Weekly Roundup – February 26th, 2016

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I’ve been tweeting a lot of interesting updates from recent disclosures and I thought I’d do a weekly roundup to try to summarize the week’s interesting news and organize these developments into a format you can follow. Here is last week’s roundup.

Reminder:
  • A-1 reports are for contributions received by the committee of $1,000 or more.
  • B-1 reports are for independent expenditures made independent of the candidate (cannot be coordinated).
  • Regular expenditures (not independent expenditures) are not reported until the quarterly filings are due, next on 3/31.

What follows is not every development in each of these races, only the big and/or notable ones. For comprehensive coverage of all the campaign finance data subscribe to either or both of our Racing Forms, updated weekly. The Illinois Racing Form covers all the General Assembly races, the Cook County Racing Form covers all the county candidates, MWRD, judges and committeemen races.

It was a long week, over 100 tweets to summarize, let’s get to it.

5th House (D) – Ken Dunkin (i) vs. Juliana Stratton
  • On Tuesday IllinoisGO filed a new B-1 for $78K for TV and mail opposing Juliana Stratton.
  • On Tuesday Juliana Stratton added $119K including $50K from the Operating Engineers Local 399, $40K from SEIU Illinois Council & $25K from the Illinois Pipe Trades. On Wednesday she added another $42K, including a small in-kind for phone banking from the 42nd Ward Democratic Organization.
 
7th House (D) – Chris Welch (i) vs. Chris Harris
  • Last Friday the National Association of REALTORS filed a B-1 for $12K for mail supporting Chris Welch.
 
22nd House (D) – Michael Madigan (i) vs. Jason Gonzales vs. Joe Barboza vs. Grasiela Rodriguez
  • Illinois United for Change, the independent expenditure committee funded largely with Blair Hull money that has been supporting Jason Gonzales had an eventful week. Last Friday they added $10K, on Tuesday they reported another $50K from real estate executive Irvin Kessler and on Thursday they reported receiving $20K from the Illinois Opportunity Project the same group led by Dan Proft that gave Ken Dunkin a record $500K contribution earlier this month. They also continued to spend money this week, on Tuesday filing a B-1 for $25K for field, Wednesday filing a B-1 for $15K for printing and Thursday filing a B-1 for another $15K for printing, all supporting Jason Gonzales.
  • On Thursday Jason Gonzales added $10,800.
  • Worth noting: the four funds controlled by Speaker Madigan have an estimated funds available of around $8.5 million.
  • Interesting thought: Illinois United for Change has already spent almost $85K supporting Gonzales/opposing Madigan. If they spend more than $100K then the contribution limits would be removed for this race meaning the Speaker’s candidate committee Friends of Michael J. Madigan could raise unlimited funds, something that could have a very significant impact not only for this race but also for the fall. So far Illinois United for Change has raised $300K and spent only about $85K on independent expenditures, they could have as much as $215K still available to spend on this race or others. If/when they exceed the threshold and blow the caps the impact would be far reaching and potentially enormous, I’ll have much more on this if/when it happens.
 
26th House (D) – Christian Mitchell (i) vs. Jay Travis
  • On Sunday Christian Mitchell added $25K from Democratic Majority, the leadership committee of the House Dems. Both Mitchell and Jay Travis added other smaller amounts during the week.
  • On Thursday Chicagoans United for Economic Security PAC, an independent expenditure committee that has received significant funds from CTU filed a B-1 for $160K for cable TV and mail supporting Jay Travis.
 
40th House (D) – Jaime Andrade (i) vs. Harish Patel
  • Last Friday the National Association of REALTORS filed a B-1 for $10K for mail supporting Jaime Andrade.
 
66th House (R) – Paul Serwatka vs. Daniel Wilbrandt vs. Allen Skillicorn vs. Carolyn Schofield
  • On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $2K for TV for Allen Skillicorn.
 
72nd House (D) – Jeff Jacobs vs. Michael Halpin vs. Katelyn Hotle vs. Glen Evans
 
72nd House (R) – Brandi McGuire vs. Jordan Thoms
  • On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $4K for graphic design for Brandi McGuire.
 
74th House (R) – Wayne Saline vs. Dan Swanson vs. Mike DeSutter
  • On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $9K for TV for Mike DeSutter.
 
95th House (R) – Avery Bourne (i) vs. Dennis Scobbie vs. Christopher Hicks
  • Last Friday the Illinois Republican Party filed another B-1 spending $16K on mail for Avery Bourne. On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a new B-1 for $2K for live calls for Bourne.
  • On Tuesday INCS Action Independent Committee filed a B-1 for $5K for mail supporting Avery Bourne.
 
