Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cook Judicial Totals (est.)

Our phone rings and we answer it. A couple people have called to see if we know who won judicial races in the Cook County Circuit, and the Cook subs. What with the slow counting of ballots in Cook County and the City of Chicago, I haven’t seen much reporting on the final counts in lower court races. Neither jurisdiction will certify the results for a while, but both have posted unofficial counts on their websites. So I’ve taken the liberty of adding together the two unofficial counts here for all who are interested. ICPR does not vouch for these results, due to the number of possible sources of error, but as a public service, here are our tallies of vote totals as of Noon today (3/29/06). I put an asterix next to the apparent winners; two races, for the Dem nomination to the Hartman Appellate seat and the Republican nomination to the 13th Subcircuit seat (Bierman) look really, really close.


Appellate Court (Hartigan):

Lewis: 124,836
* Murphy: 182,444
Dooling: 55,846
Kennedy: 79,732
Curran: 35,772

Appellate (Hartman):

Erickson: 133,183
Brewer: 68,608
* Cunningham: 133,991
Bailey; 63,133
Riley: 74,997

Circuit (Burr):

Dole: 118,824
Guillemette: 123,651
McMahon: 62,442
* Pucinski: 181,774

Circuit (Jaffe)

* Howlett: 284,629
Carey: 184,043

Circuit (Morrissey):

* McHale: 403,505

Circuit (Nudelman):

* Murphy: 387,716
Sarolas: 77,663

Circuit (Schiller)

Patterson: 112,784
*Hill Veal: 156,539
Byrne: 146,030
Murphy: 52,426

Circuit (Travis)

Quinn: 93,465
Mills: 81,203
*O'Brien: 103,187
Loftus: 28,328
Matyus: 25,258
Stalmack: 79,237
Ringer-Taylor: 58,296

1st Sub (Crooks)

* Walker: 32,873
Coleman-John: 17,487

1st Sub (Muse)

* Hambright: 43,944

2nd Sub (A)

* Stuttley: 19,873
Bozeman-Martin: 6,068
Genius: 2,950
Hamilton: 5,104
Boyd: 10,971

3rd Sub (Watson):

* Murphy: 47,297

5th Sub (Greene-Thapedi)

Thapedi: 11,328
* Shelly: 17,258
Stern: 1,006

6th Sub (Jorzak)

Lechowicz: 8,031
Rochester: 4,361
*Ocasio: 9,505

6th Sub (A)

* Chevere: 18,887

7th Sub (A)

*Howard: 20,418
Nuby: 5,336
Lastre: 2,174
McNeil: 6,145

10th Sub (Golniewicz)

* McGing: 18,317
Pembroke: 4,451
Grossman: 9,598

11th Sub (A):

*Roberts: 22,126
Andolino: 10,728

12th Sub (Madden):

* Rochford: 15,902

12th Sub (Siebel)

Dickler: 15,746

12th Sub (A):

* Flannigan: 15,358

15th Sub (Nowinski)

Gibbons: 4,693
* Brennan: 5,861
Duffy: 4,793
Tarr: 1,079
Prince: 2,791
Sutton: 3,769
Quinn: 3,826
Donahue: 2,488
Steed: 2,136


12th Sub (Madden):

* Sampen: 8,474
Craig: 2,481
Edlund: 1,787
Ryan: 4,588

12TH Sub (Siebel):

* Goebel: 13,076
Tatooles: 4,604

12th Sub (A):

* Nelson: 7,629
Schwind: 4,653
Papavero: 2,271
Lartz: 2,618

13th Sub (Bierman):

Collins: 6,534
Kelley: 6,373
* Marisie: 6,864

15th Sub (Nowinski):

* Scrementi: 8,138

Friday, March 24, 2006

Final Tally v.2

Candidates for governor raised 47% more in the 2006 Primary than candidates in the 2002 Primary spent, preliminary campaign finance reports show. The five candidates in the Republican primary combined for $20.1 million in fundraising, a surge of 35% over Republican spending four years ago, while the two Democratic candidates reported $19.8 million available for the Primary, which is 61% more than the three-candidate field spent in 2002. While it appears that not all of the money raised was spent, especially in the Democratic primary for governor, final campaign spending figures will not be available until July.

