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Campaign notebook

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022

* Greg Hinz

Just over a year out from her presumed re-election bid, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s latest financial totals are out, and it’s fair to call them distinctly mediocre.

Lightfoot pulled in a combined $538,000 for her two political funds, a big chunk of it raised on a recent campaign swing to California. […]

Lightfoot for Chicago has $1.215 million in the bank, more than enough to get a solid campaign up and running, and Light PAC another $351,000. […]

At a press conference today, the mayor disagreed her fundraising this quarter was lackluster: “Given that we were in a pandemic and the amount of challenges we were facing… I feel pretty good about where our fundraising is.”

Factor in campaign expenses, mainly for consultants and staff, and Lightfoot’s two campaign committees netted a combined $61,289.43 for the quarter.

Not great.

* I told subscribers about this last week

A new candidate has announced he is seeking candidacy for the Republican nomination of State Representative for the new 108th District. This district covers all of Menard County, and portions of Sangamon, Christian, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.

Wayne Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, says that he has thrown in his hat to run for the new 108th District. Rosenthal has received several endorsements including Congressman Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, and Mike Bost. He has also been supported by State Representatives Avery Bourne, Tim Butler and former State Rep Mike Murphy.

Rosenthal says that he and his family are excited to announce that he is running. He says he knows the area well, and has served the citizens for many years including the Illinois Air National Guard, coaching youth baseball, and serving in the General Assembly. ROsenthal also says that he plans to work hard, share his conservative vision for the state, and earn every vote in this election.

Rosenthal left the House to run IDNR for Gov. Bruce Rauner.


A doctor from Morton says he’s running for an open Illinois House seat that includes much of the district now represented by retiring state Rep. Keith Sommer.

Emergency physician and anesthesiologist Dr. Bill Hauter plans to run in the redrawn 87th House District. Hauter, a Republican, is a member of the Tazewell County Board. The 87th District includes portions of Tazewell, McLean, Logan, Sangamon, Macon, and DeWitt counties.

Hauter works primarily as an anesthesiologist in Peoria. He picks up shifts as an emergency physician as needed; over the past few years, he says, he has been needed to treat COVID-19 patients on a regular basis. Because of this, Hauter said, he can bring a new perspective to the General Assembly as they make decisions about the pandemic.

While he supports vaccination, Hauter is against vaccine mandates. […]

Sommer and Hauter are longtime friends, says Hauter. Sommer previously endorsed Hauter in his run for Tazewell County Board, and the pair have worked together on adoption reform legislation in the past. Hauter has an adopted child from Bulgaria, and his wife Shelley is the director of the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center.

* Press release…

Today, EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed three women for election in Illinois, including Juliana Stratton for lieutenant governor, Susana Mendoza for comptroller, and Anna Valencia for secretary of state. Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY’s List, released the following statement:

“These groundbreaking women have been lifelong advocates for their communities, championing everything from youth development and empowerment programs, to animal welfare and social services initiatives. EMILY’s List is confident that under their leadership, Illinois will be best positioned to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and become a place where all people can flourish.”

* Excerpt from a DGA press release

“It’s only day three of his campaign, and Richard Irvin is already being slammed by Illinoisans — including those in his own party,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Irvin has done a complete 180 from praising Gov. JB Pritzker to running a Rauner reboot campaign. Even if Irvin survives the bruising GOP primary, he won’t stand a chance against Gov. Pritzker, who Irvin himself agreed is ‘a great leader.’”

* Politico

There’s been a lot of hype about the political operatives behind Richard Irvin’s GOP gubernatorial bid having previously led former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign and the effort to defeat the graduated income tax.

But recent campaign donations show that two big donors to those efforts are behind Jesse Sullivan’s GOP bid for governor.

Richard Colburn and Michael Keiser have donated $50,000 and $5,000 respectively to Sullivan’s campaign.

Colburn gave $500,000 to the group that helped defeat the graduated income tax measure backed by Gov. JB Pritzker, and he gave $10,000 to Citizens for Judicial Fairness, which helped defeat former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride’s retention effort.

Keiser gave $25,000 to the effort to stop the graduated income tax plan. And both he and Colburn donated to Rauner’s 2018 bid for governor.

Sullivan is reporting $9.1 million in the bank, according to the latest campaign filings, though the bigger news is that he has yet to name a running mate.

He can’t gather signatures until he can list a lieutenant governor on his petitions. Playbook hears that announcement will be soon.

Not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Sullivan got a bit of cash from two people who also hated the graduated income tax and a Democratic Supreme Court justice and that’s supposed to show… what?

Also, she’s right about the running mate thing. Everyone else has a head start on him. Subscribers know more.

* Press release…

Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Chicago Alderman’s Appeal to Stop Elected Officials From Using Campaign Cash to Pay for Criminal Defense Fees

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) filed a complaint centered around ex-Ald. Danny Solis in 2019


Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th Ward

Adolfo Mondragon, Esq.


In Byron Sigcho-Lopez v. State of Ill. Bd. of Elections et al., No. 127253, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments from Adolfo Mondragon, Esq. on behalf of Chicago Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward) to reverse a lower court’s decision dismissing Sigcho-Lopez’s complaint that elected officials should not use campaign cash to pay for criminal defense attorneys.

Sigcho-Lopez filed an appeal in May 2021 to the Illinois Supreme Court from a decision out of the 1st District Court of Appeals, challenging whether the Campaign Disclosure Act of the election code allows politicians to use campaign funds for criminal defense fees.

Sigcho-Lopez was elected in 2019 to succeed former Alderman Danny Solis, who has spent more than $220,000 from his 25th Ward campaign fund to pay for his defense team while under federal investigation.

Click here to watch. You’ll have to rewind it.

* What could possibly go wrong?

