Ives to return donations from Inverness businessman charged in Capitol riots
Former Republican congressional candidate Jeanne Ives confirmed Sunday she is returning campaign contributions from an Inverness businessman charged in Wednesday's riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Bradley Rukstales made three donations totaling $2,250 last year to Ives' unsuccessful campaign against Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten for the 6th Congressional District seat.
Ives, a former state representative and gubernatorial candidate from Wheaton, confirmed telling WBEZ radio on Saturday that she does not recall ever meeting Rukstales.
"I am speaking with my compliance team to return the contributions," she said. "He unfortunately made a terrible choice and is facing the consequences of his actions."
Rukstales, 52, faces federal charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority, or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
He was fired Friday from his job as president and CEO of the Schaumburg data analytics marketing firm Cogensia, after issuing a statement apologizing and calling his actions "the single worst personal decision of my life."
Rukstales also donated $500 to former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran's unsuccessful campaign against Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.
Curran said Sunday his campaign account is empty, so he cannot return the contribution.
"I don't know who (Rukstales) is," said Curran, who condemned Wednesday's riots. "I have never seen him, heard about him or recognized him when I looked at his picture.
"I don't know why this guy sent me a check. If you look at my donors, basically they were a lot of small donors. They weren't the big, rich guys," he added.
Federal campaign finance records show Rukstales also has donated to President Donald Trump and Republican causes, giving $25,000 to various committees in 2019 and 2020. Among the recipients was recently defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.
A federal complaint filed last week alleges Rukstales was at the front of a crowd near the door to the House atrium during Wednesday's riots and refused orders by Capitol police officers to leave.