Legislative Leader Funds Dominate Hotly Contested Elections
CHICAGO, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fueled by campaign funds controlled by state legislative leaders, 14 legislative races, seven in each chamber, have crossed the $1 million mark in total fundraising by the two opponents.
The million dollar election campaigns have accumulated a total of $19.7 million, and nearly two-thirds of the money came from campaign committees controlled by the state legislative leaders, according to an analysis of candidate contribution reports studied by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR).
In contrast to the 14 million dollar races this year, only six races, two in the Senate and four in the House, had passed the $1 million mark at this point in the 2008 election.
According to David Morrison, Deputy Director of ICPR, "The high numbers are due in part because there are no limits on the amount that leader committees can funnel to legislative candidates."
These hotly contested races are scattered around the state -- the northern suburbs (10th, 22nd, and 31st Senate, 17th and 66th House); southern suburbs (40th and 53rd Senate); the Rockford area (34th Senate); central Illinois (91st and 98th House); and southern Illinois (49th Senate, 101st and 112th House). The one characteristic they all share is that most of the money in the races comes from the legislative leaders.
For a chart of these races, please visit: http://www.ilcampaign.org/legislative-top-contributions-races-illinois.
Morrison said the heads of the legislative caucuses, the so-called "Four Tops," raise almost as much money as the other 173 members of the General Assembly. Not only do leaders decide which elected officials serve on which legislative committees, which bills are assigned to committees, and what gets voted on, they also decide how to allocate the lion's share of resources at election time.
About the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization conducting research and advocating reforms to promote public participation in government, address the role of money in politics and encourage integrity, accountability and transparency in government. The late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon founded ICPR in 1997.
CONTACT: David Morrison of ICPR, +1-312-335-1767
SOURCE Illinois Campaign for Political Reform