Chicago -- Penalties go up this week for those who are late on their property taxes. For thousands of Chicagoans, the penalty will be on top of this year's already large tax hikes.
The Chicago Republican Party will be distributing flyers in swing wards this week to let voters know who is responsible.
While Chicagoans are suffering from the nation's highest tax burden, House Speaker Mike Madigan has made millions from lowering the taxes of the select few who can afford to pay his bills. Madigan is a partner in a law firm that specializes in reducing the property taxes of big downtown buildings.
The scam works like this:
Big developers pay Madigan's firm to challenge their property tax bills. Madigan, who is the Democratic Party's state chairman, has his partners talk to Assessor Joe Berrios, who is the Democratic Party's Cook County chairman. Berrios, not coincidentally, gets heavy political support and campaign contributions from Madigan. And magically, the big developers get lower tax bills.
Maybe the developers think that using Madigan's political connections will give them a bigger break on property taxes. Or maybe they're just looking for a legal way to throw Madigan some money so they'll get special consideration on the issues they have in Springfield.
In either case, Madigan takes their money and puts it in his pocket, while normal taxpayers pay more and more.
"We're sick of being at the back of the line for tax relief while Madigan helps his pals," said Chris Cleveland, Chairman of the Chicago GOP. "Every group gets its cut except people who actually work for a living."
"Bruce Rauner has put a stop to a lot of it, for the moment," said Cleveland. "But he can only do so much while Madigan rules Springfield like a dictator. Madigan has got to go. 45 years in power is enough.
"Every dime in tax breaks for Madigan’s pals is a dime that doesn't go to schools. We need to get our priorities straight and support candidates for the state house who don't bend to Madigan's will."
Republicans on the Northwest Side of Chicago will meet this Saturday at Rosedale Park at noon.
Chicago -- Chris Cleveland, 43rd Ward Republican Committeeman, was re-elected Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party last night. The Republican ward committeemen in Chicago gathered in a conference room of a Loop law firm to select a chairman for a four-year term.
Cleveland won with 94% of the weighted vote, up from 74% when he was first elected a year ago to fill the unexpired term of his predecessor Adam Robinson.
Cleveland is credited with revitalizing the Party over the last few years, having led a team that recruited candidates across the city, raised money, and supported Governor Rauner's effort to raise the Republican vote in Chicago in his successful 2014 campaign.
The Chicago Department of Buildings has issued a "Notice of Violation and Summons" to the building that houses the Chicago Republican Party over a sign the party erected earlier this year. The notice raises a serious question of First Amendment rights.
The sign, which simply reads "Chicago Republican Party, Chris Cleveland, Chairman" was found to be in violation of a Chicago ordinance that requires that a business first seek permission from the City to display a sign. Such permits, which are normally obtained through sign companies, typically cost $475 including fees and take up to three months to issue.
"What the City doesn't understand is that numerous court decisions prohibit them from regulating political speech in the same way that they regulate commercial speech," said Cleveland. "And a sign announcing that we exist is pretty much the definition of political speech."
"Besides, if we'd waited three months, we would have missed the primary season, when we needed the sign to attract volunteers," added Cleveland.
"I'm not going to ask anyone's permission to put up a political sign on private property," said Cleveland. "I refuse to apply for a permit."
It isn't clear who filed the complaint with the City over the sign.
There are other signs in the vicinity which lack permits, so it appears that the Republican Party's sign was singled out.
There is no allegation that the sign violates any rule other than the one that requires a permit. The sign itself is an unlit, lightweight vinyl banner attached to the side of the building.
Republican candidates in the city are currently building their campaign infrastructures. We are looking for volunteers to join their campaigns and help spread their message to voters. There are many ways to help, just click "read more," to see which roles are needed.
Visit our 2016 Candidates page to view which districts have a candidate on the ballot. If you would like to sign up to volunteer directly with one of the campaigns, email Michael Federico with your name, contact information, the campaign you would like to join and what role you are interested in filling. Also email firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries.
Our candidates are working hard to secure their place on the 2016 ballot. As we saw in 2014, Madigan will surely challenge their petitions, using his vast resources to try and crush any Republican who opposes him. Every signature helps protect our candidates from these challenges. Please help gather signatures by downloading their petition and circulating it among friends, family and neighbors.
Now that the holiday season is close and people are making plans for Thanksgiving we are asking that you personally get involved and support our friend Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church located at 66th and S. King Drive. Pastor Brooks is attempting to provide 5,000 needy families on the south side of Chicago (mostly from the Woodlawn and Englewood communities) who otherwise might go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. I am reaching out to you for financial assistance to make this possible. At a time when many people are focused on giving thanks for the bounty in their lives, others are feeling the pain of need.
The Chicago GOP has moved to a new location in Lincoln Park just minutes from the Fullerton Red Line stop. We are very excited and working hard to get Republicans from across the city on the ballot. Any and all donations in the form of furniture and/or office supplies is greatly appreciated. So stop by and say hello, our doors are open to all Republicans!
2402 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60614