Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Illinois Teachers Spend $325,000 to Defeat Bruce Rauner

The union-backed "Freedom PAC" collects more cash for its campaign against the GOP gubernatorial nominee

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An Illinois teachers group has donated $325,000 to a union-backed super PAC whose main agenda is to defeat Republican Bruce Rauner's campaign for governor.

    On June 18 the Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE submitted the six-figure contribution to the Illinois Freedom PAC, which adopted the slogan "Bruce Rauner Can't Be Trusted" and funded a series of anti-Rauner TV spots during the Republican primary earlier this year. (View three such ads below.)

    Illinois Freedom PAC posted the offering Tuesday. Last week, the organization received an additional $300,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

    With the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election on the horizon, the pressure is on for Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn to match Rauner's growing, partly self-financed war chest (which now includes a record-breaking $2.5 million courtesy of Chicago hedge funder Ken Griffin).

    Since March's primary, Rauner has amassed more than $8 million while Quinn raised $1.3 million.

    The Winnetka venture capitalist, who masquerades as a down-to-earth everyman despite owning nine fancy homes (more than Mitt Romney!), is stridently opposed to what he views as Illinois unions' too-powerful stronghold over government. He is also in favor of the growth of privately run, publicly funded charter schools among other "school choice" alternatives.