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Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Slams Richard Irvin Donor Ken Griffin for Hypocritically Profiting from Gun Money
The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board slammed billionaire Ken Griffin yesterday for pouring millions into Richard Irvin’s “tough on crime” campaign for governor while his company invests millions in gun manufacturers.
Griffin has branded himself and Irvin as advocates for public safety. But weapons manufactured by companies within Citadel’s portfolio account for nearly one of every four guns recovered by police and used in Chicago homicides since 2017.
“Given this concern, you’d think Griffin would be outraged to learn Citadel and Citadel Securities have $86 million in investments and holdings in gun and ammunition makers,” the editorial board reported.
“You absolutely cannot be a voice about crime and murder or shootings on our streets when your company is a major investor in gun manufacturers,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of Faith Community of St. Sabina Church.
This isn’t the first time Griffin and Irvin have been called out for their bogus public safety platform. Last week, the Chicago Tribune exposed Irvin for helping clients accused of the same violent crimes he slams in campaign ads.
Read below for key excerpts from the editorial:
Chicago billionaire Kenneth Griffin, with his vast wealth, is a loud voice in city and state politics and issues.
When he’s not bankrolling Republican gubernatorial candidates such as former Gov. Bruce Rauner and current GOP hopeful, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, you might find him in front of an Economic Club of Chicago audience, threatening to relocate his $46 billion hedge fund company, Citadel, because of the city’s crime and gun violence.
“It’s becoming ever more difficult to have [Chicago] as our global headquarters, a city which has so much violence,” he said last October. “I mean, Chicago is like Afghanistan — on a good day. That’s a problem.”
Given this concern, you’d think Griffin would be outraged to learn Citadel and Citadel Securities have $86 million in investments and holdings in gun and ammunition makers, as WBEZ reported last week.
“You absolutely cannot be a voice about crime and murder or shootings on our streets when your company is a major investor in gun manufacturers,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of Faith Community of St. Sabina Church, said in response to the report.
The reverend’s right.
According to the WBEZ report, also published in the Sun-Times, weapons manufactured by companies within Citadel’s portfolio account for nearly one of every four guns that were recovered by cops and used in Chicago homicides since 2017.
But Griffin knows now. And rather than merely address technicalities, he could use his voice and position to rise to the moment and initiate an open, honest, sorely needed dialogue about this country’s gun problem and the role played by weapons and ammunitions manufacturers.
And, heck, if he really wanted to show he was serious about it, Griffin could divest in those companies and urge others to do the same.
Scrutiny like this is often the price of admission for playing so openly in the public arena.
Sometimes the moment calls for action instead of just talk.