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Money stuff

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

* We discussed this last month

Even though the 2020 primaries and general elections are months away, some big political donations are being made and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has blown the statutory limit off of his campaign.

Madigan filed a “notification of self funding” on Aug. 23, indicating that the $100,001 donation he had made to himself removed the state limitations on campaign contributions in what is so far an uncontested race. Madigan, who also serves as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, has faced election challenges in the past, but has never been defeated in his own district, which he has represented continuously since 1971. So far, no candidate has announced plans to challenge Madigan in the 22nd District. […]

The self-funding rules in Illinois’ campaign finance laws are rooted in freedom of speech, but some point to potential pitfalls of the practice.

“You can take campaign donations, in an unlimited way, from anyone,” said Aaron McKean, legal counsel for the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center. “When I’m a candidate and I take a large contribution from someone, that’s where that appearance of corruption really starts to take hold.”

Illinois’ self-funding law was originally rooted in self-protection. The courts say rich people can spend as much of their own money as they want on campaigns, so the Illinois law automatically allows their opponents to compete by letting them raise unlimited amounts.

Madigan, however, has taken it to the next level by proactively busting the caps on his own fund and then raising as much money as humanly possible. The caps aren’t automatically lifted for the House Republican Leader when the House Speaker does this, so the GOP is put at an even worse disadvantage.

* Meanwhile, remember this splashy story from last week?

Lawyer Daniel Epstein is the first out of the gate with a TV ad set to begin airing Wednesday in the hotly contested race for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court, six months before the candidates face off in the March primary.

The 30-second TV spot is an effort to make sure people recognize the former Jenner & Block attorney as the candidate “who wants to fix the system and who has ideas to fix it” — and to build name recognition, he said.

The ad is here if you missed it.

Anyway, Comcast usually sends out political buys as they come in, but the guy in charge was out of town and didn’t get a chance to send the deets until yesterday afternoon. The total Epstein buy from September 11 through September 22 was a grand total of just $7,572.50. I kid you not.

* Related…

* House Speaker Madigan to visit Decatur for political fundraiser: Madigan will be guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by the Macon County Democrats at The Beach House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Sep 18, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    ==The caps aren’t automatically lifted for the House Republican Leader when the House Speaker does this, so the GOP is put at an even worse disadvantage. ==

    The Republicans could recruit someone to run against Madigan and have that person serve in a similar funding role.

    Some issues come to mind with this strategy: 1) Trust. 2) If they did are the caps busted now or only after the Primary?

    It would certainly be fun to watch.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 18, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    ===The caps aren’t automatically lifted for the House Republican Leader when the House Speaker does this, so the GOP is put at an even worse disadvantage.===

    When I read that and digested how politically this move highlights even more how Rauner ruined the Illinois Republican brand and fundraising, then throw in the Eastern Bloc, POTUS, and in the long term a map that will solidify the collar turning and staying “blue”… I have to ask… with Shaw and Schneider and IPI… no, sorry (wink-wink, nod-nod) “no” IPI, at what point will Illinois Republicans realize they can reset and implode Raunerism, and be thoughtful to national idiocy, but will they?


  3. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Sep 18, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    This Epstein candidacy is a trip. Maybe he should, you know, have an actual legal career first before running for any judicial spot let alone starting at the top. Had a good start on the path but flushed it, and only has been practicing law less than 4 years. Completely unqualified.


  4. - lakeside - Wednesday, Sep 18, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    Achieved earned press and lots of views for his commercial for 7k. Sounds like a steal to me.

    [This is not an endorsement of his qualifications to be a judge - it kills me how low-information judicial races are. Lord, they are super important.]


  5. - Publius - Wednesday, Sep 18, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Home much money did The Speaker have in his account when the law changed regarding how the funds are to be distributed upon dissolution?


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