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State Election

Quinn redirects party campaign funds to charity

CHAMPAIGN – Gov. Pat Quinn and state Sen. Mike Frerichs redirected campaign money to charities after it was revealed earlier this week that a Democratic county organization led by a state employee contributed to their campaigns.

Last summer, the Douglas County Democratic Party received a $10,000 donation from Foresight Energy Services Co. of St. Louis, a coal mining company with operations in Illinois, which they split among several candidates, including Quinn.

Douglas County Democratic Party Chairman Michael L. Woods is also an employee of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Champaign News-Gazette reported on Thursday (http://bit.ly/1hlLLi7) that Wood has been reassigned pending a department investigation.

Quinn's campaign received $7,500 in contributions from the county Democratic organization, including $5,000 in cash. Smaller contributions went to other candidates in the state. Frerichs, a Democrat from Champaign running for state treasurer, received $250.

Quinn's campaign on Wednesday announced they redirected the campaign contribution. Leslie Wertheimer, a spokeswoman for Quinn's campaign, said the campaign doesn't accept contributions from state employees.

"Immediately upon learning today of previous donations from this entity and their connection to a state employee, the governor directed that these funds be donated to worthy charities across Illinois," Wertheimer said.

Quinn's campaign gave $2,000 each to four charities. Wertheimer said the campaign rounded up to an $8,000 donation.

Frerichs said he donated $250 to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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