Chicago Mayoral Candidate Hands Out $500,000 Cash to Potential Voters

Chris Menahan
Jul. 23, 2018

The Illinois State Board of Elections says it's A-OK for Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson to hand potential voters $500,000 in cash.

Don't worry though, Wilson said he only gave out money to people who "got out of prison" or "don't have I.D."

Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson says he wasn't trying to buy anyone's vote when he handed out close to $200,000 to churchgoers.

The millionaire businessman said Sunday's appearance at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church was nothing more than "one of the biggest property tax relief assistance" events of the year and the kind of thing he's done before.

The Illinois State Board of Elections said Wilson didn't break any campaign finance laws because the money came from his non-profit foundation.

[...]An aide to Wilson said the businessman gave away $300,000 to 2,000 people through the Dr. Willie Wilson Foundation, a 501(c)(3). Such organizations are tax-exempt, must not be organized for the benefit of private interests and are restricted in how much political activities they can conduct. Wilson says he organized the giveaway to assist homeowners who are struggling to pay their property tax bills.

[...]Reached by phone, F. Scott Winslow, Wilson for Mayor campaign spokesman, told WGN News Sunday's event was "absolutely not" a campaign event. Winslow says since Wilson launched his second bid for Chicago mayor, he's probably given away $500,000.
Wilson told CBS Chicago, "That was my personal money that I give to people who otherwise don't have I.D., got out of prison, don't have I.D., but they're hungry."

Voters no doubt breathed a sigh of relief after learning he gave the money to criminals who got out of prison and have no forms of identification!

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