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Anti-Rauner PAC gets big money from teachers

An Illinois teachers group has given $325,000 to a group that opposes Republican Bruce Rauner’s bid for governor in a sign that fund-raising is ramping up on both sides in the gubernatorial contest.

The Illinois Freedom PAC on Tuesday posted the sizable contribution from the Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE. Last week, AFSCME gave the group $330,000.

Illinois Freedom PAC was behind some of the negative ads that launched against Rauner in the Republican primary.

The group raised $3.5 million in the first quarter of the year and spent just about all of it before pulling their ads days before the primary election.

Rauner spent more than $8 million in the first quarter of this year but has steadily been replenishing his warchest, including recently with the help of a $2.5 million donation by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin.

Rauner has repeatedly said that “government union bosses” were part of what’s wrong with Springfield and Illinois’ economic situation.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, had no formidable opposition in the primary, allowing him to accumulate money in his own campaign committee.