No chance of reversing state's 'downward spiral,' Halbrook says, amid 'this culture of corruption'
Republican state Rep. Brad Halbrook (Shelbyville) can hardly believe the level of hypocrisy he sees coming from the Governor’s Mansion.
“Gov. Pritzker is literally talking about instituting a constitutional amendment so that he can raise our taxes while avoiding his own,” he told East Central Reporter. “It is the height of being disingenuous.”
Several media outlets have reported that Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife remain under federal investigation stemming from a probe that began last October when it was publicly alleged that the two ordered workers at one of their multi-million dollar homes to remove all the toilets from the residence as a way of having it declared uninhabitable and saving at least $330,000 on their property tax bill. A subsequent investigation by Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard ended with him blasting the act as a “scheme to defraud,” prompting Pritzker at some point to pay back all the money in question.
“This culture of corruption in Illinois has existed for way too long and has to change,” Halbrook added. “Really, I’m not seeing anything in Springfield that says we’re ready to change the way we do business, and until we change things the state will continue on this downward spiral.”
Pritzker continues his push to replace the current flat tax system with a graduated tax that will mean higher taxes for many Illinois residents. Many, however, wonder how the governor can press for a tax hike given his own tax troubles.
“You would think it would have to impact the way he governs,” Halbrook said. “But here in Illinois, maybe not. In our part of the state people take the idea of corruption quite seriously, but maybe not so much in places like Chicago.”