Metro-East News

More money going to more politicians in May

The number of political contributions of at least $1,000 for metro-east politicians more than doubled from April to May, but the amount of money given fell dramatically, according to reports collected by Illinois Sunshine, which tracks records filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

That’s because Bob Romanik, who gave his campaign for state representative $1 million in both March and April, refrained from writing a similar check in May.

Romanik’s absence brought down the amount of money going to metro-east candidates from $1,067,459.83 in April to $85,640.22 in May.

Right now, only contributions of $1,000 are available because they must be reported immediately to the Board of Elections. The rest of the contributions will be available in July, when the second quarterly report is due.

Some $13,000 of the $85,500 in May came from donors based outside of Illinois.

Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, who is not up for election, took in $5,500 from donors with corporate offices outside the state, the highest of any metro-east politician.

Those donors include a carpenters’ union (Missouri), a health provider (Michigan), a wholesale company (Missouri), and a Colorado-based holding company for the Penthouse strip club in Sauget.

Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, took in the most of any metro-east politician. He had 10 donations for a total of just over $16,000, even though he is running opposed.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the race in the southern Illinois state Senate District 58 heated up compared to last month. There, Republican Paul Schimpf, who beat Sharee Langenstein in the March primary, is taking on former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a Democrat. Republican David S. Luechtefeld announced he won’t run again for the seat.

Schimpf, whose Waterloo-based campaign raised $11,400 in April, took in $8,500 in May. Simon, who is from Carbondale, raised about $4,500 in April and took $9,000 the following month.

Notably absent from contribution records of at least $1,000 was Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, who in April received the single largest donation, excluding Romanik, at $25,000 from a carpenters’ union. However, records show that he received another contribution the same size from the same group on June 1.