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No big money from the Griffins this fall?

Monday, Oct 1, 2012

* There were lots of rumors earlier this year of bigtime bucks for legislative races coming from people like Ken and Ann Griffin this fall. Maybe not

The Nov. 6 contests for the White House and Congress are only part of the picture for the new cadre of wealthy financiers who are looking to magnify their impact by focusing on state and local politics. They are not putting much money into state Republicans’ slim chances of reversing Democratic control of the Legislature this year, but insiders expect their influence to grow dramatically with statewide offices, including U.S. senator and governor on the ballot two years from now. […]

Also stepping into a new activist role are mega-donors Kenneth Griffin, who founded the hedge fund firm Citadel LLC, and Anne Dias Griffin, who founded her hedge fund firm, Aragon Global Management. The husband and wife have donated more than $6.1 million to candidates and causes at the state and federal level since 1998. […]

“All these people, they make decisions based on data, on ROI (return on investment), based on performance. That’s how they make money,” the consultant said. “You can’t just call up these folks and say ‘I’m a Republican. I need money.’ What is your plan? How do you get across the finish line. What’s your ROI? What’s your approach?”

And it appears that the investment community will pull back if results aren’t delivered.

“They’re no longer interested in jumping behind (someone) who has tried and failed,” the consultant said. “They want to do it themselves because the (politicians) at the head tables haven’t done it.”

The investment community provided substantial seed money, including $190,000 from the Griffins, to the Two Party System Inc. PAC that in 2010 spent more than $800,000 to back state House GOP candidates and campaigns. But promises of major pickups against Democrats never materialized. Through the first half of this election year, the PAC has made no contributions.

The Griffins have contributed just $30,000 since July.

…Adding… Illinois Review

Newsweb media mogul Fred J. Eychaner ranks 13 on the nation’s list of top political donors.

In addition to his efforts for President Obama, Eychaner is one of the 2012’s highest national indiviual donors to liberal legislative candidates and political action committees in the 2012 cycle.

In this cycle alone, Eychaner has donated over $3 million to federal Democrat-affilliated Political Action Committees […]

Of the $377,000 he has given thus far to Illinois Democrat candidates and the Democratic Victory Fund and the Senate Democrats, nearly half - $190,000 - went to the abortion advocacy group Personal PAC

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    Why would the Griffins donate to campaigns when they can use their new “media” venture to promote their agenda?

  2. - Reality Check - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Why would the Griffins donate to campaigns when they can use Pat Quinn and Rahm Emanuel to promote their agenda?

  3. - just sayin' - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    Griffins must have woken up about lack of good investments.

  4. - Cal Skinner - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    Eychaner gave $5,000 to Dee Beaubien:

  5. - train111 - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:53 pm:

    In contrast to Eychaner’s $377K to Dem Candidates, there is Jack Roeser, Jeanine Roeser, Rep Rennaisance PAC, and Otto Engineering chipping in a little under $520K to GOP candidates and PACs. (This figure includes only after April 1, so is only for the general election cycle and was gotten together quickly)

    Also Richard Uihlein and his wife Elizabeth have chipped in another $139.5K into GOP candidates since 4/1.


  6. - train111 - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    I guess my point is that Illinois Review has to lay off the faux Drudge ‘outrage of the day’ and accept that they have big bucks coming into their side too.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    Money-man Rahm’s doing their dirty work in the city. They don’t need to pony up there.

    The Griffins are union busters, investing in a long game to cash in on the privatization of schools and everything else.

    I don’t think Quinn is a union-buster, but he is over his head with this crew. A bad economy and years of putting things off to manana make his job virtually impossible, especially when he’s being pounded by the cynical company goons of Fox and the Trib.

    Make the google your friend, and check out the Griffins, guys like Rauner and the hedgies who smell the meat-a-cooking when it comes to government.

    They’re what Gov. Perry and Speaker Gingrich called vulture capitalists. Bust-out gangsters, like Paulie Vario, but legal.

    They buy up “undervalued assets,” charge them huge fees, chop them up, run up their credit and walk away with all the money if things go south.

    The unions — your neighbors like the teacher, cop, firemen and food service worker — are in the way from them cashing in on government.

    Public union employees have to go for them to succeed and that’s what this national “class warfare” is all about.

  8. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:27 pm:

    That Eggers donation was a good investment..

  9. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    Did anyone else notice the Girffins apparently force LittleMissMakeItUp to Reboot their 10K back Billboards as he was withdrawing?

    WhackyJack is still pouring cash in

    And the wingnuts now have their radio son on morning drive at Blagoof Broadcasting
    Fire, Aim, Ready

  10. - James the Intolerant - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    THe Griffins are also funding the commercials constantly running in which Rahm is proclaiming victory in the CPS school strike. I know the commercials are paid for from private donors, but if it is really “all about the children” why not spend that $1M on laptops for the children.

  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    ===Did anyone else notice the Girffins apparently force LittleMissMakeItUp to Reboot their 10K back Billboards as he was withdrawing?===

    Translation here. Check the first entry.

  12. - Colossus - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    Thanks for the translation, Rich. Sometimes CFS can sound like Gabby Johnson from Blazing Saddles. (

    I say that with all due affection, CircularFiringSquad…

    I once spent the weekend at a SC cabin with some locals. I knew it was time to leave when I actually started to understand the Authentic Southern Gibberish.

  13. - train111 - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:53 pm:


    There is another of those goofy entries where the HRO gave Glenn Nixon $40K in the 79th and then he contributed it back to Citizens for Tom Cross.

    Is this some sort of goofy legal money laundering??


  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:54 pm:

    House Republicans were a bad investment. Stand for Illinois turned out to be a pretty big waste of money.

    I don’t blame the Griffins for waiting to see how things shake out. When you’ve got their kind of wealth, you can always make new friends after the election.

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 3:55 pm:

    And maybe, just MAYBE they’ve finally figured out that its Republicans who are stonewalling on pension reform.

  16. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    Rich, your CFS Magic Decoder Ring is working well today.

  17. - western illinois - Monday, Oct 1, 12 @ 10:33 pm:

    Maybe the Republicans sumped pension “reform” because none of these outfits put up the money.
    We are alos seeing jillions in negative ads doing nothing. Ohio Senate is a case in point

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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