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The Proft scorecard

Thursday, Mar 22, 2018

* Tribune

Four out of the five Republican state lawmakers targeted for defeat by conservative radio talk show host Dan Proft survived their primary election challenges on Tuesday, with House GOP leader Jim Durkin saying he doesn’t “think the voters are necessarily supportive of extremes.”

Proft’s chosen candidates, though, did win primaries in several districts where sitting lawmakers didn’t run for re-election, and his political action committee scored a victory by defeating state Rep. David Reis of Downstate Willow Hill. Reis was one of several Republican lawmakers who sided with Democrats to initially vote in favor of last summer’s income tax hike. […]

A Proft bid to defeat Durkin also came up short. The Western Springs Republican overcame a rare primary challenge, which stemmed from last year’s showdown over the tax and budget package. Durkin voted against the measures, but Proft questioned his leadership after the party didn’t remain united against the tax hike in a chamber controlled by powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is also head of the Democratic Party of Illinois. […]

Among Proft’s successes on Tuesday: Former state Rep. Dwight Kay won his primary after receiving more than $173,000 [ADDED: Liberty Principles PAC only spent $33,955 on this race] from Liberty Principles. He’s seeking to reclaim the seat he lost in 2016 to Rep. Katie Stuart, a Democrat from Edwardsville. The committee also helped DuPage County Board member Tonia Khouri to victory, and Schaumburg Township Library District Trustee Jillian Rose Bernas was assisted by at least $186,000.

Bernas faced Charlotte Kegarise, who was backed by Durkin’s House Republican Organization. Bernas will now face Democratic state Rep. Michelle Mussman in the November election. Republicans sought to play down the loss on Wednesday, saying it’ll be a difficult seat for the GOP to win.

I told subscribers after Rauner signed HB40 that Dwight Kay was probably gonna win, and one of his campaign people called me Tuesday night to explicitly say that Proft should not get credit for the victory. Take that for whatever you will. Kegarise was outspent 2-1. Khouri ran a real campaign outside of the money she received and had run for Congress in 2016, so she had some name ID.

* There was also this big race in retiring GOP Rep. David Harris’ district

Eddie Corrigan defeated 53rd state House District opponent Katie Miller Tuesday in what became a bitter Northwest suburban Republican primary contest.

With 73 of 75 precincts reporting, Corrigan had 5,612 votes and Miller had 3,489, according to unofficial totals. […]

Corrigan, an Arlington Heights resident and outreach coordinator for U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, was backed by the House Republican Organization, while Miller, a registered nurse from Mount Prospect, was endorsed by conservative talk show host Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC. Proft’s group sent pro-Miller campaign mailers featuring photos of Corrigan in college doing keg stands and labeling him a “punk party boy.”

* In retiring GOP Rep. Bill Mitchell’s district

Dan Caulkins of Decatur held a solid lead late Tuesday night in the three-way race for the Republican nomination in the 101st House District. […]

With 97 percent of the vote in, Caulkins had 5,937 votes to 5,205 for Randy Keith of rural Monticello and 2,470 for Todd Henricks of Cerro Gordo. It amounted to about a 5-percentage-point lead. […]

Caulkins raised more than $100,000 for his campaign fund, including $35,000 in loans he made to the campaign in the week before the election.

But the biggest boost for the 71-year-old Decatur businessman was the more than $135,000 in uncoordinated assistance he got from Chicago radio host and political consultant Dan Proft. Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC provided more than $25,000 in television advertising for Caulkins in the last week of the campaign.

* He was even involved in a Dem primary

State Representative Robert Martwick (D-19) was one of the big winners in the March 20 primary election […]

Martwick faced a challenge from Chicago police officer Jeff La Porte. Martwick received about 66 percent of the vote in the district’s 78 Chicago precincts and about 71 percent in the eight suburban precincts compared to 34 percent and 29 percent, respectively, for La Porte. […]

Martwick’s campaign, including mailers, focused on claims that La Porte was being backed by Republicans. Records show that La Porte received an $11,000 donation from the Illinois Opportunity Project, a conservative advocacy group that counts amongst its senior fellows Dan Proft, who chairs Liberty Principles PAC.

La Porte sent out a whole lot of mailers and only reported $11K in contributions. I’m thinking there’s probably more out there.

* Proft’s own scorecard…



…Adding… Click here for a handy spreadsheet. It looks like 65 percent of his spending was on races that he lost, not counting Ives.

* Related…

* The biggest Republican megadonor you’ve never heard of - Richard Uihlein is spending tens of millions to reshape the GOP, including almost single-handedly funding Bruce Rauner’s primary challenger in Illinois

* Hammond wins in expensive 93rd District race

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    – “punk party boy.”–

    There is a an interpretation of that phrase that could lead to Proft picking his teeth up off the floor, if Corrigan were so inclined.

    Peter Pan Proft and his Lost Boys will never grow up. They simply cannot resist the self-gratification of indulging in the juvenile.

    That Uncle Dick sure is a swell guy, buying them all the toys to play with.


