From the Midwest, progressive J.B. Pritzker launches anti-Ron DeSantis flares

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CHICAGO — He’s a governor who talks powerful about Covid, has pleaded with to the Faculty Board about an AP African American research course and is outspoken on the problem of abortion. 

He isn’t Ron DeSantis, who has nabbed headlines on these matters in current months. He’s J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic governor of Illinois, who has steadily staked out progressive positions which have develop into legislation. 

DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, took issue with a draft Superior Placement African American research course partly as a result of it included a unit on “Black Queer Research.” Pritzker signed a law requiring that public colleges train “the roles and contributions of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender folks.” He also signed into legislation a requirement that college students study Asian American historical past, making Illinois the primary state to require it.

DeSantis suspended a prosecutor who wouldn’t implement Florida’s new abortion restriction. Pritzker has vociferously held up Illinois as a beacon to ladies looking for abortions. DeSantis is advocating to ease restrictions on gun possession. Pritzker simply helped push via a legislation banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

“The governor has put Illinois on the map as probably the most protected locations for girls throughout the Midwest to get an abortion, whereas Ron DeSantis is doing every part in his energy to make abortion unlawful and harmful and as inaccessible as doable,” stated Terry Cosgrove, the previous chief of Private PAC, which advocates for reproductive rights.

In type, coverage and substance, Pritzker has come to represent the anti-DeSantis governor. On Monday, these contrasts will likely be on full show as DeSantis is predicted to speak to law enforcement in suburban Chicago. 

It’s unlucky that Ron DeSantis has the platform that he has. I hope he stays in Florida.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering

Pritzker, who can also be broadly thought-about to be on the shortlist of Democrats eager about future presidential runs, has made it clear that DeSantis, a doable GOP presidential candidate, isn’t welcome.  

“Ron DeSantis’s harmful and hateful agenda has no place in Illinois. Banning books, enjoying politics with folks’s lives, and censoring historical past are antithetical to who we’re,” Pritzker said on Twitter. “Each candidate hoping to carry public workplace within the land of Lincoln ought to condemn this occasion.”

Pritzker has taken direct goal at DeSantis on quite a few events, together with on a visit to talk earlier than the Florida Democratic Celebration final yr, when he stated DeSantis was “just Donald Trump with a mask on.”

“He’s making an attempt to go off his covert racism, homophobia and misogyny as a extra cheap type of Trump Republicanism,” Pritzker stated on the time.

In his State of the State speech final week, Pritzker referred to a “virulent pressure of nationalism plaguing our nation, led by demagogues who’re pushing censorship, with a selected assault proper now on faculty board members and library trustees,” which was broadly interpreted as successful at DeSantis. An aide, nevertheless, stated Pritzker was referring to the GOP itself and to not DeSantis particularly.

DeSantis has pushed back. He stated he was beneath assault by liberal governors like Pritzker and Gavin Newsom of California for maintaining the state of Florida open throughout Covid, in addition to its colleges. Newsom has additionally tried to act as a foil to DeSantis.

DeSantis said on Fox News: “Even our worst critics — Pritzker himself, he sent his family to Florida throughout the lockdowns. So whereas the folks of Illinois are struggling beneath his petty tyranny, his household’s down residing in freedom within the state of Florida.”

The DeSantis administration announced in January that it was rejecting the AP African American research course, saying components of it sought to indoctrinate college students with a left-wing ideology.

In response, Pritzker despatched the Faculty Board a letter battling DeSantis’ transfer.

“No matter some leaders’ efforts, ignoring and censoring the correct reporting of historical past won’t change the realities of the nation by which we stay. In Illinois, we won’t settle for this watering down of historical past,” Pritzker wrote. “One Governor mustn’t have the ability to dictate the information of U.S. historical past. In Illinois, we reject any curriculum modifications designed to appease extremists just like the Florida Governor and his allies.”

The Faculty Board finally revised the course in a method that addressed most of the DeSantis administration’s objections, though it insisted it didn’t let politics information its selections.

Simply how completely different are DeSantis and Pritzker?

“Day and evening. Apples and zebras,” stated Nancy Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, the place a gunman shot and killed paradegoers over the Fourth of July. Rotering has pushed for an assault weapons ban for years. After that taking pictures, Pritzker helped push via the ban, and he not too long ago signed it into legislation.

“It’s unlucky that Ron DeSantis has the platform that he has. I hope he stays in Florida,” Rotering stated. 

However simply as DeSantis has drawn the ire of the left, Pritzker has executed so with the suitable, which has blamed him for top taxes and for shifting too far to the left on social points, together with abortion.

“Governor Pritzker has been an unabashed cheerleader for the Leftist financial and social insurance policies which have made blue states like Illinois, California, and New York far much less engaging to residents and companies,” Tom Morrison, a conservative former state Home member, stated by textual content message. “Their migration to pink states like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee is indeniable.”

“DeSantis’ nationwide reputation is gaining regardless of a lot media hostility and repeated, directed assaults from outstanding Democrats,” he added. “I believe that’s as a result of the kind of excessive profile public coverage positions that DeSantis has taken have genuinely broad public help.”

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