Sens. Dick Durbin (D) and Tammy Duckworth (D) endorsed venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) on Friday. (release)
Illinois Federation of Teachers also backed Pritzker on Saturday. The union has 100,000 members. (release)
BACK STORY. A memo prepared by former general counsel Dennis Murashko shortly before his exit from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) office laid out “strict” rules for “best practices for interactions between employees of the Office of the Governor (including the Governor) … and members of the Governor’s 2018 reelection campaign.”
In response, state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) called for an investigation by the office of the Inspector General. Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh: “As questions about potential ethics violations mount, it is time for Bruce Rauner to come clean to voters about why Dennis Murashko was fired.” (Capitol Fax)
ME, THREE. Pritzker, philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D), state Sen. Daniel Biss (D) and anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman (D) “appeared at a downtown forum held by the Chicago Women Take Action Alliance, representing more than 40 groups. The candidates fielded a variety of questions, including addressing the issue of sexual harassment involving politicians throughout the country and women’s empowerment.
“’This is a moment of a rising women’s movement,’ said Biss, who also noted that during the forum, ‘you’ve got four guys wearing suits and ties on this stage. … I’m not proud of that, but it’s a sign of a system of oppression embedded in our government, our society. It’s a sign of a patriarchy that is powerful and strong and it’s time for a new politics to upend that power balance,’ said Biss, who vowed to name women to a majority of positions on his cabinet if elected. … All of the candidates said they had never signed non-disclosure agreements regarding legal settlements of sexual harassment issues in the workplace.” (Chicago Tribune)
SCHEDULING NOTE. The State Journal-Register “will partner with News/Talk 94.7 and 970 WMAY and the University of Illinois Springfield to host debates in the 2018 governor’s primary elections. The Democratic primary debate will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at UIS. All six candidates who have filed petitions to run in the Democratic primary … have agreed to participate in the event. Our three organizations also have invited the two Republican candidates — incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner and state Rep. Jeanne Ives — to debate the night before, on Feb. 20, also at UIS. Ives has accepted our invitation, and we certainly hope that the governor will do the same.” (State Journal-Register)
REVIEWING THE REVIEW. Rauner “dismissed the [National Review] article as ‘a political hit piece’ and suggested [state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R)] is a ‘fringe’ candidate. He also said he has the best chance of anyone in the state to win the November 2018 election and that if Democrats take the office, they’ll impose a graduated income tax — in which higher earners pay a higher tax rate — that will ‘destroy Illinois.’”
Rauner: “I will win the general election. … I will win.” (AP)
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"The United States is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four American military bases" in Texas and Arkansas, "as federal officials struggled to carry out President Trump’s order to keep immigrant families together after they are apprehended at the border."
"House Republican leaders are further delaying a vote on a compromise immigration bill, planning to make changes to the legislation for a vote next week. The news comes after a two-hour Republican Conference meeting Thursday, in which authors of the bill walked through its contents and members raised concerns about issues the bill doesn’t address, multiple GOP lawmakers said. Many members requested the addition of a provision to require employers to use the E-Verify database to cheek the legal status of their employees."
After a conservative-backed immigration bill failed in the House, 193-231, leaders "postponed a vote on a 'compromise' immigration proposal until Friday. ... GOP leaders, however, are under no impression that they'll be able to secure the 218 votes needed in the next 24 hours to pass the text. Rather, the delay is to give members more time to read the bill."