Pritzker ‘fair tax’ group pays over $10,000 to push fake tweet
Vote Yes for Fairness misled Illinois voters by running ads based on a fake Twitter account. Gov. J.B. Pritzker almost single-handedly is funding the group.
A group promoting the progressive income tax amendment funded by Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent between $10,000 and $15,000 to promote a screenshot of a fake tweet about the progressive tax on Facebook.
Vote Yes for Fairness published a screenshot of a tweet from an account named @liz_uihlein in a Facebook post that has not been taken down. They paid so more Facebook users saw the faked tweet and they used it to claim Illinois needs a tax hike on the rich by painting them as indifferent to working people.
Liz Uihlein of Lake Forest is the president of Uline. She and her husband in 1980 started the shipping and container products distributor in their basement and grew it to more than 6,500 employees.
“On behalf of Uline, … the alleged Liz Uihlein Twitter account was a fake account,” said Ellie O’Neil, a publicist with Mueller Communications LLC. “After being reported to Twitter, the fake account has been removed by Twitter for impersonation.”
Vote Yes for Fairness took a screenshot of the tweet just 48 seconds after it was released. Their Facebook post has received over 1,100 reactions and nearly 200 shares. Ad data from Facebook shows the promoted post earned more than 1 million impressions.
Pritzker has donated $56.5 million to the group, largely funding the organization by himself.
If passed, the progressive income tax amendment could open the door to new forms of taxation in Illinois. The progressive tax would make a retirement tax, city income tax and double taxation much more likely. It would impose a marriage penalty on 4 million Illinoisans and because it is not tied to inflation, would grow the state’s definition of “rich” each year.
In addition, tax rates passed separate from the amendment could be devastating for Illinois job creators as they struggle to recover from COVID-19. Small businesses, which create 60% of Illinois’ jobs, will see up to a 47% income tax hike. When combined with existing federal taxes, small businesses could see as much as a 50.3% marginal income tax rate. Some small businesses would face a state income tax hike five times larger than big businesses.
When a campaign is so desperate that it needs to manufacture fake tweets, voters should question what else it is making up. His group paying to push fiction certainly doesn’t help anyone trust Pritzker’s claim that his “fair tax” will only affect the rich.