COOK COUNTY (December 14, 2017)–In response to the recent television commercial created by current Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ re-election campaign, progressive Democrat Fritz Kaegi’s campaign served Assessor Berrios and his campaign staff with a cease and desist letter demanding an immediate removal of the allegedly defamatory ad. Rebecca Reynolds, Kaegi’s campaign manager, issued the following statement:
“The Berrios campaign claim that Fritz Kaegi personally managed investments in private prisons is a malicious lie intended to mislead voters and deflect from Berrios’ history of incompetence, corruption and pay-to-play practices as Assessor. Assessor Berrios’ campaign and its allies continue to spread lies in the public sphere. Therefore, in order to set the record straight, and hold Berrios accountable for his actions, our team has no alternative but to seek legal remedy.
“The notion that Fritz personally managed investments in the prison-management sector is a complete and utter fabrication – one that could easily be discovered with minimal effort. The Berrios campaign points to Columbia Acorn Fund holdings as of March 31, 2017. But Fritz was not a portfolio manager on the Columbia Acorn Fund at this date. He provided notice of his resignation on February 28, 2017, and stepped down from the funds he managed on March 13, 2017. Fritz would not have allowed such an investment, not only because those companies operate in a way that he finds morally reprehensible; but also because they tend to make for a poor investment.
“While misleading voters to attack Fritz is shameful on its own, the fact that Berrios is politicizing an issue that continues to cause so much pain within the very communities he himself is preying upon is beyond the pale. We demand that Assessor Berrios discontinue this fallacious attack ad immediately and issue an apology to Mr. Kaegi.”