Tuesday, January 11, 2005

You Want Fries With That?

Disclosure reports for the second half of 2004 are due to be filed by the end of the month. PACs can file at any time between now and then, and so this blog may become more lively in the coming weeks. Leadership PACs and those in contested elections tend to file late, but so far a handful of interest groups have filed their statements. Including:

• McDonald’s PAC. I didn’t know the fast food purveyor even had a PAC, but lo and behold, it’s been around since 1998. They report giving nearly $30,000 in the last half of 2004, down considerably from the nearly $50K they gave in the last half of the past two even (read: election) years. Their relative stinginess comes despite passing the Commonsense Consumption Act (PA 93-848), which prohibits lawsuits within Illinois alleging that eating McDonald’s food made people fat.

• The Illinois Education Association showed again why they’re the largest PAC in the state, reporting nearly $1 million in non-itemized contributions in the last half of 2004 alone. They also reported spending $1.6 million, and start 2005 with $909,936.36 in the bank; most other PACs won’t raise or spend anywhere close to that amount in the next two years.

• The Payday Lenders, through their Illinois Small Loan Association PAC, reported giving $151,989 in the last half of 2004. That’s on top of the $163K they gave previously in the 2003-2004 election cycle, and doesn’t count the money given directly by members to candidates and leadership PACs. In all, it’s an awful lot of money for a group dedicated to killing interest rate and fee limits.

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