After the state Democratic Party filed a complaint against him for failing to disclose more than $1 million in receipts for the political action committee he runs, far-right talk show host and GOP political figure Dan Proft is blaming a $3 million typo for the discrepancy.
Proft filed a new campaign finance report on Wednesday for an independent PAC he runs called People Who Play by the Rules.
In its quarterly campaign report filed Jan. 20, covering the period from October to December of last year, the PAC reported a $1.2 million deficit after raising $17.4 million and spending $18.6 million.
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A negative balance cannot be reported unless the committee receives the loan or other receipts or clears the debt. The Jan. 20 report showed no loans, debts or other receipts, prompting the Illinois Democratic Party to file a complaint with the Illinois State Election Commission.
In an amended report filed Wednesday, Proft revealed that the originally reported $3,000,078.33 in advertising costs for CBS-2 Chicago ads actually cost $300,078.33 — $3 million less. than was originally reported.
As a result, instead of having a negative cash balance, PAC reported an ending balance of $1.5 million in available cash after raising about $17.3 million and spending nearly $15.9 million for the quarter.
The complaint, filed Tuesday by Ben Hardin, executive director of the Illinois Democratic Party, accused Proft of committing “one of the most egregious” violations of the law for failing to disclose all of his PAC’s financial records “completely and accurately. »
State Democratic Party officials did not immediately respond to a request asking if they would withdraw the complaint now that the amended PAC report has been filed.
Proft PAC’s independent spending has been almost entirely funded by conservative billionaire megadonor Richard Whelein, founder of office supply and packaging firm Uline.
The PAC has spent tens of millions of dollars supporting far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in November.
Whelein has long been a financial backer of Proft. Records show Wyline has given $42 million to the People Who Play By The Rules PAC, including roughly $34 million from the time Bailey won the GOP nomination for governor in late June to the November contest.
Democrats used to filed a complaint on November 4, just before the nation’s general election, alleging that Proft’s PAC illegally coordinated the campaign with Bailey’s campaign. As an independent spending PAC, People Who Play by the Rules is not permitted to coordinate spending with a political candidate.
[ Conservative GOP operative Dan Proft’s involvement in Bailey campaign matter raises questions about his role ]
The “Tribune” reported earlier. Proft was trying to wade into an internal dispute between Bailey’s company and one of his former political staff over an unspecified human resources issue. The complaint noted Proft’s involvement in the personnel incident and alleged illegal coordination between Proft and Bailey involving Bailey’s appearance on Proft’s conservative radio talk show.
The complaint also accused Proft, who lives in Naples, Florida, of “consistently” acting in “collaboration, consultation, or agreement” with Bailey’s company. He claimed his posts consisted of improper “in-kind” contributions — donated services or expenses that help companies.
The hearing officer acknowledged that this complaint was filed on “reasonable grounds” and a full state election commission hearing is scheduled in the coming weeks.