2018 Illinois Governor’s Race Forum: Democratic Candidates
Good. Evening and welcome to Chicago, tonight on this Wednesday, March 14th, the. Top three Democratic, candidates for governor in their final, meeting before Tuesday's, primary, hear, what they think sets, them apart and why. They deserve, your vote that's next on Chicago, tonight. Thanks. For joining us I'm Phil punks say with less than a week until the primary election, the, Democratic, race for governor is a juggernaut, of activity, endorsements. And contributions, are still rolling in and candidates. Are no doubt thinking about both, how they take on a Republican opponent, in November, and what. They'll do next if they don't make, the cut on Tuesday, but Tuesday is still days away and the campaign, is far from over, joining. Us for their final, candidate, form in the order they appear on the ballot, are JB. Pritzker, he's a businessman, and venture capitalist who helped create the tech incubator, 1871. Chris. Kennedy former president, of the Merchandise, Mart and, former chair of the University, of Illinois Board of Trustees, and, Daniel. Biss state senator, from Evanston and former University of Chicago, math professor, we're, joined this evening by members, of the City Club of Chicago and, their guests our thanks. To the City Club for helping to underwrite. This forum, and welcome, to our viewers on Facebook and on TV and radio stations. Across Illinois and you. Can join the conversation tonight. Via twitter, using the hashtag, chicago. Tonight at WTTW. Our, Amanda. Vinicky and parish utz will be live tweeting during tonight's program, you, can also share your comments. On the Chicago, tonight Facebook, livestream. Now please join me in welcoming JB, Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel. Biss. JB. Pritzker this morning the Tribune published, a detailed, story about the Trust's and companies. You, either hold are connected, with overseas, is. The main benefit, of holding money, overseas to lower your US tax bill, well. Remember. There's nothing new in that story, in the Chicago Tribune I've said all along that, there were trusts created generations. Ago I don't. Receive any distributions. From those trusts and all the distributions, go to, charity, and on, my statement of economic interest. All. Of the assets, that are owned by the trust and by me individually, as well as our Charitable Foundation are, listed that's how the Chicago Tribune was able to report. On it you. Make a distinction between trusts. And companies, because, the Tribune, reports, that at least 11. Offshore, companies, with ties to you or your family members had, been set up in the past 10 years and previously, you, said that your offshore holdings were set up by your grandfather decades. Ago was. That a lie no, we in, fact I have no control over those trusts the entities that are created, just, like all trusts, they make investments, and so they were created, by the people who trust me who control those trusts, and.
Remember Those trusts are focused. On charitable. Giving and so any distributions, that are made go, entirely to charity there are two categories of holdings overseas. Connected, with you according to the Tribune the Trust's which you may be alluding, to now and the, companies, because the Tribune says at least 11, companies connected. With you or family members have been set up within, the past 10 years is that right not set up by me no no not, set up by you do, you have any connection, with them in terms of. Financial. Interests, d/f, financial, interests connected with those 11 companies at least 11 companies the Tribune says had been set up in the past 10 years now those trusts, are dedicated. To charitable yeah and then the company's underlying, I guess the trustees, and the trust, created those companies in order to make investments. That's what trusts do and so you, know whatever distributions. Get made go to charity, so you're saying that there's no connection between the companies, that the Tribune alluded, to and the. Trust's, well. In my, statement of economic, interest every, underlying, asset, is listed, and so, as they you, know say in the Tribune in, fact those assets, are you can look at the statement of economic interest and you can see what. We're looking for a member in those statements, is conflicts. Of interest and so, when you list every single asset, its known to the public if you have any conflicts, and I would make sure that there will be no conflicts, when I become governor Daniel, Biss you're shaking your head how come, well. We just heard this like unbelievable. Mess. Of word salad, that, said, nothing, in an effort to distract us from what we learned by reading The Tribune this morning which, is that JB, Pritzker, set, up companies, offshore, probably. To avoid taxes and spent the entire last year lying about it come on that's just now Donald, Trump is the president, do we want this is in the Democratic, nominee for governor, 11. Months ago today I released, my tax returns I asked these two that to do the same they said they would they, were lying now. We know part, of what JB Pritzker has been hiding I'm scared, to know what the rest is but we better find out before we go to vote on Tuesday Chris. Kennedy your reaction, to JB, Pritzker's statements, this. Is what I'd say I think this form is, part, of the election process in the state of Illinois and that election process, is sort of like a job interview we're. Interviewing, for a job to be the next governor of the state of Illinois to work for the people of Illinois to, work for the voters of Illinois I've. Hired a lot of people and I can tell you just one piece of advice to the voters, of the state you. Should never hire someone who lies to you during a job interview if, they'll. Lie to you, to get the job they'll. Lie to you, to keep the job and you do not want a liar as the. Governor, of the state of Illinois trying to keep that job jb Priscilla are you lined yeah may I respond, oh thank you please do let, me say this that you know both of my opponents. Are on the attack where in the last five days of a campaign it's, clear they're behind and, this is how they intend, to run the rest of the campaign, in fact they've been running it this way all along quite.
