Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Joe Berrios’ odd press release
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Joe Berrios’ odd press release

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

* I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen anything quite like the press release that Joe Berrios’ campaign just sent out. Berrios, of course, is running for Cook County Assessor, is the chairman of the county Democratic Party and is a Statehouse lobbyist.

One of Berrios’ lobbying clients is the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association. Berrios was instrumental in pushing the original video poker law, which will put the machines in taverns, clubs and truck stops all over the state.

This afternoon, the House passed a trailer bill which has been sharply (and somewhat unfairly) criticized by the Illinois Gaming Board’s chairman as too lenient on possible criminals. The bill now goes to the governor. Berrios lobbied for that one, too.

Oddly enough, Berrios’ campaign sent out a press release touting his lobbying involvement…

Cook County Assessor candidate Joseph Berrios on Wednesday praised Illinois lawmakers for passing a bill with the potential to create $500 million in jobs and revenue for the state during a tough economic crisis.

House Bill 4927, which was sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) in the Senate, will allow truck stops to legally host paying video gambling machines under Illinois’ video gaming law. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature.

“At a time when the state is struggling for revenue, this measure will bring in $250 million to $500 million a year for use in state capital projects like roads and school construction,” said Berrios, who lobbied for the measure on behalf of the Illinois Coin Operators’ Association. “It’s a win-win for the state. Our unemployment rate is at an all-time high and our schools are crumbling. This new revenue will help in so many ways.”

The bill, which had bi-partisan support, was presented to lawmakers as a way to make Illinois’ original law more efficient and profitable, in part by allowing truck stops and VFW halls to host the machines. The state has already legalized video gambling in bars and restaurants, though it will probably be the end of this year before the state’s Gaming Board formally allows the official start of video gambling in those establishments.

“I’m pleased that I could help get this bill passed during such a difficult fiscal time,” Berrios said. “However, as I have noted since last fall, once I become Assessor I will resign as a lobbyist and my sole priority will be serving the people of Cook County with fairness and efficiency.”

Berrios has been a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review, which oversees property tax appeals, since 1988. He won the Democratic nomination for Cook County Assessor in February. Prior to being elected five times as commissioner, he served three terms as an Illinois state representative. He is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Berrios was the first Hispanic elected chairman of the party, a commissioner to the Board of Review and to the Illinois General Assembly.

I guess I can see his point here, especially the part about mentioning how he’s stepping down as a lobster if he’s elected. But it’s just weird to me that his campaign would be touting his lobbying business, particularly since most regular folks hear “lobbyist” and think “bad guy.”

What’s next? A press release touting his fight against the governor’s proposed cigarette tax increase on behalf of Altria? Probably not.


*** UPDATE *** The Forrest Claypool campaign has responded. From a press release…

Citizens for Claypool campaign manager Tom Bowen released the following statement in response to a release by gambling lobbyist Joe Berrios’ political campaign.

“How much did the gambling industry pay you to say that?” said Bowen

Earlier this week, Independent Candidate for Assessor Forrest Claypool called on Mr. Berrios to disclose his ties and contracts to the gambling industry in order to provide the voters of Cook County a way to judge the extent of Mr. Berrios’ conflicts of interest.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===particularly since most regular folks hear “lobbyist” and think “bad guy.”===

    I think some regular folks hear “Berrios” and think “worse than a lobbyist.”

  2. - unspun - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    It seems to me that he is attempting to take the wind out of his opponent’s sails, who will surely say that Berrios was “instrumental as a lobbyist in bringing the crack cocaine of gambling to Illinois”. This is his way of acknowledging his lobbying activity by tying it to a “jobs/economic stimulus” bill.

  3. - Who Else Goes Down - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    I think budget stuff has gotten so bad that he’s counting on people hearing the part about him working and succesding in raising revenue in a bi-partisan way that does not increase taxes to raise revenue, and forgiving the fact that he did it as a lobbyist.

  4. - Who Else Goes Down - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    sorry for the typos.

