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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jun 6, 2012

* Oh, this is rich

Anne Dias Griffin, a rare woman at the helm of a hedge fund as well as wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, is starting a for-profit digital media company called Reboot Illinois.

The website will promote “political, educational and fiscal reform in Illinois and the Midwest,” according to an online job posting.

Political reform? Really? This is the same person who, partnering with her husband, sidestepped campaign contribution caps by contributing big bucks to small Downstate county party committees, which then turned around and contributed the majority of that cash to the state Republican Party. I wrote this back in January

Back when the reformers demanded that state campaign contributions be capped, they said it would limit the dollars flowing into Illinois political funds.

But contributions have only barely decreased from four years ago, according to a search of the Illinois Board of Elections’ database. That may have as much to do with the economy these days compared with what it was in 2007, when Illinois’ unemployment rate was half what it is now. […]

Individuals now are capped at $5,000 when donating directly to a candidate, but they can give up to $10,000 to PACs and political parties and PACs can contribute $50,000 to candidates. You probably can see where this is going.

The Griffins made $305,000 in contributions between Dec. 29 and Jan. 6, with the vast majority confined to the last three days of 2011. A bunch of that cash went to small, downstate Republican Party county committees.

For instance, the Griffins each contributed the maximum $10,000 to the Stark County Republican Central Committee on Dec. 29. The tiny county party reported raising just $5,700 in cash over the past three years until the Griffins came along.

Republican parties in Christian, Jefferson, Douglas, Logan and Richland counties all were showered with similar Griffin beneficence. Such political party committees can contribute unlimited amounts to candidates in a primary election.

And then when the next campaign finance reports were filed, we found out that much of that money went right back to the state GOP. From Bernie

While the Griffins combined to donate more than $200,000 to more than 10 GOP organizations, including GOP committees in Logan, Douglas, Fayette, Madison and Richland counties, those groups then — coincidentally? — combined to donate more than $120,000 to the Illinois Republican Party in the first three months of this year.

So, she’s now for reform, eh?

* Back to the recent report

Griffin and her husband, founder and chief executive of Citadel LLC, are among the largest donors to the Illinois Republican Party and have been active in organizations trying to reduce the influence of teachers unions.

The Griffins also have given approximately $1.5 million over time to David and Charles Koch’s conservative causes, which operate under the umbrella Americans for Prosperity.

A family spokeswoman who declined to be named said Ken Griffin was not involved in the media venture and that it would be nonpartisan. A launch date has not been set.

The spokeswoman declined to be named? Huh? What’s with the secrecy? Even the new site’s Tweets are “protected”

Only confirmed followers have access to @rebootillinois’s Tweets and complete profile. Click the “Follow” button to send a follow request.

And this will be a “nonpartisan” operation? OK. We’ll see. The Griffins were the top contributors to the Illinois House Republicans during the last cycle. I just can’t wait to watch this little venture sprout forth.

* From the new company’s Flickr page

Reboot Illinois is a non-partisan, reform-based digital and social media company serving as the voice of reform in Illinois. We aim to educate and engage citizens and to encourage measurable actions on the critical issues facing our state. We aim to inform citizens with our educated political analysis, data, and local perspective to inspire action through digital/social media channels, at live events, and to facilitate citizens to participate fully in the the democratic process.

That’s awfully wordy.

* The Question: Can you please streamline Reboot Illinois’ mission statement? Snark is heavily encouraged, of course.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Rufus - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Reboot Illinois Mission Statement: Move as much money as possible from the lower 99% to the upper 1%.

  2. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    We are the billionaires. Your political life as you know it is over. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  3. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    Pontificating on Twitter® since 2012.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    Reboot Illinois - For the ‘Little People’

    Reboot Illinois - Since they won’t eat Cake

    Reboot Illinois - this is cheaper than hiding our monies

    Reboot Illinois - Just don’t ask too many questions

    Reboot Illinois - Sounds “tech-y” but its just a money thing

    Reboot Illinois - We’re not hiding anymore!

  5. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:44 pm:

    I hope she gets the Ricketts to help her out. They can teach her how to be an even bigger hypocrite.

  6. - J - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    All hail the great and powerful Oz. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

  7. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine Reboot Illinois stamping on a human face — forever.”
    – George Orwell (attributed)

  8. - David Ormsby - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    –… a non-partisan, reform-based digital and social media company serving as the voice of reform in Illinois.–

    Is that what the Tribune does?

  9. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    Robot Illinois: Advocating for public officials who do only what we tell them to do.

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: Hypocrisy, Reinvented.

  11. - Seriously? - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    Queen Anne Speaks
    Money Talks…poor folks walk…Annie Tweets

    HMMM…owning Illinois Policy Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Tom Cross, ILGOP and more just isn’t enough for the greedy/needy I guess

  12. - Lakeview - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:09 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: For profit, but likely to lose lots of money, so that was can give support the Republicans and get a tax deduction!

  13. - amalia - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:11 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: we’ve hurt them before, we can do it again, put a boot in Illinois.

  14. - Shore - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    stuff stupid billionaires do

  15. - Kerfuffle - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: Making life better through hyperbole and obfuscation.

  16. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    We’re Reboot Illinois and yes, we do think you’re that stupid.

