to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week.

*Trump makes two Utah national monuments smaller.