99th House (R) – Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (i) vs. Kent Gray
  • Last Friday the Illinois Republican Party filed another B-1 spending $5K on mail for Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a new B-1 for $2K for live calls for Wojcicki Jimenez.
 
102nd House (R) – Brad Halbrook vs. Randy Peterson vs. Jim Acklin
  • Last Friday Brad Halbrook disclosed a $53K contribution from Governor Rauner’s campaign committee.
  • On Monday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $24K for TV for Brad Halbrook. On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $2K for TV for Brad Halbrook. On Thursday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $41K for TV supporting Brad Halbrook.
  • On Tuesday Jim Acklin filed an A-1 for $40K, including four identical contributions from the IEA all on 2/22, all for $5K. On Wednesday Acklin filed another A-1 for $32K, including six identical contributions from the IEA all on 2/23, all for $5K. It’s hard to tell if those are a bunch of accidental duplicates or if that is just an atypical contribution/disclosure method.
  • On Thursday Randy Peterson filed an A-1 for $15K from current 102nd district Republican incumbent Adam Brown.
 
110th House (R) – Reggie Phillips (i) vs. Jonathan Kaye
 
2nd Senate (D) – Angelica Alfaro vs. Omar Aquino
  • On Tuesday IllinoisGO filed a new B-1 for $12K for mail supporting Angelica Alfaro. On Thursday IllinoisGO filed a new B-1 for $12K for mail supporting Angelica Alfaro.
 
5th Senate (D) – Patricia Van Pelt (i) vs. Bob Fioretti
  • The Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund, the leadership committee of President Cullerton has had a history of supporting their incumbents facing primaries and has been supporting Van Pelt this cycle. Last Friday she filed an A-1 for an in-kind contribution from the Victory Fund for $18K paid to their pollster for “RENT” but was probably for polling. Later on Friday she filed another A-1 for $50K including $30K from the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund. Then on Saturday she filed another A-1 once again for an in-kind contribution from the Victory Fund for $18K paid to their pollster for “RESEARCH” (polling), which was likely just a correction of the A-1 filed the day before, however Van Pelt has not filed a letter with the State Board indicating such.
  • On Tuesday IllinoisGO filed a new B-1 for $17K for mail supporting Patricia Van Pelt. On Thursday IllinoisGO filed a new B-1 for $17K for mail supporting Patricia Van Pelt.
 
26th Senate (R) – Dan McConchie vs. Casey Urlacher vs. Martin McLaughlin
  • On Monday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $49K for TV for Dan McConchie. This $49K for McConchie put the total Liberty Principles spending for this race over the $100K threshold and the contribution limits have been removed. On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $2K for TV for Dan McConchie.
  • On Wednesday Dan McConchie filed an A-1 which included a $2,500 contribution from Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey, notable because one of McConchie’s opponents is Casey Urlacher, brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher. This is not McCaskey’s only contribution, she does have a long donor history going back to the 90’s of donating to Republican candidates and conservative causes, including a $5K donation earlier this week to Tom Morrison.
  • On Thursday Casey Urlacher filed an A-1 loaning himself $34K.
 
50th Senate (R) – Sam McCann (i) vs. Bryce Benton
  • On Saturday Sam McCann filed an A-1 for $33,500 in mostly labor money.
  • On Tuesday Liberty Principles filed a new B-1 for $40K for TV and mail for Bryce Benton.
 
Cook County State’s Attorney (D) – Anita Alvarez (i) vs. Kim Foxx vs. Donna More
  • Illinois Safety & Justice, the independent expenditure committee supporting Kim Foxx added significant funds this week. On Friday they added $50K from George Soros and then on Wednesday they added another $100K from Soros. The large donations from Soros to the IE were a bit perplexing, there are no contribution limits in this race so he could have made these donations directly to the Foxx campaign. In fact Illinois Safety & Justice added so much money from George Soros that on Wednesday they had to amend their statement of organization to list Soros as a sponsoring entity. You may remember this “sponsoring entity” issue from my previous mention regarding Dunkin (who still hasn’t amended his D-1). They quickly started spending this money on Tuesday spending $40K on direct mail, and then again on Thursday spending another $40K on direct mail. That last $40K put them over $100K spent on this race which would normally eliminate the contribution limits but the caps were already off, however it did still trigger an official notification.
  • Also this week Kim Foxx added significant funds to her campaign committee, last Friday she filed an A-1 for $235K including $200K from Fred Eychaner, $15K from attorney Arthur Loevy and $5K from Jack Franks’ candidate committee.
  • On Monday Donna More added $90K, $82K came from herself as in-kinds for mail & consulting. She added an additional $14K on Wednesday.
  • On Tuesday Anita Alvarez added $94K, including two identical $30K donations from the plumbers/pipefitters (possible duplicates?).
 
