Anti-Pritzker political action committee receives $13.9 million contribution
With early voting underway in Illinois and election day less than one month away, a Florida-based political action committee secured a multi-million dollar contribution last week to fuel its anti-Gov. JB Pritzker campaign.
Now contributing more than $42 million in total, CEO and co-founder of shipping supply business Uline Richard Uihlein sent $13.9 million to the People Who Play By The Rules PAC on Wednesday. Created in March, the committee has led an advertising campaign to primarily attack Pritzker, a Democrat, on the SAFE-T Act and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neither Pritzker or Republican challenger state Sen. Darren Bailey have filed quarterly campaign finance reports that are due Oct. 17. However, the governor recently contributed $20 million of his personal wealth to his campaign, according to a Sept. 23 filing on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.
Related:Illinois governor candidates JB Pritzker & Darren Bailey clash in first gubernatorial debate
What is the People Who Play By the Rules PAC?
The PAC is run by Republican radio personality Dan Proft, a former Illinois governor candidate now residing in Florida. With its funding, its primary expenses are for ad spots on television stations and streaming services such as Hulu and Peacock TV.
Among its most well-known ads is titled the "Lakeview Scream," which shows doorbell video footage of a Lakeview woman being attacked — claiming Pritzker's response to crime as governor has led to an increase of these instances and has been inadequate overall. The governor and victims' rights organizations voiced their displeasure with the 16-second spot ad and it was removed from the airwaves by NBC5 Chicago.
The PAC's sole contributor is Uihlein, who also sent a $15 million contribution to the committee in July. His contributions to the PAC far outweigh the $10 million he has directly sent to Bailey's campaign, with only $1 million of that coming after the June primary. Uihlein is Bailey's largest contributor followed by Jean Bailey, the senator's mother.
As an independent expenditure committee, People Who Play By The Rules can raise and spend unlimited amounts of funding but cannot coordinate directly with any individual candidate.
Has former President Donald Trump contributed to the PAC, Bailey?
As Pritzker noted during last week's governor debate at Illinois State University, Bailey secured the endorsement of former President Donald Trump prior to the primary. That endorsement came during a June rally in west central Illinois, where Bailey said Illinois would "roll out the red carpet" for Trump in 2024.
Despite his backing, no contributions have come directly to Bailey's campaign and People Who Play By The Rules from the former president either before or after the primary. Trump, however, is supporting a recently formed super PAC called MAGA Inc. that placed ad buys in Ohio and Pennsylvania in their respective U.S. Senate races according to Politico.
Bailey and Donald Trump Jr. both spoke at a Williamson County dinner last weekend, where the former president's son called on voters to back Bailey. Still, as reported by The Chicago Tribune, the candidate made no mention of Trump during his speech — following suit with his remarks during the Illinois GOP Day at the state fair this August.
A recent poll conducted by Emerson College found Bailey trailing Pritzker by 15 points. That gap is similar to President Joe Biden's margin of victory over Trump in Illinois in the 2020 election. Biden won Illinois by 17 points.
Contact Patrick Keck: 312-549-9340, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/@pkeckreporter
This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Millions contributed to Anti-Pritzker PAC: What to know