Rauner: Madigan promotes property taxes for personal profit

 
Daily Herald Report
Updated 7/24/2017 5:02 PM
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  • During a meeting with the Daily Herald Editorial Board, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner portrayed Madigan as a political manipulator who creates crises in order to get legislators to respond to pressure rather than reason.

    During a meeting with the Daily Herald Editorial Board, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner portrayed Madigan as a political manipulator who creates crises in order to get legislators to respond to pressure rather than reason. Associated Press/July 5, 2017

  • Illinois speaker of the House Michael Madigan listens during the overtime session at the state Capitol in Springfield.

    Illinois speaker of the House Michael Madigan listens during the overtime session at the state Capitol in Springfield. Associated Press/July 2, 2017

Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan deliberately advances policies that promote high property taxes out of a "stunning conflict of interest" that has made him wealthy, Gov. Bruce Rauner charged Monday.

In a harsh broadside that likely previews a re-election campaign strategy to target the house speaker, Rauner said, "Madigan for his own reasons is a fan of high property taxes."

Rauner made the remarks while discussing school funding in a telephone interview with the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Asked to clarify, the governor did not offer specifics but pointed to the legal work on property tax appeals conducted by Madigan & Getzendanner, the Chicago law firm Madigan co-founded in 1972.

"He's got that personal wealth-creating business," Rauner said.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown dismissed Rauner's charges.

"This is yet another untrue statement by the governor," Brown said.

Brown went on to note that Madigan recused himself on negotiations of all legislative matters relating to work as a property tax appeals attorney. Brown also said that Madigan had voted, several times, in favor of property tax freezes.

The aside was one of several jabs at Madigan that the governor peppered into the conversation with editors.

Throughout the meeting, he portrayed Madigan as a political manipulator who creates crises in order to get legislators to respond to pressure rather than reason.

At one point, Rauner said he believes Senate President John Cullerton is open to some reform but that he is forced to give way to Madigan's influence.

At another, Rauner said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel "works underneath and at the direction of Speaker Madigan."

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