Sunday, July 31, 2005

Chicken for the Sunday Carving

Still waiting for more of the statewides to file, but here are some interesting bits that have come in this weekend:

Ernst for Senate: Tom Ernst lost to John Sullivan, but the race may not be over. His committee shows –0- in, -0- out and $334.01 available. But he also shows $74K in in-kind contributions, including $58K from the Illinois Republican Party and the balance from the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee. The in-kinds included direct mail, staff, and phone banks; campaign stuff, except that there was no campaign (Sullivan's not up again until 2008, right?). It could be leftovers from last fall, but the bulk of the money came in March, and some came as late as June.

Citizens to Re-elect William “Bill” Shaw: The former state senator shows $66K in, $78K out and $7K available. He shows an astonishing $42K in non-itemized expenditures, suggesting small payments to nearly 300 vendors. His brother’s PAC, Citizens to Elect Robert Shaw, likewise shows significant non-itemized expenditures ($23K). Both brothers also report payment of “fees” to the State Board of Elections: $611 for Bill, $1,955 for Robert.

Friends of Don Harmon: The Oak Park senator has a lot of friends, indeed. He shows $170K in, just $50K out and a net available of $206K.

Majority Leader’s Fund: Don’t let the name fool you; this is not a major PAC. It shows $20 in receipts, $35 in expenditures, and $16K available. That’s no typo: just $20.00 in receipts and just $35.00 in expenditures. The Majority Leader’s Other Fund, better known as Barbara Flynn Currie for State Representative Committee, showed a little more action: $11K in, $20K out and $245K available.

Mike Boland Campaign: The Quad Cities rep shows$24K in, $9K out and $126K available, should he decide to run for re-election or a higher office.

Eight is Enough: This PAC, chaired by the Lt. Gov, shows –0- in receipts, -0- in expenditures, and $26 available. Again, not a typo. It also carried $92K in outstanding loans, mostly to the Lt. Gov’s other PAC, Taxpayers for Pat Quinn.

Friday, July 29, 2005

First of the Four Tops, plus Rauschenberger Files

Only three more days to file; here’s what’s come in recently:

Citizens for Frank Watson: The first of the four tops shows $483K in, $271K out and $1.1m available. Expenditures include $125K to the caucus PAC (which hasn’t filed yet) and $25K loaned to Citizens for Rick Winkel last January.

Friends of Kwame Raoul: The Senate Democrat reports $78K in, $31K out and $108K available. Donors include $10K from Ariel Capital Management (half directly from the firm, half from Chairman John Rogers), $5K from ITLA, and $2.5K each from the CTU and Bruce Simon.

Friends for Hultgren: The House Republican shows $214K in receipts, most of it in loans. He loaned the committee $155K; another $5K each came from Paul Craig and Kraig Krueger, apparently co-workers at Fortress Financial; and $10K from retired homemaker Pam Nungesser of St. Petersburg, Florida. He also shows $10K in expenditures and $207K available.

Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee: News flash! Rutherford is thinking of running statewide. Ok, that’s not news, but it’s apparent from his disclosure report. He’s been making small donations to a range of Republican groups around the state: Livingston County Republican CC, Northwest Suburban GOP Family Picnic, Sangamon County Republican CC, Tazewell County Republicans. He shows $315K in, $129K out and $340K available, which isn’t what the potential goob candidates will want to be showing, but is typical for downticket races.

Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE: The other big teachers union has filed, showing $1.1M in receipts, $502K in expenditures, and $1.3M available.

Illinois State Medical Society: The docs are in. They show $424K in, $210K out, and $552K available. The lion’s share of the receipts, $185K, came from the malpractice insurer, ISMIE; they’re also showing a lot of hospital money. Expenditures went to the Senate Republicans ($30K), the House Republicans ($30K), and the Gov ($25K). The Senate President got $10K, and inexplicably, the Speaker got stiffed. Alright, “inexplicable” may not be the right word.

