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*** UPDATED x2 - IDCCA, DGA respond *** Never ask a question if you don’t know the answer

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017

* 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.”

* Related…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 6:21 am:

    Uihlein wants another politician who does what the donor class wants. Moore would be in his pocket, so why not support him. And he supports Rauner because a fellow donor in office is even better than a bought-and-paid-for politician.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 8:16 am:

    The big brains at the ILGOP apparently can’t think things thing very well. Not exactly the A-Team.

    And JB should “weigh in?” That one just occurred to them, after all these months?

  3. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 8:56 am:

    I feel like the angle here is pretty straight forward.

    How much do Richard Uihlein and Bruce Rauner stand to personally benefit from either of the tax plans in the House and the Senate?

  4. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 8:56 am:

    OY. We’ve got a year of this stuff ahead of us. Ick.

  5. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    So Jeanne Ives is “going to let Alabamans decide” whether a man sexually assaulting teenage girls is immoral?

    – MrJM

  6. - SSL - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Roy Moore is just plain creepy. Not sure how anyone can vote for him.

    Al Franken is less creepy but, but it is inexcusable to think you can grab women whenever the opportunity presents itself. He has character issues and needs to step down.

    I’m not sure Trump ever really wanted to be president, and based on his actions he won’t make it to the end of his term. He’s nuts.

    I am not a JB fan, but he is absolutely right. Good for him.

  7. - DeseDemDose - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    Uihlein may have mixed up Bruce Rauner and Roy Moore when writing out his checks as they both like to dress up in funny cowboy outfits.

  8. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    ==And JB should “weigh in?”==

    Is it even really that? Pritzker’s made a lot of weight jokes himself, up to and including his slogan. Attacks on his weight were so obviously going to backfire from day 1, and are so completely defanged now, that I kinda imagine ILGOP isn’t even thinking of it.

  9. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    This will end when Moore gets elected, thanks to Franken, Conyers, Clinton, Lauer, Weinstein, Louis CK, Afleck, Rose, Spacey, Schneider, Weiner, Edwards, and others too numerous to list.

    The Boomers Playboy-fueled generation of sx, drgs and rock and roll power in government is ending. Live like Caligula, look like an old creep when you’re driven from office.

  10. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    ===and others too numerous to list===

    Including you apparently.

  11. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    I didn’t ID card my dates back when I was single, so yeah, including me.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    –I didn’t ID card my dates..–

    Presumably, because there was no question as to age, I hope.

    I don’t think Moore was tricked into pursuing teenagers. That clearly was his objective.

  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    You’ve been minimizing the Moore thing from the beginning and conflating it with other sex scandals and sexual harassment cases. You continually mention Bill Clinton, but tellingly omit the current president from your list of creeps.

    Moore is going to get elected, like Trump was, because people like you have lost your moral compass.

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    There’s one major difference here that none of the left leaning media is acknowledging: Uihlein isn’t the harasser. He’s just someone who has donated to one (like Pritzker). If Dems are gonna call for Rauner to return donations from someone who also donated to more then they should give up every fine they’ve received from any person or organization that donated to Keith Farnham

  15. - flea - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    47th ward…


  16. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    What hurts Rauner more, the people he’s antagonized by his unctuous inconsistency, contrary statements and positions or his friends?
    His multiple unforced errors demonstrate his total lack of understanding or acceptance of the democratic process. His approach from his private equity days doesn’t translate to governing. I envision him as a bitter governor failure mumbling “Madigan” as he watches the 2020 presidential election, crushed that he’s not running. A huge missed opportunity.

  17. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    With the election of Trump, morality of a candidate is no longer a political issue. Support of party and platform is way more important to people than personal indiscretions. This occurs in both parties, but it seems to be much more prevalent on the conservative side. Ives won’t trash Moore because they believe in the same platform. So having a pedophile in office is more important than having a Democrat because they agree on the issues. Ugh. What is happening to the world?

  18. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    This situation is evolving with lightening speed. Hollywood, the media, and corporate America have policies regarding sexual harassment, and we’ve seen daily examples of people being dismissed for past behavior. The only struggle on dealing with this is in the political world. In short, its political tribalism that causes republicans to defend republicans and dems to defend dems. In short, Roy Moore should not be a US Senator. Those in office should denounce him, and voters should not choose him. John Conyers should resign. As a dem who admires Al Franken, and one who acknowledges that his actions are far less offensive than Moore’s pedophelia, Franken should resign. What I think needs to happen is a purge. For those serving in public office, if one has sexually harassed, one must resign. Purge those who have committed crimes in the past, and replace them with those who have no such infractions. This will allow a go forward situation where “zero tolerance” can be enforced. Men need to behave, and women need to accept that this will mean changes in the workplace, good and bad. Its the new reality, and our elected officials are not above the law. Also, for the record, for my statements to be consistent, President Trump needs to resign. Its highly unlikely, but the only way to put pressure on him, and force him to publicly acknowledge that this behavior is wrong, and not acceptable in public life, is for those who have sexual harassment in their background to resign.

  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    ===What I think needs to happen is a purge===

    OK, but overturning valid elections is not an easy thing. That’s what makes this so different from firing a movie actor.

    Read this brief bit about Adam Clayton Powell:

    Like I said, it’s not easy.

  20. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Understood, Rich. I’m not suggesting overturning elections, Im suggesting that elected officials are pressured to resign for the good of the party and the country. They cannot be forced to resign, but they can be removed from positions of leadership and denied support in coming elections.

