In a rare interview with Chicago Business’s Melissa Harris, Griffin reveals how the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis changed his industry’s relationship with government — and not to his liking. He has responded by becoming an active donor and giving millions of dollars to candidates and political groups that support his belief in limited government.
“I spend way too much of my time thinking about politics these days because government is way too involved in financial markets these days,” he said.
In the 2012 election cycle, Griffin (alone or in tandem with his wife Anne) has given $150,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney; more than $560,000 to the Republican Governors Association; and $300,000 to American Crossroads, founded by Republican strategists Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove.
According to Chicago magazine, the Griffins were the top donors in the 2010 election cycle to Republicans running for Illinois legislative seats. Also in 2010, Ken gave $500,000 as financial support to American Crossroads and $500,000 to Stand for Children Illinois, an education-reform group that helped win Chicago a longer school day and limited the chances of a Chicago teachers strike.