Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker slammed for opposition to property tax freeze, connection to Madigan
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker slammed for opposition to property tax freeze, connection to Madigan

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

* JB Pritzker was recently in Oak Park

Pritzker said that he opposed a property tax freeze, a favorite Rauner talking point, saying local communities should make that decision.

Hat tip to a Democratic operative for finding that one.

* As I was preparing this post, an ILGOP e-mail landed in my in-box…

Today the Illinois Republican Party released a new ad targeting J.B. Pritzker and Mike Madigan for using a corrupt, insider property tax system to benefit themselves at our expense.

Pritzker is under fire this week for claiming that a Gold Coast mansion is uninhabitable, slashing his tax burden by 83% and taking a quarter million dollars in property tax breaks and refunds.

The ad mirrors a Republican ad [click here to see it] used by Rep. Mike McAuliffe’s campaign in 2016 to defeat a heavily financed Madigan-backed challenge from Merry Marwig.

In a state house district that voted for Hillary Clinton by an 8-point margin, Rep. McAuliffe won re-election by 12 points.

Both ads combine three lethal hits to any Democratic candidate in Illinois – Mike Madigan, Chicago corruption, and abuse of the property tax system at our expense.

* The ad

* So, I followed up with the state party and asked for a response to Pritzker’s reported Oak Park comments…

It is almost unimaginable that after J.B. Pritzker played an inside game to slash his property taxes by over $250,000, he would oppose freezing the property taxes of middle class homeowners. He’s proving that he’s a billionaire Chicago insider who plays by a different set of rules as everyone else.

*** UPDATE ***   I forgot to post this, which I retweeted yesterday…

Mary Ann finally got her interview over the phone

Pritzker’s real estate attorneys Schmidt, Salzman and Moran contributed more than $25,000 in campaign donations to Assessor Berrios. Pritzker initially said “I’m unaware of that.” But when it was pointed out that was reported Monday by WCIA TV, Pritzker added “someone brought it up for the very first time yesterday.”

You can’t say you’re unaware of something when you were specifically asked about that very same thing the day before.

Rookie mistake.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    I’m already so tired of this guy. Can’t believe this is the candidate they’re going to jam down our throats. It’s like they’ve slept through the last year

  2. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Here’s the deal…. A property tax “freeze” is really bad government. But, if income (or other taxes) could help by replacing a portion of school property taxes, then we’d have real property tax relief.

    It’s so simple even Dawn Clark Netsch understood it.

    The “freeze” might be good politics, but it really is horrible government.

  3. - illini97 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Can someone explain to me why the perennially cash-strapped and dysfunctional State is determining what local governments should do with their finances?

    Why would residents want the State to cut K-12 funding to their school and then also mandate that the school cannot be funded via local property taxes?

    It almost sounds like the locals are a form of beast and that Republicans want to squeeze it? To what end? What is going to come out of that beast? Dollars or lowered student outcomes?

    State Republicans, get to work on that State budget. Let the locals handle the local issues.

  4. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    I love that there are Dems that aren’t playing nice as Madigan tries to clear the field for his dud candidate.

    Rich dud but still a dud.

  5. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    this is going to be the most expensive and combative election in illinois history. This is the Battle of the Somme.

  6. - Mike Cirrincione - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    “He’s proving that he’s a billionaire Chicago insider who plays by a different set of rules as everyone else.”

    I almost spit out my coffee after laughing so hard. Our budding TV Commercial Maker/Pretend Governor has fattened his own wallet at taxpayers expense for years.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Dear JB and Pritzker Crew…

    Well, we’re waiting?

    This is Rauner owning your message, messaging and framing JB, and sooner or later, every day you sit idle, those ads that you are running will be reminders of the Rauner negatives trey ads so easily driving, with no resistance from y’all.

    If this kind of slowness and lack of pivoting to expect from Pritzker’s Crew, they, and JB will have their lunch handed to them, and I’m sure they can guess what kind of “sandwich” they’ll be eating.

    Pritzker Crew, when you’re deliberate and thoughtful, you guys are exceptionally good.

