* The gubernatorial candidates were asked today what rates they’d like to see on a progressive income tax. JB Pritzker dodged the question. Chris Kennedy answered…
I think that people are entitled to understand what the brackets might look like. I think we need to make it clear that Governor Rauner’s leadership and lack thereof make it very difficult to predict will we have a budget this year or will we not. Will he rack up more unpaid bills and how do we fund that? I don’t think the high end of the range of a progressive income tax should go above a number that starts with a five. That’s what I’d say. I think it has to be somewhere between five and six percent at the high end of the range.
But this is all for naught. I mean, truthfully, we’ll never move to a progressive income tax unless we ban elected officials from being property tax appeals lawyers.
I don’t know how you make that work. How do you provide real tax relief for some while still being able to balance the budget at a top rate of less than 6 percent?
But, hey, maybe he’ll explain it later.
Also, I’m not quite clear on how passing a progressive income tax will first require banning legislators from being property tax lawyers (or how that’s even legal), but that’s his schtick, so whatevs.
“It’s important to recognize that if people who voted for Rod Blagojevich had known that he was engaging in the activities that he was, nobody would have voted for him, nobody would be supporting, nobody would have spoken with him, and hundreds of people did at the time,” Pritzker said.
“And I’ve not been accused of any wrongdoing. I have not done anything wrong. And I’ve been proud of the work I’ve done in public service for many, many years,” Pritzker added.
That prompted Biss to reply: “If that phone call is your definition of public service, you’re doing it wrong.”
After the forum, Kennedy backed Rauner’s ads highlighting the Pritkzer-Blagojevich recordings.
“I think Bruce Rauner is trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois,” he said. “And we may disagree on what that is, but his willingness to speak truth to power, to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in this state is something that I think he should be applauded for.”
They’ve officially merged.
* From the Rauner campaign…
During today’s Chicago Tribune editorial board meeting with Democratic candidates for governor, JB Pritzker claimed that he has “not done anything wrong” regarding his conversations with Blagojevich.
The wiretaps tell a different story, as Pritzker was caught making shady deals with Blagojevich, and even called just 6 days before Blagojevich’s ultimate arrest.
You be the judge as to whether JB Pritzker did anything wrong in his conversations with Blagojevich. The full wiretaps are available HERE.
Pritzker lobbied Blagojevich to be appointed to the Treasurer’s seat
Pritzker advised Blagojevich to engage in a ‘morally repugnant’ quid pro quo with Mike Madigan
Pritzker does not “rebuff” Blagojevich’s suggestion of an appointment to Attorney General
Despite claiming that “nobody knew the FBI was investigating the man” just last week, Pritzker acknowledges Blagojevich needing to “get the legal thing behind” him.
Governor Rauner summed it up best yesterday: “Anyone who would use an excuse and say, ‘Well, I did something immoral, unethical, disgusting and self-dealing but I didn’t go to jail, so it’s OK.’ Are you kidding me?”
* Text from a pal…
Team Rauner laser-focused on becoming Kennedy’s super PAC effectively. Anti-Rahm, Blago tape and MJM prop tax lawyer stuff
…Adding… Some Twitter react…
*** UPDATE 1 *** Kennedy campaign…
Chris has been calling out Rauner for ever. Chris thinks JB is the poster child for what is wrong in Illinois. He’s the poster child for everything Rauner wants to run again. And when he agrees with someone, he says it. He agrees that these tapes should be out. He agrees that voters should know how JB Pritzker really operates.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Pritzker campaign…
Did Chris Kennedy Just Endorse Bruce Rauner?
Following the Chicago Tribune Editorial board session Chris Kennedy said: “I think Bruce Rauner is trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois. And we may disagree on what that is, but his willingness to speak truth to power, to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in this state is something that I think he should be applauded for.”
As governor, Bruce Rauner is responsible for nearly 1 million people losing access to social services, vetoing a historic equitable school funding formula, holding funding for children and families hostage to his far-right, Koch brother funded agenda, standing by while Donald Trump attacks immigrant families in Illinois and health insurance for children and families, and just this week failing to call former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke a racist… or as Chris Kennedy sees it, speaking “truth to power.”
