State representative Jeanne Ives meets with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board January 29. Credit: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune via AP

Welcome to the Reader‘s weekday news briefing.

  • Gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives’s ad offends Democrats, Republicans

Republican gubernatorial candidate and state representative Jeanne Ives is being slammed by Democrats and Republicans for a controversial campaign ad that’s been dubbed “racist,” “sexist,” and “transphobic” by many people, according to Politico. The ad mocks illegal immigrants, Chicago Teachers Union members, transgender people, and women who’ve had abortions, among other classes. “This TV ad has no place in Illinois,” Will Allison, a campaign spokesman for Governor Bruce Rauner, said. “It just shows how unelectable Representative Ives really is.” It “denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and cannot represent our Republican Party,” GOP attorney general candidate Erika Harold said in a statement. “I call on the Ives campaign to immediately take it off the air.” [Politico]

  • Holocaust denier expected to win GOP nomination for area Congressional seat

Holocaust denier Arthur Jones is poised to become the Republican nominee for the Third Congressional District, representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs, according to the Sun-Times. Jones, 70, the sole Republication candidate for the office currently held by Democrat Dan Lipinski, says he’s a former leader of the American Nazi Party and is now affiliated with America First. “Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right,” he explained to the Sun-Times. “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.” A resident of suburban Lyons who’s been seeking office since the 70s, Jones is running unopposed against the wishes of the state GOP. “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones,” Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement. “We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.” [Sun-Times]

  • Attorney general candidate Drury believes Madigan thought he was wearing a wire during a meeting

Attorney general candidate Scott Drury has been one of the most outspoken Democratic critics of Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan, even declining to vote for him as speaker. Now the Lake County state representative says he believes that Madigan thought he was “wearing a wire” during a 2016 meeting between the two men. Drury claims the two men were eating at the Union Club “when there was this shady juxtaposition of campaign contributions and my legislation” and Madigan suggested that he donate between $60,000 and $70,000 to Democratic campaigns. “I said to him, ‘I don’t take money from you. I don’t take money from the party. I’m not going to give you $60,000 or $70,000,'” Drury told the Tribune. Drury says that at a subsequent private meeting Madigan behaved as if he believed he was wearing a wire, “talking to my chest almost,” and making a point of saying that “there was no agreement” between the two men.  “There was no question in my mind that that [Madigan] comment was made because he thought I might be working with the federal government,” Drury told the Tribune. [Tribune]

  • Petition challenges could delay early voting

Early voting in the Chicago area for the March 20 primary might be delayed by challenges to candidates’ petitions, according to the Associated Press. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is supposed to have more information about a possible voting start date Monday. [Associated Press via Fox 32 Chicago]

  • Bears player who promised to win the 2018 Super Bowl leads the Philadelphia Eagles to victory

Alshon Jeffery, then a Chicago Bears player, was ridiculed when he boldly told the media on January 1, 2017, that the team would win the 2018 Super Bowl. Jeffery’s prediction came true Sunday night—just with a different team. He was a key part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ stunning 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots. [CBS Sports]

  • Former Avec, Blackbird bookkeeper accused of stealing $600K

A former bookkeeper for Avec and Blackbird restaurants allegedly embezzled $609,574 from the restaurants over at least six years, according to a recent lawsuit reported by Crain’s Chicago Business. “In August of 2017, we discovered that a long-standing member of the Blackbird and Avec teams, whose employment with us spanned nearly two decades, had embezzled funds from our businesses over an extended period of time,” the restaurants’ partners said in a statement. The bookkeeper, Renee Johnson, “did not deny the allegations,” according to the lawsuit. [Crain’s Chicago Business]