  5. - Anon - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    Should Berrios’ daughter be voting for these gambling bills that benefit her father’s client? Doesn’t seem so far from the Brady conflict-of-interest story, but maybe I’m missing something…

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:23 pm:

    You have to embrace the cognitive dissonance in life, lol.

    I’m sold: I know I want the next guy setting my assessment to be a successful tout for the gambling industry. Like peas and carrots.

  7. - Not surprised - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    Well you have to admit that jobs is a better issue than fronting for mob-connected gambling operators!

  8. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    The B in Berrios stands for brazen.

  9. - George - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    “How much did the gambling industry pay you to say that?” said Bowen

    Pat Quinn’s campaign can learn a lesson or two from Mr. Bowen on pithiness.

  10. - State Sen. Clay Davis - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    What better way to honor our veterans than to get them addicted to video poker. I had no idea Berrios was a lobbyist for these guys.

  11. - dupage progressive - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:06 pm:

    That sound you hear is the sound of the berrios candidacy dropping like a rock.

    In the words of our former Gov. and his campaign ads, “what was he thinking????” Ok, what was his campaign thinking?? Hmmm, how to get some good press this week… how about taking credit for a gaming bill that passed. This is the bill that even the sponsor acknowledged was a “complicated/ technical in nature bill.”
    Hey, wow, GREAT idea - let’s promote our involvement in a dirty gaming bill that is complicated & techinical in nature. Brilliant!

  12. - CuriousGeorge - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    God, this is AWFUL. I mean, we all know that this is the crack cocaine of gambling. How did it ever pass? There must have been a whole host of good-government, reform minded legislators that voted against it, right? How did it pass?

  13. - Anon - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    I think Berrios is SEVERELY underestimating his opposition. Making odd moves like this will doom him.

  14. - chitownguy - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    Nice retort Mr. Bowen. Well played. will Mr. Berrios answer the question?

  15. - Anonymiss - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:21 pm:

    Goofiness of the strategy aside, here’s what I don’t get:

    >>”However, as I have noted since last fall, once I become Assessor I will resign as a lobbyist and my sole priority will be serving the people of Cook County with fairness and efficiency.”

  16. - Anonymiss - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:23 pm:

    (sorry, that got truncated)

    Is he saying, then, that while serving as (Property Tax Appeal) Board of Review commissioner his sole priority has NOT been serving the people of Cook County with fairness and efficiency? If it was, shouldn’t he have resigned as a lobbyist sooner?

  17. - CuriousGeorge - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:28 pm:

    Good Call Anonymiss! Enough of the lobbying while serving in office! No elected official should be able to have any source of income derived from politics other than the office he or she holds, yet everyone seems to do it. Jim Houlihan lobbied for the first 5 years that he was Assessor! I though he was supposed to be one of the good guys! How’s that for “reform?”

  18. - Lakefront Liberal - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:31 pm:

    I have had a fair number of run-ins with machine types. They have a pretty standard bag of tricks that they use to try to intimidate you, one of which is to completely deny glaringly obvious facts with huge shows of indignation that anyone would ever challenge their version of events

    This seems like the press release version of that tactic.

  19. Pingback Joe Berrios’ odd press release – The Capitol Fax Blog « Game Supply Outlet - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    […] Original Post By Google News Click Here For The Entire Article May 26th, 2010 | Category: Wii Xbox 360 Playstation 3 […]

  20. - Steve - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:40 pm:

    Berrios is sending a message to everyone that’s he’s an effective lobbyist. He knows voters in Illinois don’t care about ethics. There’s no amount of outrage that can dislodge someone powerful like Berrios. With the huge Cook County Democratic voting advantage he can win his next election.

  21. - Lee - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:45 pm:

    I thought Republicans were opposed to Gambling - is this where leader Cross is taking them - right off a cliff to more gambling? What sort of deal did he make?

  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:57 pm:

    –I think Berrios is SEVERELY underestimating his opposition. Making odd moves like this will doom him.–

    Who’s the opposition?

