Kelly will discuss Tillman-Proft Funding Chart at May 3 Tri-County Tea Meeting
Statement by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform spokesman William J. Kelly
Chicago, Illinois – The Cicero bully is at it again. New emails obtained by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform reveal that Dan Proft has now stooped to bullying conservative women in Illinois’ pro-family movement.
This week, angry that a woman was circulating information about his funding from major donors linked to Barack Obama and Soros Fund Management, Proft sent her a bullying email that the:
“…poorly researched, poorly reasoned and just plain farcical ravings truly diminishes you. It is truly unfortunate that you are so easily fooled by fact-free demagoguery. I feel sorry for you.” – says Dan Proft to a woman in the pro-family movement
In true bully form, Proft never picks on someone his own size. Instead, he focused his attacks on a person who is known to be a very sweet woman who has been deeply involved in the pro-family movement for decades.
But Proft is a serial harasser. Last month, he was caught sending bullying emails to Illinois tea party organizers who were disinviting him as a speaker to their organizations. Proft’s appearance at last month’s Chicago Tea Party rally on Tax Day may have been the reason for the poor attendance – a meager 200 or so people.
Now new leaked emails show an unfortunate pattern of harassment. One bullied tea party organizer in Illinois emailed him back, hoping the harassment would end:
“I cannot believe you are engaging in worthless chatter with me Dan. You have been sooooo condescending. I thought that whatever I wrote would never be worthy of a response. Get on with your life, Dan. I am not stopping you.” – Illinois Tea Party organizer bullied by Dan Proft
“I am aware of what you are doing and what you are not doing. I’ll live my life as I chose but thanks for the advice….I am still waiting for a substantive response to my substantive answer as well as to the substantive examples that run in contravention to your fact-free demagoguery.” – Cicero Dan Proft bullies people with emails
Tea party organizers, who have called out Proft as a traitor, have lined up against him. Proft worked aggressively against Rep. Don Manzullo and used his dubious political action committees to support other questionable candidates in the recent March primary. Many have had the courage to stand up and speak out.
Interestingly enough, Proft isn’t really denying the facts in any of the bullying emails he has sent. He relies on bullying (and an increasingly laughable use of his computer’s online thesaurus function) to pressure pro-family and tea party organizers who are unhappy with his dirty tactics.
The real problem for Proft, Tillman, and their associates is that the plain facts being exposed are public information. Anyone can search them in the online databases at the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission websites.
Here are the links:
Obama, Soros-linked contributions to Proft, Tillman
Proft-Tillman donors’ ties to Obama
Proft-Tillman donors’ ties to Rahm
Proft-Tilman donors’ ties to Soros Fund Management
Shell game of Tillman-Proft political action committees
Where did Proft’s bullying nature come from?
How ’bout Cicero? Proft’s longtime shady dealings with the corrupt Cicero town is well-known. It is the place where he cut his political teeth. Cicero has been making the news almost daily now. Take a look at CBS report on Cicero from last night.
Is this what the Illinois conservative movement and tea party movement is about?
With Dominick’s no-bid contracts to his Urqhardt consulting company, Proft received hundreds of thousands of dollars as spokesperson and consultant to Cicero’s corrupt mayor Larry Dominick. He was given more than $300,000 to represent a Cicero “building.” He loaned those funds to his campaign for Governor.
Also troubling is his relationship with pal, Craig Pesek, who worked with Proft to get Dominick elected. Illinois State Board of Elections records reveal that Pesek, who manages Dominick’s political committee, also contributed to Proft’s campaign for governor. His equally shady brother, Jeff, did too. Here are some links to Pesek’s shady background.
Illinois Citizens for Ethics will continue to report on Proft, Pesek, Dominick and their troubling Cicero relationships.
The oft-repeated quote from Edmund Burke bears repeating, “All evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing.” But once good people know about evil and they do nothing, are they still good? As a conservative activist for the last twenty years, I have grappled with that question.
I am still waiting for the answer.
SEE THE RECORD HERE: $30K DONATION AGAINST MANZULLO; KELLY CHALLENGES PROFT TO ANSWER THE CHARGES
“I’m just so disappointed in them. I’m just so ashamed,” says one tea party supporter, who feels betrayed.
Statement by William J. Kelly, spokesman, Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform
(Chicago, IL) – For too long, Illinois conservatives and tea party organizers have been in the dark about the activities and motives of John Tillman and Dan Proft. But thanks to Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, conservative bloggers, and even members of the mainstream media, that is changing.
