Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rod Blagojevich: Alone with his Money?

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Today's New York Times includes a profile of Gov. Blagojevich that describes him as "isolated" and "alone." Blago has always raised more money than anyone else and, with his list of campaign contributors, you'd think he'd never be lonely.

But a look at donations to his fund in the last half of 2008, released this week by the House Special Investigative Committee on impeachment, shows that many of his donors are walking away from him. These records are likely incomplete, but they suggest that people who gave to the governor in the past are toning down their support, significantly reducing their donations to his campaign fund.

Consider the utilities. Exelon kicked in $15K during the fall of of '07, but just $3.5K in the fall of '08. Ameren gave $12.5K in the fall of 2007, while fall of 2008 saw just $2K. People's Gas gave $10K in fall '08; half of what they gave a year earlier.

Other previous big donors to the governor appear to be similarly scaling back. Long-time Democratic donors Development Specialists gave $5K in fall 2008; down from $25K in fall 2007. Government Navigation Group, a lobbying firm, gave $500 in fall '08; Paul Rosenfeld, a principal at the firm, gave $5K in fall '07. Mr. & Mrs. James McDonough gave $1K in fall of '08; McDonough's company, state contractor McDonough & Assoc., gave $20K in the fall of '07. Sen. James Deleo's campaign fund gave $5K in fall '08; down from $20K in fall '07.

Even the laborers unions seem to have cut back. In the fall of 2007, three different regional laborers unions combined for $105K to Blago's fund. In the fall of 2008, just one regional, the Southern Central League, gave at all, and its giving totaled only $35K.

It seems that many gave to the governor because they thought he could deliver something. Impeached and facing federal corruption charges, his ability deliver has declined, and his receipts reflect that.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

To join the comments on the contents of the list of donors, please visit yesterday's post, here.

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