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Biss campaign suggests Pritzker’s money bought Equality Illinois’ endorsement

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018

* From an e-mail announcing Equality Illinois’ endorsement of JB Pritzker for governor…

“Whichever Democratic candidate advances to the general election, the Equality Illinois PAC Board knows that it will have a supporter for LGBTQ equality.”

The Equality Illinois PAC is proud to endorse JB Pritzker for Governor and his running mate Juliana Stratton for Lieutenant Governor.

“JB Pritzker has been a strong and public champion of the LGBTQ community since long before support for LGBTQ equality was the norm among Democratic political leaders,” said John Litchfield, Equality Illinois PAC Board Chair. “Going back decades, he has marched in Pride parades, worked to elect LGBTQ people to office, and supported civic organizing efforts of LGBTQ community groups to broaden support for LGBTQ equality. There are few leaders in our state who have served as courageously and consistently for LGBTQ equality over recent decades as JB Pritzker.”

Litchfield added, “We endorse JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton in the Democratic primary with the expectation that as Governor and Lieutenant Governor they will meet us at our table as active participants in the conversations and issues facing the LGBTQ community in Illinois now and in the future.”

* Greg Hinz

For the second time in two weeks, a major Illinois rights group has endorsed only one Democratic candidate for governor, J.B. Pritzker, bypassing other contenders who appear to be equally strong backers of the group’s agenda. […]

The endorsement is reminiscent of last month’s decision by Personal PAC, an abortion rights group, to back only Pritzker. As was the case with Personal PAC, Pritzker is a major financial backer of Equality Illinois: He was a gold-level, $15,000 sponsor of its annual fundraising dinner last month and chaired the event two years ago, with $30,000 donated then. […]

[Equality Illinois Executive Director Brian Johnson said] “the board felt he had the best chance to bring the pro-LGBTQ message” to success in the November election. That’s similar to what Personal PAC officials said in arguing that Pritzker alone in the Democratic field has the financial resources needed to battle the likely GOP victor, incumbent Bruce Rauner. […]

Biss’ spokesman called the endorsement “disappointing.” The campaign of a third candidate who backs the group’s policy goals, Chris Kennedy, did not immediately have a comment.

* Biss’ spokesman vented on Facebook

As a queer person who served on the Equality Illinois PAC Board and have supported the organization since the day I moved to Chicago, I am sorely disappointed by their decision to endorse JB Pritzker.

Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace have been champions of LGBTQ Equality bills in Springfield, including the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the bill banning conversion therapy for minors, the bill banning the “gay/trans panic” defense, the birth certificate modernization bill, the bill to guarantee PrEP for Medicaid recipients, a Foster Children’s Bill of Rights, a bill to reduce youth homelessness, the TRUST Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment.

But Equality Illinois chose to endorse JB Pritzker, saying his support of the LGBTQ community is “unprecedented” because he held a gay marriage in his home 25 years ago, marched in gay pride parades, and donated $45,000 to the group in the past three years.

This endorsement suggests that my beloved #LGBTQ rights organization cares more about making their donors happy than supporting the lawmakers who carry their bills.

There’s no reason they couldn’t have endorsed both Daniel and JB… and that question still remains unanswered.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments
  1. - LXB - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:24 pm:

    And Pritzker’s the entitled one!


  2. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    This campaign mirrors Hillary’s more and more everyday


  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:26 pm:

    I don’t know — I think endorsing multiple candidates is pointless, regardless. These are zero-sum contests.


  4. - Chris Widger - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    ==This endorsement suggests that my beloved #LGBTQ rights organization cares more about making their donors happy than supporting the lawmakers who carry their bills.==

    Of course that’s accurate. Why would anyone expect anything else? You can’t just make up standards of intellectual rigor and honesty and be mad when others don’t follow your lead. Start your own nonprofit.


  5. - Bunson8r - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    It’s the Equality Illinois’s PAC Board’s job to raise money for LGBTQIA causes… I don’t think this is really that big of a surprise, or a big deal, that they endorse someone who has helped them raise a lot of money.