“The Worst Republican Governor in America unleashed devastation across this state and is standing in silence as the lives of immigrant families and healthcare for children hang in the balance, but don’t worry, because according to Chris Kennedy, Bruce Rauner is just speaking ‘truth to power,’” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “Throwing bombs and creating crisis is not speaking truth to power, but it’s clear that Chris Kennedy has failed to understand that throughout this campaign.”
“Mickey Straub isn’t a ‘proud Republican’ as he says. He’s a phony Republican who makes Mike Madigan proud. After missing three consecutive Republican primaries, Straub is teaming up with Mike Madigan’s union allies in an attempt to hijack the Republican Party and keep Madigan in power. Madigan Mickey doesn’t share our Republican values and can’t be trusted.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
Mickey Straub says he’s “proud to be Republican,” but it’s all a ruse designed to trick voters and keep Mike Madigan in power.
This morning, Politico Illinois Playbook reported that Straub hasn’t voted in a single Republican primary since 2010 - not even one. There’ve been two consequential presidential primaries and a critical gubernatorial primary, yet “proud Republican” Mickey Straub was AWOL.
Now, an outside group backing Mickey Straub is running an ad featuring testimonials from “neighbors,” but their Republican credentials are just as spotty as Straub’s:
Jorie Peirce - voted in 2016 GOP primary, no other recent primary elections
Peter Smolka - voted in 2016 GOP primary, no other recent primary elections
Gail Demory - voted in 2012 GOP primary, no other recent primary elections (Liberty Principles PAC misspelled her name - Gail De Mory)
Keith Lutz - Chicago resident and voter (can’t vote for Straub); voted in 2010 and 2012 Dem primaries, 2014 and 2016 GOP primaries
That’s why it’s no surprise phony Republican Mickey Straub is teaming up with Mike Madigan’s union allies in an attempt to hijack the Republican Party. It’s all a coordinated effort to keep Madigan in power.
It’s clear - Madigan Mickey doesn’t share our Republican values and can’t be trusted.
A suburban community is taking on the Illinois Republican Party and state House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.
Campaign pieces on behalf of Durkin have been hitting mailboxes in Burr Ridge and other parts of the 82nd state House District, claiming that Burr Ridge has enacted “four unbalanced budgets,” “hiked property taxes 16 percent” and “raised fees to funnel money for a Chicago bailout.”
Burr Ridge has written a letter to the party and Durkin insisting that they “cease and desist from any further distribution of false information pertaining to the village of Burr Ridge and that you immediately provide a written correction and apology for false information.”
The village’s mayor, Mickey Straub, is challenging Durkin of Western Springs in the spring Republican Primary for his state House seat.
The mailers have linked House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, with Straub. The pieces have even pegged Straub as Mini-Me, the clone of Dr. Evil, Austin Powers’ nemesis, in the “Austin Powers” movies. Madigan is depicted as Dr. Evil in the mailers.
“I got sick over it,” Straub told the Chronicle, regarding the mailings that have been hitting southwest suburban homes for the past two months. “The lies about the village and me could not be further from the truth.”
* I asked the ILGOP for a response and this is from Aaron DeGroot…
Unfortunately the Cook County Chronicle did not reach out to the state party for comment. Contrary to what Mickey Straub told the reporter, a written and dated response was sent via email from the ILGOP’s general counsel to the Village of Burr Ridge this past Friday [letter attached], sufficiently rebutting the claims made in the Burr Ridge letter, which was written by taxpayer-funded village officials.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Burr Ridge letter is yet another example of Madigan Mickey using public resources for political purposes. Mickey Straub should not be authorizing the use of taxpayer resources to prosecute his own personal political grudges.
This isn’t the first time Mickey Straub has misused taxpayer resources. As you know, Village records show Straub previously used taxpayer funds to attend political events. You reached out to him three times on that topic. Has he ever gotten back to you? My guess is he hasn’t.
It’s clear that “Madigan Mickey” Straub is just another politician playing the ultimate Madigan insiders game.
Today, the JB Pritzker campaign released a new ad responding to desperate attempts by failed governor Bruce Rauner to meddle in the Democratic primary.
