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April 29, 1972|
Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Loyola University, Chicago
Daniel K. "Dan" Proft (born April 29, 1972) is an entrepreneur, editorial contributor to the Chicago Tribune, former Republican candidate for Governor, and radio talk show host with AM 560 The Answer in Chicago where he co-hosts the morning drive show. He voices a political commentary, "Sixty Seconds of Sanity" on the Salem Radio Network.
Dan serves on the board of directors for the USO of Illinois, a non-profit that provides assistance to Illinois military families; Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit in Chicago that serves developmentally disabled persons; Aid for Women, a Catholic, life-affirming pregnancy center; the Advisory Board of the Center for Civic Leadership at Benedictine University; and Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit dedicated to accurate public sector accounting and budgeting. He runs Liberty Principles PAC, which supports candidates committed to the economic liberty policy agenda for state and local offices. Proft is also a co-founder of Illinois Opportunity Project, a 501(C)(4) which advocates for free market public policy solutions.
Early life and education
Proft was born in 1972 in Oak Park, Illinois. He was raised in Wheaton, Illinois, and attended Benet Academy in Lisle. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. and attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law at night and earned Juris Doctor degree. At Northwestern, Proft co-founded the Northwestern Chronicle, an independent campus newspaper. He also ran a conservative speakers bureau.
According to a 2008 Chicago Tribune article criticizing Proft, after helping Cicero's town president win a close election, Proft received no-bid contracts worth $578,000 a year to serve as the spokesman for the town and two local school districts. The town also agreed to pay the company another $308,000 a year to promote the new Municipal Complex. Cicero spent nearly double what even much larger suburban communities spend on public relations. "Changing people's attitudes about a town that's had the 70-year run or 80-year run that this town has had, you know, it takes communication, it takes education, it takes providing information, it takes transparency," Proft said.
Dan Proft co-hosts the morning drive show from 5 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday with Amy Jacobson on AM 560 The Answer in Chicago.
From 2011 to 2015, Proft was a political commentator for WLS-AM 890 radio in Chicago. From 2014-2015, he shared a weekday show from 5 to 9 a.m. with Bruce Wolf. After his contract expired, he moved to AM 560 WIND. He has also appeared on Chicago television including ABC 7 Chicago and Fox Chicago and his commentary has been featured on national outlets including Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNBC.
Proft also serves on the board of directors for USO of Illinois, a nonprofit that provides assistance to Illinois military families; Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit in Chicago that serves developmentally disabled persons; and Aid for Women, a Catholic pregnancy center in Chicago.
Additionally, Proft runs Upstream Ideas, a media group that runs a series of web and radio-based programs where Proft discusses regional and national politics and policy. Programs include Connecting the Dots, Sixty Seconds of Sanity, Against the Current, Illinois Rising, Follow the Logic, Two Minute Warning, and Dollars and Sense.
On August 8, 2018, Proft sat down and interviewed former White House Communication Director and Press Secretary Sean Spicer about his "tempestuous time in President Trump’s White House." Spicer was traveling to Chicago to promote his new book The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President. The interview was filmed for Proft’s interview series Against the Current on the digital platform Upstream Ideas.
Politics and policy
Proft is a co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, a 501(c)(4) organization that promotes free-market public policy solutions.
Proft also serves as the Chairman and Treasurer for Illinois Liberty Principles PAC, an independent expenditure, Super PAC organized "to make independent expenditures in support of liberty oriented policies and candidates." Liberty Principles PAC received criticism after it sent political mailings in newspaper form to voters ahead of the 2016 primary elections, publishing eight separate periodic mailings. Illinois's State Board of Elections rejected claims against Liberty PAC for alleged violations of campaign finance law.
Proft has faced criticism for emails he sent to Tea Party groups in Illinois.
On July 11, 2016, the Chicago Tribune published an op-ed written by Proft concerning the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers. In the article, Proft criticized the media's coverage of both the Dallas shootings and the shootings of black men by police officers. Profit argued on behalf of a middle ground, writing, "There is plenty of intellectual room between 'cops can do no wrong' and 'cops are all racists waging war against minorities.' The reasoned room in between is occupied by most of the Americans who are not on television, radio or Twitter."
