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Urlacher was paid big bucks to appear for Schock

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* 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

* Tribune

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Nonplussed - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    I think Dillard and Brady collectively fainted, landing on their empty warchests.


  2. - Frank - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Why has there been so little follow-up on the report of Schock’s campaign committee paying $407 for an ultrasound? I’m all for staying out of politicians personal lives, but when you use campaign funds to pay for a medical procedure, questions have to be asked and answered. It’s hard to tell from that Tribune article if the reporter really put that question to him. Has anyone since?


  3. - Jimmy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Schock and afoul.


  4. - Monte Burns' Muckraker - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Frank is right. Also, don’t forget the $452 at a Peoria maternity boutique.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Urlacher was unusually fast for his size; excellent at going sideline-to-sideline and dropping into coverage.

    But he was not a great tackler and had trouble shedding blockers.

    Verdict: Probably better than Singletary, but Butkus remains the champ.

    Aaron Schock is moving up in the House GOP majority? What an accomplishment. They do so much good work.


  6. - walker - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Did he show his abs?


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    Does he not learn? Or not care?

    Goofy stuff like this keeps showing up on his reports.

    Spring for this stuff yourself, especially when you are asking people to hand over $50 and you make $174K. Isn’t your dignity and the message you send donors worth a few thousand dollars at that point?


  8. - CicrcularFiringSquad - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Did anyone think Urlacher came to Peoria for free? Or that he cared about right wing politics?


  9. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===Probably better than Singletary===

    How do you figure? Because Urlacher was faster and dropped into coverage better? Singletary didn’t play cover 2, and yes, he had two hall of famers in front of him, but he made every stop, filled every gap and anchored one of the best defenses of all time.

    Urlacher should be happy to be mentioned in the same breath as Butkus and Singletary.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    47, Singletary made the most of his talents. He wasn’t the athlete Urlacher was. Not as big, not as fast. Couldn’t go sideline to sideline like Urlacher.

    He made the most of having Dan Hampton in front of him. That was like being in a rocking chair.

    Plus, he was the third best linebacker in the glory years. Otis Wilson and Wilber Marshall were stone-cold killers.


  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Singeltary called the plays and covered the gaps that allowed Marshall and Wilson to be studs, and they were. He made those two better. Can you say the same about Urlacher and Briggs? If anything, Briggs made Urlacher look better.

    Sideline to sideline, sure, Urlacher wins that race. But who do you want running north, into the gap to meet the ball carrier head-on and drop him for a loss?

    Exactly.


  12. - walker - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 6:09 pm:

    Having seen Butkus as a rookie, hit Alex Webster head on and throw him back 4 yards into the backfield — game over on 47’s scenario.

    They really played two different positions.


  13. - Hamilton - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 7:00 pm:

    Was my comment somehow inappropriate? Not sure why it got deleted…


  14. - Hamilton - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 7:00 pm:

    Oops, nevermind. Now it’s showing up. Must be having browser issues.


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