  2. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    Proft only wins when he backs candidates with token opposition or where the stakes are low. If you took that same spreadsheet and including how much he spent, his winning record in candidates he spends more than say $200,000 is close to 0… if not ACTUALLY 0. When the stakes are big, Dan Proft loses and has lost for almost 20 years.


  3. - GOP - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    The big races he loses. He wins a few GOP seat open primaries, loses others. Will his GOP now nominee candidates win in Dem seats?…I doubt it. That’s where he needs to win but never (or very near never) gets.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    Rep. Charlie Meier won hugely over the Proft financed Don Moore. Proft totally did not understand what “works” in southern Illinois. The tax increase Rep. Meier voted for was not as much of an issue as Proft thought. What mattered to the Rep. Meier’s constituents is what happens every day, and that is Rep. Meier consistently helping everyone in his district, even giving out his personal cell phone number so people can call him. When asked about what he would do to help his constituents Moore said, I’m not worried about these day to day small issues, I’m concerned about what happens in Springfield. A huge mistake on his part, for the day to day things are the things WE ARE concerned about, and Rep. Meier “gets” that. I know a lot of Dems who crossed party lines and voted for Rep. Meier just so Don Moore wouldn’t win the primary. Also, Terri Bryant also won her primary………….the good “guys” won!


  5. - G'Kar - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Dan Caulkins won the GOP primary in the 101st. He was supported by Liberty Pac by some, in my mind, very odd commercials. I live in the Peoria TV market that stretches from Monmouth in the West, Henry in the North, and somewhere South and East of Bloomington. Caulkins’ commercial did not mention the race or party he was running in. The paid for by Liberty Pac at the end was the only clue.


  6. - Winnin’ - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    What do downstaters hate the most? Chicago money coming to downstate political races.
    Downstaters are still yawning about the primaries.
    But in the end, it may as well be Mike Madigan’s money coming downstate to help the GOP.


  7. - Railrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    Everyone also should connect Proft to local 150 and combine the amount spent on the anti Durkin crusade ! Oops don’t touch 150 they walk on water ! With Madigan!


  8. - Canon - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    It’s not just that he loses. But when he wins he just wastes money. If your candidates are either up or down more than 20 pts two weeks out—stop spending gross amounts of $$


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    The big spending on the Durkin race showed a serious lack of judgment. Petulant child lack of judgment.


  10. - illini - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    Much as I refrain from responding to “Anonymous” commenters I do make exceptions.

    Anonymous at 12:45 is correct. Charlie is my Representative. I know him and genuinely like him as a person but seldom agree with many of his political positions. But he does know his district and his constituents. He made the right decision last year to help pass the budget and paid the price by being challenged in the primary by operatives of his supposed party. Yet his constituents saw through the vicious attacks orchestrated by Proft and he prevailed and will likely be returned to the GA.


  11. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    Katie Stuart received 1,0000 more primary votes than Dwight Kay and his opponent combined. Huge Democratic turnout and Pritzker crushed it in Madison County.

    Kay has about a 1% chance of winning that district after Rauner and the GOP nearly destroyed their biggest employer, SIU-E.

    Durkin ought to let Proft take full ownership of that race, blow $1 million, and watch as Kay goes down in flames.


  12. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Dwight Kay absolutely facilitated
    The Rauner destruction
    Of siue

    Of the social safety net in the MetroEast
    Which abandoned the
    granite city steel workers

    Of getting the National Geospacial Agency
    Totally bungled it
    Rauner didn’t even have a
    Regional Economic Development (RED)
    Person assigned to the area.
    Kay should have been on top of that
    And screaming every day at dceo
    No Kay won the primary
    By name recognition alone.
    Pour in all the money you want Proft
    1805
    799
    124
    3654
    Afscme Locals
    3000 teeth bared
    Aggrieved state county municipal employees
    Looking for a pound of flesh for these
    Long hard years
    Go head
    Pay minimum wage to all the
    College republican club students you want

    People ignore the ads
    They listen to neighbors.


  13. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    @DanProft -

    See what I mean? Honeybear is daring you.

    Bring. It. On.


  14. - illini - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    @Honeybear - Somehow I knew you would be in on this thread. Pertinent and pointed as always. Keep it up.


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    Unfortunately, Cicero Dan can’t waste money because he just spends it on himself. No waste there…a perfect closed loop.


  16. - 618Dem - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    The 109th is the most conservative district in the state. That’s why Bailey beat Reis. Reis, despite being very conservative, got excommunicated for committing the sin of even daring to raise taxes despite what might happen if they aren’t raised.


  17. - just sayin' - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    How much longer will people keep flushing good money down the drain on that guy?

    If Ives had hired professionals, preferably from out of state who knew what they were doing, instead of taking awful advice from Proft, Ives could have easily won on Tuesday. Proft only helped her grab defeat from the jaws of victory.


  18. - 19th ward guy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    Join the 6 people listening to his radio show every morning and hear a guy who is really coming unglued.


  19. - Rich - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Welcome, Mr. Proft. We have you right over here in the irrelevant line. You will find your spot in between Sam McCann and the senate republicans.


  20. - Memory - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    Kay was unhappy in Springfield the first time he served. Why does he want to serve again?


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