Top legislative contests were all in the Chicagoland region. The state Senate race with the most fundraising was in the 48th District in DuPage and Kane counties between State Rep. Randall Hultgren and Naperville City Councilman Dick Furstenau. The two combined for $630,800 in reported fundraising. The House contest with the most money was in the 29th District in south suburban Cook County between State Rep. David Miller and former Chicago Alderman Robert Shaw. They combined for $466,400 in fundraising.

Top fundraisers lost almost as often as they won. Republican Gubernatorial nominee Judy Baar Topinka came in third in reported fundraising, behind largely self-funded Ron Gidwitz and Jim Oberweis, and Cook County Board President John Stroger reported raising $914,000 less than challenger Forrest Claypool. Self-funded candidates saw mixed results: Senate candidates James Morici, House candidates Denny Driscoll and 5th District Appellate Court candidate Bill Berry all lost, while House candidates LaShawn Ford and Sam Cahnman both won; Ford was outraised by incumbent Rep. Calvin Giles. These races serve as a reminded that money is one component among many in a political campaign; candidates don't have to raise the most money in order to win.

ICPR has just (or will very soon) post estimates of fundraising for candidates in hot races between January 1, 2005 and the 2006 Primary Election on our 2006 Elections page. Figures are as of 9 am, Friday, March 24, 2006.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Final Tally

ICPR has posted our count of candidate fundraising totals through Noon today on our website. In the course of looking over the numbers, we found a few interesting bits:

Thomas Grusecki is back. The owner of Northern Homes gave Judy Baar Topinka $30K, his largest gift since the last round of statewide executive elections.

Mark IV Realty gave the Giannoulias campaign $48K in billboards (all of them, apparently, overlooking the Kennedy Expressway) over the weekend. They had the same arrangement with the Vallas campaign in the 2002 primary, and with Blagojevich in the 2002 General. The billboards run through the end of March.

Friends of Terrance J. O’Brien reported an in-kind of $4,725 from the Chicago Sun-Times. Did the newspaper really give the in-kind? It appears to be another O’Brien’s Restaurant ad which must have depicted Terrance J. O’Brien (who is running in the Cook County Dem Primary for Metro Water Reclamation District).

The Democratic Party of Illinois came in big time for Paul Mangieri, giving $127K over the weekend, all of it in-kind. Mangieri also shows a lot of in-kinds from sitting legislators, including Bob Rita, Frank Mautino, Mike Smith, Linda Chapa-Lavia, and others; nearly all of them downstate Dems. These look to be mailings to their own district touting the incumbent’s endorsement of Mangieri’s candidacy.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Early Preview of the Late Money

Crain’s this week notes that “Hospitals gut bill to curb debt collections,” quoting an advocate for the debt curbs as saying “I naively thought (the collections bill) should be a no-brainer.” Campaign disclosure reports show that hospitals, mostly through the Illinois Hospital Association but also directly, have given some $245K to candidates so far in 2006, including $78K to Blagojevich, $50K to Topinka, $25K to the Senate Republicans and $12.5K to the House Republicans. Reports show no giving to either of the Dem legislative leaders, though they also co-chair Blagojevich’s campaign.

The Democratic Party of Illinois hasn’t shown new receipts in the last week; their last reported contribution came on March 11. They’ve been giving, though; $366K so far this year, including $40K to the North Suburban Democrat Lakefront Organization (which, by the way, is not a PAC), $10K to the Cook County Democratic Party (which is) and $332.46 to Eddie Washington’s re-election effort. The balance, 86% of their reported spending this year, has gone to Paul Mangieri’s campaign. And nearly all of the recent money has been in-kind, which is to say, they’re keeping it pretty well in-house.

Some other funds haven’t been raising much either. The last reported contribution to Cook County Sheriff candidate Sylvester Baker was from the Dating Game Lounge on South Stony Island in Chicago, on February 10th. Senate President Emil Jones hasn’t reported income since February 13th (and the Illinois Senate Democratic Fund is non-participating, meaning it can raise funds but won’t be transferring any out.) The Republican State Senate Campaign Committee hasn’t reported income since March 10th.