Maag for Justice: Not only did Gordon Maag lose the Supreme Court race, not only did he lose retention to his Appellate Court seat, but apparently, his campaing car was in an accident. His disclosure report shows payments to a garage to make repairs. The fund is barred by court rules from raising money, but it shows a balance available of $11K.

Citizens for Dale A Righter Illinois State Senate: The downstate Republican shows $85K in and a balance available of $126K, including investments.

Running Totals (remember: everybody’s final reports are due in on Monday):

Hasn’t Filed Yet (see 7/15 post, below, for full disclaimer):
Blagojevich: $826,558 (including $250K from SEIU, $100K from IL Pipe Trades, $50K
from Il. Council on Long Term Care, IL Hospitals)
Lisa Madigan: $11,757 (including $5K from IUOE and $2.5K from LaSalle Bank)

Bill Brady $29,600 (including $5K from the Illinois Homebuilders, $3.5K from the
Committee on Home Ownership and $2K each from the Residential
Construction Employers Council and the John Maitland Campaign Committee)
Oberweis: $10K (all Renew Illinois)
Topinka: $114,580 (including $25K from IL Hospitals, $20K IUOE, and $15K from Illinois
National Bank,)

Has Filed:
Raised Cash on Hand
Vallas: $7K $0
Gidwitz#: $3M N/A
LaHood $597K $526K
Rauschenberger $786K $588K

#- Posted data to website; has not filed with SBE.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Lawyers, Nursing homes, and candidates

As we get closer to the August 1 deadline for filing disclosure reports, more and more interesting groups are showing up. Several legislative candidates have filed but it’s the interest groups that seem most intriguing, so they come first:

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association: ITLA has had a rough year, between the 5th District Supreme Court race and the med mal bill, but their members aren’t going away. Their PAC shows $255K in receipts and just $98K in expenditures (including $20K for the Senate President and $15K for the Speaker) for a big net boost to their cash on hand. They’re now sitting on $276K.

Illinois Council on Long Term Care: The larger of the two nursing home PACs raised $180K, spent $160K and has $68K available. Big recipients include the governor ($50K), the Senate President ($17.5K) and Dan Hynes ($2.5K) (Note that big is a relative term, even among the top three).

Illinois Small Loan Association: The payday lenders may have had a rougher year than the Trial Lawyers, hosting a big fundraiser for the governor and then watching him sign legislation they fought hard to stop. They raised $80K, spent only about half of that, and ended the period with $106K available. They gave nothing to the Speaker, but the other Three Tops all reported $2.5K to their personal PACs; the two Senate leaders also got $5K in their caucus PACs while HRO shows $1K.

And some candidates filed:

Friends of Kevin Joyce: Must be something in the water that has so many candidates hiring pricey consultants. The Democratic state rep’s PAC shows $42K in, $47K out and $63K available. He reports $12K to MJO Consulting for “consulting” purposes.

Citizens for Leitch (David): The Republican state rep shows $40K in, $50K out and $105K available. He shows $750 to Campaigns and Elections in DC to attend a seminar in April.

We bid adieu to two candidates who have finaled out. Former State Senator Kathy Parker has closed her account, repaying herself $150 for an old loan and another $26K for no apparent reason. And Scot England, who raised only $22K but scared Rep. Bob Flider into spending nearly $600K, actually raised a little money to repay some of his debts before closing his account.

Running Totals (remember: everybody’s final reports are due in on Monday):

Hasn’t Filed Yet (see 7/15 post, below, for full disclaimer):
Blagojevich: $719,408 (including $250K from SEIU, $100K from Il. Pipe Trades, $50K
from Il. Council on Long Term Care)
Lisa Madigan: $6,508 (including $2,500 from LaSalle Bank)

Bill Brady $29,600 (including $5K from the Illinois Homebuilders, $3.5K from the
Committee on Home Ownership and $2K each from the Residential
Construction Employers Council and the John Maitland Campaign
LaHood: $3,750
Oberweis: -0-
Rauschenberger: $74,450 (including $10K from Mpower, $9K from IEA, and $3.5K from
Topinka: $86,780 (including $15K from Illinois National Bank, $5K each from IPAC,
“sponsored by Inland Group”, and LaSalle Bank)