In February 2017, WLS-Channel 7 sports anchor Mark Giangreco posted a tweet calling President Donald Trump a "cartoon lunatic" elected by "a country of simpletons." The station suspended Giangreco without pay for a few weeks. Giangreco deleted the tweet, but Proft view the tweet before deletion and Profit wrote about the tweet on his website. Proft also spoke about the tweet on his program on WIND-AM 560. "As for the substance of it, Mark Giangreco calling everyone who voted for Trump a simpleton, the intellectual quality of that speaks for itself," Proft told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I don’t need to comment on that."
Proft supported the candidacy of Jeanne Ives in her primary campaign against incumbent Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. At a campaign appearance in January 2018, Ives thanked Proft and said, "By far, Dan is one of the most engaging radio host, providing a daily dose of morning entertainment."
In February 2018, candidate Jeanne Ives ran a controversial TV ad called "Thank you, Bruce Rauner" that "created a firestorm in the March Republican Primary for governor." In the ad, Ives attacks Governor Bruce Rauner over his policy decisions on abortion, transgender rights, and immigration. Proft defended the TV ad, saying, "Not everybody's tone or sensibility is the same, so people are going to take things differently. But in terms of the veracity of the statements in the ad and the representations, the characterizations of issues and issue positions the governor has taken, that's all factual."
2010 Illinois gubernatorial campaign
On June 23, 2009, Proft announced his candidacy for Governor of Illinois on the "Don Wade & Roma Show" on WLS (AM). The tagline of Proft's campaign was "Illinois isn't broken. It's fixed," signifying Illinois' government is set up to serve the politicians in power, not the people.
Proft called for "policy revolution" to slice state personal and corporate income taxes in half and abolish the estate tax, to freeze spending and only allow it to increase based on inflation and population growth, and to implement a statewide opportunity scholarship program.
Proft earned 7.78% of the vote, coming in sixth in a seven-way Republican primary race. He later told Chicago Magazine that the worst part of running for office was raising money. He self-financed his campaign for $125,285.
- "How Bruce Rauner can lead Illinois from ruin". Chicago Tribune. 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- Felsenthal, Carol (2013-04-09). "Would Dan Proft Really Run for Governor Again?". Chicago magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
- "About Dan Proft". Dan Proft for Governor. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Cicero spokesman's firm got pacts worth $578,000 a year to promote town, school districts". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
- "AM 560 The Answer - News. Opinion. Insight". 560theanswer.com. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- "January 15, 2018 - Chicago's Morning Answer with Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson - Omny.fm". omny.fm. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "Dan Proft- Illinois Policy Institute". Illinois Policy Institute. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "The Disabled Patriot Fund All Volunteer Board". Disabled Patriod Fund. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Board Members". Aid for Women. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Home". Upstream Ideas. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "CORRECTED: Spicer Talks to Proft About His Turbulent Tenure in the Trump Administration". Chicago City Wire. 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- "The Project". Illinoisopportunity.org. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- "Committee Details". Illinois State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Dahlstrom, Katie (February 19, 2016). "PAC-Funded Newspaper Hits McHenry County Homes". Northwest Herald. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Dahlstrom, Katie (March 24, 2016). "State Board of Elections Rules on McHenry Times, Liberty Principles Complaint". Northwest Herald. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "BULLYING WOMEN: NEW LEAKED EMAILS FROM CICERO DAN PROFT". Illinois Citizens Against Corruption. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
- Proft, Dan (2016-07-11). "How to (really) achieve the 'important conversation'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- "WLS-TV calls foul on Mark Giangreco's Trump 'lunatic' tweet". Chicago Sun-Times. 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
- "Ives thanks Rauner for fueling her bid to become governor". Rock Island Today. 2015-01-18. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "Jeanne Ives defends controversial ad: 'What's so offensive?'". ABC7 Chicago. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- Proft, Dan. "Campaign Announcement". Proft2010.com.
- Horrell, Steve (12 April 2009). "Home News Proft promises to slice income tax". The Intelligencer.
- "2010 Gubernatorial Election Results". The New York Times. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-02-05.