Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Stung by Facebook comments, Rep. Phillips to donate money
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Stung by Facebook comments, Rep. Phillips to donate money

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Rep. Reggie Phillips got some heat on Facebook and elsewhere after he asked for and received a large, $53,000 contribution from Gov. Bruce Rauner. So, he made an announcement on his Facebook page this week

I used the weekend to reflect on the donation from the Governor, who by the way just didn’t send the money I asked for it, I have been funding my Champaign’s myself from the beginning. I have refused to be paid the salary since 6/15 because I didn’t think it fair I get paid without a budget for many of our residents, I’ve refused the pension and the health insurance as it should be means tested for now and in the future completely done away with for legislators. That’s another story.

So to the point I’ve decided to take $53,000 however you wish to look at it and add to the salary I will eventually get and donate it also. Even though I’m not getting the salary I continue to donate. I will make these public for review so you will be able to confirm and not just take my word. Food banks up and down the district, senior services for the poor, sexual assault centers etc. If you have a particular group suffering from the budget cut and $5000 will help please let me know. I know its not much but every dollar will help. Thanks for reaching out

Eastern Illinois University is struggling to stay alive and is in Phillips’ district and folks there are hopping mad. Phillips also has a Republican primary opponent. You do the math.

* The local paper followed up

Phillips said since Rauner had sent out checks to other Republican candidates for other offices and he was currently working with Rauner on multiple issues, Phillips and his staff thought he could ask Rauner for the donation. […]

Phillips said he did not need the money for his own campaign and asking for it was the result of taking poor advice.

Phillips said in any other campaign, having the governor contribute to one’s campaign would be an honor.

“It’s still an honor,” Phillips said. “But under circumstances I do not think it looks most appropriate.”

Reggie is not the sort who easily admits error, so he must have really been stung by that online criticism.

The paper reported that he has a meeting set up with Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service in his district to discuss a donation. The impasse has left groups like that without state funds.

*** UPDATE *** From Rep. Phillips…

I am pleased to have the support of the Governor in the March 15th Primary and I was pleased to accept the campaign contribution that the Governor gave to my campaign. As many are well aware, I have largely self-funded my campaigns in the past, and so I am grateful for this generous contribution to my campaign efforts. As I said earlier this week, I’ve contributed to charitable causes in my district for a long time and plan to contribute even more money to charities to help people in need in my district.

I represent the people of the 110th District and I think that having a great relationship with the Governor of this state is important as I continue to work in Springfield on behalf of my constituents. It should be no surprise that the Governor supports my re-election and it should be no surprise to anyone that I backed his election in 2014.

It is ironic and troubling that Jonathan Kaye would find fault in the fact that the Governor supports me. His criticism of me follows the announcement of the Governor’s endorsement of my candidacy. The irony is in the fact that a piece of literature that Kaye has circulated contains a link to the Governor’s website and his Turnaround Agenda. I find it troubling that a Republican candidate would attack the Governor because of an endorsement. Perhaps his criticism stems more from the fact that the Governor has endorsed me instead of him.

But then again maybe Kaye is trying to deflect the impact of the Governor’s endorsement and the revelation that he was charged with a Class X Felony when he lived in Toledo. That charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor, but I think it raises a lot of questions amongst voters about his background and his ability to serve in the Illinois Legislature. Mr. Kaye should spend more time worrying about who supports him and less time worrying about who supports me.

* Related…

* Long responds to tension at tea party meeting: Havenhill then asked if a state political party should financially support any [Republican] primary candidate. “If they believe that candidate has what it takes to win a general election, that’s their prerogative, that’s their money,” Long answered. “That’s not their money,” Havenhill said. “That’s the money that people send in looking for proper representation.”


  1. - History Prof - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    What does the group here think; is this how the stalemate ends; Republicans in districts hard-impacted by Raunerism get turned out in November? Just asking.

  2. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    He did the smart thing, but sometimes I wish social media “warriors” thought things through a bit more and used a bit different tone.

  3. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    Rauner wants all these vital services to be funded via charity or via his for-profit pals. This is a worthless bandaid.

