Questions Abound on Ill. GOP Fundraising

-By Warner Todd Huston

Two reports (three, actually) on political donations being made to the Illinois GOP have been rattling the blogosphere this week raising some serious questions about who is donating to the Ill. GOP and where that money is going.

The first one comes from Doug Ibendahl of who looked over the financial disclosure of the Ill. GOP. Doug found some very odd money transfers and wondered how they were legal.

“Iā€™m not prepared to call it money laundering — yet,” Ibendahl says of the disclosure report. “However, in my legal opinion there are multiple serious issues raised by the money flows,” he says ruefully.

Some of these issues Ibendahl points out is that transfers of large donations from one account to another seemingly without a proper chain of legality. Ibendahl also questions why heavy Obama donors and multi-millionaires Ken and Annie Griffin are giving multiple thousands of dollars to both Obama and Mayor Emanuel as well as the Illinois GOP.

Ibendahl’s report was picked up by CRAIN’S Chicago Business in a blog post by Greg Hinz titled, “Follow the Money: Citadel’s Ken Griffin and the Illinois GOP.” (Hinz’ is the third of the “three, actually” I noted above).

The Griffins wrote large checks to a dozen or so GOP groups, most of them in downstate counties. And, within a few days, those groups turned around and wrote big checks to the state party totaling $140,000. And that’s well over the $10,000-per-person legal limit that each of the Griffins could have donated on their own to any single political party PAC.

Hinz report that Pat Brady and the state party claims no agreement to pass on the donations under the radar was made with the Obama donors. It’s all just a coincidence, they say.

The other report is really on the same matter, the donations records, but Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform adds some important points to the discussion. As it happens the Griffins are also close financially with famed anti-American George Soros. On top of that, these donors are also mixed in with the Illinois Policy Institute via donations to several political action committees being run by Ill. Policy Institute head John Tillman and political consultant and WLS talk show host Dan Proft.

Says the anonymous site: “After the Griffin donations, Tillman and Proft then used the Illinois Opportunity Project and PAC contributions ā€“ many made on the same day ā€“ to stack the deck against conservative and tea party candidates in the Republican primary on March 20, 2012.”

We’ll have to wait and see if these stories develop further. Stay tuned.

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