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Dennis RODMAN’s transformation – GOP bucks TRUMP on BLAGO release – Who will lead state DEMOCRATS?

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com ; @natashakorecki) and Kristen East (By Natasha Korecki ( ; @natashakorecki) and Kristen East (; @kristenicoleast)

Good Tuesday morning, Illinois.

THE BUZZ: In light of the historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, let’s reflect on the question many people in Chicago are really thinking about: What is up with Dennis Rodman?

There he was on cable news last night, live from Singapore, wearing a MAGA hat, tissue in hand, crying.

Rodman’s been in and out of the news for varying levels of outrageousness over the years and he’s taken well-publicized trips to North Korea. Locally, it’s gone largely ignored.

That’s because nostalgic, championship-era Bulls fans prefer to remember Rodman first as the feisty and ferocious defensive forward, crashing the boards, coming up with the ball, then passing it into the hands of a god-like Michael Jordan. Yes, there were the tattoos and side squabbles. He’d have bleach blond hair one day and was dressed in drag the next.

But with Rodman it will always be the 1990s Chicago Bulls. A streak of championships that enraptured a city pining for a winning team. A five-time NBA champion and two-time Defensive Player of the Year who led the NBA in rebounds for a record seven seasons that’s our Rodman.

So this stuff last night: the tissues, the crying. We’re not so sure what to do with it.

Let’s kick it to social media.

Some reflections Monday, via Twitter:

@_SamGoldstein: “Remember when it was Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman and not Dennis Rodman, Donald Trump, and Kim Jong Un?”

@CDSWCCO: "21 years ago I was watching Michael Jordan score 38 points while battling the flu. Tonight I’m watching his former teammate Dennis Rodman on CNN talking about a summit between North Korea & the US led by Donald Trump. Never pictured this happening back in 1997."

@dfellman: “People always bring up Pippen in the Michael Jordan vs LeBron James debate, but I can almost guarantee LeBron will have never played with a teammate who oversees a nuclear summit like Dennis Rodman.”

@garpo3000: “Here we are on the 21st anniversary of Michael Jordan’s flu game and, between Steve Kerr and Dennis Rodman, the 90s Bulls are still making front page news."

In Rodman’s own words: “Obama didn’t give me the time of day,” Rodman told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I asked him. I said: I have something to say from North Korea. He just brushed me off. But that didn’t deter me . I said to everybody, ‘the door will open.'” That’s when Rodman broke down. Story here

Watch it here

UNIFIED OPPOSITION – The Illinois Republican delegation has seldom united in its opposition to a policy or statement put forth by President Donald Trump. But the president’s public mulling of releasing Blagojevich early from his prison term has changed that. All seven GOP congressman signed onto a lengthy letter spelling out their reasons for wanting to keep the former governor behind bars for the entirety of his 14-year term. Without Trump’s intervention, the 61-year-old Blagojevich isn’t scheduled for release until 2024.

Our story: “Illinois Republicans buck Trump over Blagojevich” – “The Illinois Republican congressional delegation is asking President Trump to call off any plans to commute ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence, saying it would ‘set a detrimental precedent and send a damaging message.’ A copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO shows the state’s seven GOP House members in unified opposition to freeing the former Democratic governor. “[W]e ask that you consider very carefully the precedent this may set and the impact it will have on acts of public corruption in the future. As you well know, the integrity of our democracy and the core of American values depend on our elected officials being honest in upholding the trust given to them by the American people. Granting clemency to Rod Blagojevich would go against this trust,” the letter concludes. The letter was signed by Reps. Peter Roskam, Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Mike Bost, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger and Rodney Davis.

