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Half is not more

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010

* I’ve been hearing a lot of off-stage ridicule of this constant refrain from the Illinois GOP

Curt Conrad, executive director of the Illinois GOP, said the party has raised more money in the first four months of 2010 than was raised in all of 2009 — when it collected more than $500,000.

“We’ve put in a little bit more of an aggressive approach to fundraising to support our candidates from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ticket and we’re going to do what we can to make sure we get some wins this election,” he said.

Party officials have claimed to reporters that they’ve raised more cash in the first four months of this year than they did in all of last year at least three times in less than a week.

Their statements may be true, if you only confine yourself to the party’s Illinois campaign finance reports, which shows they raised about $533,000 in the first and second halves of the year for their state account.

But state parties usually immediately transfer most of their money into their federal campaign accounts. And, indeed, the IL GOP did send almost all of their ‘09 cash to their federal account numerous times during the first and second halves of last year.

However, the state GOP also raises money specifically for their federal account. The state party’s year-end FEC report shows they pulled in a little over $1.5 million in 2009.

Their latest federal account filing for this year (April 20th, 2010) shows they’ve raised $305,000.

In an apples to apples comparison, the Illinois Republican Party is actually way behind last year’s fundraising pace, at least in their reporting. Their April, 2009 filing shows they raised about $676,000. So, they have reported raising less than half the cash this year than what they reported raising at this point last year.

Unless they’ve got a ton of cash in their state account which they haven’t yet transferred over, “half” is not “more.”

* In other political news, this is not exactly news if he’s telling the truth

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk won’t attend next month’s Illinois Republican Party fundraiser featuring Sarah Palin, campaign aides said Tuesday.

Instead, his aides said, the five-term North Shore congressman will be in Washington for House votes on May 12 when the former vice presidential candidate is scheduled to be in Rosemont raising money.

Kirk sought — but did not get — supportive words from Palin last fall during the Senate primary campaign. Palin was coming to Chicago to tape an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and Kirk sent a memo asking Palin to “say something quick and decisive” in support of his campaign.

Neither Senate President John Cullerton nor House Speaker Michael Madigan are attending today’s presidential visit to Quincy for the exact, same reason. They have work to do. So, while this could make for an easy jab at Kirk, he needs to be in DC if he does have votes scheduled and not hanging around with Palin.

* And this sober analysis is why Mark Ambinder is one of the best political writers in DC

The White House is not trying to push [Democratic US Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias] out of the race at the moment. They want to wait and see how the bank closure plays out. They assume that if Giannoulias drops steadily in the polls, he will get the hint, being ambitious but not to the point of blind arrogance.

Then the state’s 19 central committee chairs would decide the nominee. That’s where another Madigan — Michael Madigan, Lisa Madigan’s father — comes into play. He’s the party chair. And his principal concern is to hold on to his statehouse majority. He’s not the type of pol who’d be receptive to pressure from the White House.

There is one other matter. President Obama does not feel responsible for having created the morass from which the Illinois party must escape. So he does not particularly enjoy being told that he has to be the one with the rope doing the pulling. That said, if Giannoulias keeps his standing in the polls to within a few points of Mark Kirk, there’s a good chance that Obama will campaign for his old friend.

That’s all true. And with none of the crazy, breathless goofiness that we’re getting in most other reportage on this campaign.

* Related…

* “Enthusiastic” Voters Prefer Republicans over Democrats by 20 Points, New Poll Says

* Democrats’ young voter problem

* Senate race in Illinois: New meaning for toxic loans

* Obama and Giannoulias at Quincy Wednesday

* Houlihan on Giannoulias vs. Kirk: Alexi’s In to Win

* Sarah Palin to appear at Republican fund-raiser in Rosemont

* House Next Door To Giannoulias Brother Irreparable

* Bill allows Ill. gubernatorial candidates to pick running mates

* Senate votes gov, lt. gov run on one ticket in primary election

* Lawmakers want gov/lt gov ticket in primary

* Walsh to file House disclosure form late, pay fine

* State Capitol Q&A: State Board of Elections debuts new website

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Brennan - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    Giannoulias and Obama were as close at Harvard Law School as they were riding the pine for Panionios BC.

    The best political writer indeed.

  2. - GOP lies... - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    Makes you wonder if the ILGOP staff understands they have more than one account

    If I was a federal candidate, I would be very concerned

  3. - Fed up - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    Let’s just get rid of the Lt Gov spot it is useless and a waste of money.

  4. - Responsa - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:06 am:

    I noticed that, too, Brennan. Alexi went to law school at Tulane and is about 15 years younger than the President. But other than that…… (I suppose it’s less impressive to print that their close relationship involved them occasionally playing BB together.)

