Wednesday, November 17, 2004

November 10

When forecasting the agenda for the Veto Session, a look at campaign giving during the preceeding election season can give a glimpse of what might move. Or not move, depending. Here's what various interests gave to legislative candidates, incumbents, and caucuses between July 1, 2004 and Election Day. Note that these figures do not include giving since November 2.

Payday lenders: $124,675
Nursing homes: $157,650
Liquor Interests: $99,625
Wirtz et al: $32,500
Romano/Southern: $39,100
Diageo: $28,025
Utilities: $251,198.70
Exelon: $76,170
Ameren: $47,800
Nicor: $38,600
IL Power: $37,499
Telecom: $318,700
SBC: $195,950
Gaming: $374,713.75
Alton Belle/Argosy: $133,908
Harrah's: $82,700

As gaming seems to be getting the most attention now (as it always does in Veto), here's a breakdown of how gaming gave to the Four Tops:

House Democrats (Friends of Michael J. Madigan and the Democratic Party of Illinois): $41K, including $25K from Harrah's and $15K from Alton Belle/Argosy.

House Republicans (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross and the House Republican Organization): $83K, including $75K from Duchossois family members and holdings.

Senate Democrats (Citizens for Emil Jones and the Illionis Senate Democratic Fund): $46K, including $25K from Harrahs and $10K from the Racing Association of Illinois

Senate Republicans (Citizens for Frank Watson and the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee): $30K, including $15K from Harrah's and $10K from the Racing Association of Illinois.

Gov. Blagojevich (Friends of Rod Blagojevich): Reported taking no money from gaming interests, but Move Illinois Forward, which is affiliated with "Citz for Balgojevich", reported taking $15K from Duchossois Industries.

November 5

So how expensive did contested races get down the stretch? From Monday morning until the polls closed Tuesday night, candidates in hot races reported a staggering $2.1 million in contributions. The bulk of that, $750K, went to Gordon Maag in his ultimately failed effort to win a Supreme Court seat (and, it turns out, hold on to his appellate court seat). But was any of this money really necessary? Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-32) got $255K; she ended up winning by 24 percentage points, but was the late money really the reason? Her opponent, Patrick Ouimet, got $128K, which surely offset some of the effect. Rep. Careen Gordon (D-75) and her opponent Doug Hayse both reported about $50K. Rep. Bob Churchill (R-62) and his opponent both reported about $40K. Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-79) and her opponent both reported about $20K. With equal and offsetting amounts, it's hard to see how this late money makes much of a difference. Except in policy. Even in political campaigns, money does not grow on trees. It comes from donors, and donors have agendas. In order to come up with the cash to flood Election Day with door-hangers, doughnuts and doo-dads, the caucuses had to ask somebody for the money. Whether or not that money effected the outcome of the elections, it certainly created chits which the donors can still call in. When veto starts next week, and when the regular session starts next January, remember who gave to whom. Surely, the candidates and caucuses will.

November 4

A few A-1s have come in since Election Day, but we've probably seen the last of them. Final totals will not be available until the next semi-annual disclosure reports are filed (they’re due by Monday, January 31, 2005). Bear in mind that the figures below include cash-on-hand as of June 30 plus reported receipts since then. These figures do not include funds raised after the election, nor do they include funds raised since October 4th in increments of under $500. Final spending totals will likely be higher than these, and some races, particularly Ouimet/Althoff and Welch/Dahl, may trade places in the rankings.

Of Senate Races, four crossed the million-dollar mark:

(1) 59th District: Forby/Summers: $2,177,901 [Forby (D) won]
(2) 32nd District: Ouimet/Althoff: $1,734,898 [Althoff (R) won]
(3) 38th District: Welch/Dahl: $1,731,142 [Dahl (R) won]
(4) 47th District: Sullivan/Ernst: $1,617,843 [Sullivan (D) won]

Of House races, here are the top fundraisers:

(1) 92nd District: Slone/Schock: $1,290,324 [Schock (R) won, Slone might request a re-count](2) 75th District: Gordon/Hayse: $1,231,934 [Gordon (D) won]
(3) 108th District: Grunloh/Reis: $1,102,755 [Reis (R) won]
(4) 17th District: Bromberg/Coulson: $873,969 [Coulson (R) won]
(5) 79th District: Dugan/Pangle: $720,287 [Dugan (D) won]
(6) 101st District: Flider/England (!): $637,301 [Flider (D) won]