Negatively, The. Truth is that I'm. Trying, to run a campaign about issues, and for. The entire campaign, all, the way up until January we, were all about issues, in this campaign and then, who. Went on the attack Bruce. Rauner and Daniel. Biss and Chris. Kennedy they went up on the air first and I, think it's important to note that for people that these attacks, are an avoidance. Of their own records, they need to answer for their records their voting records and their record of either failed, accomplishment. Or just, utter outright, failure let's say with the Tribune report just a bit longer because you. Talked about the importance, of disclosure. So that one can assess whether or not one has conflicts, of interests one, of the offshore companies, that the Tribune reports you're connected, to is Moreau Capitol holding which, wants to buy city land to offer duck, boat tours and according. To a city filing, you own all the stock in that company is. That correct no the. The, entity, by the way that's looking, to do business in the city of Chicago, is in, fact listed, on that statement of economic interest, is. Another. Show called entertainment cruises. There are no shell companies here entertainment. Cruises is the name of the company it's the company that operates boats on Navy Pier and does, other you know seaworthy, ventures. That's the entity and it's listed right there on the statement of economic interests you know I just want to make sure I understand, you and I'm I don't, mean to I don't mean to overstate. The case but, what you're saying is that these, eleven companies. Are. What. Not. A recent. Creation that is to say in the past ten, years that, they're connected, with address, the trust and therefore they're. Part of something that was already established and, therefore, what you said about, know. All. Your holdings having been established years ago that's, what makes it truthful. Fill. Those, entities, were not created, by me they were created, by trust that I do not control trusts, that are entirely dedicated to, charitable, giving all. Right let's uh, Chris. Kennedy let's. Return to that notion about who's going negative and the truth is JB, Pritzker, is spending millions of dollars five. Hundred thousand, maybe two hundred and fifty thousand, five, hundred thousand dollars a day going, after either senator. Biss or me and the truth is when, you can't, win by, telling the truth about yourself in, a competition. Sometimes. You have to try. To tell lies about your competitors, in order. To win and that's exactly what he's doing these times. It's. Really important that we that we just articulate. This we. Are in this unique, moment in America. With massive, income inequality, a failed billionaire, president, of failed billionaire, governor and we're.
Trying To decide what, kind of model of politics, the Democratic, Party should believe, in and, you have here two options of two guys who wanted to spend millions of dollars and try to buy an election and look. JB's spent sixty three million dollars so far and it's not working, and I get that that must be extremely upsetting, you can't get out of the 30 spending fifty three million dollars of your own money and, so, you're trying to pummel everybody else maybe it'll work maybe it won't but what I'm offering is a different. Vision, of politics, a middle-class progressive. Is going to organize people to win next, Tuesday and then, organize people, to get excited to sort out and vote and eat Bruce rauner you, campaigned, as a middle, class candidate, looking out after the interests of the middle class and have been, critical, of your opponents for their wealth can, somebody be wealthy, and be a good Democrat. Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm critical, of my opponents are trying to buy the election I'm critical of a vision, of democracy, that says whoa Bruce, rauner's got so much money so the only thing we can do as Democrats, to succeed is. To find an even wealthier person to spend even more money I think that is taking our party down a dangerous. Dangerous path, we, should have elections not. Auctions. The. Last point on the Tribune, article Chris, Kennedy you were also named in the tribune investigation, as having, money offshore are, other taxpayers. Picking. Up part, of your tab solutely not the tribune identified, a company, that sounds like one of JB's tax avoidance companies, that, I have an investment in but that company that I have an investment in that has a similar name of, files in the United, States every, year files. With the IRS, I pay both federal, income tax and state income tax what he's done is he's avoid paying taxes, in the United States that means that all of us it's not that the cost of government went down every. Taxpayer, in the United States now pays more in income tax because he paid less every. Filer, in Illinois pays more income, tax the state of Illinois because, he paid less just, like all of us who pay property taxes, in Cook, County pay more because, he, paid less through this property tax cheat and that's. His, his. Model for making, money. JB. Go ahead first, of all again in the statement of economic interest all the assets are being reported and. I put out the information, over the last three years that the federal, and state tax is paid by, trust for my benefit and personally, a hundred, and fifty million dollars so there's no tax avoidance here all the assets that are going to charity are going to charity all the assets that are not charitable, are paying. And. They're paying right here in the state of Illinois the highest rate that you can pay a corporate income tax so the only tax avoidance involved, then what you're saying is has to do with charitable, trust which in which all the proceeds are going to charity you're, calling. That tax avoidance I mean charity, is charity, and, yet even a charitable foundation. Even. Charities if one is if, a charity is taking an income normally. Would be subject, to taxes, would it not no, no. Let. Me just quickly, though if I could fill you know I appreciate Kris that you're saying, that JB has been involved in tax avoidance I have. My own suspicions, too but the truth is we don't really know we. Don't know because he won't release his tax returns you're, right we know that when he rips the toilets out of his house to get a multi hundred thousand dollar tax break the rest of us in Cook County all pay more that's true just like when you use politically connected property. Tax attorneys to decrease the wolf point and Merchandise Mart, property. Tax bill the rest of us pay more but when it comes to these offshore tax. Avoidance strategies, we have no idea, which, is why throughout all of 2016. All Democrats. Were saying dude. Donald. Trump should release his tax returns and. Now here we are a 2018. And two of the three leading candidates for governor and the Democratic side won't do it it's just not okay Chris Kennedy in, terms of tax returns you just relieve the cover pages on one. Year of Texas why don't you release more than that identified, every trust that I benefit, from I identified. Every holding, that I own any, conflict, that I might have is listed, in that disclosure form, I went beyond what the law required, and well, mr., this. Tries. To make an issue of that the fact is I've gone further than others and I've shown every, entity. That might pose. A conflict. Of interest and I, think that's a good model for what people should do in the state what, we don't know is what, mr. Pritzker is hiding and that's, a big issue for all of us how about that JB Pritzker lack of transparency.