Other Notable Contributions Received
  • Last Friday judicial candidate Kathleen Mesich loaned herself $25K.
  • Last Friday the Illinois Republican Party added $161K, including $150K from Governor Rauner. The party has been making a number of independent expenditures supporting two of Rauner’s favored candidates facing Republican primaries, Avery Bourne, a former Rauner campaign worker and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, the First Lady’s former Chief of Staff.
  • On Sunday Support Independent Maps reported another $12K.
  • A new PAC, New Urban Conservative PAC, whose purpose is “To advance the conservative cause in urban areas” added $21K from Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein.
  • On Monday the Cook County Democratic Party added $40K from the Foxx campaign, their slated candidate for State’s Attorney.
  • On Monday MWRD candidate Marty Durkan added not one, not two but three A-1’s totaling $45K.
  • On Monday Toni Preckwinkle added $142K, including $50K from the Operating Engineers Local 150, $20K from the Illinois Pipe Trades and $10K from Midway Airport Concessionaires.
  • On Tuesday the International Union of Operating Engineers added $50K to their PAC.
  • On Tuesday Stand for Children moved $65K to its independent expenditure committee.
  • On Tuesday Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti added $2,500 from the Realtors.
  • On Wednesday Chicagoans United for Economic Security PAC added $28K, including $25K from CTU and $3K from the Cook County College Teachers. On Thursday they added another $200K from CTU.
  • On Thursday Michelle Harris moved $48K from her aldermanic candidate committee to her circuit court clerk candidate committee.
  • On Thursday the House Republican Organization added $45K while Leader Durkin added $8K.
  • On Thursday the IL Lunch Pail Republicans PAC filed not one but two separate A-1’s totaling $100K from the Operating Engineers.
  • On Thursday Alderman Brendan Reilly moved $15K from his aldermanic campaign committee over to the ward organization, 42nd Ward Democratic Org. The ward organization has been spending money to support both Juliana Stratton and Jay Travis.

Seriously, don’t make your staff stay until midnight to file something they could have filed at 8:30. Knock it off.

Other Interesting Developments
  • Two Fridays ago the Realtors added $27K to their fund and then immediately spent it on independent expenditures. Last Friday they did the same thing, first they added $22K from their members and then they filed a B-1 for mailers for Chris Welch ($12K) and Jaime Andrade ($10K).
  • On Wednesday the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee created an Illinois registered PAC.
 

You can find the complete list of all the funds available, every A-1 filed, every B-1 filed and a complete listing of all the candidates and districts in our Racing Forms. The Illinois Racing Form covers every General Assembly race while the Cook County Racing Form covers all the countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeemen races, full details below.

The Illinois Racing Form
  • District profiles for every General Assembly race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant committees, such as the Governor, legislative leaders and IE’s.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cook County Racing Form
  • District profiles for every countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeeman race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant or related committees.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.

Weekly Roundup – February 19th, 2016

Published on

I’ve been tweeting a lot of interesting updates from recent disclosures and I thought I’d do a weekly roundup to try to summarize the week’s interesting news and organize these developments into a format you can follow. Here is last week’s roundup.

Reminder:
  • A-1 reports are for contributions received by the committee of $1,000 or more.
  • B-1 reports are for independent expenditures made independent of the candidate (cannot be coordinated).
  • Regular expenditures (not independent expenditures) are not reported until the quarterly filings are due, next on 3/31.

What follows is not every development in each of these races, only the big and/or notable ones. For comprehensive coverage of all the campaign finance data subscribe to either or both of our Racing Forms, updated weekly. The Illinois Racing Form covers all the General Assembly races, the Cook County Racing Form covers all the county candidates, MWRD, judges and committeemen races.

 
5th House (D) – Ken Dunkin (i) vs. Juliana Stratton
 
22nd House (D) – Michael Madigan (i) vs. Jason Gonzales vs. Joe Barboza vs. Grasiela Rodriguez
  • On Saturday Illinois United for Change, the independent expenditure committee that has been supporting Jason Gonzales, added $10K to their IE committee.
  • On Wednesday Jason Gonzales added $9K, mostly from various CEOs.
  • Thursday Illinois United for Change, the independent expenditure committee that has been supporting Jason Gonzales added $100K, including $50K from Hull Investments.
  • Worth noting: the four funds controlled by Speaker Madigan have an estimated funds available of almost $9 million.
 
