“Capping a week of turmoil in his government and political operation, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) today [Friday] lost to an outside firm one of his oldest and closest aides, one who had been expected to be chief strategist in Rauner’s re-election campaign. Joining Xpress Professional Services as the new head of its political operation, the firm announced this evening, is Mike Zolnierowicz, who is widely known in Springfield as ‘Mike Z.’” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
AND YOU THOUGHT THE BUDGET WAS DONE. “Illinois has its belated state budget, but the state Capitol’s next flashpoint in the political struggle over finances is about how to fund public education with just weeks before the first day of school.”
“Rauner has suggested he will veto that newly devised school funding method, which could leave the state with no plan to allocate general state education aid and jeopardize schools’ opening. Rauner promised Friday there will be no extended summer vacation. … Rauner objects to specific state-funding allowances for Chicago schools on top of a new requirement that the state pick up the employer’s portion of teacher pensions costs for them — the way it does for every other Illinois district. He calls it a ‘bailout’ for the strapped school system.” (AP)
Billionaire J.B. Pritzker (D) on Saturday accused Rauner of using the issue to create an “us versus them” mentality by “pitting … central and southern Illinois against Chicago” in order to “increase the turnout” in areas where he did well in 2014. (Hotline reporting)
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"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."