* From the Illinois Observer…
Liberty Principles PAC, which received a $1.8 million contribution from Rauner’s own PAC last month, has moved to boost the campaign of Forest Park Commission Chris Harris who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside), purchasing $14,166 in newspaper advertising for the challenger, according to state election board records.
Run by political operative and radio personality Dan Proft, Liberty Principles PAC, an independent expenditure committee that is prohibited from coordinating its activities with a campaign it backs, is also supporting the reelection campaign of the governor’s Democratic ally in the Illinois House, State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago).
Harris, who had at the end of the fourth quarter only $7,727 in the bank, echoes Rauner’s rhetoric on key issues, such as property taxes. […]
Harris reacted to Proft’s purchase of advertising in his behalf saying that he was “uncertain” what triggered the support.
“I did not know this and I haven’t seen any ads. I am not sure if there is a certain issue that they have picked up on that I support that Rep. Welch doesn’t and I guess I won’t know until I see an ad,” Harris told The Illinois Observer in a statement. “This is a Democratic Primary so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, in the big picture.”
*** UPDATE *** From the Chris Harris campaign…
The recent discovery that outside PAC money is being
spent in the 7th District State Representative race has raised concerns this group’s motives.
“In modern day politics, you can’t control most of what goes on around you, but you hope you can control your message,” said 7th District State Representative Candidate Chris Harris. “Even that can be altered by 3rd party sources hijacking it, though.”
As first reported by the Illinois Observer, an outside PAC that has received money from Governor Rauner purchased newspaper advertising against current State Rep Chris Welch in the 7th District race.
Harris stated: “There are many reasons PAC’s get involved in races: they want to advance a candidate; they don’t like a particular candidate; or they want a group to have to spend money they may not have planned to. We have yet to see what their plans are for this race, but I am certain that it is not to echo any backing of myself for Governor Rauner. The devastation caused by the budget stalemate should horrify everyone, and I reject Governor Rauner’s strategy of holding Illinois’ most vulnerable people hostage.
“Furthermore, I feel that that it is wrong-headed for Governor Rauner’s people to insert themselves into a Democratic primary election. The people of the 7th District are well aware of Rep. Welch’s poor record, and it is their voices that should decide this election.
“I am a mainstream Democrat. I believe we can have common sense compromise that will secure the financial future of this state. I support increasing funding for our schools and making sure that education is a priority. I am a small business owner who was union-backed in my local race, because I am focused on practical accomplishments that move us all forward.
“I am in this race because our current State Representative has a long history of corruption and patronage that devastated our local schools. We need a Democrat who will focus on fixing our communities and our state, not be a pawn for either Speaker Madigan or Governor Rauner.”