Tuesday, July 20, 2010

D2 Day Update

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

Today is D2 Day, when campaign finance reports are due to be filed at the State Board of Elections. Some candidates filed earlier this month, and some leaked data to reporters, but experience shows that about half of all donations that will be reported will be reported today. To follow the donations, go here.

A few tidbits jumped at us :

* Citizens for Emil Jones, the political committee of the former Senate President, reported $257K in loans to others. Most of that went to Pat Quinn ($150K) and Todd Stroger ($100K) but it's the rest that's interesting -- the political committee loaned $7,500 to Emil Jones himself. All of the loans (15 of them) were in $500 increments. Sen. Jones, Jr. (his son, Sen. Emil Jones, III, does not report such loans) has a history of taking loans from the campaign fund, and currently owes his fund in excess of $30,000. Candidates are generally barred from taking campaign funds for personal use, but a grandfather clause exempts funds raised before June 30, 1998. Whether this becomes part of his "personal use" exemption, whether he pays interest on these loans, what the full implications are, all remain to be seen.

* Citizens for Arthur L. Turner reported raising $72K over the first half of 2010. That's the fund for current state Rep. Art Turner, who came in second in the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor. He donors include the beer distributors and the IL Chamber (tied for the biggest donations, at $2,500) and some smaller checks from the usual legislative donors -- AT&T, Com Ed, Dent-IL PAC, the bankers, ITLA, etc.. His son, Art Turner II, is seeking the house seat. His fund reported raising $25K over the six-month period. What's striking is that the father raised far more after the primary than the son did. Citizens for Arthur L. Turner raised $25K after the primary, while Citizens for Arthur Turner II raised just $2K. Yet, Citizens for Arthur Turner II has an election in the fall, while Citizens for Arthur L. Turner does not.

* State officials seeking federal office often mothball their campaign funds while running for federal office. State Rep. Beth Coulson, for instance, reported raising no money in her state fund while seeking the Republican nomination for congress in the 10th CD this year. State Sen. Randy Hultgren, though, did continue to raise money in his state committee while seeking his party's nomination in the 14th CD. Most of the $5K he reported raising appears to have come from donors who could not have given to his federal committee.

* Gov. Pat Quinn closed out his federal campaign fund in May. The fund was created for a long-ago US Senate race In his final report, he claimed $3K in receipts and $9K in expenditures, taking the balance to -0-. Those expenditures included $9K in credit card bills, but he did not itemize where that money went. The committee is finaled out, but we hope that he will itemize those expenditures in an amended report.

A bunch of new committees have been formed since the start of the year, and not just in support of particular candidates. These span the political spectrum, though these appears to be more activity on one end than on the other. Here's a very quick run down of recently formed committees; most had not filed as of the last time we looked:

* The Civil Rights Agenda Fund - formed by a former Democratic Party of Illinois staffer, this committee supports "LGTBQQIA Advocacy."

* VotingWomen.org - formed by Karen Boehning, a frequent donor to Democrats at the federal level.

* Citizens for a Fair Judiciary - a Metro East committee set up by Democratic supporters of one sitting judge facing retention(Andy Matoesian) and one candidate for the bench (William Mudge).

* Republican 2010 Victory Committee - Despite the grandiose name, the committee is focused on a portion of southwest suburban Cook County, where Chairman Brian Sloan is running for Cook County Board.

* RGA Illinois 2010 PAC - Based in DC, this group was formed in January, before the primary, "to support the election of a Republican governor in Illinois."

* Free Our Streets PAC - founded by jazz vocalist and trumpet player Ian Bayne, who also supported Mitt Romney for president and gave to the Illinois Mortgage Bankers PAC.

* Freedom of Opportunity PAC - Andy McKenna lost the Republican primary, but he's still active in politics. He's chairing this fund, which reported raising $62K from the likes of John Buck (of The John Buck Company); John A. Canning, Jr. (of Madison Deerborn Partners); and Michael Ferro, Jr. (of Merrick Ventures). No word yet on whether Mary McKenna will be giving.

* For the Good of Illinois PAC - Adam Andrzejewski lost the Republican primary, but he's still active in politics, too. He's chairing this fund, which had $5,000 on the day it was formed (no word yet on where it came from).

* Transparent Illinois was set up by a staffer at Resolute Consulting and funded (so far) by a donation from Central Strategies, "a sister company" of Resolute, according to the website.

* Welcome Wal-Mart was created by staffers at Grainger Terry, a political consulting and government relations firm. It reported no receipts in the first half of the year.

* The Practical Party was formed as a state committee to support Carl Officer's bid for US Senate.

* Illinois Values First appears to have been formed by a Serbian actor named Dusan Fager.

We welcome your comments or e-mails, particularly if you see any details that you think deserve further illumination. To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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