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* You really should listen to all of Rick Pearson’s “Sunday Spin” interview with Chris Kennedy. It’s by far the toughest language Kennedy has ever used against JB Pritzker…
I see government as something that can help others, can invest in the economy and can provide our kids great schools our communities great protection with police and fire. That’s what I believe about government.
You see a guy like JB Pritzker, they catch him on tape, and he’s talking about maybe swapping money for an appointment with Gov. Blagojevich. And he’s using insider language. He’s using code words like ‘I hear ya, I hear ya.’
I mean, anybody who’s ever watched ‘Goodfellas’ or one of those mob movies knows that they’re not gonna come out and say ‘If you give me this and I’ll give you that,’ they use code language. And that’s part of it.
* From the leaked FBI tapes…
“Which, incidentally, if you can do for me what you did for [Lisa Madigan], before the end of the year. Can you think about that?” Blagojevich asked, aware that Pritzker had donated $50,000 to Madigan during the previous year.
“I can’t, I mean, not while everything’s up in the air, but I hear ya,” Pritzker said. “I hear ya and, and, and … But anyway …”
* Back to Chris Kennedy…
But that’s not the sick thing of all of that. The sick thing is when he laughs at his sister’s failure. When his sisters’ bank, Blagojevich makes fun of his sister’s bank going down and he laughs about that.
Look, I have eleven brothers and sisters, my wife is one of five. She has 31 cousins, I have more than 50. We see everything through that lens. We see ourselves as a family, a big American family and we’re going to treat everybody as though they’re part of our family, too. And when you’re part of somebody’s family you don’t laugh at their failure.
* Back to the leaked FBI tapes…
“What happened to her bank?” Blagojevich asked. “Did it collapse or something?”
“Yeah, she was chairman of the bank,” Pritzker said. “It had subprime loans. I mean bad stuff.”
“Superior Bank turned out to be an inferior bank,” the governor remarked.
“Inferior. Exactly, exactly. Very good,” Pritzker said. “I like that. Inferior Bank. I haven’t thought about that. That’s a good one.”
And then to double down and make it worse. Not only is he laughing at his sister, he’s laughing at the fact that that bank failed because they made subprime loans to poor people in places like Chicago, to buy houses they couldn’t afford, that they ended up losing, that mark our city today, years later, destroying not only that house that’s now vacant and abandoned, but the entire block, so that people move away, and then they close the local school and now the entire neighborhood’s circling the drain, and he and Blagojevich think that that’s funny. And no one who thinks that that’s stuff’s funny deserves to be the governor of the state of Illinois.
Chicago Magazine described the bank’s “aggressive” business strategy as “making high-interest home and auto loans to people with bad credit.”
I think there’s something inherently unpredictable about billionaires, frankly. I think that when you don’t have customers, when you don’t have clients, when you’ve never worked for someone else, when you’ve never had to report, you become careless. And you might become careless in the sense that you pass bad checks so often you finally get arrested for it. But you can hire a lawyer to clean up that mess.
You can laugh at other peoples’ failures because it doesn’t impact you. Who thought anything was funny about the 2007, 8, 9 period in America? Who laughed during that period about anything? And now they’re laughing at that, they’re laughing at us. And that’s completely sick behavior.
You can find an explanation for the Pritzker “pass bad checks so often you finally get arrested for it” reference by clicking here.
* Kennedy was then asked about his own wealth…
I’m a person of means, but I’m not a mean person. Our parents taught us to be part of a family, to treat each other well, and to look after each other. And that’s what we need in our party more than anything else.
* But what about the danger of dividing the party when the object is supposed to be to defeat Bruce Rauner?…
You know, with some wisdom, the primary was set in March, months and months and months before the November general election. That allows our party… time to heal the wounds, to come together, to create a unified message that we can all agree on and then go to battle with the other party… So, I think there’s plenty of time next year to heal the wounds. […]
It’s totally possible to have an enormous fight with your own family and then come together as one against everybody else, and that’s what we should do.
* From the Tribune’s story on the interview…
Pritzker responded with a statement that condemned Kennedy for attacking his family, saying he “expected my opponents to throw everything at me during the course of this campaign.”
But, Pritzker said, “I certainly didn’t expect Chris Kennedy, who knows more than anyone what it’s like to grow up with your family in the public limelight, to attack me and my family. I’m running for governor on my life’s work in business and the community, not my family’s, and I hope that Chris would begin to do the same.”
Um, I didn’t see any attack by Kennedy on Pritzker’s family. All I saw was Pritzker’s attack on his sister’s bank.