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Report: New biz-backed IE group hopes to spend $5 million on legislative races

Monday, Jun 16, 2014

* Ty Fahner is behind this new group, but Fahner hasn’t proved to be much of a fundraiser. Ron Gidwitz knows how to raise money and he’s the group’s treasurer. IMA honcho Greg Baise is also involved

Top Illinois business officials have formed an “independent expenditure” group that intends to spend millions of dollars this fall backing General Assembly candidates who favor pension and budget reform and more charter schools. […]

The spending cannot legally be coordinated with campaign decisions made by legislative leaders and individual candidates. But such groups have few limits on how much money they can raise or spend and have been extremely effective nationally as well as in Illinois, where such spending helped state Sen. Kirk Dillard almost unseat Bruce Rauner in the March GOP gubernatorial primary. […]

Mr. Fahner would say only that the group will raise “a reasonably large amount” for the fall campaigns — well above the several hundred thousands of dollars that has been raised by another political action committee, We Mean Business, which directly donates to political campaigns.

Other sources said the group hopes to hit the $5 million figure — enough, if reached, to offset much of the spending from labor unions on the other side of key issues.

Bruce Rauner is supposedly not involved.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - Spliff - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    Just what this election cycle needs. More money.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    If Tom Hagen had a PAC…

    This is exactly the way to make the GOP and the Dems less relevant, and make the ideology of dollars more prevalent.


  3. - Archiesmom - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    I’m with Spliff. I’m bloody tired of money being the deciding factor in so many races, both on the Federal and state level.


  4. - John Bambenek - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    Money didn’t help Eric Cantor.

    Money only helps when voters decide based on the noise and not the signal.


  5. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    Well, if I were the Democrats I’d be happy that Ty is running the thing. His success record hasn’t been too good lately.


  6. - truthteller - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    How come these guys have unlimited money to spend trying to squeeze those less fortunate who must rely on state services, but allege they can’t afford to pay a dime more in taxes to care for the disabled and the elderly or to pay to educate our kids?


  7. - Barney - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    big problem. more dems voted for pension reform than gop. will it be bipartisan?


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    ===Money didn’t help Eric Cantor.===

    Money doesn’t necessarily help somebody win if the candidate is otherwise clueless. But to point to just one guy and say “Hey, it’s a pattern!” ain’t wise.


  9. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    So basically if you favor eliminating state employee pensions altogether in favor of a 401K system (including for current employees) and you favor a fantasy state budget that cuts billions out of it then you have their support.


  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Offset spending by labor unions?

    LOL


  11. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Agree with truthteller. Whole lot of money to say they don’t have enough money to pay taxes.


  12. - Bemused - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    All this money will give a few people something to do in late November. Answers to who got what at what cost will be interesting. The only sure winners are the owners of the media outlets. If I worked at one I’d be polishing my request for a raise in front of the mirror.


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    You’ve no IDE how the prices of bumper stickers have sky rocketed.

    Also Gidwitz’s money smells fresh and clean, with no flakes!


  14. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    and you favor a fantasy state budget

    So they are supporting the folks who voted for the latest budget?


  15. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    ==So they are supporting the folks who voted for the latest budget?==

    Nah. Wrong fantasy budget. I suppose I’ll have to number them now. LOL.


  16. - DoubleD - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    Agree with Truthteller

    How about these groups just raise the money to fill the holes in the budget or put the pensions in the black…I mean since we haven’t taxed enough to pay for all the services we seem to want it only makes sense…


  17. - kimocat - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 6:21 pm:

    The interesting thing here to me is not that this group wants more “pension reform” and budget cuts. They obviously want to maintain their tax expenditures for now and in the future. But the charter school angle is telling. So now Gidwitz and Baise are bagging for the guys that want to make big bucks of privatized schools???


  18. - forwhatitsworth - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    I love how pension theft is now commonly known as “pension reform”! How much is enough from these greedy B_ _ _ _ _ _ S?


  19. - Just Trying to Survive - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 6:49 pm:

    When did it become culturally acceptable to openly display and boast about your greed? I think these guys would burn (literally) every last dollar before they’d give a penny to a child or help someone who has less than they do. Is this the American way? It’s mind blowing that people like Ty, who sit on millions begrudge the average pensioner their 40K(or so) deferred compensation. What exactly is their problem other than foaming at the mouth greed?


  20. - Johnny Utah - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 6:55 pm:

    Shame on them for objecting to the benevolent rule of the honorable Mr. Madigan!


  21. - x ace - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    Oppression by Big Money sometimes causes the “peasants to rise up”. ( time will tell )


  22. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:21 am:

    ==Money only helps when voters decide based on the noise and not the signal.==

    Money properly applied can buy a lot of noise.


  23. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:27 am:

    What’s next?

    A big-money/business PAC, or whatever they legally invent, to buy races at the local level for offices that they don’t already control?


  24. - Just Me - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:49 am:

    For those upset that money is the deciding factor in elections, why aren’t you also upset that a gerrymandered map using the latest computer software programs did the exact thing even more?


  25. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:56 am:

    For those upset that money is the deciding factor in elections, why aren’t you also upset that a gerrymandered map using the latest computer software programs did the exact thing even more?

    Because they agree with those guys….


  26. - Just Trying to Survive - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Maybe folks aren’t as aware of the map and besides –it’s not as in your face. These big boys might as well take out a billboard on every highway saying we have it and you don’t and we’re gonna control everything that happens. So what are you gonna do about that?


  27. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Just Me:

    Why would you assume that? Most critics are against both.

    1. I am against gerrymandering, though it’s been around virtually everywhere in the country, since the United States was born.

    2. Big money buys more offices than redistricting alone. Many of Madigan’s biggest gains in the legislature were during the decade of a Republican drawn map.


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