Democrats governor candidates Chris Kennedy, J.B. Pritzker and Ameya Pawar continue to try to amp up their campaigns. (Chicago Tribune)
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As Gov. Bruce Rauner tries to keep the pressure on Democrats by threatening more special session days in Springfield, his potential opponents for governor continue to try to amp up their campaigns.
Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy used a fundraising email to sharpen his rhetoric in an attempt to portray himself as an outsider despite his famous political name.
“Corruption has become a way of life in Illinois but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Kennedy said in the email.
Kennedy, a wealthy heir to the iconic political family, has gone after one rival for the nomination in particular, billionaire investor and entrepreneur J.B. Pritzker.
“It’s time for Illinois to choose a side. Will we submit once again and elect forces of stagnation and the status quo? Will we allow the wealthy and the connected to buy our votes and then sell off our state? Or will we have the courage to resist,” Kennedy asked, referencing Rauner’s governorship to try to warn voters about the wealthy Pritzker.
Pritzker, meanwhile, is planning a phone bank over the issue of health care as Republicans in Washington try to advance a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The phone bank is the latest effort among Democrats critical of Rauner for not saying more about the GOP proposals, including a Senate Republican measure that would phase out funding for Illinois’ expansion of Medicaid coverage.
Rauner has said he has “concerns” about the proposals.
“We will call Bruce Rauner. We will call Republican congressional leaders. We will call (Illinois’ Democratic U.S. Sens.) Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin to thank them for their hard work. And we will call on others to help us make a difference,” Pritzker said in a statement.
And Northwest Side Ald. Ameya Pawar is promoting his bid for governor with a new digital video that also is aimed at touting a statewide tour.
The initial video was shot at Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County.
“Starved Rock is at the center of this debate between conservation and development. People talk about jobs, and it’s always an either-or between the environment or economic development and lifting families up, and I think that’s a false choice,” Pawar says in the video.
Pawar’s campaign said the “One Illinois Tour” will continue throughout the summer with visits to Sauk Village, Kankakee, Harvard, Macomb, Galesburg, Jacksonville and Charleston.
Rauner on Wednesday said that if the state budget impasse continues, lawmakers should be in Springfield.
“If the legislature fails to send a balanced budget package to my desk by Friday, we will have no choice but to keep them in session until they get the job done,” he said in a statement. (Rick Pearson)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will meet with youth from One Summer Chicago at City Hall.
*Gov. Rauner’s schedule wasn’t available
*A lawsuit trying to block Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax is set to be heard at 2:30 p.m.
*The ACLU and other groups will have a morning news conference to "call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Council members to ensure real police reform."
From the notebook
*Preckwinkle on McDonald case:Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Wednesday said she hopes the indictments of three police officers in the Laquan McDonald case are "not the end."
“I’m pleased to know that the special prosecutor intends to hold other officers on the scene responsible for reports that were allegedly filed that corroborated Jason Van Dyke’s account of the events, which is quite contrary to the video,” Preckwinkle said. “I hope that’s not the end of the indictments.”
Asked if she thought the prosecutor should go further up the command chain to police supervisors who oversaw the investigation, Preckwinkle replied, “Yes, exactly.” (Hal Dardick)
*Democrat seeks to run against Hultgren: Matt Brolley, 35, on Thursday plans to announce he is running for Congress as a Democrat in the suburban district represented by Republican Randy Hultgren.
Brolley is mayor of Montgomery, which straddles Kane and Kendall counties. A project engineer for V3 Companies, he also is a board member for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Brolley has the early backing of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat elected to Congress in 2008 and ousted by Hultgren in 2010. Foster returned to the U.S. House in the state’s 11th Congressional District after his win in 2012. Hultgren now serves in the 14th District, where Brolley says he’ll run.
In a statement, Brolley assailed both Hultgren and President Donald Trump. “On the issues that affect people’s everyday lives, Congressman Hultgren is silent at best, or an accomplice in some of Trump’s terrible policies at worst,” it said. (Katherine Skiba)
*Quick hits: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted a photo of himself standing with the Cubs World Series trophy and team Chairman Tom Ricketts, a post the internet had fun with because the two look similar. … The City Council on Wednesday confirmed Randy Conner as the new director of the Department of Water Management. The previous commissioner resigned during an email investigation. … Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza released a video about the continuing state budget fight.
What we’re writing
*Emanuel splits with City Hall watchdog on court oversight of police reform.
*Emanuel hints at rewrite of ethics law after lobbying violations found in his emails.
*Officer Van Dyke takes stand in hearing on Laquan McDonald’s killing.
*Emanuel administration orders Ohio Street underpass locked overnight.
*Wednesday is the last day to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Illinois absent a budget deal.
*Cubs fire back at city on Wrigley security.
*Plan to let people comment at City Council meetings is approved.
*Emanuel to go it alone on pension contributions as Rauner opposes his favored plan.
*CTU’s Lewis criticizes district’s borrowing deal.
*Law school dean’s resignation following probe is latest change at NIU.
What we’re reading
*The Cubs meet Trump …
*… and cut ties with Miguel Montero after critical comments.
*Will Woods golf course displace South Shore Nature Sanctuary?
*Lawsuit: E-cigarette battery explosion hurts man, his marriage.
Follow the money
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*McConnell trying to change Republican health care bill by Friday.
*Trump teases "a big surprise with a great health care package."
*Manafort paid millions by pro-Russia party.
*Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue outside Arkansas Capitol.