The lobby of the Thompson Center in 2015 Credit: Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, June 23, 2017. Have a great weekend!

  • Rauner rejects Emanuel’s massive Thompson Center offer

Despite his repeated calls for its sale and redevelopment, Governor Bruce Rauner has rejected Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s offer “to clear the way for construction of an enormous 2 million-square-foot office tower where the aging Thompson Center now stands,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The governor reportedly wants “a free hand” to have the state-owned facility be replaced by a building approaching the size of the Willis Tower, and he was unwilling to address a city pension bill pushed by Emanuel in exchange for the deal, instead urging the mayor to pressure house speaker Michael Madigan for concessions on a statewide pension bill. Even house Republican leader Jim Durkin intervened, urging Rauner to compromise. “I think the governor has missed an excellent opportunity,” Democratic alderman Brendan Reilly told Crain’s. “For the life of me, I can’t understand why.” [Crain’s Chicago Business]

  • Durbin slams Senate GOP health-care plan: “You can put a lace collar on a pit bull and it’s still a mean dog”

Senator Dick Durbin slammed the Senate Republicans’ new health-care bill Thursday, saying, “You can put a lace collar on a pit bull and it’s still a mean dog.” Republican senators have been trying to claim that its newly released draft legislation is not as “mean” as even President Trump at one point proclaimed the House version to be, but that’s not true, according to Durbin. His fellow Democratic senator, Tammy Duckworth, noted that the Senate version includes “massive tax cuts to Trump’s billionaire friends” and would force “millions of working Americans to pay more for less care.” [Tribune]

  • Jesus “Chuy” Garcia asks Cook County assessor Joseph Berrios to explain property tax inequities

Cook County commissioner and former mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is filing a resolution asking Cook County assessor Joseph Berrios to appear before the Cook County Board to “explain troubling inequities in property tax assessments, following a Tribune investigation that found wealthier neighborhoods got breaks at the expense of poorer areas. “It does appear to me that the system isn’t working and is broken,” Garcia said. “Residents trying to make ends meet have a higher property tax burden.” [Tribune]

  • Uber CEO Trevor Kalanick forced to resign in a Chicago hotel

Controversial Uber CEO Trevor Kalanick was in Chicago Tuesday to interview executive job candidates when two Silicon Valley venture capitalists surprised him at a undisclosed downtown hotel with a list of demands from five major investors—including that he resign before the end of the day. Signees included Benchmark as well as Fidelity Investments, and according to the New York Times, Kalanick initially “balked,” calling board member, Arianna Huffington, who told him to consider it. After “hours of haggling and arguing,” Kalanick, whose mother recently died, agreed to step down, saying “I love Uber more than anything in the world, and at this difficult moment in my personal life, I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.” [New York Times]

  • Cubs favorite Kyle Schwarber sent down to minor-league Iowa Cubs

Chicago Cubs star Kyle Schwarber has been sent down to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs to clear his head. The 24-year-old Ohio native, currently batting .171, has been struggling since the season started in April despite his 12 home runs, including his first career grand slam. [ESPN]

  • Actor Howard Witt passes away

Actor Howard Witt, who graced many of Chicago theater’s prestigious stages for years, passed away Wednesday. The Tony Award-nominated actor was a fan favorite at the Goodman Theatre, appearing in King Lear, Fish Men, and Death of a Salesman. “A legend,” Goodman artistic director Robert Falls said of Witt. “I could go on and on—and I will. Soon. Loved him.” [Sun-Times]