Bruce Rauner responds to criticism of $1M donation promise

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Bruce Rauner responded Friday night to criticism he's trying to buy votes. (WLS)

Bruce Rauner responded Friday night to criticism he's trying to buy votes by giving a South Side credit union $1 million out of his own pocket.

The millionaire venture capitalist says he's long supported businesses and programs in poor communities and called that pledge of a million dollars "an investment."

On Friday night, Bruce Rauner brought his message to the streets of Chatham.

"We need economic growth and empowerment of African-American entrepreneurs, and great schools," said Rauner.

The GOP candidate for governor marched with residents and anti-violence activists, including Pastor Corey Brooks.

"The fact that he's here with boots on the ground and talking to some of the guys, and he's going to be talking to people here in the community, I think that's a great thing," said Brooks.

Rauner's appearance on the South Side comes amidst accusations of vote-buying in the African American community. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined other Democrats in criticizing Rauner's pledge of a million of his own dollars to a South Side credit union.

"If this was something that he thought was important, he could have done it before he ran for governor," said Preckwinkle.

It was earlier this week that Rauner, whose already given millions to his own campaign fund, promised a $1 million deposit to the Southside Community Federal Credit Union for loans to small businesses.

Governor Quinn's campaign said the move raised "serious ethical questions," but Rauner says he was asked to make the pledge, which he deemed smart business.

"My million dollars of an investment, upon which I would expect to get a return, could allow them to expand their micro-lending in the African-American community for African-American business owners, and I'd love to help," said Rauner.

Rauner says he and his wife have long supported with their own money programs in poor communities.

But here in the Chatham neighborhood, some residents are skeptical.

"All he's trying to do is get votes in any means, in any way he feels like he can," said Kurvin Hubbard, Chatham resident.

Friday night, in response to Rauner's appearance on the South Side, the Quinn campaign criticized Rauner for not supporting an assault weapons ban. Rauner called that criticism a distraction and said the governor has failed to create jobs and improve schools.

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politicsdonationsBruce Raunerpat quinnChicago - Near South Side
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