During a heated debate at the City Club of Chicago with former Illinois GOP chairman, Pat Brady, low-rated radio host Dan Proft slipped up and made a damaging admission: He and his PAC, Liberty Principles PAC, primaried pro-life Sen. Sam McCann at the behest of Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016. (See video @:40)
Merriam- Webster definition of behest
Hey, Illinois State Board of Elections, are you listening?
Proft’s admission could be legally damaging. By admitting Rauner ordered Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC to spend millions of dollars to primary McCann, Proft and Rauner may be in violation of Illinois campaign finance law rules on independent expenditure committees.
Under 10 ILCS 5/9-8.6...
5/9-8.6 Independent expenditures.
(a) An independent expenditure is not considered a contribution to a political committee. An expenditure made by a natural person or political committee for an electioneering communication in connection, consultation, or concert with or at the request or suggestion of the public official or candidate, the public official’s or candidate’s candidate political committee, or the agent or agents of the public official, candidate, or political committee or campaign shall not be considered an independent expenditure but rather shall be considered a contribution to the public official’s or candidate’s candidate political committee.
As Governor, Rauner is the leader of the Illinois Republican Party, he is an agent of the Republican Party. Rauner endorsed Proft’s candidate, Bryce Benton over McCann. Citizens for Rauner also transferred $50,000 to Citizens for Bryce Benton on 3/8/2016. Illinois Liberty PAC, run by Pat Hughes, and funded by Illinois Opportunity Project, John Tillman and Richard Uihlein – all part of the Dan Proft money web – transferred $50,000 to Bryce Benton’s campaign on 1/22/2016.
Proft also filed quarterly reports for Liberty Principles PAC under certification of perjury that…
5/9-11. Financial reports.
(c) Each quarterly report shall include the following information regarding any independent expenditures made during the reporting period: (1) the full name and mailing address of each person to whom an expenditure in excess of $150 has been made in connection with an independent expenditure; (2) the amount, date, and purpose of such expenditure; (3) a statement whether the independent expenditure was in support of or in opposition to a particular candidate; (4) the name of the candidate; (5) the office and, when applicable, district, sought by the candidate; and (6) a certification, under penalty of perjury, that such expenditure was not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of such committee.
Proft is the chairman of Liberty Principles PAC and received in excess of $5 million in contributions from Bruce Rauner and his PACs. In 2016, Rauner donated $2.5 million in “I’ll teach you a lesson” money to Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC to destroy McCann in the GOP primary after he cast an incidental pro-labor vote in his union heavy downstate district. Proft received another $2.3 million from Rauner-tied Turnaround Illinois PAC during the 2016 election cycle.
In a textbook example of political malpractice, Proft’s unending flood of negative ads against the state senator backfired in the 50th district and McCann won re-election handily. McCann spent a measly $689,000, leaving Rauner aides tried to explain the embarrassing defeat: “He [McCann] was a god in that district.”
How did Proft bungle $4.8 million so badly? Observers say Rauner/Proft underestimated McCann’s good guy “cred” in his district. McCann also received the endorsement of pro-life groups statewide (excluding pro-Rauner Family PAC, run by Paul Caprio).
In his 2016 proxy war with House Speaker Michael Madigan, Rauner and friends spent upwards of $9 million on three legislative races and lost them all. Talk about losers.
Real GOP Illinois thinks this is a slam dunk lawsuit Sen. McCann can actually win.