  6. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    can’t you trace just about everything that JB claims to have done to a simple donation? honestly, he’s good at writing checks, but what else?


  7. - Seats - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    45k doesn’t feel sizeable enough to “buy” an endorsement. Daniel, maybe they just preferred JB.


  8. - Chicago_Downstater - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    Is the spokesperson really taking it that personally just because he was on the PAC board? I mean 25-plus years of personal support for the community seems a legit reason to endorse to me. Meh, this queer person understands the endorsement.


  9. - DanDonor - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    In other news, Daniel Biss secured the endorsement of charter schools and frackers.


  10. - Real - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    can’t you trace just about everything that JB claims to have done to a simple donation? honestly, he’s good at writing checks, but what else?

    He has been a supporter of lgbt for decades and attended many marches.


  11. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:37 pm:

    What has JB Pritzker done for any group or organization other than donate money?

    Don’t get me wrong, philanthropy is very important and Pritzker has done more in that regard that just about anyone. But it’s basically his only qualification. I can’t see how any of his endorsements should be any different.


  12. - Abraham Obama - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:52 pm:

    What does Biss have to say about Drury’s claim that he participated in a money laundering scheme with Madigan.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-speaker-madigan-wearing-wire-scott-drury-20180204-story.html


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    Biss has really turned out to be a crybaby.


  14. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    It strikes me that this is a personal Facebook post regarding his own personal views, not the official statement of the campaign. The campaign statement in the Hinz article didn’t mention money. So the title is slightly unfair in my humble opinion.


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    ===this is a personal Facebook post===

    And he sent me a link to it.


  16. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    Who worked more for the endorsement? Who made more calls to the organization’s stakeholders and board members? If the answer isn’t “Biss”, then that spox needs to swallow his whistle. Nothing is given, and if you’re not willing to put in the work, you’re going to lose to someone who will.


  17. - Angel's Sword - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Actual Red,

    Pritzker marched as well. You can find pictures of him at pride parades and women’s marches back in the 80s and 90s, when they were a lot less sexy to attend.

    If he’s volunteered his time as well as financially supporting these causes, what else could he have done?


  18. - RP_Progressive - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:14 pm:

    @Arsenal - are you suggesting that Equality Illinois didn’t know Daniel’s record on passing their LGBTQ bills and that the reason they didn’t endorse him was because he didn’t whip the votes? That’s preposterous. It seems like no amount of whipping would have changed that outcome.


  19. - support fair tax - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:19 pm:

    Arsenal is right, like Citizen Action, Biss didn’t work for the endorsement. JB did because he knows the value they bring. Says a lot about how they will govern.


  20. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    “can’t you trace just about everything that JB claims to have done to a simple donation? honestly, he’s good at writing checks, but what else?“

    Not remotely. Unlike Rauner, JB has thrown himself personally into many causes. His leadership was essential for 1871, the Holocaust Museum, early childhood education priorities, etc. this is not a checkbook only kind of guy.


  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    Sp the guy who’s paid by Biss thinks EI was paid by Pritzker? But somehow this is different?

    Next…


  22. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    ==are you suggesting that Equality Illinois didn’t know Daniel’s record on passing their LGBTQ bills and that the reason they didn’t endorse him was because he didn’t whip the votes?==

    I’m just asking a question. I don’t know the answer. But if the answer is, “JB worked the vote, Biss didn’t”, then that’s why JB won. Asking for people’s support is powerful. More of these putative “progressive” campaigns need to realize that.


  23. - ShawneeCoal - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:35 pm:

    He (Biss)also won’t get the support of Unions or State Workers because he voted to slash our pensions.


  24. - RP_Progressive - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:35 pm:

    @Arsenal - Biss passed their bills, JB wrote checks. And to earlier comments about the purpose of EQIL being to raise money… forgive me, but I thought the purpose was to pass pro-LGBTQ legislation. The funding is the means for success, not a measure of success itself. They could have all the funding in the world and still not get anything done without supportive lawmakers.


  25. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:40 pm:

    ==Biss passed their bills, JB wrote checks.==

    Cool, sounds like both helped the organization. But if one actually worked for their endorsement, that’s the one that should’ve gotten it.


