Checking in on Fundraising by Statewide Candidates Print
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 20 October 2013 05:58

Let’s take a quick look at the campaign-finance disclosure reports filed last week by some of the statewide candidates.

• Bill Brady. It goes without saying that the $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s performance really was: Even Sheila Simon outraised him. The notoriously poor fundraiser Simon pulled in more than $106K during the quarter. And if it weren’t for the $200K in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would’ve reported having just $73K at the end of the quarter. He also spent a bit more than he took in – which isn’t very difficult, considering his paltry take.

• Kirk Dillard. The burn rate in Dillard’s GOP gubernatorial campaign fund is pretty significant. Dillard raised $263K, but he spent $290K and ended the quarter with a mere $205K in the bank – the lowest of any gubernatorial candidate. That’s a big overhead nut to make with such a small cushion and poor fundraising.

• Bruce Rauner. The multi-gazillionaire Republican candidate for governor spent more than $27K just on payroll taxes alone during the third quarter, which gives you an idea of the sort of organization he’s built. By comparison, the campaign of Governor Pat Quinn spent $19K on payroll taxes during the quarter, Dan Rutherford reported spending $11K on payroll taxes, Bill Brady reported spending $1,609, and Kirk Dillard reported none.

Rauner also reported spending $800K on advertising, including direct mail, which is slightly less than he spent in the previous quarter. None of his opponents spent more than a handful of dollars on ads – and those were mainly small newspaper or online placements. Since he launched his campaign, Rauner has spent $274K on consultants, with $103K spent just last quarter. Rauner raised about $1.1 million for his gubernatorial fund, spent the same, and ended with $594K on hand.

Rauner’s legislative-term-limits PAC, which is seeking to put a constitutional-amendment proposal on the ballot next year, has already paid $114K to a California firm called Arno Petition Consultants. A California petition company called Arno Political Consultants has stirred quite a bit of controversy in the past with its petition-gathering practices, so we should keep an eye on that. Rauner’s term-limits PAC also spent $38K in legal fees and is renting space from a group called Catholic Vote. The term-limits PAC raised $606K, spent $152K, and had $459K in the bank.

• Dan Rutherford. The Republican state treasurer reported raising $66K in small, “unitemized” contributions for his gubernatorial run, more than any other gubernatorial candidate in either party. Unlike Dillard and Brady, Rutherford has built a solid statewide network to raise money from, so Rauner’s support by all the big-money types hasn’t really hurt Rutherford. He raised $337K during the quarter, spent $147K, and had $1.2 million in the bank at the end of the quarter.

• Pat Quinn. The incumbent Democratic governor is sitting on the largest war chest of any gubernatorial candidate at just under $3 million. (Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who decided to take a shot at the office, has $4.8 million in the bank after raising $25K in the third quarter.)

His disclosure report also revealed that Quinn has put Joe Slade White back on the payroll. White designed Quinn’s inexpensive-looking but effective 2010 general election ad campaign. White was paid $10K on September 10, a week before Bill Daley dropped out of the Democratic primary, so Quinn was obviously gearing up to run some ads against his now-erstwhile challenger. Quinn spent a total of $51K on consulting services and $34K on salaries during the quarter.

• Tom Cross. The GOP state-treasurer candidate opened up a new campaign account in September. That fund pulled in $176K and reported no expenditures. Cross’ state-representative fund reported $155K in receipts, $195K in expenditures, and $150K in the bank.

• Mike Frerichs. The Democratic state-treasurer candidate raised $208K and had an impressive $769K cash on hand – more than three of the five gubernatorial candidates. The guy is a fundraising machine.

• Judy Baar Topinka. The incumbent comptroller raised $105K during the quarter, about the same as her Democratic rival Sheila Simon. However, Topinka is sitting on $876,000, while Simon has $295K in the bank.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax (a daily political newsletter) and

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