Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker: “Put yourself in the shoes of a high school girl who is being weaponized against her father by his political opponents. Weaponized with lies”
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Pritzker: “Put yourself in the shoes of a high school girl who is being weaponized against her father by his political opponents. Weaponized with lies”

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020

* From the governor’s news media briefing today

Before I take questions today I want to discuss my personal plans for the Thanksgiving holidays.

I think you all know that I try very hard to keep my high school-aged children out of the spotlight. They were not elected to anything. They did not choose this public life. And I have a reasonable expectation that their privacy will be protected.

I was taken aback by yesterday’s question about my family’s holiday plans, in part because my wife and I were in the process of making the very hard decision that we may need to celebrate Thanksgiving apart from one another for the first time ever, and it was weighing heavily on my mind.

I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Chicago with our son.

Our state is at a crisis point when it comes to the COVID pandemic. And as leader, I believe that the situation is simply too grave for me to be elsewhere.

My wife and daughter are in Florida, and they will remain there indefinitely. Let me tell you why.

Last week, my daughter came under attack. In an attempt to have some political effect on me, a parody Twitter account posted a picture of a group of individuals eating outside at a Chicago restaurant, supposedly breaking the COVID rules the city put in place. And the person posting the photo claimed one of the people in it was my daughter. That was a lie.

It wasn’t her. But the picture falsely identifying her started making the rounds on social media, helped along by the trolls who permeate these social media platforms these days. My office put out a statement making clear this wasn’t my daughter. But that didn’t stop republican elected officials, a network of propaganda publications in the state and some radio shock jocks from telling people that the picture was of my daughter, despite knowing that this was a lie.

Which lent permission to a slew of strangers who sent hateful, threatening messages to my daughter over the subsequent few days. If that wasn’t bad enough, then a well-known lawyer who cares more about headlines than winning cases posted a bounty on his Facebook page, offering money to harass my family at Thanksgiving [click here]. An actual cash bounty, including my kids, harassing them. My high school-aged kids.

Put yourself in the shoes of a high school girl who is being weaponized against her father by his political opponents. Weaponized with lies.

Put yourself in my shoes. We have threats that stream into my office daily while we have watched the kidnapping plot against the Michigan governor unfold just a state away.

I’m the governor, I was elected to this job and while I don’t think it should come with a fear for my health and safety. I accept that sometimes it does. I’m an adult. And I can handle people throwing my face up on anti-semitic picket signs likening me to Hitler. This kind of vitriol is apparently what I have to deal with to keep the state and its people safe.

But my kids. My kids are off limits.

Among elected officials and people in positions of responsibility. That didn’t use to happen. There was a time in American politics when the rule was sacrosanct: Kids are off limits.

This should not be controversial. So I’m appealing to our collective sense of decency and our fundamental understanding of right and wrong to keep my child out of political disagreements, and to understand that I’m going to fight like hell to protect her privacy.

I ask that you all respect that privacy. I’m willing to make the hard decisions that sometimes brings on vitriol from political opponents, but my children shouldn’t have to come under attack. Just like all of you, I want to be with my family for the holidays. And just like all of you, because of COVID, my family is having to make sacrifices to stay safe.

This is not a political fight. This is a fight to save people’s lives. Let’s remember that as we enter the holiday season.

As always, please pardon any transcription errors.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    Any Republican that shared that false photo needs to apologize. Today.

  2. - Just a Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Well said, Governor!!!

  3. - Mama - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    Is it illegal to harass/bully a child online or in person? If no, we need to pass a law to make it illegal.
    Punishment should be a nasty public service job or a large fine. JB is right that his daughter should not be harassed because someone of upset with him, but that should apply to all kids whether their parent is in politics or not.

  4. - dan l - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    The FOP stooges were sharing it. You can read some of their wonderfully thoughtful comments.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    The governor handled this magnificently.

    This is the governor, back on his game, on point, focused, and in command of the discussion.

    It was good to see.

    Written incredibly thoughtfully, delivered with heart, honesty, and passion.

