Buried deep in Tom Kacich’s report on 13th Congressional District campaign contributions (July 21) is a likely explanation for why U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis gets so upset about upstate “liberal elites” and a couple of new targets of his ire, unnamed “Chicago financiers and (alleged) tax-dodger J.B. Pritzker,” as he recently told supporters.
Along with all the money Davis raked in from PACs for the airline, automobile, trucking, railroad, ag chemical and other industries regulated by his committees (Transportation and Agriculture), he reported a $5,600 individual contribution from hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Chicago. Griffin is the richest person in Illinois and a big pal of ex-Gov. Bruce Rauner, fellow hedge fund operator of Winnetka.
Griffin, whose net worth is estimated in round numbers at $10 billion gives to various worthy causes in Chicago and the economics department at the University of Chicago, a hotbed of laissez-faire fundamentalists who worship at the shrine of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
In addition to Rauner, whom he gave $36 million, Griffin chips in for Illinois Republicans and dark money PACs nationwide. After all, he’s famous for saying the rich have “too little influence” in politics.
On the other hand, Pritzker contributed $5,600 to Davis’ Democratic challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield.
Maybe that’s why Rodney’s so upset.
But for Davis to pretend he doesn’t play the money game with financial elites in Chicago is at best disingenuous.