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“So if he wants to have this battle, let’s have at it”

Thursday, Dec 7, 2017

* Sun-Times

Democratic primary front-runner J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday fired back at accusations from Gov. Bruce Rauner that the candidate has avoided paying taxes on his $3 billion fortune by sheltering funds in offshore accounts.

“It’s laughable that Bruce Rauner is complaining about my taxes,” Pritzker said after a Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ forum at the historic Second Presbyterian Church on the South Side. “I released way more information than Bruce Rauner has, and it’s important to recognize that unlike Bruce Rauner, who, yeah, he paid taxes, but you know how he made his money? By cutting jobs. By buying companies and firing people.”

“So if he wants to have this battle, let’s have at it: Where I’m a job creator, he’s a job destroyer,” Pritzker said.

“I think there’s a massive tax avoidance scheme and you can just see by what we do know,” Rauner said Wednesday. “We know that Pritzker, in order to save some real estate taxes in Chicago, ripped toilets out of a building so he could claim that it’s worthless,” he said, referring to a Chicago Sun-Times investigation that found Pritzker saved $230,000 in property tax breaks last year by leaving his Gold Coast mansion in disrepair.

“So with that kind of behavior, you can only imagine what he would do to hide taxes or avoid taxes on hundreds of millions or maybe billions of dollars,” Rauner said. […]

“Any trusts for my benefit that are offshore, I have received no distributions from, and those trusts are only providing charitable contributions,” Pritzker said Wednesday. “That’s all that they do.”

* Meanwhile…

Today, the JB for Governor campaign released a new video, “Not In Charge,” highlighting Bruce Rauner’s shallow attempts to evade responsibility and excuse away his failures as governor.

After causing a 736-day budget crisis, failing to protect Illinois children by mismanaging DCFS, and sneaking a $13 million no-bid consulting contract into a secret Medicaid deal, Bruce Rauner has decided he’s actually “not in charge” of the state he was elected to lead.

“From manufacturing a 736-day budget crisis to gross neglect of DCFS and shirking procurement law with a secret Medicaid deal, this administration is facing fires left and right and Bruce Rauner is fanning the flames,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Illinoisans deserve answers from their failed governor and Rauner claiming he’s ‘not in charge’ while wiping his hands of responsibility is not going to cut it.”

* The video

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Barrington - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:12 am:

    Enjoyed the video.

  2. - Chicago_Downstater - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:16 am:

    Good video. I think I would’ve stuck in the “I’m not in charge” a few more times to break up some of the longer segments though.

  3. - Just Visiting - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    It’s not a battle, it’s a rich guy slap fight. These two complaining about 1% problems do nothing for the poor working stiffs and regular Joe’s and Jane’s across the state.

  4. - Pundent - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    The video could be tightened up a bit. Maybe scroll the issues on the screen and run a continuous loop of the “I’m not in charge”. But anytime you can use your opponents own words as an indictment of their accomplishments, its effective. I’d give it a solid “B”.

  5. - cdog - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    Hollow words from the billionaire club.

    Neither of these elites will ever submit an IL1040 that includes offshore income.

    That’s why we love them so much. /s

  6. - Macbeth - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    Rauner gets those crazy eyes, and you know it’s gonna be good.

    Or weird.

  7. - Anonymouse - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    Rauner just makes me wish for Rod back.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    To the Post,

    Yesterday I wrote about Pritzker and taking the fight TO the governor, this is EXACTLY the type of blowback I’d like to see more of…

    ===“So if he wants to have this battle, let’s have at it: Where I’m a job creator, he’s a job destroyer,” Pritzker said.===


    It’s taking it directly to Rauner, it’s thd pivot off something, but using that something to frame Rauner differently and allow a discussion Rauner may not want to have.

    It’s, really, really sneaky-smart, but in an “in your face” way.

    “More like this”… this is what I was hoping and knew they had in them.

    The video?

    Even I couldn’t miss taking Rauner to task with a videoed meltdown where a sitting governor says he’s (Rauner) not in charge, but wants to be… but was already elected to an office with vast powers, arguably one of the most constitutionally powerful offices of any governor in America… all the whole *not* being in charge and recognized as the worst Republican governor in America to boot.

