PAC aims to shed GOP ‘super minority’ status in Illinois House
BY NATASHA KORECKI Political Reporter August 28, 2013 6:02PM
Illinois Rep. David McSweeney
Updated: September 30, 2013 2:06PM
A new PAC aimed at shedding the Republicans’ “super minority” in the Illinois House emerged this week.
The new Reform PAC filed papers of organization on Monday. So far, it’s already raised more than $100,000, said state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).
Among the donors? GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, Jack Roeser and Richard Uihlein — all wealthy, influential businessmen.
McSweeney said in an interview Wednesday that the group’s mission is clear: it will financially back Republican candidates for the House to get the GOP out of the “super minority” in that chamber. McSweeney said the goal is to immediately raise $200,000 and the group already has $110,000 on hand.
“The mission is general election and not a penny will be spent in the primaries,” McSweeney said in an interview on Wednesday.
“I want to get out of the super minority. Part of what we’re going to do is only top-tier races that are winnable and try to make a difference. The goal is just to raise money and help other candidates in the statehouse next year.”
McSweeney said he hit up Rauner, Roeser and Uihlein for contributions and that not a dime would be spent on the governor’s race.
The last time Republicans tried to win back the majority with the “fire Madigan” campaign ended up handing the longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) a supermajority in his chamber.
Republicans think times are different now, given Illinois’ fiscal ills.
“I really think we can make an impact in the coming election,” said the committee’s chair and treasurer Anthony Luczkiw.
State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said the new PAC is the kind of boost Republican candidates need to have for a fighting chance against Madigan’s fund-raising prowess, especially as petition circulating is just weeks away.
“Look, we got to help people run for office and win, get us out of this malaise that we continue to find ourselves in,” Sandack said Wednesday.
And Luczkiw said even though Rauner has donated to the cause, he will not hold sway over how the money is spent.
“I will emphatically state, he will have no influence on any decision-making process here,” Luczkiw said. “As far as where the money goes he will have no input because he’s a candidate.”