No one else appears to have crossed half-a-million, though the 20th District (Cappareli/McAuliffe) probably went that high; we won't know for a while exactly how much The Dean spent on his failed effort. He moved $165K between PACs and raised another $88K outright; if that's what we count toward the election, then he and McAulilffe are at about $600K.
The previous record for spending in a general election Senate race was $1.98 million, set in 2002 in the 29th District contest between then-Sen. Kathy Parker (R) and then-Rep. Susan Garrett (D). The previous record for spending in a general election House race was $1.37 million, set in 2000 in the 116th District contest between Rep. Dan Reitz (D) and Harry Jankowski (R). When the final reports are tallied, it seems very likely that the Senate race has been broken, and possible that the House record was also broken.

November 2, 2:30pm

Rep. Bob Churchill (R-62) has reported some new cash, including $25K from HRO that he received yesterday and $15K from Citizens for Tom Cross that he received on Wednesday, October 27. Contributions of that size should have been reported within two business days; failure to file timely can result in substantial fines.

November 2, 10:30am

When it rains campaign money in Illinois, it pours. Here are some more late money reports:
Senator Pamela Althoff (R-32) reported $110K from RSSCC, and another $50K from Tom Les of Crystal Lake, whose only other reported contribution was $500 to Perry Moy earlier in October. Senator Gary Forby (D-59) got $61K from ISDF.

November 2 10:00am

Appellate Justice Gordon Maag (D-5th) reported $750K last night, including $637K from Justice for All PAC, $4K from the IFT, and $2.7K from DPI. He also took a direct contribution of $22K from SimmonsCooper, suggesting that he has abandoned his voluntary $2,000 contribution limit. Circuit Judge Lloyd Karmeier (R-5th) also reported some late money: $10K from Farmers Insurance and $3K from Hartford Insurance. Reported receipts are now at $4,231,663 for Maag and $4,301,156 for Karmeier, putting the entire race at $8,532,819.; likely about $20 per ballot to be cast today. We hope these guys are worth it to whomever is footing the bill. We also hope that justice is served by this sort of high-finance election.

November 1

Just when we're ready to set aside our obsession with campaign cash for the day, a few more notable reports showed up.

Fifth Judicial District Supreme Court candidate Judge Lloyd Karmeier (R) reported $70K in new receipts, which is just a drop in the bucket for him.

38th District Senate candidate Gary Dahl reported $151K in new receipts, including $100,000 from Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson's fund and $46K from RSSC. And 59th District Senate candidate Ron Sommers shows a $25K transfer from RSSC. Just goes to show it ain't over, till it's over.

November 1

Supreme Court Race Summary:

What with the elaborate shell games on both sides, it can be hard to follow the money. Here's a summary:

Circuit Court Judge Lloyd Karmeier (R-5th):The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given $2.3 million for Karmeier's campaign, mostly through the Illinois Republican Party ($2 million) and the Illinois Civil Justice League ($200K). The American Tort Reform Association has given $420K for Karmeier's campaign, mostly through the Illinois Civil Justice League ($385K) and the Manufacturers ($36K). The Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity PAC has also sent funds Karmeier's way, giving $150K through JUSTPAC and $8K directly. For the general election, Karmeier has reported raising $4.2 million .

Appellate Court Justice Gordon Maag (D-5th)Trial lawyers have given at least $2.5 million to Justice Maag's campaign, mostly through the Democratic Party (at least $2 million) and the Justice for All PAC (at least $500K). For the general election, Maag has reported raising $3.5 million.

November 1

Several House races are poised to set a new spending record. The most expensive House general election contest in 2002 was between incumbent Rep. Tom Berns (R-103) and challenger Naomi Jakobsson(D-103), who combined to spend $942K. Jakobsson won, and her re-election effort this year is running at about a third of that. But there are three House contests this Fall already above $1 million: Rep. Ricca Slone (D-92) vs. Aaron Schock (R-92), at $1,252,274; Rep. Careen Gordon (D-75) vs. Doug Hayes (R-75), at $1,123,516, and Rep. Bill Grunloh (D-108) vs. David Reis (R-108), at $1,053,438.