    When you guys add ill-prepared and lack any semblance of a response of a well-run campaign, you fail miserably.

    How can you not be prepared with your own oppo, and Why are you NOT going, and going hard, at Rauner?


    It’s getting close to embarrassing…

  8. - What's Next - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    Pritzker showing why most wealthy candidates have flamed out for years with Rauner and Fitzgerald being the exceptions. His response on this has been non-existent to terrible. And if this is what they started with, it makes you wonder what else is left.

  9. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    Illini97. It is to forcefully consolidate local government shrinking it. Destroying labor by destroying the systems that support it. This is the ALEC plan I have been talking about.

    Destroy government as an institution.
    Once done
    Nothing stands in the way of corporate profit.

  10. - Lance Mannion - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    This is all Rauner and the State GOP has so yes, expect LOTS more of it. Pritzker seems to be clueless with his messaging thus far.

  11. - Wondering - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Curious about the politics of this. Wouldn’t a property tax freeze stymie Madigan’s ultimate plan (it seems) to jam state pension liabilities down to local jurisdictions? Why is his candidate opposing it?

  12. - W Flag - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    As Yogi Berra once said “It’s deja vu all over again” following the Pritzker campaign.

    I am having flashbacks to the 9th Congressional District primary where Pritzker finished third in a field of three; Schakowsky won the nomination and Carroll came in second. The Big Guy spent a ton and lost handily.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    ===You can’t say you’re unaware of something when you were specifically asked about that very same thing the day before.

    Rookie mistake.===


    Fundamentals are essential for candidates to grasp. If Pritzker thinks he can wing all this and no one will notice.

    You can’t have rookie mistakes when Rauner’s Crew will own your messaging based on those mistakes. Maybe not here, but another mistake, more fallout from it.

    I don’t understand. Where o where is the pushback? They’re big waiting on money, I’m guessing. There’s plenty to focus and pivot onto Rauner.

    Where is it?

    Seriously, are you guys just not ready for this?

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    “They’re big waiting on money”


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:57 am:


  16. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    The rich never cease to be impossibly cheap. You’re rich. Just play by the book.

  17. - Real - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:01 am:


    Pritzker plans to spend $60 million on the primary alone. Its coming. Hold your horses

  18. - illini97 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Honeybear, I agree. About the time locals struggle to make ends meet some stranger will wander into City Council meetings and suggest that they can solve all that ails them with a dose of privatization. Sadly, many will buy the snake oil.

    This is both bad public policy and 100% obvious. Thus it will certainly occur.

  19. - Rabid - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Freezing property tax is a win win, put madigan out of the tax Appel business and starve local government into championing the turnaround agenda. While pretending to fight for the taxpayers

  20. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Uff da. JB and his peeps just gave Rauner a huge gift. It’s one thing to have a story about getting a tax break for yourself, but then to oppose a freeze for the little folks.

    Advice: Get a message > Test message > Stay on message

  21. - The Equalizer - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Good point from the GOP but an utter lack of self-awareness as well from Raunerites. It is shocking at the state Dems are forcing a billionaire down the throats (as another commenter here said) of the state party as if 2016 never happened. The utter cluelessness of the Dems can be mind boggling. But he brings the $$$$ which seems to be the sole quality needed in the era of the Hedge Fund Politician.

  22. - Winnin' - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    This is all child’s play compared to the dirt on Rauner.

  23. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    It is absolutely reasonable to take extraordinary efforts to lower your property tax liability and still oppose a property tax freeze on policy grounds.

    Does it look great? Not really. Is it easy to explain? Of course not, and when you’re explaining you’re losing, etc. etc.

    Best to let the dust settle on this now. I have a feeling the budget and tax hikes in Governor Rauner’s near future will soon make this yesterday’s news.

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Is it smart to play these cards now or would it be better to hold them until a month or two before the general election?

  25. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    47th Ward - some people might call making big campaign contributions to the people that set the property tax bill an “extraordinary effort.” Others might call it something else.

