As Another Berrios Scandal Emerges, Will Pritzker Remain Silent?

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“JB Pritzker has demonstrated time and again that he’s unwilling or unable to stand up to the powers that be in the Democratic Party. He refuses to call out corruption, whether in the office of Mike Madigan or Joe Berrios. That’s not leadership. It’s more of the same self-dealing that has held Illinois back for decades and benefitted the insiders who profit on the backs of hardworking families.”

– Rauner Campaign Communications Director Will Allison

Yet another Berrios scandal emerged on Wednesday highlighting a tax break worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and the next in a long series of conflicts of interest for the Cook County Assessor. Altria, a tobacco producer represented by Berrios’ lobbying firm (separate from his role as Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Chair), received an assesment from Berrios’ Assessor’s office that reduced their property tax bill by $370,000.

It seems everyone in Cook County has seen and made note of the corruption that runs rampant in the Assessor’s Office.

Everyone except JB Pritzker that is.

In December, Pritzker made it clear he wouldn’t be criticizing Berrios: “I don’t think it’s my job to foment a war between Democrats.”

A month later, in January, he still couldn’t muster the courage to condemn Berrios: “Calling people out individually for their failures is, you know, not productive, and I’m involved in my own primary, not other people’s.”

JB Pritzker has avoided criticizing corruption in Illinois, whether it be Madigan or Berrios. His silence shows that he is part of the same, broken status quo.