Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker (D) is running a new TV ad featuring endorsements from “leaders we trust,” including Sens. Dick Durbin (D) and Tammy Duckworth (D), Secretary of State Jesse White (D), state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and the Illinois AFL-CIO. (Advertising Analytics)
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle endorsed Pritzker on Wednesday. (release)
“Records show Pritzker has funded his charitable giving almost exclusively with inherited proceeds, much of it filtered through offshore tax havens and then deposited in a tax-exempt nonprofit he controls, the Pritzker Family Foundation. The result is that Pritzker’s philanthropy, and any accolades that go with it, have been bankrolled with what is essentially found money. He did little to earn the proceeds and paid no taxes on the bulk of it before giving it away.” (Better Government Association)
LET’S DO THE NUMBERS. Pritzker and state Sen. Daniel Biss (D) statistically tied at 27-24 percent in a new Victory Rserach poll (Feb. 6-7; 1,209 Democratic LVs; +/-2.8%). Philanthropist Chris Kennedy (D) followed at 17 percent with the rest of the field in the single digits.
“Of African-American voters polled, 28.1 percent said they still supported Pritzker; 22.9 percent supported Kennedy and 20.3 percent said they’d vote for Biss. There were still 18.2 percent of American-American voters that were undecided, according to the poll. … Of Pritzker supporters, 56.7 percent said they might switch their votes; nearly 41 percent of Kennedy and Biss supporters said they might also change their minds.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
SIGNAL BOOSTING. State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) released a statewide radio ad. It starts with Ives saying, “Now that I’ve got your attention,” she accuses Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) of having “betrayed conservative families” on immigration, abortion rights, and taking money from schools. (release)
“Ives’ campaign has now placed at least $137,000 behind” her controversial TV ad. (Politico)
DOING TIME. The National Association of Social Workers endorsed state Sen. Daniel Biss (D).
“A coalition of civil rights advocates, law enforcement officials and lawmakers led by Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Juliana Stratton is pushing legislation to expand access to voting for jail inmates, saying they are being denied their right to cast a ballot across the state.” (Chicago Tribune)
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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!'"