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Madigan, Pritzker, Burke top list of campaign legal spending for 2019

Friday, Feb 14, 2020

* The Sun-Times searched campaign legal spending for all of 2019 and found $5.3 million in expenditures

The Friends of Michael J. Madigan campaign account topped all other political groups, with nearly $1.3 million spent on lawyers and related costs, according to a Sun-Times analysis of Illinois State Board of Elections records since Jan. 1, 2019.

At No. 2, the JB for Governor fund paid more than $960,000 to the law firm Perkins Coie LLP in the same period. A Pritzker campaign spokesman says that covered the cost of litigation by former campaign workers who said they were the victims of discrimination and harassment, as well as “financial disclosure filings and matters related to the campaign.” […]

[Ald. Ed Burke’s] legal fees over the past year that he’s tapped his political kitty to cover have topped $800,000, records show. Burke was charged in January 2019 with attempted extortion, accused of trying to muscle the owner of a Burger King franchise into hiring his law firm for property tax appeals. Burke subsequently was indicted in a broader racketeering case. […]

Many of the legal expenses examined by the Sun-Times appear to be routine, for the usual legal matters involved in helping candidates get on the ballot and trying to knock their opponents off, among other things.

In her failed campaign for mayor of Chicago, which went to a runoff before she lost to Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle paid $99,390.95 through April 2019 to Ancel Glink P.C., mainly for the firm to handle election petition challenges, according to a campaign spokeswoman. Using her county board campaign fund, she spent another $4,812 with the same firm.

Click here for the full list.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - SouthSide Markie - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 9:35 am:

    Bob Rita’s $50k+ payment in fees to Saul, Ewing seems like a large amount for someone who’s name has not been in the news. Wonder what’s going on there. Saul Ewing is the firm that employs Jim Durkin.


  2. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 9:42 am:

    One of these things is not like the other…


  3. - Practical Politics - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    “Perkins Coie” — Ouch!

    Governor, find another law firm with a better reputation. Too much bad press for this outfit since 2016.


  4. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 9:53 am:

    The fact that Illinois is the best state in the country to be an attorney is no accident

    https://smartasset.com/mortgage/best-states-to-be-a-lawyer-2019


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    Better call Saul!


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    ===Wonder what’s going on there===

    He got hit with an ethics beef by Rep. Cassidy last year, so I’m figuring that’s probably what happened.


  7. - System broke - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    I’m shocked more politicians aren’t reporting legal fees, especially some of those with staff or large accounts. Campaign finance is complicated and anyone sending out mailers has to have some kind of review process that should include an attorney.


  8. - System broke - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    == ===Wonder what’s going on there===

    He got hit with an ethics beef by Rep. Cassidy last year, so I’m figuring that’s probably what happened. ==

    Looks like a way ethics complaints can be used to hurt a political foe,


  9. - SouthSide Markie - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    == He got hit with an ethics beef by Rep. Cassidy last year, so I’m figuring that’s probably what happened ==

    Thanks for the info. I knew about the feud between them but missed the news about the ethics complaint. But I gotta say, I care about how many so-called firewalls are in place. I don’t think that I would retain the law firm the employs the Minority Leader to represent me on an ethics complaint.


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