Governor Bruce Rauner makes sure the money keeps flowing into Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe’s campaign war chest.
McAullife, the only Chicago Republican serving in the Illinois House of Representatives, was one of the “wins” in Rauner proxy war for seats in 2016 and was gifted with $2.8 million in political donations from Rauner and the Illinois Republican Party.
Here’s the problem for McAuliffe.
“Radioactive” Rauner is unpopular in Chicago, McAullife’s home turf. In just three years, Rauner’s disapproval rating is at 55% statewide and his Chicago stats are even lower. He is America’s seventh most unpopular Governor.
With a scandal brewing over his financial ties to controversial donor, Richard Uihlein, Judge Roy Moore’s biggest donor, Rauner’s disapproval numbers are now in free fall. Media report Uihlein contributed $50,000 to a pro-Moore PAC on September 8th and another $50,000 after Moore was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl and three other young women.
This isn’t the first time Uihlein has donated to scandal-ridden candidates. He donated $8,000 to Rep. John Anthony, who was forced to resign from his appointed position with Governor Rauner, after groping women at a holiday party.
Uihlein also donated $5,000 to Keith Matune, a Republican candidate who was caught lying about his criminal record and was fired from his job as a teacher months after his criminal record was released. He received more donations from Uihlein through Illinois Liberty PAC, a group run by Pat Hughes. Matune’s candidacy was backed by Dan Proft’s shady Liberty Principles PAC, a Uihlein “pet” group. The group has received $8.75 million from the Lake Forest millionaire.
Uihlein donated $2.6 million to Rauner’s campaign. When asked whether he will return Uihlein’s contributions, Rauner dodged the question:
As I have stated publicly, I agree with those who have called for Roy Moore to step aside and not run for Senate. I urge him to step aside and let another candidate emerge.
Will Rauner return the Uihlein contributions?…
As I’ve said, I have urged Roy Moore to step aside as the candidate for US Senate
If Rauner’s approval numbers continue to tank, that could spell trouble for McAuliffe in his Chicago-area district. McAullife has made no public comments on his support for Rauner.
In October, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) passed on an endorsement of Rauner for re-election. He is the fourth Republican congressman to pass on endorsing Rauner. Will McAuliffe follow suit?
McAuliffe has represented Illinois 20th District, encompassing Edison Park, parts of Norwood Park and O’Hare along with several Chicago-area suburbs, since 1996.