  23. - Lou Lang - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:58 pm:

    Hey folks…calm down. There is NO NEW GAMBLING in this bill. NONE

  24. - Jake - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:05 pm:

    Hey, Lou, are your pants on fire?

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:17 pm:

    Jake, dunno who you are but you really should actually READ THE BILL.

  26. - anon - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:29 pm:

    Smart move by Berrios in my opinion. The fact is the state is in a mess financially. I don’t like the gambling angle but hey it will bring in a good chunk of money. At least Berrios is for something. Claypool comes across as a whiner, and opportunist. Don’t see reformer in him at all.

  27. - Mongo - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:44 pm:

    Representative Lang, how about prostitution in this bill (new or old?)!

  28. - dupage progressive - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:51 pm:

    Hmmm… Looks like Berrios’ campaign is on the scene - thank God. Don’t you have some press inquiries to answer or something? Maybe you should have tested this strategy with polling or something. Do you think suburban Cook is going to thank Berrios for all his work on this gambling bill? Really?

  29. - Park - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 6:34 pm:

    What’s going on with Claypool’s petitions?

  30. - "Clerks" fan - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 7:20 pm:

    Maybe Bowen should spend less time getting “his name” in the press and more time getting his candidate on the ballot.

  31. - Anon - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 7:29 pm:

    I’ve been approached several times about petitions for Claypool. They are out there working hard.

  32. - Tired of it All - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 9:33 pm:

    It’s a bad bill. Quinn will sign it because he needs Berrios support. Despite of everything Lang and others say, the staff of the Gaming Board opposed this legislation. The Administrator of the Gaming Board (Mark Ostrowski) testified before the Executive Committee and told them it would hamper the IGB’s efforts to keep gaming clean. This is all about money and the Outfit’s reach. Congratulations Illinois! The G.A. has created the largest video gaming jurisdiction in the WORLD and it’s clipped the wings of those in charge of making sure no bad apples get in. But hey, this is the same body that created the Rosemont/Emerald mess. That only took about 10 years to unwind.

  33. - steve schnorf - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 12:20 am:

    Rep Lang is absolutely correct, and it’s clear that one earlier commenter hasn’t spent much time at any Legion halls or VFWs.

  34. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 8:17 am:

    Speaking of Assessor did anyone else notice the bungling by Hooli & Co. mentioned in Trib Dope John Kass’ laterst offering. It is the heart of the storty but Kass just glides by….

    “The castle sits on several parcels of land once held by the Illinois Department of Transportation. King Rudy bought the land in 2002, but a miraculous thing happened.
    We discovered on Wednesday that, according to county real estate records, one parcel is still listed as vacant land. The other parcel is listed as tax-exempt state-owned property.
    Jeepers. Can’t all of us serfs get such royal treatment on our property taxes?
    Cook County assessor’s spokesman Eric Herman said Wednesday that his office was investigating.
    Even on the taxes King Rudy was hit with, he hasn’t paid in full. According to county records, Acosta is delinquent $9,300 in taxes for 2008 and 2009.
    “We are already in the process of putting this property back on the tax rolls,” Herman said of the exempt parcel. “It will be assessed by 2010. And we will recommend a back tax to Jan. 1, 2003.”

    And the other parcel that’s listed as vacant land? Herman said it will be reassessed….”

    Yikes how many other blunders have been committed
    How many other freebies is Hooli handing out?

    Maybe the Trib could dial that up

  35. - Question - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    If we believe that corruption has taken over our state’s politics and politicians, and if we know that it is rare a politician does much for the good of mankind unless of course there is something in it for him/her - then the question is - what are these politicians getting out of this bill?

