Billionaire Ken Griffin has given $20 million to Governor Bruce Rauner's campaign for an election that is 18 months away. It is believed to be the single biggest contribution by a non-candidate.
"It's offensive to watch people run as populists, but govern for the plutocracy, Illinois is not for sale," Ameya Pawar, Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, said.
Pawar said he is proud of the $330,000 dollars he has raised so far but his small grassroots contributions will likely never add up to the $70 million Rauner currently has in his re-election coffers--$50 million of it came from Rauner, $20 million from Griffin.
While Democratic billionaire candidate J.B. Pritzker blasted the Griffin contribution, he is also willing to self-fund his campaign, something Pawar said must stop.
"We need campaign finance reform, we need to stop a few wealthy people buy our democracy," Pawar said.
Illinois campaign for political reform is pushing a bill that allows local grass root's contributions to candidates be matched by public funds.
"It also makes elected officials accountable to people who are voting for them and not necessarily just the wealthy donors," Sarah Brune, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said.
On Thursday, ABC 7 asked the governor if he supports reforms that creates a level financial playing field for all candidates. He didn't answer.
"We have a lot of time to talk about politics and I will go deep into politics at another time, not today," he said.
Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy is also critical of the Griffin contribution and members of his own party who back Pritzker.
In a written statement released by the Kennedy campaign, it said Democrats should not fall into the trap of replacing one billionaire for another.
Ken Griffin gives Gov. Bruce Rauner $20 million for re-election campaign
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