April , 2019

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From: Friends of Juliana Stratton, Democratic candidate for state representative


CHICAGO, IL – Ken Dunkin’s latest Republican political patron is an extreme right-wing organization with a record of backing right-wing politicians, fighting against an increase in the minimum wage, opposing the policies of President Obama and calling for unprecedented cuts to social services and education funding. The Illinois Opportunity Project, an extreme organization founded by backers of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, announced Monday that it would give Dunkin $500,000, the largest political donation the group has ever made.

“Republican Bruce Rauner’s right-wing donors are fully in support of Rauner’s Springfield agent Ken Dunkin. By accepting the support of a Republican group that takes such an extreme stand against better wages for our families and health care for those in need, Ken Dunkin has abandoned any illusion that he is still a Democrat,” said Juliana Stratton, Democratic candidate for state representative.

“This group has donated nearly $200,000 to some of Illinois’ most right-wing politicians. The $500,000 they are giving to Ken Dunkin is just another
example of Ken Dunkin turning his back on our families. The people who once trusted Ken Dunkin deserve to know why he is now standing with a group so completely opposed to the values of our community.”

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor opposes an increase in the minimum wage and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A March 2015 report from NBC News Chicago indicates that the Illinois Opportunity Project is working against
a minimum wage increase, hurting efforts to put struggling families on a path to a living wage. The group also urged the state to reject President Obama’s landmark health care law, which allows thousands of low-income families in Illinois to access life-saving health care.

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor supports a plan that would slash funding for local schools. According to its website, the Illinois Opportunity Project is a leading advocate for an education system that would result in massive cuts in public school funding, overcrowded classrooms, and teacher layoffs.

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor is pushing for extreme budget cuts that would slash $13 billion from critical services for families, medical care for elderly and disabled residents, and public safety. On its website, the Illinois Opportunity Project calls for $13 billion in state spending cuts, a proposal even more severe than the extreme budget proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Such massive cuts would devastate in-home and nursing care for the elderly and disabled, eliminate the Child Care Assistance Program that working families rely on, and endanger public safety.

FACT: The co-founder of the group now backing Dunkin is a Bruce Rauner ally who recently took nearly $2 million from Republican Rauner’s campaign to help support the governor’s favored candidates. The Illinois Opportunity Project was co-founded by right-wing activist Dan Proft, whose political committee recently accepted $1.81 million from Bruce Rauner’s campaign to support candidates who back Rauner’s dangerous agenda.

FACT: The $500,000 donation to Dunkin is the largest political donation in the group’s history. According to the State Board of Elections, the Illinois Opportunity Project has contributed nearly $200,000 to some of the most right-wing politicians in the state. To date, over 95 percent of the group’s partisan donations have been to Republicans. These donations, however, are dwarfed by the half a million dollars provided to Dunkin, the largest reported political donation in the organization’s history.

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