Dear Gov. Rauner and J.B. Pritzker:
We didn’t think it was possible to sink as low as the 2016 Presidential election between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but boy were we wrong.
It’s not even Labor Day or time for the Illinois State Fair, but here we are in the midst of summer and anytime we turn on the television or go online, there you are, slinging mud — or other crap — at the other.
So what that you are both tycoons? Pritzker inherited more than a billion dollars, and Rauner’s private equity fortune is close to rounding up to a billion.
All this money is leading to record spending in the Illinois gubernatorial campaign. The tally is growing at such a pace that Rauner and Pritzker are threatening the record $280 million spent in California in 2010 in the race for governor by eBay entrepreneur Meg Whitman and Golden State Gov. Jerry Brown. Whitman spent $140 million of her own money and still lost: Take note, J.B.
If you’ve spent anytime on YouTube, you can’t watch a video without a Pritzker ad before nearly every video. While we may have chuckled about Rauner’s toilet attack on Pritzker, if we hear one more misleading ad about Rauner’s supposedly making money off the immigration crisis, we’d like to quote a now infamous Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the beef?”
All this posturing by both of you is an attempt to distract voters from the lack that both of you have any substantive ideas about how to fix this state’s fiscal mess. Hopefully, you each noticed this past week Illinois avoided a major banana peel moment by avoiding junk bond status — but just barely.
Each of you is steering clear of substance. Pritzker’s candidacy is built on a progressive tax system that is a slogan without specifics, and would require an amendment to the Illinois Constitution to become law. Rauner, meanwhile, demonized the Madigan tax hike but relies on it to fend off, for now, a junk credit rating.
Look you two. We need to hear specifics of what you would do to make Illinois a better place to live. We don’t want to hear about toilets or whether you cheer for the Blackhawks. We want a better Illinois for us, our children and the future.