An. Expert quoted in The Tribune article this morning said there are two reasons to, set up trusts or companies overseas number, one is to avoid tax number, two is to make things complicated in, terms of figuring. Out who's doing what well I remind, you that these trusts were set up generations, ago they were not set up by me and they're dedicated entirely, to charity, again trusts, and companies, companies, recently connected. To you or your family members that I did not set up those companies I did not set up those trusts they're trying to reach back you know years. And years decades and decades and, it's. Just not correct it's not accurate let's. Move on there. Was a nationwide student, walkout, today Daniel. Biss you've, expressed support for gun control legislation but. How, will you convince gun owners particularly gun owners down stage that you are not going to gut their, quote Second Amendment rights I was, proud to participate in the walk out today out of the Senate, chamber, to, the outside. Of the State Capitol and we had a good day in the legislature, today passing. Three, common-sense. Gun safety bills, out, of the Senate and I think that shows, the answer to your question, Phil we, are seeing a change in, this country, the, NRA which, is primarily, listening, not to gun owners, but, to gun manufacturers. Who fund them is, starting to lose its grip because of organizers, on the other side and we're starting to build a coalition of people, have traditionally supported gun, safety legislation together, with, many, gun owners and yeah a lot. Of gun owners downstate, maybe more so than other places just by virtue of the, difference in demographics, and societal. Interests and so forth would say you know what, the. The, attempt to. Tighten. The standards. On gun, dealers, and so forth, waiting cards so it, all is a slippery, strokes a slippery, slope to diminishing, my, second Amendment rights what do you say to that person well. It's what I say to that person is let's look at the bills were passing, let's look at the ideas, were debating, and let's have an honest, conversation and, there will be some disagreements, by the way not everyone agrees about everything, but. The scare, mongering, tactics, of the NRA that. Have persuaded, gun. Owners who in fact are often supportive, of common-sense gun safety legislation, to. Somehow oppose, candidates, who support those bid bills are starting to weak and I'm gonna keep on fighting to weaken the NRA I've got a lifetime F rating from them which is one of the few EPS that I'm proud of in my life and, the, good news is that more and more people across the state are also pleased with that F rating gentlemen at this point I'd like you to I'd, like for you to raise your hand if you agree with the following statement in other words raising, your hands means yes, raise. Your hand would you sell the Thompson Center. One. Out, of three would, you support raising the, gas tax to, pay for infrastructure. None. Out of three would. You support a Chicago, casino, raise, your hands if yes one. Would. You support the bill to eliminate eliminate. Daylight, savings, time in, Illinois. Okay. I see, not, a lot of support for that one raise. Your hand would you close, Chicago. State University, no. I. Say.
Someone Sitting on their hands yeah let's, go to a viewer, question this one is from Marjorie Benson, and she asks currently. Illinois, does not tax Social Security and, retirement. Income. Should, it Chris Kennedy absolutely. Not the average retiree, in the state of Illinois makes about, $18,000. A year we. Should go after people who make eighteen thousand, dollars a year to balance our budget we, should close the loophole, that allows well. The internet sellers to sell into, our communities, without paying their fair share of sales. Taxes, we, should go after people. Who claim to live in another state but continue to work in Illinois make, money here and don't pay their fair, share of. Income. Tax, the state of New York does that they collect billions, of dollars the, state of Colorado is going after the internet sellers and they'll collect billions, of dollars let's go after those people who don't even live in this state or mooching off of us are cheating, on the taxes, and then, we can balance our budget without going after people who make eighteen thousand dollars a year now, I'm gonna tell this to you JB you've, been running ads saying that I'm in favor of taxing, retirement, income it's not true I posted, it on my website I've gone to form after form QA after, QA look, at me the eyes I want to let you know I'm not for that please stop, running those lies well you've got a different position today, than you've had during, this campaign because. You yes, you several. Times have said you are open to retirement. Taxation, and so, that's just a fact if you've changed your position that's fine that's good because I am opposed to retiring so you take those ads down is that what you're saying now that you have cleared heavily Shh their position, face to face clarity, right now. Is. Not what you want and the same thing lie. To get a job is gonna lie to keep you and don't want a. Retirement. Taxation, well good I'm not let these two, guys. Yell at each other about each other's taxes all we want that's fun here's. The bottom line I'm, against, taxing the retirement, income of middle-class people like, myself but. JB Pritzker should say retirement, income tax and because he's scared of having to do that he's lying about my position. That's. Not what retirement income taxes we need a progressive income tax in this state so, that wealthy, people pay more and we protect the middle class and those striving to get there lower their overall tax. Bill but, retirement, income tax is about pensions, and 401ks. And Social, Security I don't think we should be taxing those you know what are the questions raised today I don't mean to circle, around to the Tribune article today but the, assertion is that with, all your overseas, holdings trust companies, however you call them and if, they are being. Sheltered for tax purposes it, is it hypocritical to, call, for a graduated. Income tax a progressive, income tax whereby. Other people who have some means would be subject to higher taxes, when you in fact might be sheltering, some of your taxes, well that's not accurate the, fact is that paying, taxes, here federal. State taxes, the highest, you can pay in the state of Illinois for all the assets, that are held in trust for my benefit that, I have any involvement, with that are taxable. Including the companies because I'm still Haiti about that yes including the companies but but remember companies, overseas are currently paying your truck state and federal, taxes, you're, talking about the the the, overseas, trust when the reality, is those are dedicated. To charity any distributions. That come from those go, to charitable.
Organizations The. The, what. We're talking about here are companies, in the United States companies. When. They make an, income they pay an income tax and here, in Illinois those trusts, pay, at the highest rate as do they, pay federal income taxes. Yeah. I do, this. Is just, exposing. The in fraud, that is the JB Pritzker campaign, for governor you've, been running since, you realize it was popular when I said it on a progressive. Income tax and, now. We've learned, that. You've been avoiding taxes, in any way possible and I think the question that we ought to be asking ourselves is not do, we need a progressive income tax with every candidate now in March of 2018, says that the question is who's gonna do it the, two guys who've been benefiting. From our broken, system for, decades or, the person who's been fighting for progressive taxation, in the legislature, Daniel, Biss some people say that you're voting your voting record undermines, your assertion that you're representing, the middle class you voted for tax breaks for corporations a, measure to reduce pension, benefits for, state employees you, voted to cut Medicaid health spending for the poor what, do you say I'll. Say I'm proud of my record in the legislature, and on, things, like pensions. I've talked openly about, how. I got into the legislature, and tried to tackle a difficult problem and didn't get it right in. 2013. By. The way after JD Pritzker was attacking, me for not voting for pension changes back in 2011, I've, talked about how I fell for a false choice and learned from that and how that's informed my continued, efforts to solve that problem in the right way which i think is what a leader does, but. I've been fighting in the legislature, for seven years to lift up the lives of ordinary people in Illinois fighting, to expand health care successfully, fighting, to pass the toughest student loan bill of rights in the country here in Illinois fighting. For a retirement, savings bill that's, changing, retirement, secure across the country giving millions of people in Illinois a shot at a dignified retirement I'm the, only person on this stage number, one who's grappled, with those difficult choices that face someone in politics.
