Big Contributors Line Up Behind Illinois Comptroller and Treasurer Candidates

Oct 26, 2010, 11:47 ET from Illinois Campaign for Political Reform

CHICAGO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Among the statewide executive office contests, the race for governor is getting the lion's share of attention.  But several down-ticket offices are also drawing significant campaign donations.  Candidates for Treasurer and Comptroller have raised over $1 million combined since July 1. Voters deserve to know who supports these candidates with campaign donations.

In both races, the Republican nominees enjoy a fundraising advantage over their Democratic and Green opponents, in large part because they retain so much money from the first half of the year.  Neither Republican faced strong challengers in the primary, while both Democrats faced expensive races for their nominations and started the General Election period with much smaller bank balances.

But the similarities end there.  Looking into the sources of their funds since July 1 shows significant differences between the races.

In the Comptroller's race, the top donors to both Republican Judy Baar Topinka and Democrat David Miller are teachers unions –Topinka reports $35K from the IEA, while Miller shows $25K from the Illinois Federation of Teachers and another $10K from the Chicago Teachers Union.  The number two donors to both candidates are also public employees unions – AFSCME for Topinka and SEIU for Miller. All told, Topinka shows $736K for the general, to Miller's $408K. Green nominee Julie Fox reports $7K, mostly in small donations.

In the race for Treasurer, Republican Dan Rutherford began the race with over $1,000,000 in the bank.  Since July 1, he's reported $403,000 in new receipts, mostly from comparatively small donors.  His largest supporters are all businesses and business owners.  James J. Liautaud, founder of the Jimmy John's sandwich shop chain, leads the category with a contribution of $25,000.  By contrast, Democrat Robin Kelly reports major support from labor unions. In this race, the two largest teachers unions agree on a candidate: the IEA gave Kelly $60,000 and the IFT $50,000. All told, Kelly shows $431,000 for the general, as compared with $1.5 million available to Rutherford.  Green nominee Scott Summers reports loaning himself $3,800.

For more thorough listings of top donors to all statewide and legislative candidates, please visit the Sunshine Database at ICPR's website:

CONTACT: David Morrison, +1-312-335-1767

SOURCE Illinois Campaign for Political Reform