    If on the other hand we believe that politicians always tell the truth and do only good things then, have a great day keep on thinking that way.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Caption contest!
* Federal rules protecting net neutrality have expired! Support House Bill 4819
* Harmon says he has votes in Senate for gun shop licensing override, but future still unsure
* It's just a bill
* Rauner makes "official" trade show announcement seven months after it was announced
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Biss says he wants more details about Pritzker's progressive tax plan, Rauner campaign agrees
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Why was Travis Reinking allowed to keep his guns?
* Comptroller: State racked up "two decades worth of late payment interest penalties in just over two years"
* Madigan says he hasn't made up his mind on legalizing marijuana
* Illinois Legislators: Make Health Coverage Fair by Supporting HB 4146
* Rauner's new website slams Pritzker-Madigan "corruption"
* Today's must-listen: Madigan and lone chairmanship "No" vote together on Joravsky's show
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* Illinois gun bill override faces deadline, thou.....
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of .....
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of .....
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of .....
* Morning Spin: Democrats' deadline to override R.....
* Morning Spin: Democrats' deadline to override R.....
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of .....
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of .....

* SIU to recruit alumni for 'volunteer' adjunct positions
* Peoria turns downtown office space into affordable housing
* Waffle House suspect's ex-bosses asked FBI to keep, help him
* Gun bill override faces deadline, thousands of opponents
* On Basketball: And now, Wade decides if this was the end
* That's a heavy lift: Rhino at Illinois zoo undergoes CT scan
* Man who disarmed Waffle House shooter hailed by lawmakers
* Will County officials to use 50 percent renewable power
* Court bars winner of 2017 mayoral election from office
* Autopsies unclear on cause of mother's and daughter's deaths

* Gun dealer licensing veto override vote could happen today
* Appeals court to rule on lawsuit over right-to-work ordinance
* Senate OKs bill to nearly double home care workers' pay
* 4th death reported in Illinois linked to synthetic marijuana
* Google aims at Illinois' privacy law after Facebook lobbying failed
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Michael Madigan wins re-election as Democratic Party leader
* Champaign-area bus company faces harassment lawsuit
* Illinois' late fees skyrocket over past 3 years
* State paying bills, but not late-payment interest

* From 'Mayochup' to potential mayhem: Kraft Heinz and social media
* Sinclair agrees to sell 23 TV stations as part of Tribune deal
* Sinclair agrees to sell WGN-TV—but would still control it
* Robert Malott, CEO who wrestled with Boesky's crimes and Continental's downfall, dies at 91

* Police: 3 vehicles stolen from Brighton Park
* Toronto van attack suspect may have felt anger against women
* Police: Robbers targeting people walking alone in Brainerd
* Firefighter injured battling blaze in the Loop
* Officer wounded while responding to domestic battery in Woodlawn
* Massage therapist accuses Stan Lee of sexual misconduct at South Loop hotel
* Dear Abby: Sweetheart, come look at Internet porn with me
* With Avisail Garcia on the DL, Daniel Palka prepares to make White Sox debut
* Horoscope for April 25, 2018
* 2 men shot in Chicago Lawn

* Man in custody after 2 Dallas officers, store employee shot
* Morning Spin: Democrats' deadline to override Rauner gun bill veto comes on same day as Second Amendment rally
* Grandparents explode over pot paraphernalia
* Contemporary East Ukrainian Village home: $1.5M
* One year ago Semaj Crosby's death sparked outcry, prompted change — but remains unsolved
* Firefighter hurt in extra-alarm fire in Jewelers Row building in Loop
* Chicago cop hit over head with vase while responding to domestic fight
* Supreme Court's last argument is over Trump travel ban
* Grandparents erupt over pot paraphernalia

» April 24, 2018 - Full Show
» Proposal To Get Pre-Trial Detainees A Chance To Vote From Jail Passes IL House
» Getting Books To Illinois Prisons; Virtual Medical Interpreters; Chicago’s Gang Database
» Illinois Pushes For State Net Neutrality Rules After Federal Rules Expire
» Prince Heirs Sue Illinois Hospital Over Care During Overdose
» Immigrants Shine In New CPS Varsity Sport
» State Legislature Considers Tougher Penalties on Texting While Driving
» April 20, 2018 - Full Show
» April 23, 2018 - Full Show
» Madigan Elected For 6th Term As Democratic Party Chairman