And. Number two with, a record, of progressing. Progressive, laws please, come on he spent seven years down, there seven. Years down there he fell for Springfield that's, what he's just said I fell for Springfield and it now he wants us to send. Him back as the governor of the state he, couldn't stand, up for what was right the, Democrats, said a supermajority in the state Senate a supermajority, in the Statehouse controlled. The governor's mansion at the same time while he was there and did, nothing to, fix the funding for our schools did, nothing to bring about a progressive, income tax in our state he's, part of a failed system and it's time we bring, change to the future, of Illinois to fund our schools properly. And yet both you and JB, Pritzker neither one of you as held elected, public office is it presumptuous, of you in, large part one. Could say because of your financial. Assets are. Going for the top office, in the state without having been in the Senate I put up my track record against, anybody, I ran. The Merchandise, Mart one of the great economic engines. Of the world I ran 90 trade shows a year in 30 different vertical markets with 10,000. Exhibiting companies I was. Elected, chairman of the convention bureau I was elected chairman by my colleagues, of the Chicago. Convention and, Tourism Bureau as 27, 28 years old and it emerged as the largest food bank in the United, States I was, a. University, of Illinois with a five and a half billion dollar a year budget the closest thing to running, a large government and I think that puts me in great, qualifications. For the, state's, top job JB, Pritzker never. Held, elected public, office before presumptuous. Of you to go for the big brass ring well, first of all I've done big things all across the state of Illinois for working families it's. Not JB Pritzker writing a check it's GB Pritzker, getting, policies. Passed in Springfield, in Washington DC on behalf, of our most at-risk kids, to make sure they get quality preschool, and quality, childcare 230, kids in low-income, school, districts, getting school, breakfast, kids who otherwise wouldn't get school Breck creating. Thousands. And thousands of jobs through the creation of 1871. The small business incubator here, in Chicago, and I think, it's hypocritical, of, Chris can adiy who was the chairman, of the University of Illinois when he raised tuition, five, times five, times and caused. In-state, students, to leave the state after a 30%, rise almost in, tuition and, african-american, enrollment, going down 17%, so that's the kind of public service that he's done I ran, the Commission. If. You're saying that the board of the University of, Illinois while I was chairman of the board which was a majority minority you're telling me Francis Carroll sitting back there teamed, up with Jim Montgomery and Rick Estrada, and Carlos, tor talero and and Judge, Patricia Holmes, and got together to try to find a way to push minorities, out of the University, of Illinois that's the moistening surviving, I've ever heard during, that period we put a hundred million dollars aside for, scholarship, money and we're proud that today half the kids that attend the U of I benefit.
From Those scholarships, the reason. Minority. Enrollment decline at the University, of Illinois JB. Was something, called the Great Recession and I understand, with your three billion dollars you may not have been aware that during. That time period this country went through a economic, collapse, where millions, of people lost their homes millions. Of people lost their jobs millions. Of people lost their ability to send their kids to college and that's what drove. Attendance. To garnish people's wages were struggling, to pay their student loans, why, did you engage in that activity during, the Great Recession deadness, well, thank you for asking Phil I there. Is not someone yes, great well you've at least named me which is which is pleasant there's. No one in Springfield has done more for student loan borrowers I passed the toughest student loan bill of rights of any state in the country and yes I voted for legislation that gave the state, Student. Assistance Commission the same power that federal, student loan lenders have so they would stop being forced, to sue students. And harm their credit rating but listen while, these two guys fight about which one was richer and which one was benefitting more while they weren't doing anything in state government, let's. Talk about what's happening here we, have Bruce rauner he's failed we. Have Donald Trump he's we've tried this I'm a successful businessman trust me watch the stuff I did unrelated. To government, it. Hasn't, worked, and so, now they're gonna pick, apart my record, bill by Bill when. I'm the one who's passed almost 90 laws, progressive. Priorities lifting. People up creating retirement, security expanding, access to health care they. Brutally. Go after the retirement incomes, from people in this state there's nothing, worse than a Democrat, can do than what you did and I'm, sorry I'm not gonna sit here and listen to you go on about your great record when you went after the most vulnerable people, in the state and you were proud of it and then turn around said, that oh I fell, for Springfield I'm sorry Daniel that's disqualified. Response, Daniel Biss well Jamie recently, put out a video of Chris talking about out he supported, that effort and JB was funding, a much more extreme group years before so, the. Truth of the matter is that pensions, are promised and I've been in the legislature, trying to find ways to fund our pensions and I'm the candidate on this stage who is actually fighting for the revenue solutions, that will enable us to fund pensions Jamie Pritzker you put 63 million dollars of your own money into this campaign. Effort if you lose how, much money will you pledge to spend, to defeat, governor rauner you, know I've supported Democrats, my whole life I've, been a Democrat, my whole life my parents were Democrats, and. I'm very proud to say, that whoever it is that wins and. I think it'll be me but whoever it is that wins I'll, support, in this election.
