News & Politics

If I Were a Rich Man... I'd Run for Governor of Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker smiles after winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary over a field of five others, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Tevye’s daydream in Fiddler on the Roof of what he’d do if he had money includes his fantasy dream home:

I’d build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen,

Right in the middle of the town.

A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.

There would be one long staircase just going up,

And one even longer coming down,

And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

For Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker, he has a slightly different idea of a dream home.

One without any toilets.

Chicago Sun-Times:

Democrat gubernatorial nominee J.B. Pritzker is the “Porcelain Prince” in a new ad Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign is airing to remind voters of a hefty property tax break the billionaire received by ripping toilets out of a Gold Coast mansion he bought next door to his own $14.5 million home.

And Pritzker fired back soon after with a TV ad reminding voters Rauner owns nine homes and has appealed his property taxes 22 times.

The Rauner campaign is delving into new territory in the new ad, despite the governor often accusing Pritzker of being a “tax dodger.” The governor’s campaign had focused most of its advertising dollars highlighting unflattering conversations caught on FBI wiretap between Pritzker and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The statewide ad, which will begin airing Tuesday, features actors portraying workers taking multiple toilets out of a mansion. It begins with a shot of a toilet — with a crown placed atop it — and a portrait of Pritzker. And it ends with a man in a black suit sitting on a toilet and reading a newspaper outside a massive home, surrounded by toilets.

“Porcelain Prince J.B. Pritzker,” the narrator says. “Lower taxes for him, higher taxes for you.”

The ad refers to a May 2017 Chicago Sun-Times investigation that found Pritzker saved $230,000 in property taxes by leaving the home next door in disrepair. Pritzker bought a three-story home in the Gold Coast for $14.5 million in May 2006, then bought a smaller mansion next door for $3.7 million. The Sun-Times reported Pritzker’s attorneys argued the smaller home was “vacant and uninhabitable,” with disconnected toilets” and “no functioning bathrooms or kitchen” — leading to the hefty tax breaks.

Is Illinois a great state, or what?

Not to be outdone in tax avoidance schemes, incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner tried 22 times to dodge his own property tax obligation:

The race is shaping up to be the most expensive governor’s contest in U.S. history. And why not? Pritzker is a billionaire hedge fund mogul while Rauner is a billionaire venture capital tycoon. Both men prove the old adage, “No one ever got rich in America by paying taxes.”

Pritzker is a real sleaze merchant, caught on tape conspiring with convict Governor Rod Blagojevich to be named state treasurer. Rauner is the most incompetent governor in the nation. It’s a race that the people of Illinois probably deserve given the crooked politicians they’ve elevated to high office in recent decades.