* From last October…
-Former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher’s brother is a Lake County mayor, and now the former middle linebacker himself is stepping up his own involvement in politics by helping launch the re-election effort of Republican downstate U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.
The three-term, Peoria congressman’s campaign put out word Wednesday morning that Urlacher would be the headliner at Schock’s Nov. 15 re-election announcement at a $50-a-ticket event dubbed Schocktoberfest at Brewers Distributing in Peoria. […]
“My family understands the important role of public service. My brother Casey Urlacher was elected mayor of Lake County’s Mettawa, IL earlier this year. In Peoria, he was fullback-linebacker for the Peoria Pirates. So we’re both looking forward to visiting our friends in central Illinois,” Urlacher said.
* But Urlacher didn’t make that appearance totally out of the goodness of his heart. Roll Call…
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., spent $25,000 last fall for a former Chicago Bears linebacker to headline his re-election campaign’s kick-off fundraising event, according to a report filed with the Federal Elections Commission. […]
An event appearance fee was paid to B.U. Enterprises, according to the Schock Victory Committee’s year-end filing. Illinois public records show B.U. Enterprises is a company registered to Urlacher. […]
While the $25,000 appearance fee is perfectly legal, it’s unusual to see such a hefty sum for an event appearance on a campaign finance filing.
“Generally speaking, the rule of thumb seems to be that outreach to smaller donors costs more than raising money from bigger donors, who tend to be insiders,” said Bill Allison, a campaign finance expert with the Sunlight Foundation. “Insiders don’t need a former Bears player there to show up — they go to a fundraiser to talk to the member.”
* Schock is an expert at raising money, and he’s being tapped for bigger things in DC…
Rep. Aaron Schock R-Ill. is the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee March fundraising dinner here, one of the major events to raise campaign cash for the House GOP political operation. Schock faces no opponent in the March Illinois primary, leaving him free to work on the March 26 dinner. Schock already raised $1.1 million for the dinner, the NRCC said on Tuesday, and pledged to raise another $1 million by March 26.
So, featuring a popular ex-Bear at his fundraiser got him notice, which is what he wants in order to help move him up. Trouble is, fundraising is supposed to be a bit more discrete than this.
* And Schock’s fundraising committees have, indeed, caught the eye of the media lately, but not in a good way. New York Times…
After some time in the hot tub, an evening cocktail reception and a two-and-a-half-hour dinner in a private dining room named Out of Bounds, Representative Adrian Smith, Republican of Nebraska, made one last stop, visiting the lounge at the Four Seasons Resort hotel here to spend more time with the lobbyists and other donors who had jetted in from Washington, D.C., to join him for the weekend getaway. […]
This is the world of destination fund-raisers, where business interests blend with pleasure in exclusive vacation venues. Lobbyists go to build relationships with lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, seeking action — and often inaction — in Washington for their clients and companies, with millions of dollars at stake. While approval ratings are at historic lows for members of Congress, their allure to those seeking influence in the nation’s capital is as strong as ever. […]
The fund-raising events that are not in the lawmakers’ home states often dovetail with their hobbies. Representative Aaron Schock, Republican of Illinois and an avid skier, made the trip this month to Vail, for example
Rep. Aaron Schock’s campaign spent more than $2,600 on cuff links, paid $390 to a seaplane company based in the British Virgin Islands and spent more than $1,500 on concert tickets.