Campaign It's so important, that we defeat, Bruce rauner he has been a miserable failure, for, working families we know health care no, job creation, no. Education. Funding Bruce rauner's got to go speaking, of Governor rauner has he'd answer the question did he how. Much you both you said you, said you'd continue to support the Democrats, coming from Daniel who has accepted three, hundred and fifty thousand dollars from people who do business with the state just in the last few weeks people. Who gave money to Bruce rauner hundreds, of thousands of dollars from Springfield, insiders, including. Mike Madigan in order to get elected in the first place voted, for Mike Madigan for Speaker this, is Daniel, who you know as putting forward a record saying that he wants to be a middle class governor, but you haven't stood up for the middle class pensions. You've taken money away from neighborhood. Public schools to give it to charter schools I mean I you're, not who you say you are so, listen I'm not gonna sit here and be lectured on who's a progressive. By. The guy who's storing money offshore to avoid taxes, and profiting, off the Dakota access pipeline, I'm not gonna sit here lecture you I'm not well, we can talk later. We. Can talk later but it is like. Just, genuinely, amazing to me when JT pritzker tries to lecture, me about my campaign funding. Are you kidding, me Jaime, Pritzker has given 63. Million, dollars. To, his campaign fund in an effort to buy this an election an effort to make Mike Madigan happy because Mike Madigan wants his money that badly and he, can't pull away in the polls because the people of Illinois understand. That we shouldn't emulate Trump and rauner we shouldn't have an auction, we, should have an election and I'm incredibly, proud of the fact that I'm here at all I mean let's be honest Phil when. I announced my campaign, almost a year ago people didn't think I'd be on the stage with these two guys, but. We are. The. People have stepped up to make us have a chance, in a race because. The people of Illinois are hungry for a middle class progressive. Let's. Move along Chris Kennedy in the new school funding program, formula, requires an additional, 350 million dollars a year from the state where. Would you get that money it's, about 5%, of what we're doing and it's not nearly enough if if, we. Want to fully fund our schools and there's nothing more important, but, I graduated, from high school this is back in the 80s in the last century, my, friends and I we moved to where the jobs were that's not the way the American economy works anymore, now the jobs, move to where the highly, educated young, people are if we give the world highly educated, young people the world will give us its jobs money. Investments. Capital follows, talent, unfortunately. In Illinois about 75%. Of the kids who graduate high, school need, remedial, education before.
Going To community, college or universities, so we're failing in job, number one how, do we fund those schools I think we have to go after the internet sellers, who are I think stealing, from us in the state of Illinois I think there's billions, of dollars there I think we have to go after people who claim to live in other states and take. Income here and don't pay their fair share. I think we have, to go after the property tax system in our state and abandon, it and the role of the state government, should, be to file undervaluation complaints. Against the largest. Buildings in the most egregious examples, of where people like Joe Barrios, have sided. With the people who've given him campaign, donations, and against the people of our state if we do those things we're not going to put our economy at risk we're not going to overburden our taxpayers. We're actually going after people who live elsewhere let's. Go to a viewer question and this one has to do with the budget fixing, the budget in Illinois. Will take courage and involve both necessary cuts to important programs and additional. Revenue what, unpopular. But necessary. Specific. Steps are you willing to take on both the cut and the, revenue side that your other Democratic. Democratic, components. Are not JB Pritzker well, I as I've said earlier I'm in favor of our progressive, income tax I'm also in favor of, us legalizing. Marijuana and taxing, it and I, believe, that'll bring in three hundred and fifty million to seven hundred million dollars of revenue to the state and in addition to that let's talk about the budget because there are really three, aspects. Of a budget many people just talk about two expenditures. And revenues a, third, aspect of it is growth we've got to have job growth in the state in order to increase revenues, without having to raise taxes, but, under Bruce rauner, can say how about in, terms of cuts what cuts would you make well, let's remind ourselves, that the Republican, governor that we've got today is the biggest deficit, spender in the history, of the, state of Illinois and the result of that was that last year we paid almost a billion dollars in that, 12% backlog.
Interest, Rate that he caused and fees. That's, a billion dollars, imagine, what you could do with a billion dollars in the education, system and we ought to bring that in imagine, what you could do in our health care system and we ought to bring that in I happen, to think we need universal, health care now but all of these things take real shoulder, to the wheel you, need revenue. Expenditures. And growth, to make a budget work in the state of Illinois no cuts, well. Here's how I would do it you know I've spent more than 20 years in the early childhood development arena. I have, focused on trying to raise, up particularly, our at-risk kids the 25%. Kids in, the United States and in the state of Illinois that are not ready for kindergarten, when we help them prepare when we make sure we've got universal. Preschool which I favor, and quality. Childcare it, will save money in our education, system significantly, same, thing by the way with prevention, in, the healthcare system, you go after type 2 diabetes you can save hundreds. Of millions of dollars Daniel, Biss. Unpopular. But necessary, steps regarding revenue, or cups, well I think we need a tax system design for a modern economy that's why unlike these two guys I support taxing financial transactions, and closing. The so-called carried, interest or a Bruce rauner tax loophole that's something actually passed a bill out of the Senate to do why, do I say that because our economy, has transformed, in, the last several decades more, and more of our economy's in the financial sector but, these two guys do want to tax that part of the economy which means they're going to either not have a budget that works or, else they're going to have a tax system that overburdens, working families Chris. Kennedy you will shaking your head no how. Come because, it's just the worst form of political pandering, that, to say that no, one has to make any sacrifice, so we're gonna fully fund every program of government nobody, has to worry about a thing because we're gonna tax. Financial, transactions. I mean. It gives everybody false, hope it's the worst thing a Democrat, can do we, ought to tell the truth we ought to bring, people into the complexities, of subtleties the nuances, of government. Policy, and not offer them a solution that can't be had. Explain. How what he's suggesting he's. Suggesting, that we go to the exchanges, where where. Were. Transactions. Are occurring, between people let's say buying corn. Or soybeans, and tax. Every, one of those transactions. Those transactions. Occur between a buyer and a seller there's, a matching, engine a computer, that matches, when you say I bought ten thousand bushels at a dollar eighty six and I say I sold, ten thousand bushels in a dollar eighty six that, matching, engine is in Chicago but. There are duplicates, all around the United States if he, tries to tax that on LaSalle Street or Wacker Drive where, it's more properly, located. Will those exchanges, will simply use the one that they have located in Atlanta or. And say, the transaction, occurred there which is technically, true and we will not be able to derive any new, economic. Revenue for the state of Illinois he's, promising, something he can't deliver which is political, pandering and worse, than that three, four years ago he passed a bill which he supported, named it aimed, at a single, company the Chicago, Mercantile Exchange. To lower their taxes, he gave them the tax break he now says he wants as a progressive. To, take away and as, mr., Pritzker has said you don't know who Daniel is not today, not then how about that Dan you know Daniel this because of long diatribe there and I do find it sort of amazing that businesses, simply leave if a financial. Transaction. Tax was. Imposed yeah, and also wouldn't federal law be required to be changed in order for what you say for, what you're from, what you're proposing to. Take place no I don't believe it would but let me just point, out that Chris. Has tout twice. On two totally, different topics, accused me of doing the worst possible thing a Democrat can do so at, least one of those must have been at worst the second worst thing and done work I could do but anyhow I'm. Listen. I take. That concern seriously I take, the concern of the exchange is moving seriously, I take the impacts. Of our tax decision seriously which is why we got to sit down and figure out how to do it as other countries have as New York City did in the past it, is not an impossible, thing but, what these two guys are telling you two guys who are experts, in helping the wealthy avoid taxes, that, it's been possible we shouldn't even try what they're telling you in March, of 2018, ten. Months before either one would even become governor, is that they're taking revenue options entirely.
