Gov. Bruce Rauner should look in the mirror before demanding the resignation of Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios for presiding over a corrupt and failing property tax system, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday.
“My basic point to Gov. Rauner [is], you’ve never passed a budget, let alone submitted one, that’s ever been balanced in three years. Don’t be throwing stones. … People in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones,” the mayor said while standing in front of a mountain of salt at Grand and Rockwell to highlight the city’s winter preparedness.
“Second, the voters decide whether somebody should stay or go. That’s what elections are about.”
Today, Daniel Biss announced the endorsement of author, University of Illinois at Chicago professor, and former Chicago Alderman Dick Simpson. The two will host a Facebook Live discussion at 4:00 p.m. today to discuss topics related to good government, fighting corruption, and getting big money out of politics.
I’m proud to endorse Daniel Biss,” said Dick Simpson. “Daniel is a proven progressive and a leader who doesn’t shy away from the tough fights. Whether he’s introducing a small donor matching program to get big money out of politics or a bill to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the Illinois ballot, Daniel pursues innovative solutions that will transform our democracy at its core. With an impressive record of taking on the political machine and organizing around long-term reforms, Daniel is the candidate I trust to build a state that works for middle-class families like his.”
It’s an honor to receive Dick Simpson’s endorsement,” said Daniel Biss. “As an alderman, professor, and author, Dick has called attention to the insidious consequences of corruption and machine politics and the urgency of building a more transparent and accountable government. And he’s right—if we want to pass progressive revenue sources and fund our crucial priorities, it starts with setting up our government to listen to the rest of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
Democrats Are Abandoning Joe Berrios, But J.B. Pritzker Is Still Silent
Pritzker’s silence is a desperate attempt to protect the corrupt Pritzker-Madigan-Berrios property tax racket
“J.B. Pritzker refuses to criticize Joe Berrios because without Berrios, Pritzker and Madigan can’t profit from their corrupt property tax racket. Pritzker needs Berrios’ support to secure huge property tax breaks for himself and make it past the upcoming primary. Berrios needs Pritzker to dole out campaign cash and work hand-in-hand with Madigan in Springfield. It’s a racket that would make even the most corrupt politicians blush.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
Days ago, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois released their fourth installment of an investigative series looking into the Cook County property tax system. The bombshell report revealed that Cook County Assessor and Democratic Party boss Joe Berrios, with the support of Mike Madigan, is running what is essentially a property tax racket that shifts property taxes from the rich to the poor.
Unsurprisingly, most Democrats want nothing to do with Berrios and Madigan. Just yesterday, three Democratic members of Congress were the latest Democrats to endorse Berrios’ opponent. Last month, “Chuy” Garcia, Heather Steans, and David Orr all endorsed Berrios’ opponent as well.
But who is one Democrat that “won’t be critical” of Joe Berrios or Mike Madigan? None other than J.B. Pritzker.
And it makes sense - J.B. Pritzker is an integral part of the corrupt Pritzker-Madigan-Berrios property tax racket. Pritzker funnels campaign cash to Madigan and Berrios, Madigan gets rich off of his property tax appeals law firm and uses his political machine to back Berrios and Pritzker, and Berrios doles out huge property tax breaks to billionaire insiders like Pritzker while backing Pritzker’s campaign for governor.
J.B. Pritzker’s silence on Joe Berrios is a desperate attempt to protect his corrupt property tax racket with Madigan and Berrios.
Rauner Failing to Protect Illinois from Donald Trump’s Backwards Environmental Policies
Rauner Refuses to Join Bipartisan Group of Governors Committing States to Paris Climate Goals
Today, while Governor Bruce Rauner celebrates passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, voters won’t hear Rauner talk about how President Trump’s backwards environmental policies will hurt Illinois. Earlier this year, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement and pulled back President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and Rauner has been silent.
Rauner has been called on numerous times to either repudiate Trump’s actions or sign Illinois onto a growing movement to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement. So far, a group of 15 bipartisan governors have committed their states to the goals. WTTW reported that Rauner has repeatedly ignored state lawmakers and activists calls for Rauner to commit Illinois. In June, Rauner was asked directly by a voter to keep Illinois in the pact. He dodged. Groups like Sierra Club Illinois have noticed how Rauner was “silent when the President decided to pull out of Paris” and “on whether Illinois would take the lead on climate change anyway.”
And while Rauner touts his energy record, he doesn’t often mention how his administration is trying to roll back regulations on coal-powered plants. Curious.