While Forby Summers has already smashed the old spending record for a state senate general election, they are one of three Senate races poised to surpass the previous record of $1.98 million (Garret-Parker in 2002). The 59th District contest leads the pack, at $2,042,520. Sen. Pat Welch (D-38) and Gary Dahl (R-38) have come close with combined receipts of $1,559,248. Sen. John Sullivan (D-47), long touted as the top Tier One target, comes in third; his race against Tom Ernst (R-47) shows a combined $1,518,712. And Patrick Ouimet (D-32) has reported about twice what Sen. Pamela Althoff has raised; they combined to show $1,351,163.

Whether any of this is money well spent, or whether any of these candidates are worth the effort, remains to be seen. Bear in mind that final totals depend on what the candidates actually spent, which is often higher than what they've reported raising by Election Day.

October 30

For those of you who just can't get enough of southern Illinois' big money Supreme Court race, Gordon Maag has reported receipts of over $800,000 in the past two days. Today's take was $565,588 in in-kind media expenditures from the Justice for All Pac.

October 29

The Forby-Sommers race in far Southern Illinois' 59th Senate District (one of Illinois' poorest districts) reports combined receipts of $1.99 million for the general election, which breaks the record set by Susan Garret and Kathy Parker, who reported a combined $1.98 million in receipts in their 2002 general election race in the North Shore's 29th Senate District (one of Illinois' richest districts. While records may be made to be broken, in our book this is not a positive trend.

October 29

Looks like a shell game to us. How is the Illinois Coalition for Jobs Justice and Prosperity (and Apple Pie) coming up with so much cash? They've reported giving themselves $345K since July 1. The Jobs Coalition's website appears to list no means of support that could generate that kind of surplus; they seek donations in the $25-$100 range.

Similarly, how did the Justice for All Foundation get $385K to give to its PAC? The Foundation was created only last summer; that's a quick surplus to generate in a matter of weeks. And if they are tax-exempt they're not supposed to be doing political giving. What kind of foundation is this, anyway?
So who are the biggest
donors to candidates and caucuses? At this stage, it's still hard to get a clean read; some of these PACs are giving to each other. Here's a list of the largest reported non-party/non-caucus donors to candidates, caucuses and parties since July 1, 2004. See if you can discern any patterns:

(1) U.S. Chamber of Commerce $2,050,000
(2) Illinois Civil Justice League/JUSTPAC $1,170,808
(3) Illinois Education Association/IPACE $707,366
(4) Illinois State Medical Society $427,642
(5) Illinois Federation of Teachers $367,001
(6) Illinois Chamber of Commerce $350,316
(7) Illinois Hospital Association $338,259
(8) Corboy & Demetrio $267,500
(9) Service Employees International Union $257,400
(10) Lakin Law Firm $256,914
(11) Illinois Trial Lawyers Association $250,500
(12) Power Rogers & Smith $219,200
(13) Association of Beer Distributors of Illinois $214,500
(14) Fred Eychaner $203,500
(15) Realtors PAC $195,120
(16) Cooney & Conway $165,000
(17) Manufacturers PAC $161,500
(18) Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois $160,570
(19) Simmons Law Firm $158,000
(20) Anesi Ozmon Rodin Novak & Kohen $157,550

That Fifth District race is really driving up the totals......

October 28

Election Day is next Tuesday, but the world does not come to an end when the polls close; it merely goes to sleep until the legislature convenes in the veto session. Beyond capital appropriations and a handful of vetoes, campaign giving may offer a clue as to what's up.
Gambling interests have given at least $387K since July 1. The biggest giver is Alton Gaming, operator of the Alton Belle Casino, at $140K. Richard Duchossois and his relatives and associated businesses, including Arlington Park, have given $77,615, while Harrah's shows $62,700. The Racing Association of Illinois, operator of Balmoral Racing Club, shows $34K. Established casinos dominate the giving, but Rosemont Mayor Donald E Stephens' committee has given $13,500 to Springfield-related committees (as opposed to the $10K he gave to Cook County committees).
Power utilities have given $320K, led by Commonwealth Edison at $83K and Illinois Power at $66K. And telecom interests have been giving, at least $300K, led by SBC with $175K.

