* Brian Mackey has a story today about some local react to JB Pritzker’s wealth…
“I don’t begrudge people being millionaires,” [Linda Green] says [during the Sangamon County Young Democrats’ Obama-Simon Breakfast].
But there are those, like Daniel Coultas, who think Democrats ought to be led by someone a little closer to the working people who are supposed to be the party’s base.
“It seems like it’d be hard for that person to relate with the challenges that a lot of ordinary people face from day to day,” Coultas says.
But I ask him: Isn’t there a benefit to having a candidate who can support not only himself, but other Democrats, too?
“You could frame that as a benefit or maybe you could frame it as a problem,” Coultas says. “And too much power concentrated in one individual’s hands, I think that’s, you could argue, what we’ve seen on the Republican side.”
And therein lies the promise — and peril — of the J.B. Pritzker candidacy.
I would only caution people that personal anecdotes are not data. Remember all those Alabama US Senate campaign stories about how African-American voters weren’t enthused about the Democratic candidate and then they turned out in droves?
* Anyway, it appears that the Pritzker campaign is trying to turn this story a bit into how he’s using his money for the public good. Bernie…
Pritzker, a billionaire, is worth more than Rauner, who is at least a several-hundred millionaire. And the activity of their foundations reflects the holdings. The Rauner foundation made donations of more than $7.8 million from 2013 to 2015, tax records show. In the same period, the Pritzkers’ foundation gave away more than $50 million.
“J.B. and M.K. are proud to have supported numerous charities throughout Illinois and the United States,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman GALIA SLAYEN, “particularly those that focus on early childhood education, mental health, and expanding the availability of health care.” […]
— More than $2.7 million to the Jewish United Fund of Chicago, whose work includes a variety of social services for Jews and others in need, as well Jewish community building, advocating for Israel, and supporting Jewish life on campuses and elsewhere.
— Nearly $3.4 million to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
— More than $390,000 to the Erikson Institute in Chicago, which helped bring a program, created with designers of an organization called Calm Classroom, to Chicago Public Schools to better meet needs of children dealing with high levels of trauma and toxic stress, according to the Pritzker campaign.
The full list is here. It’s really long. Some, however, can certainly be seen as strengthening “elite” institutions, like the $2 million to the Latin School.
*** UPDATE 1 *** This was actually reported to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday night, but it’s become so commonplace that nobody wrote about it until today…
Billionaire Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker is up to $42.2 million in self-funding his campaign after his latest $7 million deposit was reported to the State Board of Elections.
Pritzker has made six contributions of $7 million each to his campaign — in April, June, August, October, last month and now Dec. 6, records show.
An heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, entrepreneur and investor, Pritzker broke the self-funding record for a Democratic candidate in Illinois with his Nov. 3 donation. That topped the $28.6 million that Blair Hull put into his failed 2004 Democratic primary bid for the U.S. Senate.
Rauner put $27.6 million of his wealth into his 2014 victory over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. In December, he gave his re-election bid $50 million.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Biss…