‘As public servants, we are rightfully held to a higher standard. In Illinois, many of our elected officials have failed to do so in the past, and few – like former Governor Rod Blagojevich – have been held accountable for their actions,’ Roskam said in a statement.” Story here

Read the letter here

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– “‘Rest in honor’: Quincy vet hosted by Rauner dies after Legionnaires’ illness,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney: “A Quincy veterans’ home resident who contracted Legionnaires’ disease after Gov. Bruce Rauner feted him during this year’s State of the State address has died following health complications. Services were held on Monday for U.S. Air Force veteran Ivan Jackson, 79. He served for more than two decades and died in a St. Louis hospital on May 23. Rauner’s administration said it had no evidence Jackson’s death was caused by Legionnaires’, and the coroner in St. Louis County, Missouri, where he died, wasn’t immediately available. But Jackson’s daughter said Legionnaires’ likely was a contributing factor along with other serious underlying illnesses.” Story here

– “Could Dems survive without Michael Madigan at the top?” by Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky: “As one sexual harassment horror tale after another emerges from Springfield, I’m coming face-to-face with the heretofore seemingly unthinkable: It’s only a matter of time before Michael Madigan is forced to step down from his positions of power. That would include giving up being chairman of the state Democratic Party and maybe even speaker of the house. I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve never been a big Madigan fan . For all the embarrassment and disgust with Madigan’s statehouse, where flabby old guys harass women with lewd and lame comments, I have a sinking feeling that Republicans would take over without him. Over the last three years, Madigan’s been the key tactician who kept the party strong in the face of Governor Rauner’s relentlessly anti-union, privatization, and school bankruptcy agenda. Madigan absorbed the blows of Rauner’s well-financed propaganda machine that’s probably a lot closer to seizing power in the state than any of us want to consider. Without Madigan leading the resistance in the house, I fear most Democrats would have rolled over in the face of Rauner’s assault.” Story here

– “Woman who uncovered Madigan’s #metoo mess wants to run state Democratic Party," by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles: “Political consultant Alaina Hampton is interested in taking a look at her “dream job:” the suddenly vacant post of executive director for the Democratic Party of Illinois, which Madigan controls . Tim Mapes last week announced his resignation as executive director of the party, chief-of-staff to Madigan and clerk of the Illinois House just hours after Sherri Garrett, a longtime speaker’s office employee, went public with what she called ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’ allegations … While Mapes mostly operated in a behind-the-scenes role as executive director, his replacement could send a huge message to the party that it’s open to change.” Story here

– There’s a MoveOn movement to support state Rep. Litesa Wallace for the Democratic executive director job. 429 people have signed it: more here


– “From a South Side plastics factory to McDonald’s HQ, Chicago is on the front lines of anti-straw push,” by Chicago Tribune’s Robert Channick: “A growing movement against plastic straws is playing out in Chicago, with restaurants and museums banning the items, and a South Side straw factory urgently seeking an environmentally friendly alternative for slurping down a soda or chocolate shake. The single-use plastic straw – colorful, functional and handed out in bunches – has suddenly shifted from consumer staple to scourge, projected by some critics to foul ecosystems for an eon.” Story here

– “Supreme Court won’t get involved in Wrigley Field rooftop dispute,” by AP: “The Supreme Court is leaving in place a court decision dismissing a lawsuit filed against the Chicago Cubs by the owners of rooftop clubs adjacent to Wrigley Field. Skybox on Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club sued the Cubs in 2015, arguing in part that a right-field video board the team was adding would block their views of the ballpark and violate terms of a 2004 revenue-sharing agreement.” Story here

– “‘He’s not coming back’: Family wants justice for man in fatal police shooting,” by WTTW’s Matt Masterson: “Teens from across Chicago joined survivors of the Parkland high school shooting and local activist groups Monday to speak out against gun violence and call for justice days after a man was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. The students filled the second floor of City Hall holding signs and mock gravestones with the names of men and women shot and killed by Chicago police, including Laquan McDonald, Quintonio LeGrier, Bettie Davis and Maurice Granton Jr. – a 24-year-old man who was shot and killed last week as he ran from Chicago Police Department officers.” Story here

– “City reaches $16 million settlement over innocent bystander shot dead by cop,” by Chicago Tribune’s Dan Hinkel: “City of Chicago lawyers have reached a proposed $16 million settlement with the family of an innocent bystander shot dead by an officer who fired at a teenager carrying a baseball bat in December 2015, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the agreement. The tentative settlement with the family of 55-year-old Bettie Jones emerged late last week with the lawsuit’s trial date looming at the Daley Center courthouse. The city remains scheduled to go to trial as soon as this week with the survivors of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who approached officers with a baseball bat as they responded to a domestic disturbance. Officer Robert Rialmo fired, hitting LeGrier and accidentally striking Jones, killing both.” Story here


– “LGBTQ Victory Fund backs gay Dem for Cook County Commissioner,” LGBTQ Victory Fund news release: “The Victory Fund, the only national Political Action Committee dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to all levels of government announced their endorsement of Democratic nominee for Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison, who is running against the chair of the Illinois Republican Party 15th District Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider . Kevin B. Morrison will make history as the first openly LGBTQ person to serve on the Cook County board. He is running against the embattled chair of the Illinois Republican Party 15th District Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider.” Story here


– “Vintage mansion two doors down from Barack Obama’s house on market for $4.5 million,” by Chicago Tribune’s Bob Goldsborough: “A seven-bedroom, 17,769-square-foot vintage mansion in the South Side Kenwood neighborhood that is two doors down from the home of former President Barack Obama was listed on Friday for $4.5 million. Built in 1892 and known as the Goodman mansion after its first owners, the Queen Anne-style mansion is owned by civil rights lawyer Jim Montgomery and his wife, Pauline, who purchased it in 2003 for $1.79 million, property records show.” Story here


– “Dozens sickened in salmonella outbreak traced to pre-cut melons from Indiana facility,” by The Washington Post’s Avi Selk: “At least 60 people have been sickened and dozens have been hospitalized with salmonella after tainted pre-cut melons were distributed to stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Whole Foods in several states, federal officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak to a Caito Foods facility in Indiana. The company has since issued a recall notice in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, asking them to remove clear plastic containers of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and mixed melons from the shelves.” Story here


– “Tony winner’s success ‘not a shock’ back home in Barrington,” by The Daily Herald’s Bob Susnjara: “Katrina Lenk — who Sunday night won the Tony Award for leading actress in a musical — showed potential greatness even as a teenager at Barrington High School, according her former choral director. ‘She was what they like to call a triple threat,’ said Pam Hanley, who was Barrington High’s choral director when Lenk attended the school from 1989 to 1993. ‘She could sing. She could dance. She could act. And she could play an instrument.’ Hanley was beaming in her Barrington home Sunday as she watched Lenk receive a Tony for her performance as Dina in ‘The Band’s Visit.'” Story here


– “Protesters visit Rauner’s house to demand $15 minimum wage,” by State Journal-Register’s Maximilian Kwiatkowski: “Protesters slammed Gov. Bruce Rauner outside the Executive Mansion on Monday, calling for politicians to fight poverty or be voted out. The 30 protesters, many bused in from outside Springfield, gathered around the mansion’s gate on Fifth Street, promising to vote out Rauner for his veto last year of a bill that would have increased Illinois’ minimum wage.” Story here


– “A local Dem sides with Trump in Canada dispute,” by Crain’s Chicago Business’ Greg Hinz: “A suburban Democratic congressman is generally siding with President Donald Trump in Trump’s deepening feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade policy and tariffs. In a statement yesterday and a follow-up phone interview today, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said that while new U.S. tariffs imposed on imports of Canadian aluminum and steel ‘were not necessarily the best move,’ Trudeau should not have ‘taken the bait and escalated things.'” Story here


– “Trump meets Kim in Singapore and predicts ‘terrific relationship,'” by POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson and Nahal Toosi: Story here

– “GOP scolds Trump team for feud with Canada,” by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett: Story here

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