Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blagojevich's Lost Fundraiser

October 24, 2007, was a busy day in Illinois. The newspapers were full of stories about Comptroller Dan Hynes' new Open Book website making it easy to track campaign contributions AND state contracts. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court ruled against former Gov. George Ryan's appeal of his criminal conviction. And it appears that Gov. Rod Blagojevich held a campaign fundraiser. It was a big fundraiser, apparently; so big that maybe in all of the excitement he just forgot about some of the donations.

Last Monday, Friends of Blagojevich filed an amendment to its disclosure report for the last half of 2007. The amendment cleaned up some of the listings and reshuffled some of the donations. It also disclosed for the first time six donations that had been left off the earlier report.

What did they forget? A $10K check from Destefano & Partners. A Destefano Partners had a contract with the Capital Development Board for $3.5M in FY08. That's up from $520 (yes, that's five hundred and twenty dollars) in FY07 (Destefano Partners has a contract worth $1.6M in FY09. FY07 was an unusual year for the firm, which had about $500K per year the previous three years).

Friends of Blagojevich also forgot a $5K check from the Capitol Avenue PAC. The PAC is associated with the principals at Government Consulting Solutions, a lobbying firm whose offices are on West Capitol Avenue in Springfield and whose lobbying activities involved the Office of the Governor, IDOT, DNR, DCEO, and the Liquor Control Board, in addition to the General Assembly.

The Governor's PAC also forgot a $5K check from Eight LP, a $500 check from Heritage Builders, a $5K check from 315 W. North Ave LP, and $10K check from Parsons. All of these checks were received on October 24. That same day, Friends of Blagojevich received another 40 or so donations that were reported on the original disclosure form, including a separate $1,000 check from Capitol Avenue PAC.

Friends of Blagojevich also forgot to report a $1K check from Boeing, received on September 7. But I can't see that anything interesting happened that day.

Maybe when you're raising money as fast as the Governor, some things just get lost.

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