But others have been very active. We’ll have updated totals for the statewides, hot legislative races and some Cook County contests later today, but here’s a sample of movement in the last few days: Jim Oberweis shows $619K this week, including $400K from himself and $200K from Jack Roeser and Otto Engineering. Rod Blagojevich shows $310K this week, including $75K from the Hospitals, $50K from Unite HERE, $25K from the ISMS, and $20K from Indeck, the peaker power plant people (what’s a blog without a tongue twister). Forrest Claypool shows $305K, including $100K from Fred Eychaner. Ron Gidwitz shows $263K, mostly from himself and his relatives. Check back to the ICPR website later today for the full numbers.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Down the Stretch

Casino’s have been giving lately: $77K so far this year, mostly from Penn National ($39K), though Harrah’s ($20K) and the Casino Queen ($13K) have also been giving. Not to mention Timothy Rand, part owner of the Casino Queen, who shows $56K all by himself.

Waste Management now cares about nursing homes, or at least one home in particular. They report $50K to Supporters of Sunny Hill Nursing Home, a PAC formed in January which shows only $58K in total receipts. Look for a name change after the sponsoring entity provision kicks in, unless the PAC can convince others to give at least another $93K.

We’ve posted more detailed tables of receipts and top donors to our website – go to our homepage to download the pdf. Updates tomorrow (Friday) and Monday!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cook County Tidbits and Pieces

Tom Dart and Margaret Ann Carey each report in-kinds in the form of an O’Brien’s ad. For those of you not familiar with these ads, O’Brien’s is a restaurant in Chicago given to taking out full-page newspaper ads that feature people-about-town enjoying their food. Often, these ads feature candidates, and candidates have been uneven in their reporting of the ads. The new Electioneering Communications provisions in the Election Code would seem to suggest that these ads, when run close to elections, have to be reported, and both of these candidates have done so, putting the value of the spots at $4,725.

Will the real Timothy Rand please stand up? The Chicago resident has been described in disclosure reports as an owner of the Casino Queen, a Midway wholesaler, a bottled water proprietor, a sales manager at CompUSA, a self-employed liquor distributor, and a restauranteur. And his political giving has likewise been all over the map – most recently, $15K to Stroger, $25K to Topinka, $5K to Dan Burke and $5K to Paul Froehlich.

UNITE HERE, the union of needleworkers, textile trades and hotel and restaurant employees, has been writing checks: $10K each to Chicago Alderman William J.P. Banks and State Senator James Deleo; $5K each to State Rep. John Fritchey and Cook County Sheriff candidate Tom Dart; and $1K to MWRD candidate Debra Shore.

Cook County Powerhouse Joseph Berrios is writing checks -- $25K to Blago, $7.5K to the Cook County Democratic Party, $3K to Edward Acevedo and $1K to Michelle Chavez. Berrios, with four active committees and over $1M salted away, can well afford the transfers.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I've got a question for you...

Later today we’ll be posting the responses to our candidate questionnaire; go here to read them. But here are some of the responses we got from some incumbent legislators. See if you can guess who sent them in:

A) “Recently I received your questionnaire for the March 2006 election. Currently, I have no primary opponent. I have enjoyed our working relationship since I was appointed to the General Assembly in December 2003. I hope to continue this relationship and I will be happy to fill out any future questionnaires for the 2006 general election.”

B) “Recently I received your questionnaire for the March 2006 election. Currently, I have no primary opponent. I have enjoyed our working relationship since I was appointed to the General Assembly in December 2003. I hope to continue this relationship and I will be happy to fill out any future questionnaires for the 2006 general election.”

C) “Recently I received your questionnaire for the March 2006 election. Currently, I have no primary opponent. I have enjoyed our working relationship since I was appointed to the General Assembly in [redacted] 2004. I hope to continue this relationship and I will be happy to fill out any future questionnaires for the 2006 general election.”

D) “I recently received your questionnaire for the March 2006 election. I have enjoyed our working relationship during my time as state representative and I hope to continue this relationship.

“Currently, I have no primary opponent. Please send me any future questionnaires for the 2006 general election and I will be happy to complete them.”

E) “I recently received your questionnaire for the March 2006 election. I have enjoyed our working relationship during my time as state representative and I hope to continue this relationship.

“Currently, I have no primary opponent. Please be sure to include me when you send questionnaires for the general election. I will be happy to complete it for the November election.”

Two things jump out from these – one that some candidates were apparently working from the same script when replying to questionnaires. But more importantly, it seems that some people think that incumbent legislators don’t have to answer questions; only candidates, and challenged candidates at that, do. It’s a shame that public officials aren’t more forthcoming with the public about where they stand on issues of the day.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tea Leaves

Tea Leaves, or What’s $25,000 Between Friends?