“Once again, Bruce Rauner refuses to stand up to President Trump whose policies are moving Illinois backwards,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Under Rauner’s failed leadership, Illinois is missing an opportunity to grow clean energy jobs and ensure clean water and air for children. Instead of fighting to protect Illinois families from Trump’s backwards policies, Rauner has shown he is more worried about his own stalled reelection bid.”
* Emptying my in-box because I gotta go get a haircut soon. From the Jeanne Ives campaign last night…
GOP Rep. McSweeney: “The ‘Fringe Candidate’ Is Bruce Rauner. He Stands For Nothing.”
Calls Rauner “Madigan’s Biggest Ally”
December 11, 2017 – For the past three years, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s biggest ally has been Governor Bruce Rauner according to State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), who called into “Chicago’s Morning Answer” radio show on Monday Morning.
McSweeney was interviewed about the Rauner Administration’s reaction to the release of an internal memo sent by Rauner’s former General Counsel Dennis Murashko.
“I support Jeanne Ives’ call for a full investigation,” McSweeney said. “Even this morning, there was a story in Politico that the administration won’t answer questions… This is business as usual with the Rauner Administration: very secretive, not providing answers.”
McSweeny went on to say that the administration’s clandestine nature is evidence that Governor Rauner is not in charge in Springfield.
He said Ives has the character and intellect to lead conservative policy revolution in Springfield. McSweeney pointed to his personal experiences working with Jeanne Ives “I know Jeanne Ives will be in charge, and that’s why I support her,” he said.
In 2014, McSweeney, like Ives and other Republican legislators, supported Bruce Rauner’s candidacy, but says he now opposes the Governor because he saw how the Governor duped voters. “In a strange way, the biggest Madigan ally is Bruce Rauner,” he added.
“He [Madigan] talked about a tax increase for two years… we ended up with a 32% income tax hike. Bruce Rauner worked hand in hand with Mike Madigan on making Illinois a Sanctuary State. And guess who signed Madigan’s Abortion bill?”
“Bruce Rauner is the kind of guy who loves to go out and criticize, call people names,” McSweeney said. “But when push comes to shove, he’s been Madigan’s biggest ally. And that’s why we need change. That’s why Jeanne Ives would be a good governor.”
McSweeney added that the best-case scenario would be Republicans winning the 9 House seats necessary to oust Madigan as House Speaker.
“But if Madigan is still the Speaker, we need Jeanne Ives in his [Madigan’s] office respectfully, but forcefully advocating for what we believe in, ” he said.
McSweeney disagreed wholeheartedly with Rauner’s characterization of Ives as a “fringe candidate.”
“The ‘fringe candidate’ is Bruce Rauner. He stands for nothing.”
In response, Jeanne Ives said, “David is a strong defender of taxpayers in Springfield and we are happy to have his support of our campaign.”
* From the Pritzker campaign early this morning…
Rauner’s Secret MCO Deal Could “Destabilize” Medicaid, Cause “Significant Care Disruptions”
Health Policy Expert: “It Just Isn’t Going To Work”
Chicago, IL – Bruce Rauner’s secret MCO deal could “destabilize” Medicaid and cause “significant care disruptions” according to health policy expert Joel Menges. Put succinctly, “it just isn’t going to work.”
Between the no-bid contracts that shielded the deal from the public eye to the cost estimates skyrocketing by 57 percent overnight, evidence is piling up that Rauner botched the largest procurement in state history, and Illinoisans will have to pay up to cover his incompetence.
“Bruce Rauner’s stunning incompetence is costing Illinois taxpayers — again,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “After tripling the bill backlog, Rauner now wants to add another $23 billion to the cost of his secret MCO plan, all while cutting off access to healthcare and cowering to Donald Trump.”
* And then came this one…
Damage Done: Illinois Ranked 43rd Worst Run State
Chicago, IL – In a recent ranking of the best run states in America, Illinois ranked near the bottom of the list under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership, barely beating out states like New Jersey and Alabama.
The ranking is based off key indicators of a state’s economic health, including the unemployment rate and the state’s credit rating. The analysis cites Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis and the state’s lowest-in-the-nation credit rating as key factors for the dismal spot on the list.
“Bruce Rauner manufactured crisis after crisis, dragging the Illinois economy to rock bottom and shattering our state’s credit rating,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “The Worst Republican Governor in America’s damage is done and Illinoisans are left to pick up the pieces.”
