Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - ALEC tie-in - Berrios campaign responds by calling on Rauner to resign *** Rauner, Democrats lash out at Berrios
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*** UPDATED x2 - ALEC tie-in - Berrios campaign responds by calling on Rauner to resign *** Rauner, Democrats lash out at Berrios

Monday, Dec 11, 2017

* Campaign media advisory…

This morning, Governor Bruce Rauner will hold a press conference to call for Joe Berrios’ resignation as Cook County Assessor. This is following a report by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois that revealed he and State House Speaker Mike Madigan have abused their power to enrich themselves and provide tax benefits for connected allies at the expense of the middle class and small businesses.

Governor Rauner will hold the press conference at the house of Michael Murphy, a homeowner in Cook County who is facing high property taxes.

* From yesterday…

Fritz Kaegi, a progressive Democrat running for the Cook County Assessor’s Office, earned the endorsement of Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-7), Bill Foster (D-11) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-2) on Sunday, adding momentum to Kaegi’s campaign to unseat embattled incumbent Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.

During the press conference, Foster endorsed Kaegi, saying, “I am honored to endorse Fritz Kaegi to serve as our next Cook County Assessor. When elected officials fail to do their jobs fairly and honestly, or misbehave in their official capacities, it is essential that we use our democracy’s inherent capability to repair those wounds. Recent investigations by ProPublica/Chicago Tribune, the Economist Magazine, and others, have brought the failings of the Cook County Assessor’s Office into harsh light.”

Rep. Kelly said, “It’s truly an honor for me to be here to endorse Fritz in his candidacy to be the Cook County Assessor. I am very confident that Fritz will bring fresh ideas, direction and leadership to the office and that he will make a positive difference, not only in the office but also across Cook County. I represent an area that has been largely impacted by the assessment process. It’s very important that we elect someone who is going to change that process, so that taxpayers across Cook County have confidence that the Assessor is acting in their best interest.”

Rep. Davis added, “I am delighted to be here with two of colleagues as well as a number of community activists and individuals who are interested in the public interest. We are here for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to endorse, support and convey to general public that we are supporting Fritz Kaegi for Cook County Assessor. And we’re doing so because we believe that he is going to do a better job of generating the fairness that is needed in our County and in the assessment of our taxes.”

Kaegi, whose candidacy has already received endorsements from Cook County Clerk David Orr, Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia, and grassroots progressive group Our Revolution Illinois among others, enthusiastically accepted the endorsements by stating, “It a tremendous honor to receive the endorsements of these great U.S. Congressional leaders today. Each of them represents communities that have been severely impacted by the rampant corruption and pay-to-play tactics that we see in the Assessor’s office.”

Kaegi continued, “As the latest Tribune/ProPublica series has uncovered, the working families of Cook County are disproportionately penalized by the willful negligence of Joe Berrios. Annually, billions of dollars shift from the pockets of Cook County residents into the hands of large, wealthy property owners like Donald Trump, creating huge tax increases for the residents of Cook County. Together, we can end the pay-to-play politics, nepotism and corruption in the office. As Assessor, I will bring honesty, integrity and fairness to the office and the residents of Cook County.”

Foster concluded, “The current property tax assessment system is clouded by corruption, pay-to-play politics and nepotism. It’s imperative to elect a new leader who will regain the trust of our residents, and our business community. Fritz has a proven track record that demonstrates his qualifications for the job, and his commitment to ethics, accountability and transparency. I am proud to support Fritz Kaegi because he brings a vision to restore fairness, integrity and honesty to the Assessor’s office.”

* Food for thought…

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Joseph Berrios for Assessor’s Campaign Manager Mario Lopez’s Statement on Bruce Rauner’s blatant political stunt

This attack is coming from a governor who just last week complained about being “not in charge” of the state. Like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner relies on blatant political stunts in a bid to save his failing administration and re-election bid.

Wall Street Republicans like Bruce Rauner and Fritz Kaegi have been reckless for the role they played in the financial collapse of our economy while profiting off the backs of working families. Bruce Rauner has single-handled dedicated his tenure to attacking working families, women, and children. He has hijacked our state by preventing working families and children from receiving critical services, among other “accomplishments.”

On the other hand, Assessor Berrios has taken charge and focused on improving the assessment system he inherited by making it fair and equitable for every Cook County resident. He has increased the number of outreach events held across the county, made appeals easier, and successfully pushed for an increase in the homeowners and senior exemptions which will put more money back in the hands of homeowners statewide. The Civic Consulting Alliance is currently reviewing the County’s property assessment system, and Assessor Berrios plans to implement whatever changes and improvements are recommended to make the system even better.

It’s time for Bruce Rauner to “Shake up Springfield” by doing the people of Illinois a favor — he should admit that he has failed as governor and resign.

…Adding… Gettin’ biblical…

*** UPDATE 2 *** Sun-Times

Calling Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan the “unholy trifecta of collusion,” Gov. Bruce Rauner stood in a suburban backyard on Monday morning in a campaign stop to call for the resignation of the longtime assessor. […]

Rauner’s example of a high property tax home, however, was a little unusual. The Wheeling home, where he held Monday’s news conference, is owned by Marianne Murphy — a Rauner appointee to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Murphy was appointed in December 2016 and her term expires in July 2019.

