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WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney hits Winnetka on Tuesday to scoop up, I've learned, $2.3 million at a fund-raiser as key figures are emerging from Illinois bolstering his White House drive.
Romney's fund-raising dinner is at the home of insurance mogul and civic activist Pat Ryan and his wife, Shirley; between 50 and 60 people will attend, with the minimum donation $25,000. Romney returns to the Chicago area on June 14 for an event with a sliding price tag, from $2,500 to $75,000. Proceeds will be divided between the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state GOP parties.
Key Illinois players include:
◆ Kenneth Griffin and his wife, Ann. Griffin is chief executive of Citadel LLC, a hedge fund and one of the nation's biggest SuperPAC donors this election cycle. On March 26, Griffin gave $850,000 to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC. Restore Our Future's ads slamming Newt Gingrich played an important role in helping Romney clear the path to the GOP presidential nomination. In 2011, Griffin gave $300,000 to American Crossroads, another GOP-allied SuperPAC.
◆ On the direct Romney campaign fund-raising front, Susan Crown and her husband, William Kunkler, are part of Romney's National Finance Committee and co-chair his Illinois Finance Committee. Crown, a member of the Crown family, one of Chicago's wealthiest, is a vice president of Henry Crown & Co. and a major philanthropist -- the chairman and founder of SCE, the Susan Crown Exchange. Crown was one of the speakers at Romney's March 21 Illinois primary victory night event. Kunkler is a co-chair of CC Industries.
◆ Attorney Ty Fahner, a former Illinois attorney general and partner at Mayer Brown, also is an Illinois finance co-chair and national fund-raiser. Another important Illinois figure for Romney fund-raising is Goldman Sachs managing director Muneer Satter. Reeve Waud is also in the major fund-raising ranks for Romney. The founder of Waud Capital Partners -- with deep family roots in the Illinois business community -- was scheduled to host a fund-raiser for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday night at Waud's Lake Forest home.
◆ Lisa Wagner, Romney's Midwest finance director.
◆ Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford chairs the Illinois Romney campaign and delivered Illinois for Romney. He is also on the national finance committee. Now Rutherford -- who backed Romney in his 2008 presidential bid and is a former executive at ServiceMaster -- brings his government (in Obama's home state) and business experience to the 2012
contest as one of the
Romney campaign's surrogates.
◆ Richard Williamson, an attorney and former diplomat, is a foreign policy adviser for the Romney team and a surrogate: He was on CNN earlier this month representing the campaign in a discussion about foreign policy around the globe. Williamson was tapped by former President George
W. Bush for ambassador posts at the United Nations and as the president's special envoy to Sudan from 2007 to 2009.
◆ Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) -- the youngest member of the House -- is another Romney surrogate who is being used to help with the youth vote. Schock last month was one of the featured speakers on a Romney campaign national conference call to highlight "the Effect Of President Obama's Failed Economic Policies On Young Adults."