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Drury could benefit from contribution cap loophole

Friday, Sep 22, 2017

* The Daily Herald’s Kerry Lester has an interesting piece about Rep. Scott Drury’s rebooted campaign for attorney general. While he was running for governor, Drury raised some contributions above the state caps which apply to his current AG race, but didn’t apply at the time to the governor’s race because Chris Kennedy busted those caps months ago: $5,600 from individuals and $11,100 from corporations

Heiji Black of Chicago gave Drury $5,600 on June 29, and then another $5,000 on June 30. Black also paid for about $1,500 in food and beverages for a Drury event at the Arts Club of Chicago in late May, records show.

Joyce Black of Deerfield gave Drury $250 on June 14, and then another $10,000 on June 29.

So, does he have to give that money back?

* The State Board of Elections doesn’t plan to do anything about it as of now

Ken Menzel, general counsel for the State Board of Elections, said the board doesn’t plan to take any action in Drury’s case but might look at changes to rules or state law to address similar instances in the future.

Kent Redfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield and a leading campaign finance expert, said it’s potentially problematic to have candidates change their minds on which office they’re seeking and be able to use donations intended for other purposes.

Ethically, Redfield said, Drury “would have to segregate the money, and (not use) anything in excess of what the contribution limits are for attorney general.”

Drury didn’t respond to Lester’s inquiry, by the way.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

6 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    It’s only a matter of time before the caps get blown in the AG race anyway, so it will be academic before too long.

    Contribution limits haven’t worked, they haven’t prevented big money from coming in, all they’ve done is add an extra layer of crazy rules that have to be followed but don’t actually limit money. And given current Supreme Court rulings there are no fixes that would effectively limit money so we continue with our current setup which is little more than for show.


  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Ethically, Redfield said, Drury “would have to segregate the money, and (not use) anything in excess of what the contribution limits are for attorney general.”===

    Agreed. If Drury takes ethics seriously, he will put the above-the-AG-cap contributions in a segregated account and not spend them. If, as some speculate, the AG caps get busted, then he’d be free to use the dough. If they don’t, it should be returned to the donors.

    That’s IF Drury takes ethics seriously.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    According to ISBE, Drury has raised $67K since April 1. He’s reported one contribution of $1,000 since July 1.

    It would be pretty hilarious if he had to give money back.


  4. - LakeEffect - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Um, so he raised $11,000 above the AG caps In q2? I’m pretty sure he spent at least 11k in July and August , which is probably partially why Menzel sees this as a non issue. Probably a different story if his campaign manager’s dad gave him 250k in June


  5. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    A) The paragon of ethics should absolutely segregate or give it back. He also should respond immediately if he expects to be taken remotely seriously on ethics.

    B) Why do people think the caps are going to get busted? Who is the self-funder that is going to bust them? I don’t see one.


  6. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Speaking of the AG race - 33rd Ward Committeeman Aaron Goldstein has announced he’s in the race.

    http://mailchi.mp/438182f9f266/im-in?e=93b279d9f4


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