13th District spending tops $4 million

13th District spending tops $4 million

Total spending on the 13th Congressional District race already exceeds $4 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Democrat David Gill of Bloomington has spent $643,380 so far in his campaign, and Republican Rodney Davis, who has been a candidate only since late May, reports spending $406,002.

The biggest chunk of spending, though, has come from the "independent" organizations or superPACs that have gotten involved in the race.

The biggest spender so far is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has put $1.2 million into the race against Davis.

But most of the money spent has come from superPACs aiming to defeat Gill. Among them: the American Action Network, $325,101; the National Republican Congressional Committee, $804,061; the New Prosperity Foundation, $139,255; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $500,000. Some of the groups say they have reserved hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of additional airtime, although they have not committed to spend it.

The more than $4 million spent thus far dwarfs the money spent in the 2010 congressional race in the old 15th District. It's about 10 times the $412,824 that Gill and retiring U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, spent in that race.

The campaign disclosure reports show that Davis outraised Gill by more than $100,000 in the July-through-September period.

Davis, of Taylorville, received $542,987 during the quarter, compared with $431,288 brought in by the Gill campaign.

As the candidates headed into the critical last five weeks of the campaign, Davis had $578,137 in his campaign fund to $218,044 for Gill. That fundraising advantage will enable Davis to spend more than twice as much as Gill on television and radio advertising and direct-mail pieces.

The candidates reported fairly equal amounts of individual contributions — $327,442 from individuals to Gill and $322,467 from individuals to Davis.

Davis' big advantage was in money from political action committees. He reported $220,019 in PAC contributions; Gill reported $98,495.

A cornerstone of Gill's campaign has been his refusal to take money from corporate groups, or as he has put it, "Wall Street bankers." But Gill did take money from dozens of other PACs, as well as from incumbent congressmen who take corporate PAC money.

Among PACs that have given $4,000 or more to Gill's campaign are: the American Postal Workers Union; the Committee on Letter Carriers; KidsPAC, a children's rights group; the League of Conservation Voters; the National Abortion Rights Action League; the National Emergency Medicine PAC; National Nurses United; the American Congress of Ob-Gyns; Planned Parenthood; Sen. Dick Durbin's Prairie PAC; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners; the United Steelworkers Union; and the United Transportation Union.

Among the PACs that have given $4,000 or more to Davis' campaign are: Abbott Laboratories; the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; the American Bankers Association; the American College of Radiology Association; the American Medical Association; the American Physical Therapy Association; the American Free International Trade PAC; the Credit Union National Association; the National Automobile Dealers Association; John Deere & Co.; and Exelon;

Also, the Fund for American Opportunity, affiliated with ex-Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan; the Lincoln PAC, affiliated with Sen. Mark Kirk; the Majority Committee PAC affiliated with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Marathon Petroleum; McDonald's Corp.; the National Association of Realtors; the NRA; the accounting firm Pricewaterhousecoopers; the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors and Verizon.

Gill's $431,288 raised is about equal to what he received in the previous 18 months ($423,626).

And Davis' $549,987 is more than the $440,841 he raised in the first quarter of his campaign, which didn't even begin until May 19 when he was chosen the Republican nominee after Johnson decided not to run again.

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pattsi wrote on October 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Just for the fun of it, I am letting my imagination think about many different ways to spend $4 M that could help the community, generate jobs, beautify the area, or just distribute it equally among the residents and see how much this improves the local economy. What do others imagine?