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Bill Daley hopes for boost from Bloomberg endorsement

Bill Daley | Sun-Times files

Bill Daley | Sun-Times files

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Updated: August 6, 2013 6:28AM

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley said Thursday he looks forward to continued support financially and politically from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose pro-gun-control SuperPAC helped Democrat Robin Kelly win her campaign to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg released a video endorsement of Daley, the son and brother of two Chicago mayors, saying he knows Daley as “a strong leader who tells it like it is and gets things done.”

While Bloomberg mentions Daley’s role in helping “lead the fight against illegal guns,” the video endorsement also applauds Daley for being a leader who would champion “honest budgets, better schools and an improved job climate for every part of Illinois.”

Daley said he hopes to get Bloomberg’s help with funding — Bloomberg’s Super PAC spent $2.2 million on Kelly’s race — and spreading personal endorsements of Daley’s leadership skills to others.

Bloomberg already has contributed a maximum individual contribution of $5,300 to the $800,000 that Daley has raised in the first two and a half weeks since he announced his Democratic candidacy for governor, according to published reports.

Bloomberg’s endorsements could spread beyond predominantly Democratic Cook County, Daley implied, since Daley noted in an interview at the Chicago History Museum’s Fourth of July celebration that Bloomberg, who was a Democrat before seeking elective office, switched to the GOP to run for mayor 12 years ago and then became an independent in 2007. Bloomberg won his third term in 2009 as an independent.

Bloomberg also has clout among the business establishment, since his ownership of the global financial data and media company Bloomberg LP has propelled him to become the seventh-richest person in the nation with a net worth of $27 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Daley said Bloomberg’s support also shows that Illinois needs stronger leadership on gun control, marriage equality and pension and other financial reform.

Daley said incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn should have been out in front in crafting solutions to these major issues so that the Legislature would pass comprehensive laws, rather than overriding the governor’s vetoes. Quinn on Tuesday issued an amendatory veto of a concealed-carry bill to include greater restrictions such as requiring weapons to be completely concealed, limiting the number of guns a person can carry and banning guns from establishments that sell liquor. The General Assembly is expected to override Quinn’s changes by a federal court deadline of Tuesday.

Daley said his version of the state’s concealed-carry law would include background checks and limits on ammunition magazine sizes. Asked about a lack of agreement on state pension reform, Daley said, “It’s another disappointment, a lack of leadership.” Daley backs House Speaker Michael Madigan’s version of pension reform.

Daley said he wasn’t planning to spend time wondering whether Madigan’s daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, joins the Democratic primary for governor.

He said his focus is on bringing the type of leadership he saw President Barack Obama demonstrate when Daley served as Obama’s chief of staff. Obama set out an agenda and drove its completion, he said.

“The governor is supposed to lead the band — not follow it,” Daley said.

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