Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) is calling on Republicans to consider a Joint House Senate Resolution calling for investigations by the IRS, the FBI, or the Attorney General into the non-profit groups run by John Tillman and the Illinois Policy Institute in response to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times. As conservatives, Real GOP Illinois seconds that call. We have long been concerned about John Tillman’s financial and political shell game.
The Sun-Times report outlines how John Tillman, Dan Proft, and others skim cash from non-profits and for-profit companies in an dizzying financial scheme. Prior to Rauner’s election, John Tillman and his profiteers established a web of groups, some nonprofits, PACs, a 501(c)4 group ( which doesn’t disclose its donors), and a collection of for-profit groups that they own majority stakes in so that they could receive large payments as vendors to the non-profit groups. Sound conservative to you? We didn’t think so.
The State Journal-Register’s Bernard Schoenburg put the first spotlight on Tillman’s web of PACs in 2012:
Tillman had been either treasurer or chairman of PACs called Illinois Liberty, Empowering Children, and Fiscal Accountability. All were created within the past year. “I am no longer with any PACs whatsoever,” he said last month. Not long after that conversation [between Tillman and Schoenburg], at least $50,000 moved to various political committees from another organization called the Illinois Opportunity Project. It is not a political action committee, so it’s not possible to track its major donors via the State Board of Elections website, as can be done with PACs.
Unchecked in 2012, Tillman formed more groups, PACs, nonprofits, and for profit entities, moving millions around. Some here and some there. Skimming it and stuffing it in his pockets and into the pockets of Pat Hughes, and Proft.
Illinois Policy Institute is funded by Never Trump “Republicans”
If you follow Illinois Policy Institute because they call themselves conservative, know this: Illinois Policy Institute groups are funded by “Never Trump” Republicans. John Tillman and Illinois Policy Institute never made a peep about abortion or sanctuary cities or illegal immigration legislation until Governor Rauner signed two controversial bills on abortion and illegal immigration last fall and the conservative voters got angry. The Tillman Gang joined the angry throng purportedly after a jobs and money deal with Rauner went south.
Tillman and Proft used Rauner’s funny money to attack conservatives
Illinois Policy Institute’s Tillman, Hughes, and Proft received $625,000 from Bruce Rauner between 2009 and 2013 and in all likelihood hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from Rauner and his hedge fund pals.
Since elected, Bruce Rauner has forked over millions to the Tillman Gang. Rauner and Illinois Turnaround PAC doled out $1.8 million to Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC to help defeat pro-life conservative Sen. Sam McCann (failing miserably) and another $2.5 million to defeat Rauner’s enemies in the 2016 elections (more failures). Illinois Opportunity Project, again founded by the Brothers Tillman, donated $1+ million to left-wing Democrat Rep. Ken Dunkin in 2016 at Rauner’s command – $500K of that was paid after(!) Dunkin’s violent criminal history came to light.
Would a real conservative establish a dirty web of nonprofits and for profits, possibly to evade tax law, and line their pockets with millions of dollars, attack MAGA and pro-life candidates in Republican primaries, give millions to a liberal Democrat with a criminal record, and rig primary elections to help their buddies win? No, no, no, no and no. This is the Illinois Policy Institute brand: They’re just in it for the scratch.
This is political prostitution and the Illinois Policy Institute gang are the pimps who prostituted conservative voters to Rauner. They trafficked voters and principles for cash.
Only in Illinois can you have a crooked conservative establishment, modeled on the corrupt state Republican and Democrat establishments. This is what the libertarian, Koch brothers-funded Illinois Policy Institute under John Tillman has done.
Investigate them now.