* Gun dealer licensing veto override vote deadline arrives
* Google aims at Illinois' privacy law after Facebook lobbying failed
* Michael Madigan wins re-election as Democratic Party leader
* Illinois' late fees skyrocket over past 3 years
* Gun dealer licensing veto override vote could happen today
* Our View: Budgets should include estimates of late payment interest penalties
* Guest View: Illinois’ 4 pillars of bad budgeting
* Byron York: Is 'can't prove untrue' the new standard in Trump probe?
* Marc Thiessen: Veterans deserve better
* Catherine Rampell: Tax cuts were supposed to save the GOP from Trump. Oops.

* Decatur and Macon County Neighbors: Obituaries published today
* Volunteers needed for annual Fishing Expedition for Special Populations
* Area Calendar 4/25/18
* Daily Digest 4/25/18
* Fire Calls
* Police Report
* Rick's Six: Volunteers carry on at Vineyard, mac & cheese eatery coming to Bettendorf, and Salute to Sports finalists
* Common thread: Sewing group produces comfort, friendships
* Coal Valley business offers 128 bourbons
* Junior Theatre concludes season with classic, 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

* More is too much in ambitious 'Avengers: Infinity War'
* 8 players the Chicago Bears might be looking to take in first round of NFL draft
* Why major changes are paying off for Wheaton's Kevin Streelman on PGA Tour
* Another Ex-Schaumburg cop wants drug case conviction vacated
* Mixed signals from Trump on VA nominee as allegations build

* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* A quick look at a few congressional races ...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House Approves American Space Commerce Fre...
* Democrats aim to turn Obamacare into asset...
* Bustos pushes to make 'blue wave' happen i...
* Bike Bald's Spin-a-thon/Kids Fest to have ...
* Joe Lieberman: A New Way to Keep Ideologue...
* Morning Spin: Democrats' deadline to overr...

* Durbin praises FDA's new measures cracking......
* E-Cigarette Sting Operation Prompts Warnin......
* FDA Cracks Down On Juul E-Cigarettes Popul......
* E-Cigarette Sting Operation Prompts US War......
* A tough re-election climate tests the chum......

* Tammy Duckworth and Working Moms Like Mine...
* The Senate celebrates Sen. Tammy Duckworth......
* Editorial: Up to the task...
* I'm a legislator and a mom. Tammy Duckwort......
* Tammy Duckworth is uniquely privileged, bu......

* The time Chicago skinheads beat up a Nazi
* Facility Theatre transforms The Little Match Girl Passion from a vocal piece into a meticulously pitched spectacle
* Chairwoman Preckwinkle's Machine takeover a far cry from days of Fast Eddie
* Deacon Jones cofounded the legendary Baby Huey & the Babysitters—and that was just for starters
* When your third eye is your only eye on the gig poster of the week
* Life inside a supermax prison
* Work To Begin This Spring To Prepare For Lawrence-to-Bryn Mawr Red Line Upgrades
* Apprenticeships
* ‘Reefer Madness’-type rhetoric bound to swarm over Ill.; will Lege ignore it?
* Martysaurus Rex: A Creative Life More Important Than Football

* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

* OneDrive gets new sharing UI on both iOS and Android platforms
* Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a colorful case and parental controls
* Opera’s new browser excels at one-hand usage and PC synchronization
* Microsoft working on Windows 10 Lean edition for devices with less storage
* Marvel at these Galaxy S9 Infinity War cases from Otterbox
* AWS traffic hijack: Users sent to phishing site in two-hour cryptocurrency heist
* LG G7 ThinQ benchmark confirms base 4GB RAM option, Android 8.0

* Mariners shut out White Sox, rubber match Wednesday vs King Felix
* White Sox Minor League Update: April 24, 2018
* Mariners shutout White Sox, rubber match Wednesday vs King Felix
* Renteria tossed arguing called third strike
* Relievers keep M's in check, but White Sox fall
* Renteria tossed arguing called third strike
* Renteria tossed arguing called third strike

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller