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AFL-CIO goes after Rauner for campaign cash dumps

One of the state’s largest unions has filed an “emergency” ethics complaint that aims to block Republican multi-millionaire Bruce Rauner from dumping any more money into his own gubernatorial campaign fund.

To date, Rauner has pumped $5 million into his campaign war-chest as he seeks to take the March 18th GOP nomination for governor.

The AFL-CIO, which has nearly 900,000 members in Illinois, filed a complaint with the Office of the Executive Inspector General, alleging that Rauner is violating the state’s procurement code because of Rauner’s former chairmanship of GTCR.

GTCR has won millions of dollars in Illinois pension business, through the Teachers Retirement System.

According to the complaint, Rauner must wait two years before donating money to any candidate — even himself — under the procurement code.

Rauner resigned from GTCR on Oct. 19, 2012. Under the AFL-CIO’s way of thinking, Rauner would have to wait until Oct. 19 2014 (right before the general election) before he could donate to his own campaign.

“We filed a complaint and we feel very strongly it is a significant conflict of interest,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Mike Carrigan told the Sun-Times. “We strongly feel is a violation of the Illinois procurement code.”

Rauner’s campaign dismissed the complaint as a last-minute desperation tactic.

“It’s clear that Pat Quinn’s allies are now beyond the point of desperation,” said campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf. “The complaint fails on its face and is conceptually ridiculous. Bruce first contributed to his exploratory committee nearly a year ago, and the government union bosses finally filing this now only confirms that they know Bruce will defeat Quinn and shake up the status quo in Springfield.”

There’s no love loss between Rauner and public sector unions.

Rauner has repeatedly said that he’s taking on “government union bosses,” which has spawned political action committees that have launched attack ads.

And the argument that Rauner was attempting to influence himself could be a difficult one to make.

Rauner Ethics Complaint