Union Endorses Pritzker for Governor in Fight Against Rauner

on Jun12

11 June 2017 | 10:45 pm

The state battle is between a Republican governor who wants to destroy unions and a Speaker of the House who is closely aligned with them.

One of the state’s biggest unions doesn’t want to take any chances this time when it comes to having the big guns to defeat IL Gov. Bruce Rauner – so they quickly endorsed his billionaire opponent.

The Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed J.B. Pritzker this week, a huge step forward for the embattled billionaire trust fund baby who was caught gaming the tax system by buying a mansion and letting it fall into disrepair so he could write off off nearly a quarter of a million dollars in taxes.

Gaming the tax system is the Pritzker way. Just look at his sister Penny who served as President Obama’s commerce secretary after her bank profited off the subprime mess that threw millions of people out of their homes or out of a job. The Pritzker-owned Hyatt Hotels was in a huge battle against its unionized workforce.

The Pritzker family is the master of deception – their name is everywhere when it comes to philanthropic endeavors, but nowhere when it comes to how they set up off shore accounts to not pay millions of dollars in taxes to finance education and our social welfare system.

But the unions – whose leadership is usually connected to the democrats – are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Endorse a candidate you believe in who perhaps has a history of supporting unions or at least not short-changing the government, or go with a guy who says all the right answers when asked, but who represents nothing less than the Republican candidate he is supposed to replace.

The mainstream local media are now claiming the AFL endorsement makes Pritzker the front runner. However, the election for the 2018 Democratic governor nomination is still far enough away that anything could happen.

The biggest reason for the endorsement – according to the Trib. – was that Pritzker will fund his own campaign and thus free up Speaker Mike Madigan to retain the Democrat’s edge in the fight against Rauner and the Republicans.

The big question will be whether the other unions fall in line and do likewise. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) leadership worked to get Dem. Gov. Pat Quinn endorsed despite objections that his running mate Paul Vallas was extremely anti-union. Their argument was and still is – the Republicans are far worse.

Pritzker’s Democratic rivals are Chris Kennedy, State Senator Daniel Biss, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, Madison County regional schools Superintendent Bob Daiber and State Rep Scott Drury.

The union president told the media Pritzker appeared “very at ease, very comfortable talking to labor.”

Pritzker told labor they will be a partner and have a seat at the table.

I remember when I served on the CTU political action committee (I am a Chicago Public School teacher), there were many candidates we interviewed who answered the questions exactly as any union would want them answered. However, it usually comes down to who pays the piper. Some endorsed CTU members took positions that were anti-union.

Likewise, the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Barack Obama, who despite this didn’t attend their convention when he was first elected president. His pro-charter and anti-union agenda was harmful to public school teachers and he refused to grant the card check he had promised which would have made it easier to unionize. So much for a union endorsement!

In Pritzker’s case, it’s all about the money.

The country is awash in billionaires out to run our public offices. We have a billionaire president (enough said), had a billionaire mayor in NY (closed many public schools) and a billionaire governor (goal to bankrupt the state if he can’t pay workers less by eliminating collective bargaining rights).

Will having another billionaire replace the one we got make any difference?

That’s the question that should be on everybody’s mind before they go to vote in next year’s democratic primary.

By Jim Vail


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