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Illinois governors invited back to Springfield for reconstructed mansion

Diana Rauner, wife of Gov. Bruce Rauner, has invited all living former Illinois governors and their families back next month to see the newly reconstructed Governor's Mansion. | Sun-Times files

Sneed is told former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich has been invited back to the Governor’s Mansion.

So have Pat and George and “Big Jim” and Jayne and Jim and Brenda.

• Translation: All living former Illinois governors and their families, once residents of the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, have been invited mid-July to revisit their newly reconstructed and once dilapidated old digs.

The invites were issued by the lady who organized the rebirth of the old pile of Georgian bricks with private funds and savvy help: Illinois first lady Diana Rauner.

The mansion was rarely occupied by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who liked working from his Chicago home. Blago now serves time in a federal prison in Colorado awaiting word whether President Donald Trump will commute his 14-year political corruption sentence.

“Yes, we invited Mrs. Blagojevich and her family to the mansion re-opening July 14,” said a mansion source. (A classy move.)

OPINION

Also on the list:

• Former Gov. Pat Quinn. “I don’t think I’ve been invited. I’ll have to recheck.” said Quinn, who has been busy trying to limit Mayor Rahm Emanuel to two terms in office.

• Former Gov. George Ryan: “I’m looking forward to it,” said Ryan, who lost his beloved wife, Lura Lynn, since his tenure in office.

“I’m bringing along three of my daughters,” added Ryan, who once opined to Sneed he’d have liked to add a swimming pool to the mansion grounds for all his children and grandchildren.

• Former Gov. Jim Thompson and wife Jayne. “He will be unable to come,” said the source.

• Former Gov. Jim Edgar and wife, Brenda. However, he cannot attend because of a prior arrangement.

Sneed is also told an effort was made to locate members of the family of former Gov. Richard Ogilvie, who died in 1988.

Should be some shindig.

Fie on Chicago?

News President Trump was heading a wee bit north of the Illinois border Thursday to break ground for a huge Foxconn electronics factory near Racine, Wisconsin, reminded Sneed of how little we’ve seen of the Trumpster.

How about never.

Since his election as president, the Donald chooses to come only within spitting distance of Illinois.

• To wit: Trump, who owns the Trump Tower in Chicago, has not set foot in Illinois since September 28, 2016, when a major Republican fundraiser was tossed for him by Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, who barely won re-election.

Before that, Trump hit town on March 11 to attend a 6 p.m. rally at the UIC Pavilion, which erupted in a melee before his appearance — which caused him to cancel the event from the safety of his suite at Trump Tower.

The papal blessing . . .

Sneed is told Pope Francis lit a torch in Rome on Wednesday to honor the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Special Olympics in Chicago, and used it as a symbolic send-off for the Italian Special Olympians participating in the Unified Cup soccer games here July 17-20.

“It was one of the highlights of my life knowing the Special Olympics has become a way for the world to treat people as equals even though there are differences among us,” said Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who organized the first Special Olympics, which was held at Soldier Field — and attended the papal event in Rome.

“One Special Olympian had no arms and no legs and his caregiver lifted him up to the Pope to embrace him and wish him well in his special event,” she said.

“I was so moved. I couldn’t believe it. I just sat there and watched spellbound. To think I had any part of this,” Burke said.

In addition to Chance the Rapper and Smokey Robinson performing during the July 17-21 Chicago events, actors Vanessa Williams, Lauren “Glee” Potter as well as talk show host Jimmy Fallon and Olympic medalists — Scott Hamilton, Nadia Comaneci, Michelle Kwan, Michael Phelps, Hannah Teter, Bart Conner and Donna de Varona — will be in attendance.

Sneedlings . . .

Condolences to the family of John Credidio, who created one of the first major film studios in Chicago — Studio City — who died Monday after a broken hip complication, according to his son, Joe Credidio. . . I spy: Singer Halsey and pop group 5 Seconds of Summer spotted having drinks at Three Dots and a Dash on Saturday night after hitting up Hub 51. . . . Today’s birthdays: Elon Musk, 47; Kathy Bates, 70; John Cusack, 52; and a belated birthday to Sec. of State Jesse White, ageless.