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Campaign ’14: Following the political money

Rauner, Quinn, Rutherford are rolling in dough

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford With $1.2 million in his campaign fund at the end of the third quarter, Rutherford had more money than his three other GOP gubernatorial foes combined.

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 $106K during the quarter.

And if it wasn’t for the $200K in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would have reported having just $73K 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 $263K. but he spent $290K and ended the quarter with a mere $205K 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 $27K 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 $19K on payroll taxes during the quarter, Dan Rutherford reported spending $11K on payroll taxes, Bill Brady reported spending $1,609, and Kirk Dillard reported none. 

Rauner also reported spending $800K 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 $274K on consultants, with $103K spent just last quarter. Rauner raised about $1.1 million for his gubernatorial fund, spent the same, and ended with $594K on hand. 

Rauner’s legislative term limits PAC, which is seeking to put a constitutional amendment proposal on the ballot next year, has already paid $114K 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 has also spent $38K in legal fees and is renting space from a group called “Catholic Vote.” The term limits PAC raised $606K, spent $152K, and had $459K in the bank.

Dan Rutherford – The Republican state treasurer reported raising $66K 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 $337K during the quarter, spent $147K, 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 war chest 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 $25K in the third quarter.)

Quinn spent a total of $51K on consulting services and $34K on salaries during the quarter.

Tom Cross – The GOP state treasurer candidate opened up a new campaign account in September. That fund pulled in $176K and reported no expenditures. Cross’ state representative fund reported $155K in receipts, $195K in expenditures, and $150K in the bank.

Mike Frerichs – The Democratic state treasurer candidate raised $208K and had an impressive $769K cash on hand – more than three of the five gubernatorial candidates. The guy is a fundraising machine.

Judy Baar Topinka – The incumbent comptroller raised $105K during the quarter, about the same as her Democratic rival, Sheila Simon. However, Topinka is sitting on $876,000, while Simon has $295K in the bank.

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