Sam McCann’s Entry Into Governor’s Race Is His Latest Example Of Self-Dealing And Using Politics For Profit

McCann’s shady record makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Pritzker and Madigan 

“Sam McCann’s professional and political careers have been devoted to serving himself. Whether it’s lying about serving in the Marines, dodging taxes on his failed business, or treating his campaign funds like a personal piggy bank, McCann will say or do anything just to make a buck.

“Now, McCann is jumping into the governor’s race to play the part of spoiler, hoping to cash in along the way and maybe land a lucrative appointment from Pritzker or Madigan after the election. Sam McCann is the worst kind of politician – one who uses politics for profit.”
 – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot

Today, State Sen. Sam McCann announced his intention to run as a third-party candidate for Illinois Governor. McCann’s goal? Money for himself – and lots of it. McCann’s campaign has been funded by Madigan-allied labor unions that have already endorsed Pritzker’s campaign for governor.

So why would these same unions back another candidate for governor? To spoil the election. They tried and failed the same dirty tricks in 2014 and it looks like they’re back to their old habits. McCann is taking the opportunity to cash in big time. Public records reveal that McCann treats his campaign fund like his own personal piggy bank, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and his lifestyle. The potential for even more big checks from unions gives McCann the opportunity to make even more money.

McCann’s time in Springfield has been mired in lies, scandal and self-dealing, which makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Madigan and Pritzker in an attempt to spoil the election for Illinois Republicans. Be on the lookout for McCann to receive a lucrative appointment or job from Pritzker or Madigan after the election, but in the meantime, Sam McCann will be exposed for what he is: a crooked politician who uses politics for profit.

McCann Lied About Serving In The U.S. Marine Corps

During his first run for State Senate, Sam McCann claimed he was “a member of the U.S. Marine Corps” and that he learned “courage” in the Marines. McCann also claimed to have received an “honorable discharge prior to completion of training due to an accident.”

It turns out that none of those things are true. For six years, McCann said he would provide a DD 214 to prove he actually enlisted, but was unable to do so because the documents don’t exist. McCann later clarified that the “courage” he learned was from a booklet, he was not dishonorably discharged, and that no discharge papers actually exist. 

McCann Faces Over $200K In Tax Liens On His Failed Construction Business, Lawsuits For $20,000 In Unpaid Credit Card Debt, And A Foreclosure For Not Paying His $150K Mortgage On A Second Home In Florida

Sam McCann is the biggest deadbeat in Springfield, but he says it’s all just a big misunderstanding. Businesses owned by McCann face over $200,000 in tax liens from the Internal Revenue Service and Illinois Department of Employment Security. McCann also faces several lawsuits for unpaid credit card debt totaling nearly $20,000. Just last year, a Florida home owned by McCann was foreclosed because he failed to make over $150,000 in mortgage payments.

Sam McCann justified his bad bookkeeping by saying he mixed up Federal Employer Identification Numbers on tax forms and that he never reserved bills for credit card debt. He also justified skipping mortgage payments by saying he faces “the same problems that so many citizens face every day.”

McCann Treats His Campaign Fund Like His Own Personal Piggy Bank, Has Spent Nearly $250,000 On Vehicle-Related Expenses And Other Questionable Items

Public records reveal that Sam McCann treats his campaign fund like his own personal piggy bank. Since his first campaign for State Senate, McCann has spent $243,735.36 on vehicle-related expenses, including over $61,000 on a new 2017 Ford Expedition XLT, over $19,000 on a truck and trailer, and over $6,000 on a new engine for his personal Jeep. McCann has charged taxpayers$19,600 for official travel expenses, while also expensing $110,075.76 for mileage from his campaign. McCann has simultaneously expensed the total cost of vehicles, vehicle rentals, a new engine, gas, a car alarm, tinted windows, vehicle maintenance and mileage. The only vehicle-related expense McCann has not incurred is stock purchases in Ford or General Motors.

McCann has also faced scrutiny for reporting unspecified “group expenditures,” which amounted to several lump-sum payments to McCann himself totaling over $40,000. Such expenses are prohibited.

A cursory search through McCann’s expenditures reveals that he uses his campaign fund to supplement his lavish lifestyle:

  • $104,248.70 in non-itemized expenditures
  • $440 for “petty cash”
  • $5,618.46 for “meals” at various restaurants
  • $14,395.65 for “meetings”
    • $678.46 at Fogo De Chao in Chicago
    • $322.00 at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago
    • $6,982.85 at the Embassy Suites hotels in both Chicago and Alexandria, VA
  • $6,984.22 for “Public relations”
    • $945.17 at Top Shelf Liquor in Springfield 4 days before Christmas in 2017
    • $2,100.00 at Scheels in Springfield 4 days before Christmas in 2017
  • $56,068.23 for “equipment”
    • $37,689.91 for “Security & Camera Equipment” from B&H Photo in New York City
  • $22,142.34 at Best Buy, with four separate purchases happening just days before Christmas
  • $23,990.97 at Walmart
    • $762.68 three days before Christmas in 2016
  • $11,965.85 for “phones” from Verizon, AT&T, Straighttalk and Frontier
  • $4,477.03 for “internet” from HughesNet and New Wave Comm

McCann Takes Campaign Cash From Madigan-Allied Unions Who Have Already Endorsed Pritzker’s Campaign For Governor

Speaker Madigan has been “breaking legs behind the scenes” to help J.B. Pritzker’s campaign for governor by steering endorsements and establishment support to Pritzker, including from unions allied with Madigan, but those same unions are also supporting Sam McCann. Below are unions that have endorsed Pritzker’s campaign for governor and bankrolled McCann’s and Madigan’s various political committees:

  • Illinois Federation of Teachers
    • Contributions to McCann: $98,625
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$904,800
  • Illinois Education Association
    • Contributions to McCann: $403,192.29
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$206,000
  • SEIU Healthcare IL IN PAC
    • Contributions to McCann: $11,250
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$1,228,200
  • LIUNA’s Construction & General Laborers’ District Council
    • Contributions to McCann: $58,900
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$1,085,000
  • IUOE Local 399 Chicago
    • Contributions to McCann: $70,900
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$1,041,900
  • IBEW Local 134 Chicago
    • Contributions to McCann: $55,400
    • Contributions to Madigan (since 1/1/08):$144,800

In an August 2017 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Brown, IUOE Local 150 President-Business Manager Jim Sweeney, a “staunch ally of Speaker Madigan,” revealed his strategy to support both McCann and Pritzker in the 2018 election. McCann knows he can’t win, so he’s teaming up with allies of Pritzker and Madigan to play the part of spoiler and profit along the way.