26th House (D) – Christian Mitchell (i) vs. Jay Travis
  • Last Friday right after reporting an A-1 for $27K from member dues the National Association of REALTORS Fund they then filed a B-1 for independent expenditures supporting Christian Mitchell for $27K for direct mail, phone calls and online ads.
  • On Sunday Jay Travis added $26K, including $25K from the IFT.
  • On Tuesday Jay Travis added $31K, including $25K from CTU.
  • On Tuesday Jay Travis reported an in-kind for $4K for a mailing from the 42nd Ward Democratic Organization.
  • Thursday Jay Travis informed the State Board that her Tuesday filing was in error and the contribution from CTU should have been for $12K instead of $25K.
 
66th House (R) – Paul Serwatka vs. Daniel Wilbrandt vs. Allen Skillicorn vs. Carolyn Schofield
 
72nd House (D) – Jeff Jacobs vs. Michael Halpin vs. Katelyn Hotle vs. Glen Evans
 
72nd House (R) – Brandi McGuire vs. Jordan Thoms
 
74th House (R) – Wayne Saline vs. Dan Swanson vs. Mike DeSutter
 
95th House (R) – Avery Bourne (i) vs. Dennis Scobbie vs. Christopher Hicks
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $153K for TV ads supporting Avery Bourne.
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $5K for telephone polling and ID supporting Avery Bourne.
 
99th House (R) – Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (i) vs. Kent Gray
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $171K for TV ads supporting Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.
 
102nd House (R) – Brad Halbrook vs. Randy Peterson vs. Jim Acklin
 
110th House (R) – Reggie Phillips (i) vs. Jonathan Kaye
  • On Monday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $7K for graphic design work supporting Reggie Phillips.
  • On Tuesday incumbent Reggie Phillips added $5K from the candidate committee of Leader Jim Durkin.
  • Thursday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $11K for TV ads for Reggie Phillips.
 
5th Senate (D) – Patricia Van Pelt (i) vs. Bob Fioretti
  • On Wednesday Patricia Van Pelt added $21K including $20K from the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund, President Cullerton’s caucus leadership fund.
 
26th Senate (R) – Dan McConchie vs. Casey Urlacher vs. Martin McLaughlin
 
50th Senate (R) – Sam McCann (i) vs. Bryce Benton
  • On Saturday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $10K for research supporting Bryce Benton.
  • Very late on Saturday night Sam McCann filed an A-1 adding $103K in mostly labor money but also including $10K from Stand for Children.
  • On Tuesday Bryce Benton added $1K from the candidate committee of former State Rep and current Ag Director Raymond Poe.
  • Thursday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $648K for TV ads and polling for Bryce Benton.
 
58th Senate (R) – Paul Schimpf vs. Sharee Langenstein
 
Cook County State’s Attorney (D) – Anita Alvarez (i) vs. Kim Foxx vs. Donna More
  • Last Friday Illinois Safety and Justice, the IE supporting Kim Foxx, filed another B-1 for $17K on mail for her.
  • On Tuesday Illinois Safety and Justice, the IE supporting Kim Foxx, added $70K from George Soros. There are no contribution limits in this race, Donna More met the self funding threshold to remove the contribution limits, so Soros could have donated this amount directly to the Foxx campaign, which is a little odd.
  • On Tuesday Anita Alvarez added $78K, including $50K from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters PAC.
  • On Tuesday Kim Foxx filed not one but two A-1’s totaling $245K including $200K from Fred Eychaner.
  • On Wednesday the Sun-Times reported that the Kim Foxx campaign violated the campaign finance laws by failing to report a poll paid for by the candidate committee of Toni Preckwinkle as an in-kind contribution. That same day the Foxx campaign did file an A-1 reporting the in-kind contribution.
  • On Wednesday Anita Alvarez added $31K, including $20K from the Illinois Pipe Trades PAC .
  • Late Thursday night Kim Foxx filed not one, not two, but three A-1’s for a total of $81K including $50K from SEIU Illinois Council PAC.
 