  5. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    That said, if Giannoulias keeps his standing in the polls to within a few points of Mark Kirk, there’s a good chance that Obama will campaign for his old friend.

    I think the status of Blago’s trial will play into if the president will campaign for Alexi as well.

    Also if for some reason Blago succeeds (doubtful) in forcing the president to testify then I suspect he will not come back to campaign in Illinois regardless.

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    Kirk’s plea for Palin to say nice things about him, only to be snubbed, was not the high point of his campaign to date.

    Didn’t he got to high school? If you to want to find out if a girl likes you, you ask one of your friends to ask one of her friends.

  7. - right side - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    Why is it, that even in good GOP years the state Repulican pary is a disaster?

  8. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    Many might feel that being snubbed by Sarah Palin is not necessarily a bad thing.

  9. - AnonToo - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    1) As Rich said, we don’t know what’ll be in their June D2’s. So let’s not get too worked up yet.

    2) I don’t know if this will make an impact, but the new database is SERIOUSLY glitchy. The other day when I was looking up D2’s, any page beyond page 1 ends up somehow “importing” tons of other entries. Not only other time periods, but importing/mixing up entirely different PACS and parties to boot. Completely messed-up….

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    ===So let’s not get too worked up yet.===

    The problem is they’re saying they raised $500K last year and are comparing their new totals to that number, when last year’s actual number was three times as large.

  11. - GOP lies... - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:52 am:

    The fact that the ILGOP believes raising $500K, which is still yet to be verified, is more than they raised all of last year is the troubling story

    But AnonToo is correct, reports don’t lie so everyone will eventually be able to go back and see how much they had raised when these claims were made

  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 11:52 am:

    ===The best political writer indeed===

    Hey, it’s a low bar out there. lol

    Seriously, though, everybody makes stupid mistakes. I made one yesterday. Not excusing it, but the overall piece was of high quality.

  13. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    It wouldn’t be the first time the IL GOP dishonestly puffed up the numbers.

    I suspect part of the problem is that some of the big past givers were Andy McKenna’s rich pals, and they’ve now taken their marbles and gone home. They’ll still give to someone like Mark Kirk directly, but of course such contributions are capped pretty low.

    The state reports will be due soon enough, but we do know the State GOP had barely 200 people at its big fundraiser at the Drake recently. That probably was a bigger reason they closed it to the press, rather than anything about trying to shield Michael Steele.

  14. - Government Can Do Better - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    Seems to me that Kirk knows he might pick up some Democrats who have problems with Alexi but would NEVER vote for him if he alligns with Palin.

  15. - Ghost - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    Thats how the GOP is going to fix our budget! They will just declare we have taken in double our revenue and implement spending from there.

  16. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    Congrats “Monkey” you made the Capitol Fax Blog…..and it wasn’t bad!!! Seriously, Curt does a great job for the state GOP. I could not resist the jab at him though.

  17. - ABCBoy - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:04 pm:

    You know, after this election, I’d love to see a big topic discussion here on CapFax on the new campaign finance laws that kick into effect in 2011. We all know that money ALWAYS finds its way into the political arena.

    It’d be interesting to hear people’s theories about how loopholes will be exploited, whether the 2011 rules will create a proliferation of 527 type groups, etc.

  18. - ABCBoy - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    *And keep an eye out for monster individual donations on the eve of 2011 to try to get as much cash as easily as possible onto the books before things become more difficult.*

  19. - Bubs - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    At 200, that fundrasier was bigger than most years. It was a very positive atmosphere. At long last, victory was a possibility.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 6:18 pm:

    Kirk has wanted Giannoulias in the race from the very beginning. He would not have been in the race had Lisa Madigan, Dan Hynes, or Tom Dart decided to enter. After being in the Democrats crosshairs in 06 and 08, Kirk won his House seat in both races by an average of 7 points. Relatively speaking, he would have won with ease over either Seals or Hamos.

    He wants Giannoulias to stay in the race. Kirk’s people will remind the public of who Giannoulias is but they’re not going to hang him quite yet. If any of those aforementioned candidates were to get involved any time soon, they would have plenty of time to make it a race. However, if the replacement is made in the summer, it’s probably too late for the Dems.

    Looking at favorability numbers for Giannoulias, they’ve been dropping like flies the more voters know about him, his former bank - since the first of the year. And let’s all admit this: how much attention does the public play to the Treasuror’s race in 2006? This is the US Senate not child’s play.

    Rich, I don’t always agree with but respect your opinion. If Alexi is still on the ballot in November, I’ll buy you a round or two.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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