- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Democratic state senator in Illinois says he has started a federal super PAC to combat the millions of dollars that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his supporters are spending on state Legislative races.

Federal Election Commission filings show the Leading Illinois for Tomorrow political action committee, started by Daniel Biss of Evanston, has spent more than $1 million this week on advertising.

Figures from the Center for Public Integrity showed last week that Republicans have spent $2 million on TV ads in a Chicago-area district, and that Democrats and Republicans combined have spent nearly $14 million on state Legislative races overall.

Republican ads have linked Democrats to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who leads the state Democratic Party and has been in office for decades, the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (https://bit.ly/2dMrQRn ) reported.

“Gov. Rauner and allies of his who have an extraordinary amount of money are trying to paint a picture of what the Republican Party is about and what the Democratic Party is about,” Biss said.

The first ad from Biss‘ super PAC began airing Tuesday in the Chicago area, and links Rauner and state Republicans to presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Rauner has not said if he will vote for Trump, but Illinois Republican Party spokesman Aaron DeGroot said the state party does back him.

“It’s no surprise that Illinois Democrats are desperately trying to make the state elections about anything other than their failed record of higher taxes, broken budgets and insider deals under Mike Madigan,” DeGroot said in an emailed statement. “Voters won’t be fooled.”

According to Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, committees are prohibited from coordinating with candidates or political parties. She added that “the rules for coordination are fuzzy.”

Biss, who isn’t on the ballot this year, said he’s avoided conversations with candidates and the super PAC will reveal its donors as required by federal law.


Information from: The State Journal-Register, https://www.sj-r.com

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