$30 mil from 30 donors in Illinois state races this year
From the St. Louis Post Dispatch
BY KEVIN McDERMOTT
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- So much for all this talk of reviving ``grass roots'' politics in Illinois.
Fewer than 30 contributors account for some $30 million being spent in state-level Illinois elections this year, according to numbers crunched by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
The givers are the usual suspects: industry groups, unions, and most of all, political party organizations.
``Small contributors can make a difference in some elections, but big contributors make a big difference,'' Cynthia Canary, director of the reform group, said in a written statement accompanying the study. ``Because contributors help influence policy and laws, the public should pay attention not only to what candidates say but also to the sources of funds.''
Among the findings:
- The largest source of political money in the state right now is the Democratic Party of Illinois, headed by House Speaker and GOP boogeyman Michael Madigan, which has dispersed some $4.8 million so far to Democratic candidates. Which explains in a nutshell why Madigan made sure to prevent party donations from being limited under the reform measures that will limit other forms of money as of next year.