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Pritzker dumps another $7 million and other campaign finance news

Sunday, Mar 4, 2018

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* JB Pritzker reported last night that he’s dumped another $7 million into his campaign. Sen. Daniel Biss complained, but was also rebutted…


* Along those lines, Biss just reported $75K from Shook Hardy & Bacon attorney Gary Elden, bringing his total Biss contributions to $200,000. Elden’s firm has represented most of the big tobacco companies and some large pharmaceutical companies.

And Chris Kennedy just reported raising $84,500, with $50K of that coming from Florida-based SOLIC Capital Advisors.

* Rep. Scott Drury reported $100,000 this weekend from Steven Miller, a Chicago venture capitalist. Drury has only reported raising about $9K for his AG race since January 1 aside from that Miller contribution. Miller (no relation that I know of) has now contributed over $230K to Drury’s campaign. Drury entered the year with $732K in the bank.

So far, no word on when or even if that anti-Drury ad I told you about on Friday will pop. Drury referenced the $600K expenditure during the Sun-Times candidates’ debate today, saying it was just more evidence of Madigan’s machine taking retribution against him.

* Former Gov. Pat Quinn just put $100K of his own money into his AG campaign. Quinn has raised $465K since the beginning of the year, which he started with $278K. Sen. Kwame Raoul has raised $984K since January 1 and started out with almost $1.1 million.

* Senate President John Cullerton just kicked in $55,400 to a Cook County Board candidate’s race. Why? The candidate is Angie Sandoval, the daughter of one of Cullerton’s members, Sen. Martin Sandoval. She’s also being backed by Sen. Tony Munoz.

* As you know, Democratic House candidate Lamont Robinson is vying against former Rep. Ken Dunkin and two others to replace Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago).

Robinson has now raised $453K this quarter, far outpacing everyone else. Much of that money is coming from Speaker Madigan-related entities. Rep. Marty Moylan just contributed $40K. Other than Dunkin (who, as subscribers know, is being whacked by Robinson hard in the mail and on TV), his closest competitor is Dilara Sayeed, who has raised just $37,000 since January 1.

* Related…

* Four men dominate the turf in Illinois’ political ‘playground of the rich’: A Chicago Sun-Times analysis found that more than 25 percent of the money contributed to Illinois political campaigns in the past two years has come from the pockets of four men: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker, Rauner supporter Kenneth Griffin and disgruntled, former Rauner supporter Richard Uihlein.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:00 am:

    Message to Bruce: You’ll need more than money to win this time.


  2. - BigLou - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:07 am:

    It really is annoying how Danny brings up Pritzker and millionaires using their own money. I do kind of agree with Ormsby’s argument. How is because someone’s rich they can’t be progressive when they are running for office but they can be if they are not and just giving donations to those that say they are. Every time I hear Danny complain about Pritzker and his money I tell more people they shouldn’t vote for him. I only envision him as gov and complaining and blaming everything else for why he hasn’t gotten anything donex. I don’t see him asking responsibility for his failures.


  3. - Soapbox Derby - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:19 am:

    @ BigLou

    I believe a billionaire can be a progressive. However, JB’s conversations with Blago show he’s more regressive than progressive.


  4. - Lay Hee - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:25 am:

    @Soapbox Derby The idea that Pritzker isn’t progressive “because Blago” is……not convincing. Not when there’s been a campaign and millions of dollars worth of TV ads.


  5. - Soapbox Derby - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    I wasn’t “convinced” by TV Ads, but when a fellow Democrat said Pritzker used “the language of racists”.

    Can you say progressive and racist in the same sentence?


  6. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    ==but when a fellow Democrat said Pritzker used “the language of racists”==

    I dunno, taking the word of one of the guys running against him seems iffy to me.


  7. - yinn - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    ==no relation that I know of==

    Genealogically speaking, just about the only surname harder to track than Miller is Johnson.

    To the post: Looks like others are getting tired of the “he doesn’t deserve to win because he’s rich” whingeing.


  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    Curious that Pritzker hasn’t contributed a dime to any other Illinois politicians or organizations.

    Are those supporting him working on spec? The money will flow if he wins the primary?


  9. - Galen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    Those aren’t rebuttals to Biss. “You’re just whining about losing to a rich guy” is basically ignoring the serious problem of a rich donor with no government experience flying in to take the nomination almost entirely because, well, he’s a rich donor. You could be tired of Biss’s message on this front, but that doesn’t mean that it’s rebutted - it just means you don’t want to hear it. But plenty of us are annoyed (at best) that this continues to happen.


  10. - anon2 - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    == four men dominate political contributions ==

    “We now know that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.”
    ~ FDR, Oct. 31, 1936


  11. - City Zen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    ==Curious that Pritzker hasn’t contributed a dime to any other Illinois politicians or organizations.==

    Doesn’t look like it to me…

    http://bit.ly/2D0a4kd


  12. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    ==a rich donor with no government experience flying in to take the nomination almost entirely because, well, he’s a rich donor==

    Which, of course, isn’t what’s happening. JB’s run extensively on 1871, his school breakfast program, the Human Rights Commission, etc. He’s also put a lot of points behind his job and health care plans. You may not find these things especially compelling, but he’s put forth a coherent rationale for his candidacy besides the money.

    And Ormsby’s point is well taken; it’s difficult for me to see why paying for your campaign out of your own pocket is somehow more suspect than asking a bunch of Merrill Lynch guys to write checks for you.


