SPRINGFIELD — Jeanne Ives, the lawmaker challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner for the Republican nomination for governor, made the most Monday of what could be their only face-to-face appearance, accusing her rival of lying to his supporters about opposing publicly financed abortion and signing a "sanctuary" bill on immigration.
"We can't trust him," Ives, a Wheaton Republican, told the Chicago Tribune editorial board.
Rauner used the question-and-answer session to plead for more time to take down his political nemesis, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago.
Rauner called the longest-serving state House speaker in U.S. history a "crook" who has enriched himself through politics.
"This is not about Republicans versus Democrats," he said. "This is about taking power away from Madigan and giving it back to the people of Illinois."
The governor, who has made lowering local property taxes a focus of his tenure, has accused Madigan of making money off high property-tax assessments through his law firm, which gets paid to appeal assessments.
Rauner has been in constant battle with Madigan during his first term. The governor's vaunted "turnaround agenda" has gone largely unattained, although Rauner singled out one item, term limits for politicians, as the way to depose Madigan.
Later, the first-term governor lumped Madigan in with Democratic front-runner J.B. Pritzker as part of a "crony network of corruption and self-dealing." Rauner said he alone can beat Pritzker in November "because we are fighting for everyone."
Pritzker has faced questions since the Chicago Tribune released FBI-taped phone conversations of him seeking an appointment from now-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich, just weeks before Blagojevich's arrest. Pritzker points out he has not been accused of wrongdoing and simply wanted to offer himself for public service.
Asked why voters should expect anything different in a second term, Rauner said, "Never give up and never give in."
"He gave up and he gave in," Ives interrupted. She castigated Rauner for approving expanded public financing of abortion, saying he lied last spring and said he would veto it. And she ripped him for putting into law Democrats' TRUST Act, which limits how police interact with immigrants except in criminal investigations.
Rauner wouldn't answer whether he had flip-flopped on abortion but he bristled at Ives' characterization of the TRUST Act as a "sanctuary" law, which he opposes.
"It's embarrassing at this point. He's basically disqualified himself from this election. He's gotten nothing done," Ives said.
"If anything, this election should be a referendum on what he's been able to accomplish," she continued, adding a biting reference to the dozens of items on his turnaround agenda, "O-for-44."
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said he wouldn't "dignify" Rauner's "crook" remark with a statement and said it appears the governor is running a campaign against Madigan because he has alienated his Republican base.
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh maintained Rauner was unable to defend his record or point to accomplishments.
The election is March 20.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The moon is providing a rare triple treat this week.
On Wednesday, much of the world will get to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one. There hasn't been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won't occur until 2037.
The eclipse will be visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada before the moon sets early Wednesday morning, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rises Wednesday night into Thursday.
The U.S. East Coast will be out of luck; the moon will be setting just as the eclipse gets started. Europe and most of Africa and South America also will pretty much miss the show.
A blue moon is the second full moon in a month. A supermoon is a particularly close full or new moon, appearing somewhat brighter and bigger. A total lunar eclipse — or blood moon for its reddish tinge — has the moon completely bathed in Earth's shadow.
"I'm calling it the Super Bowl of moons," lunar scientist Noah Petro said Monday from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Others prefer "super blue blood moon."
Either way, it's guaranteed to impress, provided the skies are clear.
The moon will actually be closest to Earth today — just over 223,000 miles. That's about 1,500 miles farther than the supermoon Jan. 1. Midway through Wednesday's eclipse, the moon will be even farther away — 223,820 miles — but still within unofficial supermoon guidelines.
While a supermoon is considered less serious and scientific than an eclipse, it represents a chance to encourage people to start looking at the moon, according to Petro.
"I'm a lunar scientist. I love the moon. I want to advocate for the moon," he said.
Throw in a blue moon, and "that's too good of an opportunity to pass," according to Petro.
As the sun lines up perfectly with the Earth and then moon for the eclipse, scientists will make observations from a telescope in Hawaii, while also collecting data from NASA's moon-circling Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2009.
Just like the total solar eclipse in the U.S. last August cooled the Earth's surface, a lunar eclipse cools the moon's surface. It's this abrupt cooling — from the heat of direct sunlight to essentially a deep freeze — that researchers will be studying.
