A millionaire businessman running to be Chicago’s next mayor gave attendees at a Chicago South Side church some cold, hard cash on Sunday in hopes they would vote for him this November.
Republican mayoral candidate Willie Wilson appeared alongside Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who is running for re-election, at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church Sunday to give away $300,000 to 2,000 people through Wilson’s 501(c)(3) organization, the Dr. Willie Wilson Foundation, WGN reported.
“My wife and I have been blessed by God to be able to get a few of the material things out of life, and so it’s up to us to now continually to share back with all of you all and others,” Wilson told church members during the event.
Although Wilson’s campaign spokesman insisted that the mayoral candidate’s church appearance was not for political purposes, Chicago politicians raised bipartisan concerns with the event.
Illinois State Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, a Democrat, tweeted Monday that Rauner and Wilson “should be investigated” for attempting to buy votes.
Bruce Rauner and Willie Wilson should be investigated for trying to buy votes. This was a coordinated campaign event. Why would Rauner give $100,000 to the effort and conveniently be present to talk about a campaign issue? https://t.co/KQsM8EN56H
— Emanuel Chris Welch (@RepChrisWelch) July 23, 2018
Illinois State Rep. David McSweeney, a Republican, also criticized Wilson for handing out cash at the event.
Check this out if you wonder why Illinois politicians are often a national joke. How can Willie Wilson, a candidate for Mayor of Chicago, literally hand out CASH at a public event? This is so wrong!
— Rep. David McSweeney (@1980reagan) July 22, 2018
“Check this out if you wonder why Illinois politicians are often a national joke,” McSweeney tweeted Sunday. “How can Willie Wilson, a candidate for Mayor of Chicago, literally hand out CASH at a public event? This is so wrong!”
A campaign spokesperson for Wilson said the Chicago mayoral candidate had been a philanthropist for 30 years before announcing his mayoral bid and had a reputation for being involved in charitable work.
Wilson is one of ten candidates running for mayor in Chicago and Rauner is facing off against Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker. Both elections are scheduled to take place in November.