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Caps off for general if busted in primary

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013

* From HB 2418, which passed both chambers and will likely be signed by Gov. Pat Quinn

If a public official or candidate filed a Notification of Self-funding during an election cycle that includes a general primary election or consolidated primary election and that public official or candidate is nominated, all candidates for that office, including the nominee who filed the notification of self-funding, shall be permitted to accept contributions in excess of any contribution limit imposed by subsection (b) for the subsequent election cycle.

In other words, if Bruce Rauner or another rich guy busts the contribution cap and wins the nomination, then all caps for that particular office are off in the general.

Good idea or no?

* Meanwhile

State lawmakers last week approved legislation giving Illinoisans the ability to register to vote online.

But, in the hubbub of the annual end-of-session rush to adjourn for the summer, members of the House and Senate left town without allocating any money to pay for the proposal.

“It’s something that we’re going to have to figure out,” said Rupert Borgs-miller, director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. “We’ll have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

Under legislation now awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature, the state would establish a system for applicants to register to vote through the state board of elections website by using a driver’s license and the last four digits of a Social Security number.

Quite typical for Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:16 am:

    I’m okay with that. Trying to keep big money out of campaigns is kind of hopeless cause at this point.

    Still, unless some of the other GOP candidates get a move on with fundraising, Rauner might not need to self-fund. He has a pretty impressive list of contributors.


  2. - Election Lawyer Abe - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    After reading the language I had the same thought, this is the “Bruce Rauner Rule”.


  3. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    At least it’s conditional on the self-funder getting the nomination. Generally speaking cap-busting is ripe for abuse. I just dealt with a situation (in another state) where a minor candidate jumped in, gave himself enough to break the caps, then dropped out, returning the cash to himself and leaving the caps busted. I’m pretty sure it was at the behest of the real candidate I was up against.

    Campaign finance regulation is a fly trap. Make one rule, three complications spring up.


  4. - LittleLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:20 am:

    Word- no way Rauner will have the discipline to spend only a few million.

    It’s a good idea. The limits are stupid.


  5. - Empty Chair - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:22 am:

    Does anyone know whether or not the caps being busted in a primary would translate across party primaries? For example, if Rauner self-funds during the primary, is the Democratic primary also cap-free?


  6. - Election Lawyer Abe - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:22 am:

    Also notice section (h-10) blows the lid off of those same caps if an Independent Expenditure Committee overspends in a race.


  7. - Election Lawyer Abe - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:26 am:

    @Empty Chair -

    I would think not, because the primaries are not the same election. Each party is having its own nomination election.


  8. - LittleLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:29 am:

    Reads to me that it would only apply if Rauner is the nominee.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    Hate caps, hate rasing and spending limits.

    As long as it is declared, who gave, and how much, I am for it. I hate reading about a 7 month old donating $1500.00 to a Campaign! If every dime is accounted for, then raise and spend away. If I want to give $3 million to someone, then I should be able to, and the opposition should make me and my money a campaign issue.


  10. - votecounter - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    All caps should be lifted and instant reporting should be the way we finance campaigns. With this law Democrats are covered either way. New young Candidates still have to spend most of their time begging for cash,and support. Democrats have a built in field system in union “Volunteers” but if someone comes along who can self fund the Democrats lift the cap and unlimited amounts of cash flow. Talk about a stacked deck.


  11. - response - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    =Does anyone know whether or not the caps being busted in a primary would translate across party primaries? For example, if Rauner self-funds during the primary, is the Democratic primary also cap-free? =

    No. If he self funds in the GOP primary and blows the caps, the caps are blown for the GOP primary candidates only. If he self funds and wins the GOP primary, the caps are blown for the general for all candidates (GOP, Dem, and any independents).


  12. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    @votecounter:

    You need to take your partisan blinders off for once. You can whine all you want but the problem isn’t the Democrats. If the Republicans can’t raise cash then that’s their problem. Perhaps you can whine a little less and focus on the real issue which is the inability of some to have a good organization.


  13. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    Votecounter- it’s true that the democratic candidates have the money coming from the unions (although in this state maybe not so much this next election cycle) , but the notion that only republican candidates would be punished by the lifting of the caps ignores the big donors from out of state who throw cash at democratic campaigns (remember Blago’s big Californian fund raisers in his two runs for the top office?) Every politician tries to “buy” their office- why not allow the citizens to see if its an outside investor or the politician’s personal money that’s buying the seat?


  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    ===Reads to me that it would only apply if Rauner is the nominee. ===

    Well, yeah, that’s why I wrote…

    ===busts the contribution cap and wins the nomination===


  15. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    Will Caskey’s right. For every new rule on funding limits, there are clever lawyers and campaign staff who find 10 ways around it.

    More transparency is needed for sure.

    With the Citizens United mentality that cash is free speech, I don’t see what else can be done.


  16. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    No caps, instant disclosure, buyer beware.


  17. - votecounter - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    I want no caps at all. I only bring partisanship into it because of who put the bill up. You hardly ever see a Republican want Caps. (McCain is an exception and has paid the price for his stupidity) Nixon and Reagan are examples of candidates being funded by a few millionaires who would never have been able to be President.
    The GOP has a short bench in Illinois and had a shortage of people to run for office even before these caps. A statewide run is a daunting task and is very expensive. There are younger people out there that could run if they were able to get help. In this case I believe it was passed for partisan reasons so my answer was partisan. It is good politics on the Democrat side; any time you can tilt the advantage to your side is a win.


  18. - votecounter - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    Instant Reporting on the internet!!! Open and above board.


  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Does anyone know whether or not the caps being busted in a primary would translate across party primaries?===

    According to the State Board of Elections, the answer is “Yes.” If Rauner, for instance, busts the cap, then the cap is busted for everyone running for governor in all party primaries.


  20. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    That’s a pretty hilarious flaw in the reform law, Rich.

    Not the first one, though.


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