CITY HALL — The city's Downtown alderman and a Republican radio pundit got into it on Twitter over the weekend, with one being called a "lapdog" for Gov. Bruce Rauner while the other was labeled the "bitch" of House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who also happens to be the city's vice mayor, got into a bitter exchange with Dan Proft, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who is now morning talk-show host on WIND 560-AM, and who happens to be one of Reilly's constituents.
The two were roped into the exchange by a conservative questioning whether Chicago was headed down the same path to bankruptcy as Detroit. Reilly took issue with that, pointing to the "35 construction cranes" putting up skyscrapers Downtown and the "diversity" of the city's economy.
It soon turned political, then personal, with Reilly denouncing the state's lack of a budget under Rauner, as Proft decried the city's recent record hike in property taxes and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handling of Chicago Public Schools, suggesting Reilly "lied" about various funding issues.
Reilly lashed back: "I won't be called a 'liar' by a guy who pretends to be an objective 'truth teller' while spinning on Rauner's payroll." He pointed to $1.8 million Proft's Liberty Principles Political Action Committee recently got from Rauner's Turnaround Illinois PAC.
From there, it wasn't long before Reilly was calling Proft the "lapdog" for his "Sugar Daddy" Rauner, while Proft called Reilly a "bitch" for Madigan.
"I bet Rauner loves it when you talk dirty like that," Reilly responded. "You are his high-priced call-boy, after all."
Proft called Reilly "a Madigan suck toy," to which Reilly responded by calling Proft a "mouth-breathing moron."
At one point, Reilly posted a picture of a unicorn to suggest Rauner was prone to fantasies on his imaginary state budget, later posting a more pointed photo of an origami unicorn made from a dollar bill.
"It's a street fight, and sometimes it gets a little messy, and that's OK, because street fights are long overdue in Chicago," Proft said Monday. "I'm sick of the deference that is given and politicians in the city and state think they deserve. They don't deserve it."
Reilly, by contrast, called the exchange "unfortunate," but quickly added, "I take my record on fiscal reform seriously," pointing to how he voted against Emanuel's 2016 budget and its record tax increase.
"Dan took some shots at me because I had the audacity to label the governor's CPS takeover as the sham that it is," Reilly said.
Much of the exchange was deleted from the Twitter accounts of both Reilly and Proft, but it was preserved in a screen shot by Aldertrack, which originally reported on it.
Later on, Reilly saw a tweet pondering, "Could rumors that Twitter is dropping their character count be true?"
"Oh crap," responded Reilly. "This means I'll need to block Dan Proft now."
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