Metro-East News

Metro-east politicians bring in less money in April than in March

Big-money political fundraising for metro-east politicians and political candidates was more quiet in April compared with the month before.

The total amount of contributions for the month won’t be available until July, when the next quarterly reports are due. However, contributions of at least $1,000 must be reported immediately to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Compared with March, when there were 61 contributions of at least $1,000 to local candidates, April saw just 27, according to Illinois Sunshine, which compiles records from the Illinois State Board of Elections. At the same time, the total amount of contributions, not including state representative candidate Bob Romanik’s contributions of $1 million to his own campaign in each of those months, declined from about $134,000 to $67,000.

“I would attribute this discrepancy ... to the March 15 primary, and donors contributing money directly in advance of that primary,” Dr. Ken Moffett, a political science professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, explained in an email.

Citizens for Beiser, the committee supporting state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, had nearly half of the $67,000, with over $31,000 contributed. Calls to the committee’s secretary and treasurer, as well as to Beiser’s legislative offices in Alton and Springfield, for comment on his successful fundraising and plans for the money were not returned.

Beiser received the single-largest donation in April — excluding Romanik — at $25,000, from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Political Action Committee.

Calls to the union to learn about its interest in a metro-east election, or whether a local chapter had made the contribution, were also unreturned.

Campaign contributions in April of at least $1,000 from inside the metro-east to local politicians were fairly few and small. In fact, there were only four:

▪  William Schimpf of Monroe County gave $1,000 to state Senate candidate Paul Schimpf.

▪  Perry Knop, a professor at John A. Logan College who lives in Jackson County, gave $1,500 to Shiela Simon, the former lieutenant governor and a candidate for Senate District 58.

▪  The Iron Workers Local 392 Political Action Committee, in St. Clair County, gave $1,500 to state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville.

▪  Romanik, Bob — as the donation is recorded on the Illinois State Board of Elections website — gave $1 million to candidate Bob Romanik.

There were $8,750 in donations that came from outside the state, including $1,500 to state Sen. James Clayborne from Express Scripts, in St. Louis; $1,250 to Shiela Simon from International Union of Allied Painters and Trades Political Action Committee, based in Hanover, Maryland; and $1,000 to state Sen. Bill Haine from CVS Pharmacy, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, received $5,000 from donors outside of Illinois, the most of any metro-east candidate:

▪  $1,000 from AmerenIP, based in St. Louis.

▪  $1,000 from Monsanto Corp., also based in St. Louis.

▪  $2,000 from Comcast, the cable provider based in Philadelphia.

▪  $1,000 from Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., in Miramar, Fla., near Miami.

Neither Hoffman’s campaign nor Southern Wine & Spirits could be reached for more details.

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel