Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what's going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s twice-rescheduled suburban Chicago fundraising luncheon is set for Wednesday.
The event, to be held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, comes as Trump’s campaign, along with allied committees, reported raising $90 million last month. It was a $10 million increase from what he raised in July, but it also trailed the $143 million raised last month by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee and state parties.
Trump’s Bolingbrook event has ticket prices ranging from $1,000 to attend the luncheon to $250,000 per couple. The higher-priced ticket includes getting named as an event chairman, luncheon with “prime seating,” a photo opportunity and attendance at a pre-lunch “VIP roundtable.”
Hosts for the event include Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz, finance chair for the Trump Victory fund in Illinois, and a longtime Republican donor and bundler.
Gidwitz was an early supporter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed bid for the nomination, as was much of the state’s Republican establishment. But Gidwitz became a fundraiser for the GOP nominee after having a personal meeting with the former reality TV star.
Also serving on the event host committee is Roger Claar, the longtime Bolingbrook mayor and a member of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee.
But the other event hosts, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, are from out of state, reflecting the uneasy alliance that exists between Illinois Republicans and their presidential nominee. Top GOP leaders in the state have actively worked to distance themselves from Trump.
Proceeds from the event go to the victory fund established for Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Money raised for the fund not only goes to the Trump campaign, but to the RNC and state GOP efforts in 11 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Trump also has a Wednesday evening rally scheduled in Waukesha, Wis.
Clinton has a fundraising event scheduled for Thursday in Chicago. Tickets for the event range from $2,700 per person to $33,400 per table. (Rick Pearson)
What's on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel's public schedule was not available.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner will military families in the Capitol in the morning and attend the opening of a bar and restaurant in Peoria in the afternoon.
*U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon will speak to the City Club of Chicago.
*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will preside over a special meeting to honor the late Joan Murphy, the 79-year-old commissioner who died Sept. 18 of complications from breast cancer.
*The first presidential debate is Monday night. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, live from Hofstra University in New York at 8 p.m.
What we're writing
*Industry fearful as Emanuel eyes Chicago River land-use changes.
*Emanuel to critics: Violence "is Chicago's fight, not the mayor's fight."
*Video: Emanuel talks about "rock solid" relationship with son.
*Key week ahead in Chicago Teachers Union bid for new contract.
*Suburban school districts offer cash bonus to some retired educators.
What we're reading
*Life on a ledge.
*Former top Emanuel adviser starts $15 million civic tech fund. It's called Ekistic. Just rolls off the tongue, kind of like David Axelrod's old public affairs firm that rebranded itself Kivvit.
*588-check your math? Empire Carpet sued by sales reps.
From the notebook:
*Property tax rebate site: The city has launched a webpage to promote Mayor Emanuel’s property tax rebate program, which is designed to soften the blow of recent increases for lower-income homeowners.
Applications will be accepted starting Oct. 1 and must be turned in by Nov. 30. Homeowners can turn them in at City Hall and 26 other places across the city listed online.
The rebates range from $25 to $100, with an extra $100 for seniors who qualify for the rebate.
Rebates will decline as incomes climb, with a limit of $75,000 in annual earnings per household to be eligible. Rebate amounts also would be lower for folks who had lesser tax increases. For example, a family earning $50,000 to $75,000 that saw its taxes rise $200 to $250 would get a rebate of $75.
The city estimates that about 155,000 of the city's 425,000 or so homeowners would qualify for a rebate, with an average check of $150. It would cost the city $21 million if everyone took advantage. (Hal Dardick)
*Restive business community wants City Hall’s ear: Two groups representing Chicago businesses plan to announce Monday that they are forming a new committee to “address the lack of policy support for lifting up neighborhood businesses throughout Chicago.”
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce are scheduled to hold a City Hall news conference to talk about the Neighborhood Small Business Committee, made up of hospitality, manufacturing and technology business employers.
The committee “will provide unfiltered input from the front lines of small business operations and present recommendations to the mayor and aldermen on a routine basis to seek more collaboration and better understanding of what it takes to run a neighborhood small business,” states a press release.
Although the business groups aren’t yet talking about why they feel the effort is needed, in the past year or so they have complained about additional financial burdens the city has placed on the people they represent. Those include a record-high property tax increase, a higher city minimum wage, city sick-leave requirements and the recently approved water and sewer tax. (Hal Dardick)
*Emanuel health coverage move: About 24,000 retired City Hall workers, their spouses and children next year will lose what remains of their city health insurance subsidies under one of Mayor Emanuel’s cost-saving efforts.
That leaves retirees with a couple of options, should the subsidy phase-out plan withstand an ongoing court challenge: buy health insurance privately, rely on Medicare alone if they qualify, find a plan through exchanges set up under the federal Affordable Care Act or go without coverage.
Soon, they will have another option: Joining a plan the city put together with Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
The city recently explained the plan to the boards of all four city pension funds, which all agreed to give retirees the option of having their health insurance premiums deducted from their benefit checks.
City Comptroller Erin Keane said Friday that some retired workers, particularly those who aren’t yet on Medicare, can get better deals on the health care exchanges.
But the idea was to give retired workers “options that are not available on the marketplace.” With Blue Cross they can stick with “a vendor and provider in a network that they’re familiar with.”
That would not be inexpensive. Those not on Medicare who choose the plan with the least out-of-pocket costs would pay $1,466 a month just for themselves, $2,610 for a couple and $3,622 for a family. Prices on the less-expensive plan, which has a higher deductible, also aren’t cheap, ranging from $1,295 a month to $3,198.
For the majority of retired city workers on Medicare, the top plan’s cost would be $339 a month for an individual. The cheapest back-up plan, which would not cover less of the costs for medical care, is $59 a month.
Retired workers will soon receive more information on the plans, Keane said. Blue Cross agents will be available to sort through the options of the city plan, and the city also is setting up a way for the retired workers to get information on the health care exchanges via phone, she added.
Emanuel touts the three-year phase-out of the subsidies as one of his major cost-saving efforts since becoming mayor in 2011. Next year, city health care costs will be about $90 million less annually than they were in 2013, before the phase-out began.
Some city retirees are still getting subsidies. They include retired firefighters and police officers who don’t yet qualify for Medicare and are guaranteed supplemental coverage under their union contracts and workers who retired before Aug. 23, 1989, a group protected by a settlement in a court case. (Hal Dardick)
*The Sunday Spin: On this week’s show, Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson’s guests were Dan McGrath, president of Leo High School; Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League; and Jason DeSanto, senior lecturer at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. Listen to the full show here.
Follow the money
*The Illinois Sunshine folks take a look at money pouring into pushing the transportation lockbox constitutional amendment voters will consider on Nov. 8.
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Clinton-Trump debate expected to be huge draw.
*Clinton struggles most with truth about herself, Politico finds.
*Amid protests, Charlotte releases police shooting video.
*Suspect arrested in fatal Seattle shootings.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.
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