Via Rich Miller, a spat is breaking out among some Republican candidates for governor over who has committed the heresy of contributing to Democratic politicians in the past, including president Barack Obama.
Illinois Review is reporting:
State Senator Kirk Dillard is getting heat from the Champion News blog over contributions he and his senate campaign made to Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration committee.
Champion News, which is owned by Jack Roeser (who serves on Bruce Rauner’s campaign committee), argues the recorded inauguration expenses contradict Dillard’s assertion that he never contributed to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
For the Dillard campaign, the issue was made worse by a spokesperson’s flat denial that the candidate ever contributed to Obama, a reality easily disproved by a quick trip to OpenSecrets.org and the State Board of Elections.
Listings show Dillard donated twice to Obama’s Inauguration Fund in 2009, once from Dillard himself for $324 and another from his State Senate fund for $600.
As well, there’s the little matter of the candidate’s appearance in a 2008 campaign ad for then-candidate Obama.
The Rauner campaign weighed in with a tweet, saying:
Nevermind the endorsement ad. Dillard forgot to tell you he contributed to Obama in 2009. Oops.
As Miller points out, what’s interesting is that few Republicans in Illinois have cozied up to Democrats more than Bruce Rauner:
Rauner contributed to how many Democrats over the years? He made Rahm Emanuel how many millions? He helped devise a scheme to get how much campaign money to Speaker Madigan’s candidates through Stand for Children’s Illinois PAC?
While seemingly innocuous, the spat is part and parcel of a wider tendency in Republican politics to treat every contact with a Democrat as something akin to aiding and abetting the enemy.
In May, New Jersey governor Chris Christie was attacked by fellow Republicans in the wake of Hurricane Sandy for working too closely with Obama.
Today, Republicans around the country are going after each other for the sin of being seen as insufficiently hostile to Obamacare.
In Illinois, however, all it takes is to have once offered modest support to a fellow state senator when he was running for the highest office in the land to be perhaps not Republican enough for governor.