“If it’s pay-to-play with Blagojevich, a corrupt property tax cut from Joe Berrios, or bank-rolling Mike Madigan’s political organizations in exchange for Madigan’s support, then J.B. Pritzker has “been there”. Pritzker is trying to cover up his record as a corrupt insider who uses public service for personal gain and voters should be worried about that.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
Today, Capitol Fax reported the Pritzker campaign released a new ad citing events in his life that highlight his “progressive values” between 1992 and 2017.
Unsurprisingly, the ad conveniently left out what Pritzker was up to between 1993 and 2016. Here’s what Pritzker is trying to hide:
1996 - Pritzker, wearing a dark green suit, says he helps Blagojevich with “fund-raising” (Chicago Sun-Times, “In Mell’s World, It’s Politics as Usual,” Jorge Oclander, March 23, 1996)
1997 - Pritzker says “Rod [Blagojevich] is going to be very helpful” in his potential 1998 race for Congress
2001 - The Chicago Sun-Times reports Pritzker would help fund Blagojevich’s first gubernatorial race if Pritzker would receive backing from Blago’s father-in-law, Dick Mell, in a potential 2002 race for Congress
2002 - Pritzker gives $20,000 to Friends of Rod Blagojevich (State Board of Elections)
2003 - Blagojevich appoints Pritzker to the top post of a state government commission (The Associated Press, “Governor Appoints Mikva Head Of State Human Rights Commission,” 7/27/2006)
2006 - Pritzker gives $100,000 to Friends of Rod Blagojevich (State Board of Elections)
2006 - Blagojevich authorizes $1 million state grant to a group where Pritzker serves as the finance chief
2008 - FBI wiretaps reveal Pritzker schemed with Blagojevich to be appointed Illinois Treasurer, among other state offices. In the same call, Blago also pressed Pritzker for campaign contributions and Pritzker said “I hear ya, I hear ya”
2012-2016 - Pritzker rips out the toilets of a neighboring “uninhabitable” mansion and Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios approves an 83% property tax cut, slashing the property tax bill on his multi-million dollar Chicago mansion by $230,000
2000-2016 - Pritzker’s lawyers who won him the property tax break gave more than $100,000 in campaign contributions to Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios and his affiliated political organizations (State Board of Elections)
2016 - Pritzker and his company contribute $900,000 to a Super PAC run that a Democratic political operative referred to as a “Madigan joint”
2017 - Madigan steers unions, interests groups, and politicians to throw their support behind Pritzker’s campaign for governor
2017 - Pritzker selects Madigan-backed running mate as his lieutenant governor canidate
Whether it’s pay-to-play and quid pro quo with Blagojevich, a corrupt deal with Joe Berrios to cut his property tax bill, or bankrolling Mike Madigan’s political organizations in exchange for Madigan’s support, Pritzker has “been there”.
J.B. Pritzker is trying to cover up his record as a corrupt insider who uses public service for personal gain and voters should be worried about that.