McCarthy claimed the morning after Laquan McDonald was shot by police that he had his usual morning phone call with Mayor Emanuel at 6 o’clock. McCarthy said he told Emanuel during the call that police had shot and killed a young man the night before. He said he explained to Emanuel that the man “had a knife, was acting erratically and had stabbed some police car tires.” He said he didn’t remember Emanuel’s response. “We didn’t have anything at that point that indicated there was a problem,” McCarthy explained.
Two days after the shooting, McCarthy said he received a briefing about the shooting and watched the police video. “After the briefing, I spoke to the mayor and told him that this officer is going to have a problem articulating what happened. He may be able to do it because there was a knife involved.”
McCarthy was asked specifically if he told this to the mayor two days after the shooting. He said it was.
McCarthy said he doesn’t remember if he told the mayor that McDonald had been shot 16 times. “I may have, but I definitely told him the officer is going to have a problem. I don’t remember his response and I don’t remember exactly what was said, but I do know that I told him there is a video of this and the officer is going to have a problem.”
* To refresh your memory, this is from a December 8, 2015 Paris Schutz interview of Mayor Rahm Emanuel…
PS: When did you first learn that there were discrepancies between the initial reports from officers on the scene that night and the video?
MRE: When we get the information, that it’s public, that’s when I learned it like everybody else.
PS: So former superintendent McCarthy didn’t tell you that there might be a problem between the official reports and what the video shows?
Today, Citizens for Rauner launched a new digital ad featuring the property tax racket run by Joe Berrios, Mike Madigan and J.B. Pritzker.
Last week, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica published a stunning investigation into Joe Berrios’ abuse of power for political gain. In his role as Cook County Assessor, he could determine the value of properties to raise or lower the tax paid to the county. Meanwhile, Berrios’ political sponsor, Mike Madigan, is a partner at Chicago’s largest property tax reassessment firm, securing over $1.7 billion in tax savings for their clients thanks to Berrios.
Now J.B. Pritzker is getting in the game. He’s already utilized the insider system to secure a $230,000 tax break from Berrios. Now, Madigan and Berrios are lining up Democrat organizations behind Pritzker so he can secure the Governor’s Mansion and the racket can continue.
Jim Dodge ran unsuccessfully for Comptroller in 2010. The Orland Park village trustee offered few specifics, but is campaigning on what he says is a need for change in Illinois politics. He called out House Speaker Mike Madigan and other Democrats. Within his own party, Dodge says he agrees with Bruce Rauner.
“Of the choices, I would rather prefer Governor Rauner versus anybody that’s on the Democrat side, and I think he’s doing all he can in near impossible circumstances to put Illinois on the right track,” he said.
Dodge says Democratic opponent Mike Frerichs is a part of the “Madigan Machine.” Frerichs’s campaign responded by listing accomplishments that include a law he pushed to require life insurance firms do more to track down beneficiaries.
As for garnering support for his campaign, Dodge says it’s a work in progress, but that he’ll be working closely with the Republican nominee for Governor. Jeanne Ives has filed as a Republican primary opponent to Rauner.
Topinka believes the comptroller office should be combined with the state treasurer’s office, which oversees state investments, because they duplicate some duties; such a move would require a voter-approved constitutional amendment.
She estimates merging the offices will save up to $20 million a year, citing salary costs and programs that can be “tightened up.”
Biss spokesman Thomas Elliott says “These results show that Democratic primary voters are looking for a middle-class progressive with government experience to lead our state forward, and Daniel Biss is that candidate.
“And while the Democratic establishment would like to coronate an inexperienced billionaire and ’shut down’ this competitive primary, we’re taking our case directly to the voters. We’re building a grassroots movement of people across the state who want someone they trust to represent them, not the status quo.”
Elliott added that he believes Illinois residents are responding to Biss’s message about building a state government that “works for them, not the wealthy and well-connected.”
The coronation line is probably right, but it doesn’t look like they’re trying to physically shut down Biss’ campaign. Starve it of money, yes. But if I was the Pritzker campaign, I’d want Biss (and everyone else) to stay in the race to split the coronation opposition vote with Kennedy.
* Biss: Time to think bigger on revenue options: That’s why we need to think bigger than J.B. We can implement a financial transaction tax, which would place a fraction-of-a-penny fee on every transaction on LaSalle Street. We can close the carried interest loophole to prevent the wealthiest Illinoisans from evading taxes. I’ve worked toward both of these policies in the Senate, and will continue fighting for them as governor.