Murphy is also on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Advisory Council, serving as its first vice chair, according to her bio. The American Legislative Exchange Council is an ultra-conservative group crated to influence state lawmakers. Goals of the group include privatizing public education, cutting taxes and cutting public employee compensation. The group also opposes Obamacare.

Notice that Ms. Murphy’s first name wasn’t on the media advisory, even though the house is listed as being in her name. Instead, the campaign only mentioned her husband’s name. Heh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    Credit to Kaegi’s camp for pulling some pretty solid support there considering what he is up against.

  2. - Fax Machine - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:25 am:

    Rauner attacking Berrios is the best thing that could happen for Berrios - now he can label his opponent as the guy Rauner wants you to vote for.

    Maybe Rauner knows this & he’s trying to help Berrios win the primary so he can still be part of the anti-Pritzker narrative through November

  3. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    ==Maybe Rauner knows this & he’s trying to help Berrios win the primary so he can still be part of the anti-Pritzker narrative through November==

    Makes sense to me. But I think Berrios is going down anyway.

  4. - Honeybadger - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    What bothers me is that the Cook County and Illinois Democratic party should have and and better start recruiting new, young talent and I am not talking about the children of current politicians. There is a rising tide of change and frustration out there, thanks to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. For the sake of the party and keeping the office in Democratic hands, please drop out Joe Berrios.

  5. - Fax Machine - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Come to think of it, in a Cook County Democratic primary, Bruce Rauner & the Tribune are probably the best enemies you could have.

  6. - Roman - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    Rauner should be holding his fire right now on Berrios in the hope that he is renominated and on the ballot in the fall. Why help the Dems reform themselves in the primary?

  7. - PJ - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ===Why help the Dems reform themselves in the primary?===

    Because it’ll make literally no difference to his campaign whether Berrios is on the ballot or not? He’s the ultimate political cynic, but here Rauner and I are on the same side. Berrios is awful for Chicago.

    And you’re advocating for him to be even *more* political cynical in the hopes that… I don’t even know what.

  8. - Sue - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    The new owners of 300 N LaSalle either grossly overpaid for the building or Berrios is incompetent. Which do you believe to be the case? They paid 850 million and the tax assessment is less then half of that?

  9. - DuPage - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Cook County has way lower tax rates then the collar counties. I would like to see what Michael Murphy’s taxes would be in DuPage, Lake, or Kane Counties.

  10. - City Zen - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    ==The new owners of 300 N LaSalle either grossly overpaid for the building or Berrios is incompetent. Which do you believe to be the case? They paid 850 million and the tax assessment is less then half of that?==

    There is a correlation between construction cranes and assessments. I’d be worried improper assessments are propping up the downtown real estate market.

  11. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    ==Joseph Berrios for Assessor’s Campaign Manager Mario Lopez’s Statement on Bruce Rauner’s blatant political stunt==

    Don’t mess with AC Slater, guys.

    Seriously, Berrios’ team can give as good as they get in press releases, and they’re getting quite a bit. The Goobers need to Stop. Punching. Down.

  12. - Actual Red - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    I don’t know a ton about Kaegi and I couldn’t find anything online — is there any basis for calling him a Republican? I find it hard to believe he’d pull all of those progressive endorsements if that were true.

  13. - People Over Parties - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    So, Berrios calls Rauner’s call for resignation a blatant political stunt, but then calls on Rauner to resign? Ok.

  14. - Shytown - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    It shouldn’t take Rauner or a candidate for governor looking to score political points to call on berrios to go. Even hiring his own family and giving them raises wasn’t enough. It’s a stain on Democrats.

  15. - Shytown - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    It shouldn’t take Rauner or a candidate for governor looking to score political points to call on berrios to go. Even hiring his own family and giving them raises wasn’t enough. It’s a stain on Democrats.

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    How bout both of them resign..

  17. - @misterjayem - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    “Joseph Berrios for Assessor’s Campaign Manager Mario Lopez’s Statement on Bruce Rauner’s blatant political stunt”

    Three possessives in a subject line is inexcusable.

    – MrJM

  18. - Roman - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    - PJ -

    Not making moral judgement calls, just spitballing on political strategy here.

    If I’m Rauner, I want Joe Berrios (and Toni Preckwinkle for that matter) heading the Dem ticket in Cook County in November. Helps him make the anti-Madigan/anti-tax/anti-“Chicago machine” argument.

    Shining a light on a low profile office like assessor will hurt Berrios in the primary. Guys like Berrios win when no one is paying attention.

  19. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    Actually this is the shot in the arm Berrios needs. Now he’s the anti-Rauner candidate and I’m sure he’ll make Kaegi & Rauner best buds in his attack ads.

  20. - Anon2017 - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Kaegi does have a big business background. As we all know, big business has not been much of a friend to working people. Its not surprising that he and Rauner would find common ground.

  21. - Anon221 - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    To Update 2- OMG. Can’t the Rauner Team do anything right??? Kudos for the Sun Times for doing the “archeology” of this press stunt.

  22. - 47th Ward - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    There’s more than a million homes in Cook County. What are the odds that Governor Rauner would appear in one that belongs to an ALEC activist?

    Yep, just about 100%. Talk about stepping on the story. I guess he figured no one would notice or care.

  23. - FDB - Monday, Dec 11, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    Rats usually don’t start biting until they’re cornered. Berries is one big rat and he’s totally cornered.

    Despise what Rauner is doing to IL but what Berrios did is laughably juvenile

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