  6. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    Really troubling the Gov even has to make a statement addressing this. Should we wait for Durkin or Brady as GOP leaders to stand with the gov on this? Or would that upset their base?

  7. - Publius - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    Will the Bar Association be investigating Mr Devore for his “bounty”?

  8. - Mama - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    “Any Republican that shared that false photo needs to apologize. Today.”

    They need to do a hell of a lot more than apologize. They traumatized that girl to the point she had to move away.

  9. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    Shame on them…is a phrase not currently used often enough.

  10. - Mama - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    I feel strongly that the FBI should be investigating this because it goes further than one attorney.

  11. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    Whoever wrote that for the Gov is earning their paycheck. Good segway in using your own daughter as a political shield deflecting away from the “very hard decision” of not traveling to Florida for the Holidays when you and your Health Director have been telling the commoners not to do that for weeks now. The Gov was caught flat footed yesterday and the stories started popping up on NBC, CBS, etc.

    The above was meant as written. Good politics by the Gov. He should have known the question would come at some point. Don’t go after politicians (or anyone’s) kids for political gain especially in these times.

  12. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    Well said. Just plain wrong.

  13. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    Hell yeah, JB.

  14. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    “parody Twitter account”

    I long ago lost this linguistic battle, but I’m still infuriated when deliberately dishonest and misleading propaganda is described as “parody.”

    – MrJM

  15. - Jocko - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==a well-known lawyer who cares more about headlines than winning cases==

    …and called a special needs girl working a concession stand a ‘window licker’.

  16. - Publius - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    The Bar Association should at least take the step to have Mr Devore disbarred. This has gone on long enough.

  17. - say_it_like_it_is - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    I am no fan of Governor Pritzker or his politics but he is absolutely correct when he says children are off limits.

  18. - The Ford Lawyer - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    Publius- FYI in Illinois the Bar Association has nothing to do with it. The Supreme Court, through the ARDC disciplines lawyers. That said. they might ought to take a look at his conduct.

  19. - BTO2 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:14 pm:

    Governor - Congrats on your incredible restraint. It is sad you even had to address this. Not sure I would have been so diplomatic concerning my daughter.

    Hoping your family stays strong.

  20. - West Wing - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:17 pm:

    Good for the Governor! These social media sharks take it too far and, in this case, they did.

  21. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:20 pm:

    Governor Pritzker has obviously had enough.

    These people appear more childish than children…themselves.

    Their behavior is deplorable.

  22. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    When people are willing to put their own children at risk to make a political point, it’s not surprising that they would target the child of the Governor. The statement was 100% on point, but the folks who need to take it to heart, will not.

  23. - Manchester - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:29 pm:

    I think the Governor showed remarkable restraint, much better than I would have if someone attached one of my children. I give Governor Pritzker kudos for the utterly thankless job he is doing trying to keep up safe and alive. He needs our support. Has his response to the pandemic been perfect? No, but it’s been darned good and the man is human, we shouldn’t expect perfection.

  24. - Enviro - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    We should thank Governor Pritzker for acting now to save lives in Illinois.

  25. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    If everyone would just take a moment to put themselves in another person’s shoes the world would be a much nicer place. Then you have Devore, a grown man who apparently needs to bully kids to feel better about himself. Pathetic.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:07 pm:

    I look forward to a chorus of Republican leaders rising up to condemn slandering and emotionally abusing a teenage girl. Waiting. Waiting. Not holding my breath.

  27. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    Thank you Gov. for delivering a resounding slap to the back of these idiots heads. Even the Mafia followed the rule of “Do not even THINK about messing with cops and G-men’s kids, or WE’LL take you out before they can.” Lots of Internet tough guys out there who need a visit from a local SEAL team or other elite military member or two. They will convince the fools not to be this foolish, and not even have to hurt them to do it. As for DeVore, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is who a complaint on his law license needs to be filed. In fact, the more the merrier at this point.

  28. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:13 pm:

    OW just did, you know he feels very strongly about keeping politicians kids out of it

  29. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:19 pm:

    Jeez louise, that’s unconscionable. Hang in there, Gov. Pritzker, we’re with you. Prayers for you and your family.

