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Rauner Responds to Chicago Cash Handout

July 24, 2018 - 7:07 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is responding to criticism that his own money could have been used for political purposes.

Rauner says he learned after the Sunday event on Chicago's south side that Willie Wilson, a Chicago mayoral candidate with whom Rauner has worked with on property tax relief, handed out $200,000.

Rauner has donated to Wilson's efforts the past couple of years and was at the church service on Sunday - leading critics to question whether he's trying to buy votes.

“I think the idea of handing out cash it you’re a candidate for office is outrageous, it should not happen,” he says.

During his speech at Sunday's service, Rauner outlined his efforts to reduce property taxes. He said the pastor at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church invited him to speak, and a campaign aide accompanied him.

Rauner also faced questions about vote buying in Chicago's African-American community in 2014, when he deposited $1 million of his personal funds in a South Side credit union while TV cameras rolled.

Rauner said it was his understanding that people receiving the funds are vetted, and the money is provided via check to people who might lose their homes because they can't pay their taxes. The Illinois State Board of Elections said Wilson didn't break any campaign finance laws because the money came from his non-profit foundation, not his campaign fund.