“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) campaign launched its first TV ad Tuesday against” state Rep. Jeanne Ives “(R). “The statewide spot ahead of the March primary attacks Ives’s record in the legislature and calls her Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan’s ‘favorite Republican and Illinois’s worst nightmare.’” (National Journal)
MEA CULPA. Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) flanked by African-American politicians “issued a public apology Tuesday, saying he regretted remarks he made about African-American politicians with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) during a 2008 discussion about filling Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.
Pritzker: “I regret some of the things that I didn’t say and some of the things that I did, but my heart is in the right place — that I’ve tried really hard through the course of my life to do the right things for the African-American community and for communities across Illinois. … On that call, I was not my best self. I can be better. I have been better and I can do better and I have.”
Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer, Carrie Austin and Dowell said “they were ‘disheartened’ by Pritkzer’s comments to Blagojevich.” They “said they ‘will maintain our support for his candidacy. But we will also look for clear assurances that his thoughts around matters of race and equity have evolved substantially since those calls were recorded in 2008.’”
Pritzker accused Rauner of “colluding” with the Chicago Tribune to leak the wiretaps. (Chicago Tribune)
“Pritzker can NOT say if there are more damaging FBI tape recordings with Blago.” (NBC 5 Chicago)
Former state Senate President Emil Jones (D), who is supporting philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D), “not only doesn’t accept … Pritzker’s apology, he says the billionaire has shown ‘what he really thinks about black folks’ and should withdraw from the governor’s race.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
Kina Collins, a Pritzker campaign worker, posted on Facebook that she had “resigned on Tuesday … over his comments.” Collins: “I will not stand by a candidate who feels that way about Black folks.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
AND THE REST. All of the candidates except Madison County regional schools superintendent Bob Daiber (D) are raising most of their money from the Chicago area. More of Kennedy’s donations are coming from out of state. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Equality Illinois endorsed Pritzker. (Capitol Fax)
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Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry. Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!'"