UI trustee nominee often gives to GOP candidates

UI trustee nominee often gives to GOP candidates

CHAMPAIGN — Dr. Stuart King, Gov. Bruce Rauner's latest nominee to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, is a generous donor to mostly Republican candidates, including the governor.

Campaign disclosure records show that King has donated $6,000 to the Citizens for Rauner campaign account, the most recent being a $1,000 contribution in March.

King has given more than $22,000 to Illinois-based campaign accounts for Republicans, including Sens. Chapin Rose of Mahomet, Bill Brady and Jason Barickman of Bloomington; former county board member Jeff Kibler; state Rep.Tim Butler, R-Springfield; past Illinois House candidate Kristin Williamson; Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen when she was running for the House in 2011; Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman; Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten; and local Republican Party groups.

King, a Christie Clinic physician, also gave $500 to Don Gerard, the one-time mayor of Champaign, a nonpartisan position. But Gerard is a Democrat.

Nationally, King has given to U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville; former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana; the Republican National Committee; the Republican Party of Illinois; presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney; and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

It is not unusual for governors to appoint UI trustees who have donated to their campaigns.

Another Rauner appointee, Ramon Cepeda of Darien, gave $250 to the governor's campaign.

Christopher Kennedy, now a Democratic candidate for governor, but a 2009 appointee of former Gov. Pat Quinn, gave more than $10,000 to Quinn's campaign.

David Dorris of Bloomington, appointed to the UI board by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, gave $128,500 to Friends of Blagojevich.

Niranjan Shah, another Blagojevich appointee, gave a $240 in-kind contribution to the Blagojevich campaign.

Robert Vickrey of Peru, appointed to the UI board by former Gov. George Ryan, gave the Ryan campaign $250. Kenneth Schmidt, another Ryan appointee, gave Citizens for George Ryan $2,000.

Marjorie Sodemann, a longtime Ryan employee and political ally, gave more than $20,000 to various Ryan campaigns, all of it before she was appointed to the UI board in 2001.

Dave Downey of Champaign, who was appointed to the UI board in 1991 by former Gov. Jim Edgar, gave a $1,000 contribution to the Edgar campaign in 1994.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on July 22, 2017 at 9:07 am

Wonder what it costs to be appointed to the State of Illinois Ethics Commission?

787 wrote on July 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

And in other hard hitting, breaking news... the sky is blue and rain is wet...

wayward wrote on July 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Can't stand Rauner, but I like Deb and Katie. Lindsay Graham was one of the more tolerable 2016 GOP candidates, IMHO. The seat had to go to a Republican anyhow, and Dr. King seems like a fairly reasonable guy. In fact, compared to the Trump and the people surrounding him, he looks great.

Truth Squad wrote on July 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Looking back through the N-G archives to find Tom's similar stories on donations made by past appointments when those appointments were made...




Whether you're a Rauner fan or not, this is petty, bogus reporting.

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm


Opioids really pays $$

Reykjavik wrote on July 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

Re "King has donated $6,000 to the Citizens for Rauner campaign account"  Since Rauner represents a major threat to higher education, it is disturbing and notable that this member of the U of I board supports that approach.  

I guess in this era of Trump, folks are less concerned by potential conflicts of interest.