Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Berrios runs TV ad attacking Democratic primary opponent Kaegi
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Berrios runs TV ad attacking Democratic primary opponent Kaegi

Monday, Dec 11, 2017

* We’ve talked about these two guys all day, but there’s a new development…

* So, I asked the Berrios campaign for the ad

* Announcer’s script…

They’ve been called inhumane, immoral, a private gulag.

But for-profit prisons only meant profit for Fritz Kaegi.

Kaegi personally managed a fund that invested in nearly thirty million in private prisons. Prisons where women refused food to protest abuse of guards. Immigrant children as young as five were held and detainees died suspiciously.

But Kaegi? Only saw profits. Fritzk Kaegi doesn’t share our values.

* Earlier today, the Berrios campaign claimed this

Fritz claims that during his tenure at Columbia Wagner Asset Management he would not have allowed investments in private prisons because he finds them morally reprehensible. He is clearly misleading voters because as a senior portfolio manager of Columbia Acorn Fund (ACRNX) he designed and executed investment strategies for the fund. Most notable are:

    $29 million invested in the Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison operator that lobbied for legislation increasing incarcerations in the U.S. Such policies have been shown to unfairly target African Americans, Latinos, and undocumented immigrants.

* From the Kaegi campaign’s response

The Berrios team’s latest statement about Fritz’s alleged investments in private prisons is replete with blatant lies–hallmarks of Assessor Berrios’ disturbing flagrant perpetuation of economic inequality. This is yet another feeble Berrios attempt to deflect public attention from the Assessor’s own scandal by lying to voters. Their statement this morning calling lifelong progressive Democrat Fritz Kaegi a ‘Wall Street Republican’ would be laughable if the ease with which Berrios’ campaign lies to voters wasn’t so troubling.

…Adding… Berrios campaign…

Hey Rich,

Fritz keeps denying that he worked at Columbia Acorn Fund. Here’s the proof. See attached prospectus and the SEC and form NQ.

    The Columbia Acorn Fund (ACRNX) Invested in CoreCivic, Inc. During the Six-Month Period Ending March 31, 2017; Company Reported Its CoreCivic Stock Was Valued at $29,111,038 at the Time. According to a semi-annual N-Q disclosure document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 26, 2017, ACRNX owned 926,513 shares of CoreCivic, Inc. Those shares were valued at $29,111,038. [N-Q,, filed 11/28/17; N-Q,, filed 5/26/17; Columbia Semi-Annual Report,, 12/31/16]

Corporations Corrections of America is now known as CoreCivic as having to rebrand.

The attachment is here.

*** UPDATE *** Part of a press release from the Kaegi campaign, which calls the ad “slanderous”…

“The Berrios campaign keeps pointing to Columbia Acorn Fund holdings as of March 31, 2017. But Fritz was not a portfolio manager on the Columbia Acorn Fund at this date. He provided notice of his resignation on February 28, 2017, and stepped down from the funds he managed on March 13, 2017. This SEC filing reports the change.

“There are some companies appearing on the March 31, 2017 holding statement that Fritz’s successors purchased because Fritz was no longer there to block them. CoreCivic is among these. “There is not a single document listing CoreCivic as a holding that also lists Fritz as a portfolio manager, because he never was.

“Why did Fritz block the purchase of these kinds of companies? He has always believed these were bad companies in a bad business which have a devastating impact on communities. CoreCivic, previously known as Corrections Corporation of America, changed its name a number of times to hide the nature of its business. They have opaque accounting and contracting practices. They try to change how the market views them, dressing themselves up as real estate companies.

“Additionally, Fritz understood that these companies were running up against a pronounced change of attitude of the American people, toward our country’s failing policies of mass incarceration. Private prison companies were selling something that the American people and governments increasingly did not want. All of these dynamics made for a hugely risky, unattractive investment prospect. They were morally wrong, and they were bad investments. Every time someone suggested an investment in these sorts of companies, Fritz rejected it. The Acorn Fund never owned shares of these companies while Fritz was managing it.

“Assessor Berrios tells a malicious lie that Fritz Kaegi invested in or profited from these companies. Fritz demands a retraction and personal apology from Joe Berrios for making these slanderous charges.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - TKMH - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:49 pm:

    Kaegi made a passive investment in a public company on behalf of his investors. It’s not a glamorous company, and is rife with ethical problems. It was a passive investment; he seems to have had no ability to make operational changes within CCA.

    Berrios actively rigged the system he runs to punish the poor for owning homes and give the wealthy an escape hatch. He is at the helm of what’s left of the old guard political machine, which tries to destroy up-and-coming progressives (see: Will Guzzardi).

    There is no question who’s worse.

  2. - TopHatMonocle - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:52 pm:

    On one hand, it’s smart to start running ads now before people tune out due to the inevitable crush of ads from Pritzker and Rauner. On the other hand, I would bet not many people know who Fritz Kaegi is at this point and this goes over their heads. This is a good ad but something positive to counteract the recent negative press is probably more necessary.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:55 pm:

    ===This is a good ad but something positive to counteract the recent negative press===

    Short of showing Joe personally rescuing 300 puppies from a raging warehouse fire, I doubt there’s much of anything that he can do to counteract his own negatives. He’s just gotta go negative and stay there.

