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Weekend disclosure of $5 million contribution goes unnoticed for days

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

* A legislator texted this info out to several reporters last night, and a couple of us tweeted about it…


* This morning

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Gov. J.B. Pritzker just pumped $5 million into the “Vote Yes for Fairness” committee that’s out pressing for a graduated income tax amendment to the state Constitution — an early signal of an all-out political campaign willing to compete for air time while presidential candidates duke it out.

The Legislature gave their blessing to changing the tax code earlier this year but voters must still support altering the constitution in November 2020 before it can take effect. If approved, taxes would be raised on income greater than $250,000.

Quentin Fulks, who heads Vote Yes for Fairness, has said the committee will spend whatever it takes to secure a graduated income tax amendment. It’s a matter of communicating the message to voters — and that takes money.

Enter Pritzker, whose $5 million donation recorded with the state board of elections may be a drop in the bucket of what will ultimately be spent on the campaign to push the amendment since opponents have launched their own efforts attacking the graduated income tax.

The Vote No on Blank Check Committee headed by Greg Baise claims amending the state’s tax structure would only lead to future tax increases.

1) Obviously, it’s not first appearing in that publication.

2) Pritzker didn’t “just” pump that money into the committee, the contribution was made a week ago and the disclosure was made over the weekend and everybody who writes about politics apparently missed it until that legislator’s text. Oops.

3) Good point by Kyle…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

55 Comments
  1. - Sonny - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:32 am:

    $5 says it was McSweeney.


  2. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    Kyle Hillman’s last tweet nailed the biggest issue in the country, unlimited $ in politics. $5 million is a fortune, yet doesn’t feel like it.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    This isn’t the first time “Playbook” and it’s author …misinterpreted… it’s own sleuth-news. It appears to be a pattern.

    To the post,

    If Pritzker gets to $25 million, that’ll be $500K a week until the end. And folks are telling me they can beat this back?

    Show me your $25 million, then get back to me

    Sweet gig and if you can be a part of that cash…


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    >Sonny

    Or Skillicorn.


  5. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    “Quentin Fulks, who heads Vote Yes for Fairness, has said the committee will spend whatever it takes to secure a graduated income tax amendment.”

    Great news. The wealthiest have been having by far the biggest income gains and are paying a lower share of taxes. The state just experienced drastic cuts via the previous governor’s budget sabotage. The people who bear the biggest brunt of the state’s financial problems are those who can less afford to sacrifice. Illinois’ overall tax structure favors the wealthiest, with those with lower incomes paying a higher share of SALT. Looking very forward to the campaign.


  6. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    Yeah, I wonder if the opponents of the Fair Tax can find another “benefactor” like they had when Rauner was hanging around. Is some rich guy (or gal maybe) going to pump money to oppose the Fair Tax, and if yes which one?


  7. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    $5 million is alot of money

    especially for someone who only had $5.5 million in taxable income in 2018

    Pritzker and wife M.K. Pritzker reported taxable income of $5.5 million in 2018, according to documents the Democratic governor’s campaign arm released.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-gov-pritzker-income-tax-summaries-20191016-q6ksrtodv5gctioakyfnegrik4-story.html


  8. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    “Is some rich guy (or gal maybe) going to pump money to oppose the Fair Tax, and if yes which one?”

    If crocodile tears and propaganda were money, Fair Tax opponents would flood out proponents.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    === I wonder if the opponents of the Fair Tax can find another “benefactor” like they had when Rauner was hanging around. Is some rich guy (or gal maybe) going to pump money to oppose the Fair Tax, and if yes which one?===

    If that person (or people) exist, the Raunerite Caucasus are for sale. Granted Bruce and Diana Rauner overpaid ($50 million), plus expenses, but they kinda let them die on the vine, so I’d call it a fixer-upper.

    What will the message *be* for the anti-progressive tax?

    “Save the wealthy”?

    So $25 million of “save the wealthy”?

    That’ll be…

    … fun.


  10. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:45 am:

    Looks like a warning shot at potential opposition donors, i.e. “I really am going to spend whatever it takes, so you may as well stay on the sidelines.”

    Kinda surprised that you didn’t get a text about it from the Governor himself.

    – MrJM


  11. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    JB is so confident of the progressive income tax , he needs to spend $5 million dollars promoting it. The progressive income tax: so popular Illinois’ wealthiest people have to pick up the slack.


  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    ===Looks like a warning shot at potential opposition donors===

    That info is not new. It’s just re-packaged to look new.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    === $5 million is alot of money===

    Oh, it is - Lucky Pierre -…

    Ask The Ounce of Prevention.

    You remember? When the Pritzker family and their trusts too bailed out Diana Rauner?

    It’s a lotta “business decision” going on there.


  14. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    ===The Vote No on Blank Check Committee headed by Greg Baise claims amending the state’s tax structure would only lead to future tax increases.===

    As has been said multiple times by commenters on this blog, the GA can raise taxes now, any time it wants.

