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Topspin

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and primary challenger state Rep. Jeanne Ives will appear before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board at 11 a.m. Monday for an endorsement session that will be streamed online here.

It’s the first time since Ives announced her campaign that voters will have a chance to see the two candidates together. And it might be the last.

No televised debates between the two are scheduled, and Rauner has been careful not to talk about Ives much, once suggesting she is a “fringe” candidate.

Rauner’s position is a common one for well-heeled incumbents: If your opponent isn’t well-known and doesn’t have a lot of money to remedy that, don’t raise his or her profile. (A Republican-aligned pollster this month suggested the governor has a big early lead.)

Ives, though, has criticized Rauner at every turn. She hit him when he said “I am not in charge” late last year. A West Point graduate, Ives has slammed Rauner over veterans’ deaths in Quincy. And as recently as last week, she continued to criticize the governor’s signature of a law to expand the availability of taxpayer-funded abortions.

That last issue, of course, is the one that sparked Ives’ candidacy in the first place.

Ives is a third-term lawmaker from Wheaton, and Rauner is seeking a second term as governor. The Tribune Editorial Board, which operates separately from the newsroom, will use the session to help decide on its endorsement.

 

What’s on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will appear at Michele Clark Magnet High School.

*Gov. Rauner and challenger Rep. Ives will appear before the Tribune Editorial Board (see above).

*A state education budget committee will meet in Springfield to talk about Rauner’s recent school funding veto.

*The Cook County Nominating Committee of the board of directors of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System will meet.

*U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin will appear at Nia Family Center in Chicago.

*Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, will speak to the City Club of Chicago.

*The week ahead: On Tuesday, state lawmakers return to Springfield. The Democratic governor candidates will debate in at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. And President Donald Trump will give his State of the Union address. On Wednesday, Rauner will give his State of the State address. The City Club of Chicago will host a panel called “The Truth about Taxes” that includes Tribune reporter Hal Dardick. On Thursday, lawmakers are scheduled to leave Springfield, and University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis will speak to the City Club.

 

From the notebook 

*Change of plans: Remember a few weeks back when Gov. Rauner vetoed an education funding bill, sparking panic that money for schools would be held up in the fight?

Never mind, Rauner said Friday as he tried to find his way out of that potential mess.

In an unusual email announcement, Rauner declared having reached a “compromise” that “paved the way” for more schools to access a tax credit program, which was the reason behind his amendatory veto from earlier in the month. The legislation in question was intended to clean up language in a landmark education funding formula bill that was enacted to much fanfare over the summer. Rauner’s veto threw a wrench in that plan, threatening to hold up money for schools and revive the school funding wars.

But it’s an election year, and Rauner is running as Illinois’ education governor, with the funding formula bill as his signature achievement. His State of the State speech is Wednesday.

So the governor “negotiated” a “compromise” with his own education agency.

As it turns out, changing the funding formula bill wasn’t necessary to achieve the governor’s objective of making more schools eligible for the new tax credit program. All that was needed was for the State Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the governor, to start accepting applications for the tax credit program on a rolling basis throughout the school year. ISBE agreed to do that, and thus the “compromise” was struck.

To the degree that members of the General Assembly have any role to play in the deal, Rauner now wants them to re-pass the legislation he vetoed. Or, as the governor put it in his announcement, “the move leaves the General Assembly clear to act swiftly to fully implement” the bill it already passed once. (It could do that by overriding his veto.) (Kim Geiger)

*Alderman helps out Rialmo: Northwest Side Ald. Nick Sposato on Friday kicked in to the GoFundMe page set up to help pay the legal bills for a Chicago police officer facing charges of punching two men in an early morning bar fight last month while he was already on desk duty for fatally shooting two people in 2015.

Sposato, a former Chicago firefighter, said he’s known Officer Robert Rialmo for decades, having served with Rialmo’s father in the same firehouse when Rialmo was a boy. On Friday afternoon, Sposato contributed $100 and wrote “Stay strong my Friend & Brother!” on the page lawyer Joel Brodsky set up for Rialmo.

“He’s a personal friend of mine and he’s getting screwed in this,” Sposato said when contacted about his donation. The 38th Ward alderman said Rialmo “was just trying to defend himself from a couple drunk guys who were messing with him.”

As of Sunday morning, about $5,500 had been raised on the page, with a goal of $50,000.

Rialmo was charged last week with three misdemeanors in connection with the Dec. 17 fight at Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria on the Far Northwest Side. Department officials stripped Rialmo of his police powers days after the incident. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability — which investigates alleged misconduct by officers and posts video and records of incidents — is looking into the bar fight.

COPA posted the video online of the altercation. The footage shows Rialmo pushing or punching a man, knocking him into a table and chairs and onto the floor. Another man moves toward Rialmo, the footage shows, and the officer drops him with a punch. As the first man rises to his feet, Rialmo lays him out with another punch, the video shows. Rialmo is then rushed from view of the cameras. 

At the time of the fight, Rialmo was already on paid desk duty pending an investigation into his on-duty fatal shooting of Quintonio LeGrier and bystander Bettie Jones a day after Christmas in 2015 on the West Side. Five days after the bar fight, COPA ruled the shooting unjustified. (John Byrne)

*Duckworth discusses pregnancy on “Face the Nation”: U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, pregnant with her second child — a girl — wants people to know about her infertility struggle, CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes said in a segment that aired Sunday. 

The Illinois Democrat announced last week that she is due to give birth in April a few weeks after her 50th birthday. Duckworth would become the first woman to deliver a child while a U.S. senator. She said she was “a little overwhelmed by how landmark it is when it shouldn’t be. It’s the 21st century.” The Senate, with a record 22 female members, needs more women, she said.

Duckworth told Cordes she learned that unlike the House, the Senate has no maternity leave policy, but she plans to take time off. She also said the Senate was “behind the times” because it still bars children from the chamber’s floor.

After her leave starts, you may see her back sooner rather than later. “We have a lot of close votes right now,” Duckworth noted, saying hers may be needed. Stay tuned for whether Baby No. 2 gets floor privileges. (Katherine Skiba)

*Quick spins: Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago endorsed asset manager Fritz Kaegi’s bid to unseat Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios … U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s campaign said it raised $576,529 in the last quarter of 2017, leaving him with more than $1.6 million in the bank as of the end of last year. A bevy of Democrats have lined up for the primary race to take him on, and federal fundraising reports are due later this week.

*On “The Sunday Spin”: Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson’s guests were Republican state Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills; and separately, Democratic attorney general candidates Sharon Fairley and Renato Mariotti.  “The Sunday Spin” airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on WGN-720 AM. Listen to the full show here.

 

What we’re writing

*Vallas brings experience, political liabilities to possible Emanuel challenge.

*Democratic governor candidate Daiber’s settlement in retaliation case cost taxpayers nearly $500,000.

*Ald. Burke under ethics board investigation for possible conflict of interest.

*Sen. Ira Silverstein should stay on ballot, hearing officer recommends.

*Rauner ignores questions about meeting on back porch of governor’s mansion.

*Cook County Assessor Berrios sues over ordinance limiting campaign contributions.

*As Emanuel administration plans Red Line extension — there’s no green to pay for it.

*Democratic Rep. Schakowsky to skip Trump’s State of the Union address.

*When “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” sold out on Amazon, Chicago-area bookstores cashed in.

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