In politics, it's all about the money

October 19, 2013 

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

* Bill Brady. The mere $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. The notoriously poor fundraiser Simon pulled in more than $106,000 during the quarter. And if it wasn't for the $200,000 in leftover funds from his 2010 governor's race, Brady would have had just $73,000 at the end of the quarter.

*Kirk Dillard. The burn rate in Dillard's GOP gubernatorial campaign fund is significant. He raised $263,000 but he spent $290,000 and ended the quarter with a mere $205,000 in the bank.

* Bruce Rauner. The multi-gazillionaire Republican candidate for governor spent more than $27,000 on payroll taxes alone during the third quarter, which gives you an idea of the sort of organization he's built. By comparison, Gov. Pat Quinn spent $19,000 on payroll taxes.

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 handful of dollars on ads. Since he launched his campaign, Rauner has spent $274,000 on consultants. Rauner raised about $1.1 million for his gubernatorial fund, spent the same and ended with $594,000 on hand.

Rauner's legislative term limits PAC, which is seeking to put a constitutional amendment proposal on the ballot next year, has already paid $114,000 to the California firm Arno Petition Consultants Inc. 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 has also spent $38,000 in legal fees and is renting space from a group called "Catholic Vote."

* 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, 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 incumbent Democratic governor is sitting on the largest war chest of any gubernatorial candidate at just under $3 million (Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who decided to take a pass on a bid, has $4.8 million in the bank).

Quinn's disclosure report also revealed that he 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 $10,000 on Sept. 10, a week before Bill Daley dropped out of the Democratic primary, so Quinn was obviously gearing up to run some ads against his now erstwhile challenger. Quinn spent $51,000 on consulting services and $34,000 on salaries during the quarter.

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

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