Mock petition puts Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls on Madigan ticket
The Illinois Republican Party is "circulating" a parody petition for the top three Democratic candidates for governor, labeling them as part of “The Tax Hike Team" working under the tutelage of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) are accused of having a “Madigan Status Quo” in the mock petition.
“We, the undersigned, members of and affiliated with The Mike Madigan Machine and qualified primary electors of the Democratic Party of Illinois, do hereby petition that the protectors of the Springfield Status Quo shall be candidates for the Governor of Illinois,” it reads. “We support all candidates willing to raise taxes on Illinois families, protect the Madigan agenda, and ensure that Illinois does NOT receive real reform.”
In its accompanying press release, the GOP also offered links to articles it contends show the deep connections between Madigan and the candidates.
According to an article in the North Cook News, Biss said that Madigan has been speaker for far too long and has too much power, which he called one of the major issues with the Democratic Party. Yet Biss received $300,000 in campaign funds from Madigan.
The GOP also said that Biss supported Madigan’s continued tenure as speaker in his first vote as state representative in 2011.
Since then, the Republican Party argued, Biss has shown his support for Madigan in many ways, such as supporting Madigan’s drawing of legislative district maps and dropping out of the Illinois comptroller race in order to support a Madigan-approved candidate.
As for Kennedy, the GOP pointed to business ties between him and Madigan.
An Illinois Policy Institute article questioned why a company led by Kennedy received help from Madigan’s property tax law firm to lower its bills.
The group released a Freedom of Information Act request document that detailed the expenditures of two large tax refunds for the company: more than $60,000 in 2003 and more than $70,000 in 2005.
For his part, Kennedy attacked billionaire Pritzker for receiving a large property tax reduction for a historical mansion he purchased next door to his Gold Coast mansion, according a report by the Chicago Sun Times.
Pritzer saved $230,000, the article said.
The billionaire gubernatorial hopeful also tried to buy a seat as treasurer, according to a Prairie State Wire report on Pritzker’s relationship with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is now in prison for soliciting bribes for political appointments.
The GOP said Pritzker’s voice was recorded on an FBI wiretap in which he seemed to be asking to be appointed treasurer.
The party also accused Biss of priding himself for not writing a big check for his own race and has shamed his rivals for doing so and making it impossible for anyone without big money to compete, according to a Politico report.
“If you care about democracy, this should be unacceptable,” Biss said in a statement.
Most polls have shown Kennedy and Pritzker as the favorites in the race.
A March poll published by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Group shows Kennedy far in the lead, though many voters were undecided.
A July 2017 Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group poll of 602 likely Democratic voters showed Pritzker gaining on Kennedy.