    Even I can’t miss with that video.

    To that though, still gotta roll it out, and I’m sure, and I’d bet, it won’t be the last we all see that video.

  9. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    It is okay. some of the clips seems out of context with his statement of not being in charge. Clips about his vetoes of school and domestic violence funding, opioid funding etc. followed by his “I’m not in charge” statement would be better.

  10. - Mouthy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    Good Video. I’d do one on “the system’s broken” too for good measure..

  11. - Honeybear - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Adm. Pritzker: Hard to starboard Lt Stratton. Cut Rauners wake and rake him aft to stern. Ruin his day cabin if you please. Oh, and sweep his deck quarterdeck.

    Lt. Stratton: Helm hard to starboard. Larboard battery fire on the up roll as you bare. Deck battery load with grape. Marines to the tops. Give Lord Rauner cause to question.

    Labor, with knuckle to brow. Yes, M’um. Lively now. We’ve got a butchers bill to send!

  12. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Meh on the video. Shots need to be tightened up- too much wide view on some of the newscasts. Need quick bullet points on Rauner’s fails coupled with the “I’m not in Charge” quip. I’d dive into his 2014 campaigning and pull vid clips out of there to pair with his fails and victimhood statement. He wanted to be Governor, but not in charge. Be sure to show his many costume changes, too. Focus on that.

  13. - Rabid - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    the property next door is a big privacy fence without plumbing, do you think he couldn’t fit threw the door and got rid of them. He would of razed it for the best tax break

  14. - PJ - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    Two old, white, male billionaires yell at each other about who hides their vast wealth more successfully.

    Should be a lot of folks really excited about their vote in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

  15. - WasAnon - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    There’s that ‘goosed’ look we talked about yesterday. “Duuck,Duuck, BRUCE”.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    If the discussion is who hides what money where, that’s a loser for a challenger more often than an incumbent who, up to Rauner, then Trump, tried to or were successful at keeping full (or partial) disclosure of taxes hidden.

    The winning business/money discussion against Rauner is two-fold.

    It’s “how many jobs did you create”.., “who will vouch for your job creation in the private sector”

    Brady, Rutherford, Dillard… Quinn… they all failed at going after the hollow business growing argument Rauner swamped then all with, and no one could hollow out the argument when Rauner himself pushed back.

    I’m sure Rauner could find dozens of people who got gift cards for their service… as they lost their jobs so the RaunerS could make money…

  17. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    I think a commenter yesterday put it well:

    Rauner has gone from “don’t blame me, I just got here” to “don’t blame me, I’m not in charge.”

  18. - Pundent - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    =It’s “how many jobs did you create”.., “who will vouch for your job creation in the private sector”=

    I think this is spot on. The reason that others failed in 2014 is because they were easily labeled “career politicians”. They couldn’t call Rauner out on this topic as Pritzker can.

    Rauner made a tactical mistake here by claiming that Pritzker inherited his money and didn’t work for it. He set himself up for a counterpunch.

  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    You know you’re incompetent when your own words/ videos provide the best ammunition for the opposition.

  20. - Arsenal - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    If JB sticks to the “job creator vs. job destroyer” frame he’ll be in good shape. It’s a frame that works for him, and it heads off Rauner’s “inherited wealth vs. earned wealth” frame.

  21. - Yoga - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    If I were his opponent, I’d run more of the being voted “worst republican governor in America”. Some voters don’t connect with things like DCFS or procurement contracts. But hearing our “leader” has been dubbed the worst republican governor by a national publication is very powerful.

  22. - ILPundit - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    Regarding the video — right Idea, but poor execution. It needed to be much shorter.

  23. - Arsenal - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    ==Rauner made a tactical mistake here by claiming that Pritzker inherited his money and didn’t work for it. He set himself up for a counterpunch.==

    Yeah, but an easy mistake to make. It’s the best play Rauner has to distinguish their pre-political careers, and he needs to do that, because if this race is about his time in office or policy (ha ha ha, but hear me out) he’ll lose.