Other Notable Contributions Received
  • Last Friday Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers filed an A-1 for about $20K.
  • Last Friday Judge Anna Loftus filed an A-1 for a personal loan to her campaign of $30K.
  • Last Friday UFCW Local 881 filed an A-1 adding $200K in member dues to their PAC.
  • “Put it on the Underhill tab.” Last Friday judicial candidate Ed Underhill filed an A-1 for a personal loan of $25K to his campaign committee.
  • Last Friday Wine and Spirits Distributors of Illinois PAC filed an A-1 for $43K.
  • Last Friday the Illinois Association of REALTORS added $100K to their PAC.
  • Last Friday the Illinois Pipe Trades PEF reported adding $95K in member dues to their PAC.
  • Support Independent Maps continues to add funds, but this time just $5K.
  • On Saturday Elaine Nekritz, who currently has no opponent in the primary or general, added $28K of mostly trial lawyer money.
  • On Tuesday the IBEW added $42K in member dues to their PAC.
  • On Tuesday SEIU Illinois Council added $75K in member dues to their PAC.
  • On Wednesday SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana added $214K to their PAC.
  • On Wednesday the IFT added $140K from their locals, including $51K from CTU.
  • On Wednesday Melinda Bush, who has a general election opponent but no primary opponent, added $56K, including $54K from the IEA.
  • On Wednesday Kwame Raoul, who is on the ballot this cycle but currently faces no primary or general election opposition, added $34K in mostly trial lawyer money.
  • On Wednesday Dan Beiser, currently facing no opposition in the primary or general elections, added $30K from the IBEW.
  • On Wednesday Barbara Flynn Currie, who currently has no opponent in the primary or general elections, added $30K from 22 different donors.
  • The Comptroller’s race has been very, very quiet but Thursday Leslie Munger added $5K.
  • Thursday the Illinois Laborers’ Legislative Committee filed not one but two A-1’s adding about $85K of member money to their PAC.
  • Thursday Citizens for Rauner, Inc filed its first A-1 since October and just the 3rd since taking office, for $7,500.
 
Other Interesting Developments
  • On Tuesday Stand for Children’s IE reported an in-kind for $8,500 for research and then Thursday they reported an in-kind for $2K for data. It appears likely that they are about to start spending some money on independent expenditures, likely for mail.
  • This cycle there are two Metropolitan Water Reclamation District elections, one for a 6 year term that has six active candidates (voters choose 3) and one for a 2 year term that has three active candidates (voters choose 1). One of the candidates in the 2 year election, Marty Durkan, has raised an impressive amount disclosed on A-1’s so far this quarter, despite not being slated by the Cook County Democratic Party. He has reported almost $255K in A-1’s this quarter but it appears some are duplicates and his actual haul is more likely about $199K which is still an impressive sum and far more than the $86K that the other 8 MWRD candidates have disclosed raising so far this quarter COMBINED. Then on Monday Michelle Harris, slated candidate for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, filed an A-1 disclosing an in-kind contribution of $50K for a mailing from Friends of Marty Durkan. A Twitter follower sent along a scan of the mailer, it’s double sided featuring Durkan on one side and Harris on the other. The next day Rich Miller followed up with a little more info on the mailer and as you can see in the comments some of his commenters reported receiving the mailer despite not having a Democratic primary voting history and another one of my Twitter followers mentioned that both he and his wife received one so whoever set up their data file apparently didn’t household it. Durkan has raised a lot of money so it’s a race to keep an eye on.
 
Compliance Issues
  • Last Friday NBC5’s Ward Room blog posted an item about a new ad attacking Ken Dunkin that debuted last Wednesday from Citizens Against Corruption, chaired by William J. Kelly. There is no active committee named “Citizens Against Corruption” registered with either the Illinois State Board of Elections or the FEC. In fact, there is no active committee with the word “corruption” in its name registered with the State Board of Elections and none in Illinois that are registered with the FEC.
  • On Thursday 109th district Republican House candidate John Curtis (not to be confused with 93rd district Democratic House candidate John Curtis) filed a D-1 to create his candidate committee named “Citizens to Bring Illinois Back“. Per 5/9-2. (b): “The name of each candidate political committee shall identify the name of the public official or candidate supported by the candidate political committee.” He’ll have to amend his D-1 to change the name of his committee to include his own name.
  • On Wednesday I tweeted that I thought 5 General Assembly races had had enough independent expenditure spending to exceed the $100K threshold to remove the contribution limits for those offices. After studying the code on independent expenditures more closely I now believe that was in error and only 3 General Assembly races have had enough (and the right kind of) independent expenditure spending to remove the contribution limits for those offices. Upon closer reading of 5/9-8.5 (h-5) and 5/9-8.5 (h-10) that only independent expenditures made by natural persons or independent expenditure committees that aggregate to over $100K (as opposed to independent expenditures made by party committees or PACs) will trigger the provision that removes the contribution limits for that office. Based on that narrower reading 3 General Assembly races should already meet that standard, the 5th House (Ken Dukin, IllinoisGO), the 72nd House (Brandi McGuire, Liberty Principles PAC) and the 50th Senate (Bryce Benton, Liberty Principles PAC). The State Board’s Contribution Limits Off List appears to be up to date.
 