Now Illinois tea party organizers know that most of the Tillman-Proft funding used to defeat tea party and conservative candidates this year comes from top contributors to Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama.
Proft and Tillman’s main contributor, Ken Griffin, bundled more than $221,000 IN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO BARACK OBAMA in 2008. He and his wife, Anne, each gave $100,000 TO RAHM EMANUEL’S CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR OF CHICAGO. Griffin was a former executive with GEORGE SOROS FUND MANAGEMENT.
Were Tillman and Proft supposed to be the voice of tea party and conservative reform?
No wonder Illinois tea party leaders feel betrayed. Tillman and Proft were using tainted Soros-Obama linked funds against conservative candidates in the March primary.
But now there is new information that Anne Griffin donated $30,000 last month to the Campaign for Primary Accountability. The SUPERPAC’s top target was Rep. Donald Manzullo who lost to Rep. Adam Kinzinger. The campaign for Primary Accountability spent $238,931 to defeat Manzullo, more than it spent on any other candidate.
Dan Proft endorsed Kinzinger over Manzullo in the March primary.
Illinois tea party organizers are still bitter over the loss of Manzullo last month.
Last week, the Proft-Tillman money scandal widened to include Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady and newspapers are questioning large financial transfers from the Griffins.
“It’s no wonder we can’t get traction in Illinois,” remarked one tea party organizer.
“Soros can’t just fund Dems now can he? It’s more smoke and mirrors. I am glad someone is looking into the funding of these politicians ‘on our side,'” remarked another.
Illinois tea party organizers now are asking some very serious questions about Dan Proft and John Tillman. The biggest question is: what side are they really on?
Unearthing this information has been a painful exercise but a necessary one. You can’t fight the opposition if you don’t know who the real enemy is.
On a personal note, now I understand why Dan Proft and John Tillman opposed my candidacy for Comptroller against Proft’s former boss Judy Baar Topinka in 2010. Now I understand why they campaigned against me for City of Chicago GOP Chairman in March. And now I know why they did not oppose Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy for Mayor of Chicago as I did.
All of this should now make perfect sense to the conservative candidates and tea party organizations that John Tillman and Dan Proft opposed this past March.
On Saturday, I challenged Dan Proft to come to the TAPROOT meeting in May to answer these charges and more.
Is Dan Proft man enough to do that? Or doesn’t he have a leg to stand on?
Every tea party organizer and every Illinois conservative needs to continue to ask John Tillman and Dan Proft these tough questions and to demand some answers.
If we don’t ask the tough questions that need to be asked, who will?
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.
Chicago, IL – In the aftermath of the recent investigations launched by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, John Tillman, Dan Proft and their apologists are crying foul. However, where were these so-called “concerned” voices when Tillman-Proft affiliated political action committees were attacking conservative candidates – some would call it “fratricide” – this past election cycle?
The word, “fratricide” assumes that John Tillman, Dan Proft, et al. operate in conformity with the principles of a brotherhood. In this case, a conservative “brotherhood.” Do they? It is a question that deserves to be asked.
But there are many other questions that also deserve to be asked. With the media now beginning to turn up the heat on John Tillman, Dan Proft, Andy McKenna, and the activities of the “tax-exempt” Illinois Policy Institute, Illinois Opportunity Project, and all of its related political action committees, the next question is: who is really funding these operations?
As revealed in a flowchart released last week by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, the Illinois Policy Institute-affiliated political action committees are funded primarily by four large contributors. It is safe to assume these four contributors also fund the Illinois Policy Institute and the Illinois Opportunity Project – which cloaks its donors through its 501c4 tax status.
A search of the Illinois State Board of Elections website indicates that 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 bio above) contributed $100,000 TO THE CAMPAIGN OF RAHM EMANUEL in late 2010. Her husband, Kenneth 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. A SNAPSHOT of these contributions to Rahm Emanuel is available here and at left.
According to opensecrets.org,Griffin contributed $126,000 in January through August 2008, with 90 PERCENT GOING TO DEMOCRATS. Griffin has also been a past MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ROD BLAGOJEVICH AND ANDY MCKENNA. McKenna is also involved with the Illinois Policy Institute, the Illinois Opportunity Project, and the Empowering Children PAC.