  30. - Right to be wrong - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:23 pm:

    I’m not always a leader, but when I am, I leave the families out of it.

    As a conservative, I say shame on anyone who uses the kids as a target or lever.

    I don’t like Pritzker, and he is spot on with his remarks about this.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:25 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    For the 876th time;

    Bruce and Diana Rauner, the adults, clouted their denied (fact) Winnetka living (where did she attend 8th grade?) daughter.

    Unless the Rauner daughter clouted herself, like made calls to Arne Duncan, she had nothing to do with the choices made by the adults.


    Further, the Inspector General, on Chicago Tonight, television talked about a report, in which where Rauner first lied (that’s the governor, not the student) about the test scores, then the attendance aspect (which was a red herring) and about clouting and how it happened, as it was not a principal choice.

    Not one time did *I* mention her name, or ever claim it was her doing anything tawdry.

    As one commenter continued to drop the student’s name, I called it “classless” at least 3 separate occasions.

    The actions of adults, and in this case, clouting, were the ethical question.

    Choosing to go after the child of a governor, and filled with false information about the child, that’s inexcusable.

    If you’d like to read the IG report on the adult Rauners’ choices, I can dig up a link if you’d like

    Choosing not to see the obvious, numerous times, is pathetic, even for you.

  32. - illini - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:26 pm:

    @dan l - Thank you for linking us to the secondcity site. I am amazed that all the comments are made by the same “anonymous” individual. He/she must be busy coming up with different comments all the time.

    @Jocko - Anyone who chooses to refer to special needs students as “window lickers” deserves nothing more than my contempt. Did he win that race for the School Board?

  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:30 pm:

    Last, - Lucky Pierre -

    In “Operation Varsity Blues”, the college admissions scandal that sent parents, not students, away to prison, the facts of what the parents did, albeit to get their child into colleges, was their (the parents) own doing.

    This is a daughter, Gov. Pritzker’s daughter, with not a lick of truth, being personally chastised, (and worse) for nothing she did.

    The parents, like the Rauners, made choices, even if they were unethical to their children.

  34. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:32 pm:

    One day someone is going to play with the wrong person politically and think “they’re a politician I can say whatever I want and they won’t do anything because I”ll put them online”. That person is going to get rolled. Either in court or in person.
    Also thank you Governor for trying to do what’s right, not easy and your family should not be the focus.

  35. - Nobody Sent - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 6:03 pm:

    Amen JB

  36. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 6:23 pm:

    “At least take the step to have Mr Devore disbarred.”

    “The Supreme Court, through the ARDC, disciplines lawyers.”

    Anyone who wishes to pursue this course of action can start here:

    – MrJM

  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 7:22 pm:

    - The Door Knocker -

    I didn’t know not picking on a governor’s daughter with false accusations is a morality play…

    That’s a new one.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 18, 20 @ 8:55 am:

    === People that struggle want to see their elected leaders feeling the pain too.===

    By making up smears and lies about the governor’s daughter?

    Is that how it works? Yikes. Says more about those folks…

    === Too much looking like aristocrats, philosopher kings and queens.===

    Wear a mask with that mouth breathing

    There’s zero justification for going after the governor’s daughter with social media lies.

  39. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Nov 18, 20 @ 9:00 am:

    When you weaponize my kids, yours are fair game.

    The Governor was exposed to more people for a party last weekend than most kids would be exposed to in a season. He is a terrible leader. The message is, if you have money, do what you want.

  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 18, 20 @ 9:05 am:

    ===exposed to more people for a party last weekend===

    A party? Where? He was videoed walking down the street.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker expands vax/test mandate to workers at licensed day care centers
* COVID-19 roundup
* Despite pleas and even threats, IDOC worker vax rate remains about the same
* Can't somebody at the state step in and help Dixmoor with its water problem?
* Giannoulias hit for accepting campaign money from his brothers, others
* Illinois: Tell Congress To Count All Copays
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

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