Commissioner Garcia Seeks To Limit Campaign Contributions To Assessor

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has proposed an ordinance that would prohibit some lawyers from contributing to the political campaign of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios.

Garcia wants to ban donations to Assessor candidates from attorneys, law firms, and business groups that appeal property tax assessments.

“Large amounts of political contributions are made by companies who have a vested interest in getting property tax reductions for their clients,” he said.

Jacob Kaplan, spokesman for Assessor Joe Berrios’ campaign, said the proposal unfairly singles out Berrios.

“If you’re going to put limits in like the ordinance that’s been submitted, there should also be limits on individual contributions and contributions to oneself, so that you don’t just get people that can write themselves million-dollar checks running for office,” he said.

Kaplan also said it’s unclear if the proposed ordinance would pass muster under state law.

Berrios maintains the contributions don’t influence decisions in assessments. Garcia says voters probably don’t believe that.

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