  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    =This is all child’s play compared to the dirt on Rauner.=

    The fact that your opponent has a weak chin means nothing if you don’t know how to protect yourself and throw a counterpunch.

  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Am I foolish to believe that this state is beyond corrupt. The core or corruption starts with Cook County property taxes. That is where the money is and where the power and corruption starts. One needs to only follow the money from that point and then identify the “players” and mover and shakers to establish the core problems Cook County and the State of Illinois face. Look at the money going to the shadow budget for Chicago and then look at the funds not going to the pensions. Then look at the land development and investment going towards so called improvised areas like the 32 ward or South Loop. Corporations like Hyatt an others get public proceeds to make more money all while pensions go unpaid. The. The so called Democrats Claim government employees are greedy for complaining about lost health care and depleted pension funds yet these same Democrats have private businesses profiting from appealing property taxes. Finally people are done and moving out of State and waking up yet the so called Leaders of Democrats continue to make huge money off the backs of the working people.

  28. - chin - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Actually 2014 showed that Rauner has an incredibly strong chin. The oppo that hit him would have killed most candidates. What we don’t know is if Pritzker has a weak chin and if Democratic primary voters will feel different than general election voters.

  29. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    “- lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    47th Ward - some people might call making big campaign contributions to the people that set the property tax bill an “extraordinary effort.” Others might call it something else.”

    JB didn’t do that. The firm that appealed his property taxes did. Every property tax appeals lawyer writes checks to Joe Berrios. Every. One. And this was $25,000 over more than five years.

  30. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    LCD, I must have missed the report of Pritzker donating to Berrios. The reports I saw said it was his lawyers who donated.

    Imagine, property tax appeals attorneys donating to the Cook County Assessor. What a scandal! Thanks for exposing this unseemly practice. If Andy Shaw ever decides to hang them up, you ought to be on the short list.

    Lawyers donating to Berrios? That changes everything!

  31. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    “- AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    The rich never cease to be impossibly cheap. You’re rich. Just play by the book.”

    They did “play by the book.” He appealed his assessment. Like I did. Like most property owners I know do. Which part is not “play by the book?”

  32. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Rauner “dirt” was litigated in 2014.

    2018 will be about Rauner record

  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    “Is it smart to play these cards now or would it be better to hold them until a month or two before the general election?”

    No. I’m sure team Pritzker is pretty darned pleased by the timing of these attacks.

  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Anonymous, Chicago is booming. It is seeing an unprecedented reverse in its demographics. It used to be the dumping ground for the regions poor, but is not starting to add high income earners at the fastest pace of any US city. This is long overdue.

    Naperville could use some more affordable rental housing.

  35. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    ===Rauner “dirt” was litigated in 2014.===

    Not all of it.

  36. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:30 am:


    I support Pritzker and appealed my property tax as well. I didn’t let my home fall into disrepair in order to lower it’s value to boost my property tax appeal. Did you?

  37. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    ===is pretty darned pleased===


    You apparently were not listening in to my call with them today.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    ===Pritzker plans to spend $60 million on the primary alone. Its coming. Hold your horses===

    They are the challengers.

    Why the wait? It makes zero sense to be waiting and waiting and take the same hit days in a row.

    They seem to have no response.

    How do I know?

    Pritzker is avoiding Ahern.

    That sounds like a campaign not ready for any hits.

  39. - ZC - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Probably Pritzker is not up on the airwaves running TV ads about this noon night because it’s -over a year away from the general election-.

    We CapFax political junkies can forget about this but this election is far, far, far away from the mindset of ordinary IL voters. And there’s decent evidence that money spent on TV ads right now has one true audience: the journalists who write the stories and their headspaces that later shape the context for the campaign.

    JB should release a web ad for tuppence sometimes and email the URL to all the top political reporters in the state and it’ll have about the same effect on the general electorate, as going up on the airwaves would have.

    Nobody persuadable is going to remember ads well over a year from now.

  40. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    ILGOP will probably be dropping some more ads on the theme - with pictures of the uninhabitable mansion and opposition to the tax freeze.