* The two men were allies back in the day. Rauner was a big contributor to Claypool’s bid for county board president, kicking in $175,000. But the fight over Chicago school funding made them bitter enemies…
Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling the resignation of Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool a “very tragic situation,” criticizing what he sees as “unethical behavior and the failure of leadership” at the district.
Claypool announced his resignation on Friday at an unorthodox news conference, days after being accused of orchestrating a “full-blown cover-up” by the district inspector general.
“Very tragic situation, very sad when you look at the behavior and the mistakes and the things he did, very, very tragic,” Rauner said at a campaign event Monday. “I’ve worked with Claypool for years. Very disappointed to see what he’s done. And it’s a tragedy for the schoolchildren of Chicago.”
“I have worked personally for almost 30 years trying to improve the educational opportunities for the children in the city of Chicago,” Rauner added. “And it’s tragic to me to see the unethical behavior and the failure of leadership that we’ve seen in CPS so many times over the years.”
Lynn Sweet: So, let’s look at what is going on here in the Durbin-Duckworth announcement. They gave Chris Kennedy plenty of time to either neutralize them or earn the endorsement. The only thing that Duckworth and Durbin want is a Democratic governor, and the politics of all the major candidates aren’t that different. Now in the long term, so let’s put that in bucket one. Bucket two, JB Pritzker is a generous donor to Democratic Senate candidates, the Democratic Governors Association, so everyone knows that even if he loses, as he has said, he will maintain being a generous activist. So that gave him a running start.
But from what I can tell, he earned it. He has been traveling the state. He has been consulting with the Senators. I know that Sen. Tammy Duckworth is the Democrat who just won a big statewide race, OK, so she knows the most and has the best information and the best insights about what it will take to win. So he has been going and meeting with the people who can help him understand what it takes to win in the state of Illinois, and I think Duckworth and Durbin appreciate it. He’s not just using his money to buy commercial time. He is putting in his time to talk to the people who have done this to find out what it takes.
And I think, you know, Chris Kennedy had a lot of time to earn this, and now that filing is over and people will start focusing on the campaigns, the only thing that surprised me at this stage is I thought they might have waited a little bit, maybe until after the holidays just in case, to give Kennedy a little more time, but maybe they thought he’s had enough time.
In terms of the other candidates, they just haven’t risen beyond their regional base.
Sweet: And actually when you look at it, I just looked up at the State Board of Elections. I guess there are seven or eight people who filed and out of it, the only ones who are real contenders here are JB and Chris Kennedy and, uh…
Sweet: And Biss, is the three major ones here. And it takes a lot to really make it on the statewide basis. So that’s why this endorsement, the two Senators combined has a lot more heft than other things because they have statewide name recognition. They have statewide connections. They travel around the state and they’re known. And that’s why this endorsement is the top standard of what you could seek.
Ray Long: Plus, Durbin is Downstate so he has some Downstate cred, too, which is something a lot of the candidates don’t have.
Sweet: People have heard of him! Biss put out, in all respect, he put out some press release, the most recent one, where he was touting some endorsement and it was somebody who I’d barely heard of. Not to be disrespectful and it’s important, but sometimes you have to weigh endorsements as to what can get attention. With all the things that people have on their minds and what they’re doing and maybe just trying to get their house cleaned for the weekend and get ready for the holidays, it takes a lot to break through. Having Durbin and Duckworth, combined, at least can get your attention.
Greg Hinz: The short version of all of this is that Chris Kennedy so far has run a crashingly disappointing campaign. Duckworth and Durbin see all the good things that Pritzker could do for them, particularly spending money to build a statewide political organization that will continue afterwards. So if Kennedy’s not going to show anything, why wait?
Take some time to read what Sweet said. She’s a DC type, so she may not be up on every little twist and turn in Illinois, but what she says about the Senators is from her own work and she’s right. Durbin and Duckworth wanted the Democratic hopefuls to show them that they were “real” candidates who could put together “real” campaigns before making any endorsements.
Their requirements included spending a lot of time throughout the state meeting with people, opening offices, hiring field staff, putting together a solid messaging team, etc. Pritzker courted them hard. And it worked out in the end.
* Pritzker run keeps picking up steam: But it’s Pritzker who has the backing and the clout of the big boys. Fortunately for his opponents, voters will have the last word, and they have shown in the past that they are capable of thinking for themselves.