  4. - Not Rich - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    I am sure John Kass and his Trib buddies will be editorializing about how bad it is for Rauner to be buying the votes of legislators he controls..Rich, since I never but the Tribune, would you please post a link to the Kass story when it hits..thanks

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    “Vote Accordingly”

    Read, understand why Rep. Phillips is doing this, recognize the differences in the two candidates in this race and…

    “Vote Accordingly”

    Recognize how vitibg keys work, and who controls voting keys…

    “Vote Accordingly”

  6. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    Reggie’s gesture, regardless of the motivation behind it, should be commended. However, I’d like to suggest he use part of the donation to acquire grammar check. Yikes!

  7. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    “When I feel the heat, I see the light” Everett McKinley Dirksen.

  8. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Maybe he can yell at some more people, like he did to those EIU students (one that Rich posted a few days back). Reggie has missed quite a few votes as well, that may not play well in his district. Absent legislators never play well.

  9. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    Rauner-”This is all Madigan’s fault.”

  10. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:39 am:

    “Eastern Illinois University is struggling to stay alive and is in Phillips’ district and folks there are hopping mad. Phillips also has a Republican primary opponent. You do the math”

    Can somebody explain this? It appears both R primary opponents are tripping over themselves to support Rauner. Is Phillips running to or from Rauner?

  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    This and co-sponsoring bills with Ken Dunkin. Yeah, I’d say it’s time for some new advisers.

  12. - JoanP - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:47 am:

    “I have been funding my Champaign’s myself from the beginning . . .”

    Has he also been funding his Urbanas?

    I’d vote against this guy just for his lousy grammar and syntax.

  13. - The Captain - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    Asking a rich guy for fifty grand of his money, deciding you don’t want it and then giving it away instead of giving it back probably won’t make you very popular with rich guys. Or any donors for that matter.

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    Will Rauner’s other “rock star” candidates such as Brad Halbrook and Bryce Benton also return their Raunuer contributions?

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    –…I have been funding my Champaign’s myself..–

    Judging from the grammar, syntax and rambling nature in this and other posts and public comments from Rep. Phillips, quite a lot of it, too.

    But the word is “Champagne.”

  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Is Phillips running to or from Rauner? ===



  17. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    === thought things through a bit more and used a bit different tone. ===

    Tone has been a Phillips problem as well. Tone has been mean spirited by all sides. Tone has been a major problem in developing the necessary trust and relationships to get state government moving in a positive direction.

    Considering the human and financial damage caused by the impasse resulting from the side effects of the poor tone of our elected officials, I don’t fault the folks for their tone.

  18. - Chucktownian - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    Reggie is in real panic mode. I talked to him at the press conference at EIU the other day. You could see the sweat and desperation. He lost his hometown and home county by 17 points in the March 2014 primary. He was actually elected by the people in the surrounding counties in the district who actually didn’t know him.

    Yeah he’s scared all right. And the dark money ads started rolling at the same time he got that donation from Rauner.

    Although we know there isn’t any coordination going on because THAT WOULD BE ILLEGAL. Amirite?

  19. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    How noble of Phillips…not.

    Spare me the “sacrifices” he’s supposedly made.

  20. - The Captain - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    lol @ Wordslinger

  21. - Archiesmom - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    And the paid professional staff steps in to clean up the grammar, spelling and message…

  22. - Chucktownian - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    It is fascinating that Kaye’s Class X felony got pleaded down to a minor misdemeanor. Sounds like it was a b.s. case.

    I think everyone involved in Kaye’s case is either in jail (the judge) or lost their law license (the prosecutor). However, as we all know, there’s corruption everywhere else in the world but not at home. Oh never at home.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    ===It should be no surprise that the Governor supports my re-election and it should be no surprise to anyone that I backed his election in 2014.===

    If you live in Charleston, or work with, for, or attend EIU… memorize this and vote accordingly.

    ===I am pleased to have the support of the Governor in the March 15th Primary and I was pleased to accept the campaign contribution that the Governor gave to my campaign.===

    Keep that in mind too…

    Is Phillips more pleased to take Rauner’s monies than to help EIU? To help Charleston?

  24. - illini97 - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    So, Phillips’ message is:

    I’m super tight with the Governor. Besties.