The ad highlights the growing list of blunders, missteps and failures that the Worst Republican Governor in America struggles to address as he launches an attack strategy that was recently called “prematurely desperate.” Just this week, Rauner created school funding uncertainly, thousands of Illinoisans saw their healthcare disrupted, an auto plant chose to break ground in Alabama instead of Illinois, and Rauner was forced to distance himself from embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and couldn’t answer a simple question about former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke being racist.
“After coming up short on accomplishments and creating constant crisis, it’s clear that Bruce Rauner now believes inserting himself in the Democratic primary is his only chance to win re-election,” said Pritzker campaign communications director Galia Slayen. “Rauner has reached a new low in his attempt to distract from the countless failures of his governorship, but Illinoisans won’t forget the damage they’ve been forced to live through for the past three years.”
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is stepping up his efforts to influence the Democratic governor campaign, purchasing statewide TV time to air a 15-minute ad featuring secretly recorded FBI conversations between then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and businessman J.B. Pritzker, who is now a leading Democratic governor candidate.
Despite the much-hyped nature of Rauner’s move, his campaign is spending only about $11,900 to run it on six TV stations this weekend, said a media analyst who was not authorized to speak publicly about political ad buys. That’s a pittance compared to the $1 million a week Rauner and Pritzker each have spent at times to run political commercials across Illinois.
Rauner, however, is getting plenty of bang for his buck through the media coverage his unorthodox strategy is attracting. It’s unusual in Illinois for a candidate in one party to go to such lengths to try to steer the direction of the other political party’s primary campaign, and it’s rare to air a 15-minute ad. But Rauner, a wealthy former private equity investor from Winnetka, has the money to do so.
Except during major sporting events or stuff like that, weekend TV ads are pretty cheap.
In response to the new ad, Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen said: “Hundreds of people spoke to the governor at the time and whether Bruce Rauner chooses to buy a 60-second or even a 14-minute negative ad, the fact is JB Pritzker was accused of no wrongdoing. Bruce Rauner is desperately trying to interfere in the Democratic primary because he can’t defend his failed record and because he doesn’t want to face JB Pritzker in November.”
Though it had been known that Pritzker was one of the people Blagojevich considered for the Senate vacancy, the wiretaps showed Pritzker asked Blagojevich to appoint him as state treasurer instead.
“What you will not hear,” the latest ad intones, “is Pritzker rule out an appointment.”
The recordings had been obtained by the Chicago Tribune, which didn’t say how it obtained them.
* From the RGA…
Illinois Democrat candidate for governor and heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune J.B. Pritzker is facing embarrassing coverage over his weak response to his conduct on FBI wiretaps of conversations between himself and disgraced ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Pritzker was pressed hard by local media yesterday on his refusal to explain or even apologize for his actions on the tapes.
ABC 7 Chicago, Illinois’ most-watched television station, showed Pritzker’s weak response on camera last night, during which Pritzker would say that “Governor Blagojevich spoke with hundreds of people at that time, and bottom line is I was never accused of any wrongdoing.”
Governor Bruce Rauner blasted Pritzker’s response, “That shows how pathetic our system is, how broken. Anyone who would use an excuse, and say, well, I did something immoral, unethical, disgusting and self-dealing, but I didn’t go to jail. So it’s okay. Are you kidding me?”
Even fellow Democrats slammed Pritzker over the tapes. State Senator Daniel Biss called him a “flawed” candidate and declared that nominating him would be a “risk” for the Democrats. Chris Kennedy went further, saying that Pritzker is “the poster child for everything Republicans say is wrong about Democratic politicians.”
That J.B. Pritzker doesn’t seem to understand why engaging in pay-to-pay politics with the convicted Rod Blagojevich demonstrates exactly why he lacks the character and integrity to hold elected office.
* The Channel 7 piece was really rough. Here’s the video. Watch it all…
J.B. Pritzker is facing brutal press following yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times editorial board forum after refusing to call for Mike Madigan’s resignation or show remorse for his conduct on the Blagojevich FBI wiretaps. Pritzker was given multiple opportunities to distance himself from both controversial politicians. Instead, he chose to dodge and hedge in a transparent attempt to avoid casting blame on his longtime political allies and take responsibility for his actions.
