Somebody needs to explain this…Liberty Principles PAC, run by Dan Proft, disclosed a $12,375.53 donation in support of Michael Madigan’s campaign in its B-1 filings at the Illinois State Board of Elections Sunday.
The 2/18 disclosure lists $12,375.53 to RHA Marketing for a mailing sent by Liberty Principles PAC IN SUPPORT OF House Speaker Michael Madigan, who running unopposed in his House District 22 race.
Strange developments indeed. If this independent expenditure isn’t a deliberate typo on Proft’s part (a desperate bid for attention?), what’s the purpose of the mailing? Remember, the “typo defense” doesn’t hold water since Madigan doesn’t have an opponent. Is this donation proof of his loyalty to Madigan? Did Proft just throw the “Fire Madigan” candidates Liberty Principles PAC is supporting under the bus?
Proft, the chairman and the treasurer for Liberty Principles PAC, has long served as a hatchet man for Rauner, going after conservative and Republican candidates unfavored by the Governor. As chairman of Liberty Principles PAC, Proft was paid $5 million or more directly from Rauner and Illinois Turnaround PAC.
Proft also received $1.1 million from Rauner’s top donor billionaire Ken Griffin. In May, Griffin donated $20 million to Rauner’s re-election effort and bankrolls Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton.
Proft has said publicly that he and Rauner parted ways last fall over Rauner’s support for SB 31, which protects illegal immigrants from deportation and which many consider a “sanctuary state” bill and HB40 which pro-life advocates say mandates taxpayer-funded abortion. Is that really true or is there another reason?
Real GOP Illinois doesn’t believe Proft split with Rauner based on principle but on greed. Crain’s Chicago Business’ Greg Hinz reported on a $30 million dollar money and jobs swap with Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman and Dan Proft in August 2017. Three weeks later, Hinz wrote that he stood by his story and vouched for the credibility of his sources:
I [Hinz] reported chatter—with some sources confirming, but Rauner and others denying—that there’d been a political understanding in which activist Dan Proft and others would raise $30 million for next year’s Republican campaigns and, in exchange, “pretty much run the legislative races and IPI staffers would come into senior government jobs.”
Give Hinz his due. Isn’t this exactly what happened?
In July 2017, 20 members of Rauner’s top staff were fired or pressured to resign only to be replaced by hired from Illinois Policy Institute. Alas, Illinois government proved to be too much for Proft and Tillman’s Illinois Policy Institute pals and after 88 days of screw-ups, botched public relations and missteps, Rauner fired the IPI staffers and that’s when the PR war between Rauner, Tillman, and Proft began.
The Hinz story is consistent with the recent findings of the Chicago Sun-Times/Pro Publica investigation into Dan Proft and John Tillman’s possible misuse of tax-exempt groups to evade tax laws and profit by setting up vendor companies.
Real GOP Illinois will continue to follow this story.