Disclosure reports list the name of the donor, the amount of the contribution and the name of the recipient. They do not explain why the transaction occurred, though that is often the most interesting piece. Often we are left to speculate, deduce, infer, or guess as to why the donor donated to the donatee.

With that in mind, here are some recent donations to ponder:

RJ Reynolds gave $25K to Friends of Ryan. Does the tobacco giant know that this is not Former Gov. George Ryan’s fund, but that of former State Rep. Bob Ryan now running for Cook County Board? Maybe they do.

Friends of Michael J. Madigan gave $25K to Citizens for Stroger. That’s almost 10% of all the new money John Stroger has brought in this year.

AFSCME gave $25K to Citizens for Judy Baar Topinka. Many ways to interpret this.

The Illinois Civil Justice League gave $24K worth of printing to Citizens for Judge Michael J Powers. Powers is running unopposed for the Republican nomination to succeed Justice Kent Slater in the 3rd District Appellate Court.

Gerald Gidwitz gave Ron Gidwitz for Governor $500,000. That’s a different scale than the $25K checks we’d seen, but so it goes. Gidwitz for Gov also reports another $50K from Wassendorf & Associates.

Sitting This One Out

PACs have to file Pre-Election and A1 reports in the weeks before an election, unless they’re not participating in that election. In that case, they have the option of filing a Non-Participation statement. That shields them from the normal disclosure requirements, until the next Semi-Annual reporting period ends. Some big name PACs are apparently sitting out the Primary, including the Illinois Senate Democratic Fund, and the Illinois House Victory Fund (a House Republican PAC). Cook County Sheriff candidate Tom Dart has two committees and one, Citizens for Dart, has filed NP.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tidbits and Pieces

Ron who?

One of the things that Ron Gidwitz and Steve Rauschenberger did to cement their political partnership was to form a new PAC. The PAC is called “Ron Gidwitz-Steven J. Rauschenberger Illinois” in its official listing on the State Board site, though it appears that it’s common name is intended to be the “Turn Around Team”. The PAC (S9051) reports $862K in receipts from a who’s who of top-shelf Republican donors, though most of the money ($750K) came from Ron Gidwitz for Governor. (Gidwitz and Rauschenberger retain their own committees).

The Turn Around Team has given to a few candidates, but recipients seem reluctant to admit that Ron Gidwitz has had anything to do with the money. The PAC reported giving $500 to Republican House candidate Bill Seith on 2/16/06. Seith reported getting $500 from the “Steven J. Rauschenberger Turn Around Team”. The PAC reported giving $2K to State Rep. Ruth Munson on 1/7/06, but she reports the money as coming from “Rauschenberger, Betty and Steven” on 1/9/06 (there’s no other reference to a $2K contribution that could be this money). The PAC reports $5K to the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee (listed as “Senate Republican Campaign Committee” in its’ Pre), but the RSSCC shows the money coming from the Steven J. Rauschenberger Turn Around Team.”

Is it odd that the recipients keep forgetting to list Ron Gidwitz among the donors? Maybe, maybe not; it could be that the fund, despite its listing with the SBE, is a Rauschenberger-administered fund, and that they intend it to be known as the Turn Around Team, and not necessarily a Gidwitz project. Heck; when Gidwitz reports receiving money from the PAC ($105K), even he lists it as being from “Turn Around Team.” (As with the next example, we may be double counting some of this money in the candidate totals).

Mangieri’s Two Way Street

DPI-endorsed Treasurer candidate Paul Mangieri reports significant contributions from DPI, which isn’t surprising at all. He shows $307K in receipts, $137K from DPI or Chairman Michael J. Madigan. But he also reports giving $20K to DPI on 2/26/06. Maybe we should cut his total by that much to avoid double counting?

Judicial Races

There are 4 contested primaries for Appellate Court, all among Democrats. Both the most expensive and the least expensive are in Cook County. The race to replace Neil Hartigan, who was unopposed the last time he ran, both in the Primary and the General, is the cheapest; that seat must be charmed. Here’s a break out:

(1) Allen Hartman Vacancy (1st District): $399K: (a five-way contest, leading fundraisers include Joy Virginia Cunningham at $219K and David Anthony Erickson at $158K)
(2) Kent Slater Vacancy (3rd District): $263K (A three-way contest; Lance Peterson leads the field with $167K)
(3) Gordon Maag Vacancy (5th District): $248K (A two-way between Bruce Stewart at $162K and Bill Berry at $86K)
(4) Neil Hartigan Vacancy (1st District): $140K (Michael James Murphy leads the field with $129K)


With less than two weeks to go, candidates are pulling every dollar they can find, despite the fact that top spenders don’t always win. The siren call of that one additional ad is all it takes to get candidates to throw caution to the wind – better to win and explain the money later, they think. So watch carefully between now and Primary Day to see what floats past.

