“Vowing he’ll continue a war against ‘corrupt career politicians,’ Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) formally announced his re-election bid Monday morning.” Rauner narrates a YouTube video, “which features the leather clad Republican governor on his Harley Davidson,” and pledges: “I choose to fight.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“The announcement comes after” state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) “announced she is circulating petitions to run … against Rauner.” (Politico)
GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT. “Rauner just placed more money behind a TV ad buy (Target Enterprises) with a scheduled run of Oct. 19 - Nov. 5.”
Rep. Peter Roskam (R) “is rethinking his support for … Rauner given the governor’s recent signature on a bill that expands the public funding of abortion.” Rep. Rodney Davis (R) “said Thursday Rauner still had his backing.” (Politico)
Labor activist Dolores Huerta endorsed philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D), saying he will “bring justice and opportunity to all the people in Illinois.” (Politico)
State Rep. Ann Williams (D) endorsed state Sen. Daniel Biss (D), calling him “a leader and engaged partner in so many critical fights: protecting our environment, advocating for equality for the LGBTQ community, and securing the economic and reproductive rights of women.” (release)
WHERE THINGS STAND. “A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll” (Oct. Oct. 17-18; 1,154 Democratic LVs; +/-3 percent) has venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) at 39 percent, Kennedy at 15 percent, and Biss at 6 percent.
“The poll found that” Pritzker had a 56-7 percent favorability. Biss’ was 13-3 percent.
“Pritzker leads in every region of the state. He’s at 39 percent in Chicago, 42 in suburban Cook County, 37 in the suburban collar counties and 39 downstate. Kennedy does best in Chicago and the collars, at 18 percent. Biss does best in suburban Cook, where he lives, at 11. Biss slightly outpolls Kennedy 13-12 among 18- to 24-year-olds, but Pritzker takes the traditionally low-turnout (particularly in off years) demographic with 27 percent. Pritzker leads Kennedy and Biss among women 39-15-5, and among men 40-16-8. More women (39 percent) are undecided than men (33 percent).”
“Kennedy does best among the 65 and over crowd, with 17 percent. And his favorable numbers are significantly higher among respondents aged 55-64 (42 percent) and 65+ (43 percent).”
“[O]ne of Pritzker’s own recent polls had him ahead of Kennedy by 17 points.” (Bloomington Pantagraph)
YES HE KEN(NEDY). Kennedy on Thursday called for automatic voter registration; increasing early voting; moving primaries “to a more hospitable month, like May or June,” the gubernatorial election with the presidential election, and municipal races to midterm congressional elections; adopting “a constitutional amendment that will allow voters to make major decisions by ballot initiative or referendum;” drawing “fair maps;” instituting term limits for statewide officers and elected school boards;” banning “political parties from making contributions to any candidate during a primary election;” creating “a small-dollar donor matching system;” banning politicians from lobbying until one year after leaving office;” banning “property tax lawyers from making contributions to local assessors or to the assessors’ political organizations or even to political parties that have a hand in slating these political candidates;” banning “family members from working as lobbyists and agents before elected officials from their own family;” and separating “party leadership roles from elected official roles.” (Capitol Fax)
FOR THE RECORD. “Despite lawyers asserting in court that … Rauner is trying to keep a lawsuit filed by a former business partner sealed, the governor on Friday denied that he’s fighting to keep the information under wraps.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
Incoming DGA Chair Jay Inslee (D) “stuck up for … Pritzker.” When asked if “he has any concern that the party nominee here well could turn out to be the wealthy Mr. Pritzker,” he responded, “We’re not discriminating,’ … adding that he’s just finishing reading a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, another rich pol, who led his party to decades of domination of Washington politics. … ‘I don’t think that (the money) will be a problem.’ Inslee stressed that his group will remain neutral in the Democratic primary. … Inslee promised the DGA will be here a lot.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
“Though an extreme example, Illinois is no outlier. More and more very wealthy men are running for and winning office as state governors. Tennessee’s Bill Haslam, West Virginia’s Jim Justice, Florida’s Rick Scott, Kentucky’s Matt Bevin, Minnesota’s Mark Dayton, Nebraska’s Peter Ricketts, Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, Michigan’s Rick Snyder, North Dakota’s Doug Burgum and Arizona’s Doug Ducey all have a net worth measured in the tens, and in some cases hundreds, of millions.” (Economist)
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Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"In the months after Donald Trump rode to victory while calling for mass deportations, Russian operatives bought dozens of Facebook ads targeted at the Hispanic community seeking to further inflame tensions already roiled by the campaign's racially charged rhetoric, according to USA TODAY analysis. Thousands of ads released by House Democrats this month showed Russian operatives focused on race during the presidential election in what experts say was a clear effort to amplify existing divisions."