Totality will last more than an hour.
"The moon is one of the most amazing objects in our solar system," Petro said. "It really is the key to understanding the solar system, through interpreting the geology and surface of the moon."
NASA plans to provide a live stream of the moon from telescopes in California and Arizona, beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST.
MARION — When Shelly Hudspath, coordinator of children’s services at Marion Carnegie Library, saw a Facebook post from children’s book author Jan Brett announcing the eighth annual Free School or Library Visit, she decided to enter the library.
Hudspath said the prize packages were a pretty good incentive — Brett will visit the library with the most votes from from staff, teachers, friends and supporters. The libraries that finish in second through 10th place will receive a prize package of 10 Brett books. Those in 11th through 100th place will receive a signed Jan Brett poster.
“I would be happy with the poster,” Hudspath said.
Brett is a beloved children’s author and has more than 40 million books in print. In fact, you probably have either read one of her books to a child, purchased one as a gift or have them in your own library.
“She’s very prolific. Her illustrations are lush, and she gives so much more of the story [through little details] than in other children’s books,” Hudspath said.
She added that those extra details make the stories more exciting and increase the imagination of the young readers. “Jan Brett books are checked out every day,” Hudspath said.
When the list of front runners first came out, Hudspath checked the list and saw Marion Carnegie Library was in eighth place. Library staff in the children’s department started promoting the contest to friends, family and patrons. Then a funny thing happened, Hudspath checked the list of front runners a week later, and Marion Carnegie Library was in first place.
“That was pretty exciting and encouraging," Hudspath said. "I started promoting it more."
She also enlisted the help of the rest of the library to promote the contest. They have created a display, posted notices on bulletin boards and created fliers to encourage everyone to vote for Marion Carnegie Library.
To vote or for more information, visit Jan Brett on Facebook for a link or go to www.janbrett.com and click “enter here” under a paragraph about the contest on the homepage. Voting requires and email address, and only one vote is allowed per person and email address. Multiple email addresses from the same person are not allowed.
Those voting are required to enter the library’s name and address. Marion Carnegie Library is located at 206 S. Market St., Marion, IL 62959.
As of Monday morning, Marion Carnegie Library was in second place with 642. The contest continues through April 2.
The children’s library also offers weekly story hours at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for children up to 5 years old. Story time includes music, a craft, snack and a story.
For more information, contact the library at 618-993-5935.
CARBONDALE — After a day of partying throughout downtown and in the neighborhoods in Carbondale, volunteers take to those same streets the next day to keep the city looking clean.
This past weekend was the annual Polar Bear, which included an influx of students walking outside attending bars and house parties throughout the city. So, naturally, whenever there are large amounts of people congregating in one place — litter will likely be left behind.
Sarah Heyer, executive director of Keep Carbondale Beautiful, said there were about 20 volunteers Sunday picking up trash in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. She said volunteers picked up eight large bags of trash, and that it's possible the organization picked up about twice as much as the previous year.
“We want to keep Carbondale looking good. We know it is not going to be looking good (after weekends),” Heyer said. “We know it is good for the students. Anybody who is going to pick up litter will probably encourage people around them not to litter.
John Lenzini, Carbondale Building and Neighborhood Services director, said residences throwing large parties in the city are expected to pick up trash by the next day.
He said the city gives the renters a notice usually the next day after the party. Once the tenants are given a written notice, they usually have until the next day to clean up the mess. Lenzini said the first offense is usually a $75 pay-by-mail ticket.
If that doesn’t work, the city has the option of issuing a notice to appear citation, which is a minimum of $225. If the second citation still doesn’t work, everyone on the lease could be subject to an individual ticket or the house could be subject to the city’s nuisance ordinance.
Lenzini said the fine process isn’t about the money, it’s about keep the city looking nice.
“It does us no good to drag money out of students,” he said. “It is about keeping them conscious about having trash in the yard and keeping things looking nice.”
He said it’s important for those who leave litter spread all over their yard and streets in Carbondale that there are consequences and it doesn’t help show Carbondale as a city that people would want to live in.
Keep Carbondale Beautiful performs monthly cleanups around the city. The next is scheduled for 1 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 11. For more information, visit www.keepcb.org.