December 2, 2017

/

Illinois, Latest News

Short on Friends, Rauner Turns to the Koch Brothers for Financial and Moral Support

Fresh off his rejection by the leading-conservative magazine National Review, Rauner turned to one of his oldest allies – the Koch Brothers. On Friday, Bruce Rauner’s campaign registered a $5,600 donation from Charles Koch. Rauner and the Koch Brothers have long been intertwined. Rauner donated tens of thousands to Koch Brother-related groups, and in return has benefited from their support in Illinois.

The Democratic Governors Association, through its spokesperson Sam Salustro, releases the following statement: 

“Bruce Rauner and the Koch Brothers have long been ideological and financial allies, but accepting a donation from Charles Koch shows Rauner’s desperation. As Governor, Rauner has done the Koch Brothers proud by pursuing extreme, right-wing policies instead of working to better the lives of Illinois families. Rauner even expressed support for the Republican tax plan pushed forward by the Koch Brothers that will taxes on many middle-class families.  Now, with many in his party abandoning him, Rauner looks to Charles Koch for much needed support.” 

###

Background

In January 2017, Rauner was in Palm Springs at a Three-Day Donor Summit with Koch Industries During Trump’s Travel Ban. According to NBC Chicago, “As demonstrators protested President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport this weekend, NBC 5 confirmed that Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been in Palm Springs, California, for a three-day donor summit with Koch Industries. The first-term Republican sees the event as a policy summit, a spokesperson said, calling it a chance to discuss criminal justice reform and the advancements they believe they’ve made in Illinois. However, the seminar is also considered a chance for 2018 Republican candidates to meet potential donors. Led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the Koch network plans to spend up to $400 million on policy and political campaigns during the midterm cycle, according to several reports including from the Washington Post. This weekend marks the largest gathering of potential donors for Koch Industries, with more than 500 people in attendance.” [NBC Chicago, 1/29/17]

  • Key Point: “Only Three Governors Joined The Palm Springs Summit: Rauner, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker And Arizona’s Doug Ducey, Along With Five Republican U.S. Senators.” [NBC Chicago, 1/29/17]

2012: Rauner Family Foundation Granted $150,000 to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. According to its 2012 IRS 990 form, the Rauner Family Foundation granted $150,000 to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in 2012. [Rauner Family Foundation, IRS 990, 2012]

  • Americans for Prosperity Foundation is the “Political Education Arm of the Koch Network.” According to the New York Times, “Their secret weapon is the Grassroots Leadership Academy: a training program dreamed up by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the political education arm of the Koch network, and intended to groom the next generation of conservative activists to shape the future of the Republican Party.” [New York Times, 9/7/16] 

2012: Rauner Family Foundation Granted $10,000 to the Cato Institute. According to its 2012 IRS 990 form, the Rauner Family Foundation granted $10,000 to the CATO Institute in 2012. [Rauner Family Foundation, IRS 990, 2012]

  • Charles Koch Helped Found Cato Institute, Family Has Donated More than $30 Million Dollars. According to the New York Times, “Charles Koch helped found Cato in 1977, and his family has donated more than $30 million to it over the years. But he and Mr. Crane had a bitter falling-out over management and philosophical differences, and the Kochs had been angling for Mr. Crane’s removal for years.” [New York Times, 6/25/12]

2012: Rauner Family Foundation Granted $25,000 to the Freedomworks Foundation. According to its 2012 IRS 990 form, the Rauner Family Foundation granted $25,000 to the FreedomWorks Foundation in 2012. [Rauner Family Foundation, IRS 990, 2012]

  • FreedomWorks, A “Major Sponsor Of The Tea Party Movement,” Received $12 Million from Koch Family Foundations. According to a column in the New York Times, “The other major sponsor of the Tea Party movement is Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, which, like Americans for Prosperity, is promoting events in Washington this weekend. Under its original name, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks received $12 million of its own from Koch family foundations.” [New York Times, 8/28/10]

2012: Rauner Family Foundation Granted $10,000 to the Jack Miller Center. According to its 2012 IRS 990 form, the Rauner Family Foundation granted $10,000 to the Jack Miller Center in 2012. [Rauner Family Foundation, IRS 990, 2012]

  • Jack Miller Center Used “Koch Money” to Bankroll Programs at Universities to “Reinvigorate The Teaching Of America’s Founding Principles And History.” According to Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, “The Koch foundations together have also spent millions more to fund dozens of academic scholarships and internships, numerous think tanks and education-focused organizations, such as the Philadelphia-based Jack Miller Center. The latter is a nonprofit that used $250,000 in Koch money to help bankroll academic programs that ‘reinvigorate the teaching of America’s founding principles and history’ at 45 institutes of higher education, from Harvard University to American University to the University of California, Los Angeles.” [Center for Public Integrity via Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/27/14]