While the national, so called “liberal media” made a big deal about all the Progressive candidates who won elections last Tuesday – feminist females, blacks, Muslims and gays – they didn’t say much about the Governor’s race in Illinois, which was won decisively by a Progressive who was selected and backed by former President Obama and with the crucial support of Millennials, who went to the polls in record numbers.
That’s because the Illinois governor’s race was won by one JB Pritzker, a multi-billionaire of inherited wealth from the Pritzker Hyatt Hotel fortune, who spent $150 million of his own money to overpower the airwaves in the most expensive governor’s race in history, and basically buy the governor’s mansion in Springfield with his own money.
JB wasn’t your typical Progressive candidate. Nor was he backed by the remnants of the old Chicago machine, which has been pretty much dismantled since the days of Richard J. Daley.
But he was backed by the Chicago Progressives from Hyde Park near the University of Chicago, which is – guess – the party that launched a certain articulate Harvard educated lawyer with a killer smile who went on to the White House preaching Hope and Change, Barack Obama, who was unlike any Chicago politician before him, and unlike any president, either.
JB and Barack go way back, ever since Barack ran for U.S. Senate in 2004. Even before that, as the close-knit Hyde Park/Kenwood community includes the Pritzker Medical Center at the University of Chicago, where Barack’s soul mate Valerie Jarrett has served on the board and her father was a doctor on the faculty.
Valerie helped Barack tap into the Pritzker money through JB and his sister Penny for the young Obama’s run to the Senate and the White House. For her loyalty, Penny was awarded the cabinet post of Secretary of Commerce for eight years, despite having driven a family savings and loan into the ground through issuing too many sub-prime loans.
Eight days after Barack was elected president, JB made a call to then Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was no friend of Barack, a call that JB knew was being tapped by the FBI but Rod did not. After some brief chit chat, JB asked Rod what his plans were for the newly vacant U.S. Senate seat left open by Barack on his exit to the White House.
Rod said, “I never thought about that? You have any ideas?”
Rod is now halfway through a 14-year federal prison term in Colorado, and JB for his loyalty and generosity was given the governors mansion by Barack, with a little help from his unlimited personal campaign war chest.
JB is also no stranger to the insider ways of Chicago politics that have made so many before him rich, though not as rich as his family inheritance. Most made it the old-fashioned way of working their connections at City Hall to get fat city contracts or a nice zoning deal in their favor.
In JB’s case, he worked out a deal with the Cook County Assessor’s office whereby he removed all the toilets from one of his North Side mansions so the residence would be deemed “uninhabitable,” it’s assessment reduced to almost nothing, so JB could save some $230,000 in property taxes.
One wonders what transpired in the Pritzker family discussions when news got about JB’s toilet tax reduction – the Pritzker family being one of the riches families in America whose fathers and grandfathers had slowly and painstakingly built the Hyatt Hotel chain, which the heirs in JB’s generation quickly fought over with their lawyers to divide amongst them by the billions.
But no matter, JB was in Chicago politics now, and most candidates who enter the system shamelessly jump into the cesspool knowing the public office or greater wealth that awaits them on the other side.
JB’s opponent, incumbent Republican governor Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager who actually worked for his money, blasted the airwaves with commercials about Pritzker’s entrapment phone calls to Blagojevich and JB’s removing the toilets from his mansion – dubbing him the “Porcelien Prince” – under the reasonable assumption that voters would turn against him once the sleaze reached the open air.
But the good people of Illinois – and they are some of the nicest, most decent people on the planet – have been suffering from corrupt, bullying politicians for more than a century. It was Big Bill Thompson and who let Al Capone run the city in the 1920s, who set the tone for the next 100 years as politicians took over the role of duly elected mobsters.
Thus voters in Chicago, and the rest of Illinois are under the correct assumption that whoever gets to be a candidate who comes out of the Democratic side of the city, which has ruled non-stop since after World War II, will continue the corruption without blinking, and that taxes will keep going up, thanks largely from the help of state House Speaker and Chicago Democrat Mike Madigan, who has run the state unchecked for more than 30 years, a close friend of Chicago unions never met a tax he didn’t like.
Now, with the help of Millennials in Chicago, JB takes the Barack Obama, Hyde Park Progressive agenda to the Governor’s Mansion, where the toilets will presumably stay. He will bring with him the LGBTQ agenda, which includes hiring as many gays into his administration as possible, as well as important issues such as getting the gay lifestyle and history taught in the public schools, things that should help the state hold off it’s almost inevitable date with insolvency.
In Chicago style, he made the announcement the day after the election that he will look introducing another “progressive” tax that will increase the more money one has, as well as a “progressive” tax based on the number of miles one drives.
But no mention of a JB Progressive policy on the issues that are driving people away from Illinois in droves, namely it’s time bomb of required funding of over $200 billion in unfunded state employee pension obligations that is speeding Illinois toward a financial cliff; nor a solution to the catastrophic black-on-black crime problem in Chicago, with close to 500 murders and more than 4,000 shootings of mostly young black shooters and victims each year.
Well, they never did say they were progressive on balancing budgets or helping victims of crime, only in advancing the socialist cause.
Maybe JB can offer up some of his family fortune.