October 27

Forby Summers and Slone Schock Lead Money Race

With a week to go, three races in each chamber have crossed the million-dollar mark, and one race is knocking on $2 million. The 59th Senate District has drawn the most money, with the two candidates combining to show $1.9 million available for the general election. Following behind them are Sullivan/Ernst (47th) at $1.4 million and Welch/Dahl (38th) at $1.1 million.
In the House, the most expensive race is Slone/Schock, (92nd ) showing $1.1 million, while Grunloh/Reis (108th) and Gordon/Hayse (75th) both show $1.0 million. We're not counting Capparelli/McAuliffe (20th) because, while they show $1.5 million available, we don't expect even half of that to be spent by the end of the year.

Some races that were expected to be white hot haven't been. Sen. Susan Garrett (D-29) and former Sen. Kathy Parker spent $2.5 million, but the selection of Alan Keyes seems to have given Garrett a pass; she and her opponent have combined to report $509,421 for the general. The Bromberg/Coulson (17th) race may be bitter in the trenches, but so far it's been easy on the wallet for the two caucuses; they've reported $705,678. And Rep. Jack Franks (D-63), the Democrat in Òthe most Republican district in Illinois, has shown only $399,163 in his re-election, and that includes his opponent's fundraising.

Of course, there's one weekend to go, and we haven't seen much Chicago TV yet. We'll have more detailed reports on fundraising in these hot races in the next day or so.

October 27

Democracy for America, a PAC associated with the Howard Dean campaign (and based in Vermont) has started giving to Illinois candidates. Recipients include Sen. Pat Welch (D-38), Rep. Ricca Slone (D-92) and candidate Mike Noland (D-43). All told, $14,500 has arrived from the Blue Mountain State, mostly in $2,000 incriments.

October 26

While the Supremes take a breather, let's recap some recent fund transfers:

  • Would-be Senator Patrick Ouimet (D-32) shows $46K from ISDF.
  • Sitting Senator Pat Welch (D-38) shows $10K from the IFT. His opponent, Gary Dahl (R-38) shows $22K from the RSSCC. Senate Aspirant Ron Summers (R-59) shows $26K from the IRP.
  • Rep. Beth Coulson (R-17) shows $5.7K from HRO. This race hasn't been nearly as hot as was predicted, financially anyway.
  • Candidate Paul Tully shows another $17K from IRP. Nearly all of his money in the last month has been from the Party
  • Rep. Bob Churchill (R-62) shows $5K from former House Republican Leader Lee Daniels (R-46), $8.7K from current House Republican Leader Tom Cross, and $1.5K from HRO
  • House candidate Steven Haring (R-71) got $30K from HRO, though he's still lagging far behind incumbent Mike Boland (D-71)
  • House hopeful Kay Pangle (R-79) shows $34K from HRO (and $5K from ISMS)
    Rep. Ricca Slone (D-92) shows $5.6K from DPI; her opponent Aaron Shock (R-92) got $36K from HRO, plus $10K from Tom Cross. This race has been far hotter than expected.
  • And Third District Appellate Court candidate Jim Wright (R-3rd) shows $25K from the Manufacturers, who really should get with the program and start using an immediately identifiable acronym.

October 25

Massing on the sidelines: The Supreme Court race continues to attract big money. In the last two days, the U.S. Chamber gave another $350K to the Illinois Republican Party, while the American Tort Reform Association gave $100K to the Illinois Civil Justice League and the Justice for All PAC has raised $500K, presumably on the other side. None of this money has been reported spent to benefit either Maag or Karmeier. Yet.

October 25

This morning's big movement was to candidate Doug Hayse (R-75); HRO moved $146K to him. They also gave $50K to candidate David Reis (R-108), and $20K to candidate Aaron Schock (R-92). Staying on the Republican side, Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-32) of Lake and McHenry counties reports $2K from DuPage Board Chair Bob Schillerstrom. And the Chicagoland Chamber matched (nearly) their generosity toward Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson with a $10K gift to House Republican Leader Tom Cross.