Off The, table and then, they're calling me responsible, and they're the ones taking revenue options off the table come on let's figure out how to solve it given, that that's where our economy is gone let's not consign, ourselves to. Attack system built for an economy we just don't have anymore let's. Go to another, round of raise your hands if you agree questions, number one and this was alluded, to just a little bit ago by mr. Kennedy shoujo, barrios be re-elected as Cook County Assessor raise your hands if you believe yes I, I'm. Not revealing who I voted for or who I'm supporting, in that race because I don't want to be getting involved in democratic primaries we're running one ourselves. Oh my. Gosh if you can't take a position on whether Joe Barrios, should, be a relaxed, reelected, a guy who's maintaining, a system that's, a de facto violation. The 1964. Civil Rights Act, if you can't. Party. Or the state of Illinois. Please. Please, raise your hand. We. Can let these two guys fighting. Until, 8 o'clock about, who's scammed the property tax system worse. Or. Who can pick someone who hasn't scammed, the property tax system who's got legislation if there's a Springfield, and never figured, out that the property tax system was a scam. Let's. Go back to hand-raising please would, you sign a bill creating an elected, school board in Chicago, raise, your hand if you agree all three of you all right should, Mike Madigan step down as head of the state Democratic Party raise, your hand if you think he should I think. He should step back during, the period, during which their investigations. And the sexual harassment are, going on that's why I believe. That there needs to be a complete independent. Investigation, of him, his office, the Democratic, Party of Illinois so, we can determine who the perpetrators, are in these sexual harassment, allegations, it took too long for. Him to identify the problem, to go after it and now we need that independent, investigation we, ought to hold him responsible if, in, fact he's either a perpetrator, or allowed. This to go on related, question raise your hand if you think Mike, Madigan should lose his position as, House Speaker, raise your hand if you think yes I think. That's been called into real question, I, think, that the Democratic. Members of the House need to give that a tough look but I will tell you as a member of the Democratic Party he's lost my confidence in his ability to lead our party. He. Ought to be termed doubt it but he helped, us, get elected, me term limits on that role and he should be termed out that I remember. Dan bass voted, for Mike Madigan for speaker accepted. His money in order to get elected, and has, been, running. Had ran the super PAC that Mike Madigan set up in 2016. It, seems to me once again, you don't know who Dan Biss release, hold. On there was a really important attack that I cannot, let go on address because it is bananas, it's not another species. Please. How long I, don't know but you've taken so much. You're. Actually working, to oust Mike Madigan a state party chair if that fails and you're elected governor are you concerned that he'll block your agenda that the working relationship. Would be non-existent I'll, get to that in a second but I want to address jbs, point I have. A Democrat and that means that I work with Democrats, in general elections I worked with Democrats against, Donald Trump and against Bruce rauner and in my own general. Elections like I'm gonna work with every single Democrat when, I'm the nominee in 2018. To defeat Bruce rauner of course, I do JV doesn't get that because he wasn't sure in 2012. If he was gonna vote for Barack, Obama for reelection he didn't even know if he was gonna vote for brock obama for reelection until he saw who won the Republican nomination the. Question, isn't are you a Democrat who works with Democrats, in general elections the question is what. Wing of the party are you from there's, the Madigan pritzker wing of the party and there's, the independent, progressive wing of the party and I have always been, a firm, number, of the independent progressive wing of the party which is why I'm supported, by progressive, groups in this primary the only person, on this stage who voted for Mike Madigan and say he's your relationship.