A bill filed by state Rep. Charles Meier aims to combat voter fraud by allowing a county clerk the ability to cancel a voter registration if they do not think the person is a qualified voter.

House Bill 4310 was filed in December by state Rep. Charles Meier, R-Highland. The bill seeks to address issues with the state’s mail-in vote system and would give county clerks the ability to turn down a voter registration if the clerk believes the registration is fake or if the voter has passed away or moved.

“Illinois is notorious for having a lot of dead people vote,” Meier said. “It seems kind of amazing there is always accusations of this … and what simpler way to clean up the process than by using your county clerks.”

Illinois may be notorious for that, but it’s not been shown to actually be a thing that happens in real life beyond a few isolated incidents.

From the bill

Review of jury summons. If, upon review of the list of returned juror summons under Section 9.3 of the Jury Commission Act, the county clerk is of the opinion that any person registered is not a qualified voter or has ceased to be a qualified voter, he or she shall send a notice through the United States mail to such person, requiring him or her to appear before the county clerk for a hearing within 5 days after the date of mailing the notice and show cause why his or her registration shall not be cancelled. If such person fails to appear within such time as provided, his or her registration shall be cancelled. If such person does appear, he or she shall execute an affidavit similar in every respect to the affidavit required of applicants under Section 6-29.

Not onerous at all. /s

…Adding… Press release…

Today, the Madison County Democrats and the St. Clair County Democrats announced their endorsement of Nikki Budzinski in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District. Madison and St. Clair Counties make up significant portions of the newly drawn 13th Congressional District.

The Madison and St. Clair County Democrats’ endorsement is the latest in a broad coalition of support that Budzinski is building, including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, EMILY’s List, State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, Rep. “Chuy” García, Rep. Sean Casten, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, State Senator Christopher Belt, Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, House Democratic Caucus Chair LaToya Greenwood, State Representative Katie Stuart, UFCW Local 881, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC), SEIU State Council, United Steelworkers (USW), IBEW Locals 51, 146, 193, 309, 601 and 649, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Workers’ Union, Heat and Frost Insulators, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI), Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 8, Elect Democratic Women, Pastor T. Ray McJunkins, County Chairs Bill Houlihan (Sangamon), Mark Pohlman (Jersey), Paul “Snow” Herkert (Calhoun), Ben Curtin (Christian) and Pam Monetti (Macoupin).

* More…

* Cook County assessor candidate Kari Steele touts, then rebukes endorsement by controversial Chicago Ald. Jim Gardiner

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    = While he supports vaccination, Hauter is against vaccine mandates. =

    Then he doesn’t support vaccination.

  2. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    ===Also, she’s right about the running mate thing.===

    I’m sure somewhere out there is a person who is looking to resume build or do something to get more followers on the gram so they can convince more people to slam the like button on their videos and subscribe to their channel.

    Running for Lt. Governor of Illinois has to be a bigger LinkedIn boast than being the CEO of your own company, or creating your own venture capital firm.

  3. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    Aren’t County Clerks elections partisan? So literally in all 102 counties across this state, a partisan elected county clerk, of which there are no qualifications required before running for the office, can unilaterally make a decision to kick out someone’s vote and force said person to appear before them at a hearing.
    And it’s also just based on the opinion of the clerk. Guilty until proven innocent I guess.
    What a waste of time, taxpayer money and brain cells to file this garbage. I feel like this country is getting dumber knowing that we have elected officials who actually believe voting should be allowed based on one persons opinion.

  4. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 10:59 am:

    Meier sure loves that guaranteed immediate delivery via US Mail. /s

  5. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    - Running for Lt. Governor of Illinois has to be a bigger LinkedIn boast -

    Sure didn’t do much for Sheila Simon.

  6. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    And unsurprisingly, Sue Scherer will run for a 6th House term in her revamped 96th:

  7. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    ==allowing a county clerk the ability to cancel a voter registration if they do not think the person is a qualified voter.==

    Will the state be buying clerks magic 8-balls… Zoltar machines?

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    === for Sheila Simon===

    Ms. Simon, in her infinite wisdom, decided to run against Judy Baar Topinka.

  9. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    ==Sure didn’t do much for Sheila Simon.==

    It probably helped on the banjo concert circuit for a time.

  10. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:20 am:

    LOL Kari Steele and Gardiner endorsement. come on….

  11. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    Charlie Meier must be spending too much time in Kathmandu.

  12. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:33 am:

    “Sure didn’t do much for Sheila Simon.”

    But it was the only “viable” path for Pat Quinn…

  13. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    - decided to run against Judy Baar Topinka. -

    Didn’t she try state senate after that and lose it too?

  14. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    =“Illinois is notorious for having a lot of dead people vote,” Meier said.=

    This bill isn’t going anywhere and Meier knows that. And when the bill ends up on the scrap heap where it belongs it will be offered up as more evidence of a grand conspiracy to “rig elections.”

  15. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Charles Meier, just another “stop the steal” goofball.

  16. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    Somewhere right now, Ms. Simon is sewing a dress. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  17. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    House Bill 4310–Exhibit A of why the Republicans in this state have a super minority.

  18. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Emily’s list which describes themselves as…
    ” created to fund campaigns for Democratic pro-choice women”

    Fails to mention abortion or choice in its endorsements.

  19. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    I know the mayor has to say she is running but with this fundraising i predict she wont.

  20. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==Emily’s list which describes themselves as…
    ” created to fund campaigns for Democratic pro-choice women”==

    While EMILY’s List will only endorse Democratic pro-choice women, it’s not Planned Parenthood or NARAL. It is concerned with a lot of other issues.

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* * Comments now open * Late Friday news: Bailey gets $2.5 million from Uihlein; DGA blasts Irvin in second ad; ILGOP's Tracy on election fraud; Pritzker signs several bills
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