A Chicago hedge fund CEO’s $2.5 million donation to the campaign of Republican candidate Bruce Rauner has been termed the largest single donation in an Illinois governor’s race in the post-Watergate era.
Campaign disclosure records show 45-year-old Citadel chief executive Ken Griffin has now given Rauner a total of $3.57 million, including $71,000 worth of in-kind contributions for the use of Griffin’s private jet. Griffin in the past has made campaign contributions to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, and Republican state Sen. Bill Brady.
“We need a leader with experience, passion, and the will to turn this state around,” Griffin said in a statement to Crain’s Chicago Business. “I support Bruce Rauner because he can get the job done.”
Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at University of Illinois at Springfield, said the Griffin donation is the biggest in an Illinois governor’s race since the mid-1970s campaign finance reforms that followed the Watergate scandal.
* HuffPo says it’s the largest in any state…
The $2.5 million contribution to Rauner’s campaign is the largest The Huffington Post could identify to a political campaign in recent history. A number of states have no campaign contribution limits, but none have seen a single contribution this large in two decades, according to state records. (Individuals and corporations have likely given larger contributions, when adjusted for inflation, in the past.)
*** UPDATE *** WJBC…
“He does no business with the state whatsoever,” Rauner says. “He’s a completely financially independent guy. he just deeply cares about good government and good government reform. He needs no favors, no special deals. That’s why I love working with guys like Ken.” […]
“He’s a great education reformer and a great business policy reformer and that’s one of the reasons I have a lot of respect for him.”
When asked if Rauner would consider Griffin for a job in his administration. Rauner joked that someone making 400 million dollars a year doesn’t need a job.
Also, wise words from Yellow Dog Democrat in comments…
Yes, this can should and will be a campaign issue.
But Griffin has a net worth of $2 or $3 BILLION.
He just wrote Harvard a check for $150 million…their biggest gift ever.
The dude gave the Art Institute $19 million because it happened to be where he and his wife had their first date.
You wanna know why he wrote such a big check instead of making installments?
$2.5 million IS an installment payment for Ken. We will likely see another $2.5 million from Ken in September and maybe a few more in late October.