You can find the complete list of all the funds available, every A-1 filed, every B-1 filed and a complete listing of all the candidates and districts in our Racing Forms. The Illinois Racing Form covers every General Assembly race while the Cook County Racing Form covers all the countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeemen races, full details below.

The Illinois Racing Form
  • District profiles for every General Assembly race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant committees, such as the Governor, legislative leaders and IE’s.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cook County Racing Form
  • District profiles for every countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeeman race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant or related committees.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.

Understanding Independent Expenditures

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If you’ve been following along with our regular Twitter updates you have likely noticed a number of B-1 filings, notice of independent expenditures. Independent expenditures are a relatively new type of uncoordinated independent spending that was defined in the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. This primary cycle independent expenditures are playing a larger role in Illinois elections than ever before so I thought I’d put together a primer on some of the more frequent questions.

Note: I am not an election law attorney, if you need legal advice you should consult an attorney that specializes in the subject matter.

For starters, I cribbed the Illinois Election Code and State Board rules for the sections that apply to independent expenditures. It’s not that long and you can read up on all of the language that applies.

Here is some additional info in a Q & A format:

1. What’s the difference between a traditional PAC and an independent expenditure committee?

Illinois election law allows for the creation of both a traditional political action committee (PAC) and an independent expenditure committee. Under Illinois law a PAC is subject to all of the contribution limits that apply to PACs. Independent expenditure committees are the allowable exception to campaign finance limits under the Citizens United Supreme Court decision:

The United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.

 

Independent expenditure committees are allowed to raise and spend unlimited funds, with certain reporting requirements. However independent expenditure committees are not allowed to give directly to other candidate committees, party committees or PACs.

5/9-8.6 (d) In the event that a political committee organized as an independent expenditure committee makes a contribution to any other political committee other than another independent expenditure committee or a ballot initiative committee, the State Board shall assess a fine equal to the amount of any contribution received in the preceding 2 years by the independent expenditure committee that exceeded the limits for a political action committee set forth in subsection (d) of Section 9-8.5

 

2. What makes an expenditure independent?

5/9-1.15 Independent Expenditure.
“Independent expenditure” means any payment, gift, donation, or expenditure of funds (i) by a natural person or political committee for the purpose of making electioneering communications or of expressly advocating for or against the nomination for election, election, retention, or defeat of a clearly identifiable public official or candidate or for or against any question of public policy to be submitted to the voters and (ii) that is not made in connection, consultation, or concert with or at the request or suggestion of the public official or candidate, the public official’s or candidate’s designated political committee or campaign, or the agent or agents of the public official, candidate, or political committee or campaign.

 

3. Are independent expenditures only allowed from independent expenditure committees?

No, candidate committees, party committees and PACs can also make independent expenditures and then would face the same reporting requirements as it pertains to B-1 filings. Independent expenditure committees can raise unlimited funds to spend on independent expenditures whereas candidate committees, party committees and PACs are subject to campaign finance limits.

 

4. How are independent expenditures reported?

Independent expenditures of $1,000 or more are disclosed on form B-1 within 5 business days, except in the 60 days preceding an election when they must be reported in 2 business days.

5/9-10. (e) A political committee that makes independent expenditures of $1,000 or more shall file a report electronically with the Board within 5 business days after making the independent expenditure, except that the report shall be filed within 2 business days after making the independent expenditure during the 60-day period before an election.

 

5. What is the independent expenditure threshold that removes contribution limits from an election for office?

For statewide races it is $250,000, for all other races it is $100,000.

5/9-8.5 (h-5) If a natural person or independent expenditure committee makes independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to the campaign of a particular public official or candidate in an aggregate amount of more than (i) $250,000 for statewide office or (ii) $100,000 for all other elective offices in an election cycle, as reported in a written disclosure filed under subsection (a) of Section 9-8.6 or subsection (e-5) of Section 9-10, … all candidates for that office in that election, including the public official or candidate for whose benefit or detriment the natural person or independent expenditure committee made independent expenditures, shall be permitted to accept contributions in excess of any contribution limits imposed by subsection (b).

