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Fact-Checking Attorney General Candidate Erika Harold's Political TV Ad

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold has launched a hard-hitting TV commercial against her democratic opponent, Senator Kwame Raoul. CBS 2's Political Reporter Derrick Blakley fact-checked the ad.

"In Illinois, politicians have turned corruption into an art form," Harold's commercial ad claims.

CBS 2's Political Reporter Derrick Blakley says that, no one can argue with; however, that's not the same for other claims in Harold's ad.

"Mike Madigan and Kwame Raoul team up to raise property taxes," the ad claims. That statement is also true. A 2014 bill, sponsored by Madigan and Raoul allowed the city council to hike property taxes to pay pensions.

"In Chicago, Madigan's business does property tax appeals for the powerful. Higher taxes, higher profits," the ad says.

Blakely reports that statement is partially true. Madigan's law firm represents many Loop skyscrapers in property tax appeals; but claiming Madigan favors tax hikes solely so his firm can seek reductions is opinion, not fact.

"Kwame Raoul, his top donor, gets massive tax breaks from the county while you get higher taxes," Harold's commercial claims, truthfully. Since last year, billionaire property developer Neil Blum and his family have given Raoul $200,000. Blum is also Raoul's campaign finance chair.

Meantime, Blum got big assessment reductions for the Rivers Casino his company controls, saving $4 million over four years. The big tax cuts on one property forces others to pay more.

CBS 2's Derrick Blakely asked Erika Harold if it's fair to blame Kwame Raoul for Neil Blum's tax break.

Harold responded, "It's fair to blame Kwame Raoul for not fighting to reform the system."

"I'm Erika Harold. As attorney general, I'll make the politicians pay for corruption, not you," the ad falsely promises, implying an attorney general can bring criminal prosecutions, when they cannot.

The TV spot never says Erika Harold is a Republican.

When asked if she thinks it is a detriment to say if you're a republican running statewide, Harold responded, "The office of attorney general is an a office where partisanship should not dictate how you do your job."

In response, the Kwame Raoul campaign claimed Erika Harold is on the attack because she doesn't want voters to know she's pro-life, although Harold says as attorney general she would enforce Illinois law, under which abortion is legal.


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