Debunking Costa Howard's Lies

Terra Costa Howard took over $2,000,000 from Mike Madigan to run for representative in 2018. She did that all while promising voters that she would be "independent" of Madigan.

Madigan's Dirty Money => Costa Howard's Dirty Politics

As Floor Leader, Peter Breen was the lead debater against Mike Madigan's legislative agenda, so it makes sense Madigan wanted him gone, sending millions to Costa Howard defeat Peter in the 2018 Election.

Mike Madigan's handpicked candidate, Terra Costa Howard, took that money and launched a variety of false and deceptive ads against Peter. This page is meant to debunk some of these Madigan/Costa Howard falsehoods, to shine a light on the use of Madigan's Dirty Money to bring Dirty Politics to our district.

Madigan/Costa Howard False "Character Assassination" Against Peter

More generally, CBS 2 recently did a "fact-check" of the Madigan/Costa Howard campaign ad against Peter, calling its allegations "startling" and rating them "False." An independent political committee, Liberty Principles PAC, put together its own ad condemning Costa Howard's "Character Assassination":

You can also click here to view the full original piece from CBS 2, "Fact Check: Democrat’s Ad Falsely Accuses GOP Lawmaker Of Standing With 'Accused Sex Predators.'"

Specific Issues

Here are several brief FAQs on some Madigan/Costa Howard statements. If you'd like us to debunk a particular statement from Madigan/Costa Howard, just send us an email at

Terra Howard Hiked Property Taxes Eight Straight Years


On the District 41 School Board, Terra Costa Howard hiked property taxes for eight years straight, including being the deciding vote to break ties in two years. You can see the minutes of those school board meetings by clicking here.

Costa Howard Repeatedly Violated Campaign Finance Transparency Laws


The Election Board held this year that Terra Costa Howard committed at least nine violations of Illinois campaign finance laws. She withheld from the public eight different $1,000+ donations and hid coordinated spending between herself and "Personal PAC," the multi-million-dollar political arm of Illinois' abortion clinics. You can read the Election Board's decision by clicking here.

Costa Howard Repeatedly Violated Government Official Income Transparency Laws


Terra Costa Howard repeatedly withheld from sworn government filings her sources of income. These annual filings are required by law of anyone involved in state government. The penalties for withholding information include a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. You can click here to review her filing concealing her private law business income. You can click here to review her three years of filings concealing her other government employment interests.

Peter Stands with Seniors

One of Mike Madigan's favorite tricks is taking good votes and twisting them in mail pieces. Another is taking a federal program and claiming a particular state representative is against that program, despite a state-level legislature having no power to do anything to impact the federal program. A mailpiece from Madigan/Costa Howard falsely claimed Peter was for increasing property taxes, adding a new state income tax on seniors, and cutting Social Security and Medicare.


Here's the truth on property taxes: Peter has repeatedly voted to freeze property taxes, and he supports a reduction and cap on them. Peter was even featured on the website as a legislator especially dedicated to reform of our worst-in-the-country property tax system. And as a village trustee in Lombard, he consistently opposed property tax hikes, and he succeeded in winning a tax freeze, the first property tax relief folks in Lombard had experienced in 20 years. As Acting Village President, Peter reduced spending--with no loss of services--and he returned the savings to the people of the Lilac Village by eliminating the village's vehicle sticker and tax. The vote Costa Howard cited in her mailer was a fake "reform" bill put forward by Madigan that actually would have hiked property taxes on most residents in the 48th District, and that bill had critical loopholes that would allow governments to hike taxes to the maximum amount every year. And, what's more, Mike Madigan's property tax appeals legal business would have benefited by that bill, because of the increased complexity that his bill would have created in the state's property tax system. Peter supports a real property tax freeze, reduction, and cap, period.

Here's the truth on a new state income tax for seniors: No way. Peter has publicly and strongly opposed any new taxes on seniors. Peter has also strongly opposed any tax hikes on folks in his district, and he's also opposed the unbalanced budgets of the past few years. It's time for the state government to spend within its means.

Here's the truth on Social Security and Medicare: Peter supports Social Security and Medicare. Congress needs to get its act together and stop shorting these systems. That said, Peter is at the state level, with no ability to impact these worthy and necessary programs. Mike Madigan knows that, but he thinks voters aren't paying attention, so they'll believe his slick mailers making these patently false and outrageous claims.