In September, Mayor Rahm Emanuel hosted London Mayor Sadiq Khan in Chicago for a few days. Last month, Emanuel jetted off to Rome (with some campaign donors in tow) for the a ceremony that elevated then-Archbishop Blase Cupich to cardinal. On Thursday, Emanuel was in Mexico City for a climate change summit organized by the C40 group of global cities.
And it seems he’s not done making international plans.
At the Mexico City summit, Emanuel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced they would host a “global mayors’ forum on urban waterfront redevelopment” in March in Chicago. Emanuel’s office billed the event as “an international conversation about the future of urban waterfronts.”
Chicago has been in the process of wrapping up work on its riverwalk, a project Emanuel highlighted by taking Khan for a ride down the Chicago River in a water taxi in September. Hosting such an international gathering again will allow Emanuel to draw attention to his efforts to bolster public spaces along the river.
The conference in March isn’t the first time Emanuel has made plans to visit with the Paris mayor. In December 2015, Emanuel was scheduled to travel to Paris for a mayors conference on climate change but canceled the trip after a judge ordered the mayor to release the Laquan McDonald police shooting video. The mayor also visited Paris in July 2015 during a family vacation, during which he spent time meeting with Hidalgo, who tweeted photos of herself hugging and visiting with Emanuel along the banks of the Seine River. (Bill Ruthhart)
*Gov. Bruce Rauneris scheduled to address the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association annual luncheon in Chicago. On Saturday and Sunday, he’s scheduled to be in Chicago meeting with legislative leaders as the elusive pursuit of a new state budget and economic reforms continues.
*U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will attend multiple events in Chicago, including giving a speech at the Teach to Lead Summit.
*Durbin pays tribute to departing Kirk: Illinois’ senior U.S. senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, took to the Senate floor Thursday to pay tribute to departing Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, saying while they didn’t always agree, “there is a mutual respect for each other — a respect that is often lacking in our politics today.”
Durbin recounted the day Kirk returned to the Senate after suffering a massive stroke barely a year into office, saying the Republican “brought out the humanity of the Senate.”
“We put aside the fighting and party labels, and we showed that when it gets down to it we are part of a family that really cares about one another,” Durbin said. “He carried on and never stopped working on his recovery — and never stopped working for the people of Illinois.”
Durbin noted that in Kirk’s first Senate speech, the Republican said that “in times of great uncertainty, we need to come together.”
“I know Mark will continue to serve the people of Illinois and all Americans with the same passion and intensity he displayed in this chamber. And I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life,” Durbin said.
Kirk was defeated in last month’s election by two-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates. Duckworth will be sworn-in as the state’s new junior senator next month. (Rick Pearson)
*Trump team cites Cubs’ championship in Ricketts hire: When President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team rolled out its decision to name Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary, it backed up the choice by citing the Chicago Cubs’ championship.
In a conference call with reporters, Trump spokesman Jason Miller called Ricketts, a member of the Cubs ownership family, a “successful businessman” with an “unparalleled knowledge of the finance industry.”
“But also, again, coming from the president-elect, being someone who wrote “The Art of the Comeback,” the job that the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs, one perfect step after another, is just another example of someone who has won at a number of different levels, who’s made good deals, who’s been part of a fantastic turnaround,” Miller said earlier this week.
Later in the call, Miller discussed Trump’s economic team, including Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary and Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary, and again noted Ricketts — a member of the board of T.D. Ameritrade, the company his father founded — was “someone who has been the master of the comeback.”
“These are experts who know how to win,” Miller said.
In March, speaking to the editorial board of The Washington Post, Trump didn’t have that view. That was at a time when the Ricketts family was engaged in a super political action committee effort to deny Trump the Republican presidential nomination. Trump had warned the family in a tweet they had “better watch out.”
“Those Ricketts. I actually said they ought to focus on the Chicago Cubs and, you know, stop playing around. They spent millions of dollars fighting me in Florida,” Trump said, adding, “The Ricketts? I don’t even know these people.”
Asked by an Editorial Board member what Trump meant by telling the Ricketts family to “watch out,” he responded:
“Well, it means that I’ll start spending on them. I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately.” (Rick Pearson)
*The Sunday Spin: On this week’s show, Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson’s guests are former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy; Elliot Richardson, founder of the Small Business Advocacy Council; and David Merriman, public finance expert at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. The “Sunday Spin” airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on WGN 720-AM.
Follow the money
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.