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*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker: “I’m glad, frankly, that people are being caught and sent away”

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Pritzker participated in a public policy conference today hosted by Axios. One of the questions was about the corruption probe

Let me be clear with you and everyone else. I’m angry, frankly, and I’m disgusted by these people who take advantage of the public, who take public office and think that this is OK. That stealing, that lying, that doing business that’s taking away from the public trough. The taxpayers and voters put elected officials in office to safeguard them, to safeguard your resources to make sure that we’re doing the right things so that you have an opportunity to succeed.

And so these people who are taking advantage as if this is all about them and not all about the people that they’re elected by… We are going to make changes in the state of Illinois. We are going to make changes in our ethics laws. We are going to root these people out.

And I’m glad, frankly, that people are being caught and sent away. It is time.

We really have to fix the system in the state. We have too many things to accomplish. You know we have challenges in the state of Illinois. I’m disgusted by all of what’s going on in this regard, and I also view it as they’re throwing obstacles in the way of us accomplishing pension consolidation and lowering taxes, property taxes and other things in the state. There is a corruption tax that sits on top of everyone in the state. We need to get rid of it.

* He was also asked if he thinks other lawmakers are wearing wires

Could be. I mean, certainly it seems like some sprawling investigation here. I mean, I’m wearing the wire you gave me, but [laughter] everyone can hear that.

*** UPDATE *** ILGOP…

At an event organized by Axios, Governor Pritzker, commenting on the recent spate of federal investigations into Democrat politicians, had this to say: “I’m angry, frankly, and I’m disgusted by these people who take advantage of the public, who take public office and think that this is OK, that the stealing, the lying, that doing businesses that’s taking away from the public trough.”

The hypocrisy from the Governor is stunning and should be addressed.

Given that the Governor is disgusted by corruption and those under federal investigation in his own party, how does he feel about himself? He is currently under federal investigation for possible tax fraud.

The Governor recently said he doesn’t believe Madigan should step down as either Speaker or Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois despite the Speaker being named in FBI subpoenas and his close allies having their offices raided by federal investigators. If Pritzker finds the Madigan Machine’s public corruption “disgusting”, why would he not call on Madigan to step aside? Is the Governor trying to have his cake and eat it too?

“The Governor’s words ring hollow. He can’t pretend to clutch his pearls about those under federal investigation when he is currently the center of a federal probe himself. Pritzker should cut the act until he calls on the Mike Madigan, leader of the Illinois Democrat Crime Ring, to step down.” - Joe Hackler, ILGOP Spokesman

       

39 Comments
  1. - Sayitaintso - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Not the normal, expected blather from politicians. It rings true, despite the ‘toilets fiasco’ of which much has been made. I hope he’s for real on this, and all other items to which he attends. JB could be the Major Domo Flusher of Illinois, and harken back to the highly principled A. Stevenson, our Governor back in the fifties.


  2. - Bad Politician - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    So when are we going to make Tom Cullerton step down as chairman of the veterans committee?

    Why would he get a new chairmanship during a 45 count indictment?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    “I don’t know what the big deal is, frankly”

    - Rodney Davis, on emoluments and corruption.

    To the post,

    Probably the *best* the Governor could do, given that both chambers have Democrats under indictment, possibly in two different investigations.

    The reality is what Durkin and Madigan did yesterday;

    You’re indicted, you’re in the House, you get expelled.

    That’s the benchmark.

    With the IDOT connections, we’ll see how it plays out if/when those folks are outed, avd how this governor will act, and what will this governor say, his appointee or not, his hire or not.

    The thing about investigating, and one unprecedented like this… NO one knows what gonna happen next.

    Until we found out, how many thought a sitting state Senator wore a wire for nearly 3 years… not “who” could… just that premise.

    Imma wait and watch person. I can afford to be, I’m not in this mix, but the truth is, in the mix or not, the actions by Durkin and Madigan are now the bar. That’s it.

    How the Senate goes about their business is their call, and “frankly”, very passive to process, while allegedly being fair.

    I like Tom Cullerton. I do. I like him.

    He’s in it more deep than Sandoval… but… what is going on in that chamber?


  4. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Saying the right things. I think Pritzker should demand an ethics reform bill to be passed in the veto session even if it’s just as simple as outlawing elected politicians lobbying other governments.


  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Interesting. He almost sounds like Gov. Rauner, but a subdued, reasonable version of Gov. Rauner. Still, Gov. Pritzker’s position vis-a-vis the legislature is stronger with more corruption cases. It is almost hypocritical. Gov. Pritzker has always had money. He has no idea what it is like to want more money and is pretty unqualified to moralize about these things. I wonder if he will become more anti-union too. I never really bought his pro-union messaging. Those 1871 types are not really union guys, and that is who he was before running for Governor.


