Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) “won the top spot on the March 20 Democratic primary ballot for governor after a lottery drawing the State Board of Elections held Wednesday.” Philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D), state Sen. Daniel Biss (D) took the second and third spots while “Terry Getz, [Madison County schools superintendent] Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Robert Marshall” rounded out the bottom. (Chicago Tribune)
LEGIONNAIRE’S. “[G]ubernatorial candidates pounced Wednesday after a report aired on public radio about ongoing deaths at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy from outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease. … Pritzker … called for an independent investigation into problems at the facility and whether the Rauner administration has appropriately addressed them. … Pritzker said veterans should be moved out of the Quincy facility for their safety and work should be completed as soon as possible on a new veterans facility in Chicago. Construction of the Chicago home was delayed because of the state’s budget problems.” Kennedy and Biss also called for investigations.
Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) “issued his own statement saying that the administration worked with the Centers for Disease Control and followed its recommendations when the first outbreak occurred early in his term. That included a new water management plant to control the bacteria that can be spread through contaminated water vapor.” (State Journal-Register)
Pritzker submitted FOIA requests to Rauner’s office “to seek details surrounding Rauner’s fatal mishandling of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy Veterans’ Home.” (release)
WHAT A COINCIDENCE. “From 2013 to 2015, the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Foundation, named for the candidate and his wife, gave more than $4.2 million to the Ounce, an organization dedicated to early childhood education” that is run by Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner.
In total, the foundation gave $50 million in three years, including to the Clinton Foundation, the Center for American Progress, the Better Government Association, Chicago-area non-profits, the educational institutions, Holocaust museums, medical facilities, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. (State Journal-Register)
ALL HANDS ON DECK. Kennedy’s niece, Kick Kennedy, “arrived in Chicago last week to support the campaign full-time between now and the primary, and son, Chris Kennedy Jr. is now taking time off from his full-time job.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
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"The Trump administration on Thursday announced that the U.S. will now officially act to deter and respond to cyberattacks with offensive actions against foreign adversaries. The U.S.'s new cyber strategy, signed by President Trump, marks the federal government officially taking a more aggressive approach to cyber threats presented from across the globe."
The Trump Administration will sanction China over the purchase of Russian-made fighter jets and anti-aircraft weapons systems. "The sanctions are being imposed pursuant to the 2017 sanctions law punishing Russian interference in the 2016 elections, which threatens to sanction any third party that conducts a 'significant transaction' with the Russian defense industry." State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert cited "the delivery to China of Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018" as the transactions that led to the sanctions.
President Trump named retiring Rep. Darrell Issa "to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, setting up what could be a contentious confirmation battle in the Senate." As former House Oversight Committee chairman, Issa accused top IRS officials "of targeting conservative groups for political purposes, led the charge to hold former Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and accused President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of trying to covering up the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks in 2012." If confirmed, Issa would lead the Trump Administration's multi-front effort to renegotiate more favorable trade deals.