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Preckwinkle, Daley haggle over what’s worse: 2008 housing crisis or Joe Berrios?

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, left, and former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, right. Sun-Times file photos Ashlee Rezin and Rich Hein.

Apparently tired of being linked to 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle tried to shift the focus on Thursday — tying rival mayoral candidate Bill Daley to the housing crisis of 2008.

Daley fired back, linking Preckwinkle to defeated Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios and the repealed Cook County pop tax.

Preckwinkle made the first move in the latest round of scandal by association in an announcement for a plan to get the Cook County Land Bank to work with the city if she is elected mayor.

In the news release, Preckwinkle said that while she was busy working on the land bank Daley had a “connection to the housing crisis” in his role helping run JPMorgan Chase.

“I find it unacceptable that Bill Daley made an $8.5 million dollar profit at JP Morgan during the same year that over 22,000 Chicago families lost their homes due to the negligence of his bank and others,” Preckwinkle said.

“We have a great record on this and at the time we were doing this, Daley was an executive at JP Morgan, which had to pay $13 billion in fines for defrauding homeowners. He was working for one of the entities that caused this downturn.”

The Wall Street bank had to pay $13 billion in fines in 2013 for bad mortgages that defrauded homeowners and investors in the run up to the financial crisis — about $4 billion of that went to relief for struggling homeowners, Reuters reported.

In a statement, Daley said he was proud of his work at JPMorgan Chase, and he has a record of helping people while Preckwinkle “has a record of taxing them.” The statement also included a video showing Preckwinkle thanking JPMorgan Chase for its involvement in the launch of Metro Chicago Exports in 2014.

“Until now, Toni Preckwinkle didn’t have a problem being associated with JP Morgan. Toni has taken more than $7,000 in political donations from JP Morgan. She hired them for County business and paid them millions of dollars in contracts. She partnered with the bank on several initiatives,” Daley’s statement read.

“Toni is attacking me to try to distract voters from her record of raising sales and soda taxes on the poor, and defending the corrupt property tax system run by her political ally Joe Berrios.”

Then Cook County Democratic Chairman Joe Berrios, center, talks with County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Ald. Michelle Harris at a party meeting in 2016. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times file photo
Then Cook County Democratic Chairman Joe Berrios, center, talks with County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Ald. Michelle Harris at a party meeting in 2016. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times file photo

Preckwinkle’s camp said “Bill Daley was the head of ‘corporate responsibility’ when he made millions of dollars while thousands of Chicagoans lost their homes during the worst recession in our lifetime,” a statement read. “If Bill Daley had a housing plan, it’d be nice to see it. If not, maybe he should take a look at his own actions.”

Preckwinkle’s plan would “speed up the return of abandoned properties to the market.”

It calls for an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the county to allow the county’s land bank to increase the inventory of homes available for resale as well as the speed of the current buying and rehabbing process.

The goal is to address “our critical affordable housing challenge and model efficiency through intergovernmental partnership,” a statement on the plan said.

She’d also create a rolling application process and expand the applicant pool to community-based developers for the city’s large lot program, which allows city residents and non-profits on the South and West Sides to purchase vacant lots on their block for $1.

There are currently 11,500 vacant lots on the South and West sides, a statement on the release said.

If elected, Preckwinkle says that she expects to have support for the plan since “every alderman wants the boarded up buildings in their ward to return to the market. This shouldn’t be a hard one.

“When I came into office, I wanted to work on economic development, we put together the [Cook County] Land Bank and acquired over one thousand properties and sold over 700 to developers, returning them to the market,” Preckwinkle said. “We expect this to have a great impact on the South and West Sides.”