* The unintended consequences of the federal judicial ruling forcing a special US Senate election on election day continue to pile up…
POLITICO has learned the National Republican Senatorial Committee has dedicated $3.4 million in coordinated funds to Kirk’s campaign against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.
The national party committees can spend up to $1.7 million in coordinated funds in Illinois, according to federal election rules. However, the NRSC, according to a source close to the committee, will take advantage of a recent court-ordered special election that effectively doubles the total allowable amount that candidates can fundraise – and committees can spend in coordination with candidates.
The funds will surely be welcome: The Illinois race is expensive and very competitive. A Kirk spokesman, Kirsten Kukowski, confirmed the campaign would get the maximum funds and said, “We are grateful for the NRSC’s strong support for Congressman Kirk.”
Kirk is already ahead of the money chase in the race. At the end of June, Kirk reported having $3.9 million in the bank; meanwhile, Giannoulias reported just over $1 million cash on hand.
* Even if the Constitution Party candidates don’t make it onto the ballot, Kirk will still have to worry some about the Libertarians eating into his base…
The nominating petitions for the Libertarian and Constitution parties both faced objections, and were both reviewed by election officials. In the end, the Libertarians were found to have collected enough signatures to get on the ballot, but candidates from the Constitution Party appear to have fallen short.
The Illinois Republican Party acknowledges it is paying the attorney who led the challenges, though its chairman, Pat Brady, denies the GOP is targeting conservative candidates out of fear they’d steal away votes from his party.
BRADY: Anybody on the ballot poses a threat to the Republican ticket. That’s why we’re running hard and we’re going to continue to run hard. So I don’t think we’ve diced it out to say that one threatens more than the other.
The Illinois Republican Party worked so hard to keep the Constitution people off the ballot for a reason. Bill Brady’s base is fine. Kirk’s isn’t as secure. If the race is close, it could make a difference. Then again, if Quinn continues to tank he’ll likely take Giannoulias down with him. Not to mention all that money that Kirk and the nationals are planning to spend.