1 Rauner’s reversal
The leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, noted rich guy Bruce Rauner, got his first taste of damage control yesterday. Rauner abruptly backed away from a comment he’d made in December, when he seemingly said Illinois should drop its minimum wage by $1 an hour to be competitive. Now Rauner says he meant that the feds should raise their minimum wage. As Rauner was spinning, rivals and Democrats were flying to the attack. [Sun-Times]
2 That’s not OK
Former Chicago cop Steven Mandell was caught on tape plotting to mutilate a kidnap victim’s genitals — “like slicing a banana split” — and he seemed quite excited by the prospect. [Sun-Times]
3 Obama library in NYC?
Columbia University, which is President Obama’s alma mater, and which is in New York City, wants to be home to his presidential library. Columbia, a well-heeled Ivy League bastion, is making an aggressive play to win the library. If that happens, it’s not clear how this city would go on. [Crain’s]
4 Northern Lights to play Chicago, one night only
The weather is returning to just normally awful, but weird things are still happening. Today it’s a solar flare, headed toward the earth’s magnetic field, which could make it possible to see the northern lights from Chicago unless Bruce Willis and a team of rugged misfits can stop it. [Sun-Times]
5 Snow grousing
Speaking of the weather, there’s still a lot of snow out there. Many sidewalks and side streets remain nearly impassible and many Chicagoans are griping about it. One alderman thinks they should all suck it up and remember that this is winter. In Chicago. [Tribune]
6 Rockford comes close
Rockford was one of five finalists for the massive new Boeing plant, state officials believe. Notice we said “was.” The company decided last week to keep its plant in Seattle. [Sun-Times]
7 Christie’s traffic snarl
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s star got dimmer yesterday. The press got hold of emails in which his aides both took credit for creating a major traffic jam in Fort Lee, and gloated about sticking it to that city’s mayor, a Christie opponent. [New York Times]
8 Another Loop hotel?
A South Carolina-based developer wants to build a Hyatt Place hotel at Franklin and Washington. Probably a terrible idea, but maybe it will have a decent bar. [Crain’s]