  6. - Steve - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    I wonder if JB made any financial contributions to the misguided individuals involved in Illinois corruption over the years?

    https://tinyurl.com/y644bome


  7. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    Go ahead. Make jokes. hahahaha. Where’s your administration’s bill? Or do we need to do another “task force” to “study” the issue?

    Study is just another term for “wait and hope it blows over so we can pass meaningless legislation because we don’t want to offend any of the hogs in the General Assembly.”


  8. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Corruption tax on everyone in this state. So there is significant waste fraud and abuse that is preventing lower taxes? I thought that was just a republican talking point.


  9. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    Sure, it’s easy to sit on your high horse and criticize public corruption when you have $3 million to your name. But most public servants don’t have that kind of scratch for fancy dinners and vacations. /s


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    === $3 million===

    “B”illiion


  11. - Ebenezer - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    I’ll second Sayitisntso. As a long time D, the tolerance for self-dealing, and the leveraging public office for private gain (in various shades of legality) has always been dispiriting.

    Good on JB.


  12. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Yes OW — good catch — I meant billion :)


  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    ===harken back to the highly principled A. Stevenson, our Governor back in the fifties.===

    You mean Richard J. Daley’s favorite governor, lol.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    - Just Observing -

    After a few one hundred million or so, then we’re talking real money.

    :)

    Be well.


  15. - Chris - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    “ So there is significant waste fraud and abuse that is preventing lower taxes?”

    No. I think the $100 Billion pension deficit is preventing lower taxes. The waste fraud and abuse is just making a huge problem slightly worse.

    But, so long as it continues, it gives some an excuse to ignore the real financial problem, and focus on this other real problem.


  16. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    == It is almost hypocritical. Gov. Pritzker has always had money. He has no idea what it is like to want more money and is pretty unqualified to moralize about these things.==

    I can’t decide if this comment is more dumb than comments by football players who state that fans shouldn’t be allowed to boo players because they’ve never played in the NFL, or not.


  17. - phocion - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    Good for JB Pritzker. The Governor can only do so much about legislators who are engaged in shenanigans or outright law breaking. But the Governor should be a moral leader who stands up vocally for good government. He is staking that position, left vacant for too long. And for that I, for one, am grateful.


  18. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    The Gov. overall struck the right note with this. This is the approach he needs to take to support any elected officials who are *not* corrupt and to encourage a career in public service for the right reasons. If he means it he needs to make an immediate and strong public showing of actions and new laws to address some of the many ways that corruption has been allowed to fly under the legal radar and ethical radar for so long. If he doesn’t mean what he said, that too will become obvious in short time.


  19. - Change Agent - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    The Governor’s response was fine. The question to him about whether he was worried that other people were wearing wires was so awkward. I was surprised the follow-up didn’t include a question about toilets.


  20. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    == the ‘toilets fiasco’ of which much has been made===

    Only by those who didn’t really care about the details of the story.

    And I too am happy to see dirty pols go down, regardless of party.


  21. - Fav human - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    “wearing a mic”

    It’s been three years. I wonder who else was caught persuaded to wear a wire in that time period.

    What they’re doing now is finding out what they don’t know. Putting pressure on a few people and seeing what they cough up. IMHO

    It really might be peeling the onion…


  22. - JB13 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    “Corruption tax.” Interesting choice of words.


  23. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===I can’t decide if this comment is more dumb than comments by football players who state that fans shouldn’t be allowed to boo players because they’ve never played in the NFL, or not.===

    Spare me the histrionics. It was just Monday that Gov. Pritzker could not go as far as to call for Rep. Arroyo’s resignation after he was indicted with bribing a state official. That’s hardly a principled stance.


  24. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    Chris - If the effect of corruption on the budget is so slight, why did Jay Bob even mention it and call it corruption tax? And why has it taken the federal government to do anything at all about it?


  25. - Fav human - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    ” That’s hardly a principled stance.”

    That’s not fair. it might have impaired his good working relationship with the speaker, to actually say something before the speaker had a chance to make his statement about starting to kick him out


  26. - Merica - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    i like JB’s statement and i find it refreshing. but i don’t think this is an opportunity to pass a new law. it’s an opportunity to make our current broken institutions work. look at what we already have:

    1. State Employee ethics act (and many others)
    2. Office of Executive Inspector General
    3. Revolving Door Act
    4. Executive Ethics Commission
    5. Procurement Policy Board
    6. Office of Attorney General

    all of these laws or entities have some role in policing corruption, and they are all really good at finding “little” bits to make them look busy (improper hiring at a low level, theft or waste of


  27. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    I’m with Pritzker all day here. He’s clear and unequivocal in his statements. He’s not arguing about the “process” or corrupt investigators. He’s acknowledging the basic premise that we have a trustworthy government serving the people and not themselves. To suggest that he doesn’t get the temptation of being a less than rich legislator because he’s rich is ridiculous.