Has Filed:
Raised Cash on Hand
Vallas: $7K $0
Gidwitz#: $3M N/A

#- Posted data to website; has not filed with SBE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

AMEREN, Salvation, AFSCME, Ethics

Ameren PAC: A few weeks ago we noted that Dyn-PAC was still active, even though Dynergy had sold Illinois Power to Ameren. Ameren PAC has now filed; they’re active, too. They report $56K in receipts, most of if ($35K) from the corporation but the rest from staff through payroll deductions. Donations appear to be commensurate with the staffer’s title, but what’s interesting is that the corporate giving is described as “matching funds” tied to individual giving (albeit at 4 times individual giving). The PAC gave out $46K, including $7.5K to Frank Watson and the RSSCC, $6K to Emil Jones and the ISDF, and $5K to Michael J Madigan; and had $21K available.

Saving Healthcare and Industry for Tomorrow (SHIFT): this was another PAC formed around the time of the 5th District Supreme Court race; it’s now pretty dormant, but it did report raising $577.54, all of it from the Salvation Army of Syracuse, New York. This appears to be the first and only recorded contribution by the Salvation Army (New York or Illinois chapters), and makes one wonder what their tax status is.

AFSCME Illinois Council 31: The state employees PAC shows $50K in receipts, all of it directly from the union; $51K in expenditures (including $12.5K for Dan Hynes, $10K for Emil Jones and $3.5K each for Pat Quinn and the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee) and $11K available.

Illinois Citizens for Ethics: A PAC is born… They haven’t reported raising any money just yet, but they’ve staked out the name, claimed a State ID number (#8912) and asserted a purpose (“To support state candidates who agree with our positions on various issues.”). We don’t know who officers Kevin Costello and Dennis O’Brien are (drop us a line if you do), but we hope at least some of their issues include honest government and clean elections.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Miller Roskam & Dart (and Noland, and LaHood)

Citizens for David E. Miller: the south suburban Democrat (and dentist) shows $51K in receipts, mostly from Dent-IL PAC ($20.5K), the ITLA ($3.25K), and Ma-Dear Home Services ($2.5K). Expenses were only $8.3K, and he’s left with $106K available.

Friends of Peter Roskam: Most of the chatter about the DuPage Republican has been about his run for Hyde’s congressional seat, but he’s been spending a ton from his state PAC (as, per federal rules, he can until he files his petitions). He shows receipts of just $4.3K, but expenditures of $115K, including a $40K media buy through Hodas & Associates, $9K in “community relations” to Medinah Country Club, a $7.5K “speaker’s fee” in mid-February to Premier Speakers Bureau, $7K in printing and another $7K in mailing. He also gave $15.8K to various local Republican organizations, including $6.7K to the DuPage County Republican Central Committee. His state PAC has about $18K remaining.

Citizens for Dart: Tom Dart was the lone Democrat not to win the statewide General Election in 2002, losing to Judy Baar Topinka. He’s still talked about as a 2006 candidate, but if he’s thinking about it, you wouldn’t know from his campaign disclosure reports. He shows no receipts at all; his only activity was moving money into a CD. He’s got $85.6K available, and he still owes $200K in debts from 2002.

Citizens for Noland: Former State Rep. N. Duane Noland has closed his political committee, making final distributions to Milliken University ($5K), Richland 2014 ($1K), and the PACs of Bill Mitchell ($600), Frank Watson ($600), and Ray LaHood ($500). And he pockted $7,953.47 as a "personal distribution persuant to 10 ILCS 5/9-8.10"

Ray LaHood for Illinois: Formed in January of this year, the PAC (state ID 8812) hasn't filed yet, but others report giving $1,250 to fund the congressman's exploration of Illinois gubernatorial terrain.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ameren Bromberg Schock Watson et alia

Ameren may have bought Illinois Power but the utility’s PAC is still named after it’s previous corporate parent, Dynergy. DYN-PAC reported no receipts, $36K in transfers (half to the Gov and the Speaker) and a balance on hand of $16K.