For the Democrats, Supreme Court candidate Gordon Maag (D-5th) reports $92K from DPI for the biggest Dem gainer of the last two days. (Karmeier's camp shows no new receipts in two days; maybe they're sleeping the last one off?) Sen. Susan Garret (D-29) got $10K from the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Rep. Kathy Ryg (D-59) got $9K from DPI. Candidate Michael Noland (D-43) shows $500 from Rep. Lou Lang (D-16) (note: that's $500.00, not $500K). And yet again, I have to wonder what Scot England (R-101) is doing with his shoestring campaign; though he's showing only $23K for the general election, Rep. Bob Flider (D-101) got another $15K from DPI, bringing his total for the race to about $560K.

New PACS: Justice for All PAC was formed last week by some Metro East residents. It took in $500K this weekend, mostly from plaintiff's firms, but $105K came from the Justice for All Foundation. Presumably, we can look for one of the Supreme Court candidates to be reporting an in-kind soon. Citizen Action/Illinois has formed a PAC, or maybe a Party. And Albert F. Hofeld III has formed a PAC to "To support the candidacy of Al Hofeld for State Senate, 13th District", assuming, I guess, that Sen. Barack Obama (D-13) vacates that seat sometime soon.

October 23

Obviously, the big news is the US Chamber-IRP-Karmeier transfer, but there were some other big movements yesterday, too. Senate candidate Ron Summers (R-59) shows $100K from the RSSCC. House hopeful Aaron Schock (R-92) shows $40K from HRO . House Speaker and Democratic Party Chair Michael J. Madigan reports $100K from Cooney & Conway, and $10K from Bank of America, which seems an odd couple. Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson (R-51) shows $12K from the Chicagoland Chamber, and $10K from the beer distributors. AT&T gave Senate President Emil Jones $15K. And someone named Barb Shuehl of Fulton, Illinois, gave Rep. Mike Boland (D-71) $12K.

October 22

WOW!! The US Chamber just dumped $950K into the Illinois Republican Party, which in turn gave $911K to Judge Karmeier (R-5th). Never seen a transfer like those two before... When's the election, again?

October 22

After a relatively quiet day yesterday, more reports of money transfers are coming in. Candidate Gary Dahl (R-38) shows $40K from the Illinois Chamber. Candidate Tom Ernst (R-47) shows $78K from the RSSCC. Rep Beth Coulson (R-17) shows $20K from the IEA and $14K from the Med Society. Rep Careen Gordon (D-75) shows $100K from DPI in the last two days. Supreme Court hopeful Gordon Maag (D-5th) shows $25K from DPI, which itself reports $150K each from the Lakin Firm and SimmonsCooper, two Metro East plaintiffs' firms.

Until the Laborers gave her $1K yesterday, Mary K. O'Brien (D-3rd Appellate)'s itemized receipts since July 1 totaled $171,717.17, which is one of the coolest numbers I've found in nature since my grandmother-in-law's birthday (January 9, 1919, or 1-9-1919).

October 21

The Illinois Civil Justice League has given Judge Karmeier (R-5th) another $300K, half in-kind and half in cash, putting Karmeier's totals for the race at $2.8 million. Democrat Maag is still at $2.5 million. The transfer accounts for just about all of the money that the League has reported raising to date.

Lo and behold, the League now shows another $100K from the American Tort Reform Association, received earlier today. (cue the churchlady...)

October 21

Excess: Rep. Bob Flider (D-101) got another $130K from DPI. In response, challenger Scot England (R-101) gave himself $5K. Both committees saw their totals grow by about a third. The mathematicians among you can figure out how much of a financial advantage Flider has.
Bipartisanship: Secretary of State Jesse White (D) must have had a $1K a ticket event a few nights ago. And Rep. Skip Saviano (R-77) bought five tickets. Saviano, as he has been for much of the last decade, is unopposed this year.

Quack: American Family Insurance gave $15K to Judge Karmeier, who also shows $8K from the Illinois Jobs group and $4K from the hospitals.