    There’s another guy running

    That guy supports many of the same policies

    That guy does not support the Governor and hasn’t been paid by him

    That guy once committed a misdemeanor

    I may be an outsider looking in, but that’s not solid messaging to me.

  25. - Austin Blvd - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    The real story here is that House GOP staff operatives keep having to work overtime to get Phillips in line.
    And what is the problem with a staunch GOP compadre like Phillips taking money from Rauner? It’s certainly not a big deal to Minority Leader Durkin’ who does Rauner’s biddin’.
    But House GOP staff does see it as a problem and are coachin’ Reggie accordinly.
    Why? Because even GOP House staff see Rauner as a problem. They see the EIU problem as Rsuner’s, and they want one of their own to run as far away from Rauner as he can.
    Too bad Reggie is a little slow on the uptake.

  26. - Because I said so... - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    I thought Reggie was moving to Florida?

  27. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    ===But the word is “Champagne.”===

    I think in Rep. Phillips’ case, it’s “sparkling wine.”

  28. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    OW, how to vote accordingly? Who is the anti-Rauner in this race?

  29. - Chucktownian - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    Reggie’s opponent, Jonathan Kaye, has denounced the governor recently. I suggest all Charleston folks vote for his opponent. You don’t have to do it of course but there will be no Democrat or anyone else in this race come November apparently. This is only chance to “vote accordingly.”

  30. - East Central Illinois - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    Reggie. Needs. To. Leave.
    He is only donating the money because someone pointed out on Facebook the $53,000 and Reggie got lots of bad publicity about it. If it hadn’t got noticed and put on Facebook, Reggie would be the same smug guy he usually is.

  31. - East Central Illinois - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Reggie is in panic mode. He literally is making all kinds of comments, to anyone who will listen to him, and throwing everything up on the wall to see what sticks. He has publicly blasted EIU students, publicly blasted the community workers by calling them “worker ants”, compared EIU’s finances to other Ohio Valley Conference schools (which has nothing to do with anything, most OVC schools are not in Illinois), on and on. Please check out his Facebook page. As you can probably tell, I am not a fan.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    - Johnny Pyle Driver -,

    There’s a primary as - Chucktownian - has laid out your options.

    Will others “vote accordingly”? That’s the question.

  33. - Obamas Puppy - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 12:38 pm:

    So Phillips gets a tax write off for the contribution?

  34. - out of touch - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Is Phillips running to or from Rauner? ===

    He ran from Rauner like Barnyard Dawg in a Foghorn Leghorn episode, only to realize that the master would jerk the leash and reel him back in.

  35. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    How does Rauner poll outside the are of EIU? You can’t win a race via Facebook, so unless his opponent has some real money to hit that big of a district, Reggie will be fine. Plus I’m sure Righter’s team will be pushing for him as well.

  36. - East Central Illinois - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    - DuPage Bard -,

    I think Senator Righter is trying to stay very clear of Reggie. Righter doesn’t want to get anywhere near that negative of a lightning rod that Reggie has become. Reggie has even hooked up with Dunkin for Heaven’s sakes!!!

  37. - Austin Blvd - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    DuPage Bard -
    Guessing Phillips will win in a landslide.
    EIU vs. Townies

  38. - Chucktownian - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    I watched Righter closely during Reggie’s speech the other day. It is very clear he wants nothing to do with him and doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about this bill either. Of course Righter has his own problems but getting re-elected is not one of them.

    Righter has pretty much peaked and it’s all downhill from here. Of course the reason he isn’t going higher is all of his own making and not relevant to this topic.

  39. - Chucktownian - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    The amazing thing is that Reggie only got 37% in his home county in the primary. This county wanted Cox but didn’t get him.

  40. - AnotherSadStateWorker - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    “I represent the people of the 110th District …”

    Funny that my husband and I both noticed we were blocked from commenting or posting on Reggie’s facebook page.

  41. - scott aster - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    Rich….this is nuts…ask for 53k because there is a big pot and then say your giving it away??? Rauner can give away his own $$$$ without helping duffus like this guy Reggie… it the water dowmstate????

  42. - Xavier Woods - Thursday, Feb 25, 16 @ 3:56 pm:

    How about instead of donating what amounts to very small amounts of dark money to charities, you vote your district and help pass a budget to fund these services properly? What a crazy idea!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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