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In a campaign with multiple millionaires and a billionaire running for office, the Illinois State Board of Elections has ruled that a candidate may hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own cash without breaking any elections laws.
The board unanimously ruled Friday afternoon that Willie Wilson, a wealthy Chicago businessman, didn’t break any elections laws during a cash giveaway, which he called relief for the needy to pay rising property taxes. He handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars at a Southside church on July 22.
The article goes on to state the following:
The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform filed a complaint, claiming Wilson’s campaign failed to file the money as an in-kind donation since the campaign benefitted from his private foundation’s giveaway.
“ICPR has tremendous respect for Dr. Wilson and his philanthropy, and has never wanted to stop his charitable activities,” Executive Director Mary Miro said. “ICPR only wants to ensure that such activities are appropriately disclosed when they are closely aligned with a campaign for public office.”
This ruling was preceded by a hearing officer recommendation that there be no punishment for Wilson’s campaign, saying promotion of the event via political avenues was a mistake.
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