Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) “and then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) discussed the issue [of race] in a phone call the government secretly recorded as part of its investigation into the disgraced governor. The conversation has never before been publicly revealed. Pritzker, who was advising Blagojevich on filling the U.S. Senate seat held by Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, pitched the idea of picking Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, in part because it ‘covers you on the African-American thing.’” Pritzker and Blagojevich also discussed the possibilities of appointing then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and (jokingly) Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
“Race and its ramifications on politics have long been a factor in city and state elections, though the voting public rarely gets to hear the calculations in blunt terms. … In the 2018 governor’s contest, the major Democratic hopefuls are white, and each has picked an African-American running mate. The campaigns also are mapping out themes largely focused on issues plaguing minority communities, such as vows to improve educational and economic opportunities and stem gun violence and crime. The importance of the black vote can’t be understated.” (Chicago Tribune)
IVES ON THE LINE. State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) said Monday “she voted for [President] Trump in the primary and had his sign in her yard.” Ives was listed as a Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorser in 2016. A spokeswoman said Ives “simply misunderstood the question about who she supported in the primary.” (Capitol Fax)
“In less than a week, Ives has heightened her profile from little-known primary challenger to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to talk of the state, a Twitter-trending phenomenon whose lightning-rod ad—criticized by one Democratic candidate for governor as ‘repulsive’—has grabbed national headlines. … Ives has refused to back down, even admitting she’s taking advantage of what little time she has before the March 20 primary to drive up her name recognition. Positive performances before editorial boards, she mused, would not cut it against Rauner.”
Ives: “I want to know why people are so offended by it. What’s so offensive about the ad?. … The ad is a policy ad. It’s an accurate depiction of the policies that Rauner put in place.” (Politico)
MONEY MOVES. Madison County regional Superintendent Bob Daiber (D) gave his campaign another $10,000 on Friday.
The state Republican Party gave Rauner nearly $90,000 last week. (Hotline reporting) “Republican Cook County Central Committee members endorsed … Rauner Monday night.” (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)
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President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen was paid at least $400,000 to arrange a meeting between Victor Poroshenko and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev. Shortly after the meeting, which was held at the White House was last June, the Ukrainian "anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort." Poroshenko was reportedly desperate to meet with Trump, after documents leaked under his watch revealed that President Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had failed to disclose his connections with the Ukrainian presidential elections, in violation of U.S. election law.
Ohio Democratic voters have filed suit against Ohio Governor John Kasich and other Republican state officials over alleged partisan gerrymandering in Ohio's electoral map. Despite capturing between 51 and 59 percent of the statewide vote in the past three elections, Republicans hold three-quarters of state congressional seats. "The U.S. Supreme Court is due by the end of June to issue major rulings in two partisan gerrymandering cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that could affect the Ohio suit."
An Iranian missile scientist, killed in a strike in 2011 along with his research center, oversaw the development of a secret, second facility in the remote Iranian desert that ... is operating to this day," according to a team of California weapons experts. "For weeks, the researchers picked through satellite photos of the facility. They found, they say, that work on the site now appears to focus on advanced rocket engines and rocket fuel, and is often conducted under cover of night."