With Mike Madigan JB Pritzker all, right could you describe it you know what he's the chairman of the Democratic Party that's the relationship I'm a candidate, for governor and, as dan Biss has said in, a general election as Democrats, we'll all end up running together Chris. Kennedy you had a. Confused. Expression like City of all of this is that you, have the Speaker, Mike. Madigan who, basically has veto authority on any legislation, going through both houses because it has to pass both he, takes that role that he becomes chairman of the party those, roles were always separate, while I've been in Illinois now they're combined in a single individual, from, that place he helps choose the head of the Democratic Party, of Cook County Joe. Barrios, Joe, Barrios as head of the Cook County Democratic, Party slates itself, as the. Cook County Assessor. And becomes, the Assessor now Mike Madigan appeals, taxes, for, property, owners to Joe Barrios who he put in that job and that. Office, that he has for the Democratic, Party is the very office, that JB Pritzker. Used to, make telephone calls at Joe, Barry osser Joe. Very else's chair using Joe Barry OSes fall okay quick response a beeper and then we have to move on yeah. That's just not true I mean first, of all we have serious flaws in the tax system in the property, tax assessment. System in Cook, County that's, true and we need to make sure that we make it more transparent. For people that we have the most up-to-date formulas. So that people don't have to go appeal, their taxes, every single year that's, what we need to go after and we need to make sure there are no conflicts of interest by people. Who serve in the legislature, that's, something we have to go after - what. Kind of party do we want to have right Chris. Began this campaign by going to try to be the candidate of the mattock and leaning of the party they, said no because they wanted Pritzker so, then he came to progressives, and wanted to be our candidate we, said no because I'm the progressive candidate and now he's trying to create a rauner way no the Democratic Party and yes, credentials. To the Cook County democratic process that JB Pritzker, is Mike Madigan's, candidate, and if elected he would be Mike Madigan's first. Handily. Know who he is gentlemen, given how much money that is, going into this race on the. Part of all of you should. These elections, be publicly, funded Chris, Kennedy I believe they should I, believe, that would give us a much, more fair. And and, inclusive. System and the government I don't think money is, necessarily. The root of all evil in politics, it can lift up issues it can educate, the, voters. It can bring to a tenth the attention, of people in our state, complicated. And nuanced. Issues that everybody, should be aware of in a multicultural, democracy. But when you use money not, to lift up issues to shine light on them but to blot out any, other campaign, when, you use money to control, the airwaves and, to, take, away the notion of a conflict. Of ideas and ideals well then I think money has a corrosive, role in politics, and I think that's what we're seeing from the Pritzker campaign, corrosive. Influence in politics JB Pritzker well. I think there should be matching contributions, that was your question but, let's face it you know let's look back to December. Of 2016, when, Bruce rauner wrote a check for 50, million dollars, into his own campaign account then accepted, ten of millions of dollars from, the Koch brothers right-wing.
Network And you know what their agenda is, destroy. Labor unions, lower wages in the state lower workplace, safety in the sea I think that's wrong, now just, like Senator. Paul Simon, once said about campaign. Finance reform we need campaign, finance reform but we can't unilaterally disarm. In the process of it when I'm elected we're actually going to get campaign, finance reform we need to make sure we have a matching system in for, small contributions. In campaigns, let's go to a viewer question. You. Know what we need to move it on we want to get some viewer involvement, that. Small donor matching bill campaign finance reform that's my bill that's what I've been fighting for and that's what we need so we don't have this auction, instead of an election and our. Viewer question, comes from Dave bark Meyer and he, asks what, are your plans for increasing, renewable energy. Production for. Residential, and commercial commercial. Users, Denby I'll begin with you well I'm proud to be endorsed by the Sierra Club in this election I've been fighting for expansion. Of renewable energy expansion of solar expansion, of wind illinois should be a national, and global leader, on this issue and we have the opportunity to do it I'm gonna fight to make that happen by contrast, these two guys have investments, in dirty energy the Dakota access pipeline, in JB's, case and oil companies in Chris's case if, we want someone, it's governor who's going to expand renewable energy we need someone who's been fighting for for it not, someone who's been profiting, from dirty energy Bruce Kennedy you have investments, in dirty energy oh he says that I had. Them at one moment, in one time i divested. Myself of, all of the interests. And those publicly, traded companies, that were disclosed. On my financial, disclosure. Forms, the, great way to bring about, renewable. Energy in the state of Illinois is to do what we did at the Merchandise Mart the Mart became the world's largest LEED, certified, building the building next door the chicago apparel Mart became, the second largest building in Illinois to be LEED certified, the hotel above it the first hotel in Illinois. And the largest hotel in the, United States to be LEED certified, there. Are things that the government can do to drive, down greenhouse, gases, almost all energy is used in the built environment the government is almost always the largest, user owner. Occupier. Of the built environment, in their jurisdiction, the state Illinois, doesn't even have, an accurate, inventory of, the buildings, it owns or occupies. Whatever. They are we should put, the. State, government. On a track, to be fully sustainable by 2025. And the entire state on fully, sustainable energy. Sources by 2045. I think we can do that JB Pritzker how about it renewable, energy for commercial and residential. Structures. We need to move to, a hundred, percent clean, energy use, in the state of Illinois and the way to do that is to begin as I did to, help support, the creation of businesses in, the state of Illinois the clean energy trust, something that I supported from it's very beginning helping, people start companies, that, are focused on clean energy development remember, here, in the state we have a very important, at, Argonne, National Laboratory, a very important research facility. Focused. On battery, technologies that's critical. If we, want to make sure that we're getting 100%. Clean energy in the state and it's also creating, jobs in the state we've got to do that as you move away from fossil fuels people, are being displaced from their jobs we missed out Iowa. Took the, opportunity to put windmills in and, has done very well doing that we, need to get there we need to make sure that the people who've lost their jobs over, years in the coal industry for, example our beneficiaries. Of our move to 100%, clean energy here's another related. Question from a viewer what, are your, plans to protect Lake, Michigan, and various rivers from pollution, and changing. Weather patterns flooding etc, are the current standards, regarding water, quality, adequate, Chris Kennedy I'll begin with you I think, there's a lot that we can do to protect, the greatest resource, natural resource, that we have in the state of Illinois which I believe is Lake Michigan, we, can protect Lake Michigan, we can protect our network, of rivers and streams and our wild, areas, as well all, of those are under attack by decisions. And the Trump, administration to. Defund, the thousands. Of independent not-for-profit, organizations. That surround all, of the Great Lakes I think if you look at what they're doing in Indiana, where they've created a bilateral.
