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Bailey gave two-thirds of his Q4 net contributions away to fellow Republican legislators, had a 183% net burn rate

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* Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey’s D-2 caught my eye last night. Despite reporting that he raised almost $500K in the quarter, Bailey actually ended the quarter with $200K less than he started it with…

That's quite the burn rate

— Rich Miller (@capitolfax) January 19, 2022

* So, I decided to look into it further…

That $150,100 from Restore Illinois is listed as a "refund" on its D-2 🧐

— Rich Miller (@capitolfax) January 19, 2022

* Let’s back up a bit. Restore Illinois was founded in 2018 to raise money to elect Eastern Bloc legislative candidates. It has reported raising $477,442 since it was founded, with $200K coming from that above-mentioned Bailey contribution and $319,800 since the start of the 4th quarter last year.

What happened last year? The remap. As part of Democratic redistricting, fellow Eastern Bloc Reps. Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) and Chris Miller (R-Oakland) were mapped into the same district, the 102nd. Eventually, Rep. Miller (no relation) agreed to move and run in the neighboring and vacant 101st House District. His spouse, US Rep. Mary Miller, was mapped in with fellow Republican Mike Bost, but then she decided to run against Rep. Rodney Davis.

There has been some paranoia within the Eastern Bloc about how agents of Rodney Davis are supposedly trying to gin up opponents against some of them. From Rep. Chris Miller earlier this month…

Never-Trumper Rodney Davis is looking for RINO candidates to run against every pro-life, pro-gun Republicans who supported Trump. Conservative Republicans will defeat liberals like Rodney Davis who stabbed President Trump in the back. The America First movement will not back down to the RINO establishment - we will defeat any and all liberal RINOs Rodney Davis recruits.


* Anyway, Restore Illinois collected $319,800 from three Eastern Bloc Members last quarter: $200K from Sen. Darren Bailey in October, $59,900 from Rep. Blaine Wilhour in November and $59,900 from Rep. Adam Niemerg in December. The PAC refunded $150,100 to Bailey a week after he made his contribution because, by law, it can only accept $59,900 from a candidate committee. Oops.

Almost all of the $179,700 Restore Illinois collected from those three members was then transferred to Rep. Miller shortly after each of the three contributions were received. Click here.

* Here’s where it gets kinda interesting. Neither Rep. Wilhour nor Rep. Niemerg had enough money in their accounts to make those $59,900 contributions to Restore Illinois.

Rep. Wilhour started the quarter with $45.7K in the bank. But then he reported a $59.9K check from Bailey on November 17, and Restore Illinois reported a $59.9K check from Wilhour the very same day.

Same with Rep. Niemerg, who started the fourth quarter with just $23,380.40 in the bank. Bailey maxed out to Niemerg with $59,900 that was reported on December 3rd, and Restore Illinois reported its $59.9K contribution from Niemerg on December 22nd.

So, essentially it appears as though Bailey was able to get $169,800 to his ally Rep. Chris Miller via a complicated series of maneuvers through other campaign accounts. It’s a mechanism that might’ve made Mike Madigan proud.

Except, they didn’t have to do it this way. Rep. Miller busted the caps on his race on November 22nd with a $100,001 contribution to himself. Bailey could’ve just written Miller a check for whatever he wanted.

Seems like a lot of work for nothing.

* Now, take out the refund from Restore Illinois and Bailey raised a net $349K. Of that, he contributed a net $230K to Restore Illinois and Eastern Bloc Reps. Wilhour, Niemerg and Dan Caulkins, or 66 percent of what he took in. You gotta wonder what all those folks who believe so strongly in Bailey’s message might think of him spending two-thirds of their money not on his “grass roots movement,” but on his pals’ races.

I’ve asked the Bailey campaign for comment.

* Meanwhile, Bailey spent about $410K on consultants and their services, staff, etc.

All of his spending and transfers gave Bailey a net burn rate of 183 percent by my calculations.

Hope he doesn’t try to run the state like that.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:38 pm


  1. = There has been some paranoia within the Eastern Bloc =

    Some? I thought paranoia was the main plank in their platform.

    Comment by TheInvisibleMan Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:43 pm

  2. Boy these “family farmers” like Miller and BAiley sure have a lot of cash laying around these days.

    Remind me, how much did they get in farm subsidies and PPP? Never mind, I’ll look it up.

    Comment by JS Mill Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:46 pm

  3. “Hope he doesn’t try to run the state like that.”

    I think that’s the plan…

    Comment by NIU Grad Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:46 pm

  4. It’s funny because if he wants to run things “like a business” Bailey would be one who needs government assistance in his business to run over 100% in spending, a great deal of it “on his friends”

    Sounds like a liberal…

    With a 180+% burn rate, it’s not unlike the way a Ponzi scheme has a burn rate like that… as they try to stay ahead of getting caught… lol

    Comment by Oswego Willy Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:47 pm

  5. ==a Ponzi scheme==

    That’s a good description of how Trump runs his businesses and campaign. So, the apple is staying close to the tree.

    Comment by Pot calling kettle Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:51 pm

  6. jsmill. let me know what you find.

    Comment by Blue Dog Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:55 pm

  7. ===Bailey spent about $410K on consultants===

    Personally, is the only depressing thing I see.

    Consultants are “tripping and falling” into piles of money… it’s not even February to a June primary.


    Comment by Oswego Willy Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 12:55 pm

  8. Does this make anyone else think, “gee, maybe this guy isn’t running for governor…”?

    Comment by Ducky LaMoore Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 1:05 pm

  9. You could conceivably justify a high burn rate in the early part of a campaign by needing to stand up an organization real quick. But frankly, $500K isn’t nearly good enough, even in a world without a Rauner or a Pritzker or a Griffin.

    Comment by Arsenal Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 1:09 pm

  10. - Meanwhile, Bailey spent about $410K on consultants and their services, staff, etc. -

    So this is all just a big grift to funnel cash to his buddies. How surprising.

    Comment by Excitable Boy Wednesday, Jan 19, 22 @ 1:09 pm

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