With only three weeks until Election Day, the Democrat candidate for Illinois Governor has been rocked by a lawsuit filed by ten of his staffers accusing him of racial discrimination in his campaign.
Super rich businessman and political novice J.B. Pritzker won the nomination of the Democrat Party for Illinois Governor and is poised to win election to the post likely beating failed incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner. But just as Pritzker was about to start measuring the drapes for the governor’s mansion, he has been slammed with a discrimination lawsuit by members of his own campaign.
Not just one or two, but a whopping TEN members of his campaign, have alleged that he has discriminated against minority members of his campaign team.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Arguing that Pritzker perpetuated racial discrimination by “herding” black and Latino workers into less desirable jobs than white staffers, the ten are demanding a variety of reforms — and a cool $7.5 million from the billionaire philanthropist to settle the case.
Filed in U.S. District Court just 20 days before the election, the suit includes allegations of racial discrimination, including sending African-American and Latino field organizers to perform “racist tasks,” such as being asked to “go round up 40 Black guys” for an event.
The suit offers a very blunt account of working for the campaign — beginning with “JB Pritzker for Governor has a race problem.”
The plaintiffs allege that while the campaign has hired African-American and Latino workers, “the vast majority are herded into race-specific positions where they are expected to interact with the public, offered no meaningful chance for advancement, and receive less favorable treatment than their white counterparts who engage with, as the campaign sees it, a more desirable constituency.”
“At all times relevant, the JB Prtizker for Governor campaign has been cesspool of racial discrimination and harassment,” according to the suit.
The suit was filed by Pritzker field organizers Maxwell Little, Jason Benton, Jelani Coleman, Celia Colon, Kasmine Calhoun, Erica Kimble, Nathaniel Madison, Tiffany Madison, James B. Tinsley and Mark Walker, the paper reports.
One of the quotes of the filed organizers is damning, if true.
“And when they asked why JB Pritzker did not visit their office, they were told that ‘he’ll visit when they stop shooting,'” the lawsuit says. “Apparently the Region 6 Office is safe enough for Black and Latino men and women, but not a white man.”
Wow. So, Pritzker is too afraid to even enter the very neighborhoods he is sending his operatives into to get votes? That is a pretty harsh statement if true.
Naturally, the governor wannabe claims that this is all a bogus charge.
“To be clear. This is just not true,” Pritzker said. “I am incredibly proud of our campaign, how diverse it is, and how inclusive our administration will be.”
Whatever else is going on inside the campaign, to have something like this happen on the Democrat side only weeks before Election Day in Illinois is just unheard of.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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