  13. - Anonish - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    @Soapbox those conversations to me are indicative of his ambition for serving in public office.


  14. - Galen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    Sorry, Arsenal, but what government experience does JB have, again?

    And are we seriously saying that there’s no problem in bankrolling your own campaign instead of having other people contribute? I mean…seriously?


  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    CZ, my mistake. I only looked at personal contributions. Thanks for the correction.


  16. - FDB - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Always strange to watch the regular commenters here rip Rauner for pumping so much money into his campaign and then bending over backwards to excuse it when it’s JB… what am I missing here?

    (Not trying to be rude genuinely curious)


  17. - Soapbox Derby - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    @ Anonish

    Most people that have an ambition for serving in public office do the work and run for it.

    JB was trying to suck up to our worst Governor ever (known even when the FBI tapes were made) and hoping for an appointment to an open office.

    So, if you can’t buy (or beg) an appointment, do the next best thing; buy it in the election.


  18. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Sorry Galen, but now you’re moving the goalposts.


  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    ===but that doesn’t mean that it’s rebutted ===

    You need to learn the difference between rebut and refute. I never said he was refuted. I said he was rebutted. He was.


  20. - Galen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    Sorry Galen, but now you’re moving the goalposts.

    I’m moving the goalposts by repeating the thing that I said earlier? Okay.

    You need to learn the difference between rebut and refute.

    There isn’t actually such a clear distinction in practice, so maybe you should try to be clearer in your language, Rich.


  21. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    ==And are we seriously saying that there’s no problem in bankrolling your own campaign instead of having other people contribute?==

    I mean, I never said that, so I guess “we” are not.

    But I stand by the idea that, if you accept big money is in politics, then I’d rather get it in a way that doesn’t require the candidate to spend 3 hours a day on the phone kissing up to investment bankers.


  22. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    ==I’m moving the goalposts by repeating the thing that I said earlier?==

    But you’re not. You first said the problem was “a rich donor with no government experience flying in to take the nomination almost entirely because, well, he’s a rich donor.” When I suggested that he has put forth a rationale for his candidacy other than “he’s a rich donor”, you started asking about government experience (as if being deeply involved in Springfield in the last decade is so great).


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    ===There isn’t actually such a clear distinction in practice===

    Your ignorance is not my problem. It’s yours.


  24. - Galen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    Arsenal, it’s clear that you don’t care about government experience. I do. I’m not moving the goalposts by bringing up that point again. I’m just not engaging you on your rationale, which I do think is ridiculous.

    Also, conflating government experience with “being deeply involved in Springfield” is just plain ridiculous. State government isn’t the entirely of government experience, nor is it disqualifying. I’m sick of “outsider candidates” as though being on the outside and not understanding how government works is going to actually be useful.


  25. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===as if being deeply involved in Springfield in the last decade is so great===

    Well, he was the chairman of the Human Rights Commission under Blagojevich.

    So, he’s got that… lol


  26. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==Always strange to watch the regular commenters here rip Rauner for pumping so much money into his campaign and then bending over backwards to excuse it when it’s JB… what am I missing here?==

    There’s a slight context difference in that Illinois Republicans are so weak that Rauner’s money makes him the only game in town, while JB, even if he wins, will still have other power brokers in his party to contend with.

    But really, I don’t see the two actions as ethically distinct, it’s just that Rauner’s model worked, we can’t make him stop using it, and I believe JB will pursue policies that I want the state to enact more than any other candidate.


  27. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==Arsenal, it’s clear that you don’t care about government experience.==

    Heh, yeah, that’s probably why I voted for Hillary.

    ==I’m not moving the goalposts by bringing up that point again.==

    No, you’re moving the goalposts by retreating to that point after your first one got blow’d up.

    ==I’m just not engaging you on your rationale, which I do think is ridiculous.==

    And yet here you are, still replying to me…

    ==State government isn’t the entirely of government experience==

    Which candidate is running on government experience not gained at the state level? I’d be really interested in talking about a vote for Bob Daiber.

    ==I’m sick of “outsider candidates” as though being on the outside and not understanding how government works is going to actually be useful.==

    I don’t really take an all-or-nothing position on the “insider/outsider” thing (like, I think Randy Bryce is fantastic, but I think John Lewis is, too), but I don’t think many people consider JB an “outsider”, either.


  28. - ILDemVoter - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    - Arsenal -
    Being accountable due to donations works both ways- someone who doesn’t accept donations and isn’t influenced by money (whether it be small donors, advocacy groups or investment bankers) is free to do whatever they want while using the power of money and funding to get his/her way. But I guess its never occurred to anyone that ibankers, attorneys and other traditional high dollar donors can also have great intentions as well…I’m an attorney who works in finance and won’t be voting for JB, primarily because I value legislative experience. And have happily been on the phone with candidates up and down the ticket, hearing positions on the issues I care about and deciding if I want to give them money to help the cause.


  29. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==Being accountable due to donations works both ways- someone who doesn’t accept donations and isn’t influenced by money (whether it be small donors, advocacy groups or investment bankers) is free to do whatever they want while using the power of money and funding to get his/her way.==

    Of course, we’re seeing in real time that it’s not that simple, as Rauner certainly isn’t getting his way.

    But yes, I take your point that there’s a democratic benefit to having another group you’re accountable to. I just don’t know that I agree it outweighs the risks.


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