CHICAGO — Coming off a big endorsement by the Chicago Tribune, mayoral candidate Bill Daley got another endorsement and with it, $1 million and a lot of criticism.
Hedge fund billionaire and Illinois’ richest man, Ken Griffin, contributed $1 million to Daley’s campaign. Griffin said he donated after careful consideration.
Candidate Paul Vallas called the contribution dark money and said the following in a statement:
“Recent filings directly show what the Daley campaign intends to do with their pay-to-play funded war chest- spread lies to suit his own needs and leverage dark money PACs to anonymously attack Vallas who will cut off their corrupt funding.”
“I’m not going to be the mayor of anybody but the people of Chicago. He is a large employer, very successful and very charitable,” Daley said.
On Wednesday, Susana Mendoza came out swinging. She compared Dailey to former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner who also got a campaign donation from Griffin. Daley worked on Rauner’s transition team.
“It just shows that Bruce Rauner’s back,” she said. “The person who helped create the blueprint for Bruce Rauner’s damage to our state is now the person who is the preferred candidate of BR largest contributor.”
Daley said it was a bipartisan transition team and once that was done, so was he.
“I think that’s a message that you should try to help if you’re asked, someone from another party. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he said
As for the Tribune’s endorsement, from a newspaper that has been consistently critical of both former Daley administrations, Daley said he was surprised.
“Matter of fact,” Daley said, “when Jorge Neire came into my campaign room, he said, ‘Russians must have hacked the Tribune website.'”
The mayoral election will be on Feb. 26.