Following the forum, NBC Chicago reported that Pritzker “will not speak critically of Madigan or Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.” Watch here.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times write-up of the forum focused on Pritzker’s ties to disgraced Governor Rod Blaogjevich.
“Pritzker, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, has been hit hard as of late by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign over FBI wiretaps of Pritzker’s conversations with now imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.”
Pritzker was asked at the forum whether he had “close ties” to Blagojevich. Pritzker dodged that question, instead only saying that he regretted “the tone of portions of that conversation.” Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown labeled Pritzker’s response a “limited” and “fuzzy defense,” calling the FBI tapes a “significant problem for Pritzker.”
“To the extent Pritzker ‘rebuffed’ Blagojevich, he did so rather gently, leading to the particularly unbecoming ‘I’d do it’ segment being used in the Rauner television commercials.”
J.B. Pritzker’s ties to Mike Madigan and Rod Blagojevich represent an existential threat to his candidacy.
…Adding… Rauner campaign…
Yesterday, Citizens for Rauner launched an extended television ad featuring the full, unedited FBI wiretap capturing the quid pro quo discussion between JB Pritzker and Rod Blagojevich. State and national media reported on the ad, describing it as “full throttle,” “taking off the gloves,” and “unprecedented.”
ABC 7: “Governor Bruce Rauner taking off the gloves in his attacks on chief Democratic rival, JB Pritzker. In fact, this weekend, the governor will be begin airing a 14-minute long commercial of a conversation between Pritzker and convicted former governor Rod Blagojevich.”
Chicago Sun-Times: “The latest ad — 14 minutes long — features what it says is the entire 11-minute chat Pritzker and Blagojevich had. This ad’s introduction notes that after the earlier commercial, ‘Pritzker didn’t deny the conversation — he complained what was released wasn’t the full conversation.’ In the latest volley, the campaign now is promising the ‘full, unedited, original wiretap recordings.’”
NBC 5: “This lengthy, unprecedented ad will play the FBI tapes of the phone call between JB Pritzker and disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich. … Governor Rauner defends the ad as a chance for the voters to hear the unedited version for themselves.”
Politico: “Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign is dipping deep into the campaign warchest for this one. After billionaire Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker complained that a new TV ad featured a “selectively edited” recording of a 2008 conversation between Pritzker and Rod Blagojevich, Rauner’s campaign decided to go full throttle. This weekend, the Rauner campaign bought airtime to play all 11 minutes of the FBI wiretap conversation between Pritzker and Blagojevich. The ad will appear in all major media markets in the state on Saturday and Sunday, according to the campaign.”
Associated Press: “Rauner’s campaign says the move is a response to Pritzker’s statements that an ad released last week was selectively edited. That ad included a portion of audio captured on FBI wiretaps in which Blagojevich and Pritzker discuss the possibility of Blagojevich appointing Pritzker attorney general. Pritzker is heard saying, ‘That’s a deal I would take.’ … ‘J.B. Pritzker is part of the corruption and cronyism that has plagued Illinois for decades,’ the Rauner campaign said in a statement. ‘The people of Illinois deserve better.’”
National Journal: “What to do with $55.6 million in the bank for your reelection bid? If you’re Illinois Governor @BruceRauner, you air a 14-MINUTE TV AD showing your likely Democratic opponent on an FBI wiretap with Blago.”
CBS 2: “Rauner, who seeks re-election and may face Pritzker in a general election, counters: ‘Anyone who would use an excuse and say, ‘Well, I did something immoral, unethical, disgusting and self-dealing but I didn’t go to jail, so it’s OK.’ Ae you kidding me?’ Pritzker tried to brush off the recorded wheeling and dealing.
‘At no time in that conversation did I do anything that is anything other than trying to do public service to make the state better,’ he says. Not so, say his Democratic opponents. ‘It just shows what a risk it would be for the Democratic Party to nominate a flawed candidate like J.B. Pritzker,’ Daniel Biss says. Chris Kennedy adds: ‘Who’s going to want to turn out, who’s going to want to work, who’s going to want to do the extra things needed to vote for somebody who’s playing footsie with Rod Blagojevich?’”
“Rauner’s campaign is dipping deep into the campaign warchest for this one.” Right. I think Rauner’s campaign is gonna pay a price for encouraging some reporters to write or convey such nonsense.