Miller: Money no issue for governor hopefuls Quinn, Rauner
Let’s take a quick look at the campaign finance disclosure reports filed last week by some of the statewide candidates, shall we?
• Bill Brady: It goes without saying that the mere $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s performance really was: Even Sheila Simon outraised him. The notoriously poor fundraiser, Simon pulled in more than $106,000 during the quarter. And if it wasn’t for the $200,000 in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would’ve reported having just $73,000 at the end of the quarter. He also spent a bit more than he took in, which isn’t very difficult, considering his paltry take.
• Kirk Dillard: The burn rate in Dillard’s GOP gubernatorial campaign fund is pretty significant. Dillard raised $263,000. but he spent $290,000 and ended the quarter with a mere $205,000 in the bank – the lowest of any other gubernatorial candidate. That’s a big overhead nut to make with such a small cushion and poor fundraising.
• Bruce Rauner: The multi-gazillionaire Republican candidate for governor spent more than $27,000 just on payroll taxes alone during the third quarter, which gives you an idea of the sort of organization he’s built. By comparison, Gov. Pat Quinn spent $19,000 on payroll taxes during the quarter, Dan Rutherford reported spending $11,000 on payroll taxes, Bill Brady reported spending $1,609, and Kirk Dillard reported none.
Rauner also reported spending $800,000 on advertising, including direct mail, which is slightly less than he spent in the previous quarter. None of his opponents spent more than a handful of dollars on ads – and those were mainly small newspaper or online placements. Since he launched his campaign, Rauner has spent $274,000 on consultants, with $103,000 spent just last quarter. Rauner raised about $1.1 million for his gubernatorial fund, spent the same and ended with $594,000 on hand.
Rauner’s legislative-term-limits PAC, which is seeking to put a constitutional amendment proposal on the ballot next year, already has paid $114,000 to a California firm called Arno Petition Consultants Inc. A California petition company called Arno Political Consultants has stirred quite a bit of controversy in the past with its petition-gathering practices, so we should keep an eye on that. Rauner’s term-limits PAC also has spent $38,000 in legal fees and is renting space from a group called “Catholic Vote.” The term-limits PAC raised $606,000, spent $152,000 and had $459,000 in the bank.
• Dan Rutherford: The Republican state treasurer reported raising $66,000 in small, “unitemized” contributions for his governor’s race, more than any gubernatorial candidate in either party. Unlike Dillard and Brady, Rutherford has built a solid statewide network to raise money from, so Rauner’s support by all the big-money types hasn’t really hurt Rutherford. He raised $337,000 during the quarter, spent $147,000 and had $1.2 million in the bank at the end of the quarter.
• Pat Quinn: The incumbent Democratic governor is sitting on the largest warchest of any gubernatorial candidate at just under $3 million (Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who decided to take a pass on a bid, has $4.8 million in the bank after raising just $25,000 in the third quarter).
His disclosure report also revealed that Quinn has put Joe Slade White back on the payroll. White designed Quinn’s inexpensive-looking but effective 2010 general election ad campaign. White was paid $10,000 on Sept. 10, a week before Bill Daley dropped out of the Democratic primary, so Quinn was obviously gearing up to run some ads against his now-erstwhile challenger. Quinn spent a total of $51,000 on consulting services and $34,000 on salaries during the quarter.
• Tom Cross: The GOP state treasurer candidate opened up a new campaign account in September. That fund pulled in $176,000 and reported no expenditures. Cross’ state representative fund reported $155,000 in receipts, $195,000 in expenditures and $150,000 in the bank.
• Mike Frerichs: The Democratic state treasurer candidate raised $208,000 and had an impressive $769,000 cash on hand – more than three of the five gubernatorial candidates. The guy is a fundraising machine.
• Judy Baar Topinka: The incumbent comptroller raised $105,000 during the quarter, about the same as her Democratic rival Sheila Simon. However, Topinka is sitting on $876,000, while Simon has $295,000 in the bank.
• Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.