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Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:05 PM

IL. Gov. Rauner campaign used gift cards to help get out vote

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20150723/NEWS/150729756
Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign handed out thousands of dollars in gift cards to people who helped get supporters to the polls during the November election, prompting questions about transparency and whether recipients should be considered volunteers or campaign staff.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the campaign says it bought 5,145 Visa prepaid gift cards in denominations of $25, $50 and $75. The gift cards weren't mentioned in campaign finance reports filed with the state until July 13, when the Republican's political committee noted that it received $54,713 in April and May through "liquidation of previously purchased asset redemption of gift cards." The campaign hasn't disclosed who got the cards or whether anyone received cards totaling $150 or more the level at which Illinois campaign finance laws requires that compensation to workers be reported.

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Sarah Clamp, spokeswoman for Rauner's campaign, said the campaign reported the gift cards correctly. "The campaign is only responsible for reporting when the campaign makes an expenditure and did this by reporting the purchase of gift cards," she said.

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His campaign said it considered the gift cards property and that transferring them to workers didn't need to be reported. Larry Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, said debit cards are "as good as cash," and the campaign should have reported which workers got the cards. While campaigns often reward volunteers with pizza or coffee, Noble said giving gift cards "definitely is odd."


Rauner is like having Scott Walker and the Koch brothers rolled into one person.

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Reply IL. Gov. Rauner campaign used gift cards to help get out vote (Original post)
Gidney N Cloyd Jul 2015 OP
Freelancer Jul 2015 #1
Historic NY Jul 2015 #2
Gidney N Cloyd Jul 2015 #6
Stellar Jul 2015 #3
procon Jul 2015 #4
Gidney N Cloyd Jul 2015 #5
murielm99 Jul 2015 #7

Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:21 PM

1. I live in Illinois -- this 'thing' called Rauner is completely vile

I would take Blago over this sack of s#@% any day.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:21 PM

2. Buying the vote one gift card at a time...

still it wasn't enough to help Quinn. The people will eventually realized they got punked.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 06:53 PM

6. I'm hoping the editorial boards of the Trib, Sun-Times, Herald, et al will realize they got punked.

The owners knew what they were getting but I still believe the journalists can draw lines. OK, John Kass is a shameless conservatoady but the editors probably have standards.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:57 PM

3. This &*%^#@* is pissing me all the way off!

I can't even stand to see his name in print!

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 04:39 PM

4. Could an argument be made that Citizens United would allow this?

Seriously, if the Supreme Court decision laid out the doctrine that money is a form of speech and corporations and millionaires can legally buy the politician of their choosing, then why can't a politician buy voters?

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Response to procon (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 06:44 PM

5. Let's face it, that argument will be made. But...

...I think the deal here is that these are expenses by the actual campaign committee and there are still rules about how that kind of money may be spent.

And short of that, it just looks bad. It looks like more like buying votes than buying/influencing opinions.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Original post)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 05:10 AM

7. The cards were given to people who got

voters to the polls. It seems to me that each person who was given a card should have been listed in the report to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Each card represents an expenditure. The ISBE should have caught that.

I used to file the reports for our county Democratic party. When we had a fundraiser and sold raffle tickets, we had to report each winner, even if they won only $50.00. We had to report property transfers, too. If computers or other equipment was donated or transferred, it had to be reported, and its value stated in the report.

Larry Noble is right. But his FEC position has nothing to do with it. The FEC has even stricter rules than the ISBE.

Unless things have changed very drastically in the last few years, Rauner's people need to submit an amended report, or face, at the very least, some stiff fines.

I'm not a lawyer, but I sweated out a lot of reports to the ISBE. I called them any time I was not sure about what to declare. They were helpful. I was honest.

Maybe we should just give the Ruiner enough rope and he will hang himself soon enough. He will go to jail.

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