Rauner pays $35K to firm of Brady, ex-GOP Chairman, Ives critic
The public affairs firm of Patrick M. Brady, the ex-Illinois GOP Chairman turned lobbyist, received $35,682 in the first quarter of 2018 from Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign, according to a filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
In January, Rauner made three payments for "political consulting" to Brady's River Strategies of Chicago totaling $26,133. He made a fourth payment of $9,550 on March 5, two weeks before Rauner's primary election with State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).
Rauner edged out Ives by three percentage points, despite massively outspending her.
River Strategies describes itself as a "media, public affairs, and corporate communications" firm. But Brady is the only firm member with political experience.
Partner Tracy Slutzkin formerly worked as a news producer at WLS-AM 890, including alongside political activist and radio host Dan Proft, one of the principals of LGIS, which owns Prairie State Wire.
Brady acted as a defacto spokesman for Rauner during the primary, making regular media appearances where he would attack Ives, though he was never formally identified as such.
He dubbed Ives and her supporters "haters" for opposing Rauner's policy positions as governor.
"There is no room in the Republican Party for racist, bigoted, homophobic candidates like her," Brady said in February, after Ives ran a television ad criticizing Rauner's support of taxpayer-funded abortions, "Sanctuary State" legislation and allowing Illinoisans to change the biological sex on their birth certificates."
Brady said Ives was too "extreme" and could not win a statewide election.
In 2016, Brady actively opposed President Donald Trump, saying a vote for him is "a vote for Hillary Clinton."
"(Trump) gets creamed by Hillary Clinton," Brady said. "I don't care what anybody says, there's absolutely no way that if he goes against Hillary Clinton, that he's going to prevail."
Brady served as Illinois GOP Chairman from 2009 to 2013 before he was forced to resign after trying to change the party platform to support gay marriage.
He was later hired by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to lobby for gay marriage in Illinois.
Next Generation Strategies, Brady's lobbying firm, counts AT&T, SAS software, Deloitte Consulting, prison health care provider Corizon Health and the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines as clients.