Major news today as Politico reports Citadel LLC CEO Kenneth Griffin may spend up to $300 million in the next Illinois selection. He is determined to unseat Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker and push a slate of conservative candidates:
A source who spoke to Playbook about [political operative] Mike Z, also said Griffin has committed $150 million to the campaign, which would match what Pritzker spent in his first run for governor.
Other media reports have attributed “multiple sources” as saying Griffin is willing to spend as much as $300 million in next year’s election.
Griffin was also behind a shadowy group that defeated a ballot measure for a progressive state income tax last year. The group is now interviewing potential gubernatorial candidates in secrecy, per Politico.
I find the idea of a billionaire threatening to outspend a sitting governor single handedly while interviewing candidates in secret disturbing. This is not the type of proportional representation consistent with democracy.
I also find the idea of the state’s richest resident, with a net worth of $21 billion, secretly campaigning to stop a fairly modest 8% top tax rate unseemly. Griffin has benefited enormously from the state but seems unwilling to give back.
Wherever you turn, you seem to find Griffin and his firm. His hedge fund is conversing with Robinhood right before they limit trades, causing large losses for meme stock investors.
At the same time, he’s investing in Melvin Capital, which had short positions in those same stocks. Now he’s the plutocrat kingmaker in Illinois politics.
And he even picked up a copy of the Constitution for a cool $43 million. After all, Junior had to have it!
Griffin seems determined to throw his weight around wherever he can. The question is, how long are we going to take it?
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