Shell Game: Supporters of both candidates for the Supreme Court are playing shell games with their campaign contributions. Trial lawyers give to Speaker Madigan, who in turn gives to DPI, who in turn gives to Maag. Business interests are giving to a variety of PACs, including the Illinois Jobs Coalition and Balance PAC, who gives it to the Illinois Civil Justice League, who gives it to Karmeier. But at least it's all new money. The Republicans recently reported a bunch of transfers that all seem to be moving existing money between existing PACs. To wit: Republican House members gave to the Illinois House Victory Fund, which then gave it all to the House Republican Organization. Republican Leader Frank Watson gave $136K to the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee, who then gave $50K to the Illinois Republican Party. Which got me to wondering: who's got money left? I answered that with a chart that we've posted here.

October 20

What did candidate Scot England (R-101) do to prompt so much DPI giving to Rep. Bob Flider (D-101)?

Rep. John "Wallflower" Bradley (D-117) shows $103K, but his Republican opponent, Leslie Donelson (R-117), is still less than a tenth of that. The district is in the Forby/Summers contest, though, if anybody wants to gin up the House race to boost turnout for the Senate, it may show up here. We'll see.

Move Illinois Forward, which is commonly known to be affiliated with the governor is sitting on about $105K. So far, they've given $30K to Senate President Emil Jones and $2.5K to Rep. Lisa Dugan, but that still leaves a fair chunk. The Senate Dems were the governor's closest allies in the budget fight, and $30K is MILF's biggest check to date. Where the rest of it will land remains anyone's guess.

The IEA has really started giving. IPACE, affiliated with the Illinois Education Association and the largest PAC in Illinois, has given about $566K since July 1, 30% of it in the last week: $40K each to Rep. Bill Grunloh (D-108) and Sen. Gary Forby (D-59) , $25K to Sen. John Sullivan (D-47), $15K to Rep. Gary Hannig (D-98, who's unopposed; no telling what he needs $15K for this time of year). They had $1.5 million on June 30 and have reported another $420K raised since then, but they also tend to book funds for the statewide elections, so I doubt they'll run through it all.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross looks like he crashed the Sunday Dinner at Dick Duchossois' house. His latest A-1 shows $7.5K from Chamberlain Industries, which is owned by the family, and five $5K checks from individual family members.

October 20

What to make of the Illinois House Victory Fund? I thought it was a small money fund for the House Republicans (Cross is the chair), but it took in $153K in transfers from caucus members, and I don't see any expenditures yet. I wonder where that money is going.

Third Parties: R. Scott Bludorn (L-53), the Libertarian who is running against Rep. Sidney Mathias (R-53), shows $14K, which is almost impressive for a third party candidate. Even Green candidate Julie Samuels (G-8), who was endorsed by both the Trib and the Sun-Times, hasn't activated her committee this time around.

Bipartisanship in Cicero: The only PAC linked to Democratic House Candidate Michelle Chavez (D-24) is the Cicero Good Government Committee, which is supporting both her and her opponent, incumbent Republican Frank Aguilar (R-24). Aguilar has his own PAC, but Chavez apparently relies on the Cicero Good Government group for all of her financial support. The PAC reports six-figure fundraising, but doesn't suggest what percentage of that went to which candidate (or to the third candidate they support, Cicero Town President Ramiro Gonzalez, but then he's not on the ballot this fall).

October 19

Gov. Blagojevich shows $693K in itemized receipts since July 1, honestly, a slow pace for the guy. AG Lisa Madigan filed NP, as she did in the primary. Jesse White reports $225 since July 1, and Comptroller Dan Hynes , who mothballed his state PAC during his U.S. Senate race, listed $37K in receipts.

What really floored me, though was the $3.5 million the Democratic Party of Illinois brought in. Even accounting for Speaker Madigan's $500K transfer to DPI, those two PACs have over $6 million to play with this year. And Senate President Emil Jones has another $5 million. That's $11m between the two Democratic caucuses, compared with $8.3 for the Republicans (the two chambers plus the party). No wonder so many Dem candidates seem so well fed this year. (I’m not counting the Governor’s $10m in that total because he never gives from his PAC to candidates, but there’s also $105K in Move Illinois Forward; no telling where that’s going).

