* Mark Brown…
Kennedy declined to characterize his [property tax] proposal as a tax swap, saying he would leave it to individual communities to decide whether or how much to lower property taxes.
So he’s not going the full Netsch/Edgar/Meeks route. Hmm.
If elected governor, Kennedy said he would implement “radical” reforms, like banning the Cook County assessor from leading political parties and stopping elected officials from being property tax lawyers.
These reforms were clearly veiled swipes at Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, who is the chairman of the Cook County Democratic party, and House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose law firm files appeals to property tax assessments.
But when questioned by reporters, Kennedy insisted his campaign wasn’t about them.
* His quote…
Asked afterward by reporters if he was contending that Madigan, Berrios and Burke were part of a corrupt system, Kennedy repeatedly declined to directly answer.
“This isn’t about individuals by any stretch of the imagination. This is about an entire system and it really begins with kids,” said Kennedy, who noted the bulk of public school financing is through local property taxes. “This is about them, not about any elected official.”
* CBS 2…
Kennedy was later asked if Berrios, Madigan and Burke are corrupt.
He replied: “The people who are in the system feel like they’re playing by the rules and, as such, they feel like they’re not breaking the rules. I think we need to change the rules so if this conduct continues, it’s against the law.”
* Back to Brown…
No current elected officials attended Kennedy’s speech, the first major policy rollout of his campaign.
But former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, former county Assessor James Houlihan, former Board of Review Commissioner Robert Shaw and former Senate President Emil Jones were on hand to lend support.
That’s a weird combination.
Former Democratic state Senate President Emil Jones Jr., a Kennedy backer who attended the speech, was asked if he believed the property tax system was corrupt.
“Yes, it is,” said Jones, served with Madigan. “The system has always been there as far as the (property) taxes are concerned. So those who have access, be it through contributions or wealthy lawyers, the city assessor or his organization — so that, in a sense, is not immediately wrong, but it’s not right, see?”
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the veteran House speaker’s outside legal work does not include examples of “anything improper or special treatment.”
“I don’t know what he’s referring to, and I believe others have used that idea as a campaign plank (in the past) and it hasn’t proven successful,” Brown said of Kennedy.
Jones also backed a tax swap of sorts back in the day. He’s also a noted Madigan hater. Houlihan had his own falling out with Madigan.
* Chicago Dem Chris Kennedy Touts ‘Radical Change’ Agenda
* Kennedy Talks Business with McDonough County Democrats: He told the crowd of more than 200 people at the V.F.W in Macomb that while president of merchandise mart, he worked to bring businesses to Illinois and help them grow and not one business ever asked about the issues deemed priorities by Governor Rauner’s turnaround agenda.
* Steve Cochran Show 05.31.2017: Chris Kennedy