Relationship, With Canada. To protect, the, Great Lakes that's the leadership, that a governor should show and governor, rauner has been silent, around protecting, the Great Lakes as the, Asian carp makes its way up the Illinois River he's done nothing to prevent, that and show leadership on, an issue that is super. Apparent, to everybody who's paying attention daniel, biss protecting, lake michigan oh it's. So crucial and again I'm proud of the Sierra Club endorsement because of the confidence they have that I'm the right governor to do just that it's, true that Governor, rauner has cancelled infrastructure, projects, that would have helped, soft, the flow of Asian carp toward Lake Michigan we have to make sure those projects, happen we also have to make sure that we move state investments. Away from dirty energy industry, so the pipelines aren't built in the state of Illinois to continue, to pollute our waterways we have to regulate agriculture. Properly, so that we have sustainable. Agriculture, that does not pollute our waterways and finally. And. Finally we need, to invest. In infrastructure, and water infrastructure. Because right now there are far too many places in Illinois where we are poisoning, our own children. JB. Pritzker how about it protecting lice are a vital, natural natural, resource, I mean fresh water we've. Got to make sure we preserve it there are two very important things that we can do one, is we've got to have an EPA in Illinois that's actually, protecting, our waterways we don't have that under Bruce rauner and the second thing is remember, that the governor of the state of Illinois although, they're in charge of the, state the, governor of the state of Illinois has a great deal of power in, the federal government, with our federal, legislators, but you know under Bruce rauner over. The last three years, Senator, Durbin who's endorsed, my campaign has said publicly that over the last three years he's. Been. He's. Received calls from. Bruce rauner only three times three, times in three years we, need a governor who's actually gonna stand up and protect our state that Great Lakes basin initiative.
That, Donald Trump tried to defund, we, needed a governor who would actually stand up and do something about it but instead he's an utter and complete failure, the three of you who have taken. A lot of shots of governor rauner tonight has. The governor done anything right, has the governor done anything, well. From. Your perspectives, dan Biss well. I think that he has set some good goals and gone about achieving, them the exact wrong way for example. He said a good goal on criminal justice reform, decreasing. Our prison population by 25%. Then he had a task, force come up with really good strong recommendations. And he helped implement the, politically, easy ones and walked, away from the politically difficult ones JB Pritzker is the governor done anything well in your book well. He signed HB, 4 to you which is the abortion rights bill that. I supported significantly. He had to be pressured, into it however it. Took off I have the endorsement of personal, pack the the state's, pro-choice. Pack and and. We work together in, the pro-choice community. I've been doing this for decades now, we work together to pressure the, governor, to finally, sign that legislation, reluctantly. But, I have to say that was the right thing to do Chris Kennedy and I'd have, to say the protection, of people's. Right to choose in the state of Illinois stands. Out as maybe the singular, thing, that governor rauner has done that is admirable, but there's so, much that he's done that he. Is today I think the worst sitting governor in all of, the United States and the, worst governor ever to. Govern. Illinois, including those governors who have gone to jail he's worse than all of us generally we're almost out of time and I'd like to ask a personal question of each of you and that is give, me an example of a formative, experience, in your life GB Pritzker beginning with you, well. Gosh I as, a, young. Person unfortunately. My mother was. An alcoholic and, passed, away when I was 17 my father passed away when I was 7 and the, experience, of living through that with my brother and sister fighting, through that dealing. With the challenges, and also recognizing, what a hero my mother really was fighting, that struggle, that's. Extraordinarily, formative. To me because, honestly. One of the very reasons that I'm engaged in public service is because, my mother too was engaged in public service and I watched her struggle with, addiction, and I. Don't want others to have to go through that and I want to live up to her. Values. The things that she's set for us about fighting for for social and economic justice, equality inclusion. Chris Kennedy I mean I'd, say my story is similar to mr. Pritzker's and I think that's unfortunate. And. That. Society. Like ours. Produces. These outcomes. I think, about my father's, death at an early age and I know that the bullet that kills the father, wounds, the child and, I, understand. What that was like to grow up in, a chaotic, environment when, I was trying to process that but, more. Dramatically, I guess I saw a sibling struggle, with it as well and I lost one brother to drug addiction another, was addicted. To heroin for. A decade, and I saw the ravishing, effects, of untreated, mental illness and I think somewhere, in all of that there's empathy.
That Comes from people, who are not gonna be able to make it on their own and we have a role as a big family and it's a government to reach out to folks who are suffering Daniel, Biss. You. Know I'm incredibly. Just. Happy, that my wife Karen, is here and I think, back to the day April 1st 2005, that we met in the Austin. Texas Airport and it. Changed my life completely and karen, has taught. Me so much about, a, few, things but the most important thing she's taught me about is that. When, you see something wrong, in the world it doesn't matter if it looks big it doesn't matter if it looks intimidating, it doesn't matter if it looks like it's just too much you, have to do what you can to try to make it better and every. Day in my life I carry that lesson with me and I just feel so lucky for what happened on April 1st 2005, gentlemen. Thank You JB Pritzker, Chris Kennedy Daniel, Biss and our, thanks again to the City Club of Chicago for helping underwrite tonight's forum thanks, also to our audience here tonight on WTTW. WTTW. Comm, Twitter Facebook and YouTube and to the candidates, JB, Pritzker Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss and we, will be back to wrap things up right after, this. Chicago. Tonight is made possible in part by the. City Club of Chicago. Smart. People may disagree about, what makes a great city but. Part of what makes Chicago great, is that we don't have to agree to. Run a city like ours a lot, of issues come up the. City Club of Chicago is, a place to debate, those issues and, hear from the men and women who shaped the policies, lead, the. And tell, the stories, that define our city, for. The free and open exchange of ideas, the. City Club of Chicago. And. That is our show for this Wednesday night don't forget to stay connected with us by signing. Up for our daily alert, and please join us tomorrow night live at 7:00 we, hear from three Democrats, vying to replace luis, Gutierrez, in Congress and, why.
Illinois, House Speaker Mike Madigan is, at war with some. Progressive, members of his own party now. For all of us here of Chicago tonight I'm Phil Thompson and I thank you for watching good, night. Closed, captioning, for this program is made possible by, Robert, a Clifford, and Clifford law offices, proud. Sponsors, of the Chicago bar foundations, investing, in Justice Campaign that. Supports pro bono and legal aid organizations, for the needy throughout, the Chicago area.