NORTH AURORA – Six Republican state representatives from Illinois' 14th CD region are calling for State Senator Jim Oberweis to answer allegations that arose last week suggesting the candidate for Congress may have implemented questionable funding tactics to circumvent federal election laws.
State Representatives Mark Batinick, Tom Demmer, Jeff Keicher, Dan Ugaste, Steve Reick, and Grant Wehrli said in a statement Monday morning that although the six have "chosen to remain neutral" in the GOP primary for the 14th CD, allegations made by Oberweis opponent State Senator Sue Rezin are "too concerning to ignore."
"The evidence released by the Rezin campaign appears well documented and corroborated by a State’s Attorney," the six said. "The improper transfer of campaign funds between Jim Oberweis’ state and federal campaign accounts deserve more of an explanation by the Oberweis campaign."
The 14th CD is a prime target for Republicans to regain in 2020 in a district where President Trump won in 2016. The district was lost in 2018 when Democrat freshman Lauren Underwood swept away longtime Congressman Randy Hultgren in that year's infamous "Blue Wave."
"Too much is at stake with this congressional seat playing a crucial role in which party controls the U.S. House next year," the statement said. "We are publicly calling on Jim Oberweis to issue a complete and thorough response addressing each of the points raised by the Rezin campaign and the State’s Attorney.”
Rezin accused Oberweis of calling district Republican candidates and asking them for contributions to his campaign for Congress "in exchange for contributions from him of greater value (almost always double the amount) to their respective campaign committees," the Rezin campaign said in a press release.
"This was Oberweis’ way of using funds in his state campaign account for his federal campaign —and it is illegal. It would still be illegal if he wasn’t offering contributions of 'greater value' than those he was soliciting for his campaign for Congress, but the 'greater value' offers demonstrate the lengths he is going to illegally convert 'soft' state campaign funds into 'hard' federal campaign funds," the Rezin campaign said.
The Oberweis campaign rejected Rezin's accusations, saying it was simply "political grandstanding."
"The campaign has followed, and will continue to follow, both the letter and spirit of the Federal Campaign Contribution and Disclosure laws," the Oberweis campaign told Illinois Review last week. They criticized Rezin for waiting until the last week before the March 17th primary to say or do anything.
"This is nothing more than political grandstanding," Oberweis' campaign said.
Seven candidates are vying for the 14th CD Republican nomination on March 17th.
Yes, “pro-lifers are like Taliban” Oberweis, whose wife lives in Florida, is easy to attack. But Rezin has to find something because she was for the ERA and her voting record is even worse than Oberweis in the Illinois legislature. James Marter is the only pro-Trump real conservative in the race and proved it by willing to take on the worst Rinos in the state like Mark Kirk and Adam Kinzinger and being for Jeanne Ives when all the rest were taking or afraid of Rauner’s money.