A section of the city’s tony Ravenswood neighborhood is now virtually teeming with former Obama administration big shots, but to hear ex-White House spokesman Robert Gibbs tell it, that’s pure coincidence.
Gibbs recently moved in so close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel — President Obama’s first White House chief of staff — that he easily could walk to the Emanuel house to borrow a cup of sugar.
Yet Gibbs, now head of communications for McDonald’s, said Tuesday that he had no idea he had purchased a house around the corner from the mayor.
“Interestingly, I didn’t realize, after I moved in, that I lived a block away (from Emanuel), literally,” Gibbs said after the groundbreaking ceremony for the new McDonald’s corporate headquarters in the West Loop. “I was walking my dog and saw cars out in front of the house and thought, ‘That seems kind of interesting.’”
“And then when we first moved in, we accidentally set off the alarm because we got the house but didn’t get the code to turn off the alarm,” Gibbs said. “And so, pretty quickly the police came over, and it was apparent that somebody lived nearby, that we attracted their attention. So I didn’t realize quite how close it was, but I’m glad to live that close.”
Emanuel got in his own dig during the ceremony, remarking from the podium: “If I had known bringing the McDonald’s worldwide headquarters to the city of Chicago (I) was gonna have a new neighbor, Robert Gibbs, I would have thought twice about it.” (John Byrne)
*Members of Chicago Local School Councils plan to take a letter to Emanuel’s office Wednesday morning asking for a meeting about special education funding.
*Three City Council committees are set to meet. The Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development and Committee on Transportation and Public Way are scheduled for 11 a.m., and the Committee on License and Consumer Protection is set for noon.
*Prosecutors say Springfield isn’t too far to drive for globe-trotting ex-Rep. Aaron Schock.
What we’re reading
*Discrimination suit alleges black temp workers passed over for Hispanics.
*Police files, photos from ’66 Valerie Percy murder to remain under wraps.
*Naperville man who says he received 27 write-in votes for president: "I’m almost absolutely sure no one else in my family voted for me."
From the notebook
*A Senate goodbye: Outgoing Republican Sen. Mark Kirk was praised Tuesday from the Senate floor by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who singled out how he recovered from a “debilitating” stroke in 2012.
“He never lost hope. He never gave up. He set his sights on getting back to work for the people of Illinois and the nation,” McConnell said.
McConnell also highlighted Kirk’s bipartisanship and ties to Democrats including Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Kirk was defeated last month by Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates. She’ll move to the Senate in January. Kirk spent a decade in the U.S. House representing a district in the northern suburbs before his time in the Senate.
“We know he won’t stop looking out for our country," McConnell said. “We know he won’t stop advocating for stroke survivors. We know he’s not going to stop.” (Katherine Skiba)
*Bustos scores leadership spot: U.S. House Democrats late Monday voted for Rep. Cheri Bustos of East Moline to serve as one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
First elected to Congress in 2012, Bustos will co-chair the panel with Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
The committee “is tasked with developing a message that forcefully communicates how House Democrats are fighting on behalf of working families,” a Bustos spokesman said. (Katherine Skiba)
Follow the money
*State House Republican leader Jim Durkin reported $13,000 in contributions, most of the money coming via $10,000 from Farmers Insurance. The rest came from Waste Management.
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Trump, well-known for riding on a jet bearing his name, says Boeing should cancel an order for a new Air Force One.
*Two Colorado Democrats who are part of the Electoral College are going to court over whether they have to vote for Trump.
*Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste.
*Syria says it’s seized nearly 75 percent of eastern Aleppo.
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