    It’s just that even your best play may not work. But it’s early days, maybe it will!

  24. - cdog - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    hb, I found it funny-interesting that you chose “hard to starboard.”

    Not hard to port? Are you advocating a tack to the center?

  25. - Pundent - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    =But hearing our “leader” has been dubbed the worst republican governor by a national publication is very powerful.=

    Maybe in a primary not so sure how it plays in the general in this very blue state. Rauner might wear this as a badge of honor as he tries to peel away Pritzker’s supports among moderates. There’s a reason after all that he signed off on HB40 and it wasn’t to get the endorsement of the National Review.

  26. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    Agree with others above: video might have been better quality, but the message was great. Oh, and the guys who make comments about two rich guys battling it out? It is what it is, guys. Comments along those lines don’t add to the discussion…

  27. - NoGifts - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    Do they think we’re unaware that the tax code was designed by the wealthy to make these strategies available to wealthy people….and that they’re all doing it one way or another. They should pick another topic to argue about because we don’t believe either one of them.

  28. - Arsenal - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    ==Maybe in a primary not so sure how it plays in the general in this very blue state.==

    I don’t think many people are going to see the phrase “Worst Republican Governor in America” and conclude, “Oh, he must be a centrist, then!”

  29. - LordyB - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    Doesnt Pritzker have funds in offshore accounts? Didnt Pritzker claim his home was uninhabitable so he could get a $230k tax break. Wasn’t it Pritzker that was caught on a wiretap trying to make a deal with Blago for the senate seat? Did Pritzkers family do any dealings with the mafia?

  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Wasn’t it Pritzker that was caught on a wiretap trying to make a deal with Blago for the senate seat? Did Pritzkers family do any dealings with the mafia?===

    1) The tape itself led towards nothing that an able US Attorney who had many convictions during the Blago Administration… found no reason to question, depose, make a witness or a anything of a case towards Pritzker

    2) Now Pritzker is connected to organized crime?

    You sure on these two?

  31. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    The National Review gave a gift to so many candidates.

  32. - G'Kar - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Me thinks Honeybear is reading too many Hornblower novels. :-)

  33. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    G’Kar, AA thinks Honeybear was a heckuva sailor back in the day. And she says she was a Chaplain.

    I thought the ad was pretty good, but as other folks have said, I would tighten it up a bit and use more “I’m not in charge” clips, which is AA’s new ringtone fwiw.

    Think JB also needs to work on the “I have an offshore trust, but I donate my distributions” line.

  34. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    The jobs angle for JB is good.

    There’s footage from a televised debate where Rauner went deer-in-headlights, all-a-stutter when Charles Thomas asked him to name any jobs he created in the private sector.

    You’ll recall, Rauner never ran any spots claiming that he created one last election.

    Bust out artists make their money by bleeding companies dry, not building them.

  35. - IMissBentohs - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    Someone above said comments about two rich guys don’t add to the discussion but I disagree. It drives home to ordinary, non-politically involved voters. Hitting on the others richness and taxes does not relate, so it will not resonate. It’s weak bluster at best … and thus is worth commenting about methinks.

  36. - LordyB - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    Oswego Willy, this is what I saw in an article. You can come up with your own conclusions.

    “The origins of the Pritzker family fortune was her grandfather’s mob connections when he was a tax attorney for a lot of people in “The Outfit,” the Chicago mob, beginning under Al Capone, and continuing through the 1980s. This connection to organized crime was reportedly what financed the creation of Hyatt Hotels by Penny’s father. There was no crime involved, but the financial backing came from organized crime, plain and simple. The details are in Gus Russo’s 2006 tome Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers. Russo’s book is crucial reading for anyone trying to understand why America’s ruling elites are, well, so bad”.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===There was no crime involved===


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    The 1980’s were 30 years ago..,

    Are you held accountable for you Grandfather?

    What else ya got?

  39. - Rabid - Friday, Dec 8, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    Rauner seems envious of JB’s tax lawyers

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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