Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what's going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is bypassing the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but he’s still trying to garner attention as he seeks re-election in November. As “Mr. Illinois.”
In a video posted on Twitter, Team Kirk unveiled a feature called “60 seconds with Mr. Illinois” in which he offers his view that Lou Malnati’s is his go-to pizza in Chicago and that The Ledge on the Skydeck at Willis Tower is his recommendation as a must-see destination.
Kirk also offers that his favorite new sport is tower climbing, citing his stair climbing at the Willis Tower and John Hancock Center following his stroke.
He doesn’t mention presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump or his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, but does tout his efforts to help protect whistleblowers at the federal Veterans Administration. (Rick Pearson)
What's on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel has no public schedule.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner will tour the SIU Transportation Education Center in Murphysboro.
*Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and state lawmakers will hold a Thompson Center news conference to call on the governor to sign a death benefits bill that's on his desk.
*U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and County Board President Preckwinkle will talk about opioid abuse at a news conference at Stroger Hospital.
What we're writing
*Kasich takes backhanded swipe at Trump in speech to Illinois convention delegates.
*Unity elusive at first Illinois GOP delegation convention breakfast in Cleveland.
*City, county set aside millions for environmental cleanup to try to spur redevelopment.
*Activists, aldermen want Emanuel to include renters on property tax rebate.
*Big building recycling ordinance advances.
*Meep meep: Chicago alderman says hands off the coyotes.
What we're reading
*Illinois first lady Diana Rauner unveils $15 million executive mansion overhaul.
*NYT profile on Melania Trump, potentially the next first lady.
*Trump campaign is second chance for failed '96 Dole crew.
From the notebook
*More Illinois GOP congressmen in Cleveland: Despite fears by some of associating with Donald Trump’s Republican convention, a few more Illinois GOP congressmen are showing up.
Downstate Republican Reps. John Shimkus of Collinsville and Rodney Davis of Taylorville were with Illinois delegates Monday when Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton showed up. Roskam and Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano are scheduled to speak at the delegation’s breakfast on Tuesday morning. (Rick Pearson)
*Voter registration mailing warning: The Chicago elections board is warning residents about mailings being sent out by a private group called the Voter Participation Center.
The group is sending millions of letters to prospective voters throughout the United States, but some recipients are not eligible because they are too young or not yet citizens.
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Chairman Marisel A. Hernandez said the forms being sent out are useful for people who need to register at new addresses. But she said some residents have called to ask why they received the letters if the law does not allow them to register to vote or if they are already registered. (Rick Pearson)
*A look at IL-11 fundraising: Republican congressional challenger Toni Khouri’s campaign sent out a news release last week announcing new staff hires, including a campaign fundraiser. That person’s got their work cut out for them.
The latest federal campaign finance reports show Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster had nearly $2.5 million to start the month after raising $389,000 from April through June. Khouri reported about $173,000 to begin July after raising $68,000 in the second quarter.
Both candidates have done some significant self-financing. Khouri, a DuPage County Board member who owns a landscaping and home services company, lists $215,250 in personal loans from her primary bid, which she narrowly won over two GOP opponents. Foster, a scientist who owned a theatrical lighting company, lists $1.1 million in personal loans from prior runs for Congress.
Khouri is part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Young Guns" program, which says "candidates have met a series of rigorous goals and surpassed program benchmarks to establish a clear path to victory."
The oddly shaped 11th Congressional District, drawn by Democrats to elect a Democrat after the 2010 census, includes parts of Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook and Joliet.
Follow the money
*Track campaign contribution reports in real time with this Tribune Twitter account: http://www.chicagotribuneem.com/ILCampaignCash
*Trump praised as law and order candidate on Night One of convention.
*Republicans bicker on convention floor on Day One.
*Police: Baton Rouge gunman was definitely seeking out officers to kill.
*Court stops release of GMO mosquitoes as way to fight Zika virus in Cayman Islands.