The Griffins were also the main donors behind Liberty PAC, which lists Dan Proft as its chairman, and Empowering Children PAC, which was chaired by John Tillman and Andy McKenna until March 2012.
Here is a snapshot of contributions from the Griffins to Liberty PAC and Empowering Children PAC. It is likely that the Griffins are also funding the Illinois Opportunity Project, which is housed at the Illinois Policy Institute’s address at 190 S. LaSalle. Dan Proft admitted last week that he is a paid consultant to the Illinois Opportunity Project and Tillman is a board member responsible for directing the group’s political funds. Both maintain there is nothing improper or illegal about this association.
The Tillman-Proft-controlled Liberty PAC, Empowering Children PAC, and the Illinois Opportunity Project were responsible for funding significant opposition to proven conservative candidates in the recent election cycle.
The George Soros-Rahm Emanuel linked funds were used to stack the deck against Illinois conservative Republican candidates, including Dave McSweeney; Laura Pollastrini, Dave Carlin, Ron Sandack, Jim Oberweis, and numerous others.
If the Griffins are behind Tillman’s Illinois Opportunity Project, they are also responsible in part for recent $10,000 donations to Dan Proft for Governor on March 20, 2012 and $20,000 to the Proft-controlled Liberty PAC a week before the primary election in March 2012.
Reform-minded individuals need to ask Mr. Tillman and Mr. Proft some very serious questions about their motives and intentions in this regard. Questions that include: John Tillman and Dan Proft, if you accept donations from George Soros and Rahm Emanuel-linked contributors, what do they expect in return? And do you intend to provide it?
The Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform can’t wait to hear the answer.
The first in a series of investigative reports from Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform
Chicago, Illinois – The so-called “conservative” Illinois Policy Institute has racked up contributor dollars as a reform-minded policy think tank dedicated to change. But like Media Matters for America, the Illinois-based 501c3 tax-exempt organization’s political and financial activities raise serious red flags about its operations and intentions and those of its questionable key players, John Tillman, Dan Proft, Andy McKenna, and Patrick Hughes. Hughes, Proft, and McKenna have run previously for statewide public office.
Utilizing its 501c3 status, Illinois Policy Institute raises millions of dollars researching and publishing policy positions on a myriad of issues, ranging from ethics in government to waste, fraud, and abuse of Illinois taxpayer dollars to campaign finance reform.
In order to qualify, a 501c3 organization must pass a series of requirements. Once granted 501c3 status, organizations pay no federal income tax and donors may deduct their charitable contributions because the IRS presumes that these “charitable” organizations benefit the public. But a 501c3 organization may not “participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”
Critics have charged that Illinois Policy Institute is merely a corrupt front group organized to farm donor lists, form and manage political action committees, and advance the political ambitions of its Board of Directors.
A flowchart of the organization’s activities and affiliations raises a number of questions and spotlights the hypocrisy of Illinois Policy Institute Executive Director John Tillman:
– Why is Illinois Opportunity Project, a 501c4, organization operating out of Illinois Policy Institute? What is its relationship to Illinois Policy Institute?
– Does Illinois Opportunity Project share office space, equipment, and personnel with Illinois Policy Institute?
– Who is funding Illinois Opportunity Project? The same donors that fund Illinois Policy Institute?
– Why is Empowering Children PAC listed at addresses used by Illinois Policy Institute?
– Why is Dan Proft’s Liberty PAC listed at addresses used by Illinois Policy Institute?
– Why did John Tillman set up Fiscal Accountability PAC and why is it listed at the address for Liberty PAC’s accountant?
– Why did Illinois Opportunity Project give $10,000 on March 12, 2012 to Dan Proft for Governor and who made that decision? Why did Illinois Opportunity Project give $20,000 to Dan Proft’s Liberty PAC a week before the primary election in March 2012?
– Are the same four donors that are funding the three PACs also funding Illinois Policy Institute and Illinois Opportunity Project?
– Why did the Tillman-controlled PACs give contributions to political candidates on the same day?
– Through these activities and others, isn’t Illinois Policy Institute engaging in the same unethical political practices that it accuses Democrats like Michael Madigan of engaging in?
The Internal Revenue Service and responsible media should demand some answers from Illinois Policy Institute Executive Director John Tillman about his organization’s dubious shell game activities.
Donors to Illinois Policy Institute-affiliated political groups should think twice before contributing; who knows where your dollars are really going.