The Illinois Republican Party brought in just over $1m in the pre-election, including $750K from the U.S. Chamber. All told, I find $1 million in U.S. Chamber money; they apparently have an office in Oak Brook these days.

Relatedly, Maag and Karmeier are at $4.75 million between them, $5.1 million since they declared for office. Most of that is in-kind. There seems to be some odd PACs in that race. The Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity is apparently an entity based in Oak Brook. They formed a PAC, called the Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity PAC (original folks work there), and gave the PAC $275K. The PAC then turned around and gave $150K to the Illinois Civil Justice League. The League, more original than the Jobs people, calls their PAC “JUSTPAC”, and has given most of their funds to Karmeier and Jim Wright, Republican for appellate court in the Third District (where Thomas Kilbride sneaked past Carl Hawkinson in 2000, setting off some of the hostility in the current 5th District race). Where the remaining $125K is going remains anyone’s guess.

October 16

The Democrats got their checkbook out yesterday; in A-1's filed since yesterday, DPI and the Senate Dems have given nearly $1.2 million. Sen. Susan Garrett (D-29) got $85K from the Senate Dems, who also gave senate hopeful Patrick Ouimet (D-32) $90K. Rep. Bob Filder (D-101) shows $140K from DPI (and another $10K from the Pipefitters). Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-103) shows $60K from DPI (plus $10K from the Pipefitters).

Republicans have been giving, too. Senate candidate Ron Summers (R-59) got $64K from the Senate Republicans. Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-20) got $37K from House Republican Leader Tom Cross. Candidate Paul Tully (R-59) now shows another $25K from the Illinois Republican Party (IRP); his A-1 money ($29K) is all from IRP. House hopeful Doug Hayse (R-75) got $70K from HRO and another $10K from Tom Cross.

Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier (R-5th) shows receipts from Balance PAC (about all that they've reported raising) and $17K from SMASH, which has raised $15K from each of ISMIE, the hospitals, and the manufacturers and is probably sitting on another $30K. ÊA recent news story by Caleb Hale in the Southern noted that Illinois, unlike four other states, does not have a referendum on tort reform, and I assume the point of SMASH is to make the Karmeier/Maag race into exactly that referendum.

Treasurer and Illinois Republican Party Chair Judy Baar Topinka filed a PE, showing about $145K since July 1. PE.s also came in from Michael McAuliffe, House candidate Perry Moy, and Appellate Court candidate Jim Wright.

October 15

The afternoon's big contribution is the $152K Rep. Ricca Slone (D-92) got from DPI. Her opponent, Aaron Schock (R-92) got $53K from HRO. Big money, but consistently bigger from the Dems.

Speaking of the Speaker, Friends of Michael J. Madigan (D-22) got $30K from former AG candidate, former U.S. Senate candidate, current trial lawyer Al Hofeld. His opponent this fall, Darleen Conners (R-22) has yet to form a PAC.

Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson (R-51) got $10K each from Exelon, the national NRA, and the Manufacturers PAC. ÊThe National Rifle Association has not previously given more than $5,000 to any Illinois state candidate. Watson also shows $30K from Sen. Dave Sullivan (R-33), who shows $34K in A-1 money.

Senate Candidate Tom Ernst (R-47) got $60K from the Senate Republicans.
And in clear defiance of the Chicago Tribune, the beer distributors gave Mike Boland $1K.

October 15

Last night's big news was the $470K that Appellate Court Justice Gordon Maag reported, mostly from the state Democrats, nearly all of it for TV. The race is now over $2.4 million; beating the previous record by more than $1 million, and there's two weeks to go.

The IEA gave $25K to John Sullivan, and $15K to Pat Welch. Those are the biggest checks they've given out since July 1; but what's really stunning is that they're probably raising money even faster than they're giving it away. In the Pre-election period, the report $417K in and $391K out. And their receipts are all non-itemized.

ISMIE, the states largest medical malpractice insurer, has been giving. For years they've been the medical society's biggest donor, and used to give almost exclusively through the ISMS PAC, but now the insurer is broadening their reach, giving $15K directly to Southern Illinois Medical Alliance for the Survival of Health care (SMASH, a new PAC), and $50K to the Senate Republicans.

