You may remember that about two months ago Governor Rauner put $2 million more of his own money into his candidate committee and then a week ago he transferred $5 million from his candidate committee to the Illinois Republican Party. Well today the House Republican Organization reported receiving $2 million from the State Party. Any time that much money is transferred it is significant but this is significant for a number of reasons, here are a few:
- Fundraising by the House Democrats had been far outpacing the House Republicans. You may remember from our financial analysis back at the start of May the four committees controlled by the Speaker (personal, DPI, Democratic Majority & 13th Ward) had about $7.5 million available compared with just $1.2 million in the three committees controlled by House leadership (Durkin, HRO & House Republican Leadership Committee). Plus when you add up the balances in all the other House candidate committees aside from the leaders the Democrats have an additional $14 million compared to just $5.4 million for House Republican candidates.
Further, if you look at all the likely targeted House races you'll see that the cash available numbers are very lopsided for the Democrats. The Democrats fundraised heavily into their targeted candidate committees in the 4th quarter of last year, aside from the Speaker 14 House Democrats raised more than $100K (11 of them more than $247K and 3 of them more than $500K) while the only House Republican to break $100K that quarter was Leader Durkin. The numbers last quarter were a little skewed because of the primary but aside from Bob Romanik loaning himself $1 million the only other House Republicans who raised more than $100K last quarter all had primaries (Scobbie, Acklin, Phillips, Schofield and Bourne). So far this quarter Romanik has loaned himself another $1 million and after that the leading fundraiser (aside from Leader Durkin) is David McSweeney with $26,700.
The House Republicans just haven't been fundraising with any significant results, now the Governor (via the State Party) is sending in at least some of the cavalry.
- It's May. In a typical budget year this is when many or all of the year's most complicated votes happen. It's going to be easier to hold the party and the caucus together when they know the needed resources will be there.
- The House Republican Organization will decide how this money is spent. With the Governor's campaign committee so flush and the legislative committees less so it wasn't clear who would decide how and where the money gets spent on legislative races. The Governor's team could have spent this money directly on various campaigns on behalf of the campaigns they chose but by transferring this money to the HRO for at least this part of the spending those decisions will be made by the House Republican leadership team.
I'm sure this won't be the last of it either. Stay tuned.