by Robert Hadley, Will County Gazette
Amid reports that House Speaker Michael Madigan’s $2 million in campaign gifts to Democrats was partly funded by a large public-sector union, Republican House candidate Alyssia Benford said such gifts compromise the recipient’s loyalties.
“We can’t trust candidates and legislators that take money from Madigan to stand up for regular families and taxpayers,” Benford told the Will County Gazette.
Benford, who is running for a 98th District House seat, said Madigan has heavily funded her opponent, Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet).
“This election cycle, (Madigan) gave her close to $700,000,” Benford said. “She is among the top 10 state representatives receiving funds from him.”
Benford pointed out that the Democrat Party had asked her to run in 2012, but she decided to run as a Republican, allowing her “to remain an independent voice” supported by voters in both parties.
“So if they considered me a viable candidate in 2012, then why would they need $700,000 to try and keep me from running now?” she said. “I (couldn’t) be independent if I had relied on Madigan’s money to get me elected in 2012.”
Much of the Madigan money seems to be paying for “lies and slanderous emails” about their Republican opposition, she said.
“My opponent should be able to run off her record if she had stood up for families and taxpayers,” Benford said.
Benford is running against Manley in November’s general election. District 98 includes the communities of Crest Hill, Du Page, Joliet, Lockport, Plainfield, Troy and Wheatland.