* Yesterday, Gov. Rauner completely dodged questions about whether he should give back his bigtime contributions from Richard Uihlein, who is backing Roy Moore’s US Senate race. The Illinois GOP then got a bit too cute with JB Pritzker…
* More from Maxwell’s story…
In a statement, ILGOP spokesman Aaron DeGroot said, “J.B. Pritzker has given tens of thousands of dollars to organizations that support Al Franken. Pritzker even wrote a $1,000 campaign check to Franken himself. It’s time for Pritzker to weigh in. Does he believe the sexual assault allegations against Al Franken, and if so, should Al Franken resign his U.S. Senate seat?”
Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen, who occasionally jousts with current and former ILGOP communications staff on Twitter, shot back. “J.B. believes public officials should be held to the same or higher standards as everyone else and whether Democrat or Republican, public officials should be held accountable for their actions. J.B. believes Al Franken, John Conyers, and for that matter Donald Trump should resign from office.” […]
Since 2008, Uihlein has also steered at least $8,957,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute, according to tax filing documents for his family foundation. Since 2014, Uihlein chipped in an additional $800,000 to the Liberty Justice Center, IPI’s legal arm, and another $50,000 to the anti-union State Policy Network, bringing his total contributions to the conservative think tank and its affiliates to over $9.8 million. The Illinois Policy Institute did not return calls seeking comment on this story.
Uihlein has also been the top individual donor to Rep. Jeanne Ives’ (R-Wheaton) political career so far. At a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Rockford last week, Ives refused to comment on Moore’s conduct.
“I’m not going to answer that question because I’m not an Alabaman. I’m going to let Alabamans decide that,” she said. Pressed for an answer on whether or not Moore’s conduct was disqualifying for a seat in the Senate, she responded, “So? I comment on state issues. As far as I’m concerned, the Alabama folks know the guy better and they can make the decision. I’m not going to weigh in on that race.”
* Meanwhile, Gov. Rauner’s 2014 campaign manager Chip Englander is moving to Uihlein’s Super PAC in Wisconsin…
This ain’t going away.
*** UPDATE 1 *** DGA…
Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner was asked twice if he would return $2.6 million in donations from mega-donor Richard Uihlein after it was revealed Uihlein was bankrolling Roy Moore’s Senate campaign. He twice refused. On the very same day, it was announced Rauner’s former campaign manager Chip Englander would run Richard Uihlein’s Super PAC in Wisconsin. Strange coincidence.
“Bruce Rauner decided that his relationship with his mega-donor ally was more important than sending a clear message about Roy Moore’s conduct,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Not only did Rauner refuse to return donations from Roy Moore’s biggest backer, he would not even call out his ally for his ill-advised support of Moore. Once again, Rauner’s failed to show leadership on an important issue.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** IDCCA…
Today, The Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association called on Illinois Republican Congressmen Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Peter Roskam, and Randy Hultgren to return donations they have received from pro-Roy Moore megadonor Dick Uihlein. Uihlein has been revealed as the primary backer of a pro-Roy Moore Super PAC that is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Moore to the U.S. Senate, even after at least nine women have accused Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual contact when they were teenagers.
According to Center for Responsive Politics, in the past two election cycles Peter Roskam has accepted $5,400 from Uihlein, Hultgren $10,800, Davis $2,700, and Bost $2,700.
IDCCA President Doug House released the following statement:
“Dick Uihlein is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect a likely child molester to the U.S. Senate in Alabama. If Congressmen Roskam, Hultgren, Davis, and Bost want to make it clear they don’t share Uihlein’s values or his support for Roy Moore’s candidacy, they should return his dirty money.”
* Rauner silent on $2.6M from friend supporting fund helping Roy Moore: Lake Forest business magnate Richard Uihlein — the co-founder of Uline Corp. — contributed $50,000 on Sept. 8, and another $50,000 on Nov. 22 to the Proven Conservative PAC. The second contribution came as Moore was already under fire over allegations he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 30s. Four other women have alleged sexual misconduct while they were underage. [Emphasis added]
* Uihlein’s support for Roy Moore causes headache for Rauner