Thursday, April 25, 2019

Election Day is passed, yet mudslinging lingers on like an unflushed toilet

It was the issue of the November 2018 election cycle for governor – J.B. Pritzker had had toilets removed from a mansion he owned so that, technically, it was no longer a home anyone could legitimately reside in.
PRITZKER: Tax question won't wither away

That move enabled Pritzker to appeal his property taxes and get refunds of some of the money he paid for 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and also to make himself eligible for property tax breaks on what he had to pay in 2015 and 2016.

BUT AN INSPECTOR General’s report for Cook County contends those reductions were based on fraudulent affidavits filed on Pritzker’s behalf.

All of which came up during the election cycle, but to no avail. There weren’t enough voters inclined to take this charge seriously who were willing to vote for now-former Gov. Bruce Rauner. Pritzker won!

But it also seems that back around October of last year, the Republican members of Illinois’ congressional caucus (seven then, five now) wrote a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s office for northern Illinois insisting that the whole thing was a “scheme to defraud” Cook County taxpayers.

They claimed in their letter that charges of fraud and perjury would be warranted. Which may well be their opinion.

BUT NOW, IT seems that attitude just won’t wither away. For WBEZ-FM reported Wednesday that the U.S. Attorney’s office is confirming that they’re doing an investigation of the matter.
Rauner unable to make issue stick, … 

Which is news because federal investigators hadn’t said anything until now about this issue, and they are admitting that their investigation is still active. Although it also seems this is an investigation that isn’t about to result in criminal charges any time soon.

Although I don’t doubt that the conservative ideologues who were eager to spew this story last year are more than satisfied. Because this legal action means they can keep the allegations alive!

Heck, Illinois Republican Chairman Timothy Schneider issued the statement claiming that Pritzker has set a record, of sorts. He’s only been governor for 101 days, and he’s already got a bullseye on his back – courtesy of the U.S. attorney’s office.
… can federal officials find something new?

OF COURSE, THEY also made sure to distribute photographs they have of Pritzker with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich – trying to create the impression amongst the most politically-gullible that the current governor is just like the guy currently in the middle of serving a 14-year prison sentence out in Colorado.

Although these are allegations that I can’t help but think reek of partisanship.

For even in that letter from last autumn (which the Capitol Fax newsletter published again on Wednesday), the members of Congress admit they were reacting to newspaper accounts from last year.

The only people willing to say this is a “scheme to defraud” are the Republican partisans themselves. Almost as though they crafted the charge, and are now trying to claim that someone is upholding it – even though nothing as of yet has been proven,

MAYBE IF ONE is inclined to believe that not being a Republican amounts to an act of criminality in and of itself, then this has legitimacy. Otherwise, it’s going to take a lot more in the way of evidence to prove something illegal occurred here.
SCHNEIDER: 101 Days, he points out to us

Personally, I’m surprised to see these Republican-types trying to claim that Pritzker is doing something wrong for trying to take advantage of financial maneuvers to give themselves tax breaks. Isn’t that usually the Republican ideal – trying to reduce one’s tax debt by as much as they can?

Maybe the reason that President Donald Trump is fighting the idea of his own tax returns being disclosed is that we’d learn of so many measures on his behalf that anything Pritzker may or may not have done will turn out to be chump change, by comparison.

But the bottom line seems to be that the issue of Election ’18 about toilets is going to continue to linger on. Almost as though somebody deposited a load in the toilet bowl – and is refusing to flush. How rude!


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