Despite corruption accusations against Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, current Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has nonetheless endorsed him, raising concerns with Republican Jason Helland, White's opponent in this year's race.
A Dec. 18 Chicago Tribune article states Berrios may have overvalued tax assessments on small companies and properties in low-income neighborhoods and undervalued high-priced properties.
These ethical concerns have prompted politicians on both sides of the aisle to call for Berrios to resign, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy, as the Chicago Tribune noted. The fact that White has endorsed Berrios has at least one Republican wondering if White is fit for office. White won secretary of state in 2014 with 66 percent of the vote, according to Ballotpedia.com.
Helland, a Republican candidate to replace White as secretary of state in 2018's election, says White may be doing the bidding of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). Madigan runs a law firm on the side that has allegedly been enriched through property tax appeals, as the Illinois Policy Institute noted.
“When politicians like Mike Madigan rely on high property taxes to make their millions, it becomes clear to see why our property taxes are some of the highest in the nation,” Helland said in a press release. “It also becomes clear why career politicians like Jesse White are fighting to protect corrupt Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.”
According to a state GOP press release, Berrios has used the office to “unfairly shift the Cook County property tax burden onto minority and more impoverished communities.”
“Either Jesse White is okay with Berrios’ property tax scam, or he is taking orders from Mike Madigan once again. In any case, Jesse White has shown that he is out of touch with Illinois,” Helland said. "It’s time for Illinois citizens to take back our state government and say no to corrupt politicians and their enablers.”