  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:56 pm:

    And not 299 puppies, either. 300.

  5. - Amalia - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:57 pm:

    wow that is a good issue for Berrios to use for negative ads. The liberals hate that.

  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 6:59 pm:

    The Eric Cantor mistake. An unpopular but powerful incumbent spends money to raise the profile of an unknown challenger with no money to do it himself.

    Don’t believe Rauner and the tronclodyte edit board: these guys aint geniuses; the other guys just haven’t been that good or tried.

  7. - blue dog dem - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:06 pm:

    Is this the Chicago style politics we downstaters despise so much? This stuff doesn’t happen down here.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:09 pm:

    ===This stuff doesn’t happen down here.===

    This has to be snark…

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:15 pm:

    ===This has to be snark===


    I should hope so.

  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:20 pm:

    –Is this the Chicago style politics we downstaters despise so much?–

    You only speak for yourself, huckleberry. Don’t slur a whole region with your juvenile dreariness.

  11. - A guy - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:38 pm:

    This is just weird. With only one direction to go; weirder.

  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:42 pm:

    C’mon fellas give an old geezer a few props

  13. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:43 pm:


  14. - Just Me - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:43 pm:

    It’s pretty sad when you have to start your campaign going negative.

  15. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 7:47 pm:

    Word. I had me some micobrew from Scratches over the weekend made from huckleberries. Kinda hard to swallow. Reminded me of gooseberries.

  16. - Lady Lefty - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 8:41 pm:

    In some way, I feel bad for Berrios and his team. They have to really dig to fabricate a story. This is all a complete lie that should be laid to rest like his tenure in the assessor’s office.

    More fun question - Who do you want to see as the Chairman for the Cook County Democratic Party?

  17. - Responsa - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 8:56 pm:

    Ugh.Joe, I can’t even…

  18. - TopHatMonocle - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:22 pm:

    Speaking of puppies, I wonder what Kaegi’s position is on puppy euthanasia. We don’t need another Bill Brady around here.

    His campaign’s statement seems really fishy to me, and the parsing of the dates doesn’t pass the smell test. I find it hard to believe that a decision to make an investment that large was made in just the 2 weeks after he left.

  19. - Telly - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:37 pm:

    That’s a very well made ad. I’m still voting for Kaegi…or anyone else who isn’t Joe Berrios, but I admire the work.

  20. - Perrid - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:36 pm:

    So in the 2 weeks after he left the company someone immediately dumped 30 million into a private prison? Possible, I guess…

  21. - Downstate43 - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 8:52 am:

    Serious question - this type of tenuous connection to the “issue” of private prisons is a big deal in a Dem primary in Cook?

    *Issue is in quotes because until the government provides enough funding for corrections in most states and at the federal level, there is basically no other solution.

  22. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    Thats a campaign theme in the race for assessor ? So this is the new (low bar) normal….Any wonder why the public is turned off by elections?

  23. - Carlos - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    I wonder if former Rep Edgar Lopez’s wife is supporting Joe ?

  24. - Cryptocurrency market Analysis - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    Companies have fled with purchasers’ Bitcoins.

  25. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Berrios & Co. should find a real shareholder in the Acorn Fund who could inquire of Columbia exactly when the investment in CoreCivic was made. Not that they really have an issue unless Fritz was fibbing about his involvement, which I doubt.

  26. - Imoove2.Obenef.Com - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    For those who intend to win the Internet advertising laptop recreation.

  27. - Colin O'Scopey - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 4:31 pm:


    Has your blog been spoofed? What are these links at 12:15 and 1:26? Looks ominous…..

  28. - Shytown - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 4:34 pm:

    Whether the accusations are true or not, it doesn’t matter. This is the business we’re in folks. And while I believe Fritz’s campaign, this is damning ad among african american voters if Berrios can keep putting real money behind the issue via paid media.

  29. - JustWondering - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 7:47 pm:

    So in other words, the Cook County Assessors Office oversees the way that prison privatization works? Because if not, it is what I think it is - a way for Joe to get away from the fact that he’s built one of the biggest Chicago rackets since Prohibition and is working hard to find a way to protect it.
    Sure enough, I looked: No reference yet to financing private prisons. Sorry, but #JoesGottaGo

  30. - Chester - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 10:02 pm:

    Cryptocurrency change rates can fluctuate vastly.

  31. - ecommerce conferences 2017 - Tuesday, Dec 12, 17 @ 11:51 pm:

    Amazon Web Services is an Equal Alternative Employer.

  32. - - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 6:04 am:

    There are round 21 million bitcoins in the market.

  33. - Rachel - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 6:38 am:

    Wider cryptocurrency markets stay subdued.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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