    And if the constitutional amendment fails next year, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will raise taxes on everybody. It will have no choice but to do that.


  15. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    “And when I first read this today my reaction was - meh.”

    Selective apathy reigns when the rich guy is spending money on your initiative.


  16. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    ===JB is so confident of the progressive income tax , he needs to spend $5 million dollars promoting it.===

    You’re a fool if you don’t think wealthy opponents — people with more money than Pritzker — won’t be ponying up millions to defeat it.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    === JB is so confident of the progressive income tax , he needs to spend $5 million dollars promoting it.===

    If you can win the battle before the battle begins…

    … or words to that effect.


  18. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    It’s all about Rauner no matter what the subject at hand is, right Captain Queeg?

    I hope JB doesn’t have to clip coupons to survive donating 90% of his income to a political cause that won’t really apply to his off shore wealth.


  19. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    ==What will the message *be* for the anti-progressive tax?==

    No married tax brackets, trust, no inflation protection, first step to taxing retirement income, trust, a bevy of recent tax hikes, trust…

    The “anti-progressive tax” group has plenty of ammunition. I’m not sure they know how to use it yet.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    === No married tax brackets, trust, no inflation protection, first step to taxing retirement income, trust, a bevy of recent tax hikes, trust…===

    vs.

    “97% will see no rude in taxes”… with, I’m still guessing about $25 million behind it… in a presidential cycle.


  21. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    “That info is not new. It’s just re-packaged to look new.”

    The difference between someone telling you they really are going to punch you in the nose and someone actually punching you in the nose.

    – MrJM


  22. - Realist - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    Just don’t see it happening due to the 60% requirement. Pritzker a popular Democrat got 54.5% of vote with an infinite war chest against an unpopular Republican who by the end was mailing it in. While I think it could definitely break 50%, I just don’t see it getting to 60% no matter how much advertising is done. People just won’t trust State of Illinois Government to not raise their taxes even if the rates they’re quoting now are going to save them $20. I suppose that the top of the ticket could have some impact on the people who show up to the polls, but that could swing both ways if Bernie is at the top of the ticket.


  23. - Rich Hill - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    I’m a bit charmed by a billionaire spending a lot of money to raise his own taxes. Watch Jerry Reinsdorf use the state’s income tax to claim he can’t afford to sign the free agents he already wasn’t signing and the Ricketts Klan use it to claim they can’t keep Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.


  24. - King Louis XVI - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    The late reporting on the $ says a lot about the thinness of the political reporter bench out there, like Tina being the only reporter covering the governor’s press conference yesterday. Not sad, but grim.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    The Fair Tax has its biggest hurdle yet, the voters, with tough thresholds to clear. The funding is a signal of the seriousness of the campaign. Good sign. The ILGOP is unanimously opposed to giving so many a tax cut and protecting the wealthiest at all costs. There’s that angle as well.


  26. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    ===Just don’t see it happening due to the 60% requirement===

    “shall become effective if approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the amendment or a majority of those voting in the election.”


  27. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    -If you can win the battle before the battle begins-

    Very profound words, because you can never tell whether a battle has begun.

    https://tinyurl.com/sagq88m


  28. - Realist - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Thanks Rich. That makes it a lot more interesting then. Think it will be close i with that being the case.


  29. - Realist - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    ** Ricketts Klan use it to claim they can’t keep Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.**

    More likely Bryant and Rizzo signing with a team in a low income State. With $300 million contacts being thrown around, a player could be out $25 million. Not that they need to worry about it at that point, but people (and their agents) are generally greedy.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    - Steve -

    Please don’t respond to me by linking to your blog.

    Thank you.

    I think the threshold isn’t a given, either way, it’s gonna be an uphill fight for both with different reasons why.

    === The ILGOP is unanimously opposed to giving so many a tax cut and protecting the wealthiest at all costs. There’s that angle as well.===

    If they get any cash, will legislative races want that as a big issue?

    In some districts, 100%, but the targets…


  31. - Huh? - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    “The Vote No on Blank Check Committee headed by Greg Baise claims amending the state’s tax structure would only lead to future tax increases.”

    Perhaps baise could explain how the current tax structure prevents future tax increases.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    You want to continually make it about a “wealthy governor” while ignoring the past and your glee with *your* wealthy governor.

    Hey, I can’t help that $5 million was the number the Pritzkers spent to bail out Diana Rauner and The Ounce. You walking into that was comedy gold. I appreciate it.

    Also?

    Also, you’d think with your concern for Pritzker “paying his share”, you’d be in favor of the progressive income tax. It’s funny you’re not, but talk about the “avoiding” of taxes AND be against the progressive income tax, it’s fun to read.


  33. - Rod - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    The $5 million will be wasted money if the PR theme remains the fair tax argument. Possibly the fact that the bond rating agencies are preparing their long knives for the amendment to fail needs somehow to be explained to the public for once. Fairness really depends on one’s vision of social equity, but being broke is being broke.


  34. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    “If they get any cash, will legislative races want that as a big issue?”

