Democrats said to have odd way of showing they dislike Madigan
Democrats generally go into the voting booth with their eyes open, but when House Speaker Michael Madigan's name comes up, they go blind, a policy pro said on a Chicago radio broadcast recently.
"You'll hear all the time, Democrat voters will say, 'I like my state rep,' or 'I like J.B. Pritzker or Chris Kennedy, but I don't like Mike Madigan; he's different,'" Joe Kaiser, a writer at Illinois Policy Institute, said on "Illinois Rising."
And yet they continue to vote for people closely connected with Madigan, Kaiser argued.
"Illinois Rising" is regularly co-hosted by Dan Proft. Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
"Every time a new session starts -- every two years -- they vote for Mike Madigan for House speaker," Kaiser said. "So they're voting to continue Mike Madigan's tenure; they're voting to continue that entrenched system; they're voting to continue what progressive voters are saying they don't support."
In fact, Democrats would be wise to consider whom they are truly supporting when they vote for governor in 2018, he said.
"There are a lot of areas in the state where Rauner won, but they elected either a Democrat state rep or a Democrat state senator," Kaiser said. "Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker are the two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018, and they are part of this entrenched system. And those are a lot of more independent-minded areas; they could go either way in a gubernatorial race."
Questions have surfaced over property tax assessment deals reportedly cut by the billionaire Pritzker and the businessman Kennedy. Pritzker, who recently channeled $7 million of his own money into his gubernatorial campaign, announced in April his intent to run for governor. He has since run into questions over a a revised assessment on a mansion he purchased and a taped conversation with disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Meanwhile, Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, announced in February and reportedly received a 62 percent property tax assessment reduction. Specifically, a company led by Kennedy reportedly retained the services of Madigan & Getzendanner, a property tax firm owned by Madigan.
Such property tax assessment reductions by the two leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates have turned the usual idea of rich versus poor on its ear, Kaiser argued.
"It's class warfare, but it's not class warfare from the wealthy to the middle class," he said. "It's class warfare between the political class and taxpayers."
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