Miscellaneous late money:

Ron Gidwitz: $850K from himself
John Stroger: $350K from himself (another of his PACs, actually)
Edwin Eisendrath: $100K from Edwin II and another $100K from Edwin III
Rod Blagojevich: $100K from the Pipe Trades and $50K from Chess Financial

With Gidwitz’ latest infusions, the Republican candidates for governor have more cash to work with than the Democrats. John Stroger hasn’t raised much at all this year -- $333K in new money. Most of his income -- $1.4M worth -- has been transfers from his other PACs

Personal PAC has been writing checks: $27K to Mike Jacobs, $20K to Dave Koehler, $8K to Mark Beaubien, and $8K to Don Harmon

Ameren has also been writing checks. The downstate power company shows $81K to state candidates. Exelon shows another $60K.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Now that the Pre-Elections are in, we have a much better sense of which races are pulling in the most money. Recalling the usual caveat that the biggest spenders aren't necessarily the biggest vote getters, here's our count of where the candidates are, as of this morning; these figures count cash on hand January 1, 2005 and all money raised since then. These are also moving targets; by the time you read this, they're out of date. But here goes:


Topinka: $2.9M
Brady: $1.7M
Oberweis: $3.4M
Gidwitz: $10.7M

UPDATE: Andy for Illinois filed a Pre and an A1 on paper, both showing $75K in receipts. The Pre lacked the supporting documents, so I can't be sure it's not the same $75K, though the dates of the reports would suggest that it's two different $75K loans. Those would put his receipts at $172.5K

Blago: $17.7M
Eisendrath: $1.3M

Lt Gov:

Wegman: $255K
Birkett: $879K
Bruckner: $10K
Rauschenberger: $788K

Note that much of Birkett's and Rauschenberger's funds come from their running mate; don't count them together or you'll likely be double counting.


Giannoulias: $2M
Mangieri: $307K

The top legislative races appear to be:

1) Hultgren/Furetenau - $598K
2) Sandoval/Garza - $481K
3) Kotowski/Morici - $469K
4) Jenisch/Coladipietro - $373K
5) Ramey/Fenner/Fuesting - $324K (note that this is a 3-way)

Note that that's combined fundraising; individual totals vary.

And for folks in Cook County:

Board President:

Claypool: $2.7M
Stroger: $3.2M (counting his three committees; looking only at the one he seems to be using for this year's primaries, he's showing $1.4M, but the others have another $1.9 available)

One more caveat: there are other candidates seeking another party's nomination for some of these same seats, but where their primary was uncontested, I didn't list them.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Fun with A1s

Pre-elections are due soon and those reports will rightly take a lot of ink, but don't forget the A1 reports. Both are worth checking; pre's give a sense of the candidate's total finances, but they're out of date already; the A1s list the late money. That's where you learn fun things like Susan Manilow gave Edwin Eisendrath $500,000 last Friday as an individual contribution. ICPR hopes to post an updated Sunshine Database with Pres and A1s in a few days, but for the meantime, visit the State Board of Elections.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday updates

Pre-elections are due next week, which should give a better sense of who's giving and who's getting, but the A1s have been full of tidbits... debt. Three Republicans are going into hock for their gubernatorial campaigns. Jim Oberweis and Ron Gidwitz have loaned their campaigns cash ($900K and $650K respectively) and Bill Brady reports $250K in bank loans.

...with all the focus on Stroger/Claypool, don't forget George Dunne. He's a Friend of Michael J. Madigan ($10K worth).

...and an item about A1s though not reported on one: the Family Taxpayer Network and Renew Illinois have settled their fines with the State Board of Elections. Combined they owed $51K, but they offered to settle for $16K, and the Board accepted that offer. The check arrived last Tuesday. Kind of makes you wonder what the rule for A1 fines is; is it up to 100% or is it just a flat 10%?