 

Note: contribution limits can also be removed in the event of self funding at the same thresholds:

5/9-8.5 (h) Self-funding candidates. If a public official, a candidate, or the public official’s or candidate’s immediate family contributes or loans to the public official’s or candidate’s political committee or to other political committees that transfer funds to the public official’s or candidate’s political committee or makes independent expenditures for the benefit of the public official’s or candidate’s campaign during the 12 months prior to an election in an aggregate amount of more than (i) $250,000 for statewide office or (ii) $100,000 for all other elective offices, … all candidates for that office, including the public official or candidate who filed a Notification of Self-funding, shall be permitted to accept contributions in excess of any contribution limits imposed by subsection (b). If a public official or candidate filed a Notification of Self-Funding during an election cycle that includes a general primary election or consolidated primary election and that public official or candidate is nominated, all candidates for that office, including the nominee who filed the notification of self-funding, shall be permitted to accept contributions in excess of any contribution limit imposed by subsection (b) for the subsequent election cycle. For the purposes of this subsection, “immediate family” means the spouse, parent, or child of a public official or candidate.

 

6. Are there any additional filing obligations?

Yes, when an independent expenditure committee makes an independent expenditure that results in exceeding the thresholds for removing contribution limits as outlined above that independent expenditure committee is required to notify the State Board of Elections.

5/9-10. (e-5) An independent expenditure committee that makes an independent expenditure supporting or opposing a public official or candidate that, alone or in combination with any other independent expenditure made by that independent expenditure committee supporting or opposing that public official or candidate during the election cycle, equals an aggregate value of more than (i) $250,000 for statewide office or (ii) $100,000 for all other elective offices must file a written disclosure with the State Board of Elections within 2 business days after making any expenditure that results in the independent expenditure committee exceeding the applicable threshold. The Board shall assess a civil penalty against an independent expenditure committee for failure to file the disclosure required by this subsection not to exceed (i) $500 for an initial failure to file the required disclosure and (ii) $1,000 for each subsequent failure to file the required disclosure.

 

 

7. Once the contribution limits have been removed from an election for office why don’t these IE’s just give their remaining funds directly to their favored candidate?

Independent expenditure committees are not permitted to make donations directly to candidate committees, party committees or PACs, they can only legally give money to other independent expenditure committees or ballot initiative committees.

5/9-8.6 (d) In the event that a political committee organized as an independent expenditure committee makes a contribution to any other political committee other than another independent expenditure committee or a ballot initiative committee, the State Board shall assess a fine equal to the amount of any contribution received in the preceding 2 years by the independent expenditure committee that exceeded the limits for a political action committee set forth in subsection (d) of Section 9-8.5

 

Weekly Roundup – February 12th, 2016

Published on

I’ve been tweeting a lot of interesting updates from recent disclosures and I realize that the volume is so great that it’s starting to turn into white noise for most followers so I thought I’d do a weekly roundup to try to summarize the week’s interesting news and organize these developments into a format you can follow.

Reminder:
  • A-1 reports are for contributions received by the committee of $1,000 or more.
  • B-1 reports are for independent expenditures made independent of the candidate (cannot be coordinated).
  • Regular expenditures (not independent expenditures) are not reported until the quarterly filings are due, next on 3/31.
 
2nd House (D) – Theresa Mah vs. Alex Acevedo
 
5th House (D) – Ken Dunkin (i) vs. Juliana Stratton
  • Last month IllinoisGO filed three B-1’s for Ken Dunkin for $240K for field work, production and mailings. (more on this at the bottom)
  • Last week Ken Dunkin filed an A-1 for $502K, including a $500K contribution from the Illinois Opportunity Project, it is believed to be the largest single donation ever for a General Assembly race. (more on this at the bottom)
  • Last week IllinoisGO filed three B-1’s for Ken Dunkin for $36K for mailings, another $36K for mailings (this time technically opposing Juliana Stratton) and $19K for printing.
  • On Sunday Juliana Stratton filed an A-1 for $235K in labor money from AFSCME, SEIU and the carpenters.
  • On Monday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $10K for production.
  • On Tuesday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $30Kfor TV ads.
  • On Wednesday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $3Kfor field work.
 
22nd House (D) – Michael Madigan (i) vs. Jason Gonzales vs. Joe Barboza vs. Grasiela Rodriguez
  • Late last month a new independent expenditure committee was created, Illinois United for Change that was later seeded with $100K including $50K from Hull Investments.
  • Last Friday they started spending some of that money, filing a B-1 in support of Jason Gonzales for $28K for field work, palm cards and robo calls.
  • On Tuesday Jason Gonzales filed an A-1 for $16,400.
  • Worth noting: the four funds controlled by Speaker Madigan have an estimated funds available of almost $9 million.
 
