* The candidate who may have been “hurt” the most by the Daley/Rahm/etc. mayoral drama is Forrest Claypool. He was most certainly counting on a ton of earned media before the election, but editors have been too busy focusing on 2011 to care much about next Tuesday.
Today is a good case in point. Claypool held a press conference this morning at 10:30 to unveil some new information. Unfortunately for him, Sheriff Dart’s “I’m not running for mayor” presser was held exactly the same time. So, Claypool gets buried once again.
Luckily for us, Greg Hinz attended the Claypool event…
In a revealing look inside county government that is both more and less than it appears to be, assessor hopeful Forrest Claypool released a detailed study that he said shows a connection between campaign cash and government decisions. […]
The findings: Of $6.2 billion in assessment cuts awarded by the board this year to all property owners — residential, commercial and industrial — 92%, or $5.7 billion, went to those who used a lawyer who has donated to Mr. Berrios, Mr. Claypool said.
That translates to just under $1 billion in taxes that were shifted to other property owners, Mr. Claypool said.
Mr. Claypool has promised not to accept campaign donations from property tax lawyers. Doing so is like “the judge taking cash from the litigant in front of him, and then making a decision.”
Claypool also said he would recuse himself as assessor from ruling on assessments if he accepted campaign contributions. He’s taken money from some bigtime land owners.
* Berrios responded via press release…
“It’s almost laughable because he obviously doesn’t know how the office operates,” said Joe Berrios, Democratic candidate for assessor. “The assessor sets the assessments. He is required by law to do so. To hire a third-party or assign the duty to someone else would require legislative approval and ultimately cost taxpayers.” […]
Claypool not only accepts money from the likes of the Pritzkers and Sam Zell, but from Houlihan, which is pure evidence of his hypocrisy and double-standard, Berrios said. “Houlihan takes contributions from anyone – including property attorneys and real estate developers — and he then turns that money over to Claypool. Allowing Houlihan to be one of the largest funders demonstrates that Claypool isn’t being straight with voters,” Berrios said.
You can see the Claypool handiwork by clicking here.
* By the way, would it have really been so difficult for Dart to wait until after Tuesday to make this announcement? Seriously. It’s only a week.