Former GOP state chairman Brady contributed to Cullerton's state senate campaigns
During his career former Illinois Republican state chairman Pat Brady has been criticized for holding views to the left of the Illinois GOP mainstream and for being too cozy with state Democrats.
News of Brady’s friendship with and campaign contributions to newly resigned Illinois State Sen. Tom Cullerton have only reinforced Brady’s GOP critics.
Cullerton resigned Friday after news became public that he had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for allegedly fraudulently receiving a salary and benefits from the Teamsters Union. The indictment says that Cullerton did little or no work for the teamsters, who hired him to be a union organizer with a full-time salary.
“From March 2013 to February 2016, Cullerton fraudulently obtained from Joint Council 25 and its members approximately $188,320 in salary, bonuses, and cellphone and vehicle allowances, as well as approximately $64,068 in health and pension contributions,” the indictment says.
Campaign contribution records show a personal donation of $2,500 from Brady to Cullerton’s 2018 campaign. Campaign finance records from 2016 show a $500 contribution to Cullerton from Next Generation Strategies, where Brady works in government affairs and communications.
Cullerton also shows up on Brady’s Facebook pages. A post from Oct. 10, 2018, shows the two men together at a restaurant. “Good to see my friend Tom Cullerton tonight. He’s done a lot for DuPage County,” Brady’s post reads.
Another photo from Sept. 27, 2017, shows Brady posing with Cullerton at Cullerton’s birthday party. “Great Dad. Funny as heck Irish guy who wants to get things done in Springfield,” Brady’s post says.
Brady appears frequently on Illinois TV and radio as a GOP commentator. He was chairman of the Illinois Republican Party from 2009 to 2013 when he resigned after Democrats won majorities in both the Illinois House and state Senate. Brady was severely criticized in a bitter dispute with GOP stalwarts over his support for same-sex marriage, a viewpoint that was contrary to the state Republican platform at the time.
Prior to his selection as party chairman, Brady served on the Republican National Committee budget committee and chaired the RNC ethics committee. He is a former federal and state prosecutor.