October 14

Patrick Ouimet shows $92K from the Senate Dems; his first major money from someone other than himself.

A few candidates in contested races have filed pre-election forms, including Elaine Nekritz, Robert Churchill, Aaron Schock, and Mary K O’Brien.

The Prairie Political Action Committee, a federal PAC associated with Sen. Durbin’s staff, has given $92.5K to the Illinois Democratic County Chairmans Association. And they aren’t even on the ballot this year.

October 14

Just exactly what is “Illinois Delegation NY 2004”? It shares an office with the Illinois Republican Party, and so far, it has given $50,000 to the Party and another $20,000 to the Senate Republicans. $70,000 is a lot of money for something to give, but it’s not at all clear where that money came from. The group is not a registered PAC with either the State Board of Elections or the Federal Election Commission, nor does it appear to be a 527 registered with the IRS, nor is it incorporated with the Illinois Secretary of State. But somehow it raised $70,000. When I called the Illinois Republican Party to ask about it, the guy who answered the phone said, “why do you need to know?” and then transferred me to voice mail. They haven’t called back. It all may be legit, but where did that $70K come from?

October 14

This morning’s big fundraising bumps are:
John Sullivan got $133K from the Senate Dems.

Gary Forby got $129K from the Senate Dems.

Perry Moy got $30K from Renew Illinois, a new PAC affiliated with Jack Roeser that previously reported a balance of just $5K. They must have raised some significant money during the Pre-Election reporting period.

October 13

State Sen. Pat Welch shows $150K in-kind from the Senate Dems. And Judge Karmeier shows $350K from JUSTPAC, half in-kind for TV and the other half in cash. Karmeier's A-1 money is now just about equal to what both candidates spent on the entire Supreme Court campaign two years ago.

October 13

Nursing homes are giving quite a bit: over $44,000 in reported contributions since July 1. In keeping with their historical pattern, most of this is to leadership, but they are also giving substantial amounts to senators who either aren’t on the ballot this year or who don’t have opponents in the general election, including State Sens. Risinger ($2,050), delValle ($2,750) and Trotter ($7,500). Giving to candidates with opponents has been more circumspect: Judge Lloyd Karmeier got $2,000, Rep. Kathy Ryg got $2,750, Rep. Elaine Nekritz got $500. The biggest recipient has been the Democratic Party of Illinois, which reports $20,000; DPI Chair Michael J. Madigan shows another $1,200.

October 12

With three weeks to go, several legislative contests have passed the quarter-million mark. Big chunks of that money comes from the legislative caucuses.

  • The House Democrats show $293,000 raised in October, the biggest block coming from lawyers ($130,000), thought labor unions ($27,000) nursing homes ($21,200), medical interests ($15,000) are giving as well. $54,000 came in transfers from other Democratic politicians. House Democrats were showing $2.3 million on hand as of June 30.

  • The Senate Democrats show $268,300 in October, including $123,700 from lawyers, $35,000 from labor (all of it from the IFT), and $15,000 from liquor interests. Senate Democrats were showing $2.9 million on hand as of June 30.

  • The Senate Republicans show $169,200 in October, including $54,500 from lawyers, $27,000 from medical interests (mostly the State Medical Society), and $16,000 from manufacturers and the Chamber. The Senate Republicans also show $20,000 from Illinois Delegation NY 2004, presumably left over funds from the national Republican convention. Senate Republicans were showing $1.5 million on hand as of June 30.

  • The House Republicans show just $31,650 in October, including $18,000 from Republican lawmakers, $5,000 from gambling interests, and $5,000 from assorted business interests. House Republicans were showing $1.3 million on hand as of June 30.

None of the caucuses have filed Pre-Election forms, which will reveal their fundraising from the start of July through early October.

October 8

Illinois' only Supreme Court race, held in the farthest southern district, is the biggest race so far. In the first week of October, Judge Lloyd Karmeier has reported receiving $700,000 from the state Republican Party, and Judge Gordon Maag has reported $488,000 from the state Democratic Party. Since July 1, 2003, both candidates have combined fundraising of over $2 million; with over three weeks to go before Election Day, the previous record a Supreme Court general election has been shattered.