66th House (R) – Paul Serwatka vs. Daniel Wilbrandt vs. Allen Skillicorn vs. Carolyn Schofield
 
72nd House (D) – Jeff Jacobs vs. Michael Halpin vs. Katelyn Hotle vs. Glen Evans
  • Last Friday Democratic Majority, the leadership PAC for the House Democrats, filed its first B-1 of the season for $3,730.07 for postage opposing Katelyn Hotle.
  • On Tuesday Democratic Majority once again filed a B-1 for $3,730.07 for postage opposing Katelyn Hotle.
 
72nd House (R) – Brandi McGuire vs. Jordan Thoms
 
95th House (R) – Avery Bourne (i) vs. Dennis Scobbie vs. Christopher Hicks
  • On Monday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $238K for Avery Bourne for advertising and production.
  • Also on Monday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $7K for Avery Bourne for consulting and mail.
 
99th House (R) – Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (i) vs. Kent Gray
 
5th Senate (D) – Patricia Van Pelt (i) vs. Bob Fioretti
 
19th Senate (D) – Michael Hastings (i) vs. Max Solomon
 
26th Senate (R) – Dan McConchie vs. Casey Urlacher vs. Martin McLaughlin
 
50th Senate (R) – Sam McCann (i) vs. Bryce Benton
 
58th Senate (R) – Paul Schimpf vs. Sharee Langenstein
 
Cook County State’s Attorney (D) – Anita Alvarez (i) vs. Kim Foxx vs. Donna More
 
Other Notable Contributions Received
  • Continuing a trend that was very evident if you closely studied the fundraising totals of targeted House Dems from last quarter those targeted candidates have been raising very large sums into their candidate committees in what appears to be part of a team approach. Last quarter 11 House Dems raised over $247K (3 of them were over $500K). Last Tuesday four House Dems all filed similar A-1’s:
  • Last week AFSCME added $200K in member dues to their PAC. So far this year they’ve added $800K to their PAC.
  • Last Friday Julie Morrison filed an A-1 for $50K.
  • On Monday Support Independent Maps filed an A-1 for $35K. They now have an estimated funds available of $545K.
  • On Tuesday Deb Conroy filed an A-1 for about $94K, including $53,900 from the Engineers and $25K from AFSCME.
  • On Tuesday Water Rec candidate Marty Durkan filed an A-1 for about $88K.
  • On Wednesday the National Association of REALTORS Fund replenished their PAC fund with $106K of member dues. They started the year with only $500 in the bank so this A-1 represents the bulk of their current spending power. Later that afternoon they spent almost all of that money on the various independent expenditures outlined above.
  • On Wednesday the Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC bulked up their PAC fund with $364K of member money. They began the year with $912K on hand so now they have about $1.275 million available.
  • On Wednesday judicial candidate Gregory Lapapa filed an A-1 for a loan of $50K of what appears to be his own money.
 
Other Interesting Developments
 
Compliance Issues

The Democratic primary between Ken Dunkin and Juliana Stratton is not just heated and expensive, it is so unique that it is triggering some sections of the election code and State Board rules that are not often needed.

  • Are B-1’s subject to rule 100.70(c) of the State Board rules? After reading through the language once again I can’t find anything to suggest that they aren’t. Independent expenditures are a relatively new phenomenon that didn’t exist until contribution limits became law in 2011 so it’s entirely possible that this issue hasn’t been addressed before, at least as it applies to B-1 filings. Rule 100.70(c) is the “conduits rule”, the rule that prevents committees from hiding the true recipient of a disbursement by paying an intermediary who acts as a conduit and then pays out another. It’s the rule that forces committees to itemize their credit card bills and payroll rather than just showing a lump sum to the credit card company or payroll processing company. IllinoisGO filed a B-1 that included a $140,705.82 lump sum payment for “field work” that seems very likely to be subject to the conduits rule and if B-1’s are subject to this rule then their method of disclosure is probably not in compliance. If you’re interested in reading some more about rule 100.70(c) I went into it in some depth when discussing the Governor’s gift card controversy last summer.
  • Committees that receive more that 33% of their funds from a single source have to list that source as a Sponsoring Entity. The $500,000 donation from the Illinois Opportunity Project to Ken Dunkin is large enough that it may trigger this provision, in which case Dunkin’s committee would have to file an amended D-1 and list the IOP as its sponsoring entity.
 

You can find the complete list of all the funds available, every A-1 filed, every B-1 filed and a complete listing of all the candidates and districts in our Racing Forms. The Illinois Racing Form covers every General Assembly race while the Cook County Racing Form covers all the countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeemen races, full details below.

The Illinois Racing Form
  • District profiles for every General Assembly race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant committees, such as the Governor, legislative leaders and IE’s.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cook County Racing Form
  • District profiles for every countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeeman race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant or related committees.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.