The Daily Herald reports on legislation proposed by House Minority Leader Tom Cross Tuesday that would throw a wrench into Democratic State Party Chairman and House Speaker Mike Madigan and Cook County Democratic Party Chairman and candidate for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios well-oiled Democratic property tax assessment machine. Madigan, whose property tax law firm appeals before the Board of Review where Berrios has been on the Board of Review since its inception, is the state's most powerful legislative leader, who gets passed legislation Berrios lobbies for major clients, like video poker interests.
Cross' proposal would cut off campaign donations from clients and their attorney with property tac appeal cases before the Board of Review and would ban elected officials from lobbying at the Capitol for private clients. The Daily Herald explains:
The bills would bar contributions to the Cook assessor or any commissioner on the Board of Review or the County Board by anyone with a pending assessment appeal, and also would ban those county officials from working as registered lobbyists on behalf of other entities.
The proposals would cut at the heart of what many have said is an overly cozy relationship between state Democratic leader Madigan and Berrios, head of the Cook County Democratic Party and a commissioner on the Board of Review ruling on assessment appeals.
"Speaker Madigan does this kind of work?" Cross, an Oswego Republican, asked facetiously at a news conference at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Then he launched into a description of how Madigan's law firm argues appeals before Berrios on the Board of Review, while Berrios lobbies before Madigan on behalf of clients like the electronic gaming industry downstate.
"These are all facts," Cross said. "I'm not editorializing. I'm not spinning."
We at Illinois Review applaud Minority Leader Cross for proposing this legislation. Sure Madigan's spokesman shrugs it off as a political stunt. But without Cross' proposal nothing would ever be done to correct the Democrats' unethical well-oiled property tax system abuse. Cross had no choice but to do something in light of growing evidence in the Chicago Tribune, Fox News Chicago and Illinois Review's archives on the Berrios-Madigan setup.
It's about time someone did something about Madigan and Berrios' in-your-face laughter at Cook County property owners and taxpayers.
Call your state lawmakers -- Democrats or Republicans -- and tell them to sign on to Cross' bill.