  17. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:19 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: You know exactly who we plan to give the boot, right?

  18. - reformer - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:26 pm:

    Reboot IL: just as non-partisan as IPI and IL Review.

  19. - circular firing squad - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    Tribees suck
    and a great place hide. money

  20. - aaron singer - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:38 pm:

    Maybe they will be non-partisan and work with Rahm & Brizard in waging war on the CTU & and other unions, working with such astroturf groups as Education Reform Now and pay protesters and other wonderful tactics like that.

  21. - Anonymice - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:43 pm:

    and it’s spelled “just-us.”

  22. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    We forgot to mention that folks like Billboards, Fran Eaton and WhackyJackRoser must be gagging that their Sugar Mommas are ditching them.
    Fire,Aim, Ready

  23. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 4:28 pm:

    Reboot Illinois: Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Also, none-ya.

    Similar logo:

  24. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 4:42 pm:

    Reboot Illinois is the treasure chest in which Chicago hedge funders plan to dump millions of dollars defeating Democrats or otherwise punishing them unless they enact policies to the benefit of Chicago’s financial elite like the CME/CBOT tax break and against the interest of the Democratic base. We aim to secretly meddle in Illinois politics without getting embarrassed like that chump who owns the Cubs.


    Reboot Illinois: We are the billionaires that nobody sent to sic on the nobodies.

  25. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 4:43 pm:

    Send us money and we will tell you what to think.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 5:12 pm:

    Reboot Illinois - After dealing with the ILGOP, we decided to go it alone

    Reboot Illinois - Now the Boot is on the other foot

    Reboot Illinois - Rules are meant to be steamrolled

    Reboot Illinois - Well, you wanted more sunshine…

    Reboot Illinois - Our Financials will be easy to follow; Few donors and huge payouts

    Reboot Illinois - Not an “up” day for the ILGOP

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 5:14 pm:

    Reboot Illinois - Pot, Kettle … meet Reboot Illinois

  28. - Way South of the Border - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 5:26 pm:

    If they cannot make up their mind on something as simple as whether or not to use the Harvard comma, how are they going to arrive at “educated political analysis”?

  29. - mark walker - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 5:38 pm:

    OK, I’ve finally “had it” with these jamokes.

    Having money to burn doesn’t make one any smarter or less a bully.

    I hereby announce the launch of a new hedge fund, called “My Money Almost Guaranteed”, (but not yours), and

    I hereby announce the launch of a not-for profit group called “Fixing Illinois”. You’re all invited to join.

    We can be as non-partisan as the next guys, and actually will focus on verifiable data and workable solutions.

    We’re (royally) working on registering the names, a blog, a web site, and an instruction book for fund raisers, starting now.

    I am looking for TV and radio appearances, and a sputtering political column as well.

    You think I’m kidding? Watch me.

  30. - William J. Kelly - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 5:57 pm:

    The Griffins bundled more than $230K for Barack Obama (while they were bundling for John McCain in 2008) and shelled out $200K to Rahm just last year. Anne Dias-Griffin worked for Soros Fund Management - not exactly what you would call the Reagan Republican credentials Ken Griffin likes to tout. These types have no principles - it is all about control and there are people on both sides of the political aisle who will gleefully sell-out for their cash. The Griffins are betting on both teams to see who will win - that is what makes their “REBOOT” so despicable.

  31. - House of Pain - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 6:20 pm:

    All this for only $19.95 and you also get the Sham Wow… because I can’t do this all day!

  32. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 6:51 pm:

    Rich, no righteous outrage when soros does the same. I’m sure their are liberals doing the same but your non Partisan reporting misses those.

  33. - been there - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 7:11 pm:

    I do it my way, and this is how you have to do it your way.

  34. - Oh, please... - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 8:43 pm:

    Is it just me, or is the 1 percent getting more brazen, bold and heartless? They are obsessed with the public schools and teachers who will receive a median pension of something like $42000 with no social security. Is this really the outrage they make it out to be? And how many of their children even go to those schools?

  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 9:10 pm:

    Wait a second, isn’t that StateHouse News’s mission statement?

  36. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 9:14 pm:

    Fed up: Do tell regarding the soros front group he’s starte specifically in Illinois that rich has apparently overlooked. Is he responsible for the never ending tenaska campaign? ;)

  37. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 9:23 pm:

    Oh please: the attack on teachers unions are multidimensional.

    1. Cut money for teacher wages to keep taxes on rich low.
    2. Push standardized tests and computer programs to sell school districts to make public school tax dollars into corporate profits. You ever notice that W.’s brother Neil made millions on no child left behind or Rupert Murdoch bought an education company?
    3. Fewer teacher work protections + more computer based learning = less free thinking teachers and students and more docile work force/electorate

  38. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 9:24 pm:

    Oh and 4. Eliminate teacher union dues as a source of funding for the democratic party

  39. - Bemused - Wednesday, Jun 6, 12 @ 9:59 pm:

    UH Who’s on first?

  40. - just sayin' - Thursday, Jun 7, 12 @ 7:56 am:

    Is there anything more annoying than rich people who are really, really stupid when it comes to politics? Why does IL have so many?

  41. - Sideliner - Thursday, Jun 7, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    Reboot Illinois- All of your state are belong to us.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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