Watchdogs: Cantor Can’t Hide His Record Benefiting Wealthy Campaign Contributors

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Chicago, Ill.-- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) speech on income inequality at Northwestern University shouldn’t mask his consistent record benefiting his wealthy campaign contributors, said Citizen Action Illinois and Public Campaign Action Fund.

“Cantor is welcome to visit our city anytime, but we wish he’d spend more time focused on the needs of poor and middle class families instead of how to give more tax breaks and special deals to the one percent,” said William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action Illinois. “If he’s not too busy raising money from his friends in Chicago, we’d be happy to take him on a tour through neighborhoods hardest hit by the economy and policies pursued by an out of touch Congress.”

Cantor is set to give a speech on income inequality today at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, according to the Daily Northwestern.

Eric Cantor has friends in Chicago, but they are definitely not in the 99 percent, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Center for Responsive Politics (CRP)

  • On July 7th, Cantor received maxed out contributions from Chicago residents Kenneth and Anne Griffin ($5,000 each), according to his most recent filing with the FEC. Kenneth, the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, has a net worth of $2.3 billion. He’s #171 on the Forbes 400, a list of the world’s richest people. On August 1st, Griffin also donated $300,000 to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, according to CRP.
  • Also on July 7th, Cantor received maxed out contributions from John and Rita Canning. John is the chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, a hedge fund that “has raised over $18 billion of capital since its formation in 1992.”
  • On June 21st, Cantor received $5,000 from Chicago’s Thomas Pritzker, the executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels. With a net worth of $1.8 billion, Pritzker is #242 on the Forbes 400.
  • On May 10th, he received $2,500 from Hank Paulsen, the former treasury secretary and former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
  • Cantor received $101,400 in donations of $200 or more from Chicago donors in the first two quarters of 2011, according to CRP.

“If Eric Cantor is concerned about income inequality, he’ll start spending more time in the living rooms of everyday Americans struggling to get by and less time in the boardrooms with Wall Street CEOs,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund.


Citizen Action/Illinois is the state's largest public interest organization. Building on over a decade of experience, Citizen Action/Illinois is a key player in the fight for social and economic justice at the state and national levels. Learn more at:

Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold elected officials accountable for the favors they do for special interest donors and fights to pass comprehensive change in the way elections are financed. Learn more at