ANOTHER VICTORY FOR ILLINOIS CITIZENS FOR ETHICS REFORM! READ THE MEDIA’S NEW INVESTIGATION HERE.
CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS INVESTIGATES
Chicago, IL – It is often said: Just follow the money. Due to a series of hard-hitting reports from Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, major media are now investigating a dirty little campaign finance shell game courtesy of the Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman and Dan Proft.
And the scandal just keeps getting BIGGER AND UGLIER.
On Monday, Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform released records detailing a troubling financial relationship between the so-called “conservative” Illinois Policy Institute, its principals John Tillman and Dan Proft and a major campaign bundler ($221,000) for Barack Obama with ties to Rahm Emanuel ($200,000) and George Soros Fund Management.
The Illinois Policy Institute and its affiliated political action committees are funded by four major donors. One of these contributors is a former executive of GEORGE SOROS FUND MANAGEMENT and top contributor to RAHM EMANUEL named Anne Dias-Griffin. The French hedge fund manager (see the bio here) contributed $100,000 TO THE CAMPAIGN OF RAHM EMANUEL in late 2010.
Her husband, Ken Griffin, a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN BUNDLER FOR BARACK OBAMA IN THE AMOUNT OF $221,000 in 2008, ALSO CONTRIBUTED $100,000 in late 2010 TO NOW MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL
In what smacks of political money laundering, the Griffins contributed significant amounts to all of the John Tillman and Dan Proft-connected political action committees. Although the group cloaks its donors, it is highly probably that the Griffins are also funding the Illinois Opportunity Project. All groups operate out of the Illinois Policy Institute, which calls itself a 501c3 tax-exempt group, utilize the same personnel, and resources.
After the Griffin donations, Tillman and Proft then used the Illinois Opportunity Project and PAC contributions – many made on the same day – to stack the deck against conservative and tea party candidates in the Republican primary on March 20, 2012.
BUT THAT APPEARS TO BE THE TIP OF THIS SCANDAL-RIDDEN ICEBERG.
Following the reports of Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, Republican News Watch began investigating a strange pattern of massive contributions from the Griffins to small downstate political groups.
NOW CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS is asking serious questions about this shell game of contributions and the involvement of Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady.
“Within a few days, those groups turned around and wrote big checks to the state party (Pat Brady) totaling $140,000. And that’s well over the $10,000-per-person legal limit that each of the Griffins could have donated on their own to any single political party,” writes political columnist Greg Hinz.
Apparently, Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady failed to report the contributions for two months when campaign finance law requires reporting within five days. In defense of the errors, John Fogerty, counsel for the Illinois Republican Party, claims that the funds may not have been deposited right away.
“Does that mean the state party (Pat Brady) really sat on more than $100,000 in checks for two months or so before depositing them?” questions Hinz.
Brady has angered conservatives with his involvement in key Republican primaries this past election cycle. He personally managed the campaign against Sen. Chris Lauzen for Kane County Chairman and lost. In an embarrassing move, Brady and Dan Proft endorsed the 23 year-old frat boy son of a major donor to Rahm Emanuel in the race for Chicago’s 42nd ward committeeman.
After being questioned by the Springfield Journal Register, John Tillman and former gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna stepped down in March 2012 from directorships of all the Illinois Policy Institute-connected political action committees. However, both maintain still positions as board members of the Illinois Opportunity Project, and are responsible for directing the fund’s political contributions.
Whether all of this violates the Illinois Policy Institute’s tax-exempt 501c3 status is a question for IRS investigators.
But why are John Tillman and Proft, who have branded themselves as “conservative reformers,” even tied to major campaign bundlers to Barack Obama and contributors to Rahm Emanuel? And what is their relationship to Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady?
Inquiring conservative minds really want to know.