  41. - A guy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    No such thing as a Pick 6 in PR. It’s impossible to ’score’ on Defense.

    He better get the ball back soon, or he’ll get blown out.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    - ZC -

    These aren’t normal times…

    The press is covering the negative here on Pritzker.

    Rauner will not let it go unless Pritzker answers it now, and hits Rauner hard enough to make Rauner go on the defensive.

    Pritzker has the dough.

    Why the wait?

  43. - One hand //ing - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    JB, here’s your response:

    “The word of Bruce Rauner’s political apparatus is worthless after he gave himself a multimillion dollar tax cut and financed tax cheat Donald Trump’s campaign.”

    I’ll bill you.

  44. - Rocky Rosi - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Hillary 2.0

  45. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    ==Freezing property tax is a win win, put Madigan out of the tax appeal business and starve local government==

    If you could see my property tax bill, you would see that not only are they not starving, but purchased the prime rib and crab leg option at the buffet.

  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    – He’s proving that he’s a billionaire Chicago insider who plays by a different set of rules as everyone else.–

    I remember Brady, Dillard and Rutherford saying the same things about that other guy back in Spring 2014. Whatever happened to him?

    It’s a legitimate crack at Pritzker and there’s really no good p.r. defense.

    The question is whether it has legs in the primary.

    In a general election against Rauner, it’s a push. Rauner has his own Rich People Problems that will be all over the Tee Vee box thanks to a Pritzker bankroll.

    A Pritzker/Rauner race could be like the Battle of Kursk on the tee-vee to determine who is the nastiest .01 Percenter.

  47. - Sense of a Goose - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Honey Bear is spot on. Once local government is as broke as the state, we will see municipal bankruptcy as a great idea. We will be owned. Municipal pensions go away. Labor agreements go away. Bond holders get rich because the cost of borrowing increases exponentially. Continue the rich get richer in a grander scale.

  48. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    I’m not sure if regular attacks like this on Pritker weaken him as a candidate or serve to reinforce that he is most legitimate opponent to take on Rauner and his money. Either way its starting to feel like his nomination is a bit inevitable.

    I agree with Wordslinger that by the time the general rolls around these rich people problems will cancel each other out. I have no doubt it will be ugly however.

  49. - Boone's is back - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Didn’t take much for the ILGOP to rehash that canned property tax footage. If only they felt the same way about the environment.

  50. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    and yet Marwig appears to be running again. gak.

  51. - W Flag - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    @one hand:

    Much like Kirk, Rauner kept his distance from Trump in 2016. Nice try.

  52. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    Imaging the worst….NOPE - still better than who we have now as governor…

  53. - Winnin' - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    Can’t help but appreciate the irony of the governor’s mansion now being rendered uninhabitable and therefore, Rauner evicts Ag Director Poe from the Ag Director’s house on the state fairgrounds so Rauner can have it all to himself.
    Perhaps the IPI News Service can check to see if any state money is being used to update Rauner’s new digs.

  54. - Say What? - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    @ Winning (like Charlie Sheen?):

    Where’s the irony?

    The Executive Mansion was seriously neglected for years and former Governor Quinn did next to nothing to maintain the building. It was another mess left for Rauner to fix and unlike Pritzker’s property the disrepair at the Mansion was fairly well documented and reported upon in the media.

    As an Illinois state owned property, I doubt that the Executive Mansion is subject to property taxation.

  55. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    ==The oppo that hit him would have killed most candidates.==

    Not sure I agree. Quinn fumbled the ball on the nursing home thing, and everything else was, “he’s rich, he must suck!” Hind sight is 20/20, but it’s now clear that voters just aren’t willing to punish rich guys for being rich, absent some other factor.

  56. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==Not all of it.==

    Oooh, tantalizing!

    But I think if Democrats concentrate their fire on Rauner’s pre-Governor business practices, they’re gonna lose, unless there’s just an absolute Killer App in there.

  57. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    um, yeah, Pritzker is not Hillary. She’s very bright, prepared, won the popular vote….. big mistake by a guy who likes big.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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