CHICAGO – As promised for weeks by sources within Mayor Richard Irvin's circles, Citadel billionaire Ken Griffin made a major donation to Irvin for Illinois this week – a check for $20,000,000.
Over the years, Griffin has donated $141,749,097.23 to state political campaigns, the vast majority to Republican organizations, statewide legislative and a few local municipal candidates – including over $36 million to Bruce Rauner alone, State Board of Elections reports.
Griffin's money does give a step up, but doesn't guarantee a win for Irvin, however. The same political consultants that pulled Bruce Rauner over the finish line in 2014 by shaming and intimidating conservative Republicans throughout the state to back off their commitment to pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-legal immigration are becoming millionaires by pushing Irvin forward. Those same consultants and their "anti-social issues" arguments kept conservatives away from the polls in the Rauner vs Pritzker 2018 gubernatorial bid.
While over 60 Illinois Republican Party leaders signed on recently to endorse Irvin over the other GOP candidates, observers expect to begin seeing donations via Griffin's money begin showing up in local Republican organization coffers just as they did in 2014 when the same consultants made similar promises on behalf of Bruce Rauner.
Some, it's reported by insiders, are being promised up to and including $10,000 just for allowing their names to be used on Irvin's endorsement list. That is yet to be verified. However, we are seeing Chicago's wealthiest Republicans write checks to Irvin – including Illinois' Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter, who wrote a check to Irvin recently for $10,000.
It's all quite intriguing to watch, political observers are saying. For Republican leadership to back Irvin – who has consistently pulled Democratic primary ballots election after election, except for 2018, when the Republican Party had a tight gubernatorial primary between incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner and GOP challenger Jeanne Ives.
When can a person that has self-identified as Democrat for election after election suddenly experience conversion and move immediately into the leadership spot of the opposing political party's state organization. That's exactly what Richard Irvin will become if he – as a Republican – is elected to the state's top leadership role.
Other IL GOP gubernatorial candidates voiced their opinions after the Griffin donation hit Chicago media headlines Monday.
Businessman Gary Rabine, running to be the IL GOP's gubernatorial candidate in 2022, said, “We knew from the beginning that Fake- Republican-Governor-Candidate, Irvin, is a bought and paid for candidate. I cannot be bought. We also know that Irvin has repeatedly voted in Democratic primaries.
"He supports defunding the police, mask mandates and sanctuary cities. His winning the support of Republican rank and file voters will be an uphill climb.”
The latest Irvin for Illinois donations listed on the State Board of Election website: