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Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker is going after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in a new ad over the issue of carcinogenic emissions from a southwest suburban company where the governor has a financial interest.
“Sterigenics, it’s an industrial sterilization company in DuPage County. Nearby, 19,000 people and four schools. Bruce Rauner’s company owns Sterigenics, and when the Environmental Protection Agency recently found chemicals were causing an elevated cancer risk and residents became sick, Rauner disagreed,” an announcer says.
“This is not an emergency. This is not a public health immediate crisis,” the ad shows Rauner saying about the Willowbrook facility.
Rauner’s former private equity firm bought the company. He has denied any ownership interest since 2015, though his statement of economic interest shows he receives income from an investment fund with ownership in the company.
The U.S. EPA has found the facility is emitting cancer-causing ethylene oxide gas at a level more toxic than had previously been known.
Amid an intense political environment in the traditionally GOP-leaning suburbs, Rauner joined a chorus of local Republican officials who have called for a shutdown of the facility after spending the previous month downplaying cancer risks from toxic air emissions.
The Tribune found that two months before a U.S. EPA report warning of the cancer threat was released to the public, the state EPA responded to the then-secret report by giving Sterigenics a permit to voluntarily install new pollution-control equipment. That made it harder to take legal action against the company. Rauner appointees also delayed providing the attorney general’s office key documents about the facility.
What’s on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will visit a Chicago hotel to announce new tourism numbers. Later, he will speak at the Chicago Public Library Foundation Sandburg Dinner.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to be at Northern Illinois University with local officials for an announcement on the Illinois Innovation Network.
*Diana Rauner, Illinois’ first lady, will be in Rockford discussing early childhood education.
From the notebook
*Scalise to help Roskam raise money in Illinois’ 6th: U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam is set to get a fundraising boost from a Southern congressman who defeated him in a bid to move up House Republican leadership.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana will be in Naperville on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at a reception for Roskam, according to the invitation. A ticket goes for $50, and a “private roundtable” goes for $1,000.
Four years ago, Scalise bested Roskam in the race for House majority whip, a post that opened up in the leadership shuffle following Eric Cantor’s primary loss to Dave Brat in Virginia. At the time, Roskam was the No. 4 Republican in the House, but his unsuccessful attempt to move up left him out of GOP leadership.
Last year, Scalise was shot by a Belleville, Ill., man during practice for the annual congressional baseball game. He has since made his return to Congress, where he still serves as whip under House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Roskam, of Wheaton, is locked in a tough re-election battle with Democratic businessman Sean Casten of Downers Grove, who raised $2.6 million in the third quarter, according to his campaign. Roskam’s campaign said he raised about $1.3 million.
What we’re writing
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel rejects President Donald Trump’s call for Chicago police to use stop-and-frisk tactics.
*As wave of women runs for office, Democrats hoping for a boost from Lauren Underwood in Illinois’ 14th District.
*How it took 2 weeks for a shooting victim to get the attention of Chicago police.
*Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg touts Gary ArtHouse potential.
*Orland Township employee raided funds to pay credit card, utility bills, police say.
*Treasure Island workers protest loss of wages, health benefits.
What we’re reading
*Chicago’s seeing fewer bridge lifts. Here’s why.
*Cubs are done, but Bears are winning. Ticket resellers are grinning.
*“That didn’t happen”: Father-son eyewitnesses to Laquan McDonald’s shooting tell why they came forward.
*Governing: “This is what happens when a city shuts down mental health clinics.”
Follow the money
*Rauner’s campaign gave Erika Harold’s bid for attorney general another $500,000 last week, state campaign finance reports showed. Rauner’s campaign gave her $1 million in August and previously paid for $305,000 worth of ads in the March GOP primary. She is facing Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul to replace retiring Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
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October 9, 2018 at 05:51AM