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Miller: Campaign finance reports show haves, have-nots

Updated: October 23, 2013 11:55AM



Let’s take a quick look at the campaign finance disclosure reports filed last week by some statewide candidates, shall we?

Bill Brady — It goes without saying that the $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s performance really was — even Sheila Simon outraised him.

Simon, a notoriously poor fundraiser, pulled in more than $106,000 during the quarter. And if it wasn’t for the $200K in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would’ve reported having just $73,000 at the end of the quarter. He also spent a bit more than he took in, which isn’t very difficult considering his paltry take.

Kirk Dillard — The burn rate in Dillard’s gubernatorial campaign fund is pretty significant. Dillard raised $263,000, but he spent $290,000 and ended the quarter with a mere $205,000 in the bank, the lowest of any other gubernatorial candidate.

That’s a big overhead nut to make with such a small cushion and poor fundraising.

Bruce Rauner — The multimillionaire Republican candidate for governor spent more than $27,000 just on payroll taxes during the third quarter, which gives you an idea of the sort of organization he has built. By comparison, Gov. Pat Quinn spent $19,000 on payroll taxes during the quarter, Dan Rutherford reported spending $11,000, Brady $1,609, and Dillard reported none.

Rauner also reported spending $800,000 on advertising, including direct mail, which is slightly less than he spent in the previous quarter. None of his opponents spent more than a few dollars
on ads, and those were mainly small newspaper or online placements. Since he launched his campaign, Rauner has spent $274,000 on consultants, with $103,000 spent just last quarter. Rauner raised about $1.1 million for his campaign fund, spent the same and ended with $594,000 on hand.

Rauner’s political action committee, which is seeking a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year to impose legislative term limits, has paid $114,000 to a California firm called Arno Petition Consultants.

A California petition company called Arno Political Consultants has stirred quite a bit of controversy in the past with its petition-gathering practices, so we should keep an eye on that. Rauner’s term limits PAC also has spent $38,000 in legal fees and is renting space from a group called “Catholic Vote.”

The term limits PAC raised $606,000 during the quarter, spent $152,000 and had $459,000 in the bank.

Dan Rutherford — The Republican state treasurer reported raising $66,000 in small “unitemized” contributions for his governor’s race, more than any gubernatorial candidate in either party.

Unlike Dillard and Brady, Rutherford has built a solid statewide network to raise money from, so Rauner’s support by all the big-money types hasn’t really hurt Rutherford. He raised $337,000 during the quarter, spent $147,000 and had $1.2 million in the bank at the end of the quarter.

Pat Quinn — The governor is sitting on the largest war chest of any gubernatorial candidate at just under $3 million. His disclosure report also revealed that Quinn has put Joe Slade White back on the payroll.

White designed Quinn’s inexpensive-looking but effective 2010 general election ad campaign. White was paid $10K on Sept. 10, a week before Bill Daley dropped out of the Democratic race, so Quinn obviously was gearing up to run some ads against Daley. Quinn spent a total of $51,000 on consulting services and $34,000 on salaries during the quarter.

Tom Cross — The GOP state treasurer candidate opened up a new campaign account in September that pulled in $176,000 and reported no expenditures. Cross’ state representative fund reported $155,000 in receipts, $195,000 in expenditures and $150,000 in the bank.

Mike Frerichs — The Democratic state treasurer candidate raised $208,000 and had an impressive $769,000 cash on hand, more than three of the five gubernatorial candidates. The guy is a fundraising machine.

Judy Baar Topinka — The incumbent comptroller raised $105,000 during the quarter, about the same as her Democratic rival Simon. However, Topinka is sitting on $876,000, while Simon has $295,000 in the bank.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.



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