(CBS) – Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy has perhaps the most famous family name in politics.
But trailing badly in fund-raising, the Democrat has found it tough to gain momentum. As the holidays approach, he turned to one of his main themes — the fight against gun violence — and is looking to the new year for a campaign boost.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has more.
Outside Stroger Hospital Friday, Kennedy, whose father, Robert Kennedy, was gunned down by an assassin, stood with the loved ones of other victims. They included Pam Bosley, who lost her son Terrell, 11 years ago.
“Since Terrell’s death, there had been 5,926 people shot and killed since 2006. That’s a lot of families, that’s a lot of moms, that’s a lot of dads, that’s a lot of families standing here without their children,” Bosley says.
Kennedy promoted his plan to combat violence and to fully fund education and social services by cutting tax breaks for downtown high-rises.
“Just two of them, two are so fraudulently under-assessed that a full $50 million a year in tax revenue has gone missing,” Kennedy says.
He’s pointing to the giant Willis Tower and 333 North LaSalle as receiving huge tax breaks.
But Kennedy is also taking a swipe at Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, who sets property value for taxes, and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who makes millions as a lawyer wrangling tax breaks for Loop buildings.
“We’re allowing our political leaders to destroy our economy and our kids,” Kennedy says.
Now, he says, he’s looking to the debates to take his anti-establishment message to voters.
“Those debates will be helpful to see the candidates face to face, and learn who’s going to fight for the people’s interest and not for the status quo,” Kennedy says.
He will need the help a sharp performance in the debates can bring, because he’s significantly lagging in fund-raising.
According to the Board of Elections, among Democrats, J.B. Pritzker has $14 million in cash on hand; Daniel Biss has $2.84 million; and Kennedy, just $1.69 million.
On the Republican side, Gov. Bruce Rauner reports 65.5 million in cash, while state Sen. Jeanne Ives reports $477,000.