    In certain districts, the Fair Tax is a bad issue. But as a matter of branding and the overall political makeup of the state, it’s probably a very good issue. Many people will get a tax cut, albeit a small one, in many districts. Push the issue in those districts.

    But the graduated income tax vote was what it was: not a single Republican voted for it, even though many constituents would be helped throughout the state.


  35. - SSL - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Will the ever present corruption issues keep people on the sidelines? Certainly if it results in indictments it won’t help. There’s a trust issue for good reason.

    Then there’s the already high tax burden in the state. And your reward for that is an unfunded pension bogey that goes up by billions every year.

    The fair tax, as proposed, barely covers the structural budget deficit we already have. It won’t even be a bandaid on the gaping head wound that is the unfunded pension liability.

    Let’s go ahead and pass it and see what it fixes.


  36. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    ==Will the ever present corruption issues keep people on the sidelines?==

    Doubtful, but it might push them towards voting no.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    === Doubtful, but it might push them towards voting no.===

    Show me that “matching” $5 million first…

    I think it’s going to be fascinating to see if this can and will pass. It’s not a slam dunk. The reality is how hard the governor is going to go, and $5 million, a repackaged reminder, says he’s not backing away, he’s pushing forward.


  38. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    You can spend $5,$10,$50 million. But shenanigans like the tollway board costs you…..my vote.


  39. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    What proponents would want is lots and lots of people voting no, so that the threshold hits the improbable 50% of all voters voting on the question. The yes votes will probably win if 50% of people vote on it.


  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    ===But shenanigans like the tollway board costs you…..my vote. ===

    lol

    Yeah. You were SUCH a supporter before that happened. Right.


  41. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Richard. Go back several years and review my comments. I support a progressive tax as such time waste is eliminated. Eliminated.


  42. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===I support a progressive tax as such time waste is eliminated. Eliminated. ===

    LOLOL

    Yeah, because any human-constructed organization can easily be made permanently waste-free.

    Please. You’re not dealing with children here.


  43. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    Heres what I know in life. If waste starts at the top, it will permeate throughout an organization. Top to bottom. Who is supposed to set the example? The janitor? Toll collector? If illinois beaurocrats operate this way, well we are kaput.


  44. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===What will the message *be* for the anti-progressive tax?===

    They kind of telegraphed that with the opposition group’s name. The argument will be it will lead to taxes on normal people because, well I don’t really know, but somehow it will!

    It is the old, “first they came to tax the wealthy, but I did not speak out because I am not wealthy” argument.


  45. - OpentoDiscusssion - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    A made up ’story’.
    I can not see how Pritzker did anything wrong.

    God, I hope this types of garbage stops and focus on the real issue of this tax.

    and I lean very much to opposing it although I have not seen a final draft that would be on the ballot.


  46. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==It is the old, “first they came to tax the wealthy, but I did not speak out because I am not wealthy” argument.==

    The layman’s term bait and switch.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    - City Zen -

    With millions, framing opposition as those supporting the wealthy won’t be that tough.

    Plus, let’s see the opposition get that first $5 million on the board… to say … “protect the 3%”

    It’ll be fun.


  48. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===The layman’s term bait and switch.===

    So, Democrats are asking the voters for the power to tax the rich in order to tax the poor? That doesn’t make much sense.


  49. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==“protect the 3%”==

    Trust.

    ==Democrats are asking the voters for the power to tax the rich in order to tax the poor==

    Bait and switch: Advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods.

    Apparent bargain.

    Trust.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    ===Trust===

    Pritzker won by the biggest margin over an incumbent Republican in 100 years.

    Arguably one of the most successful legislative sessions measured by any governor of any party… with 8-figures ready to spend on “97% won’t see an increase”

    If anything, Illinois voters aren’t trusting ILRaunerites or their agenda items much these days.

    Lemme know when the first $5 million is dumped by Baise.


  51. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    Arguably one of the most successful legislative sessions measured by any governor of any party

    If your agenda is passing record tax hikes on hard working middle class families you would be correct


  52. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Many voters elected Pritzker by an overwhelming margin to do what he’s helped do, put a graduated income on the ballot and rebuild our roads and bridges (among other things). How many of those who cry and beef about paying for the capital bill would gladly use rebuilt/improved infrastructure for which they didn’t pay if they could? I’d bet a lot.


  53. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    Unfortunately, the public does mistrust government generally, so I would not underestimate just a bunch of general messaging about not trusting Springfield with more of your money, blah, blah, blah. It does not mean that opponent’s arguments make sense or that Pritzker has actually raised taxes on hard working middle class families the backbone of our economy, ect. ect.


  54. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    LP

    You’re just jealous that this Governor actaully managed to accomplish something unlike your hero Governor. JB Pritzker did more in one sesion that your hero Governor did in 4 years.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    === If your agenda is…===

    Gonna see if the voters agree with you in 2020.

    Can’t argue it was successful getting passed. It did. Signed too.


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