“The campaign for Gov. Bruce Rauner (Target Enterprises) has bought a new broadcast flight starting today with a buy in Rockford that’s expected to expand to the whole state.” (Politico)
Megadonor “Ken Griffin gave Rauner $2.5 million donation in December.”
“NBC 5 Chicago and Telemundo along with the Union League Club of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League will host the first televised gubernatorial forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23. … The Lincoln Forum … has booked … Rauner as its first speaker of 2018. The event is at 5:30 p.m. January 22.” (Politico)
FRUIT OF THE IVES. “Fremont Township Republican Organization’s committeemen unanimously … endorsed” state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R). “The group is angry with the way the Republican base has been ‘ridiculed culturally, consigned to the fringe, and betrayed’ by … Rauner.” (Illinois Review)
BLAST FROM THE PAST. Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker’s (D) campaign noted that in 2014, Rauner said then-Gov. Pat Quinn (D) was responsible for “‘the deaths of 95 children with past contact with the Department of Children and Family Services from 2011-2013.’ Fast forward to today, and Bruce Rauner has refused to take any responsibility for his own mismanagement of Veterans Affairs, leading to a Legionnaires crisis in Quincy that has taken the lives of 13 people.” (release)
Pritzker’s campaign also said, “This past Friday, Bruce Rauner quietly vetoed a bill that protected 80,000 Illinoisans receiving in-home care through the Community Care Program.” (release)
WALKER AWAY FROM THAT POINT. Philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D) accused venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) of donating to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). “[T]his is a man who’s clearly been anti-union his entire life.” (Chicago Crusader) But that’s not true. “It turns out that JB’s Republican cousin Jennifer Pritzker (formerly James) is the Scott Walker contributor.” (Capitol Fax)
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"US President Donald Trump will visit the UK in mid-July, according to Sky sources," with a formal announcement expected soon. "Mr Trump was due to open the new US Embassy in London in February but cancelled the trip saying the building was too expensive and tweeting that he was not a 'big fan' of the decision to move its location."
"North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has become unusable after a large part of it collapsed," say experts from the University of Science and Technology of China. "Their evidence comes just one week after a surprise announcement from leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea would stop nuclear tests." The finding contradicts the Trump Administration's claim that the closure was a major concession by North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, who is set to meet with him for talks with President Trump in May.
"Republicans on Wednesday will begin a push to change Senate rules in a way that would allow the faster confirmation of President Trump's nominees, after months of complaints that Democrats are dragging out the process. The Senate Rules Committee will meet in the afternoon to consider a resolution that would reduce post-cloture debate for most Executive Branch nominees from 30 hours to just 8 hours. The goal is to prevent Democrats from stretching out debate over several days."
Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election to fill the deep red seat Trent Franks retired from earlier this year. Unofficial balloting had her up 52.9% to 47.2%. This victory is a bit close for comfort, considering Donald Trump's 21-point victory there in 2016. This victory will do very little to calm GOP nerves five months before Election Day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with President Trump today, "at a time of heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China with technology caught up in the spat. Both countries have proposed import tariffs on each others' products, but the U.S. has been tough on Chinese technology firms." China is an important market for Apple, and Cook is expected to bring up the worsening trade relationship.