Michelle Bromberg lost to Beth Coulson, but the Democratic Party of Illinois hasn’t forgotten her. DPI gave Citizens for Bromberg $800 for printing and insurance in March and April of this year. The PAC shows just $100 in “other” receipts and cash on hand of $2,635.

Citizens for Schock filed, showing $29K in receipts, $44K in expenditures, and just $3K cash on hand. The House Republican Organization also gave the Peoria state rep $16K in in-kind support, including $6K in GOTV and automated calls on January 20 and another $4K in “advocacy calls” on January 28. What election was HRO so interested in last January?

Citizens for Jim Watson (Jim is the downstate Republican named Watson who’s *not* a caucus leader) filed with $78K in receipts, $29K out the door and $127K on hand; serious fundraising for a rank and filer, especially one who was unopposed in the last Primary *and* General Elections.

Realtor’s Good Government Fund reported no receipts – none – despite spending $3K on printing tickets, hiring entertainment and food for a May fundraiser. Is that what happens when you have a party and nobody comes?

The Operating Engineers Local 150 were busy beavers last Spring, raising $96K, transferring $104K to candidates, and leaving 40K in the bank. By contrast, Statesman of the Year Pac, also affiliated with Local 150 of the Operating Engineers, raised $37K, spent $32K and left $162K in the bank.

Illinois Bankpac raised $223K, transferred $116K out and left $125K in the bank.

Running Totals:

Hasn’t Filed Yet (totals are from other PACs expenditures; see 7/15 post, below, for full disclaimer):
Blagojevich: $355K (including $100K from IL Pipe Trades, $40K from IL Cable PAC and $30K from Chapman & Cutler)
Lisa Madigan: $6K (including $2,500 from LaSalle Bank)
Oberweis: $0
Rauschenberger: $59K (including $10K from Mpower, $9K from IEA, and $3K from Chicago Auto Trade Assn)
Topinka: $36K (including $5K each from IPAC, “sponsored by Inland Group”, and LaSalle Bank)

Has Filed:
Raised Cash on Hand
Vallas: $7K $0
Gidwitz*: $3M N/A

* - Posted data to website; has not filed with SBE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Filing Update (Berman, Comcast,Syverson)

Former State Senator Art Berman has closed his political committee. It may have been the oldest active committee still on the books; it was State ID 28. Berman had $184K as of June 30, 1998 and could have taken it all for personal use; instead, he gave his political funds to charitable and civic groups he supported.

Illinois Cable PAC. Comcast didn’t give to Illinois state candidates until they bought AT&T’s cable TV interests; now, they give a quarter million a cycle directly to candidates and parties, and so much to the Cable TV PAC that the PAC had to change its name to acknowledge Comcast’s largesse. The PAC shows $66K in receipts and $220K on hand.

Citizens for Syverson. The Rockford Senator shows $74K in receipts and $226K on hand. He’s still carrying $25K in debt to himself from last fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tuesday's Filing Update (IEA,Lang, Devine)

The Illinois Education Association (IEA). As always, their receipts are nearly all non-itemized: they show $930K that way. What’s interesting is that they also show $44,900 in non-itemized “other” receipts. “Other” receipts are usually interest payments on bank accounts, investment returns, event deposit reimbursements, and returned contributions. That the IEA showed $44,900 in this sort of non-itemized receipts suggests that they had at least 300 small receipts that didn’t come from members. All told, the largest PAC in the state reports $1.2M cash-on-hand.

Citizens for Lou Lang. The one-time gubernatorial candidate filed, showing $75K in receipts and $100K in expenditures (not including $6.5K in in-kinds). He reports $16K in payments to Fako and Associates for polling. No word on whether that was district- or state-wide.

Citizens for Richard A. Devine. Is he running for governor? He reported $8K in receipts and has $370K on hand. Draw your own conclusions.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Observations (July 18)

Hoping that the bugs in the new State Board of Elections website are behind us (they made improvements last week to make the site work better on a variety of browsers), we’ll take a closer look at some PACs that have filed:

Vallas for Illinois – still no cash on hand, still very deep in debt. Dean Vallas made $7K in interest payments, which accounted for the only money in and out in the D2.

