Fact Check

Cook Commissioner John Fritchey is working to advance a Trump-style smear campaign about progressive Democrat Bridget Degnen.

Fritchey is trying to deceive voters about Bridget’s history as an environmental attorney, as a public servant with the State of Illinois, and as a lifelong progressive Democrat, because he can’t stand behind his own track record of absenteeism and of voting with Republicans more than any other Democrat on the County Board.

None of John Fritchey’s attacks cite any sources. That’s because he has no regard for the facts.


Want to know the truth about the March 20 Democratic primary election? Here are the facts:


FRITCHEY’S LIE: Fritchey claims Bridget “did not vote for Obama.”

THE FACTS: Bridget proudly voted for Barack Obama.


FRITCHEY’S LIE: Fritchey claims Bridget “did not vote for Obama against Mitt Romney.”

THE FACTS: Bridget proudly voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 against Mitt Romney.


FRITCHEY’S LIE: Fritchey claims Bridget Degnen is an “asbestos lawyer.” Fritchey’s attack mailers claim that Bridget “worked for notorious corporate polluters to help them deny claims from workers who were stricken by mesothelioma” and that “she fought to deny their families compensation for the loss of their spouse or parent.”

THE FACTS: Bridget has spent her career working as a lawyer defending public health and the environment–whether with the Illinois Department of Public Health, as an Assistant Attorney General, or as an attorney in private practice advocating on behalf of environmental causes. Unfortunately, John Fritchey can’t say the same, given his habit of taking campaign cash from corporate polluters.


FRITCHEY’S LIE:  Fritchey claims Bridget Degnen “spent the last three years on Bruce Rauner’s state payroll…Degnen worked for Republican Governor Bruce Rauner from Day One.”

THE FACTS: Bridget was hired under Gov. Quinn as Deputy Director of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program at Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. She remained at her nonpartisan position for three years before resigning to run for commissioner. Bridget is and has always been firmly opposed to Bruce Rauner and his extreme agenda that harms working families.


Why is John Fritchey lying about Bridget?

John Fritchey is lying about Bridget to distract voters from his own troubling record.


As the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago have reported, John Fritchey has the third worst attendance of any member of the County Board.

John Fritchey has missed more than 30 percent of County Board meetings while working as a lobbyist and zoning attorney–yet he still collects his full $85,000 paycheck, his pension, and other benefits and perks.

Corporate polluter cash

John Fritchey has been a key ally of General Iron, a company subject to one of the largest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fines in Chicago’s history for a company of its size in 2006 for polluting a site next to the Chicago River. He has taken tens of thousands in campaign cash from the owners of General Iron while they have continued polluting.

In 2015, explosions at General Iron led to an extra-alarm fire and a hazmat situation. In 2016, the City of Chicago temporarily shut down General Iron after it found 28 violations, including accumulation of debris and improperly stored combustible and flammable liquids.

General Iron is now under an EPA order to conduct air pollution testing, which the Chicago Tribune called “the first step in what could be the third federal crackdown on the scrap yard since the late 1990s.”  

Fritchey’s corporate polluter cash dependence is putting voters’ health at risk–while Fritchey takes the payout.