Illinois Primary Election 2022: Dark Money Groups Funded by Cryptocurrency CEOs Donate $1M to Chicago’s Jonathan Jackson

CHICAGO (WLS) – Some dark money groups are pouring $1 million into the Democratic primary for Illinois’ first congressional district to bolster Jonathan Jackson in the last week before the election.

Jackson has come under scrutiny for the two dark money political action committees that together spent $1 million producing and airing television commercials for his campaign in the home stretch of the primary.

The first is funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Samuel Bankman-Fried. The second PAC is funded by another crypto CEO. Businessman Jonathan Swain, one of the top fundraising candidates in the running, said voters should be concerned.

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“You have to ask yourself why, at the nth hour, bitcoin and cryptocurrency interests would want to invest that amount of money in picking the next congressman from the first congressional district?” Swain said.

Jackson’s office said he was unavailable for an interview, instead issuing a statement saying, in part, “By definition, an independent edition is just that, independent. We did not seek them and we cannot control them.”

Jackson’s statement goes on to say that his message focuses on the “gas guns and food” quote, but his website suggests other priorities. The very first listed concerns digital currency and the opportunities it offers to communities of color.

“I have nothing to do with cryptocurrency,” said Michael Evans, who was waiting for a bus near Jackson’s Chatham office.

Other candidates in the race said voters were most concerned about inflation, crime and economic development.

“And it seems to me that Jonathan Jackson put a for-sale sign on his seat in this congressional seat,” said Pat Dowell, a Democratic candidate for the first congressional district.

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Jackson was also under scrutiny for his failure to make timely campaign finance disclosures required by the Federal Elections Commission.

“We don’t know his motivations, but it’s fair to assume he has no interest in telling voters where his money is coming from. And now that these PACs have been revealed to have this dark money behind him, it’s gathering even more questions,” said David Greising, president of the Better Government Association.

Voters will make their choice in a week.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved. Illinois Primary Election 2022: Dark Money Groups Funded by Cryptocurrency CEOs Donate $1M to Chicago’s Jonathan Jackson

Tom Vazquez

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