  26. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:44 pm:

    In other news, the Kennedy campaign is an after-thought: “The campaign of a third candidate who backs the group’s policy goals, Chris Kennedy, did not immediately have a comment.”


  27. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    he shows up at marches, he writes checks. He has a big wallet. helpful, but not impressive.


  28. - Ron - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 5:57 pm:

    Biss is the most dangerous person to Illinois not named Ives running. I’ll vote for JB in the primary if it’s close.


  29. - former southerner - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    A whiny Biss may be a better governor than a dishonest Rauner but that is a theory best left untested.
    Biss is the whiny kid at a birthday party constantly complaining about all of the other kids and in this case he is mad that JB got the piece of birthday cake he wanted.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 6:43 pm:

    ===A whiny Biss may be a better governor than a dishonest Rauner but that is a theory best left untested.===

    Rauner’s damage might take a decade to recover from Illinois.

    Your irrational thought is worse than what you claim is Biss’, lol


  31. - former southerner - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    Willy, I want a governor who has the confidence and ability to be effective. I don’t disagree with you about the amount of damage that Rauner has done which is exactly why I think Biss is far too weak to be our next governor given the level of emergency repairs needed for this state.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 7:28 pm:

    ===I don’t disagree with you about the amount of damage that Rauner has done which is exactly why I think Biss is far too weak to be our next governor given the level of emergency repairs needed for this state.===

    So keep the damage going vs. Biss?

    Hmm. lol


  33. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 7:37 pm:

    Bis, like Rauner, has offered no solutions to the states financial woes. Unless one thinks he will get a transactions tax that is.


  34. - Scott Cross for President - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 7:42 pm:

    Biss risks morphing into Kennedy here, with his victimhood.


  35. - former southerner - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 7:56 pm:

    Willy, I think we are failing to communicate. I am supporting Pritzker as the most desirable of the available candidates. In the general I would certainly vote Biss over Rauner but that is not the choice set I want.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 8:10 pm:

    - former southerner -

    It’s all good. Dems need to find their candidate, support their choice.

    In the end, the Rauner choice should be easy for a Dem in November… after these 3 years


  37. - former southerner - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 9:29 pm:

    -Willy,

    In a happier future there will be a good GOP candidate I can support. I joined teen age Republicans when I was in high school back when Trent Lott was still in his first term in the U.S. House and among other things he was our unofficial advisor. It was a far different party then and I worked with several campaigns over the years. Things are just a little bit different now :)

    I enjoy reading your analysis.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 6, 18 @ 9:37 pm:

    - former southerner -

    You’re very kind, I appreciate it.

    ===In a happier future there will be a good GOP candidate I can support.===

    I can appreciate how you feel, as Republicans under Raunerite control, it’s a tough time right now.

    ===I joined teen age Republicans when I was in high school back when Trent Lott was still in his first term in the U.S. House and among other things he was our unofficial advisor. It was a far different party then and I worked with several campaigns over the years.===

    What has been disappointing too is the callous way the GOP, both here and in Washington to where the party itself has lost its soul to Rauner’s money and Trump’s cult of personality… a long slow slide that brings us here.

    Keep fighting for the best Illinois, that’s all I was pointing out, as I learned you are trying fircthat as well. Thanks for that.

    OW


  39. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 7:02 am:

    Biss was a champion? What???

    Let’s be clear: Biss was for the bills. He may have even put his name on some and spoken in favor of them.

    But Biss’s district Overwhelmingly supports equality. He did nothing heroic or even extraordinary. He was just doing what he was paid to do. Biss seems to think he deserves a medal just for doing his job.

    Find me one member of the Illinois Senate who says “Daniel Biss persuaded me to vote for marriage equality,” please, anyone from his staff.

    Find me something, anything that Biss did prior to his election to the Senate, prior to his statewide ambitions. Anybody?

    This is why the nod goes to JB. Unlike Biss, he can beat Rauner. And unlike Biss, his commitment is demonstrably lifelong and precedes any political ambition. The belief in equality is part of Pritzker’s DNA.


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