campaign contributions

CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS

Candidates in the Illinois governor’s race blew through campaign contribution limits months ago, but recently a few state House races did too.

'Moneyball': The 2018 Illinois Governor's Race

Jan 16, 2018
BRIAN MACKEY AND KEITH COOPER / CC BY 2.0 / A DERIVATIVE OF MONEY / PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS

This year’s campaign pits a multimillionaire incumbent against a field that includes a multibillionaire in what could be the costliest governor's race in U.S. history.

The labels used in American politics to differentiate candidates today are fairly standard: Republican and Democrat. Moderate and radical. Establishment and anti-establishment.

But a new pair of labels is needed to fully consider Illinois' 2018 race for governor: haves and have-nots.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

A proposal brought by a Democratic gubernatorial candidate to provide taxpayer matching funds for small contributions to political hopefuls has won Illinois Senate approval.

It was the second attempt by state Sen. Daniel Biss for such legislation. The Evanston Democrat failed to win a majority earlier this month.

The plan of SB1424 would match contributions of $25 to $150 with taxpayer money. The match would be six times the amount of the contribution.

flickr user Brett Levin "LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow" (CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/1F0o4DW

Illinois' medical marijuana companies, operating in an industry abounding with rules, now have one less regulation they have to follow.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a federal judge ruled last week that a provision preventing cannabis companies from making campaign contributions in Illinois wasn't constitutional. The ruling was in response to a 2015 lawsuit filed by two Libertarian Party candidates who sought contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

state of Illinois

With less than 24 hours until Election Day, gobs of money continues to flow to campaigns for the Illinois statehouse.

Only a fraction of races for the Illinois state House and State Senate are really competitive.

But those that are, are throwing a lot of money toward TV ads.

On Chicago’s Northwest Side, incumbent Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe brought in $232,000 just in the last week.

That’s almost $100,000 more than his Democratic opponent, Merry Marwig.

state of Illinois

A $260,000 donation to Republican incumbent Leslie Munger's bid for Illinois comptroller has lifted the caps on political contributions and guarantees a big-money race against Democrat Susana Mendoza.

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the money is a loan from Munger's husband, attorney John Munger.

Munger's spokesman says the donation is "balancing the playing field."

Mendoza, Chicago's city clerk, called it "beyond the pale."

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

A federal district judge says the Illinois campaign contributions law can stand as it is.

But a lawsuit supported by the conservative-backed Liberty Justice Center says it will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The group's attorney, Jacob Huebert, says the law is unconstitutional because it gives special treatment to legislative leaders. 

While contributions for other campaign committees are limited, committees run by the four top legislators can give candidates as much as they want during a general election.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois law gives political candidates five days to report campaign contributions of $1,000 or more. But it's been weeks since Gov. Bruce Rauner gave Republican lawmakers four times that, and some still haven't told the state.

But they aren't breaking the law.

Rauner's campaign spread $400,000 among Republican senators and representatives on May 11, but you wouldn't know that from looking at state election records. Many legislators still haven't disclosed the money.