  28. - Chris - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    Captain Obvious—are you suggesting that the waste fraud and abuse is substantial enough to close the pension deficit promptly enough that we could cut taxes during JB’s first term?

    Need I remind you that the total of state revenue is presently about $35b, and the pension deficit is in excess of $125b.

    Would you like to maintain that the waste, fraud and abuse within that $35b (which, to be clear, I agree should be zero, but is not today) is substantial enough to satisfy the $125b deficit, allowing for taxes to be reduced soon? If not, then what about my point (the pension deficit drives the need for taxes much more that WFA) do you disagree with, exactly?


  29. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    “all of these laws or entities have some role in policing corruption, and they are all really good at finding “little” bits to make them look busy (improper hiring at a low level, theft or waste of”

    And yet most of those laws and offices don’t police lawmakers themselves. That’s kind of the point. We have no revolving door law for legislators. We’ve all seen the abuses that occur because of that rare missing law (IL is one of only six states with no revolving door prohibition for legislators). Not naming names but a certain former legislator whose name rhymes with Shmarlow helped ComEd pass its legislation and served in the legislature until a Thursday during session and then came back the following Tuesday as one of the top lobbyists for ComEd.


  30. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    == That’s hardly a principled stance.==

    That wasn’t your original argument. Your argument in saying “He has no idea what it is like to want more money and is pretty unqualified to moralize about these things” is that only poor people can expound on ethical and unethical behavior by politicians. That’s just as dumb an argument as saying that people who have never had money are unqualified to speak about political corruption because they’ve never held elected office.

    Do you think that John Tillman or Todd Ricketts or Bruce Rauner are also unqualified to moralize about political corruption?


  31. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    ===Do you think that John Tillman or Todd Ricketts or Bruce Rauner are also unqualified to moralize about political corruption?===

    Yes.

    I think if you go and interview a lot of politicians who engage in financial corruption they will cite money and keeping up with the Jones as a major influence. I would think it would hold true for many people who engage in financial crime. There are definitely the crazies (Blago), the sociopaths, and the control frauds, but people are lead astray by desires for lots of money and the inherent status it provides. JB Pritzker, Bruce Rauner, Todd Ricketts, John Tillman will never experience those feelings. It also makes it so much worse when those types engage in financial fraud because you know it is not about the money.


  32. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    =I think if you go and interview a lot of politicians who engage in financial corruption they will cite money and keeping up with the Jones as a major influence.=

    Well why don’t you come back after you’ve interviewed a lot of politicians and actually know this for a fact. Otherwise it’s simply a ridiculous drive by comment.


  33. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:20 pm:

    Three Dimensional Checkers, that is a ridiculous argument. Yes, financial pressure is a major incentive for financial corruption. But I’m about as middle class as they come and I agree with everything the governor said. If I was in political office you wouldn’t catch me on tape taking a $2,500 month bribe. Ethics and morality have nothing to do with bank accounts.


  34. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:38 pm:

    “Ethics and morality have nothing to do with bank accounts.”

    Amen. You don’t want to get into trouble with the Feds? How about you start with don’t break the law and engage in unethical/illegal conduct.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:53 pm:

    === Illinois Democrat Crime Ring===

    Lemme guess…

    “No collusion”

    Raunerites running the ILGOP keeps them irrelevant again.


  36. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:58 pm:

    Drive by? I commented multiple times on this thread.

    It’s definitely not a ridiculous argument. Don’t know how much you know about world history, but it’s been a pretty important argument for the last 150 years. It’s still a pretty important argument for much of the world.

    Without joining the CPAUSA, bank accounts have a lot to do with morality and ethics. It is extremely easy for anyone to be moral when someone has exactly zero worries about money.


  37. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 7:54 pm:

    So we should only elect billionaires because they won’t be tempted to keep up with the Joneses? Or assume that anyone that isn’t a billionaire is on the take because of, you know, “history”?


  38. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 8:55 pm:

    Chris - You brought up pensions, not me. So no I am not suggesting that waste, fraud and abuse savings could wipe out the pension debt. I think my point was that waste fraud and abuse is not as insignificant as many commenters here make it out to be, and is a significant factor in high level of taxation we face by living here. It is refreshing that Jay Bob agrees with me.


  39. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:07 pm:

    ==It is extremely easy for anyone to be moral when someone has exactly zero worries about money.==

    Tell that to every person who’s ever been convicted of insider trading or securities fraud. I can’t believe this is a thing that you’re actually arguing, it feels like a comedy bit. If you truly believe that wealthy people shouldn’t be allowed to condemn political corruption, I’m going to have to assume that you’re a member of either the Kennedy or Trump family.


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