Citizens for Ronen – Gave the governor $5K as her biggest expenditure.

SMASH – This committee, which served as the main on-the-ground medical PAC in the 2004 Supreme Court race, is not shutting down. They raised $32K in the first half of 2005 (biggest donors are ISMIE at $5K and ISMS CEO Alexander Lerner at $1K) and ended the period with $17K on hand. More than the money, though, the big news here is that the PAC has changed its name from Southern Illinois Medical Alliance to Save Healthcare to the State of Illinois Medial Alliance…, suggesting a broader geographic focus..

Ron Gidwtiz for Governor: Hasn’t filed anything with the SBE (yet), but he did take the unusual step of posting contributors on his website. Why he posted a pdf on the web rather than file electronically with the SBE we can’t fathom. If he really wanted to post all donors, he could do so with the existing SBE disclosure software (and it’d be on-line and searchable. And it would list occupation and employer. And expenditures and cash on hand. But not to carp). His website shows he raised $3M through July 14. Aside from himself ($200K) and others named Gidwitz ($502K), his biggest donors appear to be Waserdorf & Associates ($250K), Robert McCormack ($100K), and T. Russell Shields ($100K). We’ll know more when the D2 arrives.

The Running Totals: Because these numbers are changing all the time, I’ll stop using exact figures; it’s the ratios that matter.

Blagojevich: $134K
Lisa Madigan: $6K
Topinka: $24K
Gidwitz: $0 (but see above)
Oberweis: $0
Rauschenberger: $43K

Friday, July 15, 2005

New State Board Website; New Fundraising Numbers

The State Board of Elections has redesigned their website (they've also moved it to, but the old URL still works, FWIW). The new look is very clean, and while it may take a few visits to get used to where all the old favorites have moved, it looks like everything's still there. They had a bit of trouble yesterday when the whole site disappeared, both to visitors and to committees trying to file first half of 2005 disclosure reports, but all seems to be back up and running. We've had trouble using the new site in Safari and also in Firefox, and they tell us they've had a few complaints about IE (something about page caching?). Here's hoping they get the bugs out by the end of the filing period.

Updated fundraising totals so far for some likely statewide candidates run below. These totals are not intended to indicate a race of any kind but only to suggest how much committees have reported transferring to these candidates so far. Final totals will be far higher; these don't include non-itemized giving, nor giving by individuals (ie, natural people, corporations, unions, associations, and other non-PACs), nor paper filers, nor PACs that haven't filed yet... You get the idea. So take this with a grain of salt (or two; it will all be meaningless come August 1) but here are the numbers:

Rod Blagojevich: $129,158
Lisa Madigan: $5,607
Judy Baar Topinka: $23,535
Ron Gidwitz: 0
Steve Rauschenberger: $42,750
Jim Oberweis: 0

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Gotta be noon somewhere

It’s disclosure time, the goo-goo’s version of happy hour, when political committees must file their semi-annual disclosure reports. All reports for funds raised, expended, and on hand for the period January 1 – June 30 are due to be filed with the State Board of Elections by the end of this month. Because that happens to be a weekend, candidates get an extra day this year: final reports are due Monday, August 1.

This blog, which hasn’t been too active lately, will be more active in the coming weeks as we look through the reports and try to connect the dots. Electronic reports -- and every committee that raises, spends, or has $10K or more now has to file electronically -- are posted instantaneously on the State Board’s recently redesigned site. We hope to process the data in August and have our analysis posted as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, check back here for tidbits and observations.

Just for laughs, we’ll also be keeping a running total of the receipts of some of the committees expected to raise the most. Those committees tend not to file until very late in the period, often not until the last day, but if another committee files with an expenditure to that candidate, those totals are searchable. So, one week into the disclosure period, here are some very preliminary fundraising totals:

Rod Blagojevich: $68,408
Lisa Madigan: $3,000
Judy Baar Topinka: $10,050
Steve Rauschanberger: $34,750
Ron Gidwitz: $0
Jim Oberweis: $0