CHICAGO - Politics makes strange bedfellows; especially as candidates work to be all things to all people in a diverse state like Illinois. For example, while GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner appeals to gun owners by publishing photos of himself hunting, his finance committee chairman Ron Gidwitz is writing checks to gun control advocates.
Records show that just before the close of 2013's last quarter, Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz wrote a check for $5,000 to the Chicago-based Gun Violence Prevention PAC, a relatively new political action group that supports gun control candidates and is led by Highland Park's Tom Vanden Berk.
Vanden Berk helped found the Million Moms March, and last year the group merged with the Brady Foundation, which "works to pass, enforce, and protect" laws and public policy that address gun violence through gun control at the federal and state levels.
Gidwitz has faithfully supported the Illinois Republican Party, Senate and House Republican Caucuses and local GOP groups, as well as GOP candidates, since the 1990s. In 2010, he was State Senator Kirk Dillard's finance chairman and donated over $300,000 to Dillard's gubernatorial bid. In 2014, he's serving as Bruce Rauner's campaign chairman, and to-date has invested only $5,300 in his bid for governor.
As noted previously, odd couplings are neither uncommon in Illinois politics nor unique to the Rauner campaign. But they do provide a modicum of insight into the various candidates and campaigns.