Fallout Over Pritzker, Blagojevich FBI Recordings Continues - NBC Chicago
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Fallout Over Pritzker, Blagojevich FBI Recordings Continues

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    The fallout continues for Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker over the FBI recordings of phone conversations with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Monday, June 5, 2017)

    The fallout continues for Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker over the FBI recordings of phone conversations with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    Pritzker's opponents are criticizing him for asking the now imprisoned governor to be appointed state treasurer back in 2008. Pritzker has been shaping the TV campaign message with several ads introducing himself and the first ad attacking republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. But Pritzker is facing his own campaign crisis when the Chicago Tribune released the FBI recordings.

    “JB Pritzker gives money to politicians with the hopes of skipping the line, moving to the head, butting out everybody else,” gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said Monday.

    Prtizker has limited his access to Chicago reporters. He released a statement Monday saying "I'm not the first person to regret the tone of a phone call made many years ago," and called the release of 9-year-old phone call recordings a "political attack."

    Pritzker is not supporting a spirited primary. He adds in his statement "Kennedy's comments do a disservice to the real goal of getting rid of Bruce Rauner."

    “This is just the way that people who are wealthy and connected are able to rig the system for themselves against the rest of us,” Sen. Daniel Biss said of the phone call recordings.

    “One would hope that there is a transparent process when political appointments come up, but if you have enough money you can just pick up the phone and get on the phone with anyone who’s making the decision,” Alderman and candidate Ameya Amaya Pawar.

    Kennedy says he was especially outraged at portion of the phone call when Pritzker and Blagojevich speak about Penny Pritzker, JB’s sister, whose bank was failing.

    “You can throw my sister and Superior Bank in,” Pritzker says in the recording to a laughing Blagojevich.

    “What happened to her bank, did it collapse or something?” Blagojevich asks.

    “Yeah, she was the chairman of a bank and it had subprime loans,” Pritzker says while Blagojevich continues to laugh.

    The election is not until next March.