Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, June 26, 2017.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes that President Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party's base but that members of Congress haven't realized it fully. The new base is more focused on jobs and the U.S., according to Emanuel. "The talk about health care vis-a-vis his base, I think, misread what his base wanted. I think it was actually a total misreading of the Republican base," Emanuel said in an interview with CNN Sunday. "He actually changed the Republican base, and the Republicans in Congress aren't up to speed with what his base is." The mayor says Trump should have pushed infrastructure legislation before health-care legislation because he would have won bipartisan support. "And I think there is still fundamentally a dire need and a desire—both a dire need and a desire—to build a 21st-century transportation system for a 21st-century economy," Emanuel said. [the Hill]
Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke could be found not guilty with first-degree murder for the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, legal experts told the Sun-Times. Police dash-cam video captured Van Dyke shooting unarmed McDonald to death with 16 shots. "The case law is very clear; it says you have to base those decisions from the officer's perspective, at night on the street . . . not at your office, at your desk," attorney Terry Ekl, who has represented the family of a man fatally shot by Chicago police and cops accused of using excessive force, told the newspaper. The Supreme Court has ruled that juries must think of the incident from "the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene." "As soon as the jurors hear an officer say they shot to 'stop the threat' and that's the only reason why they (fired), and they cry on the stand, that carries a lot of weight," Philip Stinson, a Bowling Green State University criminologist, said. "They just say 'I'm just not going to second-guess the decision of an on-duty police officer in a split-second, life-or-death situation.'" [Sun-Times]
Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker attended a Democratic Governors Association fund-raising "retreat" in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Saturday, according to the Sun-Times. The DGA remains neutral in Democratic primaries, but Pritzker and Chris Kennedy were the only candidates invited of the many Democrats who have entered the 2018 gubernatorial race. Kennedy did not attend the event, despite his family owning a compound on nearby Cape Cod. [Sun-Times]
Three people carrying Jewish Pride flags were asked to leave the Dyke March in Little Village Saturday, according to the Windy City Times. The rainbow flags featured a Star of David in the middle. "It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag," Laurel Grauer told the Windy City Times. Grauer said she was harassed countless times before being asked to leave the march. "They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive," Grauer said. "Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me." The march was "anti-Zionist" and "pro-Palestinian" and the Jewish Pride flags "made people feel unsafe," a Dyke March collective member told the newspaper. [Windy City Times]
Governor Bruce Rauner hasn't been happier in 20 years, despite the deepening state budget crisis, he told the Sun-Times. "That energizes me and I know it sounds strange, but my wife tells me she hasn't seen me this happy in 20 years," he said in an interview. "I feel totally honored and humbled to get the opportunity to improve the future of 13 million people." Democrats quickly responded to the unusual claim. "Glad he's happy. But he shouldn't be," Illinois senate president John Cullerton said. "This is really an embarrassment. We owe $15 billion. We've been downgraded. People are not being paid. People are not being served. There's people who aren't getting breast cancer screenings because of this. . . . It's just sad. It's totally avoidable. That's why I've been working with Republicans this session in a bipartisan fashion, and I give credit to those Republicans who did all the work with us and just weren't allowed to vote." If a budget is not reached by the end of the fiscal year June 30, the state's bond rating will likely be downgraded to junk. "The fact that Bruce Rauner can talk about his own happiness as our economy spirals down the drain and Illinois stumbles towards junk status is appalling," the J.B. Pritzker campaign said in a statement. [Capitol Fax Blog] [Sun-Times]
A new tax on sweetened beverages in Cook County takes effect on July 1, after which a two-liter bottle of soda that currently costs about $1 will carry an additional 67-cent tax. The Tribune has summed up what Cook County consumers need to know about the upcoming changes (which, yes, apply to unsweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, diet soda, ready-to-drink sweetened coffee and teas, sports and energy drinks, and juice products that are fewer than 100 percent fruit or juice. [Tribune]