  21. - Saluki - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    These questions about money given, giving money back, who gave money when, etc etc are silly. Am I supposed to believe that Bruce Rauner somehow supports Roy Moore’s actions because Rich Uhlien gave him money? What a waste of time and energy on the part of the media to chase these connect the dot stories.

  22. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    ===What a waste of time and energy on the part of the media to chase these connect the dot stories.===

    You may think it’s silly, but the fact is, Uihlein is Rauner’s second largest contributor and Moore’s largest contributor. It’s not like Rauner is being asked about somebody who gave him $5000 once. Uihlein is a very close political ally of Rauner’s and he’s bankrolling Moore. You might not think that’s a legitimate line of questioning, but others disagree.

    Also, don’t you think the Governor of Illinois ought to have an opinion on national politics? Rauner is silent on the tax plan, silent on repeal of the ACA, silent on anything concerning the president’s behavior or actions. How long do you think he should be able to hide what he really thinks from the people he represents as Governor? Do you think any of these items are relevant to his job? Why should he get a pass?

    Finally, how hard is it to say simply: the allegations against Roy Moore are disgusting and vile and he should step aside. How hard?

    Too hard for Rauner apparently.

  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    ===Too hard for Rauner apparently. ===

    Um, he said that. Repeatedly.

    What he dodged was the U stuff.

  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    – …chase these connect the dots stories.–

    Uihlein, Rauner, Moore. Three dots. No “chase” necessary. Pretty easy.

    A fourth dot would be Illinois GOP orgs. and candidates. The Uihleins have given more than $16M to dozens of them over the years.

    They were big hitters here before Rauner or Griff showed up, and they remain so.

  25. - Keep Up - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 11:53 am:


    The ILGOP (funded almost entirely by Rauner) was pressuring Pritzker to disavow based on his past funding, thus opening themselves up to the same criticism. Hypocrisy in action.

    You only need to believe that someone who financially supports Roy Moore also financially supports Bruce Rauner. You can draw your own conclusions on what that means.

  26. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    The bigger question is how these folks, with all of their closets full of skeletons, continue to campaign for public office knowing that the greater the office the greater the scrutiny.

    Having damning criminal evidence on someone in public office makes them very controllable. The public servant becomes your servant.

  27. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    “There’s one major difference here that none of the left leaning media is acknowledging” Ok, then what if instead Roy Moore supported a terrorist organization? How would that be different?

  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Moore will win. Franken will survive, and Trump will run again. Yes, it’s that bad.

  29. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Yes, it’s that bad.

    And will only get worse. Trump and Moore are just the start.

  30. - cdog - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    Let me make sure I have the new rule correct….

    If a third party donates to a candidate, that is later proven to be a perv, any candidate that received a donation from that third party must return that donation.

    So what happens to all those candidates that received donations from donors that also donated to to Bill and his enabling wife?

  31. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    ===Um, he said that. Repeatedly.

    What he dodged was the U stuff.===

    I was wrong, thanks for the correction.

    I was in a lather about all of the other relevant topics that Rauner is avoiding, from the potential repeal of healthcare that will blow a huge hole in our state budget to the current tax reform bill that will hit everyone in Illinois and not for the better. I needlessly and mistakenly added that Rauner was silent about Moore. In fact, as Rich pointed out, and as Rich covered in some detail as recently as yesterday, Rauner called on Moore to step aside, and good for him for doing so.

  32. - Keep Up - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:59 pm:


    Whataboutism at its best right there. There is no rule, the point is that if ILGOP makes a claim against Pritzker, they should hold themselves (their candidate) to the same standard. It’s not a “new rule”. Hillary Clinton isn’t accused of assaulting anyone, so that would require another “new rule”, calling her “his enabling wife” is just more deflection and obsession.

  33. - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    birds of a feather flock together

  34. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    ==birds of a feather flock together==

    Lately there’s more flocking than birds. /s

  35. - Pundent - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    =What a waste of time and energy on the part of the media to chase these connect the dot stories.=

    I think its very relevant to know who’s buying our elections and what they expect to receive in return for their purchase.

    This idea that the media shouldn’t ask these questions is absurd. If you don’t think the issue has merit simply ignore the reporting. But don’t dictate to the rest of us that questions shouldn’t be asked because they aren’t relevant to you or you don’t like the answers.

  36. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    I don’t think Moore was tricked into pursuing teenagers. That clearly was his objective.==

    I have never looked my age. I grew out my beard to look older. When I was single I repeatedly discovered that my dates were much younger than I. I didn’t pursue. People often thought we were the same age. I didn’t card my dates. I ended the relationships when this happened. Sometimes it was a heartbreaker to do so.

    It’s not all that rare.

  37. - cc - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:14 am:

    Never did put up with harassment of any kind whether sexual,political or anything else. First threat, warn them–second threat, get even. Threats ended after my first warning so never found it necessary to get even.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Pritzker roundup: Private schools; Inauguration; Cannabis legalization; Jobs; Rauner
* Caption contest!
* Bid on tickets through Friday night to support LSSI!
* Krupa roundup
* Rauner taking final swing at AFSCME
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Enyia's spokesperson resigns citing "several unknown and troubling factors"
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Where we're heading and where we've been
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Transitions
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Emanuel/Emmanuel
* You gotta be pretty gullible to believe a "Departing Taxpayer Fee" is actually a thing
* Yesterday's stories

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