A spokesman for proudly liberal Chicago mayoral contender Bob Fioretti is slamming a Sun-Times report about Fioretti's past donations to Republican political candidates including Bob Dole as an unnecessary distraction from the real issues.
"If you want to know how Bob will run this city, then look at his time on City Council," Fioretti spokesman Michael Kolenc tells Ward Room in a statement. "While people were writing about a $250 contribution to Bob Dole made nearly 20 years ago, Bob was the only mayoral candidate out marching for a $15 an hour minimum wage and an elected school board. We should be talking about issues rather than getting distracted. People in this city are suffering, and this discussion does nothing to create safe streets and strong neighborhoods."
Fioretti, a member of City Council's Progressive Caucus and opponent of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom he's accused of being a Republican in Democrat's clothing, reportedly contributed $120,000 to Illinois campaigners along with his former law firms while he was working as an attorney before departing the private sphere for public office in 2007. About $70,000 of that went toward Republicans including ex-Gov. George Ryan, former Attorney General Jim Ryan, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and Treasurer Dan Rutherford, according to the paper, citing campaign-finance documents.
Back in 1996, the 2nd Ward alderman personally gave to Bob Dole's failed bid to kick Bill Clinton out of the White House.
The news that Fioretti financially supported Dole came as a surprise to the diehard progressive himself.
"I'm a Democrat through and through, my God," Fioretti said. "I'm in absolute shock. I was at the Democratic convention in 1996 here. There's no way, absolutely no way, this person gave to Bob Dole in '96. Period."
He wanted to know where the information came from about his Dole contribution. The answer—that it’s on the Federal Election Commission’s website—didn’t convince him.
The Dole committee listed Fioretti as giving $250 and located him at the same address on the Near West Side that he continues to call home.
Fioretti said a former law firm partner was responsible for contributing much of the GOP cash. What of his individual check to Dole? The evidence is here for the viewing.