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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"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."