UPDATE x1: This story has generated a surprising amount of reaction.
Rich Miller at CapitolFax thought the accusation about Dillard attending the 2009 Obama inauguration was the “pot calling the kettle black” given Rauner’s history of contributions to Democrats.
The Dillard campaign reacted as well. A spokesman for the campaign contacted IR and voiced his displeasure and disappointment that IR didn’t “tell [our] low-information readers that this was clearly NOT a donation.”
We report, and let our informed and intelligent readers decide.
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State Senator Kirk Dillard is getting heat from the Champion News blog over contributions he and his senate campaign made to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration committee. Dillard, as well as several other Republican federal and state lawmakers, joined the January 2009 DC celebration and attended the Illinois State Society's exclusive inaugural ball. Those expenses show up on Dillard's filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Champion News, which is owned by Jack Roeser (who serves on Bruce Rauner's campaign committee), argues the recorded inauguration expenses contradict Dillard's assertion that he never contributed to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The Rauner campaign agrees, tweeting:
Dillard has been criticized since 2008 for participating in a campaign ad for Obama, lauding then-State Senator Obama's willingness to work across the aisle for legislative progress. Dillard does not apologize for his part in the campaign ads, and has said he believes his part in them could help him gain support among suburbanites and conservative black church voters.
In 2008, Adam Jadhav of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, spoke with Dillard about the ad: